Painting Tips They Forgot to Tell You at the Hardware Store

There are some secrets to painting either they forgot to tell you at the hardware store, or they just didn’t want to let you into their secret painting club. 

  • Your whole goal in painting is to make the paint stick to the wall and stay there.  That’s why you have to clean the wall, that’s why you can’t paint a flat finish on a semi-gloss surface. Paint doesn’t stick to dirt and it doesn’t stick to shine.  So you clean the surface and use a primer.
  • Things can get complicated when you start worrying what NOT to do – mistakes can be covered, mistakes can be cleaned up, mistakes can be wiped off.  The boo-boo to worry about is drips on freshly painted surfaces.  They’re a pain to fix if they dry, if they dry and you don’t fix them, it will drive you nuts.
  • Those nifty little stickers that you use in the corners of your windows – they cost a fortune and they’re a pain in the butt to apply and remove.  Get paint on the window pane.  When it dries, you can scrape it off in half the time it would have taken you to line up painter’s tape and those nifty corners (which, by the way, don’t come off that easily).
  • Painter’s tape is expensive – that pretty blue tape that makes the clean lines.  You can reuse it – since I end up only getting one window painted in a day, I rip it down after the paint dries and stick it on the next window. 
  • And there’s a secret to getting it down easier, too.  Overlap it at least an inch or two.  Make sure each piece overlaps the same way, so when you pull it down, it’s more likely to come down in larger pieces than one piece at a time.  Save’s a heck of la ot of time moving the ladder around the room if you have it on the ceiling.
  • Dark paint colors are a nightmare to use on walls – particularly dark blues and greens.  I personally avoid them.  You’re going to need at least three to four coats of the really dark colors. 
  • Cleaning paintbrushes is the devil’s work.  Even with latex paint when you can use just water, you’re going to hate it.  Throw them out.  Just toss them, it will cost you more in time and energy to clean it than it would to buy a new brush.  Just don’t buy the really expensive brushes, and it will be worth it and liberating to not have to clean your brushes.

So now that you know these invaluable painting tips, there’s nothing stopping you from starting that redecorating project.  Oh, by the way, if you leave painter’s tape up for over six months, it can be horrendous getting it off the wall.  Trust me on this one.