31+ Painting Tips that will Distinguish You from Amateurs

In this post, we will discuss painting in detail and give you some tips that will set you apart from amateurs and help you get a head start in painting.

best painting tips


31+ Best Painting Tips

1. Choose a temperate day to paint

It is very important that you do your painting job in certain weather conditions. Do not paint on hot days, windy weather or in rain. Make sure the day is dry. Dry conditions allow the paint to dry up quickly without causing any drips. Moisture can cause the paint to bubble up.

However, if you must paint during humid weather, let it take its time to dry up. You can utilize this opportunity in correcting any errors that you might have made while painting. 

Try to follow the shadow when painting outside. Painting during hot days and directly under the sun causes the paint to dry up too quickly. The optimum temperature for a painting job is between 50 to 90 fahrenheit. Below 50 degree fahrenheit, the paint tends to not adhere properly.  

2. Degrease the walls

Before you start painting make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned the surface, may it be walls, ceiling, doors etc. The paint does not adhere to a dirty surface, rather it will result in paint chipping off or peeling away. 

We recommend that you use deglossers and heavy-duty cleaners to clean any grime surfaces intended for pre-paint clean up. Wipe off the surfaces with the cleaner in a circular motion using an abrasive pad or a lint-free fabric.

3. Fill up any cracks and holes

The next prep step is to fix any crack and holes on the surface to be painted. You can use wood filler to cover any nicks on the wooden surfaces and plaster of paris for concrete surfaces. 

After the filler has dried, smoothen it by using a sandpaper. 

4. Sand, sand, and sand

A good paint job depends a lot on how well the surface was sanded. Sanding is important as it levels out any spackles, smoothens ridges around nail-holes and filler patches. 

We recommend that you use a fine-grit sandpaper, on a sandpole. First go from baseboard to ceiling and then go horizontally along the baseboard upto the ceiling. 

Sanding is especially important if you are painting the trim. We recommend that you sand the trim between the coats of the paint. The paint alone cannot overcome the previous color and sheen on trim. Skipping sanding between each coat can cause a grainy finish. 

For trim, we recommend that you opt for a fine-grit sanding sponge instead of sandpaper. This is because it easily gets into the ridges and crevices of the trim.

Sand the trim, clean the dust up with the vacuum or a rag and then paint it. Let paint dry for at least 24 hours. Repeat for another coat of paint to get the finest results. 

5. No compromise on the quality of supplies

For a perfect paint sure, make sure you are not skimping on painting supplies. These can be easily bought from any hardware store, or rented from home improvement centres. Supplies include paint brushes, painting trays, rollers and even paint sprayers. 

You can invest in the best paint, but if your applicators are not up to the mark, the paint will not do any good. 

Good tools save you time and material, last a long time and provide the best coverage. 

6. Line your paint trays

Lining your paint trays is an effective way to save time. This will eliminate the need for multiple trays or cleaning out your tray each time you need to change the paint. 

Simply line them with aluminum foil or a shopping bag. 

7. Cover up everything you don’t want paint to get on

The first rule of prep before painting is to move everything out of the space you will be painting. If you cannot move the things, such as furniture, bring them to the center and cover them up. 

You can use bed sheets or any other cotton sheets to cover the things you don’t want the paint to get on. 

8. Place tape properly using a putty knife

Nothing is worse than completing a paint job, removing the tape, only to find out that the material bled through the tape, onto the edges you were trying to protect. 

We recommend that after applying the tape to edges, you seal in down using a putty knife. Press the tape throughout with the putty knife to make sure its adhesion. Also, use a putty knife to get rid of any paint bubbles. 

This will ensure proper adhesion, no bleeds and sharp edges. 

9. Using canvas drop cloth rather than plastic

Most people opt for plastic sheets, or old bed sheets to cover up the floor during painting. 

Old sheets are too thin to prevent the paint from going through them. Plastic sheets do prevent the paint from going through, but the paint does not dry on them. It gets on your feet and therefore everywhere else. Not only do plastic drop-cloths not stay in place, they are also slippery to walk on and set the ladder on. 

Therefore, we recommend that you use canvas drop-cloths instead. The thick and heavy material stays in place and does not need to be taped. 

For hardwood floors, vinyl and tiles, we recommend rosin paper as canvas can be slippery. Tape the sheets together and to the floor for a non-slip experience. 

10. Protect windows by not taping

Yes, that’s right. 

Taping windows may bring a feeling of satisfaction but it’s no use since paint eventually gets on them anyway. Rather, paint without caring about getting it on the windows. Once you are done, let it dry up completely. 

After that, use a razor to easily scrape it off. However, make sure that you do not break the paint bond between the wooden window frame and the glass. If the paint is sliced at the junction, moisture can get in and cause the wood to decay.  

11. The secret to consistent color? Box the paint

The paints are not always the exact same shade, even if they are from the same manufacturer. There is always a chance that there can be a slight difference of shade among different cans.  

Therefore, we recommend that instead of going through one can of paint at a time, box the paint. If you run out of paint from one can, and have to open up another, the difference between two paints may be noticeable. 

To prevent this from happening, pour the contents of each can of the same shade into a 5 gallon bucket and mix it thoroughly. This will also prevent you from pouring the paint in the tray, although the bucket will be hard to move. You can always pour the paint back into the cans, if you have excess. 

12. Wash rollers prior to use

It is very important to wash and clean up rollers before you start using them. New rollers may come with fuzz on them. Use a lint roller to remove the fuzz before using so that it does not contaminate the paint. 

Similarly, make sure that if you are using an old roller, it does not have any old material on it. We recommend that you also check for rough crusty edges on your roller, and cut them off for a smooth finishing. 

13. Take switch plates and outlets off instead of taping

Painters tend to tape the edges of switch plates as a part of prep. However, instead you can get rid of this labour and screw off the switch plates altogether. 

After the paint, put them back on and you will have a perfect coverage around the switchplate. 

14. Cut the tape first before pulling it off

Instead of taking off the tape from edges after the paint has dried up, we recommend that you loosen it up. Cut the paint film formed between tape and the wall before pulling it off. 

This will prevent the tape from tearing the dried paint off the wall. 

15. Pull the tape off at an angle 

For a neat and tidy edge, pull the tape at an angle of 45 degrees. Pulling it off when the paint is gummy can also result in rough and untidy edges. 

16. Prime is a must

Priming is a very major part of the painting process. Sometimes, the paint job can look a little blotchy. There can be a visible texture difference and the sheen may not be consistent as well. This can happen at spots where the fillers have been used to fill cracks and holes. The fillers absorb the moisture and cause irregular patches.

The answer to these problems is priming. A coat of primer under the paint ensures consistency and eliminates any chances of blotchiness. 

Primers work by sealing the patch so that it does not absorb any moisture from the paint.

A water based primer is recommended for new drywalls. For older walls which have water stains or smoke damage, or had panelling on it, oil-based primers are recommended. 

17. Significance of tinted primer

Using primer prior to painting is a good practice, however, we recommend that if you can, you should use tinted primers. 

Instead of using white primer, many professional painters prefer it tinted grey, or a color closer to the paint. It does a better job of masking existing color and brings out the true vibrant color of the paint. 

18. Keeping a wet edge

Lap marks are ugly stripes that are caused by unequal load up on the roller. They occur when you roll partly dry paint on the surface. 

The key to prevent lap marks is to keep a wet edge. This is done by rolling each stroke such that it overlaps the previous one before it dried up.

To maintain a wet edge, start rolling at a corner going up and down and then slightly moving over for the next stroke. Move back to even out runs or thick patches. The trick is to not let the roller dry off even the slightest. 

Reload it often, and keep the open end towards the area that is already painted. This puts less pressure on the already painted, and doesn’t cause any ridges. 

19. Paint extender – A must-have

Paint extender is the secret behind lapmark-free paint job. We highly recommend that you mix a paint extender with your paint, especially if you are painting on a hot dry day. 

Paint extender tends to slow down the paint drying time, giving you ample time to overlap the previous stroke. This prevents lap marks when the paint dries up. 

Moreover, paint extenders or conditioners are also known to level out the paint. This means that if you have used paint brush in some spots, it will level those out for you as well. 

20. Less pressure, more roller

If you have chosen high-quality material and tools, you do not have to worry about applying tons of pressure for a perfect finish. You need to let the roller do its work. 

If needed, such as for painting walls and ceiling, use a roller extension. This will allow you to reach further areas without much effort.

21. Perfect the wall paint by making a ridge in textured ceiling

It is nearly impossible to paint the walls of a room with a textured ceiling. No matter what you do, the paint always tends to get on the ceiling bumps. We have the solution to this problem: 

Use a screwdriver to scrape off the texture. The screwdriver in fact creates a tiny ridge at the edge. When the wall is painted, the bristles naturally go into the ridge without getting the paint on the ceiling.  

22. Paint walls from top to bottom

We recommend that you paint walls from top to bottom. The reason behind this is the runs and drips. 

If there are any drips and runs, going downward allows you to paint over them long before they are dried up. 

23. Make ‘Load and Go’ your motto

DIY-ers and amateur painters tend to load their paint brushes with material and then wipe it off immediately in thought of getting rid of the brush. It does not do any good. 

Rather, the trick is to load at least the bottom one and a half inch of your brush with paint, tap each side against the inside of the container to rid the drip and start painting. 

24. Avoid runs

Runs are created very easily when your paintbrush is loaded with material. To avoid any permanent runs, start painting half inch away from the cuff-in area. As the material leaves the brush, run the brush along the trim slowly, pushing the bristles gently against the cutt-ins. 

You may have to do this multiple times for complete coverage, but it will avoid the accumulation of excess paint along trims and at corners. 

25. Trim first, then walls

The pro trick of painting is to paint the trim first, then ceiling and then the walls. If you paint the walls first, you will have to tape the wall when you paint the trim. Taping trim is easier than taping the wall. 

While painting the trim first, you don’t have to worry about getting the paint on the walls. Just make sure that the wooden trim receives a smooth finish. Any paint that gets on the walls will be covered when those will be painted. 

Let the trim paint dry for at least 24 hours.  

26. Save the applicators

The perfect way to save a roller is to keep it in a plastic or a ziplock bag. If you are done with your job, clean it up and store it in a plastic bag until the next time it is needed. 

If you wish to take a break, or if you are waiting for the paint to dry up, you can store your applicator in the plastic bag as well. It prevents the brush or roller from hardening. 

27. Nail each leg while painting furniture

You can paint the light furniture in one go without any mess by nailing its legs. Nail the legs of your tables or chairs, such that they float, on the support of the nail. This will allow you to paint the legs neatly, without getting the paint on the floor. 

28. Use bed raiser for heavier furniture

For heavier furniture, such as consoles, you can use bed raisers to keep them afloat. This will allow you to get to every visible inch of the furniture without causing any mess. 

29. Use Q-tips for precise cleaning

While cleaning up after a paint job, you can use Q-tips to clean smidges and any paint marks along the edges. Q-tips allow you to clean up with precision. 

30. Use plastic wrap to prevent the lid from sticking

This is an amazing painting tip to store paint. Use a plastic wrap to cover the can, and then place the cap over it. This prevents the cap from sticking to the can when the paint dries up. 

31. Covering paint with a wet cloth

While taking a break during your paint job we recommend that you cover your paint bucket, tray or container with a damp towel to prevent it from drying up. 

32. Blue Painter’s Tape

We highly advise that you use blue painter’s tape instead of masking tape. Masking tape tends to leave the sticky residue, which can be very hard to get rid of. The painting material can cause the masking tape to buckle up or get wavy, allowing paint to run under it.

On the other hand, painter’s tape can be left on for upto two weeks, without leaving behind any residue.


You can easily benefit from the above mentioned painting tips. These hacks will not only save your time but will also help your projects go faster and smoother. 

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