10 top tips on painting

Last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 02:10 pm

I wouldn’t say I am a professional decorator by any means but I have painted my fair share of walls, doors, furniture and exteriors of houses too. I get it from my mother, she was constantly painting something, diy projects around the house my entire life and went on to marry my Dad who built homes for a living. I guess it runs in my blood. There isn’t a year that goes by where I don’t paint a room a different color or add a feature wall or change a feature wall color. I have had plenty of mistakes, mishaps and down right uglies, along the way.

Like with anything in life, you pick up tricks and tips as you go. There are many don’ts and do’s of painting that I now stick to every time. I thought I would share of my knowledge and experiences with you in case you were thinking of painting soon. Trust me, there is more to painting than just these ten tips so feel free to peak at my pinterest board below for more advice and deeper meanings to color palettes if that’s what you are looking for.

10 Tips to know before you paint

Rule No. 1: Don’t think you can free hand paint. Use the proper equipment such as drop clothes, edging tape, and paint trays, no matter how sturdy your hand is, you don’t want to have to clean up or fix any accidents. The better you are prepared, even if it does take a little prep time, the better the out come will be. I have free hand painted numerous times and the touching up is just more work and time than it’s worth.

Rule No. 2: Buy tester pots of paint. They sell mini pots of the colors you might be interested in using, buy a few shades of the color you like and actually paint them on the wall in little patches to see their true color. Every color looks different in every house, in every light, and in every room.

Rule No. 3: Don’t buy cheap paint it won’t last and won’t be as durable. I have made this mistake before and with small children I wanted a paint I could trust. There are sales on paint all the time, shop around for the best price. I am a huge fan of Farrow and Ball paint from Kent Blaxill. Buy more than you need and keep the receipt. You can always return an unopened can but if you don’t, you might find you go back for more and they are sold out of the color or it has been taken off the shelves. Trust me, it’s happened to me before.

Farrow and Ball Paint 10 tips to know before you paint

Rule No. 4: Go bold and timeless, not stylish and trendy. Sometimes we can get wrapped up into what looks good now but not think of how long we want this look to last. Wallpapers go in and out of style as do paint color palettes. You can see on pinterest that a variety of shades of the same color are timeless and stay popular like these grey and yellow mood boards, I have here. They are variations of the same color but if you branch into different coordinating colors that can be more tricky. This years hunter green and hot pink trend might not be so hot next year or easy on the eyes after awhile.

Rule No. 5: Think in terms of room size and light. If it’s a smaller room you want lighter colors to open the space. If there is not a lot of natural light be careful to go pure white it can look cold and dingy. I like to have a painted feature wall if I go bold, like MM’s bedroom, it’s all cream except one wall is fuscia. This also makes it easier when I want to change the theme it’s one feature wall to paint not four. Bold vibrant colors can make the room appear smaller too. Be careful not to close yourself in and take space away with your color choices.

Rule No. 6: Use good paint brushes. I use cheap rollers as they don’t seem to be a difference when painting but a good paint brush for me is a must. I have used the same paint brush for the last eight years for all my painting in both my houses. Invest in one good one which isn’t that expensive and you have it forever. You don’t want brush hairs left behind as I have seen on so many walls, they are dried right into the paint. Or handles that crack and seep paint down your arm. Not a pretty look.

Rule No. 7: Paint all your edges, around light sockets, windowsills, door frames, wall edges first, about two inches wide. You don’t want your roller hitting the ceiling because you need to get closer. Make sure it’s solid and no bleeding or thin parts before you roll the wall. You really don’t want to do the edging twice.

Rule No. 8: Make sure you use a paint tray properly and roll off excess paint off your roller. I have seen my own husband (sshh don’t tell him) barely roll excess paint off and stick it on the wall. The first four or five rolls up and down the wall had him splattered with paint flying off his roller. Sometimes you don’t even notice it but little flicks of paint are going everywhere. If you are on carpet be sure to be extra cautious and use your drop cloths. Although be sure to put enough paint on that it fully covers the wall, you want it to go on even. You don’t want to skimp on paint the first time around, it could be a one coat job.

Rule No. 9: Let it dry before applying a second coat or freaking out about the color. I have thought my wall needed a second coat but after letting it dry it looked fine and saved me buying more paint. Don’t freak out when you put the paint on the wall and it’s still wet. Paint dries a different color than when it’s wet. My master bedroom left me in tears after painting it twice, a different color, as I was quick to rush out and paint over it before I let it dry and see it in natural day light the next day. Most people paint during the day and when the job is finished its night fall and it always looks more intense at night, at first, if you aren’t used to it.

Rule No. 10: If you get it wrong, you can always paint or wallpaper over it. That’s the beauty of paint and wallpaper you can forever keep changing it, if you please.

10 Tips to know before you paint

Have you had any paint catastrophes? I would love to hear your paint stores or wall paper encounters. Leave a comment below or tweet me.

Check out my “Painting 101” board full of more tips, and tricks on painting.

photo credit & collaboration post

14 thoughts on “10 top tips on painting”

  1. Great tips here, hon! I’m about to choose paint for our sitting room so this is very timely. I usually buy a trillion tester pots! Am excited but a little scared as I want it to be perfect for Christmas. x

    • Oh good follow my advice darling or you might paint it a few times over like my master bedroom situations hahaha Don’t be afraid to buy 10 or 20 mini pots and try them in big patches on the wall so you know for sure how it reflects light at night and during the day. 🙂 Happy painting.

    • Oh no bless you, it’s tough as we want to skip steps and go with it and finished and sometimes that makes more problems. lol Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. These Paintings Rules are really comprehensive for beginning painters. I am definitely a novice painter so thank you so much for these simple and effective guidelines. I especially like Rule 4 about going bold and timeless, not stylish and trendy. I guess I always thought that the paint color options were either bold or boring, but it’s good to know that bold can also be timeless.

    • Oh yes hunny and the more you do it the more you will find what suits you and your tastes for sure. I love painting. The great thing about paint is you can always paint over it. lol Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. I like how you can get the tester pots of paint. You should really make sure the paint is the way you like it because if you don’t you will have just wasted a lot of money. I also like what you said about not buying cheap paint. You really pay for what you get.

    • Definitely pay for what you get. Tester pots are great for small projects too you don’t even need a big jug of it. I just used leftover tester pot to paint a mirror I had for the dining room.

  4. I really like the idea of getting paint samples first before buying a large can of paint. I think that way you can find the paint color that you would like most. I am repainting my living room and I will go ahead and try a few different samples.

    • Oh yes after years of repainting an entire room over again definitely go for the mini paint pots and test a few spaces out first. Good luck and happy painting.

  5. I love what you said about not getting wrapped up in what is trending now instead of what you will still love years down the road when it comes it painting in your home. My sister is working on painting her daughter’s room right now and she and I had a little debate over that very thing with the colors. I feel it’s important the colors are something you can see yourself loving in the long-run no just in the moment. We shouldn’t be afraid of doing something that’s a little different from whatever is currently trending, while not hating it at the same time.

  6. I love your advice to “go bold and timeless” with your painting project. It really does make a difference to opt for something that isn’t going out of style in a couple of years. Do you have any other tips about finding the right kind of paint for your home? What kind of tips would you give someone that is trying to find professional help with painting your home?

    • There are all sorts of local pages and facebook groups for professional painters if you are looking for someone to do it for you. In terms of kind of paint it depends on what type of room it is and your living situation. If you have little ones running around with sticky fingers you want a paint that is durable but that you can wipe down. But you need a different kind of paint for bathrooms and rooms were there is moisture and wet. Your local paint shops can tell you which type is the best fit for your room and home.


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