Paint like a pro

18 Apr

Painting is one of those home improvement projects that can give your room a fresh, new look. It can be done quickly, doesn’t cost much and you can do it yourself. 

It can also be frustrating and difficult, which is why there are so many professional painters out there. Here are 12 of their secrets. 

Prep your new roller covers

You can avoid leaving fuzz on your freshly painted walls by taking a couple of minutes to wash new roller covers before using them the first time. Use a little bit of dishwashing soap and water. And you don’t have to worry about letting them dry. 

Avoid flashing

If you have to patch areas of the wall with drywall compound, those areas will look dull compared to other parts of the wall because the material is porous and absorbs paint. Use a primer to seal the patch so the paint won’t sink in and look dull. 

Clean all surfaces

Use a painting degreaser to clean the grime off the wall before painting. Paint won’t stick to greasy or dirty areas that build up on your walls over time. This is especially necessary in kitchens and bathrooms. 


The time you spend in prep cuts down on mistakes. Use high quality painters tape. When you’re taping, make sure not to stretch the tape; it can leave areas where paint can seep in. As you’re taping, run a putty knife or piece of cardboard over the tape to press the tape down to stop any paint bleeds. 

Don’t tape windows

Don’t bother taping. It takes a lot of time. Paint ends up on the glass and you end up scraping them anyway. 

Pulling tape

Pro grade tape doesn’t leave a residue and can stay on the wall for a few days. Paint starts to dry immediately and how long it takes to completely dry depends on the type of paint, the climate and the time of year you’re painting. Wait 24 hours to pull the tape, but before you do, score the paint on the edge with a blade to avoid tearing off pieces of dry paint. 

Use cotton drop cloths

Plastic is slippery, even if you tape them down. Any paint you spill on plastic stays wet, which means it can get tracked to the other parts of the house. Although they’re made to prevent damage, large spills can seep through canvas, so clean up any spills with paper towels. 

Order counts

Paint the trim first, then the ceilings and walls. You don’t have to worry about taping the walls when you’re painting the trim. Same goes for the ceiling. Saves a ton of prep time. 

Cutting edges

Brush marks are likely to show in corners and areas next to trim. Brush on paint in those areas and immediately go over the area while the paint’s still wet. 

Finish a wall before starting another

Many DIYers will paint the corner first, then paint out to the walls. You’ll get better, more seamless results my cutting in one corner and rolling it out. 

Boxing your paint

This helps you achieve consistent color, which may vary from can to can, even though you bought the paint at the same store on the same day. Boxing the paint is mixing two cans together. Use a five gallon bucket to do this and paint from the bucket rather than the tray. 

Load the brush

Don’t scrape the brush after dipping it in the paint. Load up the first 1-1/2 inches of the brush, then tap it a couple of times to avoid drips.




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