Painting is an artform, and that certainly doesn’t change when it’s throwing up a fresh coat on the walls of your home in our eyes. Anyone that has embarked on their own interior painting project can tell you, though, it isn’t as easy as it seems.

This article is dedicated to the beginners, and will provide 7 interior painting tips for you to become a master painter in no time at all.

Clean the surface thoroughly

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is also one of the easiest to do. No matter how clean you think your walls are, wet paint will catch any form of dust particle and preserve it for eternity, leaving you with bobbles and blotches and the risk of the paint chipping off later.

Simply use a painting prep cleaner (you can pick one up for around $15 at any of the major hardware stores) and a lint-free cloth to go over the wall you’re about to paint. Starting at the bottom and working your way up, make sure you get every inch of the wall. This will have the surface ripe and ready for interior painting.

Don’t use plastic to protect your floors!

This tip is more of a health and safety issue, but it’s also good for minimising the chance of treading paint around the house once you’re done. Plastic floor coverings, whilst certainly being cheaper and slightly easier to use and move around, are extremely dangerous. Step ladders don’t particularly like gripping to them, and you run the risk of slipping over any dropped paint.

What’s more, if paint does fall onto the plastic, it doesn’t dry up. So if you accidentally step on it, chances are it will follow you around the house. Dedicated cotton sheets will not only be non-slippery, but will also soak in any excess paint, minimising this problem and allowing you to work safely.

Start off with the flooring cornice

Whilst it may be tempting to start off with the wall, a good habit to get into is one of an efficient and simpler workflow. The golden rule with professional interior painting is to start from the bottom, whilst working your way to the top. This counts not only for the wall, but also the flooring cornice.

This is mostly done to avoid small marks that may occur on the wall itself should you leave the cornice until last. There’s nothing worse than finishing off the job, then noticing the brush mark left from the cornice.

Utilise the art of wet edges

Getting a clean finish, one where the brush or roller strokes are not obvious, is the end goal of all painters. One easy way to do this is to slightly overlap over the previous wet stroke. This allows all of the strokes to dry gradually, rather than one stroke at one time and another stroke later on.

Cover over at least half of your previous strokes. Whilst there is no harm in going wider than this, you will run out of paint pretty quickly, turning what could be a one bucket job into two or more. For a truly smooth finish, you can purchase a can of paint additive for around $15, which makes the paint much more flowing when it is applied.

Make good use of a primer to have a nice, blotch-free finish

By now, you would understand the importance of using a primer to remove the possibility of certain parts of the wall retaining too much or not enough paint. Professional painters go further, however, and use what we call in the industry a tinted primer. This is effectively a primer mixed in with either a little of the neutral grey colour, or the colour that will be used on the wall itself.

Using a tinted primer provides the finished wall an incredible shine and gloss that radiates the colour throughout any interior space it is in. What’s more, the finish will be perfectly smooth, whilst also giving you a great looking wall for a very long time to come.

Continuing tomorrow? Use plastic wrap to protect your paint

Putting the tin lid back on the paint isn’t the safeguard to protect it that you may think it is. It only takes for the lit to be slightly ajar for airborne moisture and the air itself to make its way into the can and compromise your paint. One simple way to avoid this is to use your average plastic wrap, closely fitting it over and around the can and making sure that nothing can get in or out.

One wall at a time

The worst thing you can do is rush the job. Take it one wall at a time, and never jump to the next one until the wall you have just completed is completely dry. This is part of quality control, making sure that there are no issues with the painted wall that may require your immediate attention.