Painting your home, inside or out, may not seem like much of a challenge for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and tackling projects around the house on their own. But when it comes to determining how long the painter’s tape should be left on, or the best way to reach tall ceilings, you may find yourself wishing you had a pro in your corner.
Before you start painting, check out these five handy tips professional painters shared in Real Simple magazine:
1. Don’t forget to caulk. Take the time to caulk around trim, crown molding, windows and door frames. In addition to helping trim and wall finishes stand out and look as though they were painted by a professional, caulking may help keep cold air/drafts from sneaking into the room.
2. Choose the right brushes. Investing in a good paintbrush is the first step toward a professional-looking finish, so be prepared to invest anywhere from $20 to $25 on your brush. It’s also important to stick with synthetic brushes: poly for exterior work and soft nylon for interior work. Lastly, remember that the smaller the brush, the more control you have.
3. Use an extension pole. Many people think extension poles are only for reaching high places, but if you have a lot of wall surface to paint, an extension pole will come in handy throughout your project. One of the biggest benefits in using an extension pole is the leverage it provides. By eliminating the need to constantly bend down to load your roller with more paint, the strain on your arms and back will be reduced. With better leverage and less physical stress, you’ll be able to paint faster and more efficiently.
4. Put your roller in the fridge. If you’re taking an overnight break before you apply a second coat of paint, wrap your brush and roller tightly in a plastic shopping bag, secure it with a rubber band and place it in the fridge. Your painting supplies will be in good shape and ready to use in the morning.
5. Use a box cutter to remove painter’s tape. Latex paint can have an almost elastic-like “stretch” before it fully cures, so wait a few hours before removing the tape that was protecting your floor or door trim. When you do remove it, be sure to not pull the latex paint off with the tape and ruin your perfect finish. Instead, use a retractable utility blade or box cutter to score the place where the tape meets the wall so that you get a clean edge.