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Interior House Painting Tips for Beginners

Dec 14, 2015 04:40AM ● Published by Family Features

If you're looking to give your home a makeover, nothing can revamp your place quite like a fresh coat of paint. But unless you're a seasoned pro, painting your home interior can be intimidating. Use these tips and resources to get the job done right.

Prep and patch

Long before you pour the paint, make sure your walls are in good shape. Repair holes to ensure you have a clean, even plane. Before beginning, make sure you have the following:

  • Patching paste
  • Drop cloth
  • Putty knife
  • Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Paint thinner
  • Primer
  • Paint can opener
  • Paint roller
  • Roller tray
  • Extension bar for roller
  • Brushes
  • Safety goggles
  • Stir stick
  • Ball cap or handkerchief to protect head

Patch holes or imperfections using patching paste and your putty knife. Remember that prepping the walls is important. You want to get as close to a smooth surface as possible. It's also crucial to clean walls, baseboards, ceilings and crown molding before painting, as any dust or dirt below the painted surface can cause dry paint to crack and peel later.

Pick your paint

In addition to your color palette, you must decide what type of paint you want to use, such as latex-based paints, versus oil-based paints.

  • Latex-based paints can be quickly cleaned using soap and water, but are not as durable as oil-based paints.

  • Oil-based paints are generally more expensive, but the durability of this paint makes it perfect for areas in your house that receive a lot of traffic or wear and tear.

If you can't decide on the color or the type, purchase some test gallons, which are small jars of the paint in which you wish to try. This will allow you to paint sections of the wall to get a better idea of the finished effect. Before heading to the home improvement store to purchase paint, use an interior paint calculator to help you determine how much paint you'll need.

Picking a brush

When purchasing paint brushes, consider the paint you plan to use. For oil-based paints, as well as stains and varnishes, opt for a brush with natural bristles. But if you plan to paint with latex-based paints, make sure to purchase brushes with bristles made of a synthetic material, such as nylon.
Prime the surface

When you're ready to prime or paint, make sure to open plenty of windows to allow fresh air to circulate, as the fumes can be dangerous. Also, prep your roller by using masking tape to remove excess lint. Prime your walls before applying paint. This is especially important for older homes with plenty of patched holes in the wall as certain types of paint will look glossier over spackle than over drywall.

Mixing the paint

To properly mix a can of paint, make sure to purchase a paint stick, preferably one with holes to allow for better mixing. For large rooms, make sure you "box" your paint, or pour all of your paint into one bucket and mix together. This will ensure that your paint color will be consistent for each wall, no matter how many cans you must use.

Getting rid of paint fumes

In addition to opening windows while priming and painting, use these tips to rid your home of the fumes left behind:

  • Pour vinegar into bowls and place throughout the space for 24 hours.
  • Place bowls of baking soda throughout the room.
  • Cut an onion in half and place in two bowls in the room.

For helpful tips, check out and for videos to get you started, visit

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