Deciding on whether to DIY or hire a pro can be tricky. There are several tasks that are no-brainers, like putting in lighting fixture yourself or hiring a pro to do foundational work on your house. Then there are a lot of tasks that fall into a gray area. Variables like skill level and experience definitely play a factor in that gray area and it’s important to understand your skill set and what you’re capable of before undertaking a DIY project. One task that falls in this gray area is painting. Painting is deceiving because anyone can do it, but it’s not so easy to have a paint project look professional without incorporating some effective painting hacks.
There are a lot of factors that make paint jobs look unprofessional, like dripping, bleeding and staining, to name a few. It will be difficult to mimic exactly what a painter does because they have a lot of experience and ingrained muscle memory. Lucky for you we have some painting hacks you can incorporate to make up for your limited experience. Follow these tips to get the job looking professional, despite your novice standing.
1) Petroleum Jelly
One of the common things you’ll see across the board with DIY paint jobs is screws and hinges painted over. Something that small and subtle makes a paint job look really unprofessional. It’s virtually impossible to paint around it or effectively use painters tape. Luckily, there’s a simple painting hack for this: Apply petroleum jelly with a cotton swab on all these areas, this will effectively seal the spot and you can easily wipe it off once everything’s dry.
2) Hair Dryer
Painter’s tape is probably the number one thing that keeps a job looking professional if used right. Once you’re done the job and it’s time to remove the painter’s tape, you’ll notice the line won’t come out crisp because the tape will take some of the paint with it. An effective painting hack is using a blow dryer on low to warm the tape. This will cause the adhesive to soften and the tape comes off easy, exposing perfectly straight and even lines.
3) Push Broom Handle
It’s very important to maintain a smooth, zig-zagging, up and down motion when painting. The object of the game is minimizing strokes for consistency. This can present a problem when painting the upper portions of the wall; you will need a ladder which will interrupt the motion from down all the way up. Luckily, a push broom handle fits into most rollers. You could alternatively use an extension pole, but they can cost upwards of $60, free sounds better to me,
4) Cotton Swabs
Cotton swabs are good for a variety of painting hacks; For applying petroleum jelly (as discussed above), for quickly removing accidental splatter spots and most importantly, smoothing out the occasional drip or imperfection. Even after you’re done, you should do a walkthrough immediately to ensure you didn’t miss anything or if new problem areas precipitated.
5) Saran Wrap
Spilling on furniture isn’t a concern because everyone knows to cover it and get it out of the way. Awkward pieces like vanities and toilets are immovable and even more susceptible to drips. A simple painting hack is wrapping items such as these in saran wrap; it will ensure no staining and allow you to paint freely.