How to paint interior walls

How to paint interior walls

How to paint Interior walls

Painting interior walls is an inexpensive way to dramatically change the look and feel of your home with color. This guide on how to paint interior walls will walk you through the process so that your end result will be beautiful.

Before commencing with any interior painting project ensure that your safety is guaranteed by;

  • Wearing safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from flying particles and paint droplets.
    • Checking that the space you are painting is adequately ventilated. If the paint fumes are strong, wear a respirator.

What you need


  • Towels / rags
  • Sponges
  • Floor dusters
  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Extension pole
  • Bucket
  • Paint tray
  • Paint grid
  • Latex paint respirator
  • Ladder
  • Safety glasses


  • Spackling compound
  • Grit sandpaper / sanding sponge
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Primer
  • High-quality latex paint

1. Prep your walls

Vigilantly examine walls for cracks, holes, dents or other surface blemishes and defects before priming or painting. Use a lightweight spackling compound and putty knife to fill and repair any holes or imperfections. Remove any excess spackling with the putty knife and allow the area to dry completely. Once dry, use a small piece of very fine grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge to smooth the repaired areas. Wipe the walls clean with a damp towel or sponge and allow them to dry before priming or painting. Use a floor duster to wipe the walls clean of dust to ensure paint applies evenly.

2. Mask the room with painter’s tape

If your ceiling is non-textured, mask off the ceiling where it meets the edge of the wall. Apply your tape in short, overlapping strips, pressing down firmly along the edge. If you’re painting a room with a textured ceiling, simply run a screwdriver along the edge of the ceiling to create a small, unnoticeable texture-free surface. This will make creating a straight paint edge much easier.

Tip: There are different adhesion levels for painter’s tape. While some are perfect for textured surfaces, others are intended for more delicate areas. Verify which adhesion level is right for your project. Also remember to always press the tape down flat and even to prevent bleed-through.

3. Move furniture and spread drop cloths

Apply drop cloths to cover the ground and tape the edges down to secure them. If you’re working in an average- or small-sized room, it is best to remove all the furniture.

Tip: Canvas drop cloths are immensely long-lasting and absorbent so they can be used over and over again. Plastic drop cloths are durable and less expensive but aren’t absorbent, so spills won’t dry as quickly and can be tracked through the room if stepped on. Paper drop cloths are the most economical but can tear easily on floors, so they’re ideal for covering other things like cabinets and furniture.

4. Cut in the room with primer

Cutting in simply means outlining the room with primer.

Preferably, you should cut in and paint one wall at a time before moving on to others. This will enable you to achieve a smoother, more seamless look because you’ll be able to blend the wet paint you’ve brushed on with wet paint you’re rolling on.

5. Prime your walls

Primers are specially designed to help seal the wall, prevent mold and even-out paint tone over wall repairs. Most top-notch brands will offer paint and primer in one.

Start by painting the primer in small square sections. Roll in one section at a time, moving from top to bottom and from one side of the wall to the other. With a fully loaded roller, work top to bottom, rolling back and forth across the wall in a series of V- or W-shaped strokes until the section is covered. Reload your roller and paint the next section, covering only as much as you can finish while the primer is still wet. Always overlap areas of wet primer. This is a painting technique called “working to a wet edge.” The technique helps prevent streaking and the need for extra coats.

Tip: Primers can be tinted at your local paint store to closely match the colour of your paint. Since primer is less expensive than paint, using a tinted primer can help you cut down on the number of paint coats needed and ultimately save you money.

6. Sand and clean to prepare for painting

After the primer is completely dry, lightly sand away bumps, ridges and other surface imperfections using very fine-grit sandpaper folded into quarters. When the grit of one section becomes covered with paint dust, switch to an unused section and continue. Wipe the wall clean with a damp towel or sponge and allow it to dry.

7. Paint the walls

Re-mix the paint

Prior to commencing any paint job, re-mix your paint using a mixing stick or a paint mixing tool. Re-mixing the paint should be done any time you leave the paint sitting for an extended period of time.


Base Coat

Cut in the room again, this time with your paint over the primer. Brush onto the wall first and not the tape. Brush back and forth until most of the paint has been applied. When there’s just a bit of paint left on the brush, paint the area next to the tape and overlap your strokes onto the tape. That way, there will only be enough paint left on the brush to cover the remaining unpainted wall surface and there won’t be enough to seep under the tape.

Top coat

To apply your top coat of paint, follow the exact same process and techniques used when priming your walls. Roll in small, manageable small areas from the ceiling to floor, and from one side of the wall to the other. Blend your sections as you go.

With a fully loaded roller, work top to bottom, rolling back and forth across the wall in a series of V- or W-shape strokes until the section is covered. Before reloading your roller and moving to the next section, roll over the area you’ve just painted in a smooth, continuous stroke from top to bottom without picking up the roller. These smoothing strokes even the coat and help to cover up lines and paint roller tracks. As you overlap areas already painted, lightly lift the roller off the wall to avoid leaving end marks and to help blend different areas into one seamless surface.

Achieving a great finish

For the most favourable outcome in colour quality and finish, a second coat may be needed. Allow the first coat to dry completely, which usually takes between two to four hours.

Tip: To avoid noticeable colour variations from separate cans of paint, once you’ve used half a can of paint, refill that can with paint from a different can and mix together. If you’re doing a large job, you can mix several cans into one large paint bucket. That way, you’ll be guaranteed colour uniformity.

8. Remove the painter’s tape

Remove your painter’s tape either just before the paint dries completely, or wait until the paint is completely dry and remove as quickly as possible after. Tightly seal remaining paint in cans, thoroughly clean paintbrushes and rollers, and dispose of used painter’s tape.

Tip: If left on too long, small pieces of painter’s tape can tear and get left behind when being removed. If you run into this, use a utility knife to slice through the dried paint while pulling up the tape at a 45-degree angle.

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