Table of Contents
Interior house painting is not intuitive, though it seems like it should be. Beginning in kindergarten with finger-painting, most of us are familiar with the process of applying paint to a flat surface. But a truly professional interior paint job is an entirely different matter. Incorporate these tips into your next interior painting project and make the job go faster and smoother, with a cleaner, more attractive appearance.
Protect Your Work Area
If you’re not confident in your ability to cut a clean, straight line with your paint brush – you might want to consider using some blue painter’s tape to mask off any window and door trim, baseboards, crown moldings, etc. that you don’t want to accidentally bump with your brush and roller cover.
It’s also a good idea to either cover your switch and outlet covers with painter’s tape, or – if you’re knowledgable about working around electricity – removing the covers from the wall and covering the opening with tape so you can paint under them.
Make sure you also cover your flooring with your canvas drop cloths to protect them from paint spills, and tape the drops down to the floor along the baseboards to keep them from pulling away from the walls.
Prepare Your Applicators
For best results make sure you’re picking the right tools for your interior home painting project. Now you’ll want to prep your brush and roller cover so they can hold the maximum amount of paint and release it evenly onto the surface.
First, take some masking tape and completely wrap your new roller cover like a mummy. When you remove the tape it will take any loose fibers with it so they don’t end up on your wall.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that both your brush and roller cover are loaded up with paint so that there are no dry bristles or fibers – leaving a streaky or inconsistent finish.
If you’re painting your ceilings you’ll want to paint them before you start the walls. Using your brush, cut-in a straight line where the ceiling meets the walls or, if there’s crown molding, where the ceiling meets the trim. If you’re also painting the walls and/or crown molding you can actually overlap the paint onto the adjacent surfaces since you’ll be covering it up later. Make certain you keep your brush wet to avoide any drag marks on your finish caused by dry bristles.
Cut-in one wall at a time using the same method as described above for the ceiling cut-in. Be sure to also cut-in around doors, windows, baseboards, etc.
Complete the roller work on the freshly cut-in wall before cutting-in the next wall so that you are always keeping a wet edge. This will help you to create a uniform finish where the roller work meets the brush work.
Apply the paint with your roller in the same two phases I described above. Instead of working in a 5′ square area, try working in more narrow strips that extend from floor to ceiling.
After you’ve rolled-out each strip you’ll want to tip-off each one as you go, by very gently rolling over it one final time – going from ceiling to floor with each pass to give it a smooth final appearance.
Make sure you always paint corner-to-corner before stopping to take a break. Never stop in the middle of a wall as it will often show in your final product.
When you’ve finished your walls and ceilings they should be uniform in appearance, and there should be no visible line that can be seen from normal viewing distance where your brush work meets your roller work.
If you need to touch-up any areas on the walls or ceilings make sure you use the same applicator to do your touch-ups as you used when you originally applied the paint. And try to do your touch-ups when the surface has not yet completely dried.