Tips to Paint Interior Walls Like a Pro

One project a home seller or even a homeowner that’s selling or renting out their property, which can make a huge difference in making it more appealing, is to paint the interior walls. Unfortunately, anyone who has not yet taken on this project thinks that it’s a cinch, as simple as popping open cans of paint and then brushing it on the walls. However, that’s not the case at all, painting, especially indoors, is not as easy as one would believe.

Although, if it’s done right, the results can be marvelous, transforming a room or rooms from drab and dull to elegant and fabulous in just a few hours. By the way, practically any professional that you can speak with will tell you there’s simply no way of substantially reducing the amount of time it takes to paint an interior room. The reason is very straightforward: it requires a lot of precision and takes a lot of careful attention to do the job right.

If you do try to rush the project, the quality will seriously suffer and that will sabotage your entire effort. What’s more, if it doesn’t come out right, you’ll either have to strip off the fresh paint, along with the primer, and then take the time and effort to repaint or spend money to have a professional redo the job. What’s more, it will keep that room from serving its main function, which can be quite disruptive in day-to-day living.


Aside from the problem explained above, doing a rush job with poor results, there are other mistakes that homeowners and sellers often make when they paint a room or all interior rooms. First and the least obvious among these are waiting until the paint dries to peel away masking tape. It should be peeled after application because if you wait, it’s more likely than not that it will peel fresh paint with it.

“Painting interior walls is the easiest way to freshen up your place. But, as many of us have found out the hard way, this project can turn into a nightmare of splattered paint and endless coats if you’re not careful.” –Popular Mechanics

The amount purchased is typically another mistake, as people tend to underestimate the amount of paint they’ll need. It’s best to measure the room and then match that up with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Two other common mistakes are painting a second coat too soon, which can cause clumping and uneven application, so, wait at least 24 hours; and, choosing colors which are not neutral. If you’re not selling the home, the color is your discretion, but, if you’re going to put the property on the market, keep it neutral.


If you want outstanding results, you need to follow these tips to paint interior walls like a pro:

  1. Take down all wall decor and remove hardware. Okay, so this is an obvious step, but some people will leave window treatments in place, thinking they will be very careful only to be disappointed later on as they have to clean off small splatters.
  2. Move furniture to the center of the room and cover it. Put all the furniture in other areas of the house or move furniture to the center of the room and cover it entirely.
  3. Clean and prep the walls. Scrape off anything stuck to the walls and then treat the walls with trisodium phosphate or TSP, to get a smooth, clean surface on which to work.
  4. Turn off and clean ceiling and floor fans. You don’t want to have dust and small particle debris floating about because it will stick to the paint and you don’t want to have to deal with that.
  5. Dust the room and clean the floors. Here again, your goal is to minimize the amount of dust and dirt to keep the area clean.
  6. Cover the flooring. You can use inexpensive plastic, but it won’t be as good as canvas, which doesn’t rip and absorbs any drips. It’s best to buy more than one, so you can cover the entire floor, rather than dragging it from corner to corner, only to discover streaked paint on the floor.
  7. Tint the primer. Pros do this because it works well and helps to reduce the amount of paint you’ll need, especially if you’re painting new drywall or over dark paint.
  8. Paint with a roller and an extension. Use a tray and roller with an extension that’s telescopic, instead of a step stool or ladder as these can be tripping hazards.

During the time you’re painting the room, it’s a good idea to keep children and pets out, so close the door. Also, be aware of where you’re stepping, because you don’t accidentally want to track paint into other rooms.