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How To Paint a Room: Interior Painting Tips

The right paint color can instantly transform a space from dull and lifeless to refined and vibrant. If you want to give your interior rooms a pick-me-up without spending too much money, a few cans of paint will make a tremendous difference. Follow these tips to make your DIY paint job look like a pro’s handiwork.

interior painting tips Image via Flickr by UnitedSoybeanBoard
Image via Flickr by UnitedSoybeanBoard

Our Top 7 Interior Painting Tips

Clear Your Canvas

Before you dip your paintbrush into a can of Bona Fide Beige or Topiary Tint, remove any blemishes or unwanted texture from your walls. Paint scrapers and sanding blocks help smooth out rough surfaces, while joint compound fills small holes left by picture hooks. To prevent contaminants from spoiling your work, wash the walls and let them dry thoroughly.

Strip Your Space

While it’s possible to paint around furniture, accessories, and other items, it’s not advisable. For the best results, clear out the entire room so you don’t trip over your favorite footstool or accidentally splatter paint across a treasured work of art. If you’re painting multiple rooms, take them one at a time.

Fortify the Floors

Plastic sheeting offers a cheap covering for your floors while you slap paint on the walls and ceiling, but it’s slippery, unwieldy, and likely to cause accidents. If you want a hassle-free painting experience, try one of the top interior painting tips instead: use canvas drop cloths. They cost more, but you can throw them in the washing machine at the end of a long day of painting.

Pick a Primer

Don’t start with paint — always lay a solid foundation of primer. It prevents stains from resurfacing and ruining your hard work; plus, it creates an even base for your paint color and disguises blemishes you couldn’t remove. Choose a high-quality primer and apply it liberally to your walls.

Image via Flickr by John Loo

Toss the Tape

Blue painter’s tape can resolve many painting problems, but you don’t need it for every edge or corner. Learn how to cut in, which involves using the edge of your brush to create a crisp, even line. You’ll save money and time that you would otherwise have devoted to taping.

Rock the Roller

A paint roller and cover proves far easier (and faster) to manage than a brush. Load it fully with paint, then apply the paint in soft, even strokes. Don’t push too hard; otherwise, you might create ridges or seams on either side of the roller cover. Use a paint screen to even out the coating each time you load the roller.

Reuse and Recycle

After you finish painting the room, you’ll probably have leftover supplies. Don’t just toss the paint or leave it to harden in your garage. Instead, apply it to another home project, such as a piece of furniture or DIY art. Not only does this save supplies, but it also helps you tie together elements in your home through color.

Painting your interior rooms might seem like an intimidating proposition, but you’ll get better with time. After you finish the first room, move on to the next and apply the skills you’ve learned.

Read the rest of our Interior Painting Tips series:

(6) Comments

  1. Interesting piece of information thanks! I was just thinking about painting living room myself but I have no experience with that(not a handy-man at all :-D) and this is what’s keeping me from doing it myself. But after reading this article I came up with some different ideas about how I want my room to look like so maybe I’ll hire somebody to do that for me cuz it’s too risky I think to try doing it myself. Thanks for great tips here it will help me when dealing with contractors to look smarter. 😀

  2. Great article! A lot of DIY’ers forget/neglect the primer coat thinking that they can just add another coat of desired color. Concentrate on areas that have been repaired, like nail and hook holes, and of course any drywall repair. Taking the time to add a primer will prevent any uneven, and dull spots showing in the future. Also great to cover up crayon and marker 😉

  3. Good article!

    You’re right, painting just one wall in a room can give the whole space a new feeling!

    Depending on where you live, it might be pretty humid. Try to ensure that the walls are fully prepped and it’s not too humid.

    Here in Sacramento, CA it’s just now drying up so a bunch of people are beginning to paint their homes.

    Also, try the color on an area and let it dry. It might look a bit different than it appeared in the store. You should do this whether painting yourself or hiring a painting contractor.

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