How to Make Sure Your Interior Paint Job Doesn't Look Sloppy

calander Dec 23 , 2021 user-icon Nash Painting

If you really want to make a mess, a can of paint can get you there in no time. Indeed, the painting process is inherently messy, which runs completely counter to the goal of most painting projects: to create a tidy, beautiful atmosphere. Making a mess isn’t the only issue, either -- even if you don’t spill a drop of paint on the floor, you can wind up with uneven finishes, clumsy lines, empty patches, dried drips, and more. Many people defer to the experts to achieve the best painting results. The experience, knowledge, resources, and techniques in a professional’s arsenal help them avoid mistakes and sub-optimal outcomes. Still, there are those who would rather tackle home interior painting on their own. If you’re included in this category, you can’t expect to get everything right. You can, however, take various precautions (like the pros) to achieve the best painting results possible. With all this in mind, here’s how to make sure your interior paint job doesn’t look sloppy.

How to Ensure Your Interior Paint Job Looks Good

Make Sure You Choose the Right Colors

A sloppy paint job sometimes starts with poor color selection. While color choices are ultimately subjective, your preferences might not suit your larger vision as well as you initially thought. If you don’t take matters like contrast into account, a room can wind up lacking visual cohesion. Moreover, the color you picked out might not look quite the same as it did once it’s on your walls -- this is why it’s so important to receive samples and test them in the actual space you want to paint. Different lighting configurations can have a major impact on how your interior paint job ultimately appears. So, take your time when choosing paint colors. And if you're not sure about how to select interior paint colors, seek a professional color consultation.

Watch the Sheen, Too

Color shouldn’t be your only concern when picking out paints, either. You must also mind the paint’s finish (i.e., how flat or glossy it is when dried). Paint finishes have both aesthetic and practical implications. For instance, flatter finishes do a better job at concealing surface flaws, but they’re also less durable and harder to clean than glossier finishes. In many homes, you’ll find glossier paint in bathrooms, since these finishes are better at combating moisture and also improve the room’s lighting (because they’re more reflective). Many DIYers run into issues when selecting paints that share the same color but feature different finishes. If you’re not careful, you can end up painting a single surface with different finishes -- talk about sloppy results. Clearly labeling your paints will help you avoid these outcomes.

Purchase High-Quality Paint

It’s also imperative to choose reliable interior house paint from the outset. If you’re tackling interior painting on your own as opposed to hiring professionals, odds are you’re already looking to save some money on this project. As such, it would make sense to look for the best deal on paint products, too. However, note that cheaper paints often have a lower price tag for a reason. Low-quality paints may save you a buck in the short run, but they can leave you with thinner, less adhesive coats, costing you more in the long run. You don’t have to break the bank when purchasing paints, but you do have to do some research and be willing to dish out a little extra for the stuff that will yield the best results.

Properly Prepare Your Rooms and Surfaces

If you’ve never witnessed professional painters go to work, you might not be aware of how much time they spend simply preparing for the task at hand. Indeed, prep work is about half the battle when it comes to interior painting. After all, you don’t want paint to end up in places it doesn’t belong, nor do you want to spend time undoing steps you recently completed because you rushed into things. To save yourself the time and hassle, then take the prep work seriously. For starters, lay down drop cloths and cover fixed features that you don’t plan on painting so they’re shielded from paint spills and splatters. Deploy painter’s tape in key areas for tighter, even lines. Clean and prime the surfaces you wish to paint so they’re more receptive to fresh coatings. The list goes on. Read our blog, “How to Prep a Room for Painting,” for a deeper dive into essential interior painting preparation.

Paint in Optimal Conditions

Once it’s finally time to paint a given room, you must pay attention to its temperature, humidity levels, ventilation, and lighting. At first, these factors might not seem all that pertinent to interior painting, but they actually play a major role in the process and its outcomes. Paint responds to environmental conditions -- if it’s too cold, the substance can seize up and fail to dry properly; if it’s too warm, paint becomes thin and dries at a fast rate, resulting in an uneven finish. The moisture levels inside a room can have similar effects on paint as well, and if your room isn’t properly ventilated, the paint can leave behind harmful fumes and irritating odors. As far as lighting goes, you must be able to see what you’re doing while you paint, or else you risk missing spots, over- or under-painting sections, and/or unevenly brushing or rolling on the whole. Before you get started, then, make sure your room is at a consistent temperature between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (look at your paint’s specific recommendations, too), maintains a relative humidity between 40% and 50%, and features bright lighting that encompasses every surface you’re painting.

Mind Your Technique

Technique is another major factor separating sloppy paint jobs from pristine ones. Interior painting services can tell you there’s a lot more to proper painting than just slapping some coatings on surfaces. With the wrong approach, you can wind up getting the wrong color paint on your ceiling (this can happen when a roller bumps against the ceiling), from sporadic brush strokes, dripping paint from oversaturation, and more. Pay close attention to how much paint you apply to your applicator and watch online tutorials that reveal the best motions for brushing, rolling, and spraying. Also be sure to cut in edges and corners to avoid getting paint on floors and ceilings when you mean to only coat your walls.

Apply an Appropriate Number of Coats

Finally, provide your surfaces with enough coats to achieve the full look and color you desire. The precise number of coats you need to apply will depend on multiple factors, such as the material you’re painting, the paint’s quality and thickness, color (i.e., whether you’re painting over a lighter color with a dark one, or vice versa, or using the same color as before), the paint manufacturer’s recommendation, whether or not you used primer beforehand, and so on. It’s better to overshoot than undershoot, too -- you can’t really have too many coats, but you can certainly have too few.

From Sloppy to Superior

The outcome of an interior paint job is contingent on color and sheen selection, paint quality, preparation, environmental factors, technique, and number of coats. If your process lacks in any one or more of these areas, you can end up with a less than optimal interior, if not one that’s downright sloppy. The professional home interior painters at Nash Painting know firsthand how much work goes into a superior paint job, which is why we’ve become the go-to provider for many clients across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN. Whether you need a helping hand with your DIY project or a full-service contractor to transform your interior, call us at 615-829-6858 today!