Ready to tackle that painting project on your own? We asked local experts to offer some tips for those looking to spruce up their walls with a new color. Just remember, you can always fix a bad paint job with another coat!

John Cobb, JC PAINTS

■ Start from the top: If you’re painting an entire room, begin with the ceiling and work your way down to the walls, then baseboards, with doors and trim last. Outline the area with a paintbrush first, then roll second, so you don’t leave any lap marks (when wet and dry layers overlap) between coats.

■ Keep your lifestyle in mind. If you have kids or pets, choose a good, washable paint for the walls. It will last longer.

■ Use tape properly. People may think painter’s tape is a sure-fire way to keeping things straight and neat, but if you don’t use the right tape, or apply it correctly, you’re not going to get a straight line when you paint.

■ Use careful consideration when painting over wallpaper. It’s not always recommended, unless the paper is old and on plaster walls,

resulting in an expensive and time-consuming stripping process. If you paint over the wallpaper, be sure to use a proper primer to hide the print and cover up any seams with drywall joint compound where the paper wasn’t applied properly.


■ It’s all about preparation. Before you start painting, move everything you can out of the room, then make sure everything else is covered up with plastic and drop cloths. Don’t rush into the job.

■ Test the color first. Most paint stores now will sell sample quarts and you can try out the color on part of the wall to decide what you like before spending a lot of money on gallons of paint.

■ Use high-quality paintbrushes—I use Purdy and Corona. I also use sheepskin covers for the rollers, which is more expensive, but they clean up quickly and don’t splatter.

■ Always do two coats and let them dry in between. If you’re dealing with accent bases, like reds and yellows, you’ll need multiple coats because the paint is rather transparent. A blue/blue-gray primer underneath will help.


■ Set up a shop area for mixing, pouring and cleaning outside the room you’ll be painting. Between the furniture, ladder and equipment in that room, there won’t be a lot of space to move around and it’s better to have open cans in an area where you’re not going to kick them over. Be sure to cover the path between the spaces so you don’t track any paint.

■ Check paint for color accuracy. Custom colors are tinted by people at the store and there can be variations between batches, so if you’re using more than one can of paint, it’s better to mix it all into one big container for color consistency.

■ Use small amounts of paint at a time when brushing. If you use the entire gallon at once, you’ll contaminate it with grit and other miniscule debris that the brush drags from the surface of the wall. And it’s simply not comfortable to be on a ladder with a large can of paint.

■ Get rid of paint cans properly. Use a paintbrush to get the last bit of paint off the lid and out of the can, then leave the lid off the container so the insides dry, making disposal easier and safer. Discuss any questions with your trash hauler.