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Painting might seem easy. It is a skill we all possess, but there are some tips and tricks when it comes to painting that can lead you to have exceptional results. This is why we have decided to make this list of home painting tips and tricks, so DIYers can improve the quality of their work and save time. 


Read on for home painting tips and tricks

Use the right primer and eliminate flashing

Using the right primer is the first step to painting, and it all depends on the type of surface you’re painting. If you’re painting on drywall, use a water-based primer to provide an even base for the paint and hide any imperfections. If your painting on paneling, any water damaged surface, or walls that have been exposed to smoke, try using an oil-based primer. 

Using primer also helps eliminate flashing. Flashing is when the sheen of a freshly painted wall isn’t consistent over all its surface, usually over holes and cracks that have been patched and the paint, therefore, appears dull. Primer seals the patch so the paint doesn’t look dull. 


Determining the kind of existing paint 

When you’re re-painting, you might not know what type of paint is already on the wall. Is it oil or latex? To determine this, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rub it in a small area of the wall. If the cotton ball had paint residue, it is latex. If it doesn’t, the paint is oil-based. This is important to also determine the type of primer you will use. If the paint is oil-based, you’ll want to use an oil-based primer. 


Painting Utensils on Wooden Background

Mix cans for consistent color 

Paint colors can vary slightly from one can to another, even if they are the same color. The difference might be noticeable if you change cans in the middle of the wall. To avoid this, you can mix all the paints in a large bucket, therefore eliminating the color difference. 

This is called boxing and is best used if you can estimate the amount of paint you’ll need. If it’s difficult to estimate how much paint you’ll be using, try to round up rather than down. It’s better to add more than less. You can always pour the paint back. 



Keep your paint wet

There are some tricks to the trade when it comes to not letting the paint dry out. Golf balls can do the trick. If your paint can is half empty, it will surely dry out but if you drop golf balls in the paint to fill up the air space, you can prevent this. You can also place plastic wrap under the lid and seal the can tightly, storing it upside down to prevent air flow. 


Clean before painting

Before painting, make sure you clean dirty areas with a deglosser or a cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. These can be easily purchased at any paint store or home center. If you paint over dirty surfaces, the paint will begin to peel off or chip very quickly. 

Clean the surface with a lint-free cloth starting from the bottom up, wiping on the cleaner in a circular motion. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and eye protection when cleaning since these cleaners are heavy-duty. 


cotton fabric border over painted white wood Use cotton drop cloths

Cotton drop cloths are so much better than plastic for preventing spills. It’s thicker, meaning it will stay in place much easier with no need to tape it down. They are also safer since plastic drop cloths are slippery and are dangerous when using a ladder. Paint spills on plastic also stay wet, which means they might end up on your shoes and you could track the paint out of the area you’re working on. 


Avoid lap marks and keep a wet edge

Paint rollers can cause stripes when you paint over paint that’s already started to dry. These are called lap marks and they are ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint. To avoid this, try painting the full height of the wall and then moving over slightly, so you can easily overlap the last stroke. 

Keep the paint roller edge wet by starting near a corner and running the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each pass. Don’t let the roller become almost dry, try reloading it often so its always at least half wet. 


Don’t wash your rollers or brushes

There is no reason to wash paint brushes or rollers if you are using latex paint. Cold temperatures usually keep latex paint from drying out, so wrap your rollers or brushes in plastic bags or tin foil and put them in the refrigerator. Just make sure you let the warm up before using them again. 


preparation of walls for painting. Mounting sticky tape on wall before paintingUsing and cutting the tape

You’ll want to tape off your corners and floors for a perfect edge. But, if you’re using older tape that you had laying around, it can sometimes be difficult to peel it off its roll. This can be solved by microwaving it for 10 seconds and the tape will peel right off. 

Once your paint is dry, wait at least 24 hours to peel the tape off. Make sure to be careful when you peel it off. Paint forms a film between the wall and the tape, so removing it can sometimes tear dried paint off. So before peeling it off, cut the film off. Use a knife or box cutter to slice through the film. You can start in a small corner and make sure the paint is hard enough to slice through cleanly. While cutting the paint, you can pull the tape off at a 45-degree angle. 


Paint the trim first

It’s so much easier and faster to tape off the trim and paint that first, which is why this is the first thing that pros do. You don’t have to worry about being neat, just focus on getting a smooth finish. You will paint over whatever gets on the walls when repainting them next. Wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry off and then tape off the trim and get to work on the ceiling and walls, in that order. 


So there you have it, some tips and tricks for home painting. Painting a home can be a lot to take on as a DIY project, but following these tips will make it so much easier. Happy painting!


Need some help with your home painting? RenovateResidential by ProGroup can help you with these changes and many others, offering services like interior and exterior painting, staining, wood replacement, drywall repairs, stucco painting and power washing. With over 25 years of experience, painting is what we do. Contact our team at 508-591-5579 for Inquiries or visit our webpage at for a FREE estimate!



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