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So, you’re painting your home interior. Last week we guided you through the initial preparation steps and the tools required to do the job right. Now, we’re going to uncover some of our favorite tips and tricks for painting success. Read more if you’re ready to tackle that interior paint job in your home. 

It’s All in the Technique 

So, you’re all set up with the right tools and you’ve prepped your room to be painted. What is equally important to have the right tools is knowing how to use them correctly. Maximize the potential of your tools by using these tried and true techniques.

Box your paint. If your job is on the larger side, you will need multiple paint cans. Instead of opening just one at a time, you will want to use a technique called “boxing” your paint. This involves opening all gallons at once and combining them into a large paint bucket. The outcome will be consistent paint from start to finish. 

The putty knife trick. Since you’ll be using painter’s tape to protect your wood trim, the last thing you want is to have that paint not do its job. Color can bleed through and get all over your trim. To avoid this, you want to ensure the tape has completely adhered to the trim. To make sure of this, run a putty knife along the tape after you have applied it. You’ll thank us later. 

Top-down. If you are painting the ceiling, you will want to tackle this first. Next, you will want to use a 2”-3” brush to paint a border along all edges and corners of the ceiling and baseboards. This process is referred to as “cutting.” Then, you’ll move on to rolling the walls. 

Load-and-go. Dip your paintbrush into the bucket of paint to cover about 1.5” of the bottom of the brush. Proceed by lightly tapping each side of the brush against the bucket. This helps to reduce drips and loads the brush with paint. 

Roll it out. Since you’ve already purchased a good-quality roller cover paired with your premium paint, you’re set up for an easy roll. You can use an extension pole to get hard-to-reach parts of the walls. 

Avoid drips and runs. Drips and runs occur when your paint brush is loaded with too much paint and it is applied too close to the corner or the trim. Aim to start with your brush about .5” away from the cut-in part of the wall. Then, move closer and slowly move the brush along the trim or corner. 

Keep the brush wet. If you’re using a gloss or semi-gloss paint, it’s important to note that the glossier the paint, the more prone it is to leaving overlap marks. When rolling, you will want to only cover one square yard at a time. This will make the paint less likely to dry out between strokes, eliminating overlap marks. 

Wall by wall. You may begin your project thinking you want to tackle all of the “cutting” first, then move on and complete all the rolling. However, this method is discouraged. You want to cut then roll, wall by wall. The goal is to get your rolling done before the cut-in corners dry. One more technique to get you a seamless finish. 

Don’t take a holiday. We’re not referring to vacation – you take that trip. However, a painter’s “holiday” refers to when you miss a spot on a wall. This can often happen if you are painting with a similar color or you have poor lighting. Avoid this by using a nice, bright light as you go. Doing this makes correcting that “holiday” much easier than once the paint has fully dried. 

Keep it comfy. In the painter’s world, a “bad set” occurs when you are painting in an uncomfortable position. This can be poor for your body and your range of motion. Don’t be scared to move your ladder, adjust your footing, or take a step back and reassess how to approach. 

Tricks From the Pros

Insider ideas the professionals use. Now, no one will know you did it yourself.

The tape test. Before you start laying paint or primer down on your walls, you will want to perform this test. The tape test is best performed with duct tape and will allow you to get an idea of how well the paint will adhere to the surface of your wall. If you apply and rip it off, seeing more than some tiny particles, you will want to consider scraping and sanding your wall. 

Wrap it or clean it. It’s essential to care for your painting materials right after painting. Having diligent habits around this will extend the life of your tools. If you’re taking a break for lunch, or even just overnight, you can avoid having to clean them. Simply wrap them in plastic wrap or heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can also opt for stashing brushes in sandwich bags in the fridge between coats. 

Paint extender. Want not to give away the fact that you painted the walls? Use a paint extender. This acts as a paint conditioner that will give your finished walls the smoothest finish, free of brush and lap marks. This is possible because the extender will slow the paint drying time as well as level out the paint. 

No more paint on the ceiling. Have a textured ceiling? That can be a painting challenge. Here’s a pro tip: use a slotted screwdriver tip to run along the edges of the textured ceiling. This creates a ridge, removing some of that texture in your brush’s way as you are cutting in. Viola. 


We hope this mini-series will serve you well and help get you on your way to DIY success! Too busy planning your paint job? If you’ve got moving needs, Elite Moving has got you covered. 

Reach out to us today for a complimentary quote!