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Preparing to Paint: A Guide to DIY Interior Painting Prep

The article discusses ways to prepare for an interior paint project. Tips include having all supplies at hand and wiping the walls before painting.

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Depending on the size of your painting project, the preparation may take longer than the actual painting job. From selecting paint to preparing the room and walls, expect to spend a day on preparation.


Paint Selection

Are you unsure whether the paint colors you picked are what you really want?  Consider asking your paint supplier for a small sample of paint. Use the sample to paint a portion of a wall or to paint large pieces of cardboard. Then, wait a few days to determine if you are satisfied with the color selection.


Amount of Paint

Calculating how much paint you’ll need for your project is one of the most intimidating aspects of painting. Nobody wants to run out of paint in the middle of a project. As a general rule, 1 gallon of paint will cover about 350 square feet. There are several considerations you make when determining how much paint you need. Consider the following:


Will you be painting unpainted drywall?  If so, then you will need more paint as it absorbs more of the paint.


Walls that are unfinished, heavily patched, or dark in color usually need two coats of paint.


If you will be applying light colored paint to a dark colored wall, then also plan for two to three coats of paint. You may want to consider using a white primer as it could help lighten up the walls before applying the paint.


Supply Preparation

There are many painting tools available on the market. From eco-friendly brushes to convenient brush extension holders, the right tools can help your project go smoother. The following is a list of the basic painting tools needed for a DIY interior painting project:


Blue Painters Tape
Canvas drop cloth

Hole Filler

Plastic drop cloth

Putty knife
Roller cover

Roller tray
Razor blades (for scraping paint)
Sand Paper
Screwdriver (for removing hardware)

Room Preparation

Thorough room preparation will prevent paint from getting onto your floor and furniture.

Here are the steps you should follow for preparing your room:


1. Remove hardware and electrical outlet covers.

2. Cover or remove lighting fixtures.

3. Remove curtains.

4. Remove or cover furniture.

5. Cover floors with canvas tarps, and secure with painters tape if necessary.


Wall Preparation

1.Remove nails and hooks.


2. Caulk and patch any holes or imperfections.


3. Sand walls imperfections. A light scouring pad can be used as an alternative to sanding.


4. Wipe the walls with damp rags or cloth. Removing dust and dirt will help the paint stick better.


5. Place painters tape around moldingsFree Articles, doors and windows.


6. Apply a primer to walls that have discolorations or uneven surfaces.


Final Preparations

Prepare for clean-up by placing rags or towels near the sink where you’ll be rinsing brushes and other tools.


Get all your tools together and organize them in the room for easy access.


Crack open a window for fresh air. Even if you will be using low VOC paint it is still a good idea to get some fresh air circulating.

Source: Free Articles from


Marcy Tate is home improvement writer who has been working in the home improvement and painting industries for over a decade.

Find a local painter to help with your painting prep.

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