Are you a DIYer in need of interior house painting tips?

When painting the interior of your home, preparation is key. From brushes and rollers to drop cloths and even the type of paint you choose, what you do before the actual job can make a decided difference in the outcome. When deciding to paint the interior of your home, you have many different points to consider to obtain the best possible job. Details are important. Don’t neglect these tips when it’s time to give those walls a fresh coat.

Before you start painting your interior walls, get painting tips from a local professional painter with over 30 years experience… it will make your project go smoother and help you prepare for the unexpected.

Let’s get started!

1. Buy the Right Painting Equipment

Just like a master auto mechanic can fix a car faster and better because he has the right tools and equipment, having the right painting supplies and equipment is essential in getting results like the best interior painters in the Tampa / St. Petersburg / Clearwater area.

For latex paint, use synthetic brushes for the best result. Oil-based paints can take natural or synthetic brushes. A smooth finish also depends on the tip of the brushes, so make sure that you purchase a high-quality brush for the best results.

When you head to your local Home Depot, don’t forget to buy items such as ladders, masking tape and similar essentials to keep adjoining surfaces free of accidental paint build-up. Following is a sample of items you’ll need to paint the interior of your home:

Painting supplies

Interior Painting Supplies

  • Paint Brushes and Rollers
  • Paint Roller Extension Pole
  • Drop Cloths and Plastic Sheeting
  • Painter’s Masking Tape
  • Razor Blades
  • 5 Gallon Buckets
  • Paint Roller Pans
  • Sandpaper
  • Wall Putty, Caulk, Sealants, Wood Filler
  • Orange Peel Texture Spray
  • Ladder and Step Stool
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Eyewear, Coveralls, Respirators, Hat and Gloves
  • Drywall Tools for Repairs
  • Wallpaper Remover if Applicable

2. Protect Furniture, Floors, Windows

If you are painting a large interior space, such as a living room, protecting items such as sofas, tables and other pieces of furniture is essential. You also don’t want to deal with splattered paint on carpeting, hardwood floors or any other low surfaces. Make sure that you have a sufficient number of drop cloths to protect all of these items and move them as necessary during your work to protect valuable items in your home.

Painter covering floor with drop cloth

3. Essential Preparation

One thing that painting contractors are masters at is the preparation of the area to be painted. To do a superior job, you often need to remove doors along with masking off woodwork and other adjoining areas that you don’t want painted. Competent preparation also means placing drop cloths to completely cover surfaces and furniture that you want to keep free of splattered paint during the painting process.

Room prepped and ready for painting

4. Avoid Lap Marks

Lap marks are ugly, uneven buildup of paint that occurs when you rollover paint that is already partially dry. Paint dries more quickly in warm conditions, sometimes in even less than one minute. The key to avoiding this phenomenon is to achieve a “wet edge.” To achieve this, run your roller up and down over the edge of your work in a “W” pattern to keep the paint wet. Another trick is to roll the full height of the wall to keep your edge wet.

5. Sand Trim Between Coats

To produce an ultra-smooth edge, sand the trim between coats. Use a fine-grit sanding sponge to smooth out the surface of trim so you don’t get a gritty texture. Vacuum the trim and then wipe it down with a damp cloth before applying additional coats to get the best possible result.

6. Create a Perfect Edge

Masking off woodwork and other areas that you don’t want to paint isn’t the only task you should do to create a perfect edge. You must wait until the paint is completely dry to pull off the tape.

Freshly painted wall with masking tape

If you do so before the paint is dry, you’ll likely pull off some of the paint on the wall with it. Wait until the time specified by the manufacturer for proper dying to remove masking tape. Older tape can also cause problems. Make sure the roll you use is new. Don’t skimp on the quality of your masking tape. Cheap tape will leave a sticky residue or will be thin or have poor edges and will allow paint to seap through.

7. Don’t Forget the Primer

Many DIYers don’t believe that this is an essential step or they skip it to lower overall interior painting cost. Using primer, however, gives you a finish that is more consistent, particularly when a wall is new or has been repaired. The smooth area of a wall repair will stand out when you paint over it. Primer seals new walls and patches so the paint doesn’t sink in and appear dull.

8. Use High-Quality Paint

One of the ways the DIYers try to trim cost is through inferior paints. Don’t do it. There are solid reasons why professionals use the best interior paint available such as PPG and Sherwin Williams. It covers better and lasts longer. In the long run, you’ll save money by paying for better quality paint, as you won’t have to repaint as frequently due to better wear.

Sherwin Williams Paint
PPG Paints

9. Make Sure the Painting Surface is Clean

Often our clients believe that simply painting over crayon marks, scuffs and other imperfections will do the job. That is not the case. For paint to adhere properly to a wall, the surface must be clean. Painting over dirty or oily surfaces will cause the paint to chip off, meaning it won’t last as long.

10. Embrace Colors

Freshly painted bathroom

Choosing trending interior colors to update your home is often one of the most difficult tasks for homeowners. Look at magazine websites such as Southern Living to get interior paint ideas that will work for your Tampa Bay area home. One of the best reasons to paint rooms is your home is to give your interior an update. Viewing the latest interior paint colors will give you an idea of how you should update your home’s color palette.

11. Combine Gallons of Paint for Color Consistency

Even though you buy a certain color code from a certain paint brand such as Behr, Sherwin Williams or PPG, it doesn’t mean every gallon of paint is going to be mixed the same. In fact, when you buy a gallon of paint, the store mixes the paint using a recipe of colors. Paint mixing machines require calibration on a regular basis. To see how two mixed gallons can differ, paint two sections on the same wall and let them dry. You’ll most likely see an obvious difference in color shade. That’s why we recommend combining gallons of paint into large, sealable buckets and be sure to stir the paint properly before each use.

12. Paint One Wall at a Time

We recommend you paint an entire wall with paint from the same bucket of paint. As previously mentioned, the actual color of mixed paint can vary from bucket to bucket. So, don’t start a wall unless you’re sure you can finish the entire wall with the paint you have in the bucket. This way you use the corner as the border between the two buckets of paint and any difference will just look like a difference in lighting in the room. Otherwise, you may result in having a noticeable difference in shading in the middle of the wall.

Man painting one wall in the room

13. “Cutting In” to Make Painting Easier

Cutting in means you first go along all the edges of where you will be painting with a paint brush. Doing this after you paint with a roller often shows uneven paint lines. It may seem like it takes painfully longer, but we promise cutting in before you paint with a roller will make painting a smoother, easier process and result in a more professional finish.

14. Measure Twice, Shop Once

You hear people often say, “Measure twice, cut once”. We believe the same is true when painting a house no matter if you’re painting the interior or exterior. Let’s face it … shopping is time consuming! You can limit the number of times and the amount of time you shop by planning ahead. You’ll want to calculate how much paint you’ll need before you get to the paint store. Be sure to account for multiple coats of paint plus extra to have later on when you need to do repair work. Since quality paint is expensive, you also want to make sure you don’t buy way too much paint!

15. Know Your “Finish” Before You Start

There are a variety of paint finishes, or sheen, that impact the appearance and maintenance of your newly painted interior walls. High-Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, Eggshell, Flat or Matte. Before you start shopping for paint, learn the differences between the types of paint sheen and choose the right sheen for your application.

16. BONUS TIP – Sample Paint Colors

Let’s face it – paint isn’t cheap and free time is hard to come by! That’s why it’s important to sample various paint colors and sheens on your walls before buying pain and painting all your walls.

There’s no sense in spending all that time, money and energy painting your walls to find out the room doesn’t look as good as the idea you had in your head. Instead, buy paint samples and apply paint on a 3 x 3 foot section of each wall in the room and also in the corners. Then, go in the room at different times of the day.

It’s amazing how much a paint color can change depending on the angle of sunlight and the lighting in the room. If you don’t paint samples, first, then may end up repainting your room or just settling with a color you don’t like because of the time and money it would take to do it over.

Man painting sample colors on an interior wall

You’re Not Alone

Every weekend homeowners just like yourself set out to paint their home’s interior. Some make a plan while some just wing it and hope for the best. Others hire a professional painter for a variety of good reasons.

If you’re planning on painting the interior of your home, considering hiring Don’s Bay Area Painting, Tampa Bay’s local painter, to do the job right. For more than 20 years, we have provided residential and commercial customers with reliable interior and exterior painting services. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote for our interior painting services backed by a price match guarantee and a 5 year warranty. We require no money down and we don’t get paid until you’re happy.

Click here to learn more about why you should choose Don’s Bay Area Painting for a professional, long-lasting paint job on the interior of your home like we always do for our homeowner clients and Tampa home builders such as TaylorMorrison, David Weekly and others.

Or, request an online painting estimate, today!