Painting Tips and Techniques

13 Apr

Am I qualified to write a post about painting tips and techniques? I most certainly am because I have probably painted more walls at the age of 27 than most people do in a lifetime. I’ve painted 2 apartments and 2 houses, painted tons of wall displays at the paint shop I worked at for years, and acquired all the years of knowledge from the paint experts I worked with in order to help customers. I have a wealth of knowledge and I’m not gonna just keep it to myself. Nope, I am going to fill you in with a few quick and simple tricks to make your next painting project much easier and faster. So here goes…


Most of the time you are painting trim white and the walls a color, so paint your trim first because it is much easier to cover the white you slopped on the walls than it would be to cover the color you sloped on the trim. This means you only have to tape once after you paint the trim and before you paint the walls. The other nice thing about painting trim first is that the tape sticks much better to the clean, freshly painted trim than it would have to dusty trim. Even if you cleaned your trim first, the tape will still stick better to the freshly painted trim. Note this key element though… you should let your trim paint cure first for a few days before you tape it. Paint doesn’t come to its full hardest till a few days so the tape may pull paint off if it is too fresh.

There is nothing better than bright white trim!

Tip #2 Prepping saves time

Always, always, always tape. It may seem like a waste of time while starting. You are eager to slap some color on those walls but taping will actually save you more time in the long run. It is much easier to tape than trying to very SLOWLY and CAREFULLY to free hand paint. The key to taping like a pro… use long continuous lines of tape and allow the flat edge of the tape roll to lay flat on the wall to guide the tape in a straight line. Oh, and make sure you are using painters tape. Yeah the blue (or sometimes green) stuff. That may seem common sense to some but you won’t believe how many homes I have seen that have paint ripped off the walls due to using other types of tape.

Another BIG tip for taping. Don’t leave the tape on too long after the job is done. I usually pull my tape off right away or at least the next day. This is because if the paint cures over the tape it will form a seal that could cause the paint to rip off the wall while pulling the tape off later. Also that glue gets stickier as it sits on the wall and if left too long will also ruin your paint job.

If you do find yourself in this situation, run a cutting blade along the edge of your tape and wall to break the paint seal before you pull anymore tape off. This will help the tape come off smoother. Then go back and putty and touch up the boo-boos.

Tip #3

To prevent “picture framing” while painting dark colors…Trim one wall then roll the wall quickly after.

Picture framing is a term used to refer to the lighter or darker edges around your walls where you brushed verses where you rolled your walls. It looks like your walls have been framed. This happenes particularly with darker colors. Most of the time this problem can be fixed by just adding another coat of paint. However I have seen some cases where the painters have already painted several coats and that problem doesn’t seem to be going away. My tip… trim one wall then roll that wall while the brushed paint is still wet, rolling as close as you can to the edge. This should help.

I love dark, sultry wall colors!

Tip #4

Flat paint is for walls, shiny paint is for trim


Shiny paint will show every imperfection in your walls as well as every roller stroke if you aren’t careful. Some painters will recommend semi-gloss of satin paint for walls in kitchens and baths because it washes better than flat. The truth is, with the fabulous invention of the “MR CLEAN MAGIC ERASER” even flat paint can be cleaned thoroughly and with ease. I always use flat paint on walls.

So unless you are Phoebe Howard and having a Pro paint for you…

Use flat paint on walls.

Tip #5

Use a foam roller to paint wooded cabinets or furniture.

To create the smoothest surface, use foam rollers to paint your cabinets or wooden furniture. Use BIN primer to prime slick surfaces for painting. This primer will stick to just about anything.

Tip #6

Use 3/8″ or 1/2″ nap rollers for smooth walls and 1/2″ to 1″ nap rollers for textured walls.

The thicker the nap the more textured the paint will look, so use 3/8″ or 1/2″ nap on smooth walls. To get in deeper textured surfaces use a thicker nap roller.

Tip #7

Use enough paint.

Don’t try to stretch the paint by “dry rolling”. Reload your roller often to prevent streaks. Also, don’t roll back into areas already painted but still wet. If you roll or brush over wet paint you are only pulling paint off the wall, not adding paint on the wall. You simply have to wait for the paint to dry to go back for touch up spots. Another key to remember… always touch up using the same tool you applied the previous paint coat with. In other words don’t use a brush to touch up a wall you rolled. The brush creates a different texture than the roller that will stand out like a shiny spot on the wall. Use the same roller to touch up missed spots and be sure to feather out the edges of your touch up spot.

These are some of the most helpful painting tips. Since I have been painting non-stop for 2 weeks I thought I would share my tips with you. Hope this helps you with your next paint project.

Until next time.


4 Responses to “Painting Tips and Techniques”

  1. Lila Ferraro April 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Amen. I just finished painting my bathroom and all of these tips are right on. I think a good tip for painting is to always wipe down the walls before you paint. That way no dust, hair, whatever, gets stuck in the paint!
    Lila Ferraro

  2. Tamsyn May 8, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Great tips, thank you so much. I’ve bookmarked them so that I can refer to them as I tackle my next room.

  3. davis September 22, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    How do you correct ‘picture framing’ after it has occurred?

    • designfabulous February 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      You can try trimming out again and feathering the paint inward and down towards the center of the wall to smudge the line between paint brush and roller surface. Also I have had some success with using a small sponge roller and rolling right up to the top as far as I can get into the edges of the wall. Hope this helps.

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