Painting a home’s interior make a dramatic improvement in how the room looks. Making the decision to paint is a simple one, but painting the wrong way result in a complete mess. To avoid mistakes, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your painting job turns out perfectly the first time.

Mix multiple cans of paint into one large container

The exact same paint color can vary from can to can. This means that when you finish with one can of paint, the contents of the next can look slightly different, creating an uneven look on the wall. In order to avoid this issue, pour several cans of paint into one large container. Mix it all together, and you’ll end up with a uniform, consistent color that is ready to be spread over large surfaces.

Prep your walls thoroughly by cleaning them before you begin painting

A dirty, dusty wall will lead to a dirty, dusty paint job. In addition, paint does not adhere properly to dirty walls. In order to make sure that your newly painted walls are pristine, clean them before you begin painting. Remove dirt, grime, scuff marks on walls and baseboards with a cloth and warm soapy water. Use a mop to get into hard-to-reach corners of the ceiling, removing cobwebs and dust. A diluted vinegar solution can be used to wipe any residue off the walls, usually causing no damage.

Smooth out nicks, chips and dents

In addition to being unsightly, dense and rough patches on walls don’t take paint well. Getting rid of these defects can result in gorgeous, high-end results. Remove unsightly gaps by filling them in with paintable acrylic/latex caulk so that you’re left with a seamless, flat wall. Eliminate dents by filling them with plaster of Paris if they’re deeper than 1/8″ thick, or with painter’s putty if they’re not as deep. Repair wood nicks with painter’s putty or a two-part wood filler.

Don’t skimp on primer quality

Using cheap primer usually results in a cheap-looking paint job. A primer is intended to provide a firm and solid foundation on which paint can adhere, so choose one with as much care as you use to choose your paint. Professional painters tend to use alkyd or alcohol primers because of their excellent coverage skills. If you’re unclear of what primer to use, reach out to your paint manufacturer to find out what they recommend. In my experience, Killz is a widely respected brand, available at most stores that sell paint.

Prepping for painting may take a bit more time and effort, but doing so can help ensure that you end up with professional-looking, beautiful results.