Monday, May 27, 2013

Painting Tips

We're just about finished painting Aidan's room.

Here are my tips.

1. Prep the walls first.

  • Apply a few coats of spackle to holes and defects. Feather out the edges just like you would when working with drywall tape. Paint will not cover imperfections, so now is the time to be a perfectionist.
  • Scrape walls with putty knife to remove tiny bumps.
  • Eliminate all dust before painting. Also make sure there isn't any grease or wallpaper glue.
  • Remove all outlet covers and switch plates. This is way easier than painting around them.

2. Watch this YouTube video. It shows how to cut in ceiling edges.

3. Get a good brush. I use Purdy brushes, which run $10-$15 each. You'll get better coverage the brush should last for years.

4. Use blue tape around awkward corners and some trim. The first coat should be very, very thin. This seals the edge. If you lay on too much paint, it will bleed under the tape.

5. Load enough paint on the brush. Here's how:

6. When using a roller:
  • It should have plenty of paint.
  • Move at a steady pace. If you're going super fast, you'll splatter paint everywhere.
  • Don't press so hard! This is a sign you don't have enough paint on the roller.
  • Always work in the same direction, keeping pressure on the "dry" edge so your wet edge doesn't form ridges. I paint a vertical line from ceiling to floor, and then work around the room always moving right.
7. Invest in good cloth tarps. We've had a set of tarps for years and keep reusing them.

8. If you screw up (drips on the wall, paint on the ceiling), you can't fix it when the paint is wet. It'll just smear around and get worse. Wait until it's dry and touch up later.

9. Gadgets and gimmicks are stupid. Watch the pros - they use brushes and rollers. The hardware store is full of devices to make painting easier and they all suck.

10. Notable exception to the above - a plastic lid is useful to keep the paint can clean when pouring.


  • Educate yourself, YouTube is great for this.
  • Buy high quality brushes, rollers, and tarps.
  • Take your time and apply as much paint as you can without it dripping.

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