How to

The goal of every painter is to paint neatly and quickly.

This can be demanding. Fortunately, there are dozens of tricks, shortcuts and trade secrets devoted to painting. Listed below are some painting tips.


Planning will help you get the job done more efficiently. Painting is one of the most common home improvement jobs that homeowners decide that they can do themselves.

If you are planning to paint your house, do not expect it to be an easy task. One can speed through this job, paintbrush in hand but it will be unlikely that you will be pleased with the final results. To get professional results that most of us are looking for, you must invest both time and patience. Plus you need to plan ahead.

Things to consider

  • Cleaning and preparing your surfaces.
  • Gathering the materials you need.
  • Weather.
  • The technique you plan to use to paint.
  • Cleaning up.

Check the Weather

Make sure you look at the long term forecast, and if it's bad, don't paint. There is no sense in spending money on paint only to watch it all wash down the storm gutter, leaving your house a mottled mess.


This is quite possibly the most important part of the job. There are two categories of paint: water based or solvent based paint. Water based paint is the most popular of the two. Professionals prefer to paint with solvent based paint were a choice can be made, because these paints form a hard, protective finish on the surface which they are applied.


Weather it is indoors or outdoors you always need to clean the surface properly before you start any paint job. There aren't many things that are more important than properly preparing the surface to accept the paint. This step will make or break your paint job. If the surface isn't clean, dry, and free of debris, then your new paint won't stick. No matter how expensive it is or what the label guarantees about coverage. After cleaning all the surfaces you should inspect them for any imperfections that may affect the look of your paint job. Cracks and gaps must be repaired.

Preparing inside

For inside surfaces, mild soapy water should be sufficient. Clean areas affected by mold by scrubbing with a mix of 1 part chlorine bleach and 3 parts of water. When you are painting the interior walls of your home, move all furniture and other obstructions. These need to be covered with plastic. All electrical switches, outlet covers, door and cabinet knobs have to be removed. Items that cannot be removed should be covered with plastic and then tape it down with masking tape. All flaking paint has to be removed. Cracks have to be re-caulk. You may have nail holes that need to be filled.

Preparing outside

Start with removing all items that can get in your way and make it difficult to paint. Next, make a thorough inspection off all surfaces in your home’s exterior. Consider scrubbing the surface with a soft bristle brush or even give the surface a power wash. Make repairs if necessary. On wood surfaces, inspect for symptoms of rust where nail heads have come out. If you find any rust bleed, use a rust inhibitor primer to touch up nail heads, countersink the nail heads into the surface before applying the primer. Caulk these countersunk depressions with painter’s putty.

Tools and Materials

A paint job starts with selecting the right tools. For a basic paint job, you may just need a paint tray and a roller or brush.

Quality tools

Choosing quality tools will produce better results than using an old brush you find in the garage. Quality tools helps you to apply coatings more smoothly and will also make the job easier on your body.

Things you'll need

  • Paint brushes
  • Rollers and paint trays
  • Spray or power painters
  • Ladders and/or scaffolds
  • Wall scrapers
  • Putty knives
  • Clean up tools.

Cleanning up

No job is done without cleaning up. Cleaning painting equipment includes not only brushes and rollers but also reusable drop cloths, paint cans, containers, and roller pans. Don't delay cleaning your equipment, fresh paint comes out of brushes, rollers, and pans easily; let paint dry for a while and you'll have to put a lot more effort into getting it out.

Latext paint clean up

If you have been painting with water based paint, drag the brush across the lip of the paint can to remove most of the paint. Wash your brushes with water and soap. To get out the excess water, take the brush outside and give it a few vigorous flicks. Squeeze the water out of roller covers. Dispose of paint according to local regulations.

Solvent based paint clean up

Use the appropriate solvent as identified on the paint can's label. Agitate brushes and rollers in a container of the solvent to get out all the paint. To clean the brushes, pour the solvent into a old can or aluminum foil loaf pan. Solvents are toxic and flammable, don't  smoke and make sure there is plenty of ventilation. After cleaning with thinner wash everything in soapy water. Solvent based paints can pose a threat to the environment; therefore it is recommended you dispose properly of these paints.