Interior Painting Tips for Homeowners from a Professional Painting Contractor


Whether You’re Painting Your Own Home or Hiring a Professional House Painting Contractor: Arm Yourself with Knowledge about Painting Complexities. This Guide will Help Ensure Your Home Gets the Quality Paint Job it Deserves

Tips for Quality Interior Painting from Professional Painter CraftPro

Tips for Quality Interior Painting from Professional Painting Contractor CraftPro

Interior Painting Tips: What you Need to Know for your Paint Project

interior house painting tips from professional painting contractorAs a professional painting contractor, I recommend hiring a professional painter (yes, like us: Morristown NJ painter CraftPro Contracting) for any and all painting projects. Biased? Yes. Because I – like most painters – know the truth about painting. There is so much that goes into a successful paint job, and homeowners who care about their homes’ appearance, beauty and durability are well-advised to hire a professional painter. Interior painting projects are reasonably priced because professional painting contractors can perform high quality work with their product knowledge and their experience in a relatively quick way. In this article I will provide some information – really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to painting. Read & consider these interior painting tips, and make your own decision: can you paint your own home with the level of quality your home deserves, or do you need to hire a painter? This article will help you decide. And it will help you weed out the quality painting contractors from the not-so knowledgeable.

Interior Painting Preparation

thorough surface preparation is most important for a quality painting home improvement projectWe’ve written articles about proper interior painting surface preparation, including 5 helpful painting preparation tips. Preparing your walls, ceilings and woodwork for painting is absolutely the most crucial step. Here are a few pointers to supplement the above article:

  • Painting Over Oil Paint: These days, oil paint has been all but completely replaced by waterborne, latex-based paints. This is good news for everybody. Latex paints have less Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) so they’re better for the environment. It’s also much easier for painting contractors and DIY-ers to clean our brushes with soap-and-water than paint thinner – not to mention removing oil paint from our hands. However, water-based paint won’t adhere to oil-based paint without priming it first. If you’re living in an older home it’s likely that the trim and woodwork in your home was painted with oil-based paint to achieve a glossy finish. It’s difficult to tell, but to identify oil paint try scraping it a little bit: if it “flakes” instead of “peels” then it is probably oil-based and you therefore need to prepare the surface by sanding and scraping thoroughly and then you need to apply an oil-based primer before painting.
  • Grease, Water and other Stains: The following advice also applies to painting over previously stained wood. Remember what I just said about how oil paints are being replaced with water-based paints now? That’s true, but there will always be the need for oil-based primers. A grease stain – like in kitchens, smoke stains and water stains in the ceiling from a leaky pipe should all be sanded and then coated at least once with an appropriate oil-based, stain-blocking primer before painting. Directly painting over previously stained wood will cause the stain to bleed through the topcoat paint and that will lead to serious paint discoloration very quickly. In order to properly paint over previously stained wood follow these steps. First, sand down the stained wood with medium- to fine-grit sandpaper thoroughly, removing any clear coat that may have been applied. Use a high quality oil-based stain-blocking primer that is indicated for sealing/blocking stained wood. There are many quality products to choose from. We prefer to use an oil enamel in this case, specifically “Fresh Start” by Benjamin Moore. It’s our preferred product for this situation, but there are many other quality oil-based stain-blockers out there. An oil-based enamel primer is an excellent choice for painting over previously-stained wood. It not only blocks the stain but it provides a thick, strong undercoat that is very sandable. This allows you to smooth the surface and achieve a beautiful finished product. Whatever product you choose, apply two coats of the stain-blocking oil primer and sand it softly. Then it will be ready for painting with a glossy latex-based paint (or whatever finish you choose).
  • Spackle and Spot Priming: You’ll want to prepare your walls and ceilings by sanding them thoroughly, hammering in nail holes, and filling all the imperfection with plaster or joint compound – “spackle”. Once you’ve sanded your spackle and leveled your walls appropriately you’re going to want to spot-prime the spackled areas. Some painters skip this step, and use the paint as the primer. I like to prime spackled areas with a latex adhesion-primer before painting. This stops a problem called “flashing”, where you can see the spackled areas even after applying two coats of paint. It’s good to seal the spackle with a coat of primer to avoid potential flashing. If it’s in your budget, priming the entire surface will make your paint job more durable and longer lasting. Priming also helps with leveling, so you have nice smooth walls for painting.

Interior Painting Products & Techiques

painting contractor in morristown, nj 07960 photo of interior paintingLet me start by saying, in the most clearest of terms, that paint quality matters! “There’s nothing more expensive than cheap paint” because cheap paint doesn’t cover well, so you’ll need more of it. Low quality paint doesn’t adhere as well so it will fail quicker and you’ll have to re-do the paint job. Cheap paint simply does not look as good. You care about your home and the paint on your walls is the first thing people see – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article. If you hire a painting contractor make sure there is an itemized list of the products that are to be used. Also be sure to read the warranty information. Does the painting contractor stand behind their work? At CraftPro we provide a comprehensive warranty on all our interior paint jobs for up to five years. We do this because we use quality products and meticulous painting techniques. Our process ends with a quality topcoat paint. I recommend Benjamin Moore brand “Aura” paint. It is a 100% acrylic paint that is scrubbable and washable without fading – in all finishes – due to its proprietary “Color Lock Technology”. Aura paint produces decadent and vibrant finishes in a way that only top-shelf paints can provide. It’s an amazing product and yes, it’s expensive. (I have received no incentive from Benjamin Moore for this recommendation). Aura has superior coverage, so in a lot of ways it is worth the money, since you can buy less gallons for large painting projects. Discuss this with your painting contractor or employee at your local paint store.

Interior House Painting: Quality & Durability

Finally, let’s discuss painting techniques. I’m not going to say much about airless spraying because if you are painting on your own, you should not be painting with a sprayer. And if you’re hiring a professional painting contractor they will know how to properly use the sprayer and they don’t need my advice. If, despite my advice and insistence that professional painting contractors can save you money, you decide to take on a painting project on your own then follow this sequence. Paint from the top to bottom. After thoroughly preparing your rooms for painting and choosing your paint colors, start with the ceiling. Then, paint your trim (woodwork, doors, molding, etc). Painting contractors don’t do this, but you should use painter tape once the trim is dry and you should tape all the trim. From there, you’re ready to paint your walls. First use a brush to “cut in” the perimeters and then, for a really professional job, do what we do at CraftPro: use a mini roller to roll over your brushed paint before it dries. This will eliminate the visibility of brush strokes and provide a uniform look. Once your perimeters are cut-in, use your roller to paint the walls. Note: if you are using a Satin or Eggshell finish – any finish that has a sheen to it – you should cut-in and roll one wall at a time to prevent lap-marks that occur when you paint over already dried glossy paint. With flat paint it does not matter, but as a precaution we almost always do one wall at a time. When using your roller, don’t overload it with paint. It’s much, much better to apply two thin coats than one heavy coat, with sanding between coats. Use the roller vertically and horizontally to ensure proper coverage when painting, but finish with vertical strokes.


We at CraftPro Contracting would like to help you with your next painting project. CraftPro serves Morris County, New Jersey and surrounding areas of Morristown, NJ 07960 with high quality residential painting home improvements at reasonable prices and always with the satisfaction of the customer/homeowner as a top priority. We dedicate ourselves to customer satisfaction, which is why we have nothing but outstanding customer reviews. Our painting jobs are executed with exceptional attention to detail and cleanliness – we don’t cut corners to increase profits like a lot of our competitors. Fill out the form below to contact our founding owner and operator, Richard D’Angelo.

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