How to Paint Like a Pro

For an effective and lasting paint project, start by taking your area measurements and any pictures to your paint store and review all supply requirements with an expert. You’ll likely need primer & paint, brushes & rollers, trays and a ladder, plus painter’s masking tape, sandpaper and filling compounds. To get started, fill gaps, cracks and hollows with compound, then sand smooth and vacuum or wipe clean and dry before priming. Next, remove or mask hardware such as hinges, switch plates and outlet covers. Since most pros recommended priming and painting trim first, mask all adjacent wall edges. After trim paint is semi-dry, carefully remove tape by using a sharp utility knife to gently score a line between the tape and trim, so as to avoid lifting tiny flakes of dried paint off the trim. Wait a day before masking freshly painted trim. Then, with a small brush, “cut-in” by painting wall edges as closely as possible to the taped trim, as well as corners and ceiling borders. Follow brush-strokes with a small roller that has the same pile as your larger roller, or use an edger pad to give cut-in areas a finish and texture similar to the rest of the wall. Follow up with your main roller to cover the full wall, coating each arm’s-length section in a “W” pattern, then doubling back with an overlapping “M” motion to ensure even consistency. Second coats should be rolled evenly with long, light vertical strokes.

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