Get the interior of your home looking fresh and new again with a fresh coat of paint. But wait! Before you slap on paint you found in the bargain bin, take a moment to learn the 10 basic interior painting rules. Yes, there are rules that should be followed when painting. Not only will you get better looking results, but by following the proper painting protocol (say that five times fast!) you’ll also save yourself time and money by getting the job done right the first time.
If you’ve never painted before, you should know that it’s not that difficult to do. Paint is inexpensive, easy to apply, and one of the fastest ways to refresh the look of your home. If you need to go over a quick ‘‹Å”how to’ guide, read the step-by-step instructions found in the following article, ‘How to paint a room’.

Select the right paint

Choosing the right paint is a big decision. After all, you’ll be tackling a pretty big home improvement project in painting your walls, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time. Aside from selecting the right color, you’ll also need to consider which paint will work best for the area you’ll be covering. Is this a high-traffic area, or is one that few people will come in contact with? Get the help you need decided what will work best for you by reading ‘Choosing the right paint sheen – A beginner’s guide’.

Remove everything from the walls

Before you can paint a room, everything needs to come off the walls. Remove photos, artwork, light switches, electrical outlets, light fixtures, and anything else. Be sure to also remove any nails that may be leftover.

Wash the walls

No one wants to do it, but it’s essential that the walls be clean before you start painting. Grab a bucket, fill it with warm water, add ¼ cup white vinegar, and give them a thorough wipe-down. This will remove any trace of dirt and debris and give you a clean surface to work with.

Remove flaking paint

If you’ve got paint that’s chipping or flaking, remove it with a metal putty knife. Lift off the loose area and any paint around it that easily loosens. Be sure to do this not only on the walls, but also on the baseboards, windowsill, door frames, or any area that will be painted. Wipe down the area with a damp sponge afterwards.

Fill in holes and/or cracks

This is one of the most frequently overlooked interior painting rules. Many people think that when you paint a room, you don’t have to patch the holes or cracks in ahead of time. Somehow, they believe that the paint will magically fill in any empty spaces. It doesn’t work! Use a patching compound to fill nail holes or any small cracks. After it dries, sand it level with a fine-grit sandpaper. Have a larger hole or crack? Learn how to patch a plaster hole.

Tape off and protect

There’s no denying that some tasks included in basic interior painting rules are time consuming, but they’re there for a reason. Before you begin painting a room, it is essential that you tape off any wall surface that you don’t intend on painting. Painter’s tape should be used to mask off doorways, baseboards, cabinetry, and so on. This type of paint is easy to set in place and lifts off with ease. Be sure to protect furniture and flooring with drop cloths.

To prime or not to prime?

It’s the age-old question, isn’t it? Should you take the time to prime the walls before painting or not? In truth, a primed surface will yield better results and last longer than one that hasn’t been primed. However, no one wants to think about having to essentially paint the walls twice. One with primer and one with paint. Now, you can kill two birds with one stone by a paint with primer in it. This will give you double the protection in half the time.

Working with unusual or rough surfaces

There are separate basic interior painting rules for working with these type of surfaces, and they vary greatly on the material you are attempting to paint over. Here are some popular concerns:

– How to paint over brick

– How to paint over concrete

– How to paint over laminate

– How to paint wicker

Painting damaged walls

There are some imperfections that simply cannot be repaired. Older homes in particular will often exhibit uneven walls, bowed walls, or have an extremely rocky texture. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be painted, it just means you have to know how to work with them. For example, flat or sateen paint will show every flaw in the wall. However, a textured paint will help disguise the damage and create a smooth look. A standard paint roller will quickly fall apart on a rough surface, but a long nap roller will hold up on the roughest surface.

Touch up any errors

No matter how hard you try, you’re bound to make a few mistakes. You may get a little paint on the ceiling, on the baseboards, or even miss a small spot of two. If you’ve accidentally painted on the ceiling, quickly grab a clean cloth and gently dab the paint. If you act fast, you may be able to remove the paint this simply. If not, dab the cloth with a very small amount of paint thinner and blot the paint until it’s removed. On the other hand, if you notice a small bare spot on the wall, don’t touch it until you are completely finished painting a room. This way, you know the paint is completely dry and you won’t risk smudging it or running it onto another area. Then, go back in with a small artist’s brush and touch up this small area.