Turns out, the frustration you feel every time you attempt to paint a room has much more to do with incorrect technique than bad paint or weird walls. Specifically, you're probably using your paint roller or brush wrong. But we believe people can change!
Behr Paint's national trainer, Jessica Barr, supplied us with the most common errors novice painters make with their tools so we could arm you with knowledge. Read on to get the deets on the six painting problems you can easily avoid, therefore pre-empting a paint-induced shame spiral next time you decide your bedroom needs a makeover.
1. Don't use a bone-dry paint roller
Before you do anything else, you actually want to wet the paint roller cover with water. "This primes the roller cover to soak up as much paint as possible," Jessica explains. But don't go too crazy—Jessica suggests removing excess moisture with a paper towel and a good shake of the roller so it's just slightly damp. "If your roller cover is completely saturated with water, it won’t be able to take on any more liquid (in this case, paint!)."
2. Don't assume you can use the same type of paint roller cover for all projects
Fun-ish fact: The best roller varies depending on the job and the type of paint you're using. Behr recommends a 3/8-inch-thick roller cover for most finishes, but for high-gloss, you should use a thinner, 1/4-inch-thick cover. For textured walls like brick, you'll need a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch-thick cover to get in all the nooks and crannies.
3. Don't wipe your paintbrush against the can's rim
This is a common bad habit we all need to break, Jessica tells us. When you go to put the lid back on later, you'll be faced with a mess. Instead, let the brush drip over the can to remove any excess paint or, if you must, gently tap the bristles of the brush against the inside of the can.
4. Don't dip your paintbrush all the way to the handle
It's tempting to saturate the brush, but according to Jessica, that's not a good idea. The paint should only come up to the halfway point on the bristles. "Any more, and you’ll be at risk for unnecessary messes and wasted paint," she says.
5. Don't make paint strokes shorter than 12 inches
This is how you end up with the dreaded uneven finish. Jessica suggests making your strokes longer—up to the length of your arm—and smoother (no stopping and starting in the middle!) for the best results.
6. Don't leave your tools out during a break
When you come back, you'll be faced with a crusty, unusable paint roller or brush—no thanks. Try this method instead: "If you’re reusing the paint colour and applicator the next day, wrap or place the applicator securely in plastic wrap or a grocery bag and place it in the fridge," says Jessica. "This will save you the step of washing the applicator and starting the saturation process from scratch."
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