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How to paint interior walls and trim

By Edited May 19, 2015 1 2

DIY home improvement

long handled paint roller
Thinking of painting a hallway or room that has a lot of traffic in your home? Now is the time to redecorate before the weather gets even warmer and your attention turns to the outdoors. Here is how to paint interior walls and trim and get rid of winter's cooking odors,  knicks and blemishes.

Things You Will Need

* Sandpaper, light weight
* Drop cloths
* roller
* roller pan
* 2-3 inch trimbrush
* a few rags
* spackle
* spackle knife

Step 1


1. First you will want to remove any small furniture and cover any furniture that is too big to move. Remove all pictures from the wall, along with the hangers.
2. Lay your drop cloths or heavy plastic down. For high traffic areas, you'll want to tape these down to keep from slipping.
3. Wash the wall down with a sponge with warm water to remove any cooking or smoke stains.

Sand the walls and trim lightly. Rub with a clean cloth to remove any loose plaster after sanding. Fill all nail holes smoothly with spackle. Let dry. Then lightly sand to smooth. If there are several coats on the trim and sanding has caused uneven marks that painting won't cover, then they must be filled and sanded as well.

Step 2

Stir the primer paint well. Add a little of the finish color to the primer to tint it. With your brush, paint a line with the wall color about three inches wide above the baseboard and just below the ceiling molding, if present. Then pour some of the primer paint in the roller pan and begin rolling the walls vertically. Let dry.
paint roller pan

Step 3

Finish coat:

Apply finish coat(s). If using the same or similar color, you may need only one finish coat. If a darker color, you may need two or three.

Step 4

paint color trim brush

Color choice:

Use a color chart from your local paint, hardware, or home improvement store. You may want to purchase a washable paint, if a high traffic area. When the walls have dried, it is time to finish the trim with the brush. You can use a satin finish for the trim. You will need a 2" brush for the trim.
home improvement store paint

* If you are painting the ceiling, then you will need a broomstick length handle to insert in the roller. Remove any marks and stains before rolling the ceiling.
* Paint a line around the ceiling on the ceiling side of the molding, if present, as described above for the walls, then roll the ceiling.

paint interior walls

Tips & Warnings

* Vacuum any loose plaster and dust before you start to paint.
* Clean as you go, makes the finish easier and smoother.

*Too much work? Contact Watterson Painting in Rhode Island for a free estimate, rated A+ by the Southern Massachusetts Better Business Bureau.



Apr 18, 2010 4:33pm
Great information on how to paint the walls and trim. We taught our daughters how to correctly paint their own rooms ... and they've loved doing it!
Apr 18, 2010 11:47pm
as you have noted, preparation is everything to a good paint finish. Great article!
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