Painting a room is hands down the cheapest and easiest way to transform a space. For this reason, I love a good ol’ painting project. In our new house, I’ve decided to paint every room and mamma mia, my back hurts just thinking about the amount of painting I have to get done!

To rip through this project I’m focusing on efficiency. I’ve learned from the painting mistakes of my younger years and I’m moving on and moving up – a ladder… because now I’m an adult who owns a ladder!

DIY painters gather round… These are the tips I’ve learned that will save you hours.

buy the best quality paint within your budget. It’s tempting to buy cheap paint. The savings on a big room can be substantial. I’ve done it and it always leads to more mess and ultimately more work. Low-quality paint provides less coverage and will therefore require more prep work and more coats required.

High-quality paint has a higher percentage of minerals which makes it thicker and richer in colour. Water-based paint is the best for cleaning up drips and paint splotches. Most interior paint is Latex water-based anyways, but check when you’re buying to make sure.

make sure to buy enough paint. One gallon covers about 400 square feet. Do the calculation of how much you need before you hit the paint store. Ensure to account for all the coats needed (two is usually enough) and subtract windows and doors from your calculation. Leftover paint will last for years if stored at a consistent temperature, so you can use it for future projects.

Side note, artists and creators are always looking for supplies. If you end up with a lot of random leftover paint you can offer it to a maker in your area. They’ll happily take it off your hands.

get the gear (proper tools). Good news, painting tools are easily accessible and relatively affordable. You do however need ALL of these tools. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can get away with using a kids’ step stool, or painting an entire room with only a brush. If you want to get the job done fast then you need all of the things. The essentials:

don’t skip the extension pole! I’m using an extension pole for the first time and it’s amazing how much time it saves. It’s an inexpensive tool from the hardware store and it’s incredibly useful.

don’t tape. Painters tape is good if you’re new to painting and worried about mistakes. But it can also be annoying and time-consuming. The paint can drip underneath the tape creating a painting nightmare. I usually need to touch up after the tape has come off which kind of defeats the purpose.

If you’re working with high-quality paint, and you have a steady hand, you’ll be able to cut in a clean line without using tape. Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe off any drips or mistakes. If you’re really nervous, try free-hand cutting in on a small section of the room before spending time taping out the entire space. You’ll learn fairly quickly which method is best for you.

completely finish one section before moving on. Instead of completing the first coat on the entire room and then applying the second – complete both coats on one section before moving on. Why, you ask? Furniture takes time to move around. This is especially relevant if you’re painting here and there between work and life.

don’t clean brushes and rollers between use. If you need to store tools for a few days between painting, cleaning isn’t needed. Simply pop them into an airtight plastic bag. Don’t leave them uncleaned for more than a week because they’ll start to dry.

You can also store brushes bristle down in a cup of water. I prefer the plastic bag method because water can get into the brush handle, but if you’re careful both ways work fine.

Happy speedy painting!

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