Interior Painting Tips - A quick and easy way to spruce up your home before the holiday season

October 13th 2011
Interior Painting Tips - A quick and easy way to spruce up your home before the holiday season

If budget is a concern when you are considering various home improvement projects, then a good paint job can be a great investment in your home. It is fast, inexpensive and not very invasive.

Why does painting change things so much?

Well for one thing colour. The right colour makes all the difference. Change a colour and you change a room. And if you get the right colour then not only do the walls look great but it makes your furniture, pictures and flooring look better too. Certain colours work well together and other colours do not. The right colour makes a cold room feel warm, a cramped room seem big and so on.

The other fact is rooms do get beat up. The vacuum cleaner hose drags on the baseboards, the walls get nicks from moving furniture and yes even the ceiling gets kind of dingy with age. (As a demonstration take a sheet of white paper and hold it up to compare your white ceiling.) Spills, people leaning on walls, kids doing anything at all and after a few years the walls need a touch up.

Painting can be done in a few days. Nowadays the odour from paint is very low. Environmental regulations have made paint very safe, including the ban on interior oil paint. The new paints dry fast. Sometimes we can do two coats in a day. It is not too inconvenient as it only takes a few days to paint the inside of a moderate size house. It is not true you need to remove all the furniture. Usually the bigger pieces are piled in the centre and covered with a tarp. We help with the moving too.

You can decide on a budget and just paint a few rooms, not the whole house. For instance many people prior to the holidays will paint the kitchen, dining, living room, hallway and bathrooms but leave out bedrooms and other areas guests don’t see.

Keep these tips in mind to help you get off on the right foot:

- While it is tempting to start applying paint as quickly as possible, the preparation is crucial since most problems when painting can be attributed to poor preparation.
- Be sure you are prepared to take on the project from start to finish, keeping in mind that this is a two-person job.
- Decide on colours that you both can live with to ensure you are on the same page before getting started. Consider using the services of a professional colour consultant.
- Before you have your paint supplier mix the paint, consider purchasing a sampler of your colour choice and paint an area approximately 48 by 48 inches to determine how the colour looks in the morning, afternoon and evening light.
Note: Most paint dealers, such as Cloverdale Paint, make samplers available for this purpose.
- Ensure you have the right tools and equipment before you begin, i.e. stepladders, scaffolding and dropsheets (cloth type, not plastic.)
- Do not guess the room size or the amount of paint required. Measure the width, length and height of rooms to be painted. Your paint dealer can then calculate the required amount of paint for you.
- If you have paint left over, store in a tightly sealed container and set aside for touch-ups.


All walls, woodwork and flat-surfaced ceilings must be washed and rinsed as a first step. Use the Shell Busey Home Cleaning Formula, available at Cloverdale Paint and Windsor Plywood locations. This will prepare the walls for the best paint job.

- Prepare the surface. Repair small holes and cracks in the walls in addition to sanding and priming where necessary.
- Some paint colours may require a primer first. Discuss this with your paint dealer.
- Delegate the painting duties. Decide who is going to paint the trim, who is going to do the walls and stick to your plan to stay on schedule.
- Prepare the room. Decide which room you are going to start with and create a functional workspace by clearing out small items. Move large furniture to the centre of the room and cover with protective sheets. Do not forget the drop sheets on the floor, and use painters masking tape.
- Always apply paint in this order: ceilings, walls, trim.


  • Measuring tape
  • Drop sheets (cloth type)
  • Painters overalls and rubber gloves
  • A selection of brushes -- good quality pure bristle for oil/alkyd paints and nylon or synthetic for water-based/acrylic latex paints
  • A spackling knife four inches wide and patching spackle for picture-hook nail holes
  • Sandpaper
  • Rollers and pans
  • A leveler, if wallpaper is being considered
  • Cleaning solvents if required
  • Two empty 20-litre pails to clean brushes and rollers
  • Patience


    Ask your paint dealer for the best quality paint. High-quality paint will get the value back in resistance to wear and tear. Most paint suppliers have a low VOC or low-odour paint available if you are sensitive to paint odours.