Top Ten Ways to Paint Like a Professional

Painting the interior of your home can be a lot harder than it seems. In order to paint a room properly, you must know how to prep, prime and tape, and know which tools are best for achieving a perfect finish every time. Here are the top ten ways to paint like a professional.

Wait For Dry Weather

Avoid painting on a rainy day as humidity means slow drying times and more drips. If you don’t have any other option, be sure to take your time and be observant so you can correct any errors before the paint dries.

Clear the Room

Moving everything out of the room may seem unnecessary at first, but it will save you a lot of time later. By removing everything, you will save your items from getting paint and dust on them during the painting process, which is inevitable if you plan to sand your walls or repair drywall. Remove doors, light fixtures and hardware, and label everything with masking tape so you can place hardware back exactly where it was before.

Prep the Room

Repair Cracks and Dents

For a smooth finish on the walls, use painter’s putty or a lightweight spackle for minor cracks and dents. If you have damaged wood, that requires a slightly different method. Use painter’s putty or a two-part wood filler, and smooth out any imperfections with a drywall pole sander.


Sanding not only smooths chipped paint, but it also allows for better paint adhesion. Even if your walls are in good condition, it’s best to give them a light sanding for this purpose. For high-gloss trim, use a sanding sponge rather than sandpaper. Sponges mold to the shape of the trim and tend to last longer than sandpaper.

Clean Walls

Never paint over dusty, dirty walls. Wash the walls with a sponge, water and a mild cleaner. Use two buckets, load up your sponge from your cleaning-solution bucket and scrub down the walls. Fill the second bucket with clean water, and rinse the sponge before re-dipping it in the cleaner.

Caulk Cracks

Fill cracks on trim with a paintable acrylic-latex caulk. Always cut the tip smaller than you think it should be, as this will prevent too much caulk from coming out. Also, consider using a dripless caulk gun, which automatically backs off pressure after you pull the trigger to prevent an unwanted mess.

Consider Using Tape

Using painters tape can come with problems. Paint can bleed behind the tape, preventing a clean, straight line and it can remove the paint it’s stuck to. It also takes up a lot of time to tape an entire room. If you feel comfortable cutting in with a brush to achieve a straight line, this is generally the better way to go. If not, always use a putty knife to bed the tape in order to prevent bleeding as much as possible.

Purchase High Quality Tools

Paint can be expensive, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on the application. Good brushes and roller covers provide great coverage so that you don’t waste time and paint on re-application. Also, invest in drop cloths to prevent drops of paint from getting on your baseboards or floors. Consider purchasing high-quality drop cloths, such as canvas or paper-backed plastic. Regular plastic sheets work, but they can be slippery and don’t absorb drips like canvas does.

Know Your Nap

Nap refers to the thickness of the roller cover you choose. If your walls have texture, you’ll need a thicker nap so that it can reach into crevices and provide complete coverage. If you go too thick on a smooth wall, you may actually create unwanted texture, so be sure to give your salesperson details about what you’re painting so they can help.

Use Primer

Many cans of paint today have a paint-and-primer combination. This is generally sufficient if you have a smooth, clean surface to work with. However, if it’s been eight years or more since you last painted, use a separate primer.

Box Your Paint

Your salesperson can help you come up with an estimate of how much paint you’ll need so that you can purchase it all at once. Then, instead of using one gallon at a time, combine all the paint into one large container and mix it thoroughly. This is known as “boxing” your paint, and it keeps your color consistent throughout the entire painting process. If two gallons are purchased for one room at separate times, you may notice that they don’t fully match each other.

Let the Roller Do the Work

Today’s premium paints flow on easily, and if you’ve purchased a high-quality roller cover, there’s no need to use heavy pressure. Be sure to use an extension pole so you can reach a large area with minimal effort.

Paint From Top to Bottom

After you’ve cut in your edges with a brush, use your roller to apply your paint. You may have drips and spatters at the end of your paint job, but professionals paint over their mistakes as they work their way down the wall. Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone as going back over it can leave unsightly streaks.

Skip Daily Cleaning

If you are going to use your brushes and rollers the next day, leave the cleaning for later. Instead, wrap the rollers and brushes in plastic grocery bags and stick them in the refrigerator. Just be sure to allow the roller to return to room temperature before reusing it.

If you have any questions about painting, give us a call at Jabara’s at 316-267-2512 or stop in at 1816 N. Broadway in Wichita, Kansas. We have a wide variety of paint and paint supplies in-stock everyday.