Completing your own painting projects can help you save money while providing a sense of accomplishment. But while professional painters typically understand a variety of painting techniques that help them paint a room with minimal time, effort and cleanup, new and novice painters don’t have that knowledge to fall back on. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional painter to take advantage of these DIY painting tips that speed up everything from painting walls and removing masking tape to maintaining brushes and protecting fixtures.
13 DIY Painting Tips That Will Power Up Your Projects
1. Mop Walls Before Applying Wet Paint
Climbing up and down a ladder to clean walls before getting started painting walls can be a hassle, but using a Swiffer can help speed up the process and eliminate the need for a damp cloth. Disposable pads let you see all the debris you remove as you work; then you can simply remove the used pad and add another one when you’re ready to properly prep the surface for fresh paint by cleaning it with Tri-Sodium Phosphate. After cleaning, just let the wall dry completely, then apply new paint. Likewise, a long roller reaches every part of interior walls for quick coverage when you need to paint a room.
2. Prep Paint Rollers for Smoothness and Absorption
While paint rollers work well straight out of the pack, there are DIY painting tips to help you make the most of these essential tools. Due to their fuzzy nature, paint rollers can often leave lint behind during use. You can nip this problem in the bud by using a lint roller or packaging tape to remove loose fibers on the surface before use. Additionally, consider soaking new paint rollers with warm water, then squeezing them out before use to prime the material and help it absorb more paint.
3. Cover Paint Trays With Plastic for Quick Cleanup
Keep paint trays for paint rollers pristine by covering them with plastic sheeting, plastic wrap, or even a plastic bag before use. This practice lets you switch between different color paints without using a new roller tray and eliminates the need for costly pan liners when you’re using the same color paint. Covering your roller tray with plastic also helps save time when it’s time to clean up after you finish painting and enables better monitoring of how much paint you pour each time. This is one of the most commonly used techniques among DIY painting tips.
4. Create DIY Painter’s Tape Spout for Your Paint Bucket
Prevent messes by creating a DIY painter’s tape spout for your paint can. First, tear off a strip of masking or painter’s tape and apply it across the top and side of your paint can then repeat the process on the other side. The two strips of painter’s tape should form a squared shape when you’re looking down into the acrylic, oil or latex paint can and join together where they meet to create a V-shaped edge. Simply pour the paint toward this V-shaped edge to control the flow, and rely on the taped edges to prevent excess paint from entering your DIY spout.
5. Protect Surfaces With Drop Cloths and Petroleum Jelly
Use drop cloths on flooring and furniture to keep your place pristine while you paint. Canvas drop cloths offer excellent coverage for all the furniture in your space, while standard plastic sheeting works well in easily cleanable areas and when you need to cover the flooring of an entire room. To keep acrylic, latex and oil-based paints or Real Milk Paint color off of small elements on project pieces, such as hardware you can’t remove or detail that needs to be another color, apply petroleum jelly to the area, apply the paint color, then wipe the surface clean once the paint dries. This is one of the most necessary techniques from the DIY painting tips to avoid mess when doing your project.
6. Even Out Baseboards With Caulk Before Painting
Baseboards can make or break the look of your room when you paint interior walls, so it helps to repair any issues with them before beginning and even add a fresh coat of paint over them while you’re painting anyway. If they have bumps and dings or have come loose from the wall, consider using paintable acrylic latex caulk to fill in the gaps. This material goes on smoothly, spreads out to conform with the area you’re repairing, and dries quickly, enabling you to get back to work painting after applying paintable acrylic latex caulk to your baseboards.
7. Edge Baseboards With File Folders or Angled Brushes
Keep baseboards pristine while painting along edges by using file folders to block off the space rather than applying painter’s tape. For this process to work well, be sure to remove all excess paint from your paintbrush to prevent paint drips, and hold the file folder steady as you glide your paintbrush across the edge. Angled paintbrushes can also help you create a wet edge that doesn’t drip as long as you keep your hand steady and don’t load them up with too much paint.
8. Avoid Lap Marks and Paint Roller Streaking
The key to avoiding lap marks when painting with a roller is to always keep a wet edge. Also known as streaking, lap marks occur when wet and dry paint layers overlap and create spaces with more or less gloss or paint color coverage. Keeping a wet edge means you need to work from wet to dry, moving your brush or roller in only one direction as you work. Also, avoid painting in high wind or direct sunlight as lap marks may occur when your paint dries too quickly.
9. Keep Cotton Swabs Handy for Cleanup
Cotton swabs come in handy for numerous jobs around the house, including cleaning up small drips of paint without compromising the larger surface. For the best results, choose high-quality cotton swabs with sharp tips that reach into tighter spaces, especially when you’re painting furniture or decor with ornate carving or details. Cotton swabs also work well for paint touch-ups and applying petroleum jelly to areas you don’t wish to paint.
10. Clean Paintbrushes With Vinegar for Easy Reuse
Have the tools you need to apply paint easily without having to buy new ones every time by cleaning paint brushes with vinegar. When the paint dries in your tools, it usually leaves them hard and limits their usefulness for future projects. Soaking paintbrushes in vinegar, however, loosen up all the gunk so you can easily clean them with soap and water after they’ve soaked for roughly half an hour.
11. Remove Painter’s Tape Easily by Heating It
Painter’s tape usually comes off easily, but in cases where it doesn’t, a little heat can do the trick. Use a hairdryer to gently heat the tape on a low setting, then pull it up and an angle to reduce peeling risks. If some areas still don’t want to pull up, grab a putty knife and gently pry from one side and pull from the other to remove the painter’s tape.
12. Maintain Brush Wetness During Breaks With Plastic
Pausing while you paint a room doesn’t have to mean dried-out brushes when you know how to maintain brush wetness. Just saturate the paintbrush with more paint, then slip it into a plastic bag with a zipper closure so you can use it again to apply the same milk, oil-based, acrylic or latex paint color you were using. Quick breaks require only wetting the brush and adding it to a recycled retail bag.
13. Make Roller Covers With Plastic or Potato Chip Cans
Preserve the wetness of fabric or foam rollers by making your own roller cover. Wear rubber gloves, remove the roller from the handle, slip it into a plastic bag, then place the wrapped roller into a clean, empty potato chip can and add the lid. For quick breaks, simply soak the roller in the paint, then wrap it in a plastic bag to keep it wet until you return.
Now that you understand some painting techniques that pro painters use to simplify the process, you have the knowledge to finish your own paint job with confidence. Products from the Real Milk Paint Co. further boost your efficiency and productivity, including all-natural Real Milk Paint that stores easily for up to 2 weeks after mixing, a versatile paintbrush selection, and flexible finishing options for both indoor and outdoor painting projects. So what are you waiting for? Get creative and transform your space today with our high-quality paints! Call us here: (800) 339-9748.