Painting the interior walls of your home is not difficult. Painting them so they look good is another story. There is a very good reason that professional painters often have a waiting list for work and get paid a decent amount. Having nice, smooth, evenly painted walls requires experience and some special techniques that have been learned over time. While you will get better at painting with each room you paint, here are a few professional tips that will make your first attempt (and subsequent rooms) look more like a professional did the work.
Clear the Walls
Remove outlet and swtich covers and any wall decorations. You should also take out any screws or nails that held up the decorations. If you will be replacing the crown or base molding, be sure to remove them before starting to paint too. Anything that cannot be removed needs to be taped off to prevent it getting painted too.
Enough cannot be said about wall preparation. A tiny ding in the wall will show up like a glaring defect when a new layer of paint is on it. You need to make sure the surface is clean and free of any flaws or blemishes. Take the time to mud any scratches or holes, and sand down any high spots. To have a smooth, blemish-free finish you have to start with a smooth, blemish-free surface.
Even if the wall has paint on it already, you want to apply at least one coat of primer before painting. This will allow a dry surface to soak up the primer instead of the paint so you have a more even coverage. If the primer looks spotty in places, put on a second coat. When you have an even color consistency of the primer then you can paint the walls. This will ensure the paint color looks the same all over.
Use High-Quality Materials
A good paint brush and roller will last a long time. They will not cause streaks or leave little pock marks in the paint. If the wall is textured or if you are using textured paint, be sure to have the correct nap on your roller cover. The better quality brushes and rollers you use the better the paint will flow onto the walls and the better the finish will look.
If you cannot get the surface properly prepared, or don't have the time to do the job right, contact a professional residential painter. While it is going to cost you more to have pros do the work, it is much better than spending good money on paint and supplies and then having the walls look worse than they did when you started.