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Interior Design & Decorating

DIY House Painting Guide: Step-By-Step

By on Mar 26, 2014
DIY House Painting Guide: Step-By-Step

Interior painting is one of the most popular DIY projects as it is one of the few jobs that can drastically change the look and feel of any room without spending a fortune to do so. A terrific way to wow your significant other is by bringing new life to a dated room with our DIY painting tips.

Whether you are just starting out or consider yourself an interior painting veteran, our step-by-step guide will ensure you not only complete the job with a professional look, but do so in the most efficient and timely manner.

Types of Interior Paint

Many homeowners are going with a water-based latex style of paint. No matter what home improvement store you purchase your paint from, they will likely recommend this style due to the EPA limits on oil-based paints. 

As we are dealing with interior walls (or cabinets), you are most likely going to go with a flat paint. However, low-sheen, eggshell, semi-gloss and gloss (all enamels in the painting world), are often used to paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Enamels tend to be more durable.

After deciding your style and color, you need to know the amount. A general rule, as we pointed out in our 13 Quick and Easy Interior Painting Tips, is that one gallon will cover between 300 and 350 square feet. According to our interior house painting cost estimator, homeowners on average pay $1,655 to paint the inside of the home. Of course, this price will vary greatly depending on the size of the project. A larger cost to any interior project is the labor.

DIY Interior Painting

Painting Tools

Once again, the tools needed for any painting project will largely depend on the size of the work. Nonetheless, there are a few materials we recommend all DIYers gather before hitting the walls.

  • Roller frame 
  • Roller cover with a one-half to one-inch nap
  • Two-gallon bucket
  • Rolling pole
  • Roller Tray
  • Extra foam brushes and rollers
  • Safety goggles (regular swimming goggles will work just fine)

For more tools, check out Home Advisor’s painting tips.

Interior Painting Preparation

You can never over-prepare for a painting job. Whether it is gathering all your materials, removing everything in the room or even dressing the part, interior painting preparation is just as important as the actual painting job itself. Below are some preparation steps for any DIY house painting project.

  1. Remove all furniture from designated painting area or move all to the center of the room. If you must keep in the same room, be sure to cover everything with plastic.
  2. Remove everything from the walls, including outlet covers.
  3. Cover all holes and dents with spackle and then clean the entire area.
  4. Use masking tape to cover unwanted painted areas.
  5. Apply primer to walls. Primer can improve the color of your paint and can prevent stains and bleeding. Additionally, the final coat sticks to primer better than a standard wall.
  6. While all these steps are recommended and not mandatory, they will surely make your life easier and greatly improve the final product.

DIY Painting Tips

Interior Painting

Finally, it is time to get to work. Do not try to rush the project. Patience can make the difference between an average and fantastic paint job.

  1. With safety goggles on, start off by punching holes in the interior rim of your paint gallon. It will greatly reduce spilling.
  2. Pour paint into roller tray.
  3. Attach poll to roller pin, attach cover and dunk it in the paint. Do not go overboard with paint. Walls never need as much paint as you think on the first coat.
  4. Many painting professionals recommend starting with a W motion on the wall and then evening out with horizontal strides. Use the roller to get as close as possible to all corners and ends. Mostly likely, you will need your thinner brushes to get every last crack. Reminder: DO NOT RUSH
  5. Wait until all paint is dry before applying second coat.
  6. If your project takes longer than one day, be sure to cover all paint cans and wrap your brushes and rollers in plastic wrap.

You are all set to tackle your first big interior painting project. Like I said earlier, a new coat of paint can significantly change the look and feel of any room. You have the capability to accomplish this project yourself, but as always, there are painting professionals in your area ready for your call.


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