Painting A Wall: Pro Tips For Perfection
Getting as much information as possible is vital to ensure the results are quick and impressive when you start an interior painting project! As professional interior painters, we will give you some essential tips and explain the process of how to paint a wall for your home’s interior!
These tips are professional tips used by our painters to reduce painting time without compromising the finish coat of the walls.
Let’s dive right in!
Understanding The Process of Painting a Wall
The process is essential to know right from the beginning. When you understand what is involved, you can assess if this is something you would want to tackle on your own.
But even if you have painting experience and feel confident with the process, it is still important to gloss over the steps to see if there are any basic tips that you find helpful.
Steps to Preparing Interior Walls
Here are the steps to preparing the room before painting. These steps are in order, so be sure to adhere to the sequence.
Step 1: Remove all furniture from the room when possible.
Step 2: Leave at least 2 -3 ft of working space from the perimeter of the walls.
Step 3: Cover the entire floor with plastic or painter drop cloths. (Use non-slip drops for hardwoods.)
Step 4: Remove all light plates, curtains, and pictures. (Place all screws into a gallon bucket.)
Step 5: Thoroughly wipe the edge of all baseboards with a damp rag. (Remove all dust.)
Step 6: Tape all baseboard edges where the wall and baseboard meet. (The tape line must be straight and heavily rubbed for proper adhesion.)
Step 7: Cover all sockets and light switches with tape.
Wall Painting Preparations
Painting preparations are the most critical part of the process. So, make sure that you do not skip or shortcut these steps of the process. You want to ensure that you have thoroughly prepared all walls providing a fresh and uniform finish.
Step 1: Dust the walls for cobwebs.
Step 2: Sand the entire wall spaces with a pole or power sander.
Step 3: Prime all walls with an interior primer if the drywall is new or if you are covering a dark color.
Step 4: To inspect the walls, use a high-lumen light and shine it, pointing at a 45-degree angle.
Step 5: Use a lightweight drywall compound to repair all nail pops and drywall damages. (You will need to retape drywall seams if they have separated.)
Step 6: Sand all drywall patches and prime them with flat interior paint or interior drywall primer.
Steps How to Paint the Walls
So, this is where our experience and insight come in handy. Even if you are an interior painter or have professional experience, you should find these tips and techniques helpful, and they may even surprise you!
Step 1: Roll the walls tight to the trim and ceiling interphases. (Rolling the walls close to trim work will reduce brushwork.)
Note: This stick works best with flat or premium interior paints.
Step 2: Start brushing the bottom of the walls clean to the tape on the baseboards.
Step 3: Now it’s time to start cutting in any window or door casings. (Remember to follow the caulk line. You can always use tape here if you are not an experienced painter.)
Step 4: Finally, it’s time to cut in the ceilings. This part is where the skill comes in, but we have a few tricks that will help you!
You do not want to miss these tips!
Wall Painting Ceiling Cut-in Tips
When it’s time to cut in the interior walls (where the ceilings meet the wall), it’s imperative to take your time and get this right. You don’t want to repaint or touch ceilings because you have wall paint on them.
Tip 1: We recommend using a 2-inch stiff bristle paintbrush. A stiff paintbrush will better manipulate the paint, resulting in much straighter edge work.
We recommend the Purdy Pro Extra sprig. Purdy brushes are the most common paintbrush among professional house painters. But a Pro-Extra will likely not be found at your local home improvement stores.
Tip 2: Use a one-gallon paint bucket and pour one inch of paint into it. Painters also refer to this kind of bucket as a “cut bucket.”
Tip 3: Add a capful of Floetrol paint additive to your cut bucket to make the paint easier to brush. It’s hard to edge straight with thick interior house paint, no matter how excellent your skills are.
Today’s low VOC paints dry fast and need an additive to help increase the open time, allowing it to level, flow, and brush easily.
Tip 4: Your eyes must be close to where you are painting. We recommend using a 6 ft step ladder for 9 ft walls or lower.
Don’t use a ladder more than 3 ft shorter than whatever wall height you are painting.
Tip 5: Placing your ladder in the correct position will allow you to see the consistency and accuracy of the line you are painting while putting your body in a natural and comfortable position.
If you are painting where the wall and ceiling meet, place your ladder parallel to the wall. Put the front feet of the ladder, almost touching the baseboard.
Kick the rear feet of the ladder (where you will stand) away from the wall, approximately 3 – 6 inches.
Paint the wall going counter-clockwise if you are right-handed and clockwise for lefties.
Tip 6: The most challenging part of painting the tops of walls is seeing and understanding where the ceiling and wall meet and how far to paint into the ceiling.
A painter’s trick is to take a five-in-one painter’s tool and lightly score the apex of where the ceiling meets the wall. It will leave a gray mark from its aluminum composition. That line is now acting as your paint guide!
Paint approximately 1/16 of an inch onto the ceiling. Keep that measurement consistent for a straight and consistent line.
When you step away, you will have straight lines that appear professional!
How to Gain Painting Experience?
This article is written assuming that you have basic painting skills. But if you are a first-time painter, there’s a way to gain familiarity using a paintbrush. The easiest way to get basic paintbrush familiarity is to brush large areas that do not require edging.
Grab a large exterior project or cardboard before jumping on more detailed work. Or, you can hire us! Our interior painters can recommend the best interior paints and take the hassle out of the process!
View more articles like this for more information on specific steps, paint products, and more!