I was on Instagram a few days ago when someone asked me in a DM about how many times I had I redecorated my home. At first I started laughing because I felt triggered, but then I started really thinking about it. Truthfully, my home has gone through so MANY updates over the last 4 years (in the process of doing an office overhaul right now). While many of the updates have been strictly decor based, many of these renovations have involved paint and A LOT of it. Some of my painting adventures have been home-runs while others have been complete disasters.
If you are looking to make a major impact in a room without a major financial investment, paint is the number one way to go. Painting your space is inexpensive, easy to do yourself (if you do it right), and can be changed if needed so it also works for renters. If you have been wanting to take a stab at painting a room in your home, now is a great time to try.
Regardless of what some of our Governors are saying, most of us will be staying in the house for the next few weeks and most likely have some extra time on our hands. Here are the TOP painting tips and tricks I swear by to get the best paint finish every time.
1. Do NOT Buy Cheap Paint
This may be the most important point of all. In the past, I have tried to save a few bucks with my projects by buying the cheapest line of paint only to HATE the results later. Not only does cheap paint not give you a good paint finish, but usually you end up having to purchase MORE paint than you usually would due to the fact that you have to use more paint to get the right coverage. Spending the extra $7-$10 to buy the higher quality paint at the store will not only give you a better finish, save you money, but it will actually last longer on your walls. I personally like to buy the Signature line from Lowes. Most big box hardware stores can mix any color you want into their brand name paint and I have had no issues with using the Signature and Diamond lines. If you really like a paint color, but worry it might be a tad too dark or too light in your space, you can ask the associate to mix it a percentage darker (i.e. 30%, 50%). Increasing or decreasing the percentage will give a subtle change to the color you are wanting without changing the color drastically.
2. Get the Right Tools
Similar to point number 1, having the right tools on deck is also major in making sure you get a professional finish on your paint jobs. My painting tool kit consists of:
* Rubber-handle 2in paint brush
* Woven roller brush- these have been pre-wet and are a woven texture. These are amazing for walls and ceilings
* 2in. Frog tape- Using a high quality painters tape really helps to make sure you get a crisp line every time
* A metal paint tray with a plastic insert- The metal tray helps to steady your paint so it doesn't spill everywhere.
* Paintable, White Caulk
* A large piece of cardboard- To hold your paint can on
I do not cut corners on buying the right brushes or rollers. Dollar store brushes may seem like they do the job, but they don't. Rubber handle paint brushes are literally the GOAT. The flexibility of the handle makes painting in a straight line a breeze. Using an angled brush helps with cutting in on tight spaces. Micro-fiber rollers that are "pre-wet" absorb a good amount of paint and help to disperse the paint evenly throughout the wall.
3. A Can of White Paint on Deck
Having a small can of ultra white paint on deck is crucial to getting a professional paint finish. After you finish painting your room/ walls- you will ALWAYS need to go back and do touchups. Having a small can of white paint available to repaint your baseboards and ceiling line after you finish painting will give you a professional look every time. Make sure you wait until after your paint is fully dry to start your baseboards, ceiling lines or touch-ups. Wet paint plus white wet paint usually creates a muddy mess that is more of a headache to clean up later.
4. Do Not Rush- Prep your Space
I cannot tell you how many times I have spilled paint in my house because I was rushing through a paint job. I once literally spilled an ENTIRE CAN of paint on my carpet simply because I was not paying attention during a project. I literally ran screaming and crying to Rich. Once an entire can of paint spills on your carpet, there is no going back. You will have to replace the carpet and it will be expensive. Taking the time to properly prep and secure your painting space will save you time and money later. If you are short on time, come back to your painting project when you have more time to devote to it. Rushing the job will never be good. Take an extra 15 minutes to properly tape up your space. If you do not have a lot of experience painting, tape your baseboards and ceiling lines up to prevent a messy look.
5. Roll First, Cut Later
When painting spaces, I always use the same tried and true method- I roll first with the roller, cut-in with the brush later. I like to roll paint on the wall in a V motion. When you roll your paint in a V motion, you will get better coverage of paint on your wall rather than rolling in an up and down motion. Rolling up and down vertically can create lines and paint strokes that will look terrible when they dry. Rolling in a V or W motion helps to make sure your paint will dry evenly with great coverage AND you will save your back in the process.
Using my 2in paintbrush, I always cut in baseboards and ceilings AFTER I roll paint on the walls. To get the best coverage, I roll the paint as high on the wall as I can reach and I use the brush to paint in the rest. Personally, I like to use a new paintbrush for every paint job. Is this cost effective? probably not. But spending $8 on a new paintbrush and getting a great finish is better than trying to reuse an old brush and spending hours trying to clean up mistakes from using an old, stiff brush.
6. Statement Wall? Try White Caulk
If you have ever painted a statement wall you know how crucial it is to get a perfectly straight seam between your two paint colors. For awhile I used to use just painters tape to achieve this and I would just touch up mistakes with a small paintbrush after I was finished. Now, I use paintable, white caulk. Using a thin bead of caulk, I add the caulk down the seam of the wall very thin. Using my finger, I smooth out the caulk, pressing it into the wall seam. Once the caulk is dry, I apply tape like I normally would and proceed with painting my statement wall color. Once I am finished, I remove the tape and admire my perfectly straight wall line. The caulk trick also works for ceiling lines as well!
7. Selecting the Proper Paint Finish
This point is a big one and something I see a lot of people making mistakes on. When buying paint, it is important that you are selecting the proper paint finish for the room you are painting. I tend to stick with either eggshell or satin finishes depending on the color I am going with because they provide the most durability for high traffic areas. Flat paint is going to be the hardest to clean and a high-gloss is going to be the most light reflective.
8. Try Before You Buy- Paint Samples
How many times have you gone to the store and bought something just to get home and realize you hated it? I know I am guilty of this more times than I can even count. When selecting paint, it is super important that you get several paint samples to test before you pull the trigger on buying paint. While it may require a few extra trips to the hardware store, testing paint samples will allow you to see what your paint color looks like during the daytime and the nighttime since paint hue changes depending on the light. Also, its important to see how your paint will match with your furniture, decor and overall mood.
Alternatively, if you start painting a room and realize that you hate a color, do not wait until you finish painting the room to return it. Most hardware stores will let you return or exchange open paint. If you think you hate the color when you start, most likely you will not like the color when you complete the project either.
If you need to store your brushes or paint rollers overnight to finish a job later, wrap your brushes and rollers TIGHTLY in a plastic ziplock bag and store them in the refrigerator. I like to keep my brushes wet if I know I need to come back to a paint job because rinsing them out just causes extra water to be stored in them and has potential to water down your paint. Make sure to put the lid on your paint tightly and store it in a temperature controlled environment to preserve the life of your paint incase you need to do touch-ups later. You would be surprised at how many spots, scuffs and marks will end up on your walls after a few years of living in your space.
I like to store my paint in glass mason jars in my pantry. I find that the lids on the jars keep my paint fresh and they are easy to get to when I have to do quick touch-ups every few months from the kids hands, scuffs or scratches.
I did not start off painting my house like an expert. I have dropped cans of paint on my flooring, wasted hundreds of dollars on colors I hated, lived with paint that was ugly- its been a real process. What I have learned through it all is that like anything else in life, creating a home you love takes TIME and effort. Your home style WILL EVOLVE. The style and colors you like now may not be the style you like in a year or two and that's ok. The great thing about paint is that it can be changed relatively easy.
I hope you feel inspired to tackle a paint project of your own. Now is a great time to really get to work to make your home a place where you feel comfortable and secure. Personalizing your space does not have to cost a lot of money and with a bit of prep, the right tools and a bit of wine- you can use paint to give a room in your home a major facelift.
Make sure to share your paint projects with me on social @dailybynikkid
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