How to Repaint Your Home in 5 Steps

On March 15, 2017 by Josh

If you’ve never purchased paint before, you may be surprised by the number of available options. In addition to choosing your colors, you also have to pick between 6 different sheens, determine whether or not you need primer, and figure out the most reliable brand of paint. If this seems overwhelming, consider hiring local painters. Professional painters are both effective and speedy. While they cost money, they save time and energy. If you’re determined to move ahead with your DIY paint project, read this guide before you start.

Choose a Color

The first step is to choose a color. While this is an intensely personal choice, there are a couple of best practices. If you value simplicity, experiment with a monochromatic color scheme. If you prefer vibrance, maximize contrast by choosing colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. When you’ve made a choice, ask the hardware store to mix a small sample. Then, paint a small swatch inside your house and let it dry. This will allow you to change your mind before committing to one color.

Buy Primer

Tempted to skip the primer? Rookie mistake. Primer is a thick coat of paint that is applied first. When it dries, it creates a sturdy base that helps subsequent coats of paint adhere to the wall. You’ve probably heard about two-in-one paint/primer products. While they do work, there are a couple of things you should know about them. Two-in-one products work best if you’re painting over a surface that has already been painted. If this is the case, make sure that the previous coat of paint is the same sheen as the two-in-one primer.

Choose Your Sheen

Flat paints have no shine and a non-reflective finish. They cover blemishes in the wall, but get dirty easily. Save flat paints for ceilings or closet walls. Matte paints have a low shine and semi-reflective finish. It’s easy to clean, but can get dirty easily. Use this sheen in areas with moderate traffic such as bedrooms.

Eggshell paint has a soft, luminescent appearance. It’s perfect for areas with moderate traffic like living rooms. Satin paint has a pearly finish. It’s best for areas with high traffic or some exposure to moisture. Use this sheen in the kitchen or hallway.

Semi-gloss paints are shiny and somewhat reflective. They’re perfect for areas with exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms with low ventilation. This sheen also works well on doorways and trim. Hi-gloss paints are very shiny. They’re not commonly used on walls, but they’re perfect for high-use surfaces. High gloss paints work well on trim and cabinets.

Prepare Your Home

First, clean the walls with soap and water–dirt, dust, and hair make it difficult to apply paint evenly. If you going to paint over a glossy paint, make sure to sand the wall or use a deglosser. When you finish washing and deglossing, let the walls dry completely. A little water can prevent paint from setting correctly.

To protect your home from unsightly stains, remove all furniture from the room and cover the floor with drop cloths. You may be tempted to buy a single cloth and move it around the room, but this is another rookie mistake.

There’s only one more step before you can start painting! Next, apply painter’s tape to your baseboards, fixtures, and outlet covers. You can also use painter’s tape to create lines. After you finish, use a putty knife or scraper to smooth out air bubbles and seal the edges.


When you’re ready to start, remove small children and pets from area, pour your paint, and put the lid back on the can. The ceiling is an ideal place to start. If any paint drips downward, it will drip onto the old paint job. Ceiling paint usually comes as a two-in-one paint/primer combo.

When you finish the ceiling, you can start to apply primer. While working on this step, pay special attention to holes that have been patched with plaster. When you finish, let the primer dry completely. Afterward approximately 24 hours, begin painting with even strokes. Don’t try to conserve paint, but don’t wasteful. Your goals is to cover the entire area with one even coat of paint at a time.


Now you should be ready to start a DIY paint project! How do you feel? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, think about hiring professional painters. This is an additional cost, but it may be worth the time and money. Most painting companies offer a free estimate, so get a couple before you make a decision. This should help you weigh the pros and cons. Good luck and happy painting!

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