If you're stuck inside on a winter day, painting the rooms of your home can be a fun and productive way to spend your time. While people might scoff at the idea of painting indoors with limited ventilation, you don't need to worry: Modern latex and acrylic paints don't put out any harmful fumes, and a dehumidifier paired with an oscillating fan will help the paint dry quickly and dissipate any smells. This means the cold presents a great opportunity to warm up your home's interior with a fresh color. If you're trying to sell a home, consider painting before your home inspection, it might make your place more appealing for potential buyers. Whether you're prepping your home for sale or just want to change the tone of your living space, here are some tips to make sure your painting adventure goes smoothly and leaves your house looking its best:

Pick the right paint
It's not easy to decide what color you'll be comfortable with for the next several years while standing in the aisles of a home improvement store. To take off some of the pressure, bring paint swatch home before making a decision. This will let you analyze different tones next to your furniture and other furnishings and see how the colors interact. You should also check the paint companies' websites to see if you can find images of rooms painted with colors you like. While a paint swatch can establish a helpful baseline for what a color will look like, it's difficult to know from that tiny square how the color will translate to a full wall.

You also want to avoid being too timid when selecting colors. If you like a certain tone, consider stepping up a bolder relative within the paint range. Strong colors are particularly useful in large spaces, because they can make the room feel smaller and more intimate.

Prep the walls
Painting isn't difficult, but a little preparation will make the entire experience more pleasant. Strip any wallpaper off the walls and repair any dents or other cracks with some spackle. After you've corrected any glaring surface flaws, sand the walls. This will give the walls a grain that lets the paint adhere solidly. Then, tape off any areas that you want to avoid painting. It's generally a good idea to keep trim pieces white, as this provides a nice counterpoint to nearly any color. 

Prep the room
A day of painting can be ruined if you accidentally recolor one of your favorite pieces of furniture. While you can lay sheets over your belongings to prevent this from happening, keeping everything safe will probably involve some heavy lifting on your part. If you have items that you are particularly concerned about, move them out of the room rather than trying to work around them. It might take more time up front, but it will give you peace of mind. Be sure to shift any furniture you don't take out of the room to the center of the space. Trying to work around large objects is an easy way to make mistakes and ruin the wall or your possessions. 

Get the gear
A perfect paint job requires multiple coats and an attention to detail. It also requires a variety of tools to ensure that you can apply paint to every surface. Paint rollers are a must for room painting, but you'll also want some brushes for detail work around door and window frames. Count on having to paint the space at least twice. A first coat might look good, but close inspection will reveal inconsistencies. Take the time to go back over everything after the first coat dries.