Interior Paint 101: How To Paint Your House Like A Pro 

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Here are some tips from the pros on how to get great-looking results when painting your home's interior.

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If you’re like most people, you are painting your house is probably something you don’t do very often. But when it’s time to repaint, you want to make sure the job is done right.

Painting your home’s interior walls can be a fun home improvement project. It’s fulfilling to see how you can transform the look and feel of every room just by changing the colors of the walls.

Painting walls is not an easy task. You need to follow the right steps to achieve an excellent outcome. You have to do it the right way to ensure the paint adheres to the walls and lasts longer.

It might seem like an overwhelming task, but don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be! We’ll go through everything you need and make sure you come out of this with a great result. Let’s get started!

painting a bedroom

Here are some tips from the pros on how to get great-looking results when painting your home’s interior.

Step-by-step guide on how to paint your home interior like a pro:

1) Pick Your Paint Colors

Every project starts with a vision. For example, before repainting your home’s interior, you must pick the best paint colors to suit your preferences.

One of the basic yet elegant options is white paint. It’s the perfect canvas for Scandinavian, farmhouse, and modern interiors. White can make the home look brighter and bigger. It creates a seamless background for furniture and decorations. Plus, it’s also practical if you’re planning to repaint the walls shortly.

Another versatile option is greige paint. It’s the perfect balance between the coolness of grey and the warmth of beige. It’s suitable for most interior design themes, but it works flawlessly with white furniture pieces. Our entire house is painted greige. It is my favorite color for home interiors.

If you have more paint colors in mind, the best way to pick the right shades is to get samples. This way, you can try them out first before buying the needed amount.

2) Gather Your Supplies

Here is a shopping list to order all the paint supplies you’ll need to get started:

3) Scrape Old Paint Or Wallpaper

If the walls have old paint or wallpaper, you must scrape them off first. This process can be tedious, but doing so can help create an ideal surface for repainting.

To remove old paint and wallpaper, grab a good paint scraper. There are also paint strippers you can spray on the wall to quicken the process. When scraping, make sure you’re not using pointy objects to avoid damaging the walls.

Moreover, you may also wet the surface with soap and water. Then, rub it with a sander or wire brush to slowly soften the paint. When it starts to bubble or flake, you may proceed with scraping.

On the other hand, wallpaper is easier to remove than old paint. You can peel it by hand and scrape the stubborn spots with a palette knife.

can of paint with paint brush

4) Clean The Walls

After removing the old paint or wallpaper, clean the walls. Ensure the surface is smooth and free from dust and stubborn stains.

One effective way to clean the walls is to mix a cleaning solution. For example, get a bucket of warm water, a cup of white vinegar, a few drops of liquid dish soap, and some baking soda. Stir until bubbles form. And you may transfer the solution to a spray bottle or apply it using a cloth or paint sponge. Finally, grab your scraper or palette knife to remove all the residue on the wall.

When all the residues are removed, wipe the walls again with a sponge or soap soaked in the solution. Then, get another clean cloth or rag and soak it in water to wash it off.

5) Repair Cracks

Once the walls have completely dried from cleaning, you may repair cracks and holes. There are several ways to fix these, depending on wall types.

Prepare a palette knife or scraper and a joint compound to repair cracks in drywall. First, use the palette knife to open up the cracked surface carefully. Then, apply an ample amount of compound and scrape off the excess. When it’s completely dry, lightly sand it with 220-grit sandpaper.

Concrete walls require almost the same process. First, you need to prepare an elastomeric compound to fill in the cracks. Then, sand it with 120-grit sandpaper when it’s dry. Wear a dust mask for protection.

6) Apply Primer

As soon as the walls are clean and smooth, you may proceed with priming. It can help the paint adhere stronger, creating a seamless surface.

There are three types of primers: shellac, oil, and water-based. They are all suitable for interior use, but each has pros and cons. For example, shellac-based primers are highly durable and best for wooden surfaces. It also effectively covers up stains. However, it releases unpleasant fumes when curing.

  • Oil-based primers are versatile. They can be applied even on porous surfaces and prevent paint cracking and peeling. However, they take longer to dry and release volatile organic compounds (VOC) harmful to health.
  • On the other hand, water-based primers work best for drywall and concrete. They may not be as effective as oil and shellac-based primers in covering stains. However, they dry faster and do not release low to zero amounts of VOC.

You may apply two coats of primer for better paint adhesion. However, remember to sand the surface between each coat for better results.

Male hand painting wall with paint roller.

7) Start Painting

You may start painting when the last coat of primer is already dried and the walls are sanded. To avoid accidental splashes on the floor, lay some old newspapers, a painter’s drop cloth, or any protective layer. A roll of painter’s tape may also come in handy, especially in painting the corners.

Prepare paint rollers and brushes. Rollers make the job faster for broad surfaces, while paint brushes allow you to reach corners and edges.

Apply two or three coats for a smoother finish. Make sure the previous layer is completely dry before applying the next one.

TIP: My favorite brush we have is the Wooster Shortcut Angle Brush. It makes painting trim work and edging a breeze! It’s easy to use and works great for tricky angles.

chart how to choose the right paint brush
Home Depot’s Guide to Choosing the Right Paint Brush

FAQS

How do you clean walls before painting over them?

Before painting any wall, it is important to clean it thoroughly. This will help to remove any dirt, dust, or other debris that could impact the paint job.

One way to clean walls is to use a sponge or cloth dampened with water and a mild detergent. Start at the top of the wall and work your way down, paying special attention to any areas that seem especially dirty. Once you have finished washing the walls, be sure to rinse them off with clean water.

Another option for cleaning walls is to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. This can be especially effective for removing dust from textured surfaces.

Whichever method you choose, make sure that the walls are completely dry before beginning to paint. Otherwise, the paint may not adhere properly or may become streaky.

How long does it take to paint a room?

The amount of time it takes to paint a room depends on several factors, including the size of the space and the type of paint being used. In general, plan on spending between one and three days painting an average-sized room.

Conclusion 

Painting walls can be time-consuming, especially when doing it on behalf of professional painters. However, meticulously following each step is necessary for stunning results you’ll surely be proud of.

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Join the Conversation

  1. James W Rasmussen says:

    Great Article, I do my own painting and have done so for years. I believe that my work is just as good as a professional however it takes me more time to do it. I enjoy doing paint over # 5 finishes as it’s a challenge to keep uniformity. I like how the author stressed prep work. For great results it’s a must. I have Wooster brushes and Purdy brushes. I like certain brands for different applications. No preference, a good brush saves time and frustration. Proper materials and prep are key to great results. I wish the author would have given the proper procedure to load a brush and roller. There is a proper way! It makes a HUGE difference.

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