Serving Virginia, Maryland & DC

Beginner Tips for Interior Painting

Beginner Tips for Interior Painting

No one is born knowing how to paint; we all have to learn some time! If you are a new homeowner, or you are just stepping into the realm of interior house painting, we would love to help you out with some basic tips and tricks to make sure the job goes well. 

One of the biggest keys in learning to paint your house walls is asking questions and being willing to put time into learning beforehand. Every possible mistake has already been made, and by listening and learning from the experiences of others, you can avoid those mistakes yourself!

Professional Interior Painting Tip #1 - Don’t Rush the Preparation

The idea of having new colors on your walls is exciting, and the temptation to jump right in there with a paint can and brush is strong! However, a professional house painter ensures the best results by putting adequate time into preparing the work area thoroughly. Lack of preparation can lead to all kinds of problems, from unsightly splashes to total paint failure.

Professional Interior Painting Tip #2 - Protect Everything You Don’t Want Paint On

If anyone was able to paint a wall without spilling, splashing, or making mistakes, it would be an experienced professional, right? Even so, those same professional painters take great care to protect all nearby surfaces before beginning to paint. This prevents major headaches in the event of unforeseen mishaps, however unlikely they might be.

The best way to protect your nearby surfaces is with painter’s plastic and painter’s tape. This thin plastic sheeting is sold in rolls of various sizes, and you can keep it in place with painter’s tape. Affix it over the floors, right up against the walls, but not covering any part of the wall. Also, cover nearby furniture, or just move the furniture away.

Use more painter’s tape to protect doorknobs, window frames, light fixtures, and any other surface or item that is near to or attached to the walls you will be painting. Lightswitch covers and outlet covers can be removed with a screwdriver, which is easier than protecting them with tape.

Professional Interior Painting Tip #3 - Clean and Prepare the Wall

A dirty wall will not allow new paint to adhere properly, and the results will not be attractive or long-lasting. Use a sponge and warm, soapy water to wash the wall before you paint it. Don’t soak the wall, but get it clean. Then wipe off any soap residue with another sponge, and make sure the wall is thoroughly dry before you paint it.

If there are any holes, gouges, or obvious flaws in the drywall, it is important to fill these with spackle or drywall repair putty before you paint. This is an art form in itself, so we would suggest looking up how to do this before you attempt it. We will address this topic in a separate post.

Primer is necessary if you have done repair patches, if you have bare drywall, or if you are going to change colors drastically. If you want to go from a dark or bold color to a light or gentle one, you may need two (or more) coats of primer to effectively hide the previous coat.

Professional Interior Painting Tip #4 - Paint Systematically

Haphazard painting leads to haphazard results. Methodical painting leads to beautiful results!

Start by using a good quality paint brush to “cut in” around the edges of the wall you are painting. This means you paint a border at the top, sides, and bottom of the wall, where your paint roller won’t fit. Also paint a border around window and door frames, and anything else that you don’t want the paint roller to get too close to. 

Next, get your paint roller wet with paint, but not dripping wet. Start from the top corner, and work your way downwards and across the wall. Don’t roll too quickly, or the roller will fling splatters everywhere. Use a W pattern to spread the paint in a section, then go back over it until the paint is smoothly and evenly spread.

Professional painters always strive to “keep a wet edge.” This means that as you work your way down and across the wall, you don’t want to let the edges dry out before you come back to that spot to continue painting. For example, what if you started in the top-right corner and painted halfway down the wall, and then you continued your way across to the left, only painting the upper half of the wall? When you returned to the right-hand edge where you started, and you went to paint the bottom half of the wall, the paint will have dried there. The new paint you apply will be overlapping with paint that dried half an hour ago, and the two sections will not blend smoothly. That is the opposite of keeping a wet edge!

If You Get Stuck, Call a House Painter Near You

Sometimes, a painting project turns out to be more than you bargained for. If you started down the road of do-it-yourself interior painting, and then found that it was not going as you hoped, help is near at hand!

A professional house painter can get your interior painting project done quickly, and with no hassle for you as the homeowner. And best of all, when you hire a quality painting company, you are assured of having beautiful, lasting results!

Williams Professional Painting has been serving northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region since 1979, earning a reputation for exceptional painting and wonderful customer service. Please contact us if you have any questions about painting, or if you would like a free interior painting estimate.

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