Interior Painting Techniques for a Fresh Look

Painting the interior of your home can be a fun and rewarding project. Whether you’re looking to freshen up the walls with a new coat of paint or want to try out some creative techniques, mastering different interior painting techniques can add depth and personality to your space. In this article, we will explore various interior painting techniques that can transform your walls from mundane to magnificent.

Preparing for Painting

Before diving into the various painting techniques, it’s essential to prepare your space properly. Here are a few steps you should take before starting any painting project:

  1. Clean the walls: Remove any dust, dirt, or grease from the walls by wiping them down with a damp cloth.

  2. Repair the walls: Fill any cracks or holes in the walls with spackle or joint compound. Sand the areas smooth once dry.

  3. Prime the walls: Applying a coat of primer before painting helps ensure better adhesion and provides a more even finish.

  4. Protect your surfaces: Cover furniture, floors, and fixtures with drop cloths or plastic sheets to prevent accidental paint splatters.

Interior Painting Techniques

1. The Traditional Brush and Roller Method

The most common and straightforward technique is using a brush and roller. Here’s how to execute it like a pro:

  • Start by cutting in: Use a brush to paint along the edges, corners, and trim where a roller can’t reach.

  • Roll on the paint: Load your roller with paint and apply it in “W” or “M” shaped strokes to ensure even coverage.

  • Use a roller extension pole: This handy tool helps you reach high walls or ceilings without the need for a ladder.

2. Stenciling

Stenciling is a fantastic way to add intricate designs and patterns to your walls. Follow these steps to achieve stunning stenciled walls:

  • Choose your stencil: There are numerous stencil designs available in stores or online. Select one that matches your taste and style.

  • Position the stencil: Secure the stencil on the wall using painter’s tape. Make sure it’s flat against the surface and doesn’t move while painting.

  • Apply the paint: Using a stencil brush or sponge, dab the paint onto the stencil. Be mindful of not using too much paint, as it can cause leakage under the stencil.

  • Remove the stencil: Before the paint dries completely, carefully remove the stencil to reveal your beautiful design.

3. Colorwashing

Colorwashing is a technique that adds depth and texture to your walls. It involves layering paint colors to create a soft, translucent effect. Follow these steps to achieve a stunning colorwash:

  • Choose your colors: Select two or three paint colors in the same color family but with varying shades.

  • Start with a base coat: Apply the lightest color as a base coat and allow it to dry.

  • Mix the glaze: Mix the darker color with a glaze medium in a 4:1 ratio (four parts glaze to one part paint).

  • Apply the glaze: Use a large brush, lightly load it with the glaze mixture, and brush it over the base coat in random directions.

  • Feather the edges: Use a dry brush or cheesecloth to soften and feather the edges of the glaze, creating a more natural look.

4. Strié

Strié is a technique that creates vertical or horizontal lines on your walls, resembling linen or fabric. Follow these steps to achieve the strié effect:

  • Apply a base coat: Choose a base color and apply it evenly on the wall. Let it dry completely.

  • Mix the strié glaze: Mix the topcoat color with a glaze medium in a 2:1 ratio.

  • Apply the glaze: Using a brush or a strié brush, drag the glaze mixture vertically or horizontally over the base coat while it’s still wet. This will create the desired strié effect.

  • Soften the lines: Immediately after applying the glaze, use a dry brush or cheesecloth to soften the lines by gently stroking the surface.


Q: Can I use different interior painting techniques in the same room?
A: Absolutely! Mixing various interior painting techniques can create a unique and visually appealing space. Just ensure that the techniques complement each other and don’t clash.

Q: Are there any specific brushes or tools I should use for each technique?
A: Different techniques may require specific brushes or tools. For stenciling, use stencil brushes or sponges. For colorwashing and strié, large brushes work well. It’s always recommended to use high-quality brushes and tools for better results.

Q: How do I clean my brushes and tools after using them?
A: Cleaning your brushes and tools immediately after use is crucial to maintain their longevity. For water-based paints, wash them with soap and warm water. Oil-based paints require mineral spirits or paint thinner for cleaning. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Learning and experimenting with various interior painting techniques can open up a world of possibilities for transforming your space. Whether you prefer traditional brush and roller methods or want to explore more creative techniques like stenciling, colorwashing, or strié, the key is to have fun and let your artistic side shine. With proper preparation, the right tools, and a little bit of practice, you can achieve stunning results. So roll up your sleeves, grab your brushes, and let your walls become a canvas for your creativity!

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