Tips for the Amateur Do-it-Yourselfer to Paint like a Pro

Paint is a great way to spruce up any room and create an inviting usable space; and one of the best parts about using paint to decorate is that you can do it yourself. Painting can be a cathartic way to connect with your home or space while giving it a hint of your personality. So, here are a couple of tips from the pros on how you can create a professionally painted finish when doing your own painting.


The best time to paint a room is when it is empty. Clear any furniture, clutter, or other items from the room to be painted so as to have sufficient space to move around and not get paint on items that you don’t want paint on. If you have large heavy furniture items you can prepare your room by moving these items to the center of the room and covering them in plastic, instead of removing them entirely; just make sure you have plenty of room to work around what is in the center of the room, especially in corners.

After clearing the room you want to tape off along baseboards, ceilings, outlets, and window and door frames to avoid unwanted paint dripping. When taping along the floor use a putty knife to tuck tape edges under baseboards or walls. This is also the time that you will remove any face plate or heating vent covers and tape over outlets to avoid paint from getting into the electrical outlets. When removing covers use painter’s tape to attach any screws, nuts, or bolts to the back of each cover so you can easily locate them when it is time to put them back into place.

Lastly, cover any remaining surfaces that you do not want to end up with paint on them with plastic and a drop cloth. The drop cloth will absorb the paint as the plastic keeps paint from soaking through.

Brushes and Rollers

Paint supplies vary in price and quality. When purchasing your supplies keep in mind the types of surfaces that you will be painting and look for rollers that are specifically designed for those surfaces, i.e. stucco, drywall, and plaster. Different types of wall surfaces absorb paint differently and have their own distinctive texture; because of this there are different types of rollers available to accommodate wall textures.

When looking at brushes you will want a selection of different width and angled quality paint brushes to accommodate a variety of molding, trim, and other types of tight fit painting areas. You will use these to cut in along all of the areas that you tape off before you begin the rolling process. This way you get a much cleaner line along ceilings, floors, and trim work. It is best to invest in and take care of quality paint brushes to avoid loose bristles from ending up on your wall.


Make sure to protect your paint supply investment by thoroughly cleaning brushes, rollers, and any other tools used with soap and warm water while your walls dry. Once walls are dry remove drop cloths, plastic, and tape being careful not to peel any paint from the walls as you peel tape away.