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Interior home-painting 101: Transforming your space on your days off

From painter’s tape to a post-project wash box, stock up on these DIY essentials


By Dryw Keltz

Your days off are precious. As such, spending them painting the interior of your home may not be your first choice, but it’s all about mindset. Approach this task knowing that a couple days of labor will make for major home improvement at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional painter. Besides improving the ambience of your rooms, painting the interior of your house can remove wall stains and odors, improve the air quality and even increase the value of your home.

Painting kits

If you don’t have a stash of supplies from previous painting projects and you are about to paint multiple rooms in your home, a large painting kit may be a good call to pick up the majority of what you need in one shot. Try to find a kit that includes the following:

  • Variety of brushes
  • Paint tray (with multiple liners)
  • Several different sized paint roller frames
  • Large variety of foam and micro-fiber roller replacements
  • Telescopic extension pole to reach higher walls and ceilings

Keep in mind: One gallon of paint will cover 250 to 400 square feet so plan accordingly. Find an acrylic paint designed for interior jobs, ideally one that is stain-, mold- and mildew-resistant, not to mention easy to scrub.

À la carte interior painting essentials

Painter’s tape: Keep those paint lines clean while ensuring that your wall colors don’t intermingle with your floorboards and window frames. Get some tape that works well on a variety of surfaces and that offers medium adhesion so it is sure to stay in place, but not for eternity. Try to find one that can be removed cleanly without residue for up to two weeks after you have applied it, just in case you forget to remove some strips.

  • Ideal for a variety of surfaces including painted walls, trim, glass, wood and metal
  • UV-resistant for safe use on indoor and outdoor projects

Paint sprayer: If time is of the essence, and you want to speed up the painting process, you can opt to use a paint sprayer. Try to find one with multiple nozzle sizes and with various spray pattern options. A bonus is finding one that can also double as a blower to clean dust and debris off surfaces before you paint them.

  • Equipped with 4 size nozzles: 1mm,1.5mm ,2mm, 3.0mm
  • Select from 3 different spray patterns

Masking paper: The best part of painting is viewing your rooms with their sleek new makeovers. The worst part about painting is cleaning paint drops off floors, doors and other objects. Masking paper is a go-to for keeping surfaces paint-free on the cheap. Search out something that is waterproof and oil-repellent to prevent paint from bleeding through. Track down some with an adhesive edge that will keep it in place on its own, so you don’t have to search your house for the usual random weights, shoes and paint cans that often perform that duty.

  • Pre-taped masking paper features painting tape and masking together
  • Made of quality craft paper material

Trim brush: Similar to utilizing a string trimmer or push mower to cut grass close to objects such as trees or fences when you are mowing the lawn, there will be moments when a standard brush or sprayer is going to be too large to paint the tighter spaces where you need a precision touch. A brush head that’s less than an inch in works best. Take into consideration the spots where you’ll need it because if you go too small, the touching could take an eternity. Find a trim brush that is easy to clean, helping extend its life, so you can use it for more painting projects in the future. A comfortable handle is essential for time-intensive projects as well.

Drop cloth: Before you begin your project, it can’t hurt to do a quick self-evaluation. Are you an occasional or constant klutz? If you are a constant klutz, masking paper may not be enough to protect your house from the nearly inevitable massive paint spill. A large plastic drop cloth should do the trick, though. Find one that covers a large area (9 x 12 feet is a safe start), folds out easy, and is fully recyclable for when it’s time to throw it away.

  • 100% recyclable
  • Choose from 4 different sizes

Wash box: If you knock out your painting project in one day, you may be tempted to chuck all the used brushes and rollers in the trash. Before you do this, consider how nice it will be to not have to pick up all these items at your local hardware store all over again when your next painting project arises. Washing paint-caked brushes and cleaning bristles isn’t what most people would consider fun, but knowing that you are saving time and money is sure to ease the pain. Plus, you can brag that you actually cleaned for once. To help with this task, get yourself a dedicated wash box for your sink. These are designed to isolate the cleaning process and to save you from having to clean the paint off your sink as well. Just be certain that the wash box dimensions allow you to fit it completely in your sink and you are good to scrub.

Wash out for this one: Wash box for brush cleaning

  • Includes plug for soaking brushes and rollers
  • Fits most sinks

About the author
Dryw Keltz is a freelance writer living in San Diego County. He has written hundreds of news features, human interest profiles, and film and music reviews over the course of his 20-plus-year career. Keltz has a bachelor’s degree in English writing with an emphasis on creative non-fiction from the University of Pittsburgh.