Few improvements can increase the value and appearance of your property as inexpensively as painting. However, there is far more to a quality paint job than simply applying paint to a surface. As with most projects, proper preparation is a key to successful interior painting.

All hardware, such as switch and outlet covers, doorknobs, back plates, etc. should be removed and carefully stored, or properly masked. Curtains, blinds, and other objects should also be removed or protected.

All plasterboard damage should then be repaired. This includes patching all nail holes and applying a sealer/primer to all stains. Larger repairs to walls may require a more detailed process that includes installing new plasterboard, taping, floating, and texturing.

Glossy surfaces should be lightly sanded to dull the surface. Paints do not adhere well to glossy surfaces, and the sanding gives the paint something to “grip” into. After removing the sanding dust, any separations should be caulked with an acrylic caulk.

The final step in the preparation process involves masking and covering any remaining objects that will not be painted. The method and extent of the masking is largely determined by how the paint will be applied. When the preparation is complete, a thorough inspection should be conducted. This is the time to discover any additional plasterboard repairs (i.e. the doorjamb that wasn’t sanded, etc).

Until very recently, acrylic paints were used almost exclusively for walls and ceilings, and oil paints were used for doors, trims, and woodwork. However, because of consumer concerns, paint manufacturers have begun developing more durable acrylic paints. A new generation of acrylic paints are now being produced, and these paints are nearly are durable as oil paints.

The result is a quick drying paint which levels well, cleans up with water, and can stand up to severe wear and tear. Perhaps more importantly, these new products do not emit harmful and irritating fumes.

Because of the nature of their composition, oil base paints (particularly whites and off-whites) begin yellowing almost the moment they are applied. Not only does this result in a gradual discoloration of the paint film, it makes touch-up increasingly difficult as time passes.