How to Paint Like a Pro

After years of hiring professionals and amateurs alike for home improvement projects, I decided to learn as much as I could from these great sources of information, both in discussions and watching! With a great cup of coffee and courtesy, you’d be surprised how much they love to talk about what they do…that of course, matched with someone who really wants to listen.

Women, and yes you too men, get the bug for change. Painting is the easiest and most cost-effective way to bring about this change you can easily get all the necessary supplies that you need from and hone your painting skills like that. After trying techniques on those DIY and TLC programs one can watch, I’ve learned that it doesn’t turn out quite as you see on TV. Why? They don’t tell you everything! Which is where I come in!

Here are my accumulated experiences in creating a professional beautiful newly painted room in three easy steps.

Step one: Preparing the Walls. Tape around the areas you do not want the paint to touch (cabinets, moldings, etc). You can use the blue painter’s tape, but you don’t have to. Plain masking tape is less expensive and will do just fine (especially with the next tip I have for you!). Be sure to leave a small (1/8″) space between the wall and the tape. you can eyeball the space – just think very small. Next, here is the professional magic and most important part – take caulking, any kind (I use plain white) and just as you would caulk your bathtub, create a seam of caulk at the point of the wall and the tape. Run your fingers along the caulk to wipe off excess. This is a very important step, as it will create a clean line when you remove the tape as well as creating a barrier for the paint.

Step two: Preparing for Paint. First, remove any dust or dirt with a simple wipedown. Second, I find it very important to use a good primer/sealer before you paint. This will save you time and headaches in the end. In most instances, a good primer will allow your paint to adhere to the walls better, as well as being able to paint one coat of color versus two, which saves you time and cost. Also, it allows a barrier between the paint and the drywall, which is a saving grace when you clean your walls. In most rooms of your house, a standard water-based primer (I use Zinsser) will do just fine. However, in the kitchen and bathrooms, I would suggest a mold and mildew proof primer/sealer. You’ll thank yourself in the end. A simple roller for the main areas of the walls and a smaller paintbrush for the trim areas make painting very easy. Good primers usually dry from one to three hours.

Step three: Time to Paint! After fully allowing the primer/sealer to dry, use the exact same procedure to paint your desired color. Most paints nowadays are fantastic in that they require one coat (really dark colors may require more for the desired outcome) and dry fast. You don’t have to wait for the paint to fully dry. Now watch the magic – remove the tape. You will have a clear, clean line, which looks professionally done – and you did it yourself!!

*Professional Secret Alert – if by mistake stray paint gets on something you didn’t want, use Goof Off. A wonderful product, removes paint, primer, etc. but NOT wood or stain, even if you wait weeks. Just make sure to use a putty knife, a rag, and a lot of ventilation. Put the rag over the putty knife, dip the edge into Goof Off, and easily rub until gone.

This three-step approach to a professional look can be applied to harder projects. To change a room with wallpaper, for example, will require a few more tricks…but it is not as hard as you think. Watch for more of my secrets for painting and wallpaper removal tricks for not so simple room changes. I look forward to helping you create the rooms you imagine!