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10 BEST DIY House Painting Tips

If you have read my article on DIY Vs Professional Painter and have decided to try out DIY Painting, the following tips will go a long way in providing you with a professional painting finish and are guaranteed to save you time, money and many headaches!


Have you looked at the area you want to paint and thought, “where do I start?”

There is a technique for the order in which a room or house is painted. Start with;

- Ceiling

- Trim

- Walls

Starting at the highest point of the room saves you time, money and energy.

Complete your preparations and start with painting the ceiling.

There is no need to be neat; anything on the walls will be painted over later. Focus on obtaining a consistent finish. Then the trim, again as the wall will be painted after there is no need to tape. Focus on obtaining a smooth consistent finish. If you get some trim paint on the wall, don’t worry it will be painted over later.

24 hours after painting the trim you can apply tape on the trim to protect it from the wall paint. Use a good quality painter’s tape. You get what you pay for when it comes to tape. Finally, you can paint the walls. See below for patching, rolling and tape removal tips.


Buy quality! There are so many painting products on the market from painter’s tape to brushes and rollers and then the paint itself. Spending the extra to get good quality will save you on time and money in the long term. The paint will last longer, have a better finish and the application process is much easier when working with quality products.


Depending on the cleanliness of the walls you may need to clean the walls using a de-glosser or heavy-duty cleaner. This will increase the paint adhesion. Follow the manufacture guidelines for use and application and ensure the product is made for pre-paint cleaning. Sugar soap is not an ideal cleaning agent and may result in yellowing of paint. Not all areas will need to be cleaned. Focus on high tough points, around door handles, light switches and in specific areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry.


Nearly all properties will require varying degrees of patching from small to large holes and cracks. When using a filler or compound make sure to read the application and drying times. To ensure a consistent sheen it is essential to cover all patched areas with a coat of primer. Any product used to patch holes and cracks is porous, this results in the filler absorbing more of the paint than the rest of the wall. Although the colour will be consistent at different angles the wall will appear duller where filler has been used. Primer seals the filler, stopping it from absorbing the paint. Roll the primer on using a roller, choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture (Hint the thicker the nap the rougher the texture – for smooth walls use a 3/8 nap roller). Use the roller to feather out the edges, the primer should be feathered with the remainder of the wall to provide a consistent blend. Hard primer edges will appear through the wall paint.


SANDING, sanding and more sanding! To get a smooth and consistent finish you need to start with a smooth finish and that requires sanding. Ensure you are using the right sanding products for the surface you intend to paint. For most properties as much time is spent sanding, filling and caulking then more sanding than time spent painting. Use a sanding sponge for trim to adequately sand the different contours. Ensure to also caulk all gaps before painting and follow drying time guidelines. Paint will not adequately or consistently fill gaps in skirting boards, cornices, and frames. Caulking will save you time. Use a wet cloth to spread caulk, pushing in to fill the gap.


Use canvas drop sheets. Decent quality canvas drop sheets can be expensive but are much less hassle than plastic. Plastic drop sheets tear easily, move and can be slippery to walk on. Try Gumtree and other sites for second-hand and resell when you are done to recoup some of the cost, you will thank yourself later.


Any paint supply store will be more than happy to help you select your paints based on your property needs. The biggest tip here is to read the manufacturers instructions. Most importantly weather; humidity and heat impact drying time, finish and adhesion. Most products will specify ideal application temperatures. Also, check the drying time between coats.


To provide a consistent finish when painting walls ensure you roll up and down the full height of the wall, overlapping the previous stroke as you move from one side of the wall to the other. When needed it is possible to move backwards to even out the paint, make sure to continue to roll the full height of the wall when doing so.


Have you noticed in some properties there is a clear difference in texture on the walls surrounding the trim? The easiest and most effective way of reducing this difference is to brush on the paint and immediately use your roller as close to the trim as possible to even out the paint and provide a consistent texture. This will also make rolling paint across the remainder of the wall much easier. To ensure this method works complete in smaller sections, the roller will not provide a consistent texture if the paint has dried.


This can be the difference between a nicely finished paint job and a waste of time, money and energy. You have just finished painting the wall and are so excited to see the final result you pull the tape off to find it is pulling off paint and destroying everything you just worked so hard to complete. STOP! Painting is all about preparation and patience; you have the preparation done by putting tape on in the first instance, now it is time to be patient. Wait 24 hours after painting before removing the tape. This will ensure the paint is completely dry. Using a box cutter cut through the film that has formed between the tape and the wall. Start in a corner and pull the tape at a 45-degree angle whilst cutting along the edge as you go. This will give you a seamless finish between your walls and trim.

By following the above tips and adhering to the guidelines set out by the manufacturers you should achieve a smooth and consistent paint finish.

Good Luck!