Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Less Stressed Painting

I love to paint. It is one of my favorite ways to freshen a room, change a perspective and feel productive :) I get the bug every couple of years and I am slam in the middle of one such rush of adrenaline right now. I currently have 2/3 of my bathrooms in various stages of being recolored and one in the "ah, it looks so pretty" stage :)

I assure you that my hubby appreciates it (insert eye roll here).

A friend mentioned something about being impressed I could do that with three kids running around and it occurred to me that I need to share my painting tips ..because they are the only reason I can go with this creative flows when they happen! :)

So, my tips ...

* Think about it for a bit - I tend to stay pretty neutral, so I dont worry too much about going from anything to a new color. But, if you are drawn to the bright or less neutral stuff, for sure think about it a bit. Lowes offers $5 sample cans of any of their colors. You can put it up and consider it, how it looks in the room in that room's lighting, etc.  I love to ask the people standing around the paint sample area at the store ..especially if I am thinking something specific.

This time, I wanted a clean grey color ..not brown/green or blue. I asked several people standing there what they thought and ended up getting some great advise, switching what I was thinking and LOVING what I ended up with.

* Get quality paint - I had a fellow paint lover tell me this, and it has rung very true for me. The cheap stuff at Walmart will not cut it, even for the pennies you save by getting it. Save til you can afford the $30/gallon stuff. Trust me ..the money you end up spending will save you time (no extra coats), it will look better, and  you will have alot less stress painting.  Once when I tried to cut pennies I used two gallons of paint, three coats and quite a few bad words in the process all for one medium sized room.

Also, you will use alot less in the long run, so you can do what I do and fall in love with a color and take it to another room :) I will personally vouch for Sherwin Williams (at Sherwin William stores) and Valspar (Lowes). Both of these have great coverage, the colors are rich and matchable (for touchups later) and they roll on great!

* Supplies are a must - my "less stressed" painting method has a ton to do with the supplies I use.  I have found the trick to painting with little ones around is short sessions. I may only get to work on a painting project a few minutes at at time, so my supplies are a big part of making those minutes count.

I am not a big taper. It takes time and that is not something I have at ton of. I use a tool that helps me cut out taping altogether, and makes quick work of trimming the ceiling and baseboards. Its by Shur-line, its sold at Lowes and is called the Edge Like a Pro.  It has a pad is removable/replaceable and is super easy to use. It has rollers, so as long as you keep them clean you can get up against any ceiling, crown molding, baseboard or whatever. I love it (pic copyrighted by Shur-line)

Next is my favorite painting tip: a 5 gallon bucket and a paint screen. These two super cheap supplies are how I can do short sessions of painting. A $2 paint screen set inside a 5 gallon bucket will let you pour a good amount of paint in at a time (way more than one of those trays,  1/2 to a whole gallon) and eliminates the need for pouring paint every 20 minutes.  You use the screen to clean off your roller of excess paint, which runs down the back of the screen, thus saving you paint/money :)  (pic by  Now, the only disclaimer to that is that a 5 gallon bucket is overkill if you are just painting a small bathroom where there is not a ton of roller work.  But if you are using the roller a lot, this is a great tip...that leads me to my #1 best painting tip.

* Easy clean up - Short paint sessions ONLY work if you can put it away and get it out fast. That means NO cleaning rollers and brushes in between times!  I have learned that if you wrap your brushes/rollers/edgers AND your bucket full of paint in garbage bags/walmart bags and make sure that there is no air hitting your paint/brushes can keep it forEVER.

No lie. I have worked on a room for a couple of weeks, and simply wrapped my roller up in a Walmart bag every time I used it. It stayed wet, and ready to use at a moments notice. NO cleaning up between sessions, and when it was all done I threw away my roller pad.  The only thing I wash at the end is the brushes I use for touch up trim work, and those are no biggie.

I wrap the 5 gallon bucket or my paint tray in a trashbag, tie it super tight where this no air getting in. I leave it until my next available 15 minutes, open it up, roll a bit, then wrap it back up when I am done.  When its time for clean up, put the excess paint back in the paint can, and leave it. As long as you are putting some time between the next painting marathon, the paint will dry in the bucket and you wont have to worry about cleaning it out. The same goes for the paint screen. I have used the same bucket/screen for multiple colors for a couple of years now.

Want some inspiration is my way pretty bathroom before and after :)

Before as is when we moved in 2 years ago...It was fine, but wallpaper and little boys dont mix well :)

After: ...semi-gloss paint works great for little boys with muddy finger prints :)

Okay, my frame needs a couple of pictures in it but I am happy with the over all look :)

Do you have some more painting tips?! I would love to hear about what WORKS FOR YOU!


  1. I love the new color! Looks clean and crisp!

  2. Those are the exact words I was looking for when I was deciding on the color! Thanks Court!

  3. "I have learned that if you wrap your brushes/rollers/edgers AND your bucket full of paint in garbage bags/walmart bags and make sure that there is no air hitting your paint/brushes can keep it forEVER."
    Seriously? I love you! I've wrapped stuff overnight, but never thought I could leave brushes, etc. wrapped longer. THANK YOU!
    I do have a small tip for painting with little ones around: ask them if they want to help. They always do, but realize it's pretty tedious after a few minutes, and go on their way. Plus, they're proud of the work they did, and they don't come back and smudge it.

  4. I will amend because I got back into all my stuff yesterday after a week. My edger tool didnt fair too well after a week - but my brushes, pan and my roller were still great. It was great to open the bag and get back to work!


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