DIY: How To Paint The Interior Of Your Home

Published on Sep 15, 2021


Routine maintenance on a rental property can get expensive. Especially if tenants aren’t staying in the property for more than a year. Having to pay painters to come in and touch up, or completely repaint a rental property whenever a tenant moves out can add up costs quickly. One option to reduce your costs is to take the time to paint the interior of your properties instead of paying professionals to do it for you. If done correctly, you can end up with professional results at a fraction of the cost. Here are some helpful tips so you can do it yourself.

Remove switch plates and outlet covers

Before removing the switch plates and outlet covers, make sure you turn off all the circuits so you don’t get shocked. Use a screwdriver to remove the plates and covers before painting. Soak them in warm water to clean them while painting. Cover the space where the plates were with blue painter’s tape so you don’t accidentally paint them.

Cover unmovable items and floor

Use plastic tarps or rosin paper to cover the floor and any other objects to protect them from paint dripping. 

Remove or mask trim

If possible, remove baseboards before painting. If you can’t, cover the top part of the baseboards with blue painter’s tape. Cover the edges of doors and window trim with painter’s tape as well. 

Patch the walls

Examine the walls for any holes, peeling, scratches, cracks, or gouges. Smooth over all of these to ensure a smoother and more professional finish. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth over any cracks. With a paint scraper, scrape off any peeling paint. Smooth over and feather edges of scraped paint with sandpaper. Sand and spackle large blemishes. 

Clean the walls

Any visible stains or blemishes will be visible after painting so make sure you clean the walls thoroughly prior to painting. You can wash the walls with tri-sodium phosphate. This is effective at removing oils and dirt. 

Fill a clean bucket with cool water and pour in the specific amount of TSP. Use proper protective gear like manufacturer-recommended gloves, protective eyewear, and long sleeves. Be sure to not get any on your skin or in your eyes. Read safety instructions beforehand and know what to do if any gets on your skin or in your eyes. Soak a sponge with the solution and scrub the walls. After walls are scrubbed clean, fill the bucket with clean water and wash the walls then let them dry before priming. 

Prime the walls

Primer can be used to help cover any stains on the walls. If the walls have been thoroughly cleaned, you can consider using self-priming paint. An oil-based primer is recommended for indoor walls. If stains couldn’t be removed before priming, use a specific primer to keep stains from seeping through to the paint. Continue to add layers of primer until the stains are no longer visible. 

Cut in the edges

This means painting the areas along the edges with a brush where rollers will not be able to reach. This will help you avoid getting paint on frames, trim, and baseboards. Use an angled brush or an edging tool when cutting in.

Prepare roller with paint

Dip the roller into the paint but don’t keep it in too long. You want to avoid any paint dripping from the roller. Roll the roller back and forth in the paint until it is thoroughly coated and you can hear a sticky sound.

Use roller in a “W” shape

Start in the corner of the room and make a 3-foot downward angle pass and back up again making a W shape. Keep doing this until all the gaps are filled. It is important to move quickly before the edges have a chance to dry. 

Fill in and finish

Continue to this process while occasionally stepping back to look for any blank spots that need to be covered.  Look for any gaps at the edges of where you previously cut in along the edges and fill in with the roller with horizontal or vertical passes. 



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