July 29

How to Paint Like a Pro


If your interior walls are ready for a new paint job, you may be tempted to tackle the job on your own. Before you start, it’s essential to take the time to gather the right tools and study proper painting techniques to ensure a good finish. Follow these tips to achieve the best results.

Gather the Right Tools and Supplies

The right equipment will make it easier for you to achieve high-quality results. Depending on the size of your project, items you will need include:

  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint tray
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint brushes of various sizes
  • An extension pole
  • A ladder
  • Drop cloths
  • Spackle
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty knife
  • Rags
  • Cleaning supplies

Preparation is Key

The key to a professional-looking finish is preparation. Allow plenty of time to clean and prepare surfaces before any painting begins. The condition of your walls and ceilings can dramatically impact how much time is needed for preparation and repairs.

Move your furniture to the center of the room and cover it with drop cloths. Remove pictures, window coverings, and attached decorations from your walls. Remove electrical outlet covers and tape the screws to the back for easy replacement after the new paint dries. 

Protect your carpeting with heavy cotton drop cloths. Plastic drop cloths are slippery and can cause an unsafe walking area or surface to set up a ladder. Protect vinyl, hardwood, and tile flooring with rosin paper taped together and secured to the flooring with tape.

Paint will not adhere properly to dirty surfaces. It’s essential to remove all dust, dirt, and grime. A solution of mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water is usually sufficient. After the surface is clean and dry, fill in any small nicks or holes with spackle or drywall putty. Lightly sand all rough areas until smooth. If your drywall is heavily damaged, it’s best to hire a professional to make repairs.

Apply Primer and Paint

Invest in high-quality paint brushes and roller covers. They are worth the money and will give a smooth, clean finish. Wash new paint roller covers before using them to eliminate loose bits of fuzz that can become embedded in your paint. Wash the covers with water and a little dab of liquid soap, rinse with lots of water, and then run your hands up and down the surface to pull off any loose fibers. 

Apply a coat of high-quality primer to help your new paint last longer and give a uniform paint finish. A tinted primer will better conceal patched areas and cover the old wall color. Your fresh paint job will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats of paint if you take the time to prime your walls.

Purchase high-quality paint for the best coverage and longer wear. Choose the right finish or sheen for the area you will be painting. Flat or matte finishes work best in low-traffic areas such as bedrooms or formal living rooms. Choose a glossier finish for high-traffic areas, including hallways and children’s play areas. 

Use painter’s tape to protect trim and other surfaces. Painter’s tape comes in various sizes with different levels of stickiness, so choose the right size and tack level for your job. Ensure the tape edge is flush with the wall or trim you want to protect. After you finish painting, carefully remove the tape at an angle. 

Paint one wall at a time. Take a brush and “cut in” – paint along the trim and the corners from top to bottom. Use a roller to cover the main part of the wall. When applying paint with a roller, use long strokes in a W pattern for ample coverage and to avoid roller markers. Overlap each stroke slightly as you continue to apply the paint. Even out the new paint as you go to eliminate any runs or thick spots of paint. Reload the paint roller frequently, so it’s at least half loaded with paint at all times. 

Allow the paint to completely dry, at least 24 hours, before removing the painter’s tape from the trim. Start in an inconspicuous area to ensure the paint is hard enough to remove the tape without causing a mess. Carefully use a sharp utility knife if needed. 

While a small room can often be completed in a few hours, others may take several days from start to finish. Be sure to allow more time than you think the job will need, and don’t forget to factor in time for preparation and cleaning.

Why Hire a Professional Painter?

Preparation, repairs, and clean-up all take significant time and energy. The size of the rooms, the condition of the home, and the skill of the people completing the work all impact the quality of any DIY project. Professionals make it look easy because they have the experience, training, and tools to achieve beautiful, long-lasting results. Homeowners are often surprised that hiring a professional paint crew isn’t as expensive as anticipated. 

The most important reason to hire a professional painter is the results you get. Professional painters are experts in their field. They know how to prep surfaces so paint lasts longer, and they have the skill to produce clean lines, accurate colors, and a perfect finish for both interior and exterior surfaces. A professional paint job can even improve the value of your home when it’s time to sell.

Trust The Painting Pros to Deliver High-Quality Results 

The Painting Pros, Inc. is a high-quality, award-winning painting contractor. Since 1978, we’ve served homeowners, business owners, and property managers across the San Jose area. We have been recognized as one of the most reliable and professional contractors by customers on Angie’s List, Google, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor. Call (408) 418-9912 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate.


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