16 essential painting tricks to make DIY less stressful


With the Easter holidays fast approaching, many of us will be using that extra bit of free time to tick off a long list of DIY jobs inside and outside the house that we don’t have. still had time to do. Although painting may seem like an easy job, once you get started it can quickly become very stressful. From prep work to color choices to the application process, it’s no wonder we put off paint projects.

Luckily, Michael Rolland, interior expert and general manager of The Paint Shed, has provided some handy painting tips to make this DIY job a little less stressful.

1. Thoroughly clean the room before you start

It may seem obvious, but make sure your walls are spotless before you start painting for a smoother finish and application. Use a damp cloth on the surface of the wall, you can also use sugar soap or a mixture of dish soap and water if you need more thorough cleaning of high traffic areas or areas that have been exposed to fat.

Remember to check hidden areas such as behind radiators to keep your paintwork as clean as possible. Although you don’t necessarily need to paint this spot, the remaining dust could seep into your paint.

2. Wash brushes in dish soap and fabric softener

Before you start painting, wash all your brushes. This will help remove any loose hairs that can mar your finish if they stick to the wall. Wash them in a mixture of diluted dish soap and fabric softener to keep the bristles soft.

3. Use masking tape to remove lint from the roller

New rollers can be fluffy which can transfer to the surface you are painting. To avoid this, use masking tape to remove excess lint before you begin your project.

4. Start from top to bottom

A general rule to remember when painting a room is to paint in the correct order. You should always start at the top and work your way down. This means that ceilings come before walls and walls come before baseboards.

Start by mixing your paint then on a ladder cut along the ceiling with a paintbrush. Then, using a roller attached to an extension pole, you can paint the rest of the ceiling. Repeat this process as you paint the walls, using a brush for the edges then a roller before moving down.

Keep a clean, damp cloth handy to quickly remove any mistakes. If a drop of paint makes its way to the floor on the woodwork, you can quickly wipe it up before it dries.

5. Don’t forget your pets

It is essential that you remember to lock pets out of the room to be decorated. Unless part of your plan for the room is to have paw and nose prints on everything within reach, make sure beloved furry family members are kept at away from the painted spaces.

Plus, you won’t want wayward fur getting into the paint and ruining the smooth finish you’ve prepared so much for.

6. Protect your hair

Anyone who’s had to clean paint from their hair, especially hair that’s very shiny, like gloss, will know that it’s best to keep it out of the way in the first place.

There will be spray from the roller, whether you are doing walls or ceilings, which can work its way onto your body and hair.

If you don’t want to buy a specific painter’s cap, a shower cap will do the job of protecting your hair just as well (attractive, we know!)

7. Cover your paint trays

This hack will not only save you a ton of time doing the dishes, but also save you money if you find yourself buying a new tray after every paint job. You can use thin plastic liners or just use aluminum foil to line your paint trays.

Once you’re done painting, you can just remove the liner or foil and throw it away.

8. Place a rubber band to catch excess paint

There’s nothing worse than having a messy paint can with paint dripping all over it. To avoid this, place a rubber band around your paint bucket before you start painting.

This will give you something to remove excess paint from without the paint pooling in the edge of the opening and reaching the lid or running down the sides of the box.

9. Remove tape while paint is still wet

Another tip when it comes to painter’s/masking tape is to remove the tape while the paint is wet for a clean, professional finish. There’s nothing worse than working for a clean finish only to wind up the tape and see bits of your hard work go with it.

Do not wait until the paint is completely dry to remove the tape. Just be careful removing the tape, as there will be wet paint on it.

10. Use a hair dryer to remove tape

If you find it difficult to remove painter’s/masking tape, especially if it’s been in place too long, then this hack will be a lifesaver. Take your hair dryer and blow hot air on the tape, this will reactivate the adhesive and make it easier to remove!

Take your time lifting the painter’s tape, pulling it back on itself, pulling it back at a 45 degree angle.

11. Use cling film to protect your paint

Once you’ve finished the job in hand, be sure to save any leftover paint because you never know when you’ll need to do a few quick touch-ups. One trick you can use to store leftover paint is to use plastic wrap over the top of the paint can before putting the lid back on.

This will prevent dust, dirt and chipped paint from falling into the fresh paint the next time it is opened, especially if it has been stored in a shed or garage.

12. Wrap your brushes and rollers

It’s more than likely that your painting project will take at least a few hours, so instead of cleaning up between painting sessions, wrap the rollers and brushes in something plastic, such as cling film or a carry bag. or even coral seal and save the packaging of brushes and rollers. .

Make sure the wrap is tight to keep it from drying out.

13. Evaluate your work in daylight

You may not realize it, but lighting can have a huge effect on the appearance of the paint. You should therefore avoid painting interior surfaces in dim light. The painted surface may look nice at first, but when you uncover the windows or turn on bright lights, you’ll likely see fine spots and other imperfections.

You should always assess paint in daylight and when it is dry before calling it a job well done. Daylight will expose the need for another coat or any missed sections.

14. Use a sweeping brush to paint a deck

If you’re looking to spruce up your patio space with a fresh coat of paint ready for those warmer evenings and the inevitable barbecues, then this is the hack for you. Instead of hurting your back bending over with a paintbrush or risking covering everything you see with spray, pour your deck paint into a tray, grab a outdoor sweep, dip it in paint and sweep back and forth on the patio, saving your back and valuable time.

Use a broom with nice soft bristles to avoid scratching the paint and get an even finish.

15. Chase the Shadow

Exterior painting projects should not be done in direct sunlight. This will cause the paint to dry too quickly, meaning lap marks, drips and blemishes are impossible to avoid.

Be sure to cast out the shadows, know approximately where the sun is going to be throughout the day, remember that it rises in the east and sets in the west. If your garden is a sun trap, be sure to start painting early in the morning and later in the afternoon/early evening when the sun is not at its highest.

16. Use hooks on your ladder

This hack is especially useful if you’re painting masonry outside your home. There’s no way even the fittest of us would want to climb up and down a ladder after every stroke and in the interest of safety hold the can of paint in one and the brush in the other. else is not the most sensible idea.

Instead, invest in ladder hooks, there are specific ones you can buy for the job, you then hang them on the ladder and hang the paint can on them. This leaves one hand free to hold the ladder avoiding falls and a brush in the other.


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