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10 Tips for Painting Interior Walls Like a Pro

By Thomas O'Shaughnessy | February 24, 2023

Painting your interior walls is a great way to freshen up your living space, whether you're preparing to buy or sell, rent a space out, or simply looking to change up your home's style. If you're planning on painting your walls, there are a few tips that can help you achieve a professional-looking finish without spending your hard-earned money on professional painters. In this article, we'll outline 10 tips for painting interior walls that will help you achieve a flawless finish.

1. Choose the right paint

When choosing the right type of paint, you need to take into account the room's function and natural light exposure. For high-traffic areas, choose durable, washable paint. For rooms with less natural light, consider a paint that reflects light to brighten up the room. It's also important to select a paint finish that complements the room's style. Matte or eggshell finishes are ideal for most living spaces, while a gloss finish may work better in kitchens and bathrooms. Researching your options ahead of time will save you the headache of having to make multiple trips to the store exchanging paint

2. Prep the walls

To ensure the paint adheres well, clean the walls thoroughly using a damp cloth or sponge. This is especially important if you're moving into a home and you aren't sure how clean the previous owner kept things. Pay attention to areas like baseboards and door frames as these can accumulate dirt and grime. Before painting, fill any cracks or holes with spackle or joint compound, and sand down any rough patches.

3. Use high-quality brushes and rollers

A high-quality brush and roller will apply paint more evenly and help you avoid leaving brush or roller marks. Synthetic brushes are great for latex paint while natural bristle brushes are best for oil-based paints. When choosing a roller, consider the texture of your walls. A shorter nap is ideal for smooth walls while a longer nap will work better for textured surfaces.

4. Test the paint

Paint often looks different in the can than it does on the wall. Test the paint on a small section of the wall to ensure that the color and finish are what you want. The testing area should be large enough to evaluate the final look of the paint when it is completely dry.

5. Use a primer

Using a primer is essential when painting over a darker color or on surfaces that haven't been painted before. It helps the paint adhere better, ensures even coverage, and provides a uniform surface for your topcoat.

6. Use a technique called "cutting in"

Cutting in means painting a straight line with a brush around the edges of the walls before using a roller. This technique ensures that the edges are painted accurately without getting paint on the adjacent walls. Use a steady hand and take your time when using this technique.

7. Paint in the right order

Painting the walls in the right order is crucial to achieving a professional-looking finish. Begin with the ceiling, then move to the walls, and finally the trim. This order ensures that any drips or splatters on the ceiling or walls can be painted over when you move to the next surface.

8. Use the right amount of paint

Using too much paint can result in drips and an uneven finish. Start with a moderate amount of paint, and work in small sections. Use long, even strokes to apply the paint, and avoid pressing too hard on the brush or roller.

9. Let the paint dry completely

Let each coat of paint dry completely before applying the next one. This will prevent the paint from becoming tacky and ensure a smooth, even finish. It's best to wait at least 24 hours between coats, especially in high-humidity areas.

10. Clean up properly

When you're done painting, make sure to clean up your work area properly. Store your paint and supplies according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Dispose of any hazardous materials such as paint thinner and paint cans according to local regulations. Cleaning your brushes and rollers is also important to ensure they last as long as possible. Use warm water and soap to clean water-based paint, or paint thinner for oil-based paint. Make sure to remove any excess paint and let the brushes dry completely before storing them.

Whether you've lived in a house for many years or just moved in, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in the feel of your home, and can even complement your home decor. By following these tips, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will make your home feel brand new. Keep in mind that the key to success is preparation, so don't rush through the pre-painting process. Take your time, choose high-quality supplies, and follow these tips for painting interior walls to make sure your project is a success.

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