Interior Painting Tips and Preparation

Is it time for a change in the interior of your home? One way you can change the ambiance of the rooms in your house is to repaint them. Knowing painting preparation and interior painting tips will make your job easier.

Picking the Right Color
Paint isn't permanent. If you choose the wrong color or colors for your home, you can always paint the rooms again. However, a repaint job is the last thing that you want to do, so pick your paint colors carefully.

Before you decide on your colors, consider the sizes of the rooms that you are going to be painting. Do you want to change the perception of space? Painting a small room a dark color can make the room feel smaller than it actually is. However, a darker color in a huge room can make it feel more intimate.

Another consideration is whether you would like to paint all your rooms the same color. Painting your whole house the same color can lend your home a polished, finished appearance. You can use accent colors, wall hangings or furniture to add color interest to your monochromatic painting plan.

On the other hand, having different colors in your rooms will give your home more of an eclectic feel. You can also coordinate the color of the room with the activities that normally take place there. For example, picking a warm color, such as red, orange or yellow, for your living room or family room might make the room feel more inviting. In your bedrooms, consider cool colors from the violet-blue-green range to help create a calming, soothing atmosphere.

Check your paint chip colors at different times of the day to see how the changing light affects the colors. Don't forget to turn on any lamps or lights that you might have on during that particular time of day.

Picking the Right Gloss
What type of interior paint should you choose? This depends largely on the traffic that runs through the room. For example, it is hard to remove stains from flat paint finishes. Therefore, flat paints should be used in less-traveled rooms.
   
Low luster, satin and eggshell finishes are suitable for high traffic areas such as playrooms, kitchens or hallways where big and little hands come into contact with walls. These finishes can be washed more easily than flat finishes.

You can use semi-gloss, high gloss and enamels for places where lots of hands land, such as banisters, windowsills or other areas where you want the paint to glow.

Preparing for Painting
The first job that you have before you start to paint is to move as much of the furniture as you can out of the room. Any furniture that you can't move should be pushed into the middle of the room away from the walls. It is much easier to paint without furniture in your way.

Remove any wall hangings and nails, hardware from doors or cabinets and light and electrical switch covers that are in the room. Take down any window coverings as well. When you remove switch covers, screw the hardware back in. That way, you will never lose the hardware and won't have to make an extra trip to the hardware store after your final coat dries.

Cover any remaining furniture and the floor with drop cloths or plastic. Make sure that your drop cloths meet the walls. You might want to tape the drop cloths in place with masking tape to prevent the cloths from creeping around.

Take a look at your walls. If the walls are dirty, wash them with mild detergent and water. Use a degreaser on grease, wax or heavy dirt spots. You will probably have to put two coats of stain blocking primer over areas with blemishes, especially from makeup, crayon or smoke, before you paint.

Use paintable caulk to fill in any cracks in the corners of walls. Check all of the caulking along baseboards and windows. If the caulk is cracked, replace it with new caulking. If you see some minor cracking in your drywall, you can use spackle as the filler.

Fill in any nail holes with spackle, too, if you aren't going to return your wall hangings to their original places. Use your finger instead of a putty knife to fill in nail holes. If you use your finger rather than a knife, you are less likely to affect the texture on the wall.

Cover your baseboards and windowsills with masking tape. You can also tape plastic to any doors to keep them free of paint splatters. If you think that the tape is going to have to stay more than a couple of days, use painter's tape instead. Painter's tape doesn't mar surfaces as much as masking tape does.

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