What goes into an interior painting project for a new home or building? We provide some interior house painting tips while outlining each step of the painting process. We also provide tips on what you can expect when hiring a painting contractor. Or, if you have the time to take on an interior painting project and want to build some sweat equity, you can follow these painting tips by painting the walls yourself.
Choosing Your Paint
The first step is to choose the right paint for the job. There are a few considerations for choosing paint, including the type of paint, sheen, and color. Here is some more information to help you make an informed decision about which paint is best for your project:
Type of Paint:
Paint comes in two choices: oil or latex. There are distinct differences between the two paint choices.
Latex paint is the most commonly used and is the preferred paint type for painting the interior walls of a home. It’s easy to clean up with just soap and water and lasts for a long time. It’s more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint.
Oil-based paint is great for priming real wood moldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than latex paint wood. Oil takes longer to dry than latex paint, so plan on allowing more time for drying. You’ll also need mineral spirits on hand for cleaning your paintbrushes and any other tools.
Sheen for paint determines the level of shine or gloss for the final appearance of the painted surface. There are a few options for sheen:
High gloss is ideal for trim. Using high gloss will give the trim a nice finished look while complementing the flatter sheen of your walls. Using high gloss bounces light off the surface, which causes walls to look darker.
Semi-gloss is a great choice for kitchens and baths. While it’s not as shiny as high gloss, it can also be a good choice for trim providing you with ease of wash-ability. It is also slightly cheaper than the gloss finish and is a very common alternative. In terms of color, semi-gloss stays truest to color because it doesn’t reflect or absorb light.
If you have walls with lots of imperfections, select a flat or matte paint. You can usually get away with one coat of paint when selecting a flat finish. The downside to this paint is that it does not stand up well to a good cleaning and does tend to show more dirt, so choose this for rooms that will not get lots of fingerprints and dirt on them.
“Typically flat, eggshell and satin paints are the best options for interior walls. The basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing paint sheens: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine — and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be. The higher shine definitely has its perks, especially if you have higher traffic in your home from children or pets. Not there aren’t benefits to flat paint though, either. Flat paint does not show imperfections so you can paint more quickly than when using an eggshell finish which takes significantly more time because of imperfections of roll marks etc.“
Choosing a paint color can have a huge effect on the interior of a home.
Color Choices & Their Effect:
Different colors bring different natural reactions
- Blue, green & purple – bring a sense of cooling and calming. It can also create the illusion of the room being bigger than it actually is.
- Yellow and bright colors can bring a sense of energy.
- Lighter colors can bring a sense of coziness.
- Natural earthy colors create a natural harmony.
Choosing Colors That Compliment The Room:
- Pick a color that compliments the existing color scheme in the room – consider furniture, cabinetry, counters, and anything else you have in the area. Kitchens, for example, are typically very active rooms so selecting a brighter color makes sense. Reading areas, on the other hand, are more commonly painted in lighter colors or earthy tones to help set the right mood in the room to sit down with a good read
How to choose the right color for a room:
- “The mood of the room is crucial so it all depends on what you’re trying to create when it comes to the room. Warmer tones are friendly and inviting. Cooler tones create calm and relaxing spaces. Consider color based on the activity or mood you want in the room”.
- “Keeping the trim all one color provides continuity as you move from room to room. Stark white in a semi- or full-gloss creates a very formal look”.
- “If you want your furniture, carpets, and artwork to be the focal points of the room, stay away from bold paint color choices which will compete with the furnishings for attention. Choose a wall color from a piece or two that will tie the elements together”.
- “Darker colors make rooms seem smaller, so be especially careful selecting these if the room does not have a lot of natural light or the ceilings are low”.
- “Adding a slightly lighter tint of the color you choose for the walls to the ceiling creates an intimate environment. This is often appropriate for dining rooms and master bedrooms”.
- “Think about ‘flow’ and how the colors of neighboring rooms will work together. Very dark to very light transitions, or transitions from rooms with highly contrasting colors can either be jarring or invigorating”.
- “Wet rooms (kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms), as well as hallways, benefit from having paints applied that can withstand scrubbing. While these can now be purchased in flat finishes, the satin and egg-shell finishes are better at resisting the absorption of moisture cooking and cleaning, as well as resisting oils and dirt from fingers”.
To get a great-looking finish, coat and the long-lasting results you expect, take the time to ensure the surface you’re painting is in good shape
A properly prepared surface is clean, solid, and smooth and without cracks and imperfections.
- Plaster walls
- Bare wood
- Previously painted walls
Be sure to properly apply primer to the surfaces you plan to paint. Primers are used to solve typical problems that occur when painting in order to make your finish coat of paint look smooth and keep it looking great. Be sure to select the right primer for your job and any issues you might have with the surface to be painted. The list below will help:
Primers by Surface Type
- Premium Wall & Wood Primer – Ideal for fresh wood surfaces that have never been painted or stained in the past
- Multi-Purpose Latex Primer – Useful for many applications
- Drywall Primer – Ideal for new drywall
- Pre-Wallcovering Primer – Primes, seals, and sizes in one coat
- Multi-Purpose Oil-Based Primer – Versatile sealer and stain blocker, assures a uniform finish
- Adhesion Primer – Tightly bonds to slick and glossy surfaces
- White Pigmented Shellac Primer – Highest performing primer for sealing out the toughest stains & odors in one coat
- Concrete & Masonry Primer – Seals and adheres to concrete, brick, stucco, and plaster
Considerations & Equipment:
For those that want to tackle an interior project themselves, here are some interior house design tips on how both painting techniques and equipment:
- Painting in drier weather – humidity doesn’t do you any favors – it dries slower, requiring more time between coats
- Use High-Quality Brushes when painting trim and tight areas
- Use Roller Covers for painting walls and open surfaces
- Invest in Painter’s Tape
- Cover everything you don’t want to be painted before you start painting
- Paint top to bottom
- Keep paint cans closed as often as possible to avoid accidental spills and paint drying on surfaces inside the can
Here’s are the parts of a room that are involved in a typical painting project
- Paint trimming – Paint all trim around doors, windows, ceilings, and floor. Use painters tape for separation and a clean look between surfaces (trim and walls), paint types, and colors.
After the walls, ceilings and trim are complete and look great, it’s time for clean-up.
- Clean up the job site.
- Put away left-over paint with lids completely sealed to avoid drying in the container.
- Clean all reusable painting supplies (brushes, rollers, etc.) as instructed for each paint type.
By the end of the project, you’ll have a freshly painted interior that looks great and adds significant appeal and value to your real estate project. Whether you embark in a DIY project or hire a painting contractor, we hope these interior houses painting tips help
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