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How to Prepare Your House for Interior Painting

Summer and spring months are the best times to paint the home’s interior. Sufficient ventilation and fast drying are essential for your DIY interior painting to work. But as a DIYer, you should know the most important steps on how to prepare your house for the interior.

From cleaning to priming and then painting, read through this post for these steps. 

How to prepare the walls and ceilings for interior painting


The walls and ceilings are the largest portion covered by interior painting. As such, expect that you would have more thorough cleaning to apply in this phase than in the flooring. Here are the steps in preparing the walls and ceilings for interior painting.

Step 1: Move obstructions

The first step to prepare your house for interior painting is a massive clearing operation. Start with furniture and appliances which you can easily transfer to the storage. It is not recommended that you move large furniture such as beds, sofa, and coffee table. All you have to do nudge them to the center of the room and cover them. This way, you get a lot of space for ease of movement.  

Electronics and appliances should be carefully moved elsewhere since they are easily defaced with paint. While you can also just cover them, paint splotches are inevitable. Lastly, remove ornaments and wall decorations as well as soft furnishings such as carpets and rugs. 

Step 2: Cover sockets

After you remove the wall decorations, do not forget to cover your sockets. Make sure that they are fully demarcated. It is a common mistake among DIYers to just cover the sockets with tape. You would have a jagged surface if you do not cover the sockets fully. Most of all, you might peel off the newly applied paint when you remove the tape covered sockets. 

Step 3: Clean the walls

This is a laborious task. It usually takes hours up to a day to prep and cleans the walls. Although your walls look clean and pristine, this step must not be skipped since dirt, debris from small cracks, and dust compromise the quality of your painting job. 

For this, thoroughly clean the wall first with a vacuum to remove cobwebs and dust from ceilings and walls. Next, take a long handle broom to wipe off dust in hard-to-reach areas. After this, get a mixture of water and detergent to thoroughly clean the remaining dirt and debris. It is advisable to do this two days before the painting job. 

Step 4: Vacate the household

Even if you use odorless paints, paint fumes cannot still be tolerated by the lungs. Also, high interior traffic would lead to low-quality painting job. Just as it needs painting skills, it also needs a lot of concentration from the painter. Have the members of the household vacate the premises before you start on the next steps.

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How to prepare the floor for interior painting

Even if the painting project is for the walls and ceilings only, you also have to prepare the floor for interior painting. Here are the steps on how it is done. 

Step 1: Prepare and layout the floor coverings

Mark out the space where you would move around for the duration of the painting job. As per rule of thumb, make sure that you cover the space 3ft away from the wall. The best cover to use for flooring would be canvass drop cloth. 

Unlike newspaper or plastic, canvass drop cloth are easier to spread. The paint would not splatter through the material too and it is rough enough for the ladder not to slip. 

Step 2: Set up the ladders and scaffolding

As it implies, you have to put the ladders in strategic places in the area. Aside from this, you must also position dustpan and knife plus putty just in case paint splatters in the flooring becomes inevitable. 

If you are working on a vaulted ceiling or vault design room, it is also recommended that you strategically put up a scaffolding to infuse paint details in hard-to-reach areas. 


How to prepare wall trim for interior painting?

The transition between the wall and the trim is considered even by professional painters as a tricky area. For this, it is recommended that you use painter’s tape to cover the wall trims. Aside from protecting the trims from paint splatters, it also maintains the crispness of the trim paint once the tape is pulled off. 

How to patch up walls for interior painting?

Patching is an essential step in interior painting because it is where the cracks are filled and the surface irregularities are smoothened. This process need not be confused with priming. For this, you can use an ordinary drywall paint or you can just use the primer paint to patch up minor irregularities. 

How to prepare the paint for interior painting?

It is not just about mixing the paint and then readying up the rollers or spray paint for painting. Before opening up any can of paint, make sure that you have something close to wipe it off the surface if it spills. Also, make sure that you have thinners or mineral spirits if you are using latex or oil-based paints. 

Next, check the manufacturer’s instruction on the mixing ratio of the paint. If you are using spray gun, make sure that the spray paint is shaken well before loading it to the tank. After mixing or shaking, do not apply it to the surface immediately. Get a cardboard and test the mixture. Adjust the paint ratio as needed. 

Read more:

How to use a paint sprayer indoors?

A Guide On How To Get The Best Paint Sprayer For House Exterior

How much does it cost to paint the whole home interior?

As per national estimation, painting the whole home interior costs a maximum of $4 per square foot. If this includes wall trimmings and the ceiling, the range is between $5-8. 

Final thoughts

If you think that preparing the house for interior painting is easy, you have to think again given these tasks beforehand. It is imperative that you do not skip any of these steps to ensure that you get the desired output from your interior painting.