How To Paint The Interior Of Your House

A fresh coat of paint is the most inexpensive way to “remodel” a room. Thanks to high quality coatings and applicators, even first-time painters can achieve professional-quality results. To get a great-looking finish coat and the beautiful, long-lasting results you expect, take the time to ensure that the surface to be painted is clean, dry and smooth and coated with the correct primer.

And remember; Also carry all the tools you’ll need for surface preparation – such as ladders, wire brushes, paint scrapers, putty knives, wood filler and spackling paste – to prepare a surface for painting.

George G., operations manager for Painting Pros a Chicago residential painting contractor, explains that the preparation is the most important aspect to making a wall look nice. You should make it look nice as possible before painting to make it look smooth and new like, that is why a professional is best at times, they know the in and outs of skim coating a wall with plaster and large plaster replacement. Even so, many DIY’ers have comparable skills and can follow these tips.

Getting Ready to Paint

Preparing the room before beginning your project not only makes it easier for you to paint, it also protects your home from inadvertent splatters or spills.

  • Remove draperies, pictures, mirrors, area rugs, hardware (if possible), and switch and receptacle cover plates.
  • Move all furniture to the center of the room or the room, if possible. Cover all furniture with drop cloths.
  • Tape off woodwork and tape down plastic drop cloths.
  • Wrap plastic around light fixtures, and use masking tape to cover any hardware you can’t remove.
  • Open a window or door to ensure good ventilation.
  • Clean the surface as needed.
  • Gaps between walls, ceilings, crown moldings and other interior trim can be filled with the appropriate caulk after priming the surface.


In addition to friendly expert advice, you can find drop cloths, masking tape, caulk and more at your neighborhood paint store.

Clean-up procedures depend largely on the paint you use. Here are guidelines for cleaning up. To maximize your investment on painting tools, make sure to clean them right after use.

Latex Paints

  • Clean any spills before they dry with a paper towel dampened with water.
  • Clean brushes, rollers and other tools with soap and water.
  • After cleaning, flush spraying equipment with mineral spirits to prevent rusting. Follow manufacturer’s safety recommendations when using mineral spirits.

Oil Alkyd Paints

  • Clean any spills before they dry with a paper towel dampened with mineral spirits or paint thinner.
  • Oil-based (alkyd) paint must be removed from tools with mineral spirits or paint thinner.
  • Pour the cleaning material into a clean bucket and rinse brushes and rollers well.
  • When done, allow the solids to settle out of the cleaner, then strain the liquid back into the original container for reuse.
  • Allow the settled solids to air-dry away from children, pets or open flames, then dispose of the container in the trash.


Brushes should be kept in their original wrapper or paper-wrapped in a manner that retains their original shape before storing.

Protect Your Paint Job

Wait at least two weeks before washing the newly painted surface. After that, clean with a mild household detergent and a soft cloth or sponge.

Tips to Protect the Environment

Try to buy only the amount of paint you need so there is little to dispose of when you complete your project. If you do have leftovers, follow these guidelines:

  • Save small amounts of leftover paint for future touch-ups. To keep it fresh, place a layer of plastic wrap over the mouth of the can before replacing the lid. Pound down the lid securely.
  • Check with your local waste collector to see if it accepts dried latex paint. If so, place the open can in an airy spot away from children and pets. When the paint is completely dry, put it in the trash.
  • Seal oil/alkyd paints in the can and store them safely away from heat sources until you can take them to an appropriate waste-disposal site, such as community paint/stain collection events where you can safely dispose of leftover paints.
  • Never pour paint, stain, or any other coating down a drain, into a storm sewer or anywhere else that might contaminate the environment.

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