Interior Painting Tips

One of the fastest and least expensive way to revitalize a room is to paint it. Discover how quickly and easily you can transform your home.

Colour Selection

  • Light colours make rooms seem larger; dark colours make them appear smaller and cozier.
  • Generally, the ceiling should have the lightest colour, the walls darker, and the floors darkest. However, this guideline can be broken to create special effects.
  • Test out your colour choices. Purchase small jars of the colours and test them out on pieces of drywall. If you are still uncertain, buy enough paint to cover one wall. If it turns out to be a disaster, paint over it with a better choice.

Paint Type

  • Select the type of interior paint needed. Latex (water-based) paint is the preferred choice because spills can be wiped up with a damp cloth and brushes washed in water. Oil-based paint is harder wearing and washes better than latex but requires turpentine to clean brushes and spills, and is, therefore, usually the choice of only experienced painters.
  • Flat or eggshell finishes are great for most rooms, with gloss or semi-gloss reserved for trim. Semi-gloss is sometimes used for kitchens and bathrooms and even children's rooms because it washes so well, so consult your paint dealer and take his/her advice.
  • Buy quality paint V it applies more easily, covers better, and stands up to washing better than cheaper brands.

Tools and Materials

  • Invest in quality paintbrushes V one small and one large V a good roller, and a paint tray with a liner.
  • Masking tape is needed for defining and covering the edges of areas that you don't want painted.
  • Drop sheets, either cloth (expensive) or plastic (cheaper), are needed to cover anything you don't want splattered with paint.

Wall and Ceiling Preparation

  • Wash the walls and ceiling, and repair any cracks and holes with a putty knife and spackle or polyfill. After the fill has dried, sand lightly and vacuum up the dust.
  • Mask edges you don't want painted, and cover furniture and floors with drop sheets.
  • Paint the room in this order: ceiling, walls, trim.
  • Use a brush to cut a strip along the edges about two inches wide. Then, start at a corner with the roller and cover three or four feet in a zig-zag pattern, rolling it out to cover part of the brush-painted strip. Fill in the area and overlap the paint while it is still wet.