Painting Tips from a Professional

February 27, 2013

As we are getting ready to start the hefty project of painting our downstairs I thought it would be a good idea for me.. or Matt, since I don't paint (often), to 'brush' up on some painting knowledge and tricks. Whenever I have a project that is over my head technically when it comes to paint I have always turned to family friend and artist Sandy Savard of Savard Studios. She has an awesome eye for design and an even better eye for painting. So after I stumbled upon a post of hers I thought it might be a good list of tips and tricks to share with you. So without any further adieu here is Sandy and her '10 DIY Paint Tips Your Home Improvement Store Won't Tell You':


copper ceiling
Copper faux finished ceiling with painted walls
I have been painting professionally for 18 years. Mostly murals, furniture and decorative, faux finish stuff. But my clients often prefer to have a female painting in their home instead of a big, burly guy who may or may not speak English. With decorative painting you must tape off because you are often using a rag or a trowel to complete the finish. Most finishes require some sort of base to begin the process so I am quite proficient at regular painting. I am sure there are many tips and tricks for painting out there, but these are a few things that I've learned along the way that continue to cut costs and simplify each day.
    DIY Paint tips
1. Foil for cleanup: I know you can by plastic paint tray liners, but when you paint regularly, it really cuts into the budget. I started buying a separate roll of heavy duty aluminum foil. We pull off a piece to fit into the tray. Saves us from cleaning the tray and it gives a fresh pan to roll in every time.  And if the aliens land, we can always put it on our head so they can't read our thoughts. 
2. Paint additive for quick clean up: I'm sure you've heard of Flotrol. Each paint company labels their own as well. It's typically a latex paint additive. I add about a quarter size into the base of my paint brushes. It keeps the paint wet in the brush and makes clean up a breeze. If you don't do this and some paint hardens in the bristles, I covered how to clean them in my Pinterest projects that I actually completed post.

DIY paint tips

3. Grey tinted primer under reds : If you have ever painted a wall red before, you know it can take 5 or 6 coats to get proper coverage. Grey primer is the solution. It makes the red more opaque so that it typically covers in two coats.
4. Primer on walls not required: Good quality paints cover well. If your walls have been painted before they don't need to be primed to change the color. The exception would be if your walls are a dark color and you are going light or if your walls are disgustingly dirty or moldy. One other bit of info, those new "paint and primer in one" paints out there are not for painting furniture unless it's already been painted. You should still prime raw wood and furniture first for durability.
5. Brush cut in then roll: I always recommend that you cut in the edges with a brush first and ideal roll while that is still wet. Perhaps work on one wall at a time or half  a wall. This is most important with eggshell or satin paints.
6. Quality tools: Cheap brushes and rollers create more work and frustration. If you hate painting, it may be your tools. You get what you pay for. Invest in good quality and clean thoroughly after each use. Cheap brushes have bristles that splay everywhere. Cheap rollers leave fuzz and cause paint spatter.
7. Quality tape: Don't use vanilla colored masking tape on walls or trim. It's too sticky and will either leave residue or will pull off paint and wall board when you remove it. Use the blue tape. There are different brands, some better than others.
8. Quality drop clothes: Use heavy canvas or vinyl backed drop clothes. Painters plastic is for covering furniture not floors. You will slip and break your neck if you try to use plastic. It's too lightweight and it's slippery.
9. Wrap brushes in plastic: While waiting for layers to dry, you can wrap your bush in plastic to keep the paint from hardening and creating crusty bristles.
10. Refrigerate rollers: If your painting project will span over more than one day and you hate to clean rollers, you can wrap them tightly in plastic at the end of the day and refrigerate them. The cold keeps the paint from curing and you can reuse it the next day.

Aren't these some great tips? Some of them I knew but others like the tin foil I would have never thought of.. in a million years except for a 'Signs' style tin foil hat- that's a no brainer. Does anyone have any other tips they can share? Anything will help, after all we moved into a builder beige house and I am a girl who LOVES color so this beige is driving me MAD!

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