Painting might seem like a big undertaking, but if you’re equipped with the right painting tips, tools and techniques, the process is far less daunting than it seems. When it comes to getting the job done right, no one knows better than the pros, so we turned to the experts to learn the best painting hacks to help save you time, money paint faster and get the best results.
These painting tips and tricks from the pros cover all the bases.
1. Proper Prep before painting is the key to getting the job done fast
Experts and amateurs alike will tell you that prep is everything when it comes to painting. Yes, it can feel tedious and time-consuming, depending on your space, but if done right, the rest of your paint job will be a breeze.
Proper prep not only means cleaning your surface thoroughly and but taking care to sand walls, especially when you’re painting over a higher gloss or oil-based finish. Use a 120-grit sanding sponge to smooth out imperfections and clear your wall of any dust and debris. That, pros say, will ensure that you aren’t painting over anything that could cause the paint to chip and fall off down the road.
2. Always use high-quality paint
Using a high-quality paint will always save you time and money because they allow for an easier, more even application and offer better coverage, so you end up using less paint. Premium paint also creates a better vibrancy of color better durability and better overall performance attributes such as being able to wash and scrub your walls clean as well as properties such mildew resistance. Cheap paints typically lack these types of attributes and have a far less durable finish so your paint job won’t hold up well over time.
3. Use an extension pole to paint faster
If you really want to save time on your paint job, an extension pole is a must! Pros always use one because they give you greater leverage and reduce strain on your arms and back allowing you to paint with less effort so you can easily roll with it (pun intended!). Extension poles also gives you better control over the amount of pressure you apply when painting. When the roller is directly in your hand, you may apply inconsistent amounts of pressure without knowing, which can cause the paint to go on thicker in some areas and thinner in others. Keeping the pressure consistent throughout and having more control will ensure the paint dries evenly and the color looks its best.
4. Don’t cheap out on your roller cover
Whatever you do, don’t cheap out on your roller cover. Next to premium paint, a good quality roller cover is your best friend. It’s what applies the paint directly to your wall and the quality of your roller cover has a direct impact on how your paint finish turns out. Cheap, low-quality roller cover will shed hairs, leaving fuzzy lint to dry into your paint and ruin your finish. Cheap roller covers also have a weak inner core that will start to dissolve when it comes into contact with your paint, causing it to slide off the roller frame during application (which slows you down and is a major annoyance!) .
5. Hold your paint brush properly
When using a paint brush (most likely for cutting in and painting trim), you’ll have the most control and the most even application if you nestle it between your fingers, like chopsticks, right where the bristles and the metal ferrule meet. Never hold a brush by the handle while painting, and don’t load on paint more than 1/3 of the way up the bristles.
For rollers, the direction of the handle will make all the difference, too. Attached the frame to the right side of your roller cover, with the hook or the “U” facing in. This allows you to apply more paint with each roll and then evenly feather it out.
6. Use a plastic bag to keep your paint fresh
If you haven’t picked up on the theme, consistency is key to a flawless paint job and one surefire way to accomplish that is by making sure your roller doesn’t start to dry out during painting. If you walk away to take a break and leave your roller sitting in the tray of paint, the top portion may begin to dry, which could leave marks when you start painting again. (Semi-gloss finishes are especially prone to brush marks if you don’t keep your wall and your roller wet during the paint process.) One genius hack is to use a plastic zip bag to keep your both your tray and your roller cover fresh if you need to take a break.
7. Don’t leave tape on too long
Pro painters suggest removing your painter's tape just before the paint is completely dry for a couple of reasons: If any paint has managed to seep underneath, it will be easier to clean up the lines while the paint is still wet. Also, if you wait until the paint has fully dried and your tape is adhered very strongly, there's a chance you may remove some of your newly painted finish along with the tape.