November 22, 2022 marketpl

Painting for Beginners

If you’ve ever typed “how to paint my walls” into your search bar, then you’re in the right place. Whether you bought a house that needs some love or you are changing up your interior style, painting can give your space a whole new look. Interior painting is a big project, and although it may seem straightforward, you might not know where to start.

Before you ever begin painting, there is quite a bit of preparation to do for your project. The condition of the walls you are painting will determine how much prep work is needed. In this post, we will introduce the basic steps and best practices for prepping and painting your interior walls. You’ll have a magazine-worthy home in no time!

Step-by-Step interior painting

Interior Painting Step-by-Step

 1.  Buy paint & tools

The first step of preparation is to select your paint colors. If you are painting the ceiling, walls, and trim, try to choose colors that you think complement each other. Decide if you will be painting all the walls the same color or if you would like to have an accent wall. Always consider the colors in your furniture and artwork, and make sure you test out a few different shades before committing. If you can’t find the perfect shade, Marketplace Paints will custom mix one for you.

Once you know what colors you want, determine how much paint you will need. First, measure the length and height of each wall or ceiling. To determine the square footage, multiply the length and height together. Add up the square footage of each wall, and subtract the area of any windows. Typically, one gallon of paint will cover about 400 square feet. However, it is best to buy extra so that you are prepared for touch-ups.

Next, you will need to purchase the correct tools. Other than paint, you might need a paintbrush, paint roller, extension pole (if you are painting the ceiling), drop cloths, paint tray or roller grid, painter’s tape, paint bucket, sandpaper, and filler. If you will be using more than one gallon of paint, mix the paint into a five-gallon bucket for color consistency. You may choose to use a paint tray to dip your roller in, or you can use a roller grid inside a large paint bucket.

2.  Prep the walls

Before you can begin painting, you will need to prep the walls themselves. If you have several cracks and holes, use a filler to patch those up. Then, you may want to sand over the uneven surfaces with sandpaper or a sand sponge. If you do use filler, these spots will absorb the paint differently than the rest of the wall, causing noticeable blotches. To remedy these imperfections, use a quick coat of primer to even out the texture before you begin painting. If you plan on painting the trim as well, sand it down to remove the existing sheen and make for a smoother finish. In addition to smoothing, wipe the walls clean so that the paint can easily bond to the surfaces.

Prep the walls

3.  Assemble the room

The next step is to set up the room you are painting in. In order to protect your furniture, remove it or push it to the center of the space away from the walls. Then, use drop cloths to cover the furniture and the floors.

Next, apply painter’s tape to any surfaces you do not want to get paint on. For example, light switches, windows, doors, and trim. If you are painting the ceiling first, you will not need to apply tape to the walls since you can paint over any spills. However, if you paint the trim first, let it dry completely, at least 24 hours, then apply tape along the edges.

Assemble the room

4.  Paint the edges

Once you have gathered your tools, selected your paint, and assembled the room, you can begin. Be sure to stir the paint well. A general rule of thumb is to paint from the top to the bottom, starting with the ceiling. Whichever surface you are painting, begin around the edges.

Dip one third of your paintbrush into the paint and tap it against the sides to remove any excess. Hold the brush like a pencil and paint carefully along the edges with smooth strokes, which is called cutting in. Feather out the edges until there are no runs or harsh lines. Brush strokes often look different than roller strokes, so you may also want to gently roll over the painted edges to help the consistency match the rest of the wall.

5.  Paint the large surfaces

Once you are ready to paint the rest of the wall, dampen your roller cover with a wet rag. Dip part of the roller into the paint and then roll it along the liner or grid to evenly spread the paint. Try not to submerge the entire roller in paint, as this will cause a mess.

Begin by rolling the entire height of the wall from top to bottom then move over slightly with each stroke and repeat until you cover the entire surface. Try to overlap the previous stroke each time, and do this before the paint begins to dry. Do not rush though; Roll slowly and smoothly to avoid splattering paint.

As you paint, do not let the roller dry out. Instead, try to keep it at least halfway loaded with paint. Additionally, hold the roller with the open side facing the direction you have already painted. This way, the majority of the pressure is on the edge that gets overlapped, which helps avoid harsh lines. If you do end up with harsh lines, roll over them with zig zag strokes in several different directions to feather them out.

Be sure to paint one wall at a time for each coat. A good rule of thumb is to do two full coats of paint for the room. Let each coat dry completely for 24 hours before starting the next one. Any time you take a break from painting, cover your paint bucket and wrap up your brush and roller in plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge.

Before you pull off any of your painter’s tape, make sure the paint is completely dry. Cut along the edge of the tape with a small blade so that no dried paint gets pulled off the wall. Then, pull the tape up at a 45-degree angle.

Bring Vision to life

Bring Your Vision to Life

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to successfully paint your interior, it’s time to begin the transformation. If you have a particular style in mind but you are not sure how to accomplish it, our interior design team at Marketplace Paints can help you bring your vision to life. Our staff can also help you find the right tools and supplies for your project.

Visit any of our in-store locations, or reach out on our website,


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