Interior painting is more difficult than you’d think. Every room is different and kitchens can be especially tricky, where they require a lot of detail, work, and time. Here at Southern Painting of North Carolina, we have four generations of experience in interior and exterior painting and want to help our readers avoid many of the issues that we ran into a few generations back, when we were learning. If you are looking for truly professional painting in the Fayetteville area, look no further than Southern Painting. Browse our website to learn more today.

Plan Your Interior Painting

There is a saying in the carpenter world that goes “measure twice, cut once”. This saying is a very key element to proper planning in painting. If you know what you need before you get started, you’ll end up with the right amount of paint to use, and the right tools for the job. Since this project is a big undertaking, and may take days, it’s important to get everything just right before you start. That way, the job runs smoother, goes quicker, and is less frustrating. Having it planned wall by wall and stage by stage can help. If two different wall colors will be used, as is common, we suggest that beginners plan on letting one colored wall dry before starting on a different color so that tape can be better used for effective edging.

Before figuring out your wall space to calculate the amount of paint you’ll need, take a look through your home for any damage to wood or wall issues. Using caulk and glue or wood putty to seal or repair before you paint can save headaches later. This is a standard service offered by Southern Painting that can save you wear and tear down the road.

Next, figure out how much wall to use. We calculate square footage to get an appropriate amount of paint to begin. This is especially important if you are mixing custom paint colors, as running out will mean that you need to remix precise colors and you run the risk of being close but not exact, which is infuriating to perfectionists like ourselves. If you are having trouble picking out paint colors, take a look at our painting guides, or call our staff, as we offer help with paint matching on all of our jobs if you are near Fayetteville, NC.

Before you crack open the paint you’ve purchased, remember that you’ll need a variety of tools to do this yourself and you’ll have a bit of prep work to get done. For most jobs you can get by with a range of brushes, a roller or two, masking tape, drop cloths, poles or a ladder for the ceiling, paint trays, edging guards for the painting, sandpaper, possible wood patch, and probably a sander and a breathing mask to do proper prep work.

Prep for Interior Painting 101

Next, you’ll want to get started preparing the chosen rooms for painting. The best method is to remove everything you possibly can. That means remove the light fixtures, power outlets, chairs, tables, desks, the microwave, refrigerator, oven, and essentially anything and everything that isn’t impossible to move like cabinets. When removing fixtures or door knobs, tape any screws and removed parts together fixture by fixture or door by door.

Now you want to clean the walls and ceiling. This can be a real mess, but it’s necessary. Especially if you are planning to paint the cabinets or any wood as well. When you are finished, you’ll want to either get lots of sandpaper, and whip out a sander and lots of wand paper. It’s worth the cost to purchase or rent a sander or you will be spending many, many hours hand sanding everything. In kitchens this cleaning and sanding process is very key, as years of cooking in any kitchen leaves oils and grease residue in almost every hard to reach place and creates conditions where primer and paint will not stick for long. You’ll want to vacuum all the dust you can, then use tack cloths or something similar to wipe down all the surfaces you intend to paint that were sanded or are around the sanding. If you skip this step, the paint will come off within a short time. It is key that every surface is clean and particle free.

For anything you couldn’t move, like cabinets, now is the time to start taping. We prefer using painter’s masking tape because it is removable without any left over residue. If you are new to interior painting, we suggest that you use tape to edge your lines between walls and between the ceiling and walls. This is especially tricky in kitchens, as cabinets take time to work around and have a lot of edges that meet the ceiling or walls.

Now that everything is taped or moved, put down the drop cloths where you are getting started. You want to lay them in a way that exposes as much wall as possible, while covering counters and floors that should not be painted as much as possible. Here, it is important to note that it’s hard to over do this. Especially, when using roller brushes for the first time, paint can get spun off a roller in tiny specks and end up in all sorts of odd places.

Interior Painting 101

Everything is prepared now—phew. That is often the majority of the work. Now you have only a bit of painting, maybe a little more taping, and then cleanup, and you are finished.

The first thing you want to do is put down primer. For most jobs you will want oil based primer. This is especially true if you intend to paint anything wooden, as wood can bleed through and give the paint a yellow tint. This layer should cover everywhere you want to paint. Mind your edges and make sure the coat is even. The point of this coat is to give a surface that the paint can really adhere to.

Once this coat is dry, you can get started painting. If you are painting different surfaces different colors, then make sure that your edges between different colors are taped well for nice straight lines. Before putting the tape down, remember to plan your painting order in a way that allows the wall that is being taped to dry before it is painted.

Ceiling Painting

If you’re planning to paint the ceiling and the floor, we suggest that you get the ceiling first after painting with primer. Make sure the surfaces below it are well protected, as painting with a roller can sprinkle paint long distances if the painter gets a little too fast. Be on the lookout for drips down the walls. A wet cloth can wipe this off with little worry if you can get to it in time.

Wall Painting

When the walls are ready to be painted, you will want to start by doing the edging. There is a number of different methods to edging, but the most straightforward method is to simply tape the edges. Edging, also known as cutting, should be a slow and careful process. At this step one of your most effective tools will be patience. This is a good time to switch your playlist to something slow and calming.

Once you have edged properly, start rolling out paint. Working in broad strokes from top to bottom and right to left, leaving a consistent layer overlapping a little with your edging. Again patience and a steady pace will be your best friend here and help you avoid thin spots while getting results.

Painting the interior of a home can take days even for any professional crew, let alone yourself. Make sure to clean brushes and rollers thoroughly at the end of a day or use plastic bags or plastic wrap to keep brushes and rollers wet overnight. Make sure to get all of the brush or roller covered and leave no holes or ways for air to enter. Drying paint on a roller or brush can ruin the brush.

If you have the ability, you may want to have brushes and rollers for different colors as cleaning a roller or brush to a professional degree can be difficult and mixing even a little color will result in inconsistent results.

We hope that our interior painting guide helps you through your DIY adventure. If you are in need of professional interior or exterior painting around the Fayetteville, NC area, Southern Painting provides top end results for our clients. Don’t believe us? Check out our gallery. We aren’t satisfied until you are. Contact us today for more!