The Next 10 Painting Tips

Two days ago, I shared all the things you must know in order to paint walls.  Yesterday I shared my first 10 tips.  Today I am sharing tips 11-20.

11. Don’t start a brushstroke on already-smoothed wet paint.
You can overwork paint and create brush strokes.  Paint starts drying right away, so when you start a brushstroke on an already smoothed area, you are creating a big issue.  already coated zone.


Instead, brush your paint on an unpainted area first and brush toward the already painted area.

12.  Shield furniture with plastic or Press n Seal.
Sherwin Williams and other paint stores sell rolls of plastic that unfold to cover large areas of furniture.  We protect anything that stays in the room while painting with this.  If it’s a smaller items like a toilet, you can just use Press n Seal.

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They even make plastic sheeting with tape on one side so you can tape it right to the wall.  I covered my mantle with this while painting.


13. Use a broomstick to extend your roller and save your back.
Tired of bending up and down over and over while rolling paint on to the wall?  Extend the reach of the handle.  You don’t need to buy a special painting stick.  You can simply unscrew any average broom handle and screw it right on to the end of the paint roller handle.


14. Cover paint to keep it fresh.
Paint dries fast, even paint in your roller tray. If you need to take a break for more than 10 minutes, cover the paint.  Place a lid on your gallon of paint or a cloth over your small paint container. You can use aluminum foil to cover your roller tray. If you don’t, the film that forms on top of the paint may end up on your walls.

15. Store leftover paint in jars or tupperware.
Paint can keep for 1-3 years when stored in an airtight container.  If you don’t have much left in a gallon or the gallon isn’t closing well, pour the paint that is left into a jar or container that has a lid.


16. Keep stir sticks for a quick reference.
It’s sometimes hard to remember the paint names that you used.

Let stir sticks help you.  You get paint all over them anyway.  Just take it a step further and keep them.  Let them dry and lable them.  Drill a hold and keep them together on a ring for further organization.


17. Check the oops section at the paint store.
On a major budget?  Did you know it’s possible to get a gallon of paint for as little as $1?  Yep.  Check the oops section.

Most paint stores have an “oops” section where they sell incorrectly mixed paints for cheap.  They are usually between $1-$5, depending on the store.  The downside is that it’s unlikely that you will ever find the exact same shade again if you need more. If your paint store doesn’t have one, ask them at the counter.  This can work especially well for furniture painting and other small items that can carry a unique color.

18. Clean brushes well.
Wash brushes with latex paint in hot, soapy water, then rinse and let dry.  Mineral spirits is good for cleaning oil based paint off of brushes.

19.  Can’t find the right shade?  Mix it.
Yep, that’s right.  Just mix two colors or more together and see if you can create the right shade.  Then, have it matched at the paint store.  It will never be a perfect match, but I’ve found that Sherwin Williams tends to get it the closest.

If you are afraid to mix paint, ask the paint person to alter the color a bit for you.  Similarly, if you like a color, but it’s a little too dark or light, aks for it at 50% lighter or darker (or any percentage you want…  take it all the way down to a white with that undertone).  They can do that.

20.  Calculate the paint you need.
The pros recommend 1 gallon per every 400 square feet.  So, a room that is 10×10 and has four 10 ft tall walls would be 400 square feet, if you are not painting the ceiling.

If you missed the first two installments of this series, be sure to check them out as they also contain some great tips!

Now that I’ve shared all of my best tips.  What are your best tips?



  1. Again, thank you. This series is awesome!

  2. I accidentally picked up a triangular brush at Tuesday Morning. Thought I was grabbing a 1″ angle brush. I thought it was a complete waste until I tried it. It is awesome for cutting in and for cabinet door corners. If you see one, grab it.
    It’s my new favorite.

  3. Not only Great but Outstanding series Kristy! My best tip for “sharp as knife” edges (especially with textured walls) when wanting 2 different paint colors to be meet edge to edge is this:
    Run your blue tape down or across your wall. Measure exactly if going horizontally & use a level if need be. After the blue tape is down, take a tube of paintable caulk. Squeeze a small amount on your finger tip & run down the entire edge with your finger as well as away from the blue tape a bit. You will need several small squeezes of caulk but use rather sparingly. You want to seal the taped edge but you don’t want any chunks of caulk. Let dry, then paint your other color. When you pull of the tape, it will be a super sharp & perfect edge. Practice first & I hope this makes sense.

    • Yes, perfect sense. I love that method or if you don’t have caulk, just paint the original wall color on first to seal the tape and then the new color. I thought about including this, but then I thought maybe that’s another post. But, I’m glad you mentioned it!

  4. These have been helpful as Sarah and I paint our foreclosure. A good reference without being overwhelming. Good work, sis.

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