Are you preparing to hire a professional interior painter but not sure exactly what you need done or what to tell them?  There are several things to consider such as how to prep your walls, or which paint color and finish for your walls vs color and finish for your ceilings.  A professional painter will also be able to know how to determine if your home has lead paint.

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Here are some tips that will help you to be more prepared for your meeting.

1. Check for lead paint.

If you have a home built before 1978, hire a qualified lead expert to check it out before you begin any work. Some older homes still have lead paint in the original layers.

2. Painting Techniques to Make Walls Stand Out

Using faux painting techniques in your home such as color washing, sponging and crackle will bring your room to life.

3. Prep for paint.

Paint preparation is the foundation for the entire job — if done correctly your paint will perform to its fullest potential. If done incorrectly, the best paint will crack, peel, or chip easily. Make any necessary repairs before you start your painting project. Dirty walls should be cleaned, especially near the stove and sink. Greasy deposits and soap scum can interfere with paint’s adhesion.

4. Hiring a professional.

The contract should include what will be done and the products used. This includes the type and amount of surface preparation, priming and type of primer, and the brand of paint. Also include how many coats of paint will be included.

5. Ask about extra costs.

Removing heavy furniture may not be included in the painter’s estimates. If you can’t do it, ask if there will be an extra charge. Also, having to paint crown molding, baseboards or walls/ceilings taller than the average of 8 feet can also add to costs.

6. Pick a paint color.

Keep in mind the perceived space of the room. Dark colors tend to make a room look smaller, while light colors open up the space. Test drive your color by investing in a quart-sized (or smaller) can of paint in the color you’re thinking of using before you buy a bigger (and more expensive) can. Paint a small portion of your wall and watch the color in different lights throughout the day so you don’t get stuck with a color that only looks how you want it to look in broad daylight. Stick with neutral colors if you’re planning to sell your home. Keep in mind that buyers want to be able to visualize their things in your home.

7. Which is the Perfect Interior Paint Finish for Your Project?

Choosing the right paint for your project begins with understanding the four main options.

If you have many imperfections on your walls, consider a flat paint, but keep in mind flat paint is harder to clean. An eggshell finish has slight shine/gloss and is also good for walls, but holds up better with cleaning. A general rule is the higher the sheen, the better it will stand up to washing and cleaning.