DIY Painting Tips and Tricks

Steve Reutzel

A fresh coat of paint is guaranteed to make your home look better–as long as you know what you’re doing.  You certainly don't need to be an expert to tackle an interior or exterior painting job, but any DIYer can benefit from some tips and tricks that are known for delivering better results. 

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled our top DIY painting tips and tricks, so you’ll be prepared for any project you decide to take on. 

Some of these tips come in handy before you even pick up a paint brush. Do you want to know whether or not you’ll need a primer? Are there drywall dents or holes you’re not sure how to tackle? We’ve got you covered. 

Other tips and tricks cover the actual painting process, like a complete guide to interior painting or the best way to paint brick or concrete. 

Whether you’re working inside or outside, on a big project or something small, these DIY painting tips and tricks will tell you everything you need to know: 

Before You Start 

You might be eager to start painting, but preparing your walls–or whatever you’re painting–for the job you’re about to do is always a must. At the very least, you should wash your walls before getting started; paint will adhere much better if the surface you’re painting is clean.  

Consider reading these blogs before you begin your DIY painting project: 

Do You Need to Use a Primer Before Painting? 

There are many reasons to use a primer, and many times when it’s a waste of time and money.  For example, if you’re covering a significantly different color, you may want a primer.  If you have an usealed surface and you’re using a paint with a sheen you’ll definitly want a primer.  If you’re painting a shiny surface or going over an oil based paint or a varnish, a primer is definitely going to promote adhesion.  Do you need to block a bad smell that’s penetrated into your walls or floors?  Certain primers can block that odor!  Are you repainting a previously painted surface with a new color of paint?  Most likely primer is a waste of your hard earned money. 

If you do need a primer, it’s important to use the right type. To learn more tips and tricks about primers and the different types available, read our blog: Primer Before Paint: When Is It Necessary & When Is It A Waste? 

The Best Way to Fix Drywall Holes, Dents, and Other Wall Issues 

Walls aren’t always smooth and ready to paint. It’s not uncommon to have to deal with cracked drywall tape, nail holes, or even larger holes in your drywall. These will all need to be dealt with before you paint, or your paint job won’t look very good.  

Luckily, all of these issues are easy enough to deal with. In this blog, we cover simple ways to fix any wall issues you might encounter, from fixing holes all the way to scraping, sanding, priming, and caulking: Professional Tips to Prepare Your Walls for Interior Painting

Wallpaper Removal Made Easy 

Wallpaper used to be everywhere, but now it’s outdated, and many new homeowners have the difficult task of removing it. Even though painting over wallpaper is a possibility, it’s not something we recommend. Wallpaper removal really isn’t the nightmare people make it out to be; they probably just aren’t doing it properly. 

If wallpaper removal is in your future, learn the proper way to do it in this blog: Wallpaper Removal in 5 Simple Steps. 

Dealing with Peeling Paint and Other Rough Surfaces 

Paint stripping is one painting activity that often becomes a nightmare, but what else can you do when confronted with peeling paint or rough surfaces? Believe it or not, specialty primers can often save you the trouble of having to embark on a frustrating paint stripping journey. 

Of course, there are some situations where you have no option but to use a paint stripper, but we cover all the possibilities in this blog: Can a Primer Save You From a Paint Stripping Nightmare? 

DIY Interior Painting Tips 

Different interior painting jobs require different tools and techniques. Painting your kitchen cabinets, for example, isn’t the same process as painting your bedroom walls. Luckily, we offer some tips in tricks for any DIY project you may be working on: 

General Tips for Interior Painting Success 

Most homeowners have painted a room or two at some point, and most can also point to a few things they wish they did better. They might notice crooked or blurry cut lines, or spot runs and sags in their finish. It’s also common for the color and sheen to be inconsistent when comparing surfaces. 

So, how can you do better next time? The first step is to buy good paint and the proper painters’ tools. Don’t cut corners or just get what’s cheapest if you want your walls to look good. The rest of the tips can be found in this blog: 7 Tips to Make Your Interior Painting Project POP

How to Expertly Paint Doors, Windows, and Trim 

Walls take up the most surface area of any home, but painting doors, windows, and trim can really make a room look good. Painting these surfaces can be quite tedious, but there’s no need to get discouraged before you begin.  

To really make your DIY painting project stand out, we’ve compiled our best tips for making this job much less tedious: Interior House Painting - How to Paint Doors, Windows, & Trim

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Painting 

If your kitchen cabinets are outdated, replacing them seems like a great option – until you find out how expensive new cabinets can be. Painting your cabinets is a much cheaper alternative that still delivers a high-quality finished look.  

It’s easy to focus on the finish line, but cabinet painting is slow work that requires time and careful preparation. But there’s no need to fret over all the details. We’ve compiled everything you need to know to expertly handle this job yourself: Kitchen Cabinet Painting - A 'How to' Guide

DIY Exterior Painting Tips 

Painting the exterior of your home, or anything that will be routinely exposed to the elements, is a bit different than painting the interior of your home. You must take extra care to ensure anything you paint is going to be able to handle sunlight, moisture, and dirt for years to come. ImageWorks Painting has completed thousands of exterior painting jobs over the years, so we have plenty of helpful tips for DIYers: 

General Tips for Exterior Painting Success 

The keys to success with an exterior painting project are proper preparation, choosing the right paints, and using the proper painting techniques. It sounds easy enough when we boil it down like that, but there’s a bit more to it. Still, everything you need to ensure you’re happy with your DIY exterior painting project can be found in this blog: 5 Essential Tips for Exterior Painting in Pittsburgh. 

DIY Tips for Painting Brick, Block and Concrete 

If you’re painting the exterior of your home, this is something to consider. Even if you don’t have a brick home, many homes incorporate some form of concrete or cement block. If you want these surfaces to last, painting them is smart.  

However, coating masonry surfaces with any old paint isn’t a good idea. These surfaces often require specific paints, which we detail in this blog: Brick, Block & Concrete Painting - Making it Stick. 

Is Spray Painting My Home Exterior an Option? 

Painting your entire house takes a lot of time, especially when you have to contend with weather. Wouldn’t it be best to speed up the process by using airless paint sprayers that professionals use? The obvious answer is yes, but there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to these paint sprayers. 

It’s not advisable for a DIYer to pick one up and begin spraying immediately. Instead, check out this blog for everything you need to know about airless paint sprayers: Can a DIYer Spray Paint Their Home Like a Painting Contractor? 

After You finish 

Now that you’ve used our DIY painting tips and tricks and completed the perfect paint job, you’re all set… right? Not necessarily! No matter how nice of a job you do, paint isn’t permanent. Make sure you don’t miss our tips for handling any touch-ups in the future: 

DIY Tips for Touch-Up Painting 

Scuffs, scratches, and dings are sure to occur over time. They might happen years after you paint a room, or they might happen when you’re moving the furniture back after the paint just dried. Either way, these imperfections can be frustrating. 

Believe it or not, there’s an art to touching up your painting projects after the fact. Get some tips in this blog to ensure you’re prepared for anything: Mastering the Art of Touch-Up Painting Your Walls


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Ready to get started with your next painting project but unsure if it is in your budget? Reach out to the expert painting team at ImageWorks Painting to schedule a free consultation today. Give us a call at 813-570-8800 (Tampa) or 724-898-2446 (Pittsburgh), or request a visit online.