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How To Prepare For Interior Painting
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Several things should be taken into consideration before painting the interior of your home. You need to select the proper paint for each room, decide on what interior wall surface you want, figure out how much paint will be needed, and make sure your home is ready for a professional painter to perform the job.

Interior paint can be divided into two main categories; latex paint and oil based paint. Latex paints are what most homeowners use for interior walls. It is fade resistant, easily cleaned with water and comes in a wide array of colors to suit your needs. Latex paints come in different levels of gloss. The glossier the paint, the more wear and tear it will take. For this reason, it is best to use glossy latex paint on rooms that will receive more traffic. Flat paint is non-reflective and hides minor imperfections making it a good choice for living rooms and ceilings.

Oil based paints work well in rooms that tend to be more humid such as bathrooms and basements. It is also recommended to use on wood trim, cabinets, and metal surfaces. Oil based paints are durable, moisture resistant, and contain a high-gloss enamel finish for extreme conditions.

Once you have selected the paint you want, you need to figure out how much of it to buy. The easiest way to do this is to calculate the actual square feet of space that will be coated. Typically, a gallon of paint will cover 400 square feet, but it is best to check how many square feet the gallon of your intended product will cover. Once you have determined this, all you have to do is divide the number of square feet to be painted by the number of square feet that a given product can cover.

Selecting an interior wall surface is another important decision. There are several different wall surfaces to choose from. The two most common interior wall surfaces are gypsum wallboard and plaster. Gypsum wallboard is usually referred to as textured drywall or gyp board. Drywall can also be smooth. Wood is also used, both as paneling and as wainscoting.

Last but not least, before you begin your painting, or before you expect to have a professional arrive to do the job for you, you must take the time to prepare the work area. This requires you to move all furniture away from walls. Make sure to protect furniture and other items with a cloth of some sort. Also, you may need to do some cleaning to remove dirt and dust off baseboards and from corners.

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