What do I need to do to prepare for when I paint walls in my house?

You’ll need to begin by choosing a color and type of paint for your walls. There are several types of paint available on the market, each with benefits and drawbacks depending on your circumstances.

Latex paints work best on walls and masonry. They’re easy to apply, have a glossy finish and clean up easily. Oil-based paints work on a variety of surfaces. They have good adhesion and are resistant to stains. Flat surface paints give a simple, flat look, whereas satin or glossy finishes add luster and work better on trim.

You will also need to make sure you have the proper brushes for your project. Natural brushes work well for oil-based paints, while acrylic and acrylic-blend brushes work best for latex paints. Wider brushes are good for painting large areas, while narrower and/or angled brushes are best suited for trim and detail work. A roller brush can help you cover large surfaces quickly. And don’t forget a ladder to help you reach high places when painting.

Remove all draperies, pictures, mirrors and so forth before painting the area. Move furniture to the center of the room and lay down drop cloths or tarps to protect your furniture and any rugs. Use masking tape to cover any surfaces you don’t want painted, such as trim or outlet face plates you can’t remove. If you are confident in your painting skills, you may opt to skip taping around your trim and just carefully use an angled brush for details. This will help you avoid having to peel up so much tape at the end.

Be sure a window is open and fans are on before you start painting in order to ensure your space is properly ventilated. If you are using oil-based paints, do not use the pilot light on your stove, and do not smoke or have other open flames or electrical ignition in the area.

Make sure your surface is clean (use soap and water, then let it air dry) and cured before painting, and remove any wallpaper. If there are any gaps or cracks in the wall, you’ll want to repair them before proceeding. You may also choose to sand out rough spots in the walls (wear a respirator).

Choose a primer for your project based on the material you’re painting. Apply it before adding color in order to ensure proper adhesion and to help your colors look their best.

Ready to try it out for yourself?