The Ultimate Painting Checklist for Any ProjectApril 26, 2023
Preparation is key before starting any paint project in your home. You should know the products you’ll need and what steps to follow. Whether you’re looking to spruce up some old cabinets, repaint an entire room, or refresh an outdoor patio, knowing what to expect will help ensure things run smoothly from start to finish.
Plan Your Approach
There’s a lot to consider when painting different spaces. For indoor and outdoor paint jobs alike, you’ll need to think about the surface—wood, brick, drywall, etc.— its condition, and the function of the space. Are you painting a backyard deck or refreshing kitchen cabinets? Are you changing the color of your bedroom or restoring a water-stained ceiling?
The chosen primer directly influences the success of your project. This crucial step will save you time and money in the long run and make your final color the best it can be.
Choose Your Color
With so many available options, it’s a good idea to test a few different color samples in various lighting conditions before making a final decision. If you’re keeping existing furniture or art in a room, consider how they work with your chosen shade beforehand.
Choose the Right Primer
For most projects, you can trust a multi-surface primer to prepare the surface for painting. More complex situations require a primer specially engineered for those cases—such as mold, stain, and odors.
Oil-based primers are often better at blocking or sealing stains, especially water-soluble stains. They’re also usually superior at blocking tannin bleed and unwanted odors.
• Choose to prime over a previous oil-based paint.
• Choose to prime on fresh, unsealed, or knotty wood.
• Choose if you need to cover severe stains or odors.
Water-based primers—or “latex” primers—are easier to clean (using soap and water), dry fast, and have low VOCs, making them healthier for you and the environment.
• Choose if priming indoors where ventilation is poor and in spaces sensitive to strong odors.
• Choose when projects require a lower VOC level product, if there is a flammability concern, and/or when there is a preference for clean-up without harsh chemicals.
Our Pro Primer Recommendations:
• KILZ® Mold & Mildew Interior and Exterior Primer: Water-based primer. Ideal for use in high humidity, high moisture, and high-temperature environments.
• KILZ Restoration® Interior Primer: Water-based primer. Ideal for interior, multi-surface paint jobs that may require tough stain blocking and heavy odor coverage.
• KILZ 2® All-Purpose Interior and Exterior Primer: Water-based primer. Great overall interior/exterior primer. Ideal for changing wall colors.
• KILZ 3® Premium Interior and Exterior Primer: Water-based primer. Fast drying, great for adhesion and hiding surface imperfections. It provides a mildew-resistant coating, making it ideal for moisture-prone areas.
What Else Do I Need to Paint a Room? (Supply Checklist)
Depending on the nature of the job, these items can make your life easier.
• Paint roller + Tray – Rollers hold more paint than brushes and can distribute even layers of paint much faster.
• Paint sprayer – For a smooth, professional finish.
• Paint scraper – Removes unwanted layers of paint.
• Trim paint brush – For trimming around windows, molding, and door frames.
• Painter’s tape – A must for creating precise lines and neat edges.
• Sandpaper – For smoothing and prepping surfaces.
• Putty knife – Creates a smooth wall or ceiling surface.
• Drop cloth – Use to protect your furniture and floors.
• Stepladder – For reaching ceilings and the tops of walls.
• Extension pole – To extend your roller’s reach without a ladder.
• Paint guide (edge guard) – Neatly paint molding, trim, and windowpanes without painter’s tape.
Any painting project takes focus, but having the right plan, primer, and tools ahead of time will save you time and money and make you feel like a pro in no time. We hope this inspires your next project, no matter how big or small. Be sure to come back to the blog for more DIY tips, tricks, and ideas.
Always remember to refer to our website kilz.com or product back labels for additional information on which primer is right for your project and detailed instructions on how to apply our products. Check out our Coverage Calculator to understand your estimated paint needs for your upcoming project.