Some paints are two-in-one paint and primer products, or so-called "self-priming paints." These paints are designed to seal and cover surfaces in one coat. But, here's the secret: though it's called a paint-and-primer-in-one product, there's actually no primer in the mix—what you're really working with is just a thicker paint that often doesn't perform as well as using separate primer and paint.
After you’ve bought your materials, prepare by removing all the furniture from the room. Next you can wash the walls and fill in any holes with spackle. Make sure to lay drop cloths or old sheets on the ground to protect the floor from paint. When you’re ready to paint, start with a layer of primer to cover all the walls. Once that has dried, you can paint with color. Use small brushes to paint edges and large rollers to cover the rest. For tips on choosing the perfect colors for your home, read on!
Prep the house. Wash the walls, remove wallpaper, patch, spackle, seal stains, dry and sand before you attempt to paint. Now is also the time to apply painters tape for trimming, lay drop cloths, etc. Remove all outlet and light switch face plates, collecting screws in a zip-top bag (good opportunity to wash the face plates all at once as well). You can also buy your paint at this time. Don't wait until the last minute. It can take hours to mix many gallons of all your colors. Remember that traffic triples at your home-supply and hardware stores on weekends. Buy on a weekday if possible.
Do the cleanup. When the painting is done, send the painter home and do the cleanup work yourself. This will include rolling up drop cloths and collecting scrapings, removing painter's tape (use a hair dryer on low heat to soften the adhesive), cleaning paint brushes, rollers, and other tools, replacing electric switch plates, outlet covers, and light fixtures, and sealing any leftover paint cans and storing them in a dry, temperature-controlled location.
If you are seeking a few gallons of interior house paint for your home, office, or apartment, read our helpful shopping guide. We have compared dozens of brands of interior house paints currently on the market and have compiled a short list of our favorites. Topping that list is Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Paint, a low-odor, VOC-free formula from one of the most trusted brands in paint.
For walls, measure the linear feet of wall space (measuring along the baseboards) for the areas to be painted (using a tape measure, laser, or both). Then multiply this by the ceiling height (usually it is 7.5 or 8). If there are 2 story areas, measure them separately, and multiply them by double the regular wall height. Then multiply the total number by 2 (for 2 coats).
Some basic interior paints are sold in bulk, often in neutral colors such as white or beige. These can be very economical if the home’s color scheme is not a major consideration. However, many homeowners prefer to apply customized colors to match the furnishings or create a specific ambience for each room. Because of advancements in the industry, many manufacturers now offer a dizzying array of colors, from cool pastels to bold metallics.
One of the first considerations when it comes to interior house paint is the base. There are two schools of thought, each with their pros and cons. Some brands commonly sold to contractors for commercial projects are oil-based, meaning the chosen pigment is mixed with an oil derivative called alkyd. Oil-based paint provides thorough coverage, and the finished coat resists moisture well. However, oil-based paint releases a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as it dries, and it can only be removed from floors, brushes, and clothing with strong chemical paint thinners. In fact, many states have actually banned the use of oil-based paints because of their VOC levels and hazardous ingredients.
If you have two weeks, a ladder and some experience, this makes an excellent DIY project. On most surfaces, it is forgiving of mistakes and easy to work with. Correcting mistakes only adds more time and not much more expense. However, a professional will get it done faster and with a better finish. If you don’t have 2 to 3 weeks to spare, find a professional painter near you today.