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Indoor Painting Techniques and Tips

Painting tips from someone who has learned the hard way.

I’ve been around the block with a paintbrush … at least twice.

While I wouldn’t say I have chromophobia, I do have a deep aversion to color within my home. Rooms with any unmuted color mostly drive me to the brink of anxiety. The interesting part of this is that I love color outside of my home. Our publisher’s offices range in teal to a neon green, and I adore it. Why that is so is an enigma to me.

I have tested the waters of hues within my home for my husband’s sake. We’ve barely been in our home a year and a half, and our living room, dining room and kitchen have sported three different paint colors. I just couldn’t do it. I recently went back to my comfortable Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray, which is actually a beige, and found it calming, clean and sharp.

Needless to say, my aversion has given me plenty of experience with painting. Here are some of my favorite tips for painting like a pro.

Don’t go too cheap on your brush or rollers or paint.

Not buying from the bargain bin (like I previously had done) made all the difference in this last round of painting. It resulted in less layers, more even painting and a flawless finish. A medium, 3/8-inch nap roller from Wooster worked well for me, as did a higher quality of paint.

Start with the tedious cutting in on edges one wall at a time.

Then roll the paint on to finish that wall. I found a slanted, 2-inch sash brush was most ideal for corners and edges. I slowly work my way to the edges, and I always have a damp rag handy to immediately clean up mistakes. When you switch from roller to brush, cover the paint tray with a slightly damp towel — it will keep your tools not in use from drying out.

Buy a bucket of paint rather than, say, three cans.

Multiple gallons of paint could have slight variations of color. Since my projects usually cover multiple rooms, I buy a three-gallon bucket of paint. It starts out heavy, which is the only flaw to this plan. It’s always good to have extra on hand for touch-ups.

Use a tinted primer before you paint.

It helps conceal patched areas and covers up old colors. It will also help your paint appear more vibrant.

Protect your furniture and floors.

I use canvas drop cloth for my floor, move my furniture to the center of the room and cover it with plastic.

Lastly, avoid distractions.

Put your phone aside. Play music you love — Yacht Rock for me — and allow yourself to be one with the brush. It’s all in the wrist. Up … and down. Mr. Miyagi would be proud.

Happy painting!

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