Interior Painting: The Basics

If there is one design improvement project that you will find yourself doing throughout your life, it is likely painting. Whether you’re moving into a new place, giving a facelift to an existing space, or indulging your children in a bright new change for their rooms, painting makes its way into most of our lives. Painting is a quick way to update an outdated space and change the character of a room. Here we will cover some of the basics that you need to know to get started.

Know your paint 


Base coats are usually needed, and always a better option. This not only helps your paint job look better, but will help it last longer and stay in better condition. There are two options to work with: a primer, and a first coat. You can also find them combined. A primer is especially important if you’re painting atop a new, uncoated surface. It will protect the surface, and serves as an effective base. A first coat is best used when you want the most visual coverage underneath your finish coat. Pick a color that matches the brightness of your finish coat. In some cases, you may need to give your base coat a second paint over before applying a finishing coat. 

The finish coats serve as your decorative options. This is where your creativity comes into play! There are four general options when it comes to choosing the right paint. One of the generally preferred choices is eggshell paint. Eggshell is quite durable and has a small level of sheen to it. This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. With eggshell paint, you may desire two coats to make the color even. Another choice is flat paint. Flat paint is latex-based, and quite versatile. Flat paint offers a variety of finishes in varying degrees of matts. One of the benefits of flat paint is that it can be good for coping with moisture, especially when it contains vinyl, as some formulations do. Gloss and satin are good options for those who like a shine to their walls. These options come with either a latex base, or a solvent base. Latex is a easier to apply option, but solvent will provide the most shine to your finish. With satin, you’ll have a slightly less shiny finish. With gloss, you’ll get the most shine, and likely only need one coat of finish.

Paint it right

Before painting, cover a few bases. If you’re painting around windows, doors, and electrical outlets, consider painters’ tape to protect edges from unwanted paint. It is inexpensive and quick to apply, and will help you make clean lines. Next, make sure you have the right equipment. A roller is going to do most of the work, and you will also need a small brush to cut in along edges and corners. You may opt for painting pads as well, which are very useful for further protecting trim. Don’t forget a paint tray, and consider keeping a small bottle of paint remover on hand in case you do make a mistake.

When you’re ready to begin, make sure your paint is thoroughly mixed. If you are using a stir stick, allow yourself extra time for completion. Subtle changes in color can show up later if the paint has not been fully stirred. Start with the corners and edges first, cutting in with your hand brush. Then move on to the roller, covering the rest of the walls. Once covered, check for thin spots. Reapply as needed. 

A job well done will bring a fresh look to your room. If you are unable to paint it yourself, or have any hesitation, consider contacting one of our trusted contractors to do the job for you. Remember that no job is so important it needs to be done wrong. Happy painting!

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