Get Professional Looking Results with These Easy Painting Tips


If you’re buying or selling a home, chances are painting is going to be involved. Either you’re going to have to touch up spots you chipped or dinged during moving or whole rooms are going to need fresh coats to make them look like new.

But painting can be a real pain the rear for some of us. Yeah, we all know that guy that can just grab a brush and edge the top of a wall without getting a speck of paint on the ceiling. But there are only so many times you can bribe him with beer and pizza to help you paint, so it’s about time you learned the ins and outs yourself.

Painting doesn’t have to hard. By following a few simple tips, you can easily get a room that looks professionally painted but without having to shell out the dough for one. Here are some of the best interior painting tips we came across:


Properly preparing a room for painting is key to making your room look like a professional did the job. The best ways to make sure a room is really ready to paint are:

  • Remove as much furniture as possible. Push anything you can’t move out to the center of the room.
  • Use drop cloths to cover the floor and remaining furniture. Use plastic on the furniture, but for the floors you’re going to want to use canvas drop cloths. They aren’t slippery like plastic and absorb paint much better.
  • Wash the walls with a light detergent and warm water. Dirt, grease, grime and all of that nasty stuff will make it harder for the paint to adhere to the wall. Oils from cooking or even people’s hands can also interfere with the paint.
  • Make sure marks left by crayons, pens or anything else your kids can get their hands on are cleaned up and removed. If you’re having a hard time getting crayon or ink off a wall, try a quick shot of WD-40. Make sure to wash the area quickly afterwards to remove the oils though.
  • Fill in any holes with spackle. Sand them down and make them even with the surrounding wall.
  • Tape the ceiling and around trim to make sure that no paint gets where it’s not supposed to. Push those edges down as hard as you can to create a solid seal.

Start Painting

When you’re painting, you want to start at the top of the room and work your way down. If you’re painting your ceiling, then you start there, then the walls, the trim and baseboards.

Assuming that you’re just painting the walls (or have already painted the ceiling) then you need to start with “cutting in”. This is the process of painting the 3 inches at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling. Get as close as you can to the tape without going over. Use a 2 or 2.5 inch brush and fully load it with paint. But go very lightly on that last ¼ of an inch next to the tape. If you cross over too much, you might have paint seep into areas under the tape’s edge.

Once your cut in borders are done, use a roller to fill in the rest of the walls. The best way to use one of these bad boys is to roll in a W shaped pattern that is about three feet by three feet. Don’t lift the roller during that motion and continue in sections until you have the whole wall covered.