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5 Things You Need to Know before Starting That Interior Painting Project

One of the fastest and least expensive ways to give your one interior a quick makeover is to apply fresh paint. However, most do-it-yourselfers make a variety of mistakes that leave them with less-than-professional results. Following are five things you need to know before you pick up that paintbrush and start that interior painting project. 

1. You Can Purchase Paints in Sample Sizes

Instead of spending money on full-sized cans only to discover that the color isn't quite what you had in mind, purchase sample-sized paints and give them a trial run. Many consumers aren't aware that this is even an option, but most paint companies offer mini cans in pint-sized containers. These allow you to test out how a certain color is going to appear on a larger area in a way that simple swatches can't before you make a financial commitment to buying gallons of paint. Instead of painting part of your wall with the sample paint, you can also use it on a large piece of foam board and move it around the room to get an idea of how the end result will look. 

2. You Shouldn't Neglect the Prep Work 

A paint job is only as good as the initial prep work. Failing to properly prepare the intended surface by cleaning it with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, sanding down any rough surfaces, filling holes with spackle, and applying a coat of primer will result in a sloppy paint job that appears amateurish. Also, be sure to prep the immediate area by removing furniture and wall hangings, placing protective coverings on flooring, and protecting baseboards, windowsills, and trim from splattering by applying protection to the area. You can also use a painting tool called an edger in the corners to prevent the uneven look rollers and brushes sometime cause. Light fixtures, outlet covers, and switch plates should also be removed before beginning the painting process. Turning the electricity off at the circuit breaker in rooms to be painted is also a wise precaution. 

3. You Should Combine Gallons for Maximum Consistency

Unfortunately, slight inconsistencies in color frequently exist between different gallons of the exact same paint, and even slight variations in shade make a room look uneven. Circumvent this problem by combining gallons of paint in a large bucket and stirring thoroughly to ensure a uniform result. This practice is referred to by professional painters as boxing and is one of the reasons why professional paint jobs always look so good. 

4. You Should Be Careful Not to Underestimate Drying Time

One of the biggest mistakes made by do-it-yourselfers is to fail to provide the first coat of paint with the necessary time to dry before applying the second coat. If you're using a water-based latex paint, you'll only need to wait about four hours before working on the second coat. However, oil-based paints will take more time to dry. For instance, even though an oil-based paint may be dry to the touch after eight hours or so, it won't be ready to accept a second coat of paint for at least twenty-four hours. Also, atmospheric humidity plays a significant role in how quickly paint may dry. To speed the process up, particularly if humidity levels are high, open windows and turn on fans or air conditioning. 

5. You Shouldn't Try to Get by with Just One Coat 

Homeowners doing their own interior painting sometimes try to save time by applying one thick coat of paint rather than two thinner ones, but this almost always has unpleasant results. If you have ever seen those unsightly globs on certain painted surfaces, you already know what it looks like when someone tries to cut corners by laying the paint on thick. 

Contract a local paint contractor, like one from Above Average Painting & Drywall, for more information on the best indoor painting techniques.