Painting Interior Walls: How to Get Started

Before you paint the walls of your home, there are a few things you should know. The painting of a room can really set the mood and atmosphere of the space. White is a very common color to paint the walls of a home, but there are even different shades of white to choose from! Colorful paint can give a room a big personality, but you’ll need to choose the furniture wisely. There are lots of different wall paint considerations.

Here’s what you need to know about painting the interior walls of your home!

Choose A Paint Color

The first thing you need to do after you’ve decided to paint the walls of your home is to choose a paint color. There are thousands of paint colors to choose from, so you should take your time in choosing the right one. The first step is to choose a basic color from the color spectrum. (Roy G Biv, anyone?) Beyond that, you can ask for paint samples from your local paint store to help you decide.

Cool colors such as blue, green, and white will create a calming atmosphere in the room. They’re great for bedrooms and living rooms. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow will give the room energy. They’re best for dining rooms to promote lively discussion and kids’ rooms.

Muted Paint Colors Revere Pewter vs Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore homeonharbor

Choose the Right Type of Paint

There are different types of paint for different surfaces. For example, if you’re painting a kitchen or bathroom, you’ll want to use paint that’s resistant to moisture and mold. Here are the major types of interior wall paint:

Latex Paint

Latex paint is water-based. This paint is the most common type of interior wall paint. It’s easy to clean up and dries quickly. It performs well over time and can even resist mold and mildew.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a type of paint that’s made with acrylic resin. Acrylic paint is water-based, but it dries quickly. It’s also more durable than latex paint.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is more durable than latex paint, but it’s also more difficult to clean up. It is typically based on alkyd resin. Alkyd resin is a synthetic polymer made of polyester, acrylic, or urethane.

Oil paint dries slowly, so you’ll need to give it more time to dry between coats.


You’ll also need paint thinner to clean up oil-based paint.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint is very durable and resists stains and scratches.

Special Purpose Paints

There are a few types of specialty paints that are meant for a specific purpose.

  • Chalkboard paint can be used to create a chalkboard surface on a wall.
  • Metallic paint can be used to add a shimmery effect.
  • Anti-stain paint is designed to resist stains.
  • Anti-mold paint is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms in humid climates where the walls will retain moisture or get wet.

Consider Paint Sheen

Paint sheen refers to the paint’s finish. The most common paint sheens are flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

  • Flat or matte paint has no shine and is ideal for hiding imperfections on the wall. The downside is that this sheen is hard to clean.
  • Eggshell paint has a low sheen and is very popular for living room walls because it offers a smooth finish that is easy to clean.
  • Satin paint has a medium sheen and is also popular for walls. It can be more durable than eggshell paint and is also easy to clean.
  • Semi-gloss paint has a high sheen and is often used for trim because it is more durable and easier to clean than other paint finishes.
  • High-gloss paint has the highest sheen and is often used for cabinets and other surfaces that see a lot of wear and tear.

Mineral Spirits vs. Paint Thinner

You may have heard of paint thinner and mineral spirits. These are both solvents that can be used to clean up paint.

Paint thinner is a petroleum-based solvent. It’s typically used to clean up oil-based paint. Mineral spirits are also petroleum-based solvents. They’re often used to clean paintbrushes and other painting tools.

You should never use paint thinner or mineral spirits to clean up latex paint. These solvents will damage the paint and make it difficult to apply.

Determine How Much Paint You Need

Once you’ve chosen your paint color, paint sheen, and type of paint, you’ll need to determine how much paint you need. To do this, you’ll need to know the square footage of the wall or walls you’re painting.

One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet, so you’ll need to buy more paint if you’re painting a large area.

If you’re not sure how much paint you need, you can always ask for help at your local home improvement store.

Prepare the Surface

Before you start painting, you’ll need to prepare the surface. Make sure to remove any old paint or wallpaper before you start painting. If the surface is uneven, you may need to sand it down before you start painting. This means cleaning the walls, too!

Use Painter’s Tape and Drop Cloths

You want to protect the surfaces you don’t want to be painted from paint. Painter’s tape is used to outline the edges of where your painting should go. Painter’s tape will help you create clean lines and prevent paint from getting on other surfaces. It’s also a good idea to put down a drop cloth to protect the floor from paint.

Choose the Right Brush

Paintbrushes come in different sizes and shapes. Choose a brush that’s the right size for the area you’re painting. Rollers are also a smart option for painting large surfaces.

Add the First Coat of Primer

Primer creates a barrier between the paint and the wall, and it helps the paint to stick to the surface.

Paint the Walls

Start by painting the edges of the wall with a paintbrush. Then, use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. Let the paint dry completely before adding a second coat.

Painting the Walls of a Home Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore homeonharbor

Apply Paint Evenly

Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the paint evenly across the surface. Avoid paint drips by using a paint guard.

Let the Paint Dry

Once you’ve finished painting, let the paint dry completely for 24 hours before putting anything back on the walls.

Give the Wall a Second Coat

After the paint has dried, you may want to add a second coat. This will give the wall more coverage and make the paint color more vibrant. Let the paint dry completely before adding any furniture or décor back into the room.

You may want to paint other parts of your home including interior doors, trim, furniture, and even tiles!

Now that you know what to do before painting the walls of your home, you’re ready to go!



  1. Thanks for explaining how satin paint is very durable and easy to clean. My best friend and her husband plan to paint the walls in their house to better match the style they want. They are going to live in that house for a long time, so it’s important that the paint job lasts just as long. Because of this, I’ll suggest that they invest in satin paint from a reputable supplier.

  2. Excellent article that covers every aspect of interior painting. It’s fantastic that you said that picking the proper color may have a big impact on how we feel. It’s wonderful that you mentioned that colors like blue could have a calming effect that makes them appropriate for bedrooms. I’ll keep this in mind when I paint my bedrooms. Thanks.

  3. I want to thank you. Because for this great post you really deserve a big thumbs up. This blog helped me so much.

  4. The art is irrefutably one of the most perfect and most elevated components in human satisfaction. It prepares the psyche through the eye, and the eye through the brain.

  5. Color is such a powerful tool in interior design, and it’s great to see people recognizing its impact on our mood and emotions. When choosing colors for your home, it’s important to consider not just what looks good, but also how it will make you feel. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect shades that truly speak to you and bring you joy in your space!

  6. This article is very informative. There are many things need to be considered before painting the wall in your home. Now I have ideas on which type of paint will we use on our house. Thanks for sharing this topic.

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