You know when it is time to repaint your home's interior when you begin to see scuff marks and scratches in the paint, especially along the baseboards where a great deal of wear occurs. To paint your home's interior successfully requires some foresight and planning to get your paint job to look like a professional did it even if you do it yourself. Here are some tips to help you get a perfectly-painted interior.

Prep Your Surfaces

The walls inside your home see quite a bit of wear and tear and also collect dirt, debris, oils, and grease just from being inside your home. Pets can leave dirt on the walls, handprints leave oil residue, and dust can collect on your walls and need cleaning before you paint. And in the kitchen, cooking oils can leave a film of grease on your walls that need to be removed as well. Painting over this build-up does not make it go away; it only makes your paint look lumpy, peel off, and not adhere properly.

Use a cleaning solution containing trisodium phosphate (TSP) and wipe down the walls in the kitchen and along high traffic areas where fingerprints are common, such as hallways and door frames. Then, use a damp rag to remove dust particles from all other walls, baseboards, chair rails, and especially higher up on the walls and in the corners where cobwebs may collect.

Use Quality Tools

Once your walls are prepped and cleaned you should get the right tools for your painting job. Protect your floors and furnishings with canvas drop cloths, which you can move and rotate through your home as you paint. Canvas is a much better material for a drop cloth than plastic because if any paint falls upon the canvas, it will dry and absorb into the canvas better and not transfer to your shoes and make a mess as easily.

If you are going to mask around your painting areas, be sure to buy a high-quality tape that will not tear and will remove easily from your home's surfaces when the job is done. Some cheap masking tape won't stick properly to your wall and will allow paint to seep beneath it, ruining your painted edge. Then, when you go to remove inexpensive tape, it falls apart and is difficult to fully remove.

You may also choose to use a good quality angled paintbrush to cut into the painted edges and forego the masking tape. Practice applying a straight line down your wall with a steady hand to get the perfect finished edges. Or hire a professional residential painting team, and they can complete the job in a timely manner for you.