Over the years I’ve painted more rooms than I can remember, and here are my top 10 painting tips that I’ve learned along the way.
Hopefully these tips will help to make your future painting jobs a little easier.
Do you love to paint? I certainly do. There’s no easier or more inexpensive way to change the entire look of a room than by repainting it.
These pants are the evidence of many of my painting adventures.. or should I say misadventures… especially when the cats are helping. lol. This is Monkey, just one of my feline
mischief seekers helpers.
When we moved into this house every room was covered in beige, striped wallpaper… and that just wasn’t going to do for this girl who loves colour.
It had to go… and go it did.
In this house alone I’ve painted the living room 5 times; the upstairs hallway 5 times; the kitchen cupboards and walls 3 times. I’ve redecorated the downstairs bathroom 3 times; the family room 4 times; the master bedroom 4 times; the guest room, the upstairs bathroom, John’s office, and my craft room all twice.
Whew… that sounds exhausting, but I love doing it. Really. Well, most of the time anyway. lol.
I tend to get bored when a room looks the same way for too long. So now instead of moving I just redecorate… it’s much cheaper, and it keeps me happy.
So here are a few painting tips that I’ve learned along the way.
10) Use the proper brushes for the job.
There are different brushes for different jobs… for example there are angled brushes for cutting around baseboards, window and door moldings.
Synthetic bristle brushes can be used with most paints, but specifically water based.
Natural bristle brushes are for oil based paint.
Ask at the paint store to make sure you’re getting the brushes you need for the job you’re doing.
9) Poke holes into the lips of paint can lids.
It’s important to keep that inner rim channel as paint free as possible, but when pouring paint no matter how careful you are some is going to get in there.
It’s such a pain when paint dries inside the rim and you can’t get the lid to close completely.
Poking holes into that channel allows the excess paint to drip back into the can.
I use a large nail that’s the thickness of the inner channel and I hammer in 6 holes, evenly spaced, in gallon cans, and 3 into quart cans.
This has always worked great for me.
8) Check the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for Ooops paints.
I always do this before spending 4x as much, or more, at the regular paint store.
At my local ReStores I can get a gallon of regular paint for $10,a print and primer combo for $15, and a quart for $2. That’s a huge savings!
I always ask them to open the can so I can see the paint before I buy. If it’s completely separated I don’t buy it because it would be too hard to mix it really well by hand, and I don’t have a rotary mixer. So far, I’ve had excellent luck with Restore paint.
I actually check on the paint every time I go and if I see a colour I love I buy it right away, especially if it’s a white, whether I’m going to use it soon or not.
White can be mixed with other paints to come up with your own tints.
It might not be there when I need it.
John likes the frozen meat pies that come in the little metal plates.
I always save them to use under table and chair legs when painting.
They clean up easily and can be reused again and again.
6) Primer is a girl’s best friend.
I know some would say diamonds… but for me, it’s primer. I always use it, especially when painting light over dark… or dark over light.
If you use primer don’t chances are you won’t get the actual colour that you chose from the paint chip, or you’ll have to do more paint coats. If you’re OK with either of those things then forego the primer, but be forewarned.
I recently tried a primer/paint combo that I got at the Restore when I repainted the guest room. It was a Robin’s egg blue and it covered a heritage sort of sagey green colour very well with just one coat. Now I only use paint and primer combos and they work great.
Whenever I’m using a paint tray I cover it with a plastic grocery bag, which I only get from thrift stores now because I use handled bins for all my grocery shopping.
We’re on a well, and our water is like gold to us… so I don’t like using a ton of water to clean up a paint tray or a roller.
Using a bag and throwing away the roller is the lesser of two evils for me.
I make sure there are no holes in the bag, and if it has a logo on it I turn it inside out so there’s no chance of the ink running into the paint.
When I’m finished painting I remove the roller and place it on the bag, sort of roll the bag up as I remove it from the tray, tie it up with the paint roller inside, and put it in the garbage.
4) Use old sheets as drop cloths.
Second hand flat sheets can be found at thrift shops for cheaper than buying drop cloths at the hardware store, at least here anyway. Or you may already have some you can sacrifice to the painting gods. 🙂
I’ve been using the same several sheets for painting cloths for years.
3) Paint rooms for when you’re actually in them.
This is one of my really important painting tips, and something that I think is often forgotten.
It’s probably different for everyone, but for me this means our cold, snowy winters and night time… for several reasons. John and I both work full-time days, and in the warmer months we’re outside most of the time until dusk… and sometimes later.
This doesn’t mean I don’t take other things into account as well, but winter and night time are my main considerations.
2) Preparation is everything.
If you need to fill holes; fill them.
If you need to sand; sand.
If you need to jump on your head and do an ancient painting dance… then dance.
I truly believe that any painting job is 90% preparation, 10% actual painting, and 150% perspiration… or at least it seems like that sometimes.
My most important tip of all, unless you’re decorating strictly for resale, then that’s a whole other gallon of paint.
Otherwise, this is just decorating… not life and death. If you love it… go for it. It’s only paint after all. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Trust your own instincts, and have a sense of humour about it. If you love white, white, and more white… by all means go white. If you love pink and green… go pink and green.
All I’m saying is be true to yourself.
Life is just too short to not fully enjoy the home you’re spending so much of your time in.
I hope these paint tips & tricks are helpful, and I’m sure there are a lot of other tips that I haven’t even thought of. If you have a tip to share I’d love to hear it.
Have a wonderful day, and thanks so much for reading!