Interior Painting

9 Interior Painting Tips for a Flawless Finish

The best interior painting tips and secrets from the pros

A quality paint job is the simplest and least expensive way to transform your home and make any room or space look good.

While each painter has slightly different methods and techniques they use to obtain a great result, there are a few common practices almost all of them tend to stick to. To help you achieve the best results and get a flawless interior painting finish, we’ve compiled a list of the nine most important and helpful interior painting tips so you can get the same results as the pros.

Use a Tack Cloth to Clean the Surface

tack cloth is a very inexpensive painting tool that helps you clean the surface prior to painting or staining for flawless results. A beeswax-impregnated cheesecloth, tack cloth lightly pulls off sawdust, wood shavings, and all manner of debris from your surface. By using a tack cloth, you avoid applying a wet cloth to the surface. If you do not have a tack cloth, you may use a damp cloth, but make sure to squeeze it out thoroughly beforehand. Do not use a tack cloth over large surfaces. It is suited more for trimdoors, and cabinets than for walls and ceilings. Also, avoid pressing hard on the tack cloth as this may smear beeswax on the surface, and this can be difficult to remove.

Purchase High-Quality Roller Covers and Brushes

Interior painting - quality

Cheap, low-quality roller covers leave fuzz and lint on the walls. Once fuzz and lint are embedded in the paint and the paint subsequently dries, you are left with bumpy walls that are difficult to repair. Inferior-quality brushes leave streaky brush marks; instead, purchase high-quality brushes and be meticulous about maintaining your pricey purchase. Some do-it-yourself painters make the mistake of purchasing inexpensive chip brushes. Chip brushes should not be used for interior painting. Rather, they are meant for applying glues, adhesives, and solvents. For both roller covers and brushes, it is worthwhile to pay extra for better tools. In the end, your surface will have a better finish.

Work from the Top Down

Once you’ve finished preparing your ceilings and walls and it’s time to start painting, it’s important to follow a certain order, so that you can avoid some common mistakes and achieve an excellent result.

When painting a room, you should always work from top to bottom to get the best results. Start with the ceiling, then work your way over to the walls. If you’re planning on painting two coats on the ceiling, make sure you finish both before you start painting the walls. This way if any paint drips onto the walls it won’t be a problem, because you’ll have a chance to cover it up when you paint them later on. Once you’re done with the walls, you can move on to painting the windows, working your way from top to bottom, finishing up with the window sills.

Maintain a Wet Edge to Avoid Stripes and Overlap Marks

Always keep a wet edge while you’re painting, so that you can avoid stripes and lap marks which can form when you’re rolling over paint that’s already started to dry. Note that some types of paint are more prone to leaving overlap marks. Semi-gloss and glossy paint are the ones that require a bit more attention, which is not the case when you’re using a flat and matte paint.

Avoid Taping Walls

Interior painting - Taping walls

Painting is the best way to update the look of a room, but taping off your walls can be draining on you mentally and physically. Taping walls requires time and precision, which most people don’t have patience for. Instead of taping off your walls, use an edger to give your walls clean lines before you start painting.

Use a Paint Extender to Eliminate Brush and Lap Marks

While you can always use the above-mentioned technique to avoid stripes and lap marks, another simple way to achieve the same results is to add a paint extender, also known as a paint conditioner to the paint, which is a secret weapon many painting professionals rely on. Mixing a paint extender in with your paint can help you eliminate brush strokes by levelling out the paint and slowing down the drying process so you can avoid getting lap marks that form when painting over dried paint.

Invest in High-Quality Supplies

Invest in better supplies, such as high-quality rollers, brushes and paint. Investing in more expensive paint will help you get better coverage, with fewer coats, which will end up saving you time and money in the process. Additionally, high-quality paints are more durable and don’t fade as fast as cheap paint does. By using quality paint, you’ll enjoy the process of painting much more since more expensive paints are easier to apply and spread more evenly, so your project can run much smoother and faster. Now when it comes to the brushes and rollers you’ll need for your project, it’s always smart to invest a bit more money in more expensive ones since they are well-made, last longer and offer better results, which makes them well worth the initial cost. High-quality painting supplies are a great investment because they’ll last you longer and can offer the best coverage and results.

Use Masking Film to Cover Clean Areas

Masking film is one of those secret tools that professional painters use frequently, yet many do-it-yourself painters may not know about. Masking film is a thin plastic sheet that either comes in rolls or in folded up squares. Its thinness is key to making it work. Unlike the thicker plastic sheeting often used to cover furniture, masking film grabs onto flat surfaces and stays in place, on its own. Except for bringing the film adjacent to the edge of a painted surface, there is no need to tape it down. Static electricity holds masking film in place.

Work on One Wall at a Time

While many find it easier to cut in all corners and trims in the room and then start working on the walls, it’s actually smarter to finish one wall then move on to the next, rather than doing all at once. This will allow you to get a better result and a flawless finish, by allowing the paint to blend together nicely, without leaving any lap marks behind. Pros use this technique to get seamless results as it allows them to work while the paint’s still wet. They cut in one wall and start rolling right away. Once that wall is done, they move onto the next and repeat the same process once again.

Remember to keep your roller and brushes damp when you’re switching between the two, so they don’t dry out. You can easily achieve this by covering your bucket or tray with a wet towel when you’re not using them.