Painting Interior Walls and Trim

Preparation: As you have probably heard before preparation is the key to a good job. In many cases the prep takes longer to do than the actual painting. If a room that is to be repainted is in reasonably good shape you may be able to get by without an extensive amount of prep.

Step 1: Look for and correct problem areas, water stains, large holes, cracks, peeling paint, etc. Proceed with general preparation, wash surfaces, remove mildew, and dull any surfaces, caulk cracks, fill dents, holes, etc. with spackling.

Material and Tool List:
Hy-Tech Ceramic Satina satin finish acrylic latex water base paint that is filled with our insulating ceramics. Extremely durable for high traffic areas.

Other items: 120 and 220 grit Sandpaper, latex caulk, spackling compound, masking tape, rags. joint compound, joint tape, drop cloths, masking paper, stain sealer, detergent, de-glosser, paint strainers, step ladder paint brushes, buckets, roller covers, roller handles, roller pan, extension pole, putty knife, caulk gun, screw driver.

Personal Items: Goggles, work gloves, rubber gloves, hat, dust mask, respirator.

Beginning The Work.
  1. Clear out the room: move as much furniture as possible to another room. If large furniture is to difficult to move out, move it to the center of the room and cover with the plastic drop cloths. Take down pictures and curtains. Cover the floor with drop cloths.
  2. Any washing you have decided can be done at this point: Remove electrical wall plates (use caution), and cover outlets and switches with tape. Next start the major wallboard repairs you will be doing: patch holes in wallboard, the larger repairs will take several coats of joint compound and drywall tape, and you must allow dry time between each coat.
  3. Scrape any areas of loose paint: sand debris from prior coats of paint. If the prior paint is in very good condition the fine 220 paper can be used, but most often a coarser 120 grit paper is needed for this purpose.
  4. Seal: stains and peeling paint areas with a stain/sealer like Stain Blocker.
  5. Glossysurfaces: can now be dulled by sanding with 120 or 220 grit sandpaper. Fill holes in woodwork with spackling, wood dough, or other preferred wood filler using a putty knife.
  6. Caulk: joints at door and window casings baseboards and other painted woodwork by using an acrylic latex caulk. Caulking can often repair cracks at corners of walls and ceilings.
  7. When the fillers (joint compound, spackling, wood dough) have dried: sand any build up of filler flush with surface. Spot prime filled areas and bare wood with the sealer or other appropriate primer. Note if you will be priming an entire area spot priming is not necessary.

Final Prep Steps:
  • Check the primer to see if it needs any sanding before the first coat of finish paint is applied.
  • Clean the room. If you have created a lot of dust wipe down and vacuum.
  • Pick up dropcloths and take them outside to shake off dust.
  • Pre-1978 houses may have lead paint issues.

Applying the finish coat of paint:
Make sure every thing that could get splattered is covered.

  • Start by cutting in along the edges of the ceiling with the finish ceiling paint.
  • Use a 2 or 3 inch brush.
  • Paint out a strip about 3 or 4 inches wide from the wall.
  • Cut in the entire perimeter of the ceiling. All the way around the room. Also cut in around any lights or other fixtures that are installed on the ceiling.
  • Roll out the ceiling. Begin rolling at a corner. Roll a strip about 2 feet wide along the shorter dimension of the room. Roll along beside the wall.
  • Over lap your cut in strip about an inch or more. Continue to the corner at the other side of the room, then paint another strip going back and overlapping the previously painted strip.
  • Continue until the ceiling is complete.
  • Check for anything that may not have been covered for paint spatters. Wipe up any spatters with a damp rag or sponge.
  • Allow the ceiling time to dry to see if it needs another coat. Often it will not look satisfactory until at least several hours of dry time.
  • If re-coating, allow sufficient dry time between re-coats. Check can label for re-coat time.

Tip:Cutting in textured ceilings can be difficult. Try a 10-12" wide drywall knife as a shield holding it flat on the wall and up tight in the ceiling/wall joint. Another option is to use masking tape on wall. Experiment with one wall and remove tape immediately

  • Paint one wall complete at a time.
  • Cut in along the ceiling line using a 2 - 3" brush. Paint a strip about 3 inches wide down from the ceiling, around the door and window casings, at the wall corners, and next to the baseboards.
  • Then roll the wall. Start rolling at the top corner of one wall, overlapping your cut in paint as you go and work your way down so as to paint a vertical strip from top to bottom. Make the strip about 2 feet wide.
  • Then roll another 2 foot strip from top to bottom overlapping the first strip an inch or so.
  • Continue until the wall is finished. Next cut in and roll the next wall.

Continue until all walls in the room are completed.

Baseboards :
  • After the walls have had adequate time to dry you can begin the baseboards.
  • You may be painting down next to a finished floor such as a linoleum or a carpet.
  • You will have to cut in to the wall and the floor as you paint the baseboards. Using masking tape on the floor is often advantageous.
  • A cut in shield can be used to cut in next to carpet or use masking tape on the carpet. When using masking tape as a cut in guide do not put paint on thickly against the tape edge, as it may leak. Painters sometimes refer to this as dry brushing. Try a section, then pull off the tape to make sure you are getting no leaks. If you get leaks clean the wet paint immediately.
  • It may be safer to cut in to the floor as good as possible, even when using masking tape, but if the paint is going on to thick it could still leak through the masking tape.

Finish all base boards then carefully pull up masking tape.

Doors and Trim:
  • The wood work is often the most time consuming part of an interior paint job.
  • For windows: Removing the locks first will help. Paint the top window sash first sliding it up and down behind the lower sash so that you can paint it completely. When completely painted slide it up to within one inch from fully closed until it is dry. Paint the lower sash and then the casing. Leave the windows open as long as you possibly can so that they dry hard.
  • Doors and Trim: Remove or tape around the doorknob. Paint the doors first and then the door casings and trim.