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Painting Basics - Interior

Choosing Your Paint: Paint comes in a variety of finishes ranging from flat to high gloss. The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean, but a flatter finish will make your walls look richer. A good compromise is a satin or eggshell finish.  It is easy to clean with a reasonably rich look. 

The next question to ask yourself is if you want to use latex or oil based paint. Our choice is usually latex, as the soap and water cleanup is easy, and it dries faster than oil paint.

Choosing Your Paint Color: Color will be your hardest choice. Your home store will have ideas and paint chips  to bring home. The paint chip in the store will almost never look the same in your house due to different lighting.   Bring some sample chips home, and when you’ve narrowed it down, buy a small amount of the paint and cover a small area of your wall with it. The paint chips you get from the store will seldom give you an accurate idea of the color on a whole wall. If you have your paint premixed, you cannot return it, so be certain it is the color you want.  If you think you are sure of the color, and when you get it home, you find it just doesn’t work; there are a few things you can do to remedy the situation. Go to your craft store and buy the 1 ounce containers of latex paint they sell for crafts. If you need to tone it down, add some cream or brown to your original paint and mix well. You can’t return the paint, so what have you got to lose? Just keep in mind that if you are using multiple gallons of paint, you must add the same amount to all the paint containers.   Another solution is to buy the one ounce craft paint and water it down. (one tablespoon to 1 cup of water)  Dip a rag into the mixture and wash the wall to tone down a too bright color. Remember it’s only paint and you can always paint over it.

Tip:  If you are covering a dark color with a lighter color, go over the darker color with a coat of primer to save yourself  having to apply many coats of paint.

How Much Paint Do I Need: A gallon of paint covers 400 square feet, which means if your walls are 8ft. tall, you can cover 50 feet of wall space.   

Painting Preparation: Remove or cover any outlets, light fixtures, etc. Tape around windows, doors, etc. to protect any trim. Remove all small furniture, lamps, and pictures. Lightly wipe down your walls to remove any loose dust or dirt. Patch any holes. Lay tarps or plastic over the floor and any large pieces of furniture left in the room.
Painting A Room: Start with the ceiling. First use a small brush to paint around the edges, then use a roller with a roller extender to finish the job. A roller extender will save you many steps going up and down a ladder. Try to start rolling while the paint edges are still wet for a smoother finish. A roller will allow you to paint almost to the edge of the wall. Roll in the direction of the shortest side and continue to overlap the paint with each roll, trying to overlap while the paint is still wet. 

Let the ceiling dry before you paint the walls. Using a 2” angled brush, paint a strip along the ceiling edge of the wall and around any trim board. Paint one wall at a time so the edging does not dry.

Repeat the same process for a second coat if needed.

Tool List
Painters tape, 2” angled brush, rollers, roller extenders, paint trays, tarps, screwdriver, stepladder


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