Seven Secrets Pro Painters All Know

Pro Painters at A Plus Painting and Coatings get great results quickly because they have mastered techniques that make painting look easy.  Every painter has his or her own style and methods.  But here are seven trade secrets that almost all pros employ to make their work more efficient.

  1. A professional painter almost never paints out of his paint can.  Instead, he fills a cup or pot with several inches of paint and then only dips the brush less than halfway in the paint.  Then he knocks off the heavy drips and starts painting.  Novices drag a loaded brush along the sides of a container and end up wiping off most of the paint.  Wiping off most of the paint after dunking is pointless.
  2. Pros don’t ‘drag’ paint with a brush but instead they ‘push’ paint.  This sounds difficult at first but spend some time watching a pro work and you will see the subtle difference this makes.  After loading his brush with paint, a pro starts slightly below the cut-in area.  After he unloads his brush, then he drags the paint up against the edges of the cut-in area.  This makes painting faster and prevents excess paint in the edges and in corners.
  3. Before painting, a pro fills holes and cracks with spackle.  And to avoid this new white spot from sucking moisture out of the next coat of paint and ‘flashing’, a pro first covers this spot with a tinted primer that is similar to the finished color.  This is especially when you are painting with darker or more vivid colors.
  4. Taping off woodwork with blue painter’s tape instead of regular masking tape is another secret pros use.  Regular masking tape can leave a sticky residue that is hard to clean.  Also painter’s blue tape can be left on a jobsite for days and still peel off cleanly while masking tape tends to dry on after only a few days and then is much more difficult to remove. When pros apply blue tape, they run a putty knife over the top edge of the tape for a good seal.  This keeps paint  from ‘bleeding’ under the tape and guarantees a sharp line when the tape is removed.
  5. Profession painters never use bed sheets or thin plastic as drop cloths.  They prefer 10oz canvas because it absorbs paint spills best.  While plastic may keep paint from seeping into a rug, it keeps drips wet longer and because the paint is not absorbed, it means this wet paint may stick to the bottom of your shoes and get tracked on to a floor surface.  Drop cloths are more expensive but can be reused multiple times.
  6. While colors are usually easy to rematch, sometimes batches of paint differ slightly and a new can of paint may vary slightly in the middle of a wall.   Before a pro painter begins a job, he mixes or ‘boxes’ all the same paint together to insure color consistency from start to finish.  If in doubt, order more paint than you think you will need.  It is better to have some touch-up paint left than to return to the store and get newly batched paint.
  7. When they are new, roller covers inevitably shed some fuzz when you first start painting.  To prevent this, pros wash these new rollers in water before they use them and  run their hands up and down the cover to remove this fuzz.  Then while the cover is still wet, they use them.