Many first time homeowners have little or no experience painting interiors. If you're about to attempt your first indoor makeover, knowing some of the basics about the painting process can help you get the results you seek on your first try.
Pick the Right Paint for Each Room
Paints come in different types, including eggshell, flat, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss. The type of paint you choose should directly relate to the purpose of the room being painted. For example, paint used in a child's bedroom should be easy to wash, like satin. Paint used in a bathroom or kitchen should be moisture and mold-resistant. Semi-gloss and satin paints are typical in these rooms. Flat and matte paint types, which have a rougher, less shiny texture, are more common in rooms like living rooms, dining rooms and hallways.
As you choose the color for your walls, you'll likely look at a variety of swatches. To help you make your final decision, many paint stores sell paint samples for a low price. After narrowing your choices down to a few swatches, purchase paint samples for each color. Paint a relatively large square of each possible shade on your walls. The colors will look different at different times of the day, so wait a day before selecting your final color.
- Prep the room. Paint preparation can be an extensive process. Start by cleaning the walls and filling nail holes with spackling. Next, lay down tarps on the floors. Use painter's tape to secure the tarps in place.
- Use different tools to paint different parts of the wall. Rollers are designed to help you paint large, flat areas quickly. Small, angled brushes are best for painting corners and edges. Flat brushes are typically used to paint everything in between.
- Apply multiple coats. It may appear that your walls are well coated after a single application of paint, but applying multiple coats will increase the durability of your paint job and will also fill in small pores and holes that may not be obvious when the painting process is first finished. If you choose not to apply multiple coats, plan to do touchups at a later time.
Paint Storage and Disposal
Leftover paint will typically last for about a year after being opened. To store your extra paint, create an air-tight seal that will keep the paint fresh. Cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap, then place the lid over the plastic wrap and hammer it gently into place with a mallet. Turn the paint can upside down to seal the lid more completely.
If you choose to dispose of your leftover paint, contact your community's sanitation department. In many places, leftover paint is considered hazardous waste and cannot be thrown away with the trash. Many communities have paint recycling centers for proper paint disposal.
Overall, the painting process doesn't have to be overwhelming. As long as you make a game plan for each room and take your time to do things right, your newly painted interiors won't be too far away!