Painting walls is definitely not rocket science. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to ensure the job is easier and the finished look is free of flaws.
Professional painters have a few tricks up their sleeves that they often employ when they take on painting jobs in order to make sure the end result is satisfactory.
If you’re tackling a DIY painting job in your home, consider adopting the following hacks.
1. Protect Against Paint Drips With Plastic Wrap
It’s helpful to move furniture out of the way to avoid getting any paint drips on them, or else covering them with old bed sheets can do the trick. But other things can be a bit more difficult to move out of the way, such as doorknobs and handles, electrical outlets, and sinks. To prevent any paint from dripping onto these items, cover them in plastic wrap.
2. Use Petroleum Jelly on Tiny Areas That Are Not to be Painted
For even smaller items that you don’t want to get any paint on, consider using petroleum jelly on top of them. Even if paint accidentally makes its way on these items – such as door hinges and screws – the petroleum jelly will allow the paint to slide right off and not be absorbed.
3. Soften Painter’s Tape With the Heat of a Hairdryer
Painter’s tape is a must, but it’s common for it to be difficult to remove when you no longer need it. Worse yet, it can take off any paint right along with it. To make it easier to remove painter’s tape, soften it by applying low heat from your hairdryer.
This will loosen up the stickiness of the tape and make it easier to come off, leaving a clean, crisp, straight line of paint behind.
4. Smooth Out Uneven Baseboards With Caulk
If the baseboards in your home have seen better days and are full of crevices, they won’t look very good when you paint them over. Before you start your paint job, use caulk to fill in these crevices and smooth out the surface.
5. Clean Walls With a Swiffer
Your walls should be completely clean and free of dust and debris before you start painting. If you’ve got a floor Swiffer, use it to dust off the wall surface before painting.
6. Get Paint Rollers Ready With Warm Water
Paint rollers will work much better to apply a smooth paint finish on your walls if they’re prepped properly. One easy way to prep them is to wet your hands with warm water and then rub them all over the roller before dipping it in the paint.
7. Fight Paint Fumes With Vanilla or Lemon Extract
Wet paint tends to have a really powerful smell that can easily give anyone a headache. You can put a lid on these intense fumes by adding a drop of vanilla extract per gallon of paint. For lighter colors, you can use lemon extract instead to avoid the paint color from being altered.
8. Use a “W” Pattern to Apply Paint
If you roll the paint on in a straight up-and-down fashion, it will be difficult to avoid uneven patches or signs of stopping and starting. Instead, a “W” pattern will ensure a more even application and will make it easier for you to move along the surface of the wall without having to constantly lift the roller off.
9. Clean Paintbrushes With Vinegar or Fabric Softener
Cleaning your paintbrushes when you’re done can be a real nuisance. But you can make the process a lot easier by soaking them in white vinegar or fabric softener to break down the paint, then rinse them in warm water to be ready for your next paint job.
10. Make Paint Tray Cleanup Easier By Covering Them
Not only are paintbrushes a challenge to clean, but so are the paint trays. You can make things easier for yourself by covering the trays in tin foil first before adding paint. When your painting job is done, all you’ll need to do is take the foil off and toss it, leaving behind a paint tray that’s still spic and span.
The Bottom Line
Painting is definitely a job you can do on your own without having to hire and pay professionals to do it. If you’re up for the task, following these tips can make your job a lot easier and ensure a seamless, professional look.