8 Tips for Seamless Home Painting

Planning ahead is crucial for any home improvement project. It’s especially important when you’re repainting, since you could end up entirely changing the appearance of your house. If you’ve scoured the web for a home improvement specialist but can’t find one within your budget, don’t worry: There are a few DIY tricks you can use to accomplish a painting project yourself.

Whether you’re repainting for a potential sale or because you’re simply in need of a home refresh, here are eight tips to help give your home the polished look of a professionally painted space.

1. Smooth imperfections on your walls

Before you jump into painting, you’ll want to survey your walls. Make sure you’re working with a smooth, flat surface. Paint can help breathe new life into your home, but it can’t cover up textural imperfections, nicks, dings, or holes. Use drywall compound or spackle to fill in holes completely. Then use sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish.

2. Lay down drop cloths

No matter the type of flooring you have, drop cloths are essential if you want to keep paint on the walls and off of your floor. These plastic rolls come in different sizes and can easily be taped down to hold them in place. Drop cloths also work well at covering counters, appliances, sinks, radiators, or other elements of your home that you can’t move. If you need to use multiple drop cloths in one space, make sure they overlap by a few feet. That way, if they move around, your floor is still protected.

3. Don’t skip the painter’s tape

Painter’s tape can help you achieve a smooth paint line, without getting the wrong color on your trim, windows, doors, or ceiling. Although it takes time to apply painter’s tape, once it’s set up, it can make your painting go by faster, since you won’t have to worry about cutting in too closely.

With painter’s tape, you can use a paint roller to cover as much of the wall as you can, without fear of accidentally getting dark blue paint on your white trim. If you’re painting with a dark color and protecting a lighter surface, you might want to test an area first to make sure the paint won’t bleed through. If it does, consider doubling up on the tape.

4. Buy the right size rollers

If you’re painting your entire house one color, you may want to skip the traditional 9-inch rollers and go right for the 18-inch rollers to cover more square footage in less time.

But if you’re painting small spaces — a cozy bathroom, the space between your upper and lower kitchen cabinets, or a tiny closet — foam rollers under 9 inches or a paintbrush might work better. Consider the size of the space and how to make the most of your time.

5. Invest in poles for tall rooms

If you have tall ceilings or staircases — or if you can’t easily reach the upper half of your wall with a traditional roller — invest in a painter’s pole. This screws into your roller and helps extend its height, so you can more easily reach higher areas without having to move a ladder around your home. It may be worth investing in different heights, too, depending on the size of the spaces you’ll be painting.

6. Always close your paint cans when you’re done

Painting your entire home can take several days — or weeks. When you’re done painting for the day, or when you’re switching colors, be sure to seal your paint cans properly so the paint doesn’t dry out. To do this, place the lid back on the paint can with a cloth on top. Use a hammer or rubber mallet to press the lid back into place. The cloth will help catch any excess paint.

7. Load your roller or paintbrush correctly

Make sure you add enough paint to your roller or brush before using it on the walls. Your roller should be thoroughly and evenly soaked with paint. You want every part of the roller to be wet, but not drenched to the point where it’s dripping. A paint tray can help you wipe off any excess without leaving your roller dry. For a paintbrush, make sure both sides are covered with paint and lightly wipe any excess off along the inside of the paint can.

8. Wrap your paint tools with plastic wrap when you’re done

If you have a paint job that will take multiple days, there’s no need to toss your rollers and brushes at the end of each shift. Instead, wipe off excess paint, then wrap them tightly with plastic or saran wrap. Store them in your refrigerator to help seal in the moisture, and they’ll be ready to use again the next day. This can save you money on paint supplies, which might come in handy if you’re hoping to spend as little as possible when prepping to sell your home.

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