Painting Hacks for Beginners
Use our quick tips for a DIY paint job that looks like it was done by a professional.
Painting your home yourself instead of paying someone is a smart way to improve your home. But can your paint job look just as good as a professional one? Absolutely! Using our do-it-yourself guide, you get the drip-free walls you want without the expense. Follow these simple steps.
- Prep your walls. Before you begin painting, you want your walls to feel as smooth as glass. Clean them, sand down lumps or old paint drips, and spackle any holes. Dust and vacuum everything to ensure you start with a clean, even surface to apply your paint.
- Protect floors and furniture. Even professionals can’t avoid dripping paint, so be ready. Put old cloths along the walls. Move furniture into another room or cover it with old blankets. Use plastic wrap to shield sinks, toilets and other things you can’t move.
- Paint the trim. The trim and the walls are usually two different colors. Tackle the trim first. You can buy a paint edger or shield at Home Depot or Lowe’s to help you.
- Tape the trim. Once the trim is dry, use painter’s tape to seal off the edges and/or the ceiling. When you peel it off afterward, be careful! Take a tip from the pros: use a hair dryer on low heat to loosen the tape, then pull it off very slowly.
- Prime and texture patches. Priming does two things: it evens out your surface and stops paint from sinking into the patches where you fixed a hole. Use a roller to apply the primer evenly, giving everything the same texture. Prime patched areas twice.
- Care for your brushes. Before using brushes, run them under cold water and gently move around the bristles. Shake off the excess water and use the damp brush to paint. Also, clean your brushes after every painting session. Rinse them with water (no soap!) and then put them into a mixture of 1 gallon of warm water and 1 cup of fabric softener. Move the brushes around for about 10 seconds, then take them out. Let them dry overnight, sitting flat on an old towel.
More Quick Tips for Painting Effectively
Before you paint:
- Mix paint thoroughly to get a uniform color.
- Pour the paint through a fine strainer to make sure it’s smooth.
- Wipe petroleum jelly on screws or hinges you don’t want to paint. It’s easier to maneuver than painter’s tape!
While you paint:
- Submerge the brush about 2 inches into the container and tap the brush on the side to remove excess rather than wipe the brush off.
- Keep cotton swabs in your pocket to remove small paint drips.
You’ll love how your home looks with your low-cost DIY paint job. Ready for a more significant home improvement project to increase your home’s value? Consider applying for a home equity loan to remodel your kitchen or add a new deck.