How to Paint Interior Walls: A Step-by-Step Guide

Painting your interior walls can transform your home, adding fresh life to your living spaces. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a novice tackling your first project, this comprehensive guide will help you achieve professional results. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about interior paint, from preparation to the final coat.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Choosing the Right Interior Paint
  3. Preparing Your Walls
  4. Painting Techniques
  5. Finishing Touches and Cleanup
  6. Common Mistakes to Avoid
  7. Key Takeways


Painting interior walls is one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh your home. The right color and finish can dramatically change the ambiance of a room. With a bit of planning and the right techniques, you can achieve a flawless finish that adds value and beauty to your home.


Choosing the Right Interior Paint

Selecting the appropriate interior paint is crucial for achieving the desired look and durability. 

Consider the mood you want to create. Lighter colors can make a room feel larger and more open, while darker shades add coziness and intimacy. Test samples on your walls and observe how they look at different times of the day.

Hemway has an incredible selection for 118 stunning colours to choose from. You'll be truly spoilt for choice. 


Preparing Your Walls

Preparation is key to a professional-looking paint job. Properly prepping your walls ensures the paint adheres well and lasts longer.

Cleaning and Repairing

  • Clean the Walls: Remove dust and grease with a mild detergent and water. For stubborn stains, use a TSP (trisodium phosphate) solution.


  • Repair Imperfections: Fill holes and cracks with spackle or joint compound. Sand smooth once dry.

Cleaning the wall


Priming the Walls

Primer helps paint adhere better and provides a uniform base, especially if you're painting over a dark color or new drywall.

  • When to Use Primer: Always use primer on new drywall, raw wood, and stained or damaged surface.


  • Applying Primer: Use a roller for large areas and a brush for edges and corners. Allow it to dry completely before painting.


Painting Techniques

Using the right techniques can make a significant difference in the outcome of your interior paint project.

Cutting In

"Cutting in" refers to painting the edges and corners of walls where rollers can't reach.

  • Tools Needed: A high-quality angled brush.


  • Technique: Dip the brush in paint, tap off excess, and paint along the edges with smooth, steady strokes.

Rolling the Paint

For large wall areas, a roller is the most efficient tool.

  • Choosing a Roller: Select a roller cover with the appropriate nap (thickness) for your wall texture. Short nap for smooth surfaces, longer nap for textured walls.
  • Loading the Roller: Pour paint into a tray and roll the roller into the paint until evenly covered.
  • Application: Start in a small section, rolling in a "W" pattern to distribute paint evenly. Fill in the gaps with horizontal and vertical strokes.

Using a paint roller


Finishing Touches and Cleanup

Once the walls are painted, finishing touches and proper cleanup ensure a polished look and long-lasting results.

Removing Painter's Tape

Remove painter’s tape before the paint fully dries to avoid peeling. Pull the tape at a 45-degree angle for a clean edge.


After the main coat dries, inspect the walls for any missed spots or uneven areas. Use a small brush to touch up these areas.

Cleaning Up

  • Cleaning Brushes and Rollers: For latex paint, clean with soap and water. For oil-based paint, use mineral spirits.
  • Storing Leftover Paint: Seal the paint can tightly and store it in a cool, dry place for future touch-ups.


Removing painter's tape


Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even with the best intentions, mistakes can happen. Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them:

Skipping the Primer

Primer creates a smooth base for your paint. Skipping this step can lead to uneven color and poor adhesion.

Overloading the Brush or Roller

Too much paint on your brush or roller can cause drips and uneven coverage. Load just enough paint and apply thin, even coats.

Not Allowing Adequate Drying Time

Rushing the process by not letting paint dry between coats can result in a messy finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.

Ignoring Proper Ventilation

Painting in a poorly ventilated room can be harmful to your health. Ensure good airflow by opening windows and using fans.


Key Takeaways

Painting interior walls can be a rewarding DIY project that transforms your space. By choosing the right interior paint, preparing your walls properly, and using the correct techniques, you can achieve a professional finish. Remember to avoid common mistakes and take your time for the best results. Happy painting!

By Paddy West
Published: 16 May 2024

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