Note: This DIY article is provided as a general guide only and is not intended to take the place of product-specific installation procedures; always follow applicable manufacturers’ instructions. Depending on your home’s age and condition, location within the home, and other potential factors, repairs and/or upgrades or other services may be necessary prior to the beginning and/or completion of your project that may involve the services of a home improvement professional. This article does not include advice pertaining to local building codes and/or any related inspections.
Sometimes all you need to transform a room is a fresh coat of paint. A new wall color can brighten a room, add a hint of personality and even inform the rest of your decor. Painting walls is a straightforward DIY project, but having a few extra painting tips and tricks under your belt will help make sure you get the picture-perfect results you want. Start painting like a pro with these handy interior painting tips:
1. Choose High-Quality Supplies
When it comes to any type of paint job, the saying, “you get what you pay for,” applies. Cheap and low-quality supplies and paint can be frustrating to work with and leave you with less-than-perfect results that don’t handle everyday wear and tear. Even cheap brushes and rollers can affect your wall paint, making it appear inconsistent and sloppy, even if your painting technique is good. You’ll also need a high-quality sealant for sealing baseboards, trim and around any window or door casings. For best-in-class1 results, we recommend siliconized acrylic GE Max® Shield Painter’s sealant.
2. Cover Your Furniture and Use Canvas Drop Cloths
Is your furniture too heavy to move out of paint splatter range? If so, be sure to cover the furniture from top to bottom with plastic sheeting and tape the bottoms to fully enclose each item. Stay away from old bed sheets or other fabrics to cover furniture—fabric can absorb paint splatter, which can then seep through and onto the furniture.
When it comes to your floors, the same principle applies, but you don’t want to use plastic sheeting, which can be a bit slippery underfoot. Instead, use canvas drop cloths for your floors. A canvas drop cloth that’s just a few feet wide and runs the length of the wall is all you need for proper coverage.
3. Sand Down the Walls
For well-painted walls, it’s best to start with a smooth, even surface. Sanding down the walls helps to level out uneven spackle, flatten nail holes and create a universally flat surface. Use fine-grit sandpaper on a sanding pole and begin sanding from the baseboard to the ceiling.
Then, sand horizontally along the ceiling and the baseboard. Be careful to sand gently—too much pressure can cause damage to the surface.
4. Seal Gaps, Cracks and Holes
An important, but often overlooked, step of painting walls is sealing the gaps between the trim and the wall. If the room you’re painting has any trim—baseboards, window casings, door casings, crown moulding and/or chair rail—you’ll need to seal that trim with a high-perfoming caulk or sealant. Painter’s Pro caulk is an advanced grade siliconized acrylic latex caulk that is ideal for decorative paint projects and filling gaps and cracks. Used for both indoor and outdoor paint projects, this caulk offers strong adhesion and flexibility.
When painting a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or other area that’s prone to moisture and humidity, opt for sealing with a 100% waterproof and mold-resistant acrylic sealant to prevent water from getting into the gaps between the trim and wall and potentially causing mold, mildew or rot. Siliconized Advanced Acrylic Kitchen & Bath sealant is a premium siliconized acrylic sealant that is ideal for tackling tough paint projects in these areas. This paintable sealant offers waterproof protection, mold-resistance 2 and exceptional flexibility to move with your home’s natural expansions and contractions.
5. Use a Tinted Primer
After sanding, sealing and allowing time for the caulk or sealant to cure, apply a coat of primer before painting. A tinted primer works best when painting over existing color and gives you a more vibrant finish with fewer coats.
Now that you have the knowledge to get the job done right, it’s time to paint your walls like a pro! If you have any other DIY home projects to check off your list, check out our Projects & How To’s page for more helpful tips and guides.
1Based on comparison of publicly available manufacturers’ specifications, products meet or exceed the flexibility performance of any commercial siliconized acrylic sealants in their respective category and ASTM C-920 class (or lower).
2Fully cured sealant is resistant to stain-causing mold and mildew. Regular cleaning of the sealant is required, however, as soap and other residue may cause secondary mold and mildew growth.
3Based on ASTM C-920, TYPE-S, NS, CLASS 25 analysis, product can span gaps of up to 2″ wide and 1/2″ deep with over 600% stretch and 25% joint movement.