So you’re ready to tackle that painting job you’ve been avoiding — Congratulations! You are about to make a huge impact on your living space without a ton of risk or cash. Updating paint colors in your home can be one of the most rewarding, gratifying and easiest projects you can take on.

But what if you’re one of those who dreads the thought of painting? Well first of all, you’re not alone, so take heart. As it happens, however, I’m one of those people that actually ENJOYS painting (I promise) and find it relaxing and fun — but as I stated the rewards of the job speak directly to my need for instant gratification. SO, I’m here to give you some basic, proven tips to take the dread out of painting and ease your workload at the same time.

“The Right Tools for the Job” — this is an Absolute Must!

This is one of those cliches that rings true. I’m extremely particular about my “tools” i.e. brushes and rollers, and you should be, too! Don’t even think about skimping on these. You’re only saving a few bucks by going with a cheaper brush or roller and you’ll only end up frustrated in the end.

For brushes:

Purchase the highest-quality or professional grade choice. My go-to brush is the 2 1/2 inch, angled, all finish Purdy. It’s perfect for cutting in and general use. There are a few options at this size — I prefer the “thinnest” handle and number of bristles to give me precise lines. And pay close attention to the care of your brushes — a high-quality brush will last you through several projects with proper care. PLEASE don’t leave the bristles flared out on the ends after you’ve shaken your brush out. Shape the damp bristles to a fine point by pulling them though your pointer and middle finger and setting it somewhere to dry flat. A little effort caring for your brushes properly will increase their longevity. This will also make up for the extra you spent on the right brush in no time.

As for rollers covers:

Again no skimping here — go with those rated “Best”. A lower grade won’t hold the paint as well and will shed annoying fibers onto your freshly painted wall. And yes, even the top grade rollers will have fibers to shed, so be sure to “massage” your rollers in your hands before they go into the paint to remove any loose fibers. As for nap, I use the 3/8-inch for 90% of my projects. You can increase the nap length to 1/2 inch for heavily textured walls. Between coats simply wrap your wet roller tightly in a plastic grocery bag, being sure no part of the roller is exposed to air. Some people put this wrapped roller in the refrigerator, but I don’t find this necessary.

Roller clean up? True confession here … I don’t rinse out and re-use my rollers. And no, I’m not being paid by the roller company to increase their sales. It’s just my personal choice that too much time and water is used to thoroughly get all that paint out of the roller. And the end you have a used roller. I’d rather start fresh with a new roller cover for my next project.

Roller Handles and Extensions:

I’m getting redundant, but yes, spend a few extra dollars and buy the heavy-duty roller handle that has the “teeth” on the end to keep the roller cover in place. Otherwise your roller cover will start to “roll” its way off the handle while you’re painting. Remember, we’re trying to lessen the frustration level here. As for extension handles… I have just one word, Yes. The only time I don’t paint with an extension handle is when I’m in tight spaces and the extension would hit something. In general, my upper body strength is pretty nil so the extra leverage an extension handle gives me while I’m painting is a game changer. And you guessed it, pay a little more for a heavy-duty adjustable extension with a good grip — no broom handles, please.

So here’s to learning to “enjoy” your painting project! The right tools will go a long way and are the first step to making that a reality!

Check back for more painting tips and info, but I’ll leave you with this for now … Two Coats, Every Time … more on that next time!

Best,
Amy K