How To Paint A House Interior Walls

How to Paint Interior Walls Like a Pro

Painting your walls may appear to be the most fundamental of home renovation tasks, one that novices can complete with equal ease as pros. Even if you’re apprehensive about the prospect of painting your own walls, the potential cost savings that you may gain by doing so could easily persuade you to put your talents to the test and get started. While interior painting does not require the same degree of competence as occupations requiring a high level of technical knowledge, such as electrical work or plumbing, not everything about painting is clear.

It is possible that you may not get a flawlessly smooth painted wall on the first try.

Professional painters have developed a number of processes over the years that help them complete their work more quickly, with a better appearance, and with less mess.

Let’s get this party started.


Remove any objects that are in the way of painting in order to prepare the room. Everything from furniture to light switch covers falls within this category. The more you can remove, the more space you’ll have to move around and produce a better paint job, and the less chance there will be of inadvertent paint splatters on objects you’d rather not paint, such as the sofa or the bookshelf, when you’re painting. Remove any large obstacles from the way. If there are items in the room that you are unable to remove, place them in the center of the room and cover them completely with plastic sheets.

  • Make sure you use the proper screwdriver to remove any light switch and outlet plates as well as any photos, hanging hooks or nails, and towel or clothing hooks.
  • The removal and subsequent replacement of some wall impediments, such as trim, is prohibitively time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • Unless you are doing a whole room redesign, you may find it simpler to mask offbaseboards, crown molding, and trim around windows and doors unless you are doing a complete room remodel.
  • A real and clear visual picture of how well the paint is adhering to the wall may be obtained by shining a white light on the surface you are painting.
  • At your local home center, you’ll find two affordable LED work lights with a combined brightness output of 4,000.

To protect the door or window trim from paint spattering, wrap the tape around the door or window trim on the wall where the door or window is.


  • Preferably coloured primer
  • Interior paint made of acrylic-latex resins. Size of roller frame and cover as requested
  • Size of roller cover as desired
  • Pouring spout for paint can
  • Drop cloth, canvas, or fabric are all acceptable options. a plastic sheeting material
  • Trays and liners for painting
  • Tape for painting
  • Angled paintbrush or paint edging tool (about 2 inches in length)
  • Wooden paint stirring stick
  • Latex or nitrile gloves

Apply the Primer

  • If you are painting a wall, you do not necessarily need to apply a primer. This is especially true if you are repainting a wall the same color as the previous one and the quality of the current paint is good. When the surface is naked drywall paper, a drywall primer should always be used. When working with professionals, it is common for them to suggest that the paint store tint the primer so that it matches the planned wall color, rather than leaving it the customary glaring white. The number of color coatings required is reduced as a result.

Mix the Paint

  • In most cases, you will need to re-mix the paint unless it was mixed at the store only a couple of hours before you started painting it. You may either use a wooden paint stirring stick or insert a metal spiral power mixer attachment into your electric drill to do this task.

Paint the Edges

  • Apply paint to a 4-inch wide swath around the edges with a 2-inch trim brush by dipping the brush gently into the paint can, wiping out the excess, and then painting alongside and slightly on top of the painter’s tape with the brush. Alternatively, if you’re utilizing the cutting-in approach, paint the edges inward approximately 4 inches as well. Paint at least two coats of paint using any approach.

Roll the Paint

  • You will now apply paint to the inner portion of the wall with a roller. Dip the roller in the paint tray and squeeze out all of the excess paint by rolling it across the tray. Place the roller on the wall and paint in “W” shapes in order to fill tiny portions of approximately 4 feet high by 4 feet wide, starting at one end of the wall. Finishing a segment before going on to the next section is recommended. Work swiftly to ensure that the wet edge is maintained. Work from a moist edge at all times to avoid streaking.

Let the Paint Dry and Paint a Second Coat

  • After you’ve completed painting the wall, allow it to cure for at least a couple of hours. The glossier the paint is, the longer it will take to dry. When exposed to dry, warm conditions, flat paint can be ready for repainting in as little as an hour. Repeat the painting a second time

Clean the Work Area

  1. If you’re using acrylic-latex interior paint, you may clean your brush with warm water and a paint comb after you’ve finished painting. Remove the drop cloths and hang them outside to dry over a fence to keep the bugs away. Plastic sheeting should be rolled up and thrown away. Remove the painter’s tape the next day after it has been applied. Take a precise line with the tape and pull it straight back to cut through the paint

Tips For Painting Interior Walls

If you need work done fast and correctly, you can always hire a professional painter to complete the job for you. However, if you have the opportunity and want to learn to paint like a master, consider the following suggestions.

Use Top-Quality Paint

Purchasing low-quality paint may appear to be a cost-saving strategy on paper, but after the paint is applied to the wall, it becomes apparent that it was a mistake. Poor paint necessitates the application of numerous layers, and it may still peel and chip after a while. Because interior walls are so apparent, many homeowners believe it is necessary to invest in high-quality paint, even if it means paying a somewhat higher price.

Use Wider Roller Covers

Using broader roller frames and coverings can help you finish your painting faster. The most popular width on the consumer market is 12 inches, primarily because it is more convenient to handle than other sizes. Many painters even utilize a roller frame and cover that is 9 inches wide. However, if you are physically capable of utilizing an 18-inch roller, it will significantly speed up your painting process. If you plan on painting a large number of walls, it will be worthwhile to invest in a larger roller.

Use Masking Film

Plastic masking film is frequently used by professional painters to protect neighboring walls, ceilings, and windows from paint. The surface of this ultra-thin plastic is held in place by static electricity. Some masking film is packaged with an edge of painter’s tape already attached.

Use a Canvas or Fabric Drop Cloth

Plastic sheeting works well for covering chairs and other locations where you won’t be strolling about in anyway. However, a canvas drop cloth gives a more stable surface to stand on when it comes to underfoot. Additionally, a canvas or fabric drop cloth can be re-used several times.

Learn the Cut-In Technique

While taping the edges using painter’s tape is a good technique, experienced painters prefer to employ the freehandcutting-in approach to achieve the best results. A steady hand and a trim brush are required for this tape-free process in order to draw a smooth ring of paint.

Indoor Painting Tips & Techniques

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To Avoid Lap Marks, Roll the Full Height of the Wall and Keep a Wet Edge

Lap markings are those unsightly lines that appear as a result of uneven coats of paint being built up. They arise when you roll over paint that has already dried to a certain extent. (Latex paint can begin to harden in less than a minute if it is exposed to warm, dry conditions!) Learn how to paint interior walls by following these guidelines. When learning how to paint interior walls, the key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” which means that each stroke of your roller overlaps the preceding stroke before the paint can begin to dry, as seen in the image below.

  • When layers of paint are built up in an uneven manner, the result is those unsightly lines known as “lap marks.” The paint chips are formed when you roll over paint that has already dried to a certain extent. (Latex paint may harden in less than a minute if it is exposed to warm, dry circumstances.) Learn how to paint interior walls with the help of these pointers! Keeping a “wet edge” means that each stroke of your roller overlaps the preceding stroke before the paint can begin to dry. When learning how to paint interior walls, maintaining a “wet edge” is critical to prevent lap lines. The following are some painting hints and recommendations:

2/10Handyman for the Family

Mix Several Cans of Paint in a Large Bucket for a Consistent Color Throughout the Room

The hue of the paint may differ somewhat from one can to the next. If you have to open a fresh can in the center of a wall, you may notice a significant difference in performance.

The difficulty is resolved by mixing the paints together. It’s better to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it in a 5-gallon bucket (a technique known as “boxing”) before beginning. Here are some helpful painting suggestions:

  • When it is difficult to estimate coverage, when learning how to paint interior walls, it is better to overestimate rather than underestimate. When you have leftovers, you may always pour them back into the cans
  • For large operations, use the bucket and a roller screen instead of the roller tray. In comparison to using a roller pan, loading your roller with the screen is far faster. Simplest method is to plunge the roller into the paint bucket and then roll it along with the screen until the leaking stops

3/10Handyman for the Family

Let the Paint Dry, Then Cut the Tape Loose for a Perfect Edge

Once the paint has dried, it is not possible to simply peel the tape away from the trim. Paint develops a film between the wall and the tape, and removing the tape causes chunks of dried paint to be ripped from the surface of the wall. So, before you start peeling the tape off, cut it free. Wait for the paint to cure completely, at least 24 hours, before slicing through the film with a sharp utility knife or box cutting knife. Start with a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that the paint is firm enough to slice through neatly.

Using a 45-degree angle, pull the tape up as you cut through the paint.


Painting Techniques: Paint the Trim First, Then the Ceiling and Walls

When learning how to paint interior walls, professionals normally follow a specific sequence. They begin by painting the trim, then the ceiling, and finally the walls. This is due to the fact that it is easier (and quicker) to tape off the trim than it is to tape off the walls. And you definitely don’t want to tape them both together either. When painting the trim, there is no need to be meticulous. Concentrate solely on achieving a smooth finish on the wooden surface. Don’t be concerned if some of the trim paint gets on the walls.

Once the trim has been completely painted and dried (for at least 24 hours), tape it off (using “easy release” painter’s tape) and proceed to paint the ceiling and then the walls and ceiling again.


Prime and Texture Wall Patches To Avoid a Blotchy Finish

Freshly painted walls lessen the appearance of blotchy paint. The hue is consistent, but the luster varies from one person to another. This commonly develops over the holes and cracks that you filled with a filler or drywall compound after they have been repaired. Flaking occurs as a result of the paint being absorbed by the porous fillers, which dulls the surface. When the sun shines on these drab areas, they stand out like painful thumbs like a sore thumb. It also shines out against the somewhat lumpy texture of the rest of the wall, which makes the smooth area stand out even more.

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Primer helps to keep paint from sinking into the patch and becoming drab.

Select a nap thickness that corresponds to the texture of the surrounding walls (a 3/8-inch nap roller for smooth walls; a 1/2-inch nap roller for textured walls).


Clean Dirty Surfaces So the Paint Can Form a Strong Bond

It is quite easy for paint to chip or peel off filthy or greasy surfaces if it is painted over them. So, to prepare for painting, use a deglosser or a heavy-duty cleaner designed specifically for prepaint cleaning to remove grime from surfaces. They are effective for cleaning painted, varnished, or enameled surfaces and for improving the adherence of new paint on previously painted surfaces. They’re particularly useful for cleaning greasy or oily surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom walls, as well as for removing hand prints from around light switches and doorknobs.

Begin from the bottom and work your way up. After the surface has been thoroughly cleaned, fill up any nicks and holes with a filler and sand them flat before applying the paint. Make sure to protect your hands and eyes with rubber gloves and goggles. 7/10 Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Roll Paint Along the Edges for Consistent Texture

Only using a brush, corners and regions near to trim are painted, and the texture of the paint in these areas is obviously different from the surrounding paint. The paint should be applied with a brush, then rolled out soon thereafter to ensure that the finishing texture is consistent in these places. Use a 3-in. roller with a nap that is the same thickness as the roller that was used for the remainder of the wall to finish this section of the wall. Roll as close to the wall as you can without bumping into it or slopping paint over the trim on the other side.

8/10 Mr.

Use Cotton Drop Cloths Rather Than Plastic

Whatever you do, spills and spatters will occur no matter how careful you are. It’s far less difficult to prepare for them than it is to remove them from your carpets or off your wood floor later on. In order to achieve this, just place canvas drop cloths around your work space. Because the thick canvas holds its shape, there is no need to tape it down, and it may be used to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are difficult to walk on or use as a platform for a ladder because they are slippery and do not hold their shape.

  1. Canvas is slick on hard floors, thus rosin paper is preferable to vinyl, tile, and hardwood floors, which are less slippery.
  2. Nonetheless, even with drop cloths made of canvas or rosin-paper, significant spills must be cleaned up immediately or they will leak through to the next layer.
  3. Similarly, if you spatter paint on any other surface, clean it off as soon as possible.
  4. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family

Feather Out Paint Where You Can’t Keep a Wet Edge

When painting huge areas like ceilings, towering walls, or stairwells, you won’t be able to cover them in a single continuous stroke, therefore the best approach to prevent lap marks on these surfaces is to feather out the paint around the edges that you won’t be able to keep wet. The application of a thinner, more feathery coat of paint will prevent the accumulation that generates the lap mark from occurring. Roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge of a wide amount of paint to avoid leaving lap lines.

Move on to the next area of the wall or ceiling when you have completed the whole length of the wall or ceiling.

The second coat should be applied in the opposite direction of the first.

10/10 Mr.

Sand Trim Between Coats for an Ultra-Smooth Finish

On trim, one layer of paint generally isn’t enough to cover the underlying color and luster. It is also possible that the finish will have a gritty texture if the surface is not sanded between layers. Sand the trim well before applying each layer of paint to ensure a smooth finish. Using a fine-grit sanding sponge, smooth off the trim. Sponges can penetrate into gaps where sandpaper can’t, allowing you to apply uniform pressure throughout the project. Then apply the first layer of paint, allow it to cure for at least 24 hours, lightly sand it again to ensure that the surface is perfectly smooth, and then apply the second coat of paint.

After each sanding session, vacuum the trim and then wipe it down with a tack cloth to eliminate any remaining dust and particles. The original publication date was February 9, 2021.

How to Paint a Room in 10 Easy Steps

In most cases, one coat of paint will not be enough to conceal the underlying color and gloss of wood trim and molding. Furthermore, if you don’t sand the surface smooth between coats, the finish may have a gritty quality to it. Before applying each layer of paint, sand the trim to ensure a smooth finish. – Use a fine-grit sanding sponge to smooth out the trim. Spackle gets into cracks and crevices that sandpaper can’t reach, allowing you to apply uniform pressure throughout the project. Afterwards, apply the first layer of paint and allow it to cure for at least 24 hours before lightly sanding it once more to ensure a fully smooth surface before proceeding to the second coat.

Originally published on February 9th, 2021 by

5. Prep the walls and the room

Remove all of the furniture from the room since you don’t want to ruin your favorite sofa or that item Grandma gave you. If you don’t have enough space to move everything you possess, you may just push everything to the middle of the room instead. Prevent spatter from reaching the pieces by covering them with a drop cloth or lightweight plastic sheeting. Do the same for the floor and any cupboards or worktops that could be at risk of getting splattered. HGTV stars John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino, who are cousins, advise not to skip using a drop cloth because “paint will splatter, we promise.” The Colaneris and Carrinos are New Jersey contractors who have appeared on the HGTV shows CousinsUndercoverandKitchen Cousins, as well as The Build Up and Grand Design on Ellen DeGeneres’s Ellentube.

It’s critical to have a strong seal so that paint doesn’t go under the tape, and it should also come away cleanly once everything is dry, according to Colaneri and Carrino.

Remove the covers from the light switches and outlets, and use painter’s tape to shield the outlets and switches from paint drips.

How to Paint Your Walls Like a Pro

Ballookey Klugeypop – Creative Commons Attribution Paint your home’s interior is by far the most popular do-it-yourself home improvement project, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Adding a fresh coat of paint is the most effective and cost-effective way to update a room’s appearance. Furthermore, painting is not a particularly difficult skill to learn and does not necessitate specialized training. Homeowners of any physical ability can paint rooms; all you need is a little patience, a little practice, and some helpful advice.

  • If you follow these suggestions, you will not only paint more effectively, but you will also work more quickly and neatly.
  • That means you’ll have to scrape, sand, patch, and fill every hole, crack, dent, and imperfection in the surface of your car.
  • No amount of paint, no matter how expensive, what color it is, how thick it is, or what the manufacturer claims, will conceal a pockmarked or cracked surface.
  • However, priming should be done every time you paint.
  • First and foremost, it prevents stains from seeping through.
  • Third, and perhaps most importantly, it enhances paint adherence, resulting in a significant reduction in blistering and peeling.
  • The capacity of the topcoat to totally conceal the prepared surface is substantially improved as a result of this technique.

3 Rather than using plastic, go for canvas.

Unlike other materials, canvas is exceptionally robust and rip-resistant.

Canvas, as opposed to plastic drop cloths, absorbs paint drips and does not become slippery when splattered with the paint.

Furthermore, most plastic drop cloths must be disposed of once they have been used.

4 Make a beeline for an Extension Pole.

Extension poles are available in a variety of lengths, up to 18 feet in length, but one that extends from 18 to 36 inches is sufficient for painting rooms with ceilings ranging from 8 to 9 feet in height.

When searching for extension poles, seek for ones with a comfortable, non-slip grip and a robust metal core, such as those made by Grainger.

Handles made entirely of plastic are overly flexible, making them difficult to control.

Painting using a roller from a paint tray is a pointless and clumsy endeavor.

A paint grid is just a rectangular, stiff metal or plastic screen that is attached to the lip of the bucket with a hook and loop fastening system.

To remove extra paint, dip the roller sleeve into the paint and roll it against the grid to remove the excess.

At the end of the day, place the grid in the bucket and secure the top with a click.

In lieu of this, simply brush or roll off any extra paint before firmly wrapping them in plastic food wrap to keep them fresh.

Then store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

Simple removal of the equipment from cold storage 30 minutes before to painting the next day will ensure that it is supple and ready for usage.

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20 Secrets the Pros Won’t Tell You About Painting a Room

1Brush Away Any Flaws The first step in applying a flawlessly smooth layer of paint to walls, ceilings, and woodwork is to ensure that the surface is as smooth as possible. One professional suggested that Sander might be a more appropriate work title than Painter, given the amount of time he spends pressing sandpaper. By sanding with the right abrasive paper, you may assist level off patched plaster and drywall joint compound, flatten ridges around nail holes, and feather out repairs so that they fit in with the surrounding surface in an unnoticeable way.

  1. Furthermore, roughening up a glossy painted surface with fine-grit sandpaper makes it easier for the new paint layer to adhere to the surface after application.
  2. Make sure to slightly overlap each stroke to ensure that you don’t miss any locations when you’re painting.
  3. Make cautious not to put too much pressure on the sanding pole, otherwise the swiveling head may turn over and cause damage to the wall.
  4. When sanding beautiful woodwork, a sanding sponge works well since it goes into the crevices and quickly adapts to the curves of the surface.
  5. Brushes that are too cheap are a waste of money.
  6. A $3 plastic brush will give the appearance that you splattered paint on the wall with a rake, which is exactly what you did.
  7. PurchaseWoosterorPurdypaintbrushes, which are somewhat more expensive than normal paintbrushes but are significantly more durable and apply paint more smoothly.

It’s multi-functional, and you may wash and reuse it until the bristles are reduced to a nub of bristles.

It will be easy to apply, will provide the finest coverage, and will endure for a long period.

Furthermore, the entire painting project will be completed more quickly and efficiently, and it will appear better as a result.

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If you’re painting a room, don’t bother removing all of the furniture from the space.

This will protect the furniture from paint drips and splatters, as well as from all of the sanding dust, during the painting process.

However, if you paint directly over the patched areas, the compound will suck the moisture out of the paint, resulting in a flat, dull appearance; this is referred to as “flashing” in the industry.

It is critical to prime the walls before painting them in order to avoid seeing patched areas through the final coating of paint.

It is more effective at disguising patched areas and covering up the original paint color when the primer is tinted.

In particular, if you’re painting over bright colors like red or orange, you may need three or more topcoat applications if you don’t first apply a tinted primer to the surface.

Painter’s tape is an absolutely necessary component of any painting project, especially when masking off wood trim.

Make a good job of applying the tape before you begin painting in order to prevent the time-consuming task of scraping off the wayward paint.

That will prevent any paint from bleeding.

Masking tape leaves left a sticky residue that is difficult to remove completely.

Painter’s tape may be left on for days (and in some cases up to two weeks), and it will still come off cleanly and without leaving any residue.

The presence of visible lap marks in the completed paint coat is a telling indicator that a room has been painted by a beginner DIYer rather than a qualified professional.

This does two things: First, it shortens the drying period of the paint, allowing you more time to paint over previously painted areas without developing unsightly lap marks, which occur when you apply new paint to previously painted surfaces.

Extenders are used by professionals while painting drywall, woodwork, cabinets, and doors.

of extender for one gallon of paint is the recommended amount.

Up to 16 oz.

7 Create a ridge in textured ceilings by scraping it.

Pros have a straightforward solution: Scrape a small amount of the texture off the ceiling using the point of a slotted screwdriver as you go around the perimeter of the room.

You may now cut around the ceiling without worrying about putting paint on the wall or ceiling.

8Use Drop Cloths Made of Canvas Painters who work in the industry don’t use old bed sheets as drop cloths, and you shouldn’t either.

Also, avoid using plastic sheeting to protect your surfaces.

And if you step in wet paint, you’ll wind up trailing it all over the home with your shoes.

Canvas drop cloths are what the professionals use.

Furthermore, unless you’re painting the ceiling, you won’t need a drop cloth that’s large enough to cover the entire room.

9 Finish one wall before moving on to the next.

A seamless appearance is achieved by cutting into one wall and then immediately rolling on the paint before the cut-in sections have a chance to dry.

Additionally, when moving between brushing and rolling, cover your paint bucket, tray, or container with a moist cloth to prevent your paint and equipment from drying out while not in use.

Taping around the window frame and grill isn’t necessary for painting windows, according to the manufacturer.

Instead, try this professional trick: Allow a small amount of paint to drip onto the glass while you paint the window.

Make sure to avoid slicing through the paint bond that exists between the wood and the glass.

Paint in 11-Boxes for Consistent Color Guess what happens when you purchase two or more cans of the same color paint?

This is due to the fact that paint color changes only little across cans.

When painting, professionals blend their paint cans into a five-gallon bucket, a procedure known as “boxing” paint, to ensure color constancy from beginning to end.

Some professionals may then paint right from the bucket.

12 Purchase an additional bucket or two.

Furthermore, a stir stick alone will not be sufficient to bring settled paint back to life.

That is the most effective, and in many cases, the only, method of ensuring that your paint is properly and thoroughly mixed.

13Wash Roller Covers are available.

Pre-washing removes any stray bits of fluff that will certainly come out once you begin working on your painting.

And you don’t have to wait for the roller coverings to dry before using them; you can start using them right away.

Instead of laboriously masking off or cutting around electrical outlet plates and switch plates, just grab a screwdriver and remove them from their mountings.

Remember to keep track of all the screws so that you can reinstall the cover plates when the paint has dried.

When you’re painting while in a terrible set, you’re in a horrible physical posture, according to painter slang.

The good news is that the vast majority of problematic settings can be avoided.

Sure, it’s inconvenient, but it’s not nearly as inconvenient as falling into your paint bucket because you were dangling from your ladder like an America’s Cup crew member while painting.

Allowing you to paint in a difficult position because the refrigerator is in your way, stop and roll it out of the way.

That’s what happens when you accidentally miss a place without recognizing it.

As a result, invest in a high-quality, bright work light that you can use to assess your progress as you go or at the end of each phase.

Holidays are simple to solve while you’re still at work, but they’re far more difficult to deal with once you’ve cleaned up and put everything back where it belongs.

If the surface is greasy, dirty, or dusty, paint will not adhere to it.

In certain instances, degreaser should be used to thoroughly clean the surface before painting.

Because this material is quite strong, be careful to read the label and follow the instructions.

18 Begin with a brush that has been loaded.

They paint the bottom 112 in.

Heavy drips are removed, and the brush is prepared for painting as a result.

Consequently, the brush becomes too dry and the paint becomes insufficient.

Using too much paint in room corners or around wood trim can easily result in drips and runs if your brush is clogged with the pigment.

As the paint is being unloaded from the brush, approach closer to the trim or corner and softly slide the brush along it.

If necessary, repeat the process a couple of times to ensure complete coverage.

20 Put It In a Bag When you’re ready to call it a day but haven’t completed painting, leave the roller cover on the roller frame and soak the cover in paint until you’re ready to call it a day.

This will keep the roller cover in good condition until you return to painting the following day.

Then, the next time, apply a fresh roller cover.

To remove oil-based paint, dilute it using paint thinner.

Ezra Dyer is a Senior Editor at The New York Times.

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The Secrets of Pro Painters

Kevin O’Connor sits down with master painter Mauro Henrique to talk about painting techniques in this video clip. Kevin is shown how to wield a paintbrush by Mauro, who is a professional painter himself. Mauro then fills the brush with paint and demonstrates to Kevin how to paint a piece of baseboard in the appropriate manner. After purposefully dabbing paint across the wall, Mauro demonstrates how to clean it up before demonstrating the advantages of using painter’s tape on the wall.

How to Hold a Paint Brush

To paint like a professional, you must first learn how to handle your brush properly. Placing the brush’s handle flat against the back of your thumb while holding the ferrule (the metal component that binds the bristles together) between your index and middle fingers is a good technique for cleaning a brush. To use a slanted brush correctly, the tip should be on the finger side rather than the thumb side.

How Long Does It Take To Paint a Room?

A typical-sized room takes painters two to four days to paint, depending on the size of the space. That is the amount of time it takes to properly prep, prime, and paint a surface. It takes more effort, but when you step back and look at the end effect, you’ll agree that it was time well spent.

21 Tips for Painting Like a Pro

If an accidental brushstroke should happen to land on the wall, don’t be concerned; wet paint is quite easy to remove. If you have a moist towel handy, you may use it to wipe the wet paint off the wall by stretching the fabric over your index finger. Just make sure to tuck the extra cloth into your hand to keep it from coming into contact with the wet baseboard.

2. Even Pros Use Painter’s Tape—Sometimes

Even professional painters have to resort to the usage of painter’s tape from time to time. In order to preserve completed surfaces such as flooring and furniture when painting against them, they will frequently spread masking tape across the surface. When it comes to painting walls and trim, however, they generally eschew the use of masking tape in favor of their expertise and steady hands. The majority of us are capable of painting a space to a satisfactory standard. A seasoned professional, on the other hand, performs an excellent job.

3. Remove Everything From the Room

To begin, clear the space by removing anything from the room. We spoke with many painters, and each shared a horror story of a time when he didn’t adhere to Rule No. 1. Furniture that is bigger in size can sometimes be left covered in the center of larger rooms, but if you are restoring plaster walls, says Chris Span of Span’s Quality Painting in Mobile, Alabama, you should move the furniture out of the way “Remove everything from the room. The dust from drywall gets everywhere.” Removing doors, light fixtures, and hardware, as well as marking everything with masking tape, will save time.

In Waterbury, Connecticut, painter Rich Maceyunas says it’s astounding how well a few drips of paint can cover a floor.

One thing to keep in mind is that paint will soak straight through lightweight materials like bedsheets. Plastic sheeting is effective, although it is extremely slippery and does not absorb spills.

4. Find, Then Fix, Cracks and Dents

Any little cracks, bumps, or nail pops will be visible under the light of an old lamp with a bare bulb held near to the wall. Carmen Toto, proprietor of C. TotoSons in Madison, New Jersey, fills tiny cracks and dents using painter’s putty or a lightweight spackle; he uses plaster of Paris for dents that are more than 1/8 inch deep and larger in diameter. When it comes to bridging over reoccurring stress cracks, Maceyunas employs a rubberized spray-on primer called Good-Bye Crack, rather than the traditional tape and filler procedure that most people are familiar with.

According to Toto, “don’t put spackle on wood because it just will not adhere.” Painter’s putty or a two-part wood filler, such as Minwax’s High Performance Filler, are used to repair damaged trim.

Some of our professionals sand all previously painted walls, regardless of their shape, in order to achieve smoother surfaces and better adherence.

5. Do the Sanding Two-Step

Using sandpaper not only helps to feather out cracked paint, but it also gives the following layer of paint more “tooth.” Instead of sandpaper, a sanding sponge can be used to achieve a glossy finish on trim. Sponges conform to the contours of the trim and last far longer than paper. Painter Brian Doherty of Richmond, Virginia, follows up with liquid sandpaper after hand-sanding to ensure that the surface is totally deglossed and free of gloss to avoid incompatibility issues when painting latex over alkyd paint or when he is unsure of the original finish.

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6. Sponge-Bath Walls

Paint over dust is not recommended unless you want textured walls. TSP (trisodium phosphate) or a mild cleanser, such as Jasco’s TSP No-Rinse Substitute, should be used to clean the walls. The treatment Toto employs for smoke-stained walls is a 50/50 combination of bleach and water. Two buckets are needed to thoroughly clean a wall. Fill your rag or sponge with cleaning solution from your cleaning-solution bucket, then scrub. Before redipping the sponge, rinse it well in a second bucket filled with clean water before continuing.

7. Caulk All Cracks

Filling gaps with a paintable acrylic-latex caulk reduces drafts and restores the appearance of your trim to like new condition. The key to successfully applying caulk is to cut the tip slightly smaller than you believe it should be; too much caulk results in a sloppy mess. Also, instead of using a nail to break the inner seal, use a thin wire to prevent the nozzle from being stretched out. A dripless caulk gun, which automatically reduces the pressure with each pull of the trigger to minimize undesired leaking, is another an option to think about.

8. Pick a Powerful Primer

Primers aren’t merely diluted paint, as some people believe. In order to build a strong, even foundation, cover stains and guarantee that the topcoats of paint go on easily and adhere securely to the surface, they are prepared with special additives. John Weeks, proprietor of John the Painter in Mobile, Alabama, says, “Most people use latex primers, but the experts stick to alcohol and alkyd primers since they’ll cover practically anything.” The look of the topcoat might be affected by the primer.

According to Span, it is acceptable to spot-prime the ceilings, but not the walls, because primed spots will show through.

9. Buy Quality Paint

Glossier paints are often more stain-resistant and scrubbable than matte paints. A greater gloss, on the other hand, draws attention to any defects in the wall or in the paint work. “Eggshell gloss paints work well for ceilings and formal spaces, but for the majority of my clientele, I prefer flat paints rather than eggshell gloss. It is appropriate for corridors, children’s rooms, even kitchens and bathrooms “Toto expresses himself. Latex paints appear to have won over even the most picky artists, according to the evidence.

“Though we still use oil-based paints for restoration work, latex paints are fine for interior walls and new trim,” he adds.

“You should expect to pay $20 to $35 a gallon for a high-quality paint,” says Weeks.

Never cut corners on coverage; if you’re covering more than 400 square feet per gallon, you’re spreading the product too thin.

10. Supercharge Paint

The paint component Floetrol is used for latex paints, while Penetrol is used for alkyds, according to Dixon. “Modern paints dry too rapidly and are difficult to brush out,” he says. In his opinion, a few ounces per gallon of paint will help to reduce the drying process and make the paint more workable. Another issue is that of bridging. Dixon explains that “Latex paints build a skin.” “Removing painted tape can cause the skin to break, resulting in a ragged rather than a precise line when the tape is removed.” Last but not least, recording takes time.

Although mildewcide additives are available, our professionals recommend utilizing bathroom and kitchen paints that include mildew fighters built in.

Because remaining mold spores can survive beneath the paint and ultimately push their way through to the surface, you should carefully prepare the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen as well.

11. Roller Rules

The ideal roller would be large enough to carry an entire room’s worth of paint, leave just the correct amount of texture, not spray or fuzz, and be simple to clean. Until someone comes out with the perfect roller, you may use these guidelines to help you pick the correct one. In addition to adding additional paint to the roller’s grip, Dixon explains that a longer nap will generate more texture on the roller’s surface. In the words of Dixon, “a 1/2-inch nap lamb’s-wool roller retains plenty of paint without imparting too much texture.” “Even less costly rollers can be effective,” Span asserts.

Despite these drawbacks, Maceyunas is adamant about the broader roller’s performance. “Instead of many hundred W and M strokes, the roller can complete an entire wall in a few up and down strokes,” he explains.

12. Use a Bucket

Roller pans are preferred by professionals over 5-gallon buckets with a roller grid. They can carry more paint than pans, and, according to Doherty, “it’s more difficult to topple a bucket.” A bucket also allows you to box, or mix, two or three cans of paint to prevent color inconsistencies when painting a large surface area. When working with a bucket and grid, dip the roller about a quarter of the way into the paint and run it over the ramp to work the paint into the nap of the fabric.

13. Work with a Painter’s Rod

A painter’s rod, also known as a pole, can help you paint ceilings more rapidly since it eliminates the need to climb up and down ladders. Furthermore, there is no need to stand immediately below the area you are painting, which means you will not catch every stray spatter of paint. A pole is also useful for securing items to walls and floors. Even though the experts were divided on whether a 4-foot or an 8-foot pole was the ideal choice for regular usage, they were all in agreement that a telescoping rod was the greatest option.

14. Buy a Better Brush

A quality paintbrush is essential for achieving a professional-looking finish. Despite the fact that an excellent brush costs $15 to $25, Doherty adds that you will realize that professionals aren’t as competent as you had previously believed. “A large part of their success may be attributed to the equipment.” Natural-bristle brushes are preferred by the majority of our professionals for oil-based paints, although synthetic brushes are recommended for all-purpose use. When selecting a brush, pay close attention to the bristles on the brush.

  • The firmer poly bristles are more suited for external or rough work, whilst the softer nylon brushes used by Doherty are better suited for fine interior work.
  • Brushes are offered in widths ranging from one to four inches.
  • “Use your common sense,” Maceyunas advises.
  • Angled brushes make it easier to cut to a line and place more bristles on the job than a straight-tipped brush.

15. Load a Paint Brush the Right Way

After that, you’ll need to figure out how much paint to put on the brush. Mauro recommends dipping the paintbrush into the paint container just deep enough so that there is a two-finger breadth of paint on the end of the brush, as shown in the photo above. If you use too much paint, the ferrule will become clogged, which will alter the way the brush paints. If you use too little, the paint job will take an eternity. Once the paint is added, wipe a small amount of the surplus paint into the bucket.

They discussed how specialists paint rooms in order to help you work more effectively and get greater outcomes. Some of what you’ll read may take you by surprise. For example, their secrets will not reduce the amount of time required to paint.

16. Start Low and Work Your Way to the Edge

Painting baseboards does not need you to apply the paintbrush directly to the joint between the wall and the molding, as is the case with painting crown molding. Instead, start at the bottom of the baseboard and work your way up until the paint is flowing. Then, carefully work your way toward the seam, drawing the paint up to the joint with your finger. This helps to reduce puddling at the seam, resulting in much crisper lines on the final product. If the paint has collected in the area where you started, use the brush to level it out.

17. Double-Check Work

It is necessary to back-prepare or sand away any irregularities in between each layer of paint before applying the next coat. Check the surface with a light to see whether there are any drips, roller specks, or other defects.

18. Focus on Windows

According to Doherty, the ideal time to clean windows is first thing in the morning when you’re up and alert. “However, it still takes me an hour to complete a regular window,” she says. Starting with the inner sash, raise it and lower it until their positions are nearly reversed, then repeat the process with the outer sash. The bottom half of the outer sash should be painted first, followed by the entirety of the inner sash. Once the bottom sash has dried, reposition both windows to their original positions, but leave them slightly ajar to allow for ventilation.

“Windows takes an inordinate amount of time to tape,” explains Doherty.

19. Do Doors Right

The majority of painters have no issue painting doors while they are still in place, but they recommend that you rest the door on sawhorses and work horizontally instead of vertically. If you have a paneled door, begin with the panels and work your way inside from the outside edges into the center of the doorframe. “Be careful around curves because paint tends to puddle,” Dixon cautions. Apply a little “tip off” to the panel with an almost dry brush while the paint is still wet to finish it. The grain of the wood should be followed when painting the stiles (vertical) and rails (horizontal) of the railing.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a glob of paint.

“Make certain that the door is completely dry before painting the other side or rehanging it,” advises Maceyunas.

20. Skip Daily Cleaning

Brushes and rollers are usually not cleaned unless they are going to be used the following day on the same work, according to most professionals. As Maceyunas explains, “Latex paint dries more slowly in cold weather.” To store rollers and brushes for two-day work, he wraps them tightly in plastic shopping bags and places them in the refrigerator.

Just make sure to let the roller get down to room temperature before reusing it, he explains. When it comes to cleaning roller coverings, it is nearly difficult. The majority of professionals purchase new coverings for each task.

21. Expect Touch-Ups

Accidents do happen from time to time. A inexpensive sponge brush will come in handy when you need to integrate a repair with the rest of the wall or furniture. Simply dab the paint on the canvas to give the appearance of a roller.


In his demonstration, Mauro used a Picasso 2-112″ angle cut brush, which is made by Proform Technologies, as well as a Wooster 3″ flat brush to illustrate cutting techniques. Almost all home centers and paint supply stores have a variety of paintbrushes, including both of these models. The paint that Mauro used on the trim was Ultra Pure White by Behr, which is a product of the company.

  • Dripless caulk guns are manufactured by Dripless, Inc.
  • Floetrol and Penetrol paint additives are manufactured by Flood
  • No-Rinse TSP Substitute is manufactured by Jasco Chemical Corp.
  • Sandblaster Sanding Sponges are manufactured by 3M, Construction Markets Division
  • Kilz is manufactured by Kilz, Inc. Total Purdy Corporation manufactures one primer, a high performance wood filler, and brushes and rollers. One primer is manufactured by Masterchem Industries. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer:William ZinsserCo
  • Further reading:House Painting Inside and Outby Mark Dixon and Bob Heidt
  • Wooster Brush Co. The Taunton Press published a book in 1997 for $19.95.

Special Thanks to the Following Painters

  • Dixon’s Painting is the work of Mark Dixon. Brian Doherty of Doherty Painting in Missoula, Montana Rich Maceyunas of Maceyunas Painting and Wallpapering in Richmond, Virginia Carmen Toto, Carmen Toto and Sons, Waterbury, CT
  • Chris Span, Span’s Quality Painting, Mobile, AL
  • And Chris Span, Span’s Quality Painting New Jersey
  • John Weeks, John the PainterMobile, Alabama
  • Madison, NJ

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