How To

Interior Painting Tips

Choosing the Right Paint
While paint is the most expensive way to change the look of a room, a premium paint can truly transform a home’s interior and make it last. A premium paint gives a smooth, uniform appearance, and much better coverage, than an economy paint–which means fewer coats.

Choosing the Right Primer
Priming before painting ensures superior adhesion of the paint to the surface, helps cover darker colored paints and stains, and creates a smoother, more even finish. There are many different primers, each suited for a particular surface, such as drywall, metal or concrete, or to address a particular problem, such as to cover stains or to prevent tannin bleeding. Ask a Hirshfield’s representative what product is right for your job.

Estimating the Correct Amount of Paint

Here’s a simple calculator to get a rough idea of how much paint you’ll need for your project.


Tools & Supplies
Dust mask – protect your lungs from dust particles
Eye Protection
Sandpaper and sanding block – rough up any shiny areas and smooth any rough spots
Spackle and putty knife – fill small holes left behind from picture hangers or small nails
Caulk and caulking gun – repair any cracks in corners and around trim moldings
Painter’s tape – tape around trim and fixtures prior to painting
Drop cloths – cover floor, carpet & furniture
Paint brush – use to “cut in” around windows and doors and in corners
Angled Sash brush – use this type of brush to paint trim
Roller cover and frame– painting all of the large, flat surfaces inside your home
Bucket to mix your paint – should aways “box” cans of paint for uniformity when using multiple cans (mix together)
Extension pole – finish your job faster and reach high spaces
Step ladder
Wiping cloths – clean up any spills immediately



Proper preparation of the surface you are painting and the area around it is one of the most important steps.  Prepping your surface correctly will help ensure a lasting paint job.

Clear the area or move large furniture to the center of the room and cover it with plastic sheeting before you begin.

Cover the floor with plastic sheeting and, using safe-release painter’s masking tape, attach the plastic sheeting to the baseboards around the room’s perimeter. Place a heavier canvas dropcloth atop the plastic to avoid a slippery surface.

Remove all things adhered to the wall, i.e..  electrical plates, cable TV outlets, curtains, art and nails. QUICK TIP: To cover lighting or other fixtures you cannot or do not want to remove, use plastic sheeting or a large plastic bag to size and wrap and tape the item.

Clean the surface of any dirt, dust, wax, grease, oils or other contaminants. Use a mild detergent and water or a commercial wall-cleaning product, such as TSP, to clean the walls. Rinse the surface with clean water and allow it to dry.

Fill, repair and caulk all holes, cracks and voids where necessary. Lightly sand repairs to achieve a smooth surface.

To ensure adhesion, sand all glossy surfaces.

Remove dust before painting.

Apply the recommended primer 

Always start at the top of area your painting and work your way down. 

“Cut-in” approximately 2″ around ceilings, floor and around any woodwork using a brush. Finish walls using a roller, coming as close to the edges as possible, to create a clean, uniform finish.

Using a brush, paint all trim around doors, windows, ceilings and floor.

Pre-wet your brush to dampen it before painting.

Next, pour your paint into a Handy Paint Pail or small bucket.

Hold the brush near the base of the handle and dip the bristles a third of the way into the paint. Use raised lip or tap the brush against the inside walls of the bucket.

Paint with enough pressure to bend the bristles slightly. Don’t push down hard on the brush.

Start by pre-wetting your roller cover to dampen it before painting.

Move the roller slowly into the paint in the tray, then roll it back and forth until paint cover is evenly coated. Roll onto the tray’s ridges to remove excess paint.

Cover about a 2-square-foot area using the “N” pattern, rolling upward first, to minimize drips.

Cleaning Up and Properly Disposing of Paint

Water-based paints make cleaning up fast and easy. Clean any spills with a damp cloth before they dry. Clean brushes, rollers and other tools with soap and water.



Try to buy only the amount of paint you’ll need for your project.

Save leftover paint for future touch-ups in small quantities. To keep the paint fresh for future use, put a layer of plastic wrap over opening of the can before replacing the lid securely.

Never pour leftover paint down a drain on into a storm sewer.

Click here to Learn how to return old paint to Hirshfield’s

Caring For Your Newly Paint Walls

After investing in your painting project, we know it’s important keep your walls looking clean and fresh for as long as possible. With a little effort, it’s easy to remove average wear and tear and gain more time between touch-ups and repaints.

When washing walls or removing stains, do only the minimum amount of cleaning, using the lightest pressure necessary. Use the least aggressive cleaner such as a mild soap solution or simply water. Always wet a sponge before use to prevent excessive surface abrasion.  Be sure to rinse walls sufficiently with warm water after cleaning. This is an important step, as any cleaning solution residue will attract dust and dirt quickly.  Please note:  It is not always possible to wash off all stains.   These stains may bleed or show through if painted without using the proper primer first. If cleaning or other burnishing has left the surface shiny in some areas, using a primer will also give a consistent look and should not affect the repaint.