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  • Writer's pictureTyler Johnson

Interior Painting: Everything You Need To Know From A Pro

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Room with fresh interior painting

When it comes time to paint the interior of your home, you may be wondering where to start.

How do you choose the right color? What kind of paint should you use? How do you go about painting a room?

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about painting your home’s interior. We’ll talk about different types of paint, how to choose a color, and what tools and supplies you’ll need. Plus, we’ll give you tips on how to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Read on for all your interior painting needs!

What To Know Before Starting Your Interior Painting Project

Preparation Is Key

Room prepped for painting

The key to a successful home interior painting project is preparation! Prepping the room and what you’ll be painting can help lessen the mess, make cleaning up easier, and leave you with a better-looking and more durable paint job.

Here are some of the basics you’ll want to know:

First, you’ll want to remove all of the furniture from the room and cover the floor with drop cloths.

Then, you’ll need to repair any holes or cracks in the walls and sand down the filler for a smooth finish.

Be sure to use painter’s tape along the edges of trim and baseboards to avoid getting paint on these surfaces. Don’t forget to open the windows for ventilation while you’re working.

Different Sheen Levels

When you’re painting a room in your house, it’s important to choose the right paint finish.

The level of shine, or sheen, can affect how a color looks and how easy the paint is to clean. For example, a shiny finish will reflect more light and show more imperfections, whereas a flat finish will absorb light and disguise flaws.

Paint comes in a variety of sheens, from high-gloss to flat.

High-gloss paint reflects the most light, which is why people often use it on trim and cabinets. It’s easy to clean, making it a good choice for areas that tend to get dirty, like kitchens and bathrooms.

Semi-gloss paint has a bit less reflectivity than high-gloss paint, but it’s still fairly shiny. It’s a good choice for areas that see a lot of action, like baseboards and doors.

Eggshell paint is slightly textured and has a soft sheen. It’s a good choice for walls because it’s easy to clean and hides imperfections well.

Matte paint has no sheen at all, which is why people often use it on ceilings. It’s also a good choice for walls if you’re going for a very rustic look.

No matter what sheen you choose, make sure you test the paint in an inconspicuous area first to make sure you’re happy with the color and finish.

Choose Your Colors

Blue and white painted bedroom

Picking the right paint colors for your home’s interior can be quite tricky. This is because rooms have different lighting conditions and serve different purposes. For example, a completely white kitchen might feel too sterile, and a cozy living room looks more inviting with a warmer shade.

Think about the purpose of the room. What do you want it to feel like? If you’re looking for a calm and relaxing space, then cool blue or green tones can be a good choice. On the other hand, if you want a room that feels energizing and inspiring, warm tones of yellow or red could be the way to go.

Next, take into account the natural light in the room. A north-facing room will generally have cooler light, while a south-facing room will be brighter. This can affect how the paint color looks, making it important to test it out before making your final decision.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment! Paint samples are relatively inexpensive, so it’s worth trying out a few different colors before settling on one. Who knows? You might just find your perfect shade in an unexpected place.

Use Primer

Primer provides a smooth, even surface for the paint to stick to, and it helps to cover up any blemishes or imperfections in the wall. It also helps to protect the wall from damage caused by paint fumes and scrubbing.

This helps ensure the paint will last for many years to come.

With the correct application, primer can help you achieve a professional-looking finish that will enhance the beauty of your home.

Invest In An Extension Pole

Anyone who’s ever tackled a painting project knows that sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself standing on a chair or stool, balancing precariously as you reach for that corner spot where the paint just won’t seem to reach. Everyone who’s ever been in this situation knows it’s only a matter of time before someone ends up taking a spill.

The good news is that there’s an easy way to avoid such accidents: using an extension pole for painting. An extension pole extends your reach so that you can paint those high corners and ceilings without having to stand on anything.

A roller that’s attached to an extension pole can cover a much larger area - up to four times as much as a regular roller! - meaning you’ll be able to finish the job faster.

Since it takes the place of a ladder, it also means one less thing for you to trip over.

Investing in an extension pole for your next home interior painting project is a great way to save yourself some aggravation.

Interior House Painting Costs

Painting the upper part of a living room wall


You may spend anywhere from $200 to $1,000 on tools and materials when painting the interior of a standard, single-story home. Interior painting costs are lower when DIYing it, but you have to make up for that by spending your time and energy doing the project.

Hiring A Professional Painter

If you decide to hire a professional painter for your home interior painting project, you may spend anywhere from $2 to $6 per square foot. This means a 1,500-square-foot home can cost between $3,000 and $9,000.

*These interior painting costs are a general range as many factors can change the cost, such as your location, house or room size, the contractor you hire, and more.

The Best Types Of Paint For Different Parts Of Your Home Interior


The best type of paint for ceilings is flat latex paint. It has the least amount of shine, which makes it ideal for hiding imperfections.

Eggshell and semi-gloss paints are slightly more reflective, so they’re good for concentrating light in a room. But they can also accentuate flaws in the surface of the ceiling.

If you’re not planning to do much work on the ceiling before painting it, then go with a flat sheen. It’ll give you the best results with the least amount of hassle.

Doors, Windows, Cabinets, And Baseboards

Freshly painted white bathroom cabinets

For doors and windows, latex paint is usually the best choice. It goes on smoothly and evenly, and it’s easy to clean with just soap and water. However, oil-based paints provide a more durable finish that is less likely to chip or peel over time. If you choose an oil-based paint, be sure to use a high-quality primer first to help ensure good adhesion.

People mostly paint cabinets and baseboards with semi-gloss or high-gloss paints to give them a smooth, hard surface that wipes clean easily. However, semi-gloss and high-gloss paints can be difficult to touch up. If you’re not planning on doing a complete repainting job, consider using a satin or eggshell finish instead. These finishes are more forgiving when it comes to imperfections and are just as easy to wipe clean.

Interior Walls

To choose the best type of paint for your home’s interior rooms, start by considering the project at hand.

For example, if you’re painting a high-traffic area like a kitchen or bathroom, durability and easy cleanup are key. In that case, you’ll want to choose a semi-gloss or glossy paint, which will withstand repeated washing while still looking fresh and new. On the other hand, if you’re painting a room that doesn’t get much use, such as a formal dining room, you can opt for a less durable but more luxe finish, like an eggshell or satin.

Painters, DIY and professional alike, all use 100% acrylic latex-based paint for interiors.

How Often You Should Repaint Different Rooms In Your House Interior

Living Rooms

Painted living room with fireplace

A good rule of thumb is to repaint your living room every 5 to 7 years. Of course, this will vary depending on factors like paint type, job quality, and how much wear and tear the room receives.

Dining Rooms

People don’t use dining rooms as often because they’re mostly for more formal events. Due to this, you really only need to paint dining rooms every 5 to 7 years.


Depending on the color palette you’ve chosen, you may need to repaint your bedrooms every 2 to 8 years. You may need to repaint a kid’s room every 4 years as they tend to sleep and play in their bedroom. Of course, if you’re simply touching up a few scuffs and marks, you won’t need to repaint the entire room.


Depending on the quality of the paint job and the amount of wear and tear your kitchen sees, most experts recommend repainting every 3 to 4 years. Of course, this is just a general guideline - if you notice any chips or cracks in the paint, it’s time to break out the brush and give your kitchen a facelift.


As any homeowner knows, the bathroom is one of the most heavily used rooms in the house. Over time, this constant use can take its toll on the paint, leading to chips, cracks, and discoloration. For this reason, it is important to repaint the bathroom every 3 to 4 years.


In order to keep your ceilings looking their best, it is important to repaint them every 10 years. They don’t see a lot of action, though ceilings in bathrooms and kitchens may need repainting earlier. This is because these rooms see hotter temperatures and more moisture, both of which cause paint to fail faster.

General Tools You’ll Need To Paint A Home Interior

Man painting on ladder with bucket and brush

When getting ready to paint the interior of your home, it is important to have the right tools on hand. Here is a list of some of the essential items you will need:

  • Paint brushes: You’ll need different paint brushes, including smaller ones for detail work and larger ones for painting larger surfaces. Be sure to get high-quality brushes that will not shed bristles

  • Paint rollers: Paint rollers will help you cover larger areas quickly and evenly. Again, be sure to get good-quality rollers that don’t shed lint

  • Paint tray: A paint tray is necessary for holding the paint and for easy access when painting

  • Drop cloths: Drop cloths are essential for protecting floors and furniture from paint drips and spills. Get a heavy-duty cloth that won’t leak

  • Painter’s tape: Painter’s tape is for taping off edges and creating straight lines. Get a good-quality tape that won’t leave residue

  • Ladders: You will need at least two ladders, a stepladder, and an extension ladder. The stepladder is for those hard-to-reach places, and the extension ladder is for when you have to climb up higher

  • Paint sprayer: A paint sprayer is ideal for painting large areas quickly, such as walls and ceilings, or for applying a primer coat before painting

  • Paint stirrers: Paint stirrers are necessary for stirring the paint thoroughly before you begin painting

  • Paint strainer: A paint strainer helps to remove any clumps or debris from the paint before you begin painting.

With these tools, you’ll be ready to tackle any home interior painting job, big or small.

How To Paint Interior Rooms

Painting around a window

The first step is to choose the right paint. There are a variety of paints on the market, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Once you’ve chosen the right paint, you’ll need to gather the necessary supplies. In addition to paint, you’ll need primer, brushes, rollers, painter’s tape, and drop cloths.

Start by protecting any areas that you don’t want to get paint on with painter’s tape.

Then apply primer to the walls with a brush or roller.

Once the primer is dry, you can start painting the walls with your chosen paint color. Work in small sections and use smooth, even strokes to get the best results.

When you’re finished painting, remove the painter’s tape, clean up, and enjoy your new space!

How To Use A Paint Sprayer To Paint Interior Walls

When it comes to interior painting, there are a few different ways to achieve professional results. One popular method is to use a paint sprayer.

Paint sprayers are relatively easy to use, and they can help you achieve a smooth, even finish. We do recommend practicing on cardboard first. This helps you get a more proper spraying technique, resulting in a better paint job and a happier you!

Here’s what you need to know about using a paint sprayer on your interior:

Simply hold the sprayer about 12 inches away from the wall and move it in a side-to-side motion as you apply the paint. Overlap each stroke slightly to ensure even coverage. After you’ve finished painting, allow the walls to dry completely before removing the tape and cleaning up.

*Always use an oil-based primer before painting with latex paint. This will help the paint to adhere better to the surface and prevent peeling or chipping. It’s also important to keep the tip clean to avoid clogging.

How To Avoid The Top Interior Painting Mistakes DIYers Make

Not Prepping The Space

One of the most important steps in interior painting is properly preparing the room for painting. This includes removing all furniture and fixtures, covering the floor with drop cloths, and taping off any areas you don’t want to paint.

Failure to take these precautionary measures can result in a number of problems, including paint splatters on your furniture, floors, and walls.

It’s also important to make sure that the room is free of dust and debris before you start painting. These will get between the paint and the primer/wall, causing the paint to fail faster. This means you’ll need to repaint sooner.

Buying Cheap Tools And Materials

When it comes to interior painting, using cheap tools and materials is a bad idea. Sure, you might save a few bucks upfront, but in the long run, you’ll end up spending more money and time repainting because the paint fails faster.

Cheap brushes will lose their bristles, leaving behind streaks and brush marks. Low-quality rollers will shed lint all over your walls. Let’s not even get into the streaks and drips these can cause. Cheap paint will chip and peel within a few years, requiring you to spend more money and time repainting.

In the end, it’s always better to invest in high-quality tools and materials. With proper care, they’ll last for years and help you achieve professional-looking results.

Not Planning

Any interior painting project, no matter how big or small, should always begin with a plan. Without a plan, you risk making costly mistakes that could have easily been avoided.

For example, you may end up buying too much paint or not enough drop cloths to protect your furniture. Or, you may find yourself painted into a corner, figuratively and literally speaking!

A plan will help you map out the steps of your project so that you can stay on track and avoid any last-minute scrambling. In addition, a plan will give you a clear timeline for completing your project so that you can set realistic expectations.

For the actual painting, start at the top of the wall and paint downward. This helps you catch drips and create a smoother finish.

So before you start your next interior painting project, take the time to sit down and formulate a plan. It’ll save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Not Using Primer

If you’re planning an interior painting project, you might get the temptation to skip the primer. After all, it’s an extra step and can add to the cost of the project.

However, there are several good reasons to use a primer before painting. First, primer provides a blank canvas for your paint, resulting in better coverage and more vibrant colors. Second, it helps to hide imperfections in the walls, resulting in a smoother finish. Finally, primer helps to seal the surface of the walls, preventing paint from peeling or flaking over time.

Overloading Paint Onto Brushes And Rollers

Overloading paint onto your brush or roller can cause drip marks and streaks, making it necessary to go back over the area with a second coat. Excess paint can seep into cracks and crevices, making it difficult to achieve a smooth finish.

Ceiling Painting Tips

Your paint job will be more durable and easier to clean if you follow these tips:

  • Using a roller with an extension pole will make the job easier on your shoulders and arms

  • Repair any damages before applying primer or paint

  • Remove any ceiling fans, fixtures, and anything hanging from the ceiling so you have an easier time painting and can be sure to paint every part

  • If you have textured ceilings, you can flatten them using a leveling compound to make it easier to paint

  • Paint the edges first and then roll on the paint in wide strips

  • Use a lighter color paint so that any imperfections are less visible

  • Apply two coats of paint for best results

  • Give the first coat of paint time to dry before applying the second coat

Tips For Painting Woodwork, Trim Work, Cabinetry, And Doors

Painting kitchen cabinets professionally

Use a good-quality primer designed for interior use. This will help to ensure that the paint adheres properly and provides a good foundation for the topcoat.

Choose paint with a high sheen level for a more durable finish. High-gloss or semi-gloss paints are ideal for interior trim work and cabinetry, as they are easy to wipe clean and resist stains.

Pick a paint color that slightly contrasts with the wall color to help the room look more open and inviting. Having them be the same color makes rooms feel more cramped.

You can paint over stained cabinets if you want to change the look without having to replace them. There's a lot that goes into choosing the right paint for cabinets.

For doors, trim, cabinets, and any wood you’ll be painting, make sure to sand rough spots smooth and use spackle to fill in any imperfections.

Oil-based wood primers are necessary when you paint or stain any kind of wood product, as is using high-quality paint made specifically for these areas. Using high-quality paint and tools will help you get a better-looking paint job.

General Painting Tips And Tricks

  • Always start with a clean slate - that means making sure the walls are free of dust, oils, and other small debris before you start painting

  • Choose the right type of paint for the job. If you’re painting a high-traffic area like a kitchen or bathroom, look for durable paint that can withstand repeated cleanings

  • Avoid drips and splatters by using painter’s tape to tape off any areas that you don’t want to paint. Make sure to use the right type of painter's tape

  • Protect your floors by laying down drop cloths or old sheets before starting your project

  • Choose your colors carefully. Consider the overall mood you want to create and the amount of natural light each room receives

  • For the best results, remove all hardware, sand down any rough spots, and repair any damage

  • Read any paint can instructions and follow them carefully, such as how to mix and apply the paint

  • It’s a great idea to wear old clothes and cover your hair unless you want to wash the paint out of them later

  • Mineral spirits are a great way to clean your brushes

  • Patience is key to an interior painting job. Take your time, paint in smaller sections, and don’t do too much at the same time

7 Popular Color Trends For Home Interiors

Neutrals (Gray, Beige, Greige)

Neutral colors are one of the best and easiest colors to work into your interior painting project. They are very versatile and pair well with almost any other color to create a variety of looks. You can use them to help brighten up a space and make it feel more open and airy. Additionally, you can use neutral colors to create a sense of calm and serenity.

If you’re not sure which color to choose, consider a light gray or beige, or even greige (a mixture of the two.) These colors are perfect for creating a subtle yet stylish look.


Painted two story foyer

When it comes to interior painting, there are a wide variety of shades of white to choose from. Each shade has its own unique character and can create a different atmosphere in a room. For example, a warm white paint color can make a room feel cozy and inviting, while a cool white can make a space feel more airy and refreshing.


Blue is a popular choice for many homeowners when it comes to interior painting. There are a wide variety of blue hues to choose from, so you can easily find the perfect shade to complement your décor. From light and airy pastels to bold and vibrant jewel tones, blue paint can add a touch of elegance or a pop of color to any room.

Since blue is such a versatile hue, you can use it in both traditional and contemporary settings. If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few shades of blue that are perfect for interior painting:

  • Baby blue: A soft and gentle hue, baby blue is perfect for creating a calming and serene atmosphere. It’s also a great choice for nurseries and kids’ rooms

  • Navy blue: Rich and sophisticated, navy blue paint can add depth and character to any space. It’s perfect for accent walls or rooms with low ceilings

  • Sky blue: Light and airy, sky blue is ideal for creating an open and inviting feel in a room. It’s also a great choice for small spaces since it helps to create the illusion of more room

  • Royal blue: Regal and luxurious, royal blue paint is perfect for adding a touch of glamour to any space. It’s also a great way to make a bold statement in a room


For a fresh and modern look, try a light green like mint or lime. If you want to create a calming atmosphere, go for a softer shade like sage or olive. For a more dramatic look, opt for a dark green like forest or Hunter. If you’re feeling truly bold, paint your walls in a bright green like Kermit or Kelly.


Clay is a great option for interior painting as it offers a warm and inviting feel. The earthy tone of clay can help to create a sense of calm, while the slightly muted hue won’t overwhelm a space.

It’s important to consider the undertones. For example, a pink-based clay color will create a different effect than a yellow-based clay color.

When paired with light-colored furniture and accessories, clay can give any room a serene and elegant look. If you’re looking to add a pop of color, clay pairs well with brighter shades such as teal or lime green.


This rich, jewel-toned hue can add drama and depth to any interior space. It’s perfect for creating a focal point in a room. You can also use this color to accentuate architectural details or to create an accent wall. When you pair it with neutrals like white or tan, peacock blue can also help to brighten up a room.

Burnt Orange

Burnt orange is a great color for interior painting. It’s rich and warm, and it can add a touch of luxury to any room.

It’s also a great color for hiding flaws and imperfections in your walls. If you have any cracks or holes in your walls, a coat of burnt orange paint will help to camouflage them, and if you’re painting over dark wallpaper, burnt orange can help to brighten up the room.

Current Home Interior Painting Trends

Accent Walls

Modern wood accent wall in open floor plan

If you’re considering painting an accent wall in your home, you’re not alone—it’s a popular interior painting trend. An accent wall is simply one wall in a room that’s painted a different color or style than the other walls. The goal is to create a focal point that will add interest and visual appeal to the space.

When choosing a color for your accent wall, consider complementary colors or bold hues that will contrast with the other walls in the room. You can also create an accent wall by painting stripes or using a stenciled design.

Artwork Walls

Some homeowners are starting to get really creative with their walls. They’re starting to hire painters to come in and make one of their walls a work of art, whether it’s a nature still or something more abstract.

This concept works well in kid rooms, playrooms, and the more fun-centered areas of a home.

Textured Paint

Another popular trend is textured painting, which can add visual interest to any space. There are a variety of different textured paints available, from those that mimic the look of stucco to those that create a rippled effect.

If you’re looking for something truly unique, consider using metallic paint; it’s perfect for adding a bit of glamour to any room.

Will You DIY Or Hire A Painting Pro For Your Home Interior Painting Project

Now that you know what to expect, how much it will cost, and the best types of paint for each room in your home interior, it’s time to start on your painting project!

But, not everyone has the time and energy to DIY their painting project. This is when homeowners like you contact Aurora Painting to help fulfill their dreams. Fill out our contact form so we can discuss your project needs. We want to help make your painting project as smooth and stress-free as possible.

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