Painting tips to help things go smoothly

Trent Ernst, Editor


I’ve never been one for painting. Things just never seem to go on evenly for me. Paint drips, I accidentally hit the ceiling, leaving a big blue mark on what is supposed to be a white surface, I wind up with more paint on me than the walls…I am not a great painter.

But over the years, I’ve had to paint enough rooms that I’ve become rather okay at it. I won’t call myself an expert, but the thought of a paint roller no longer terrifies me.

A lot of my newfound confidence comes from preparation. My wife is far more talented than I, and can paint a room without taking off light switches and wall plates, doesn’t need a dropsheet because she never drips any paint, and doesn’t need to use masking tape.

Me? I need to make sure that there’s nothing I can screw up before I start so that I have confidence. Before starting to paint, I need to take certain precautions. Here’s some things that I do that mean that what goes on the walls, stays on the walls.

First, I move all the furniture away from the walls and cover it with a drop sheet. Even if I am painting the walls and the furniture is four feet away, it’s better to be safe than spending an hour cleaning paint drops off the bureau. Besides, a dresser covered with a drop sheet is a convenient place to put the paint bucket.

Patch and sand. Remember how many drips you had last time? No? Well, you will when you’re getting ready to apply a new coat of paint. Every nick and hole will also stand out in sharp relief. Take the time to sand down the bumps and fill in the holes.

Remove hardware: I don’t trust myself around power sockets and light fixtures, so before I paint, I like to pull them off. That way if I cut in too close, no worries. Some things aren’t easily removed, like moulding. If it doesn’t come off, mask it.

If you are painting across two or three days, rather than cleaning all the brushes and rollers every night, simply wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer.