Painting 101

I bet if you typed in “painting tips” or “painting 101” on any search engine, you would get 28,912,635,479 results.  I’m not the only person in the world that knows how to paint a room.  Heck, I’m not even a professional; however, after painting three different houses, I like to think I know a little.

I did in fact paint every wall in this house except like two… and I helped paint those.  Let’s just say that J.C. isn’t a fan of painting and I kind of find it cathartic PLUS I was so ready to get in this house!  While I painted our master bedroom, which we are loving by the way, I documented the process and took some notes, pictures, etc. to help you ladies and gents next time you decide to paint a room!

First up is all about the supplies you use.  If you use “crappy” supplies, you are just going to make the job harder.  You’ll get the job done, but you can start off with good supplies and just make it easier on yourself in the long run… or short run really, because you’ll probably be done sooner.


Here’s all my “stuff.”  Water bottle and cell phone aren’t necessary but may come in handy.  The rest of the items are what we need to discuss, mkay?!  First up is the roller, roller sponge, and extension rod.  Basically I just use any old roller.  There are some that are little bit more fancy schmancy that others but I say (and so does the guy at Sherwin Williams) any of them will do.  But not the roller sponge, my friend.  Don’t buy the cheapest one in this case.  I bought Purdy.


We went with a 3/8″ nap and chose Purdy for a particular reason.  It’s lint free.  Yeah, you don’t end up with those little fibers falling out of the roller while you are painting.  I haven’t always been smart about painting.  In our first house we bought the cheaper rollers and some parts of my master bedroom walls had hair.  It wasn’t pretty… at all.

P.S.  The shorter the nap, the smoother the finish.  If you are unsure what nap length you need, just ask the friendly guys that work at the store.  Or just call me 🙂

Next up is the extension rod.


Again I went with Purdy, but this time only because I liked the rod.  It really wouldn’t have mattered what brand it was.  It extends from 1 foot at the shortest extension length to 2 feet at the furthest extension length.  The roller already has a 10 to 12″ handle plus another two foot would give me 3 feet total.  I have long arms and stand at 5’6″ so an extra three feet is perfect for painting 8 foot walls.  Hope that makes sense to ya!

Now, let’s talk about paint brushes.  Of course, you only need a paint brush for baseboards, mouldings/trim, and cutting in.  And this is where it’s just super important that you get a good one.  And in my honest opinion, there’s only one that is the best.  It’s the Purdy XL Cub.


It’s the only way to go… just take my word for it.  I think that they run just under $20.  Please don’t have a stroke.  I know that may seem like LOTS of money for a paint brush but you’ll understand when you have a lot of painting to do.  There are so many good things about this brush.

First off is the short handle.  It gives you tons of control.  After a while, you get really good at painting and this brush is super helpful.  Truth be told, I never even taped the crown moulding in this house.  I didn’t need to because I have so much control with this short handled brush.  It would have taken me more time to tape the stuff off than it did to paint it.

Secondly, this brush doesn’t lose bristles.  All cheap brushes do.  But this one doesn’t.  As long as you take good care of the brushes and clean them up after use, they should last a real long time!  Third, the bristles are really smooth which makes for an ultra smooth finish, especially if you are working with quality paint.

Now, tape…


I said you wouldn’t have to tape off around the top… but the baseboards… that was another story.  I tried my hand (pun intended) at cutting in around the baseboards.  The only thing I did was to get the paint on the white baseboards.  No Bueno!  So, it was time to bust out the painter’s tape, this time I used Frog Tape.

Now, this isn’t a advertisement for Frog Tape or anything but we were told that it doesn’t take the fresh paint off and well… somebody told the truth.  I used it in every single room in this house of ours, along the freshly painted baseboards and it didn’t remove the paint in!!  I can’t say the same thing for the blue painter’s tape that I’ve used in the past.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good stuff; however, when we were painting every square inch of Our First Flip, we used a lot of it and it pulled some of the fresh paint off in places.  So, I guess that if you are putting tape on not-so-freshly painted surfaces, just go with the blue stuff.  If you are taping on freshly painted surfaces, I suggest Frog Tape.  Shew, that was like a WHOLE paragraph on tape.  The paint fumes may be getting to my brain.

Lastly is my little cup.  I’ve used a few different ones but this is the one I used this go around.


If you’ll remember, I actually bought this at Harbor Freight.  It was super cheap and more than worth its weight in gold.  It’s got a little clip on it that you can stick your paint brush in when you are taking a break or need to set your paint brush/cup down.  I don’t suggest leaving it there for a long time because it might dry out.  The nice thing about having this little cup with the clip is that you don’t have to lug around the heavy paint can…up and down a ladder when you are trying to paint trim and what not.  And the fact that it isn’t really deep keeps paint from getting all the way up to your elbow 🙂

My last tips are about the order in which you should go.  I basically followed this recipe the whole time I painted this house.  First, start off with the cutting in around the trim, baseboards, crown moulding, corners, etc.  It’s the most tedious, time consuming part of painting.  It normally always needs two coats.  Start and finish your first coat, then paint the walls with your first coat.  By the time you’ve painted the walls, all of the cutting in should be dry, enough to start a second coat anyways.  So start with your second cutting in and then paint the walls the second go around.  And then you are done!  YAY!!!!

So… have you read enough about painting tips yet?!  I don’t know if it’s kind of cool or just really pathetic that I can write so much info on painting and what not.  Let’s go with kind of cool!!  I hope I didn’t leave anything out… if I did or you have any questions, just ask me in the comments below!


One thought on “Painting 101

  1. Good advice! I’ve painted ‘a time or two’ and most probably have some ahead of me, so I will follow your tips ! Love you, Mom 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s