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5 Tips for Painting

Right now my family is in the midst of major renovation on one house, and cleaning another house up to sell it.  So far, my friend Joanna and I have painted 2 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 3 bedrooms, and a bathroom.  And in the midst of painting, painting and more painting, I decided that I should write a blog post about painting!  (Brilliant, right?)

5 Tips for Painting

I know so many people who don’t like painting, but it is by far the cheapest way to change a room.  You can turn a room from grungy, outdated, or ugly to modern, crisp and clean with just a couple coats of paint and a few hours of your time. 

So here are some tips for painting that have made the experience so much better!

Find a partner

If it’s at all possible, get your spouse, friend, child, or parent to help you paint.  With one person cutting in and one person rolling, you can finish painting a room so much more quickly! 

Just make sure that the person who is helping you is a decent painter.  I once had a friend offer to help me paint, only to spend countless hours later trying to fix where she let paint drip down the cabinets.  So make sure the person has some experience, or that if they don’t, they are willing to learn how to paint correctly.

Have the right tools

Whenever my husband starts a new project, he inevitably has to buy new tools.  Sometimes I joke that he’s coming up with these projects in order to get the tools he wants!

But there’s truth to what my husband is doing.  Having the right tools for a job makes a job work so much better- and painting is no exception! 

These are the must-have tools I would recommend for painting a room:

  • A good quality brush for cutting in (don’t skimp on this– a cheap brush will cost you more in time, and you’ll be constantly pulling bristles out of the paint)- I recommend an angled brush of mid-grade quality
  • Paint tray— see below for a paint tray tip
  • A good roller, decent roller covers, and an extension if you’re painting ceilings or tall walls
  • A paint key for opening cans, and a hammer for resealing them (Paint keys are often free or very cheap at paint stores.  If you’re buying paint at a big box store, you may not be able to find one)
  • A painter’s comb— see below for more details

Painters brushI had never seen or heard of a painter’s comb until my great friend Joanna came and helped me with all this painting lately.  It is awesome!!!  Seriously!  It has long tines on one side, and brass bristles on the other.  It makes cleaning a paint brush so quick and easy, and is even effective for the paint brush that might have been left out for a bit too long (I’m sure we’ve all had that happen a time or two, right?).

Skip the painter’s tape

Some people love painter’s tape.  But personally, it just never seems to work well.  It’s great for smooth surfaces, like cabinets, but if you’re painting textured walls it just doesn’t work.  You’ll spend extra time putting the tape on, only to find that paint has seeped under the areas between texture.  Instead of taping, spend that extra time cutting in carefully.  Just angle your brush, and work slowly until you get the hang of it.

Have rags on hand

Spills and mistakes happen.  When I got ready to pour my first can of paint into the paint tray, I don’t know what happened– but I poured paint all over our hardwood floors.  And the following day, Joanna poured paint all over the counter.  I couldn’t stop laughing, since we’ve both done quite a lot of painting in our lives, and yet we were making a complete mess!

There’s also the occasional miss where your roller hits the ceiling or the trim, or your brush touches the wrong wall.  If you quickly wipe those mistakes with a rag (sometimes it needs to be dampened), you can usually avoid having to come back to touch up the mistake.

 Reuse plastic grocery bags

When you’re between coats of paint, wrap your roller with a plastic bag to keep the paint fresh and reuse the roller without having to wash it.

Paint Tray Tip

You can also use a plastic grocery bag to line the paint tray– simply slip the bag over the tray and wrap the bag’s handles around the tray’s legs.  Paint away, and when you’re finished, pull the bag off, pushing the paint inside the bag, and throw the whole thing away.  There will probably still be a little bit of paint on the tray, but it will be so much less clean up time!

If you have any tips for painting, please share them with us!!!


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Wednesday 4th of March 2015

We have done so much painting in the last 6 months (we moved into a fixer upper) I am the queen of using the walmart bags! I totally wish I'd known a painters comb existed though, that would have made clean up so much easier. I'll be sure to get one for next time!

Jamie H

Wednesday 4th of March 2015

Sounds similar to us- we are moving back into a home we've had rented out for 5 years, so lots of painting there. Then painting the house we've been in to try and sell it. The painter's comb is so awesome! I was so glad my friend introduced me to it!!!