If your house is like ours, then it probably needs a coat of paint in at least one room somewhere which means it’s painting time! If you’re anything like me, you absolutely hate painting. Inevitably, the paint gets all over everything, including the ceiling and trim. The color never turns out quite the way you expect either. I’m not going to tell you exactly how to paint, but I’m going to help you make your finished product better with wall painting tips that will save you time and ultimately money. Painting time might mean a lot of work, but there are a few things you can do that will make your painting project go a little more smoothly.
- Clean the walls from top to bottom.
- Tape off edges and trim.
- Buy the proper equipment. You’ll need an angled brush to cut in and rollers that don’t leave fuzzies on the wall.
- Remove switch plates.
- Invest in a good quality paint. You really get what you pay for when it comes to paint.
- Cut in around the edges of the wall (ceiling, by the trim).
- Cut in around outlets and light switches.
- Cut in around windows and doors.
- Coat the roller with paint. Don’t go skimpy here.
- Paint the center part of the wall in long strokes, light strokes. If you press hard, you’ll leave tracks.
- When you finish a wall, go back and check for streaks or flaws and fix before the paint dries.
If you need more than one coat, allow the first coat to dry completely (at least two hours) before going back over it with a second coat.
Wall Painting Tips to Make it Look Like a Pro Painted
Clean Like a Fiend
Probably the most important step to take before you begin painting is to completely wipe down the walls, baseboards and even clean the floors. There is nothing worse than spending hours upon hours doing something you hate (the painting) only to find out there is dust, dirt and bits of whatever in the paint. We paint because we want our houses to look better, not like the issue of Hoarders where the woman had a dead cat under all the debris!
Tape Off Everything!
Take your time and tape all trim (cover every bit of it) with painter’s tape. Also tape off anything you don’t want paint on or cover with a drop cloth. It is better to go overboard here. If it is covered, it is much harder to get paint on something. Although, it is still possible as many of my painting adventures have proven. This is a project that may actually take you as long or longer than the actual painting, but will pay off in the finished look of the room.
Get the Proper Equipment
Goopy, flakey slider roller. You heard me right – Goopy, flakey slider roller. This is what happens to a paint roller when you use it too long. It gets goopy and paint drips from every end. The roller also starts to come off in little pieces, which inevitably stick to the wall and mess up your paint job. On top of all that, the roller stops rolling and just slides along the wall, which usually peels off the first layer of paint you just spent three hours putting on.
Do yourself a favor and buy edgers, corner brushes and several rollers to swap out. Splurge for the expensive roller brushes instead of the cheap ones. They last better and paint better. There are different textures, depending on the look you are going for. Be sure all your roller brushes are all the same.
Take Your Time
This should seem obvious – we all know how to paint after all, but it really isn’t. Many people have this little disease called “I am gonna finish what I started before I walk away from it.” The problem with this disease is that it attacks when you are tired and usually results in a shoddy finished product.
Even though you may cringe inside at walking away from a half-painted room, it is better to wrap up the buckets and brushes (use trash bags to cover to keep air out and it won’t dry out overnight) and return tomorrow than do a lousy job and destroy all your hard work.
So what if it takes you a week to paint a small bathroom? You’ll have to live with this paint for several years (or repaint, which we’ve already established that we all hate to do), so try to make it look the way you want.
Other Painting Tips I’ve Learned Over the Years
Over the years, I’ve painted a lot of rooms and removed paint from a lot of woodwork. Our first house was 100 years old, so I had to figure out how to paint plaster walls and remove paint from detailed woodwork. Some of the tips I’ve picked up over the years:
- Buy more paint than you think you’ll need. It’s next to impossible to get it matched perfectly if you have to go back and get more paint mixed.
- Once you finish painting a section, roll back over it from top to bottom with a very light and one continuous stroke to even out any flaws.
- Get up close to trim work. I get on a ladder and up against the section I’m painting and use an angled brush. I no longer tape off, but recommend you do if you’re a beginner.
- Use the right primer. Talk to your local paint store professional about what color primer to use with the color paint you’ve chosen.
- Invest in good paint. All the wall painting tips in the world won’t help if the paint is junk.
Learn Which Painting Tips Work Best for You
Most of us can’t afford to hire a professional painter for every room in our house, especially those of us living on smaller incomes because we’ve chosen to stay home or work from home. That means we have to learn to do things ourselves. We may as well paint with excellence.