What to Know About Interior Painting and Staining

Painting and staining interior rooms are some of the most commonly attempted DIY home renovation projects. After all, they are relatively straightforward means of adding some color to a room or giving wood surfaces a new sheen without having to perform a full-scale replacement.

However, properly performing a paint or stain job is about more than choosing a stunning paint color or finding the best interior wood stain brand and getting to work. Therefore, if you are considering one of these projects, the following tips and advice can help you make your DIY interior painting or staining project a success.

Don’t Skimp on Supplies

Painting or staining an interior room requires far more than a brush and bucket. Sure, you can do most of the job with these essential elements, but to do the job right, a far more comprehensive list of supplies is required. Some important items to round up before starting the job include:

  • Personal gear – you will want to have clothing that you are not afraid of getting stained. It should be relatively tight-fitting so that baggy sleeves do not find their way into wet paint. Other items to consider include safety glasses, a hat to keep paint out of your hair, and knee pads. One important note: gloves are not a great idea when painting or staining. They reduce dexterity and are likely to cause smearing and smudges. Don’t be afraid to get a little paint under your fingernails!
  • Room prep materials – painter’s tape and floor lining are important for making sure that dripping paint doesn’t soil areas that are already finished. If you don’t want to pay for plastic floor lining, broken-down cardboard boxes are a great option.
  • Water bucket – keeps brush clean and pliable when not in use
  • Scraper
  • Roller
  • Roller extension
  • Step ladder
  • Brush
  • Primer
  • Caulk
  • Paint tray
  • Paint
  • Spackle

Prepping the Space Is Critical

Although it may seem like unnecessary extra work, prepping the area is essential in order to paint or stain correctly. When it’s time to paint, you need to be able to paint without having to juggle back and forth between other tasks.

Therefore, remove all furniture from the area to be painted. Figure out how to repair drywall after removing wallpaper, removing all of the old wallpaper from the room. Vacuum the floors and dust the walls. Scrape away any protrusions that may get in the way of a sleek, smooth finish.

Determine How Much Paint or Stain You Will Need

Nothing is more frustrating than getting into your groove, only to run out of paint or stain halfway through the project. On the same token, you also don’t want to finish the job and be left with a tank of product that you no longer need.

Therefore, it is important to accurately estimate how much paint or stain you will need to complete the job. Most products will tell you on the label how much square footage it will cover, so knowing the dimensions of your work area is a great place to start. However, you must also factor in whether or not you will be applying multiple coats–a likely scenario if you are transitioning from dark to light colors.

Start Small

Painting and staining are some of the only home renovations where it is fast and affordable to make a trial run prior to completing the project. As a result, it is a good idea to test your work on a small area and determine how you feel. Sometimes, the product doesn’t look as good when actually applied as you had envisioned. In other cases, the quality of appearance may change with varying levels of sunlight.

If you have the time, try to wait 24 hours between your trial and finishing the job. See how the product looks at different times of the day. If you are unhappy with the results, a quality paint remover may be necessary to clean masonry surfaces prior to repainting, but in most cases, you can simply paint over the trial area with a more desirable color. 

Priming Can Help You Save on Paint

At this point, you are likely ready to jump into the DIY interior painting or staining project and start rolling on the paint. However, it is definitely worth your time to consider the benefits of priming your surface first. 

A primer is an undercoat that provides protection to the surface being painted, improves paint adhesion, and increases paint durability. It can be a life-saver in heavily used areas because, even if you know how to apply sealants and fill in holes and cracks, paint has a tendency to flash when applied directly to these repaired surfaces. Therefore, adding primer can end up saving you paint from rework scenarios.  

The Best Tips for Interior Painting and Staining

Although interior painting and staining may seem simple and straightforward, there are many facets involved in ensuring project success. Gathering the proper supplies, prepping the workspace, determining the correct amount of product, performing a test run, and priming the surface are some of the best ideas to help make the project go right. If you are still a little hesitant about doing the job yourself, give the professional painting contractors and cabinet stainers at Colorwheel Painting a call today!


Roger Marx is a contributor to the Innovative Building Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and home renovation. Roger is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value and improve sustainability.

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