Avoid DIY Disasters: 10 Pro Tips for Pain-Free Wall Painting!

Are you tired of messy, frustrating, and time-consuming DIY wall painting projects? Do you dread the sight of uneven coats, annoying spills, and endless touch-ups? Well, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help! Here are ten tips for painting walls used by pros.

1. Gather Supplies Before You Start

painting supplies
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Painting can be a meticulous and frustrating task, and starting a painting project without gathering the necessary supplies will make the project more difficult. Save yourself time and hassle by making a list of all the supplies required to pick up at your local paint store. Before you begin painting, double-check that you have all the materials so you don’t have to make another trip to pick up any forgotten items.

2. Prepping Walls is Key to a Perfect Finish

filling nail holes in wall with spackle - important tip for painting walls
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

Prepping your walls for paint is one of the most critical steps in the painting process. No one wants a subpar finish after spending so much time painting. Fill any holes with spackle or patches, sand the wall smooth, then lightly scuff. Sand any old paint, and clean the wall completely of any remaining dust and debris.

3. Choose a Quality Roller and Paintbrush

woman in front of partially painted wall with paint roller
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If you want quality results, then you need to use quality tools. Avoid skipping out on the higher quality product to save a few bucks. Cheap brushes leave behind brushstrokes and bristles, and cheap rollers don’t have a smooth finish. Do yourself a favor and spend a few extra dollars to ensure a beautifully painted wall.

4. Choose the Best Paint for Your Budget

woman choosing paint in a paint store
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Paint comes in various finishes and formulas; not every formula can be used on every wall. Research the best paint based on your wall’s texture and what sheen you wish the color to have and choose the best one that fits your budget. Make sure to know the square footage the paint will cover and budget accordingly for primer and paint.

5. Always Stir the Paint

woman stirring paint
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If you want your walls to have a consistent color throughout, stir the paint even after it has been shaken at the paint store. Ingredients used in paint separate over time; mixing will help incorporate the colors. Make sure to stir before starting to paint and occasionally while painting to ensure a consistent color on all your walls.

6. Don’t Skip the Primer

woman sitting painting primer on a wall
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Primer is an essential step in the painting process. Primer will act as a base for your paint and give you the most consistent color. Primer gives a smooth surface for paint to adhere to with long-lasting effects. Be sure to budget primer into your paint purchase, especially when painting over dark colors. Paints that claim to be paint and primer in one are not all created equal. You may still need extra coats, so start the right way and use a primer first.

7. Painter’s Tape is Your Best Friend

rolls of painter's tape
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

Nothing makes a painting job look sloppy, like unclean lines and splatter on the trim and ceiling. Correcting these mistakes will add additional time and money to your budgeted project. Utilize the right painter’s tape to create a neat, sharp finish and get that satisfying look at the end.

8. Cutting in First

cutting in paint with paint tool
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

Cutting in or edging first will give you a smooth, clean start before rolling out your paint. If you want the most professional finish, use a high-quality trim brush or specialized paint tool to cut in around the trim, corners, and ceiling, and finish with a roller for the smoothest blend. Cutting in first allows you to paint a room quickly and efficiently.

9. Apply Thin Coats

applying thin coats of paint to a wall
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Trying to speed up the painting process by applying thick coats is tempting, but that will leave you with an uneven, messy finish. Apply multiple thin coats for the smoothest result. 

10. Vary Your Paint Pattern

rolling paint on wall in a "W" pattern
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Painting straight up and down seems like the best method to cover a wall expanse, but varying your pattern will have the best effect. It might look weird, and you’ll think it will never work, but altering your painting pattern will help hide any roller marks. Paint in a “W” shape to best achieve this.

How to Store Leftover Paint

paint on a shelf
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Proper paint storage is crucial to prolong the life of the paint. Paint can be expensive and needs to be stored properly to be able to reuse. Learn the best way to use and store leftover paint so it lasts a long time.

Buying Paint – What You Need To Know

Anika sitting on the floor with paint cans
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

The most straightforward home project to DIY is painting – a room, a single wall, a piece of furniture. The transformation resulting from a few simple coats of paint is fantastic! Picking and buying the right paint and quantity can be overwhelming. Here are 5 important tips to consider and help you buy right!

How to Spray Paint – Tips and Tricks you need to know!

spray paint cans laying on their sides
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Everything you need to know about how to spray paint. Spray paint is an easy way to transform and spruce up any project. Check out all the tips and tricks you need to know BEFORE spray painting, including safety, hacks, and clean-up.

Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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