How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

5 Steps Before Interior Painting

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > 5 Steps Before Interior Painting
5 Steps Before Interior Painting

All home improvement projects require detailed planning and preparation well ahead of time. Forgetting something crucial might leave you stranded halfway through the project. Making a checklist and ticking each item on it is an organized way of getting things done. This applies to interior painting projects too. First, you must envision exactly what you want to get accomplished. Then, you will have to list out the supplies and products that you will need to see your project fulfilled. Lastly, you will have to ensure that it all fits within your budget.


University websites provide instructions for those wanting to take up home improvement projects of this kind. Interior painting is also taught as a specialized skill at many colleges and trade schools.


Seeking suggestions from friends and family as well as good resources can help you formulate a plan of action for your interior painting project. Coupled with the right tools and the right technique, this should put you in good stead when embarking on your painting project.

  1. Look for any popped nails and drive them back in and if this cannot be done, pull them out and replace with new ones. If the drywall has any holes, these must be repaired before painting over them.

    1.Accumulate the Right Tools

    One trip to the hardware store should help you find everything you need for a paint job. Your set of applicators should include rollers, brushes, a trim edger, and a paint pan. The rollers and brushes of different sizes will help you paint every single spot in a room while the trim edger will ease the job of finishing off the edges neatly. You will also need to buy an adequate quantity of paint depending on the size of the area to be covered. A screwdriver, sandpaper, sponges, household cleaner, and drop cloths may be the other things on your list. If you have any questions or doubt, someone at the hardware store may be able to offer you tips and suggestions.

  2. 2.Preparing the Room

    The first thing you will need to do is clear the room and prepare it for the painting. All furniture will have to be moved to the center of the room and covered with cloth to prevent paint from getting on it. If there is furniture that can be moved out of the room, then it is best to do so. Paintings or decorative objects on the wall, lamps and curtains will also have to be removed. Light fixtures, switch panels, hinges, and knobs will also have to be protected via that blue masking tape and paint paper. The room must have some ventilation in the form of an open window or something similar. You may have to have a breathing apparatus.

  3. 3.Stripping the Walls and Prime Them

    If the walls are covered with wallpaper, then you will have to remove every little bit of it by scraping and washing the walls with an abrasive cleaner. After this is done, the walls will have to be allowed to dry for a day. The same applies to old and peeling paint too. All of the old paint must be cleaned off before the new one can be applied. Priming is essential if the walls have not been painted earlier or if it has dark colors or stains. The primer helps to conceal the old color and unsightly stains that will otherwise show through the new paint.

  4. 4.Repairing Surfaces

    Look for any popped nails and drive them back in and if this cannot be done, pull them out and replace with new ones. If the drywall has any holes, these must be repaired before painting over them. A drywall repair kit will have everything you need for this. The drywall patching compound will have to be mixed as per instructions and then applied on the hole. Once it dries, the area must be sanded, primed, and then painted. If the plaster has any cracks, they will have to be fixed with a paste of plaster-of-Paris and water.

  5. 5.Masking Surfaces

    The surfaces that are not to be painted will have to be masked off with tape. This is especially required on the trim on doors and windows, bookshelves, and baseboards. Tape can also be used to secure the electricity outlets. The corners between walls and ceilings may also need to be masked off.


    Following these simple and basic rules will make any interior painting project appear effortless. You will soon begin to see the fruits of your labor in the form of a flawless-looking, well-painted room, that is your pride and joy.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.