Sheen Is Important
The finish of your paint, or sheen, will have a major impact on your walls. Gloss, satin, egg shell – with these options comes many considerations. High-traffic areas do well with gloss or satin as they hold up better to touching and can be cleaned more easily. But, they can make wall imperfections (wavy drywall, patched areas) much more pronounced. A more matte-like finish, such as flat, will not clean as well or endure touches as well, but you won't see imperfections as much.
Don't fear the bold colors! Select colors that add depth and texture to a room. Understand the psychology of color and use it to your advantage. A calming color, such as one in the blue family, is great for a bedroom.
Try Samples First
No need to guess how good (or bad) a color will look on your wall. For a fraction of the cost of a gallon of paint, you can purchase sample pints, take them home, and test them out. This will help you judge how a color will look on a larger area better than a swatch can provide. It's better to spend just a few dollars on a sample than big bucks on gallons only to find out the color won't work.
Do the Math
Of course, you'll need to know the total area you're going to paint (add up all the square footage of your walls, including alcoves and dormers, plus a little extra), but you'll also need to account for multiple coats, primer and the porosity of the walls. It's best to have some paint left over for repair work later on, so get more than you need.
Be a Prepper
Prep work will be the vast majority of your time spent painting the interior of your home. You'll need to tape off areas for sharp lines, move furniture and furnishings, repair and patch any imperfections, protect the floors, and remove things like switch plates and doorknobs. At least three-quarters of your time will be spent doing these tasks.
Primer Is Key
Unless you're buying a primer and paint all-in-one mixture, you'll need to prime your walls, particularly if you are drastically changing the wall color (tinted primer is key in that situation). Primer not only covers up colors and stains, it also adds a layer to allow the top coat of paint to better adhere, giving you a much better result.
It's Okay to Cut in
Cutting in (painting at corners and edges) allows for smoother work when using rollers or larger brushes. Trying to do this after painting larger areas will create uneven lines. It may seem like a lot of work, but you'll be much happier with the result.
Rollers Save Time
A roller may require more equipment (handles, poles, rollers) than brushes, but you can get more done in less time with them. Remember to paint in an overlapping “W” to get better coverage and smooth out roller lines.
Use an Extension Pole
While you'll need ladders for cutting in and detail work at heights, an extension pole added to a roller will save you even more time. You'll be able to reach further, particularly on ceilings, without having to move as much.
Combine Gallons For Uniformity
This is called boxing, and it will help you avoid any inconsistencies in the color of your paint coverage. Simply pour multiple gallons into a larger, resealable bucket, and stir thoroughly. Yes, today's mixing processes are much more uniform than in the past, but this step is a fail-safe measure just in case there was a slight mistake when the paint was mixed at the home center.