One of the most popular and common DIY jobs, painting the interior of your home can be an easy and pleasant activity. If you are looking for a cheap and effective way to increase the value of your house, then sprucing it up with a brand new coat of paint is a great idea. However, this task can be time-consuming, so unless you are willing to put in some time and effort, you should consider hiring a professional painter.
People tend to think there's no need to hire a painter because the process of painting a house is easy and that anyone can do it. Though, this is not always the case and there are certain aspects that need to be taken into consideration. If you have a busy schedule, consider hiring a painter, but if you are up for the job, grab your paintbrush and some tips and tricks from our guide to interior house painting.
1. Formulate a house painting plan
Before you start buying supplies and getting to work, take a tour of your home and write down your thoughts on paint colurs, styles, and any other ideas that you have. You should also consider the following:
- Light colours can be used in any room, but dark colours are more complex. Painting a room in dark colours can seem like a stylish choice, but if the room doesn’t get enough natural light you risk turning it into a dungeon.
- If you are renovating your house because you want to sell or to rent it, consider using neutral colours that will easily match any type of furniture. It is important for a potential buyer to be able to envision their life in the house that they want to buy. A house with that has a clean slate palette can make anything look good.
- Are you tech-savvy? Take digital photos of the rooms that you want to repaint and change the paint colour in a photo editing program. By doing this, you'll get an idea of what the final result could look like.
- If you are repainting the home for yourself, be bold with colour selections. Live a little and choose more lively colours in order to create an interior design that will reflect your personal style. If you are not happy with the final results, you can always repaint the walls and choose different colours.
- Rooms that are open to each other will look good when painted in complementary colours or different shades of the same colour. If you want to try something more interesting you can go for bolder contrasts and use the door as a barrier.
- Choose glossy paints for walls that are prone to getting dirty such as the kitchens and the bathrooms. Walls that are painted with glossy paints are easier to clean but can also make the walls’ imperfections stand out. Matte paints are a better choice for big rooms that have high ceilings, and rooms that have imperfect walls.
- If you are finding it difficult to choose a paint colour, consider hiring an interior decorator for advice. If you are planning on selling your house, an interior designer will help you sell your home better.
2. Measure the walls
You must estimate the sizes of the areas that you want to paint. Start by measuring the width and the height of each wall. To determine the area of the wall you just multiply the width by the height.
- Make a list of all the measurements and the wall areas of each room
- Remember to subtract for doors and windows
- When you are deciding the amount of paint that you are going to buy, it is recommended to round up. It's better to have paint left at the end than not have enough to finish painting a room
- A professional painter can do these measurements for you
3. Plan your budget
To plan your budget accurately, it is crucial to know the average costs of a painting job. The costs associated with painting jobs can vary greatly as they depend on the quantity, quality, brand, and the type of materials used. If you are choosing a medium to high-quality paint you can expect to pay for it around $500 for a 180 sq. meters house. You can add between $150 and $250 in rollers, brushes, tape, pans, and other necessary materials.
Even if you decide to hire a professional painter or just a team of tradies to help, it is important to know what your budget is and what your expenses will be.
When it comes to painting materials, not all are equally good. Some paints will cover with a single coat, while low-quality ones will not, despite being advertised as covering with a single coat. With low-quality paints you will have to apply at least two coats, so buying cheap paint might end up being more expensive.
If you want to make sure that you are buying quality paint, do some research. You can check the online forums and see what other people are saying, or you can ask several professional paint salesmen. As a general rule, it is acceptable to buy cheap primer, but a more expensive top coat.
4. Make a realistic schedule
Getting a grip on time will help you be more efficient and finish the job quicker. You should plan everything carefully including moving the furniture, preparing the walls, preparing the paint and applying it, taking breaks, cleaning up, and reinstalling the furniture.
Be prepared for unforeseen events that might slow you down and remember that painting a house can take several days. You should not try to fit too much work in a single day, as that might be overwhelming.
5. Plan the necessary workforce
You might not be interested in hiring a professional team of painters, but you will still need plenty of help. There are many things that need to be done during a paint job such as moving furniture, preparing the walls, covering the floors, getting the materials ready, and cleaning up.
You should gather a team of about five people for as much as ten days if you are painting an average-sized two-story house. It is always better to have more help rather than not enough, as getting more people to help you will get the work done significantly faster.
Make sure that you can coordinate your team and that you know what each member is supposed to do. Here is the key personnel that you need in order to complete the job successfully:
- Cutters. This job should be assigned to someone who is able to paint a straight edge and who has great attention to details. There are many materials out there that can be helpful when trying to do these difficult tasks, but a person who can do them free-handedly will be an asset to the team. A splotched or jagged job will be quite visible. It is recommended to have more than one cutter because this job can be quite time-consuming.
- Trimmers. Assign people to trim the enamel on windows, baseboards, and door frames. This task is also quite difficult and might need to be handled by several people.
- Coordinator. You will need a coordinator who will assign tasks, run errands, go to the store if needed, make phone calls, hire different services, do research, etc. This person can also help with different tasks if needed.
- Rollers. These are people who will actually do the painting. They will be able to cover large areas quite quickly, so you won’t need more than two or three.
- Caulkers. This is a very important job as it consists of hole patching and caulking the walls. Caulking should be done before starting the painting process.
6. Remove the furniture
Although you might be inclined to simply cover up the furniture and leave it in the middle of the room, it is always better to remove it completely. If you don’t have enough storage space, you can always rent a storage unit to store the furniture until the painting is completed. You can keep the tables and chairs, as they might be useful, but everything else should be removed.
If you are having trouble with removing or reinstalling the furniture, you can always hire a handyman.
7. Prep the house
When you are painting your house interior inever skip the prepping stage. During this stage, you should wash the walls, remove old wallpaper, spackle, patch, and seal any stains, sand and dry before applying new paint. You should also remember to apply painter’s tape and to lay drop cloths.
During the home prep stage, you can also buy the paint, the materials, and other necessary supplies. Don’t forget to open the windows, as ventilation is very important. Keeping the windows open will speed up the paint’s drying process and will provide fresh air for the workforce.
8. Apply primer coat
A primer coat should be applied if you have chosen a dark paint or if you are painting on previously unpainted surfaces such as spackle or drywall. The good news is that most home improvement stores and paint stores will tint the primer in order for it to match the paint that you chose.
If you are using a white primer, you should apply two coats, but if you are using a tinted primer, one coat should be sufficient. It is very important to apply primer because dark colours are prone to show through several topcoats of paint, while unpainted surfaces can repel or absorb at a different level than the surrounding areas and the primer will even out the differences.
The process of applying primer is similar to erasing a canvas before repainting it. Some people will argue that you shouldn’t buy expensive primer and that cheap white paint can be used. If you are thinking of using white paint, give it about 24 hours to dry before you apply the topcoat and follow its instructions.
Priming is imperative if you are trying to cover a dark colour or if you are painting new drywall, but it should be done for any type of paint job. Applying primer is important because it will block any potential wall stains from bleeding through. It also prevents paint-peeling and blistering by improving the adhesion of the paint and makes single-coat paint coverage possible.
If you want to get the best results, you can tint the primer to match the paint colour. Today, some paints also come with their inbuilt primers, but professional painters believe that using old-school primers is the best option.
Now that you have finished prepping the house and applying the primer coat, you are ready to start painting. A painting professional will always recommend starting with the biggest room of the house. In order to do a high-quality job, follow the steps below:
- Use a two-inch angled brush and start painting the corners around the trim. It is recommended to paint a 5 cm border from every corner, door, and molding. Paint rollers are not good for painting edges, using an angled brush will ensure that the paint is evenly spread.
- Use a standard roller for the rest of the wall. An effective painting technique is the ‘W method’ that consists of painting a big square W on the wall and filling it in without lifting the roller. You can also paint each wall section by section. If you have a high ceiling, you can buy extension poles for the rollers, instead of using a ladder.
- Do not forget to remove the painter’s tape before the paint is dry.
After you finish painting all the rooms, don’t forget to properly dispose of any materials and to clean up. Floors should be cleaned last, after you remove the painter's tape and after you take out the debris. If you don’t feel like cleaning the house by yourself, you can always hire a professional cleaner.
Interior painting is considered by many one of the most common DIY home improvement job and for good reasons. Repainting the interior walls is a very affordable way of sprucing up a home, especially if the owner is thinking about selling or leasing.
Furthermore, this job is not extremely difficult and the law does not require homeowners to hire a professional painter. It is safe to say that almost anyone is able to pull off a DIY house painting, but only if they are willing to do the research and to invest the time and effort.
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