11 Professional Painting Tips That will Change the Way You Paint


Whenever you want to learn the best way to do something, always look to someone with experience. While I am not a pro painter in the sense that people hire me to paint for them, I paint more than the average person and I’ve been doing it long enough that I believe I have some wisdom to share.

I’ve learned these professional painting tips from years of trial and error and experimenting with what works and with what doesn’t.

Many of these are the same tips and tricks professional painters use. These will help give you the best way to paint a room (or furniture). If you need help selecting & coordinating colors, check out my guide on how to choose paint colors.

Cut In and Paint One Wall before Starting the Next

When it comes to wall painting tips, this is a good one. You want an even finish with no hint of roller or brush marks. The best way to do this is to roll the walls before your cut-in sections dry completely. When you do it this way, the areas blend together better showing less of a contrast between the brushed and the rolled area. If you’re using good quality paint, you may even be able to avoid a second (or third) coat to get even coverage.

Auto Fill Your Paint Roller

the best tools for interior house painting

I happen to like painting, but most people do not. If you want to cut down on the time it takes to paint a room, you might want to check out this tool.

It’s called the Smart Sidekick and it auto-fills your paint roller for you. One end attaches to your roller and the other hooks into the can. With the press of a button, it adds the paint to your roller as you go! No need to run back and forth to a paint tray to reload the roller.

I was really skeptical that the Sidekick would work. I tried it for the first time when I painting my living room and was really surprised at how well it worked. It’s also very easy to use.

Don’t Bother Taping Around Windows

how to tape around windows when painting

Is there anything more tedious than taping around window grids? In my experience, it takes forever. Not only that but getting the tape straight is challenging and never leaves a perfectly straight finish.

You will save time and get a better finish if you skip taping windows when painting the frames. It’s easier and neater to go back over any paint spots on the windows with a razor scraper. You’ll get a clean, sharp line in half the time.

Don’t Wash Your Roller or Brush if You Don’t Finish

This is one of the best professional painting tips!

If you don’t finish your painting on the first day, don’t waste time washing and drying your brush and roller. Simply put them into a bag, tie them up, and pop them into the refrigerator. The next day they will be just as you left them. It’s amazing!

Avoiding/Correcting Drip Marks

how do you avoid drip marks when painting?

The best way to handle drip marks is to prevent them from happening in the first place. There’s a fine line between having enough paint on your paintbrushes as opposed to overfilled. You want it as full as you can get it without dripping. As you apply the paint to the wall, fan the brush out.

If you are painting in a room that isn’t well lit, considering using a painting light. It will help illuminate the wall, showing any drip marks that you may miss if it’s too dark. If you have a lot of painting to do, this would be a worthy investment.

However, if you do find drip marks you can correct them. You can sand it off with sandpaper, or use a razor scraper (see windows above) to remove it. You will then have to be careful to blend the touch-up paint with the existing paint.

Avoid Grease Spots

There is nothing worse than painting a wall (or an old piece of furniture) only to have greasy spots appear. I have had this happen to me with old furniture that I’ve restored. If you are painting a kitchen or anything else where grease could be present, use a degreaser to thoroughly clean the area.

It’ll save you a big headache later because grease spots are hard to correct. The only way to really fix them is to sand off the paint and start over.

Which Painter’s Tape to Use

interior house painting tips painters tape

When it comes to painting tools, quality does matter. If you are using painter’s tape, invest in a quality one such as Frog Tape. After the time invested in applying the tape, you want to be sure you’re using one that doesn’t allow bleed through.

I prefer to use the widest painter’s tape I can find to ensure the most coverage for most jobs. When applying the tape, use a flat edge putty knife to press the tape into place to help avoid bleed through.

Remove the tape before the paint fully dries. If you end up leaving it on too long and the paint starts to crack, use a razor knife to score the tape before removing it.

Use Good Quality Brushes and Rollers

tips for painting a room

If you’ve ever had the fibers of your paintbrush come loose and stick to the paint you’re probably using a poor quality brush. My favorite paint brushes for walls are by far Purdy brushes. They are so well made (actually each one is handmade). You will pay slightly more for these, but they will outlast cheaper brushes when properly cleaned and stored. I like the angled brushes best for cutting in.

For furniture painting and crafts, I suggest Zibra brushes. These are designed with specific jobs in mind.

As for paint rollers, be sure you’re using the right nap. For the walls in your home, a 3/8 – ½ inch roller nap is ideal. The lower the nap, the smoother the finish. Higher naps are meant for rougher surfaces like brick.

Preserving Quality Brushes

When you invest in good quality brushes, be sure to maintain them to get the most for your money. Wash them well and if you’re using oil-based paint or varnishes, use paint thinner to clean them. Store them in the cardboard covers they came in to preserve their shape!

Protecting the Floors

which drop cloth is best for painting

When painting at home, I always use a canvas drop cloth with another plastic drop cloth underneath. The plastic is best for preventing paint bleed through, but it’s slippery to walk around on so I top it with canvas. It’s always better to take the time to prevent messes than to clean them up later.

Try A Paint Sprayer

time saving professional painting tips

I’m a big fan of the paint sprayer for several reasons. It’s SO much quicker than using a brush and will leave you with no brush strokes. I especially like it for furniture painting. If you’ve ever painted anything with spindles with a paintbrush you know how long that can take.

The sprayer is also great for painting kitchen cabinet doors. Take them off, bring them outside and you’ll be done a fraction of the time with a high-quality finish. I’ve even used the sprayer for stenciling projects, it gives a surprisingly crispy outline, much better than with a brush. The sprayer most definitely can be used for painting interior walls, but I still prefer the brush and roller for that because I tend to make a mess when I use the sprayer.

We hoped you picked up some new information with these professional painting tips! Do you have any painting tricks not mentioned here?

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