Room Painting Tips by a Professional: Faster, Better, Cheaper

Room Painting Tips Resulting Work
We are not your normal painting company: we are giving away our secrets.  I'm near retirement age, and I like blogging more than painting, so here are some room painting tips that your painter won't tell you.
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We also have specific posts about many aspects of a painter’s life, and we are writing all the time.

Probably the most popular “tips” posts are about making clean up easy. Here you are:

How to Clean Paint Rollers: the Quick, the Neat, and the Lazy Way

The Best Way to Clean Paint Brush

Painter giving room painting tips

Biggest Money Tip: A painter is going to charge about two-hundred dollars or more to paint an average size bedroom, ( I do) even just changing colors on the walls: that’s 2 coats, and the walls are already painted with just some normal nail holes, etc. (I can do 2 of these rooms in a 4-6 hour day). (This assumes no reds or yellows involved–they are difficult!)

Looking around on the internet, I see people giving advice like they copied it out of some DIY manual (or some fluff site set up for —advertisingwe will never have any advertising!).  I see people using the name ‘handyman” using tape to make lines and using cheap brushes and roller pans. Roller pans? No self-respecting pro uses them.  Wow.  What to say to these websites? Self-taught much?

Room Painting Tips, Let’s Get Started

What a relief: you don’t need to spend a lot of money, but, and this is key: you don’t want cheap tools.  The reason people give up and call me to do the work is that they bought 4 dollar brushes and cheap roller/tray combinations.   “Why did the bristles fall out?”  “Why is there so much lint from the roller in my new wall paint?”  Cheap tools. Note for Canadians: your roller size is different: read here.

If you can spend just a bit more, you will have excellent professional tools, and if you read my other posts (linked above), you’ll learn how EASY it is to clean them. (Cleaning seems to bring back bad memories for people…If they only know what I knew.  Cleaning is fast and easy if you bring your tool quality level up a notch!

We are trying to bring together a complete set of posts on how to paint, (See for example  “Choose the Best Ceiling Paint “), but this post is just a few key tips for those of you who already know which end of the brush to hold.

Here we go with the procedure, but please check the other posts on professional painter tools to buy and some advice on picking wall paint colors and more!

Room Painting Tips: Quick Summary

  • Clear the room of small items or stack small things on big things and cover with plastic or old bed sheets, and remove light switch/outlet plates and loosen wall lamps (don’t remove). If you want to really save time and are not picky, don’t remove any of these, just have a good brush and a steady hand. (Sometimes we just loosen them to get the bristles under).
  • Apply masking tape only to select tight corners, not all areas.a good brush cuts straight lines: no tape needed.
  • Sand lightly the walls that feel gritty: use medium sandpaper: you only need to do what is from eye-level down to as far as you can reach with your hand (or less). Wrap sandpaper around a block or pick up a nice sanding block online.
  • Spread drop cloths over the floor, including the center if you have enough to cover.  Plastic works, but is slippery and you can get hurt especially on carpet.  Bed sheets on floors are ok, but a big drip of paint will go through the fabric.  A good cheap option is plastic, but to have a canvas “runner” (usually 12×4 feet) is not a bad idea: they can be used for lots of things.
  • Apply the primer if you must. Read my post with a list of when to prime. Also if you want, we discuss paint and primer in one.
  •  Apply two coats of paint: sorry, all those ads for one-coat paints sound good, but we rarely just do one coat (except for ceilings).
  • Start your final paint color with a roller, then cut using a brush, (see our post on why that order). See  “Do You Paint Walls or Trim First?”
  • The direction that you roll and brush is not so important … it should not show in the end. We think in blocks. That is, one-meter-square, or if your roller can hold more paint, 2 or 3 square yards or meters etc. Long strips of paint can show the overlap when dry. The key point is to keep the ‘wet edge’ of the squares/blocks/rectangles as you roll. If it is allowed to dry, it does have a way of standing out later. We cannot prevent some of this without spraying, but as I tell customers: only you and I will see these small imperfections.
  • No need to wait a certain amount of time for drying.  If the paint is dry to the touch, no longer tacky, you can start the next coat.
  •  Clean up: it’s not difficult or messy.  Read all about it here: The Best Way to Clean Paint Brush!


After reading our room painting tips, you might also be interested in:

Check back soon for these posts that will soon be ready:

Paint and Primer in One: The Best and When to Use It



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