A Guide to The Perfect Paint Job

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Everyone thinks they are a professional painter and that it’s an easy job.  While this might be true, it’s also true that professionals hardly ever make mistakes, and regular people like you and I, make them more often than not when it comes to painting!  But then again, that’s sort of the point of having a professional in a trade – someone that went to school for it or has 15+ years of experience, or someone that actually knows what they are doing versus some Joe Schmo that did not, does not or couldn’t possibly know.  However, if you are really stuck on doing your own paint job and you simply don’t want to hire someone, can’t afford it right now or you live in a location where it’s not a viable option, you should at least read the article below.

Here are a few things to start thinking about before you start painting.

Don’t Use A Thumbnail Paint Swatch

There is no way someone can pick out a paint color just by using a 2×2 inch swatch.  So do something else instead!  Get yourself some paint colors that you really love – even a smaller quantity will do – and some foam core.  Foam core acts like a wall that has primer on it.  Paint the foam core with one or two coats on it and hang it on the walls of your house.  This will help you to see firsthand how the light/dark plays off of it, how well it goes with your furniture, and if you could really live with the color!

Figure Out How Many Cans You Need

Make sure that before you buy ANY paint that you actually take the time to figure out how much paint you will need.  There are a lot of different paint calculators out there. Here are a few you might want to consider using:




Overall, it’s said that one gallon covers about 400 square feet.  Definitely something to think about.

Invest In Good Quality Paint

Cheap paint just isn’t worth it.  It’s cheap, yea, but you are going to need three times as much and chances are it’s not going to last as long as the good stuff.  Just get it over with and come to terms with it.  The better quality paint is well worth it as are those “usual suspects” when it comes to brands.  Glidden, Behr, Ben Moore, etc., are all great paint brands.

Always Prep

To allow paint to adhere to a surface, it has to be clean.  Make sure that you use putty to fill in any holes, clean the surface with a wet rag, let it dry, add primer, let that dry, etc.  You also need to consider laying down some tarps, removing furniture from the space, and getting all the tools you could or would need to paint: paint, brushes, rollers, edgers, tarps, painter’s tape, paint trays, ladders etc.

Know Your Tools

Your brush:  You should purchase a few good quality brushes, and the type does matter.  The bristles on the brush should be tapered, split and arranged into various lengths.  Synthetic bristles work quite well, so it’s okay if you want to purchase these.  You will want to make sure that you get one or two for angled sashes, one or two for trim and one or two for ceilings and walls.

Rollers:  In this case, size does matter.  When you get rollers, you should be getting different sizes, such as small rollers for wainscoting, 14- and 18-inch rollers for the main walls and ceilings.

Hopefully, some of these tips will become useful to you when it comes to prepping before the paint job, as well as after.  If you are doing this all on your own and don’t have a buddy, you also might think about hiring a contractor to help you.