How to Paint a Home's Interior

Answered by Brendan ~ November 30, 2009 ~ Comments

I have no experience with painting, but my home's interior badly needs new paint. Besides paint, what tools and materials will I need to do a good job? Approximately how long will painting each room take, and what will it cost? What special techniques do painters use to do a fast job and still get professional results?

Jaclyn N. ~ Colorado Springs, Colorado

Brendan Fowler

Do It Yourself PaintingPainting does not necessarily need many tools at all, However, the more you invest in tools for the job, the faster the project will go. You can easily paint a room with a roller, bucket, brush, and drop cloths to get stunning results. This will take some time, about a day or two depending on how much furniture, art etc. might need to be moved, as well as how many colors you decide to paint the room with. The more colors and trim details the more time. You can roughly figure that a gallon of paint will cover approximately 350 square feet. A gallon of paint will cost somewhere between $15-$35 per gal.

Many factors can affect the cost of painting a room; therefore, it is really hard to give anything but a very broad cost estimate, approximately $75 - $250 per room. Things that effect the cost of painting a room are the: size of room, number of colors, how much prep is going to be necessary, how many doors and windows, what kind of trim details, and the quality of the paint you plan to use.

There are some tools and techniques that will move your paint job along much faster and provide fabulous results. Prep work is the most important part of any painting job. It generally represents two thirds of the all the work and is crucial in the overall outcome of any paint job. If walls are dirty, get them clean so the paint can stick. This is especially important in kitchens where years of cooking can leave a thin oily residue that paint does not like to stick to. Clean walls are necessary in all rooms, so check the walls and clean accordingly.

Caulk all the trim with a painters caulk. Mask off and drop cloth everything that you do not want paint on. A masking gun for masking is very useful if you are doing a lot of masking. It dispenses masking paper 8"-14" with tape attached for very easy and very fast masking operations. These guns also dispense painter's plastic with tape attached for covering larger areas.

Another great tool for speeding up painting is an airless paint sprayer. They roughly cost $300- $1,500 and they can also be rented. Sprayers are the fastest way to get paint on walls. Another benefit to spraying is that masked edges after being sprayed typically leave a nice crisp line where as rolling or brushing over masking can leave a mottled line where the paint bleeds under the tape. Spraying does produce a large amount of overspray; everything needs to be very well protected. Professional painters also use a brush technique called cutting in. This is used in place of trying to get clean lines with masking tape. They use a paintbrush to carefully paint or cut in one color next to another. This takes some practice, and requires a high quality brush, but once proficient at it, it can really help speed things up.

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