Guide to Good Interior Painting

Goldenland House Painters: Our Guide to Interior Painting

1. Painting Tools and Supplies

  1. When preparing, our first step is to have the appropriate supplies to complete the job. The following is an itemized list of the basic supplies one needs to paint like a professional. These supplies are essential in the success in your interior paint job.
  2. sash brush (angled)
  3. Block brush (squared)
  4. Adjustable extension pole
  5. Putty knife (6 in 1 tool)
  6. One and/or Five-gallon bucket
  7. Spackling compound, lightweight
  8. Painter’s key
  9. Rags (t-shirt bundle)
  10. 9x 12 canvas drop cloth
  11. Sanding blocks or paper
  12. 4x 12 canvas drop cloth, optional for hallway)
  13. Step ladder, approximately
  14. Plastic drop clothes clear (2mil)
  15. Stirring sticks
  16. Calking gun with puncture spike and snip
  17. Screwdrivers Painters caulk
  18. Hammer
  19. Painter’s blue tape (one sleeve holds six rolls)
  20. Trim guard (looks like a trowel)
  21. masking tape (one sleeve holds 12 rolls)
  22. Gloves and goggles (for solvents)
  23. Painter’s tray (liners are optional)
  24. Mineral spirits (for solvent paint only)
  25. Roller covers
  26. Permanent markers
  27. Roller handles (good quality that fits extension)
  28. Utility knives

After you have collected these supplies, the only other material you will need is your paint products. Other optional tools may help such as an assortment of nails, screws, string, and water, moving disks for furniture, lids for the buckets, bucket openers, soap, sponges, radio, and music or books on tape.

2. Preparation

1. Empty the room as much as possible by removing furniture, plants, artwork, and accessories. When moving furniture, make sure nothing can obstruct the space and hold up the preparation and painting process. If there is remaining furniture, cover it with plastic drop clothes. This will help with avoiding paint in places you don’t want it. Cover the floor with a canvas drop cloth to avoid slipping or unwanted movement under foot. A canvas drop cloth is a good investment because it will last for a very long time and absorb any spillage.

2. Remove pictures, mirrors, and any window treatments. Continue to take down any wall or ceiling decorations such as paintings and posters. Don’t forget to remove nails, tacks, tape, and other forms of hanging hooks. Patch any holes if not needed later with lightweight spackle. Loosen or remove all electrical light switch plates, window treatment hardware, ceiling plates, fixtures, and register grid covers. Reinsert the screws so they wont become lost and they are easier to find later.

A good tip for light switches is to put a dollop of paint used on the back of the plate and mark the name and number of the paint with a permanent marker. You can use this as a color reference in case of future inquiries.

3. Make sure all walls are clean before painting. If the walls are dirty, paint will not adhere as well, and it can cause the paint to look muddled. Try using a mild household cleaner for ordinary cleaning or Tri-Sodium Phosphate for heavier grease deposits. These areas frequently have finger prints or may show oily residue caused by cooking. Make sure you wash doors and trim in which handled. When cleaning entire walls, it is necessary to use a large sponge or a sponge mop to make the work easier; this will also expedite the process. Rinse or wipe well with fresh water and allow drying. Make sure no detergent residue is remaining to ensure proper adhesion.

On semi-gloss or glossy surfaces, use a sanding block and sandpaper to allow proper adhesion. All nail holes, flaking plaster, cracks or any other wall and ceiling defects should by scraped and filled with lightweight Spackle using your putty knife. Use speckling sparingly as you do not want to see patchwork after the finish coat. Allow the speckling to dry and lightly sand the particles away clean. Remove all dust and debris before painting.

A particular note on patches, marking pens, crayons, and water stains. After you wash and dry the area, it may be necessary to spot prime with a sealer to eliminate bleed-through on the finished coat of paint. This will also eliminate dull spots from the Spackle work.

Last, protect all windowsills, trim, and doors from excess paint. This can be done with blue painter’s tape, which is especially effective if you are leaving the tape on for a long period. Before placing your tape, clean the surface with a mild soap and dry. Another time saver is to use painter’s masking paper or plastic for the larger areas to protect. The more you do to protect these areas, the less time you will spend for the cleanup.

Tips: Remember that at least 80% of the work involved with interior house painting is in the preparation of each room. It is always good practice to write down a planning schedule or a punch list of work to complete before painting.

Another process of preparation is priming. This step of priming seals a surface prior to painting, which increases the amount of wet edge to a finish coat. A wet edge reduces the occurrence of lap marks and uniformity of sheen or luster. Walls always need priming even if they have existing paint from decades ago. Walls with many layers of paint can result in a very absorbent surface. Because of this build up of latex paint, it is unknown about how the new finish coat will look.

Doors, trim, and sash painted with an alkyd ordinarily do not require a primer. However, if extensive repairs have been performed, you should apply a primer to create a clean and sealed surface. Remember to sand old oil-base paints or glossy finishes with a sanding block to dull the finish. This process will aide in the longevity of the paint adhesion.

If you need to spot prime patched walls, use a latex primer to seal new drywall. If the drywall has surface paint from a previous application you can use latex or an alkyd-based sealer depending on the extent of the project. Be aware of the Volatile Organic Components in the Alkyd, there may be restrictions in your local area that prevents one from using certain products. A paint supplier can explain the local restrictions when you purchase paint and primers.

When painting ceilings or walls with a flat finish, coating with a primer sealer is very important to make sure you have even coverage on your finish. Many latex primers are the same, just make sure they fit your needs. Specific needs are low odor, green sustainability, organics, and low restrictions.

These specifications are important when painting wood or unpainted surfaces. If you have sanded a previously painted surface down to the raw material, it is best to use an alkyd enamel primer. If an Alkyd is unavailable, any 100% acrylic latex primers will work as long as the recommendation from suppliers or the label clearly states this purpose.

Tinting a primer for deep-based colors is important for retaining the true tone of the color. If you are painting a red room, your primer should have a red tint, if using a blue topcoat, your tinted primer should be light blue or gray.

Tinted primer also works well for priming over a bright color such as yellow, orange, or red. If you tint your primer to a gray or tan color, your bright colors will neutralize; the primer will eliminate any bleed through of bright color. This primer coat will make your painting job much easier and look more professionally done.

3. Use these steps to paint your home like a professional.

After setting up a work station in which the supplies and tools will be out of your way, make sure you have good ventilation in the space. Opening a window or door will allow air circulation in the room you are painting. Once you have your tools and paint ready, it is time to paint.

1. Calculating how much paint you will need is easy, if you know the number of square footage you have in surface space to paint. If you take the length of each wall and multiply it by each height in the room, you will have the calculated square footage of wall space.

If you multiply the length of the room by its width, you can determine the surface area of the ceiling. Together both calculations will give you the square footage you need to paint.

Take your square footage and divide it by 200. This gives you the number of gallons you will need for your paint job. A gallon of paint will cover approximately 200 square feet.

Example: If your square footage equals 900; divide that by 200, this equals 4.5 gallons of paint. If you can purchase a five-gallon bucket, the five-gallon bucket will cost less than five single gallons.

You do not have to calculate or adjust for doors and windows, but if these non-painted surfaces account for significant wall space, then you may want to subtract the amount of non-pain-table wall space from your pain-table surface figure.

Your spreadable rate  or coverage per gallon may vary on the directions label for the product. In general, you should look at calculating with 200; it is better to have a half gallon more of paint than not enough. The time you have to watch the coverage rate, occurs when you are using elastic or stucco finishes.

When purchasing quantities of paint, make sure all the gallons have the same base number and batch number. This will ensure the consistency on the color. If you cannot purchase your desired amount with the same base and batch number, request that your paint supplier mixes them altogether. The professional term for this process is called “Boxing” the paint completely.

2. Start with your sash angled brush, and you will begin where your ceiling touches the walls. Fill the brush with paint to your desired amount, and begin to “cut in” or paint a two to three-inch wide strip across the ceiling and wall perimeter only. You will want to cut in one ceiling/wall edge and then roll floor to ceiling in an alternate manner until you have finished the entire wall. You work one wall-space at a time to maintain a wet edge on both the area being cut in and the wall in which you will roll with your paint roller. You want to make sure you keep a wet edge so you don’t have a visible line between the two applications.

3. The best ways to paint the ceiling is by covering your paint roller with paint, and roll the excess paint on the ridges of the paint tray. As you lift the roller, you do not want to have drips or uneven applications. As mentioned before, start in the corner by blending your roll pattern with your “cut-in” edge. Many professionals will paint the ceiling across the width rather than going from wall to wall. This will not matter as long as you apply the same amount of paint in every pass and you do not stop until you finish the entire ceiling.

Tips of the Trade: To make the ceiling easier to handle, use your extension pole to reach the ceiling without straining your neck or back. When adjusting your extension pole to the right length, hold the attached roller against the ceiling; adjust the pole so it is comfortably held in front of your sternum. This way will relieve any tension in your arms and shoulders. Working comfortable always makes the job go smoother.

Another tip is to roll the ceiling across your body, rather than along your body, as this can cause back strain or crooks in your neck. Make it a point to blend all edges as you go along the surface. Another way to ensure even coverage is by using a flat finish for the ceilings. Flat paint will hide imperfections better than a finish that has sheen. Always begin relaxed, and take your time to produce greater effects in your painting.

4. Before painting the walls, the painted ceiling will take time to dry. Set aside your ceiling paint and cleanup your area as you find your tools to paint the walls. You will need a brush and a new or cleaned paint roller.

Always start from where you began when you started the ceiling. This area is the driest area to begin cutting in your wall and ceiling line. This time you will paint the corner going down the wall, across the ceiling line, and across the baseboard line.

The trick to this is first, when painting down the corner of the wall, have more paint on the brush in which you are painting to ease on developing a dry edge when you get to the other wall. Second, if you feel confident to freehand the ceiling line, less paint on the brush will allow you to use a better bristle edge so you don’t mark the dry ceiling. Breathe in, and then exhale as you gently go down the line. After you get the desired edge, add more paint to the wall so you have a better wet edge for rolling the wall. Third, if you are painting the trim or baseboard, you can afford to get a little of the wall paint on the top of the baseboard edge. If you are neat, you will have an easy line to follow. Later, you will paint out the baseboard trim with the correct finish.

If you are not painting the trim or baseboards, you will need to wipe these down earlier, let them dry, and mask off the trim with blue painter’s tape. To make a good tape seal, in your hand rub the tape down tightly with a rag to eliminate any friction burn.

Remember to remove the tape immediately after you have finished painting the wall to stop any bleed through and to create a sharper line. If you leave the tape down until the paint is dry, you risk paint pulling off with your tape. If there is bleed through from poorly adhered tape, it will be cumbersome to clean up after the paint has set.

If you plan on taping off an area you just finished painting, you will have to wait 24 to 48 hours before you can apply the tape. If you live in a humid environment, it may take the longer interval of time.

While painting your walls, paint one wall at a time. If you are painting with help from friends or family, one person can “cut in” the trim, whereas the other is following with the roller. This process is another way to eliminate paint lines and keep your wet edge.

Remember that if you let your painted line dry before you roll on your wall or ceiling paint coat, it will leave a frame or the professional term “hat banding.”

Roll your walls with a comfortable stance, and usually stand three to four feet from the wall. Use your extension pole again to reach the high and low areas without causing strain on your back.

Paint from the center of the wall up to the wet edge and then back down to the wet edge near your baseboard trim. You should fill your roller with enough paint to do two full stripes before you need to refill your roller with more paint. You will then blend the next two stripes evenly until you repeat the steps and complete the wall. After you have completed the entire wall space, it will need to dry before you start on the baseboard and molding.

5. Painting the doors involves removing the hardware and placing a spacer to keep the door from the frame casing. A spacer will hold the door open and allow the paint to dry without adhering to each other.

I have summarized the previous 20 individual posts into a house interior painting instruction. These practices are generated from our years of interior painting works from over 10 local experienced and trusted painters. This guide could be a general guidelines if you decide to try to paint your house by yourself. We suggest you to consult with as for an general cost estimate first, before you actually start to try to learn the practices. Many Technics could only be learned from multiple mistakes. I reckon you do not want to use your own house painting as a lesson to learn from. Our quotation is obligation free anyway.

How to professionally paint an interior room

Now for the Main event: You’re about to embark on a money saving adventure, by following my directions.

Just think, if you hire a painting contractor to paint a room, it can cost you on an average $300.00. If you hire a contractor to paint several rooms, you may be saving hundreds of dollars, depending on the scope of work, and how many colors used, etc. Now, begin saving money.

First, I’ve tried to cover all possible situations you may encounter, as well as all features. I want you to to complete your project successfully.

So let’s begin. Usually a homeowner wants the ceiling to be white along with the baseboards, jams, and door (s) all in a semi-gloss, or satin finish. Then the walls usually painted in a color, making your finished project a showcase. Then if you so desire, accent colors may be applied last. I’ve covered all the techniques needed for the above. If you are not painting your ceiling, just skip that feature and move on.
Preparation is very important, take the time to do it right. This is an important part of the project that will make your rooms look professionally done.

Preparation of the Room itself

First the Obvious: Remove pictures and stuff hanging on the walls. If you want to hang your pictures in the same places after the project is complete, then do not remove the picture hangers, just paint around them and on them with a brush. Be careful you don’t create a drip or two doing this, so be sure to double check these areas after a few minutes and feather out any drips.
Next patch pin holes if any, with Dap fast’ n’ final lightweight spackling. Patch them using your finger, just fill the hole and clean any excess off the drywall around the hole. Only use a putty knife for larger holes, again clean off excess around the patch, so you don’t have to sand anything on the drywall.

Next, get any old paint bumps and lumps off your walls by sanding. Use 100-grit sandpaper , on a pole ,mounted in a drywall sanding handle, or on a sanding block if you prefer.

Get yourself a good caulking gun and 1- 2 tubes of Painter’s caulking. Cut the tip of the caulking tube off but just enough to allow the caulking to come out once applied through the caulking gun. You can always slightly cut the tube end again if you think a bigger amount of caulk should be used, just experiment and you’ll figure out what is best.

It’s important to cut the caulking tube end at a 45 degree angle, because that makes it easier to run your bead along the jams and baseboard. To make your project look complete and professional, you need to caulk the jams and baseboard especially if they are missing any caulking.

Apply your caulk to the outside edge of the jams at an angle covering the cracks or gaps followed by using a moist rag along the caulked area right away to smooth out the caulk. You can get the same effect by using your finger once you figure out a technique. Just be careful not to overload the areas so a large amount of the caulk is on the connecting drywall. You can caulk the small gaps on the face of the jam too, were the top jam trim board meets the 2 vertical trim pieces of the jam right there at the door opening. Apply just enough to cover and wipe off excess with your moist rag.

Caulk the gap between baseboard and the drywall walls using the same method mentioned above. Caulk the crack (s) where 2 baseboards meet in the corners, usually a vertical area. Your on your way to achieving the professional look. Once the caulking is dry, taping and masking come next.

Using 1.5 masking tape, by running the tape along your walls. If it’s over carpet, make sure it covers the carpet, along the baseboard or wall, to prevent paint onto the carpet. Pull back the bottom of the carpet adjacent to the baseboard or wall and tape over the carpet. See picture below.

For hardwood flooring, just butt the tape up against the lowest point of the baseboard to cover your floor. If there is a gap under the baseboard between the flooring and baseboard, try to get the tape slightly into the gap. Your goal here is to protect the flooring from paint. Take about 1 foot of masking tape in your hands stretching out the tape and applying it against the lower area of baseboard starting at one end working to the other end so no flooring, carpet or wood, is visible. All you should see is the masking tape along the carpet or flooring. See pic below.

Once all walls are taped in this fashion, lay down the plastic on top of the existing masking tape you just put down on the flooring. Then just mask the plastic onto this tape. You can use regular masking tape if you wish.

Note: Get a good quality brand roll of masking tape to hold the plastic onto the existing tape. Once done you now have your carpet/wood surface completely covered over by plastic.

It is best to have a tarp to lay in the room for walking into another room, because any drips on the plastic tarp from the ceiling or walls will not dry right away on plastic. This can lead to tracking paint into another room. You might want to tarp your exit to the adjoining room or hallway to avoid tracking paint. If you have furniture in the room, cover the furniture with plastic or cloth to protect it. Just use common sense, by imaging what could happen.

I’d like to quickly summarize all the steps for you, before actually starting. This ensures that nothing is missed. So, here goes;

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