When you begin considering painting your house, what do you think about first? Are your first thoughts “where” and “what color?” Making the decision to repaint any room in your home a fun new color can be exciting, but what’s missing in this thought process in preparing to paint your interior is exactly that: preparation.
Many homeowners (and some professional painters, too) spend so much time and money deciding on their desired paint color and product, that the prep material (such as paint brushes, rollers, tape, etc.) gets pushed aside. After dishing out a few hundred dollars on paint, who wants to spend another $50 + on the material?
We encourage do-it-yourself homeowners to remember that the preparation prior to paint application is what is most important. And to make sure that you are prepping like a pro, try not to skimp on your preparation materials to save an extra couple of bucks.
You can find the right material at any major paint store such as a Sherwin-Williams, Miller Paint, Benjamin Moore, or head to your nearest hardware store such as a Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Ace Hardware. To paint your interior, no matter how big or small the job, you will need paint brushes, rollers, tape, and covering material. Here are our recommendations on the best material items for everyday use:
Our Pick: Purdy or Corona Brushes size 2”-2.5” angled
Brushes are essential in cutting lines around trim, ceilings, and wall corners. A roller will take care of the big picture, but try finding a paint brush with an angled edge to help create those straight lines where the paint ends.
Pro-tip: if you’re setting aside your used paint brush for a few minutes or hours before cleaning, wrap the wet paint brush tightly in a plastic bag so the paint does not harden on the bristles. Once you’re ready to clean, wash the paint brush in cool to cold water, as heat will break down the glue holding the bristles together.
Our Pick: 3M Scotch Blue 2090 Tape and 3M Scotch Blue Edge Lock 1-1.5 inch
One of the more advanced techniques in interior (and exterior) painting is the ability to paint a straight line. Whether painting up against trim, cutting a line between a wall and ceiling, or design lines, the right kind of painters type will help establish those clean cut lines.
3M Edge Lock is the very best tape for trim and door lines. Painting new baseboards? Tape along the floorline with 3M Edge Lock to eliminate bleed through from the baseboards to your finished floor.
Our Pick: Purdy Colossus ranging from 9in-18in with either a ⅜ or ½ inch nap (the spongy outer layer of the roller)
As mentioned, a paint brush is best used for taking care of hard-to-reach corners, and cutting in straight lines where the paint ends. But painting an entire room with a paint brush is not only inefficient, but can create uneven coating and noticeable brush lines. After you’ve cut-in with the brush, use a roller to complete the room.
The most commonly used roller size is 9 inches, although you have the option to go up in size depending on how much surface area you’d like to cover. Aside from the actual width of the roller, the nap size is important as well. Too thick of a nap will leave roller marks behind, especially on smooth or semi-smooth walls. Too thin of a nap won’t pick up as much paint, ultimately taking more time out of your day painting the room.
Smaller rollers, or “weenie rollers,” about 3-4 inches in size are a great option for rolling out new trim or doors. Weenie rollers are also a great way to paint behind toilets as they’re thin enough to get those hard-to-reach spots. The bigger the size, the more surface area you will be able to tackle with your roller. Just don’t forget your roller trays and liners!
Tarps and Plastic
Before any painting has begun, make sure to protect your furniture and floors from the inevitable paint splatter. You can use either plastic or a fabric tarp to cover furniture, floors, cabinets, counter tops, and whatever else you don’t want potential drippings to hit. Either option works great, but we recommend investing in a tarp. It’s reusable, lays heavier so it won’t slip around as you move about the space, and since it’s a fabric material, any paint drippings will soak into the tarp itself leaving less of a chance of tracking paint around the rest of the home. If paint splatters or spills on plastic, it will simply bead on the surface, making it easier to travel elsewhere.
You have your paint brushes, rollers, tape, and plastic/tarps. We also recommend picking up the following items:
- A roller tray and liner: purchase a liner so you can re-use your roller tray time and time again. Pro-tip: to save money on the roller liner, wrap your tray with a plastic bag. This can take place of the liner altogether, and when you’re finished painting you simply unwrap the plastic bag and toss!
- Hand-held paint pale with a magnetic holder: This is a game changer, especially when you’re scooting around the room trying to paint straight lines where the wall and ceilings connect. Sometimes you need to put your paint brush down and NOT get it soaked in paint. The magnetic strip inside the pale simply grasps onto the metal handle of the paint brush keeping in it place and safe from getting covered in paint.
- A step ladder or larger ladder for high walls: We recommend home-owners invest in a a Little Giant ladder, especially if you have lofted ceilings. The Little Giant expands from an a-frame to an extension ladder, and anywhere in between being a multi-faceted tool that adjusts to various heights and sizes throughout the home.
Prepping is easily the most important part to a clean, long-lasting, professional looking paint job. Whether you’re tackling one room, or the whole house, make sure to be well prepared for the project!
And last but not least- don’t forget the paint! Need help figuring out which paint product to use for your project? Check out our blog post on the best interior paints for the do-it-yourselfer! You can view the post by clicking here.
Have a paint or color question you would like answered? Please send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to try and answer it in an upcoming blog post.