12 Secrets that Only Professional Painters Know

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Looking to splash some paint onto your interior walls but not sure how to use painter’s tape? Perhaps you’re wondering how to protect your surrounding walls and furniture from splattered paint?


Painting, like any other profession, goes beyond simply putting paint onto a wall. There are various factors to consider to ensure that your paint job looks neat and professional. 


Read on to learn 12 secrets that all professional painters will know:

Buy an Extension Pole


When people think of interior painting, they often forget about their ceilings. Any professional painter will tell you to get maximum leverage and minimize back and arm strain, it is best to purchase an extension pole. This not only ensures you don’t quickly,  but it also makes painting much faster and more effective.

Sand Between Coats


Sanding between coats will help the paint adhere better to the wall, making your finished walls smoother and longer-lasting. While most sand their surfaces in the beginning phases of painting, they often miss this crucial step between coats. If you want silky and smooth layers of paint, make sure to sand between coats.

Prime Your Surfaces


Primers have one major function – to help the paint adhere properly to the surface. Without a primer, it’s almost impossible to get even coverage and a professional finish. This is especially the case with smoother surfaces like metal that require a rougher texture for the paint to stick on. Primers also help you reduce costs in the long run since they help your paint last longer.


Protect your Door Knobs


DIY painters will typically use drop cloths to protect the floor and furniture. However, one often overlooked area is the door knobs which can easily be splattered with paint if not protected.


A neat trick to avoid door knob paint splatters is to attach a plastic bag over the knob, and tape the edges. This will also help prevent any paint from seeping through the cracks onto the other side of the door.


Purchase New Paint Brushes and Rollers


Your paint bristles, over time,  can become matted down, resulting in less efficient coverage. This is because your bristles accumulate dried paint over time, causing them to stick together and harden. And while you could just clean them thoroughly, it may be worth investing in high-quality paint brushes and rollers to ensure the longest-lasting results.


Don’t Wait to Clean Up


Clean-up is mandatory, but you want to do it faster than you think. This is especially true when using latex paints as they only take an hour to dry and can dry quickly on your tools or furniture. This prevents any unwanted globs of dried paint from forming alongside your necessary equipment.


Purchase the Right Brush


Did you know there is more than one brush size? Yes, there are actually several different sizes based on the type of paint job. For instance, a Chisel Trim Brush  has slanted bristles and is ideal for painting trim. A square trim brush, in contrast, has bristles that are cut square and are used for painting flat areas.


For DIYer’s, professional painters recommend using polyester or synthetic brushes for your exterior and soft nylon for indoor projects. Smaller brushes provide more control and are ideal for smaller projects like window frames, while larger brushes or rollers will help you cover more space faster.


Take Your Time


When it comes to painting, sometimes slower is better. When you rush your work, it’s common to  overlook certain areas, and you may even miss the small details that make your paint job look professional. Furthermore, common painting mistakes such as  roller marks, over brushing and lap marks can often be avoided by taking your time.


Even other issues, such as failing to lock out your pets or leaving the lid of the paint open can be avoided by paying attention to the finer details.


Remove Painter’s Tape with a Box Cutter


Before latex paint fully dries and cures, it can have an elastic-like quality. This means it can easily be damaged and come off if you remove the painter’s tape too soon.  To prevent this, use a box cutter or utility blade to score the area where the painter’s tape touches the wall. You want a clean edge before you  remove the tape.

Try the “W-Method”


Like the name suggests, this technique involves rolling your paint in a W shape. You can then fill in the gaps between the W by going over them with a brush.


The W-Method should be done at arm’s length with strokes being 12 inches or longer. You want to distribute the paint on your walls evenly, achieving a seamless finish.


Put a Lid on it


As mentioned earlier, leaving the lid of your paint open can be a major faux pas when it comes to painting. You want to make sure you close your paint cans securely, as this will help prevent any spills or drying of paint on the can’s edges.


Don’t Ignore the Weather


Did you know that hotter temperatures cause the paint to dry faster and colder temperatures slow the process? This is why you should always familiarize yourself with the weather before painting.


When painting, you’re rarely just going to apply one coat of paint.  This is why you need to know how the weather will affect  your work. If it’s too cold, you may have to wait longer for the paint to dry and if it’s too cold, you’ll need to wait longer before you apply another coat.




Painting may seem like a simple task, but there are many variables that could make or break your finished product. Just ensure you properly prepare, purchase the right tools and brush up (no pun intended) on your painting prowess.  This way, you’ll be sure to have a successful paint job every time!


And if ever in doubt, it’s always worthwhile  to consult and hire an experienced professional. They have the knowledge and expertise that can make all the difference in your next painting project.  It will also save you the need to read this article or others like it.  Good luck!