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8 Easy Tips for a Great Interior Paint Job

8 Easy Tips for a Great Interior Paint Job

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November 30, 2009

A fresh coat of paint is one of the fastest and easiest ways to add new life to any room. But if you choose the wrong tools or rush through your interior painting job, the resulting frustration can take all the joy out of the job. Before you put on that painter's cap, consider these steps to a great interior paint job.


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  1. Choose Your Paint. Latex paints are very popular. They are water-based, emit fewer fumes, dry quickly, and are easier to clean up. Oil-based or alkyd paints are more durable and better for high-traffic areas, but they require chemicals such as paint-thinner or turpentine to clean up spills.
  2. Decide on a Finish. Semi-gloss or high-gloss paints are good for high traffic areas in the home, but flat paints are better at concealing imperfections. Eggshell or "satin" paints are more durable than flat paints and offer a warmer look.
  3. Buy Enough! When purchasing paint, get enough to paint the entire area. Mixing paint is not an exact science, and small variations from one batch to another can make a big difference in the overall look of your paint job. Get it all in the same batch to avoid that problem.
  4. Get Your Tools. Most interior painting jobs will require a roller, a tray, and a few good brushes of different sizes to paint the trim areas. Get high-quality brushes to avoid bristles flaking off into the paint!
  5. Prepare Your Walls. Remove everything from the walls and put drop cloths on the floor. Wash the walls with a mild soap and hot water, let them dry, and then fill in nail holes and other imperfections with a bit of filler. Sand the areas smooth before you proceed.
  6. Protect the Details. Wrap hinges, doorknobs, and light switches with painters tape or foil before you begin. Use wet newspaper to protect window glass. Always have cleanup supplies handy in case of spills.
  7. Time to Paint! Working with small sections, paint one-inch borders around the windows and doors. Do the same where the wall meets the ceiling and floor. While the borders are still wet, paint the wall with the roller. Take your time and do a thorough job.
  8. Clean it Up. Gently peel off painter's tape or foil. Wrap drop cloths so that the paint spills stay on the inside. Clean up any trim that might have been spotted with paint, and wash your hands thoroughly.

Your patient, careful interior painting job can make your room look as good as new!

About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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