Become a better painter with these insider tips

Even the most seasoned painters can appreciate a handy hint or two from their peers. Whether you've been in the renovations business for years or you've just started thinking of decorating ideas, read through the following advice before you start planning to paint.

Clear the room

It may sound obvious, but if you're painting a room or you're sanding down surfaces, it's best to remove absolutely everything you can from the room you're working in. This includes doors, light fixtures and hardware, which you can label with masking tape. Invest in quality drop cloths (not plastic, as they tend to smear) and make your room as paint-friendly as possible.

Tape over your skirting boards

If you're painting your skirting boards a different colour, or not painting them at all, apply painter's masking tape to the edges you don't want covered in paint. Painter's tape is better than everyday masking tape, which can leave sticky residue or even become buckled or wavy, causing paint to seep underneath. Use a putty knife to press down the tape to ensure it's firmly sealed to the surface. Make sure you remove the tape before the paint fully dries so any paint stuck on the tape comes away cleanly.

Load up your brush

Dip the bottom third of your brush into the paint, tap the sides against the container to knock off heavy drips, and start applying the paint to the walls. Many painters tend to drag the loaded brush against the inside of the container before applying it, which can actually wipe off most of the paint before it gets anywhere near the walls.

Preserve your tools

If you've still got painting to do at the end of the day, try wrapping your roller, roller tray and paintbrushes in an airtight plastic bag. This will save you cleaning time and effort and can help tools last longer as they are not being washed so often.

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