11 Tips For Perfect Interior Painting
How do you breathe new life into your home or
office space without having to spend a fortune
on fancy remodelling and decorating? Simple:
with a fresh coat of paint.
If you think it's the kind of massive job that
you'll never manage yourself, think again.
Painting your interiors can actually be a fairly
simple and rewarding task once you know these
1. Understand your finishes
Glossy, flat, satin, matte, eggshell, pearl. Who
knew that the world of paints was so complex??
While you don't need to go out and get a PhD in
house painting, it does help to understand that
different finishes are better for different
purposes. Gloss paint, for example, is great for
highlighting areas like doors and wood trim.
Semi-gloss is ideal for those areas that you
need to clean a lot, like kitchens and
bathrooms, while a satin finish also helps to
hide all the smudges and fingerprints that come
with highly trafficked areas like hallways and
kids' rooms. On the other hand, if your painting
surfaces have roughness or imperfections, you're
better off opting for a matte finish: it'll help
to smooth things out.
2. Invest in quality paint
All paints are not created equal. Quality paints
are known to provide better coverage, to be more
lasting and durable, and to provide better
protection for the walls and trims underneath.
Many good painting brands will also offer
specialised paints that are designed to exactly
fit your needs like easy-to-clean
coatings and anti-bacterial or anti-mould
paints. Ultimately, shopping for quality is
worth it because it will save you money in the
3. Don't fear color
Do you walk on the wild side, or do you have a
tendency to play it safe? When it comes to color,
sometimes you just have to dare to go bold if
you really want to make your space stand out and
have some design flare. Now that's not to say
that bold has to equate to glaring hot pink or
eye-watering fluorescent orange. It may just
mean adding in some darker accents or opting for
a feature wall. You can also take mood and color
psychology into consideration for
example, if you find blue calming, choose it for
your bedroom, while perhaps yellow accents will
make your office feel energetic and optimistic.
4. Use paint to make a room seem bigger
Interior painting also allows you to do some
nifty little optical illusion tricks
like making a room seem bigger or more spacious.
One way to do this is to pick one color family
and paint the whole room in different shades of
it. That means painting the trims and details in
the same color (but different shade) as the
To make ceilings seem higher, paint them a
lighter color than the walls. And if in doubt,
you can always go for a full white scenario: a
white-washed room will always feel bright and
open and fresh.
5. Use samples
Most good painting brands will offer samples
that you can use to test on your own walls. The
benefit of doing a live test is that you'll get
to see exactly how the shade looks in person, in
the unique lighting situation of your space.
Often times paint shades can look different to
what we expect once they've dried. Similarly,
contrasts and reflections from objects in the
room can change the way we perceive them.
Starting with a sample let's you know for sure
that you like a color before you commit to
6. Prime your surfaces
Walls and other surfaces need to be prepared and
primed before you set to work on them. That
means removing old paint flakes with a paint
scraper, smoothing out any cracks or bumps with
sandpaper, patching any holes and cracks, and
dusting and cleaning all the surface area. Next,
you'll probably want to apply a primer. Primer
seals the surface so that paint doesn't absorb
too much or dry in an uneven way. It's also
helpful if you're going from a dark color to a
light one. There are a few situations where you
may not need to use a primer: like if you're
painting over the exact same color, or if you're
using a combination primer and paint (also known
as a self-priming paint).
7. Prep properly
Ever painted the walls blue only to find your
beautiful wooden floorboards were splattered
with it too? If you answered "no", then good:
let's keep it that way! Prepping your space
before you paint means getting furniture out the
way, covering the floor properly, covering or
removing door handles, and sticking painting
tape to any exposed areas you don't want the
paint to go (like trims, window frames, light
switch covers, skirting boards, etc). Be sure to
wipe these areas clean of dust first, or the
tape won't stick properly, and for the best
results invest in specialty painting tape rather
than all-purpose masking tape.
8. Paint from the top down
Always paint from the top down because, well,
gravity. The last thing you want is to paint the
ceiling after you've finished the walls
only to find drips and splatters ruining your
freshly finished masterpiece. Start with the
ceiling, then the walls, then the trim.
9. Roll in a zig-zag pattern
Rollers save time because they cover more ground
than brushes. But there's a kind of trick to
really using them the right way, and it involves
painting in a zig-zag pattern rather than
painting in straight up and down stripes.
Another way to think of this is to paint in a
"W" motion. The key thing here is that you
always want to overlap wet edges, so that each
stroke of the roller can blend properly with the
10. Try for dry weather
It's not always easy when you're in a humid
climate, but try and aim for the driest
environment possible. The key to painting even
when it's unavoidably humid? Take your time.
Don't rush it. The more humid it is, the more
time you'll need to give the paint time to
really dry properly. You can also use climate
control and dehumidifiers indoors to help
balance out the humidity of the air.
11. Mix same-color paints for consistency
Even very good paint brands can experience
slight variations in tone between paint pots of
the same color. For absolute consistency, mix
several pots of the same color paint into one
larger bucket. That way, you know that the
resulting mixture will cover all your surfaces
in exactly the same tone with no variation.