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ainting the interior of your home is a quick-fire way to increase the value of your home, and improve the overall mood and atmosphere.

While it is one of the most affordable, low risk ways of sprucing things up, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.

Whether you’re doing a full home renovation, repairing damage or freshening up the colour, this Project Advice will help you get the best results for your home.

High quality materials are a must when it comes to interior painting

What are the major areas typically painted inside?

With each area of your home comes a set of recommendations and requirements for colours, paint types, preparation and finish. These are the major areas that are typically painted inside:
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Doors
  • Bedrooms
  • Living areas
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Architraves
  • Laundries
  • Skirtings
  • Door frames
  • And, window frames.

Consistency is a great way to achieve a clean and fresh look throughout your home. So, if you’re thinking about painting the walls, also consider painting the doors and window frames to make the final look all come together.

Classic whites make for a timeless finish – see more in Chapter 12 of Project Home.

What to consider when choosing a paint colour?

We spoke with Resene’s Senior Architectural Representative, Rebecca Long, to get the inside word on paint colours. Rebecca recommends keeping the following three things in mind when choosing a paint colour.

Choose a colour with your personality in mind:

  • Think about what colours suit yourself and others sharing the space i.e., your family or housemates.
  • Collate images from magazines and online to see what colours inspire you – you’ll automatically gravitate towards certain colours, but you don’t have to know why just yet.
  • Don’t be afraid to incorporate a mixture of styles into your colour scheme.

Choose a colour with the space in mind:

  • Consider the personality of the space and how you intend to use it.
  • Natural lighting plays a very big part in how your colour looks i.e., if you choose white, it can look very different throughout other areas of the house.
  • Factor in potential conflicting colours i.e., if you have a lot of greenery outside, your paint may reflect the colour and end up looking green.
  • Factor in other elements of your home i.e., light or dark flooring can affect the appearance of your paint.
  • Remember that paint colour can influence room size i.e., deeper paint colours can make the room smaller, which can be great for a cosy space like a bedroom.

Choose a colour with your interior decor and styling in mind:

  • Cluttering with furniture can take away from the look and feel that you want.
  • Decor can influence the personality of the colour on your wall.
  • Consider if you’re blocking out light with furniture, as this can impact the appearance of the final colour.
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“Character is in! This year we’re seeing more colours including sunset oranges, peaches and greens” – Rebecca Long from Resene

Can you experiment with paint colours?

Rebecca recommends sampling your paint colours in a large area (at least a sqm), to ensure you’re seeing the colours’ full potential.

“When trialling a colour against your original paint, keep in mind that colours can bounce off or influence each other,” Rebecca says.

“Remember that you can always change a colour, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little if your budget allows it.

“It’s amazing what you can achieve with a litre of paint. You can easily cover 6sqm with two coats of your desired colour and completely transform the likes of a feature wall, set of doors or a study nook.

“This is a cost effective way to explore a variety of colours in your home as trends and our opinions of colours change”.

Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss provides a durable finish, perfect for living areas & hallways

What to consider when choosing a paint type and finish?

Different areas of the home will call for particular paint types and finishes, so it’s important to consider this when choosing a product.

Rebecca shares her insight on some of the different products they use at Resene.

The space Considerations
Kitchen & bathrooms Durability for high use areas, and, antibacterial for damp mould prone areas
Hallways & living areas Durability for high use areas, and, low sheen finishes for
minimising the appearance of
Ceilings Less durability required, and,
reduction of light reflection
Wallpaper or problem areas Walls recently stripped of
wallpaper, plasterboard in wet
areas areas, surface conditioner
that also reduces bleeding of
water stains

Resene Broadwall Wallboard Sealer to prep this home for painting

How to prepare your home for interior painting?

When thinking about preparing your home for painting, it’s easy to assume this is only necessary for the area that will be painted. However, in reality, there’s a lot more involved in the preparation, like:

  • Preparing your household for when the area is being painted
  • Planning your renovation and timeframes
  • Liaising with painter/decorators and other tradespeople
  • Preparing your budget and purchasing materials
  • Preparing the area that is being painted.
10 simple steps for interior paint prep
1. Furniture/decor removal
2. Priming
3. Cleaning surfaces from dust and old wallpaper/paint
4. Plastering – smooth and even up surfaces
5. Fixing and repairing damage – cracks, holes and leaks
6. Smoothing out joins
7. Sanding the surface
8. Taping up/masking
9. Laying drop cloths and protective coverings.
10. Primer application

From preparation to finish, interior painting is all about getting your hands dirty

Preparing new or existing surfaces for painting

The preparation process looks a little different for new versus established homes.

Brand new walls:

  • Need to be cleaned thoroughly

  • May show imperfections more easily, especially with dark and light colour
  • Generally require particular materials i.e., Resene Broadwall Wallboard Sealer

Existing surfaces:

  • Can be brought up to scratch with Resene Broadwall Prep and Seal
  • Need to be sanded, masked and cleaned before the finishing coat
  • Requires longer preparation and a top coat for a great result
  • With wear and tear will need to be filled and tidied i.e., by applying builders fill to holes and using finishing compound to fix minor scratches before sanding and painting.

Freshly painted walls give this home a crisp new look

DIY or hire a professional painter?

Let us take you through some of the pros and cons of DIY vs. hiring a professional painter for your interior paint job.

  • Often more affordable if purchasing materials for multiple areas

  • Less disruption in the household

  • Timeline of your renovation is decided by you

  • You can be more creative with trialling colours

  • It can build your confidence for future renovations

  • High quality tools and materials can be costly

  • The quality may not be as good

  • Requires large amounts of time and effort

  • You’re at risk of making mistakes

Professional Painter
  • Less time and effort researching materials and techniques

  • Considerable amounts of work will be completed

  • You can choose how much of the preparation work you want to do

  • The quality will be at a professional level

  • You will have more time to do other things

  • You’re paying for experience and labour

  • Timeframes are not always guaranteed or flexible

  • May require your household to clear the space

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Expert in the field, Jason Ward, says that a freshly painted interior can positively impact your mood

Top 5 challenges of interior painting (from a professional painter)


Jason from Jason Ward Painter & Decorator shares the most common challenges you might face when getting your interior painted.

  • Weather conditions: While exterior renovations are underway, tradespeople may choose to schedule inside work instead. It can take longer to dry when it’s humid, so a heat pump can make a big difference.

  • Timeframes: Ask your tradesperson for an estimate on timeframes – it can take a minimum of two hours per coat of paint to dry, so if you have one room and want two to three coats, sometimes your tradesperson might require multiple sessions. Jason generally requests two rooms at a time.

  • Quality: Using top quality products is beneficial as they are more washable, durable and don’t cost as much to repaint as frequently. A quality finish can depend on how many coats of paint – most painters should be doing at least two coats.

  • Furniture and decor removal: Too much furniture is impractical to work around so Jason recommends asking your tradesperson what to do with excess furniture.

  • The surface: It’s important to note, there may be extra costs involved if there is wallpaper or existing colour (medium or dark tone), as this means it will usually require extra work.

Jason opted to paint over this wallpaper in Project Home.

Painting over wallpaper (advice from a professional)

We all know that painting over wallpaper saves time and energy, but is it worth it, and at what cost? Professional painter, Jason Ward, answers the big question: to paint, or not to paint, over wallpaper?

Painting over wallpaper:

  • If the wallpaper is in good condition you can paint over it.
  • If the joins are showing, give them special attention – you can easily save money by sanding them and plastering over them.

Removing wallpaper:

  • Is a relatively big job and can be expensive.
  • Generally involves removal, plastering and painting.
  • The top layer should be dry stripped, the second layer wet down, then let it sit for 10 minutes and pull off. Jason recommends using a garden sprayer with hot water or product to avoid damaging the gib (rather than using a steam stripper).
  • Jason mentions that if the wall feels slimy or dirty it will need to be washed before sanding.
  • In most cases, the walls will need to be sanded down, ideally followed by a coat of pigmented sealer before plastering.

You wouldn’t believe it, but there’s wallpaper under there.

Top 10 takeaways for interior painting

  • Area: plan out which areas of your home you want to paint in your renovation.

  • Consistency: keep the look consistent by painting walls, ceilings and woodwork together.

  • Colour: consider your personality, the space, and the existing decor when choosing a colour.

  • Paint type & finish: ensure you’re using the best products by doing your research i.e., for damp areas like bathrooms and high use areas like hallways.

  • Surface: consider whether the surface is new or existing before you start your preparation.

  • DIY vs. hiring a professional: weigh up the pros and cons against your time constraints, budget and confidence.

  • Finding a tradesperson: post your job to BC to find professional painters & decorators who are willing and ready to do the work, while ensuring the job is completed to a high standard.

  • Timeframe: account for expected timeframes, number of coats of paint and potential timing changes.

  • Budget: discuss with your tradesperson about how you can reduce costs by preparing your home in advance and where cost may change i.e., removing furniture.

  • Wallpaper: if necessary, discuss with your tradesperson the best approach to removing or painting over wallpaper.

As the saying goes, it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for your home, and how it can positively impact your quality of life. So, don’t be afraid to try things out, get stuck in there and lean on a professional to get the most out of your interior painting renovation.

A big thank you to our professionals, Rebecca Long from Resene, and Jason Ward from Jason Ward Painter & Decorator.

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