Want to change the look and feel of your home without spending a fortune? An interior paint job is among the most rewarding home improvement projects you can do. A fresh coat of paint can dramatically change the vibe of a room or shakeup the entire decor of your home — it may even increase your home’s overall value, useful if you’re considering selling in the future. Best of all, it’s a project you can easily manage over the course of a weekend.
So, roll up those shirt sleeves and grab yourself a brush — the home renovation experts behind Offerpad are here to offer you a little advice on interior painting.
Choose your color
Every paint job starts with one big question: what color should I choose? Even if you’re the decisive type, this can be a tough one to answer. You may want something that compliments your home’s existing color palette — or not. Maybe you want to create a completely different atmosphere, one that is totally unique to you. Whatever it is, here’s a few tips for narrowing down the right color..
Consider the entire scheme
There is a general rule of thumb (one that you by no means need to adhere to) that you should stick to three colors max for a color scheme. Going over this magic number means you run the risk of designing a space that feels too busy. Consider the other color elements of your room or space — the furniture, the countertops, the floor. Choose a color that compliments your existing scheme using something like a color calculator.
Find some inspiration
Flip through some fashion or design magazines, take a trip to your local art museum, or browse paint colors online. Take pictures or make a note of anything that jumps out to you. Once you find something you love, bring it to your closest and purchase the corresponding paint.
Neutral works with everything
Not sure if bold colors are your thing? Opt for a more neutral gray. Not only will it compliment the other components of your room, it’s considered ‘modern’ these days. It’s an easy way to show you have good taste without upsetting the equilibrium of your home’s color palette.
Grab the painting supplies
The actual tools you use to paint are every bit as important as the color — if you care about getting the best results from your painting project, don’t skimp on quality of your supplies. Here is a basic rundown of what you’ll need to get started with your interior paint job…
- Painter’s tape
- Rollers & covers
- Trays & liners
- Drop cloths
- Lightweight spackle (if cracks need repair)
- Ladder (depending on the space)
- Painter’s mask (if the area has little ventilation)
- Eye protection (glasses or clear goggles)
Before you hit the hardware store, check your garage and other storage areas — you may already have some of these supplies. If you don’t have a ladder, this is also a golden opportunity to pull a favor from the neighbors and borrow one. All told, these supplies shouldn’t set you back much financially — that’s the beauty of painting.
Editor’s note: Rollers and brushes are fairly inexpensive. Outside of the actual paint, this is one area where it’s okay to splurge. Superior rollers and brushes can make a noticeable difference in the paint application — even spare you some physical exertion over the course of painting. Spend a few extra dollars here and your back will thank you later”
Prep the painting area
Prepping a room to paint is a crucial step — take the time to do it right so you can avoid any unsightly splotches made to the ceiling or floor. Here’s how to do it like the pros.
Remove the furniture
Trust us on this one — just do it.
Inspect wall surfaces
After you’ve removed everything from the walls (things like pictures and outlet covers), you’ll want to do a quick inspection of the wall surfaces. Make sure there aren’t any nails or studs that might get in the way of painting. Next, look for any cracks or other imperfections — it’s recommended you treat these areas with spackle before you get to work. If you apply any spackle to repair cracks, be sure to sand it down or use a scraping tool after it’s dry to ensure its level with the rest of the wall.
Clean any baseboards
Baseboards collect a lot of dust and even things like cobwebs. If you’re painting a room with baseboards, grab a duster and give the entire area a once over.
Apply painter’s tape
Applying painter’s tape might feel tedious but it will make or break how crisp your paint job looks in the end. Starting from the corners of the room, cover any baseboards. Use a scraping tool or sharp edge to tear the tape when navigating around corners. Work your way across door frames, paying close attention to where the tape hits the wall — this is where a ladder comes in hand, giving you the best possible vantage point. Finally, cover the perimeter of the ceiling where it meets the wall.
Set your drop cloth
No matter how precise, any paint job is prone to get messy. The name of the game here is protect your floors. Do it right and your flooring should look just as good as your newly painted walls at the end of the project. Use spare painter’s tape to connect it to the baseboards or floor.
Editor’s note: Although they’re slightly more expensive, canvas drop cloths are absorbent and can be reused. While a plastic drop cloth can still protect your floor, paint is more prone to making a mess. Not only are canvas drop cloths more eco-friendly, they make a better investment in the long run and can essentially pay for themselves with the proper care”
Painting your interior
With the area properly staged, now the fun begins. Painting certainly isn’t rocket science, but the age-old adage “work smarter, not harder” certainly applies here. Here is a brief outline on how to efficiently paint your interior space…
Finely paint the borders
The areas that require the most finesse are your doorways, windows, and collective baseboards — using an appropriate detail brush, carefully paint around these areas. The idea here is to give yourself a generous area to work with when it’s time to pull out the roller.
Finish with the roller
Grab your roller and load it up with plenty of paint. Taking the main walls one at a time, paint in broad strokes that follow a ‘W’ configuration, ideally in 3×3 square ft segments. Overlap wet areas. Professional painters refer to this as “painting to a wet edge” and it helps prevent a streaking appearance in your finished paint job.
Editor’s note: Painting isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If your brain is looking for something a little more stimulating over, well, watching paint dry — turn on some music or put on a podcast to keep you focused”
Give everything time to dry once you’re done painting. If there’s not much ventilation in the room, pull in a fan or crack a window — whatever you can do to air things out. You’ll want to circle back and carefully inspect the area after a few hours. This is another great opportunity for your smaller brushes to clean things up — go for precision when you’re finishing up the interior paint job.
Editor’s note: It doesn’t hurt to bring in another set of eyes before you pack everything away. If you borrowed a ladder from your neighbor, invite them over to see your masterpiece and provide some feedback.”
Congratulations on a job well done! You’re a DIY champion. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Selling to Offerpad
Thinking about selling your home but you’re not the painting type? That’s no problem when you sell directly to Offerpad. Request a free offer online and leave that to us — we give you the ability to move freely.