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Interior painting your homes walls and ceilings is an investment in your quality of life!
If you are going to paint the walls no need to worry about protecting them but if you are painting the ceiling only you should mask off the walls with some lightweight plastic drop cloths. If you have popcorn ceilings you will need a thick nap roller so as to get deep into the texture for a complete covering.
Interior painting an existing popcorn ceiling:
Here we are faced with trying to paint a very soft super absorbent material. In order to get good penetration for bonding and also stop the suction to conserve paint, we need to prime first using a thinned down latex flat finish paint or latex primer. If you are interior painting more than one room, you might consider renting an airless sprayer to make short work of the job. Spraying is not cost effective for one small room so rolling is the answer.
Set yourself up with a 5 gallon pail, roller grid insert for the pail, 3/4" - 1 3/4" nap roller cover and a 4' extension pole that you can screw into the roller frame. Thin the paint with a pint or so of the appropriate thinner as you are going to apply in small sections and quickly. Rolling back and forth as you normally would softens the texture and it will cling to the roller cover and you will remove it. Saturate the cover well with paint, run it up and down the roller grid a few times to distribute the paint evenly and using a light stroke, roll at first away from you, back lightly, stop and reload your roller.
Do not be concerned about how well it is covering; you are just trying to get enough paint on the texture to "toughen" it up for the finish coat of your interior painting.
Allow your primer to dry overnight and then apply your finish flat latex ceiling paint. You will get a lot more square footage per gallon with your finish paint due to the fact that it is now sealed.
You can start by "cutting in" around the edges, light fixtures etc. using a 3"- 4" paint brush. If you are interior painting the walls a little overlap onto the wall is OK but if not use a small handheld shield to protect the wall. There are quite a few styles available at your paint store or home bldg center.
Once your cut in work is completed you can begin rolling. The thickness of the roller cover depends on how textured your ceiling is. A 1/2" cover is fine for smooth surfaces but rough textures like "popcorn" require a thicker 3/4" thick nap.
Get yourself an empty 5 gallon pail and a "roller grid" a nifty wire like ramp that attaches to the bucket rim and is used to remove excess paint (app. $3.00)
Since we have to mix all our paint before starting interior painting to insure the same color thru out, the 5 gallon pail is ideal and you will have a lot less chance of spilling your paint.
You can use a small 1 gallon workpot with an inch or two of paint for your cutting in. Tip: Do all your mixing outdoors or on a large plastic sheet so as to minimize spills.
Attach a 4' or so wood handle to your roller frame, it screws right in so you can paint from the floor, run your roller down into the paint and roll it over the grid to distribute the paint evenly. This also removes the excess paint and you will find that you have very little dripping.
Work in 4' sections or so applying the paint in a "W" pattern then going back over it to distribute it evenly. It’s a good idea on ceilings to roll in the direction of the window across from the entry door. This helps to hide any roller lines which may be introduced.
Interior painting walls:
Basically the procedure is the same. You will want to "cut in" at the top where the wall meets the ceiling, around all your doors, windows, baseboard trim, and around outlets, switches etc. It’s a good idea to do one wall at a time, cover the floor, cut in and then roll. This way the paint from the cut in is still wet and there is less chance of a color miss match between brush and roller work.
Always keep a bucket of water handy so that you can clean up any spills or splatters while they are still wet. Of course use paint thinner if using oil base paint.
Removing popcorn ceilings:
Begin by removing as much furniture as possible, cover what remains with plastic drop cloths or buy a small roll of visqueen plastic. Begin by wetting the texture and we have found that using a small pump up type garden sprayer makes this task a lot easier. After 10 minutes or so the texture will become very soft. At this point you can take a 6" to 12" wide drywall finishing knife and scrape the texture off. Hold a small trash can or bucket under the knife as you scrape so that the texture drops into the bucket. Another procedure is to tape the tool to a 4'-5' roller pole or push broom handle and scrape from the floor allowing the texture to fall on the plastic covering the floor. When finished bundle up the plastic and toss the whole mess in the trash.
Avoid wetting an area more that 2-3 times as you do not want the drywall board itself to become saturated resulting in sagging. Allow the ceiling to dry thoroughly and then lightly sand using a sanding pole and screen cloth. Screen cloth is an open mesh material that will smooth the surface without abrading the paper of the drywall board. Prime the ceiling and allow the primer to dry and then apply a coat of flat white latex finish paint.
Go to interior painting / drywall repairs
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