April 6, 2021

Interior Painting for Beginners: How to Prepare to Paint a Room

Want to learn how to get started with interior painting? Ready to avoid common painting mistakes while mastering the best interior painting strategies? We’re here to help. Here are the best tips for anyone new to interior painting.

Paint and Sip LIVE painting classes teach you how to paint in a fun environment.

But painting is more than just a fun skill: it’s also a skill that could transform your home. If you’re a homeowner, good DIY painting skills can save you thousands.

Want to learn how to get started with interior painting? Ready to avoid common painting mistakes while mastering the best interior painting strategies? We’re here to help. Here are the best tips for anyone new to interior painting.

Picking the Paint

Picking the paint is obviously an important step. Paint can transform the appearance of a room. Lighter paints can make a room like twice the size as darker paints.

The best way to pick a paint is to grab some paint testers. Bring them home, then test them on the walls.

Be sure to adjust light while testing different colors.

Some paints look great in direct sunlight, while others look better under electric light. Change the appearance and shading of the room. Test the room at different times of day. Try the paints on different walls (like one on the north facing wall and another on the south facing wall).

Wait for the paint to dry before you make a final judgment! Once the paint dries, pick your favorite colors and move onto the next step.  

Consider the Finish

Interior paints come in two main types of finishes, including:

• Glossy paints, which reflect light and brighten the room

• Matte paints, which absorb light and darken the room

Some like matte paints because they hide imperfections. Matte paints are also easy to stain and difficult to clean.

Others like glossy paints for their ubiquity. Glossy paints are easy to clean and can cope with more staining, making them ideal for high-traffic areas of the home.

Choosing the Brush

You have several choices to make when choosing your brush, including:

Synthetic or Natural Bristles: Synthetic bristles are ideal for water-based paints. They don’t absorb water as easily, which means you won’t deal with track marks. Natural bristles are ideal for solvent-based paints, creating a smooth finished. Some also like hybrid brushes, which have a combination of synthetic and natural bristles. These are fine for beginner painters, especially if you’re working with multiple paint types.

Size: You’ll want multiple brush sizes when painting an interior. You need a small brush (25mm) for delicate areas around your window frames and trim. You’ll want a larger brush (100mm to 150mm) for larger areas. For all other areas, you can use a roller.

Choosing the Paint Roller

Choosing a paint roller is easier than choosing a brush. Paint rollers are ideal for covering larger spaces. Paint rollers come in three pile lengths, including:

• Short pile

• Medium pile

• Long pile

The pile length affects the texture of the wall. Short pile length paint rollers are ideal for fine and flat surfaces, while long pile length rollers are best for textured surfaces. For generic textures, or if you’re unsure what any of this means, pick a medium pile length brush.

Prepare the Room

A little prep work goes a long way with interior painting. Things you need to do to prepare the room include:

• Remove or cover the furniture

• Use non-slip material drop cloths to protect your floors (you can also use it to protect any furniture you’re leaving in the room)

• Apply painter’s tape to the borders; use painter’s tape to protect light switches, windowsills, baseboards, and other components

• Fill in the holes in your wall using Polyfilla or a similar substance; flatten the Polyfilla with a knife, then scrape over it

• Scrape away peeling paint

• Sand and wash the walls; textured walls may require a light sandpaper before you begin, and all walls should be washed with a mild detergent and warm water to remove any surface dirt, oil, or grease

Using a Paint Primer

A paint primer does exactly what you expect it to do: it primes the walls of your home for painting. A paint primer well save you time and money. It makes it easier for paint to stick to the walls.

Apply primer to the walls just like you would apply paint (using your roller). Let the primer completely dry before you begin painting.

Tip: If you want to take your priming skills to the next level, tint the primer with your color. It can significantly reduce the number of coats you need during the painting phase.

Start Painting!

You’ve done all the prep work. Now, it’s time to start painting.

Mix your paint together into one bucket (to avoid different colors between cans), then use your rollers and brushes to cover the room.

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