Painting: Tips and Tricks to Make Your Painting Look Amazing 

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By Kaspars Grinvalds

Is it possible to paint like an expert? It is possible when you know the right techniques in painting a wall. Professional painters have loads of tricks and tips on their sleeves to help them achieve a flawless finish without sacrificing quality. 

If you want to start a DIY paint project at home but do not have background in painting and decorating, here are some tips you can apply to achieve that expert level painting:

Get Tinted Primer

Priming the wall is an important part of the painting process. Primer typically comes in a white shade, but if you are dealing with walls that have plenty of joint compound from patch cracks, choose tinted primer. This will keep the wall from looking dull and prevent spots from being noticeable. Tinted primer is also effective in hiding patches or old paint. It will also reduce the amount of coat you need to achieve the desired outcome. 

Get Good Tools

In your attempt to save money, it is easy to choose cheap painting tools. Unfortunately, cheap tools are often poor in quality and affect the outcome of the painting effort. Cheap brushes often have poor quality bristles and are difficult to work with. 

Whether you have taken a painting and decorating apprenticeship or not, you should know that quality brushes may cost more, but they paint evenly on the wall. This makes your job easy and efficient. They are made from high-quality materials, so you can reuse it for other painting projects for quite a while.

Avoid Lap Marks

When you see lap marks all around the wall, you know the poor workmanship is done by someone who is not skilled in painting. Lap marks happen when there is an overlap of wet and dry layers of paint. 

One trick to prevent the obvious lap mark is to use a paint extender or paint conditioner. It works by extending the drying time, which gives you more time to paint and not overlap the dry paint. The extender also smooths out the surface, thus eliminating brush strokes. 

Box the Paint

When you order cans in a specific shade, there is a possibility that these cans differ slightly in colour. To prevent even the slightest discolouration, professional painters often mix all the cans of the same shade to form a more uniform output.  

Get a five-gallon bucket and mix all the cans of the same colour. This term is also called boxing the paint. Mix the paint thoroughly and use a roller screen when painting a huge space. 

Use a Painter’s Tape

One essential tool you must have when painting is the painter’s tape. It protects the wall or wood trim from unwanted paint, which results in neat and professional-looking output. The painter’s tape adheres effortlessly to the wall to protect the area from getting painted. 

However, there are times when paint bleeds through the tape, ruining the trim. To avoid it from happening, use a putty knife to secure the tape from bleeding. Press the knife firmly on the tape to create a good seal. 

Furthermore, avoid replacing the painter’s tape with masking tape because it can leave a sticky residue which can affect the paint job. When the paint is dry, use a cutter to remove any paint film that can tear the dry paint on the wall. Then, slowly remove the tape. 

Start with the Trim

A professional painter has a specific technique when painting. They will start with the trim first because taping the trim is less work than taping the wall. Next, proceed with the ceiling and wall. When painting the trim, focus on producing a smooth finish. Once you are done painting the trim, always allow it to dry at least 24 hours before taping it to proceed with the next surface. 

Use a Sander

To create that flawless coat, make sure the surface is smooth. Professional painters often use a sander to create that smooth base. Sanding the surface will help the paint adhere better and stay longer, but be sure to use appropriate sandpaper to even out patches and ridges. 

When sanding, apply just a light pressure to avoid damaging the surface. Overlap each stroke to avoid missing a spot. You can also sand in between coats for better adherence but allow the surface to dry for 24 hours before sanding it lightly. 

Roll Paint the Edges

We often use a brush to paint the edges or corners of the wall. Unfortunately, it can create a different texture on the wall especially if you use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. 

To ensure that your paint job is uniform and neat, after using the brush, get a roller immediately before the paint gets dry. Roll as near as you can on the trim. Get a small roller but with the same thickness as your regular roller to create a uniform texture on the wall. 

Use Cotton or Canvas Drop Cloth

Splatter or spill is unavoidable. This is the reason why you need to prepare a drop cloth when working. Cloth is preferable because it does not create a slippery surface and absorbs paint well. Avoid using materials like bed sheets because the paint can seep through the surface. 

Although the canvas can be pricier than the plastic drop cloth, it is more durable and safer than plastic. You don’t have to purchase a large cloth drop because you can bring it around and reuse it again. 

Clean the Wall

Paint will not last long, and it will easily peel off when the surface is not clean. Oil, dirt and dust can affect the adherence of paint, but cleaning the surface will make a difference. Use a deglosser or strong cleaner to remove all types of oil and grimes. 

Do not skip this step, particularly if you are painting the kitchen or kid’s room. Follow the instructions when using a deglosser because it is a strong cleaning agent. Opt for gloves and eye protection when using the cleaner. 


Painting like a professional is definitely hard work. It requires the application of specific techniques and skills to create a beautiful, smooth-looking wall. From using the right painting tools to executing the proper techniques and understanding how chemicals affect your paint’s quality, painting is a complex skill that you can master.

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Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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