Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Pro Painters (That'd Be Us) TELL ALL! Or, How To Paint Your Room Like A Professional

 While John and I were redoing those kids' rooms the other week we also filmed a quick video on how to do your own interior painting. We were professional painters and faux finishers for nine years before Cake Wrecks, routinely working in multi-million dollar mansions and trusted in some of the largest, most expensive homes in Florida:


... like this one.

And these!


 Some day I should dig up more of my favorite photos and show you guys. We did some insanely cool stuff back then, like a glitter flaked theater ceiling, aw yeah.

Here's baby John and our fine artist Jeff working on 30 foot scaffolding in someone's foyer:

John was forever giving me heart attacks my hanging off scaffolding 40 feet in the air. (I never could climb higher than the second rack.)

Anyhoo, so trust me, we're pretty OK at this painting thing. We still paint for friends pretty often, so it makes me crazy when the ones who live too far away are struggling through a project using all the wrong tools and techniques - or worse, when I hear the awful advice given on some of those home decor shows. (If I see ONE MORE DESIGNER saying to paint in an X pattern...well, I'll be miffed.)

So here, watch this:

 

I'm working on getting over myself and my aversion to cameras so we can make more videos for you guys, so please, re: my spare tire/chins, I KNOW. And I promise I'm appropriately horrified. ;)

Since I didn't include specific recommendations in the video, here's a breakdown of the exact tools we use and love. Nothing here is sponsored; it's just what John and I have found to work best over the years.

The Paint:


Our current favorite (since brands and formulas have changed) is Valspar Signature from Lowe's. This stuff covers like a dream, and has the perfect viscosity for rolling and brushing. It'll run you about $35/gallon, with one gallon covering an average of 400 square feet. (Remember that's the square footage of your walls, not the floor.) Please, don't buy cheap paint; you'll end up paying for it in the long run with multiple coats and splotchy sheen coverage.

Speaking of, you can use a much lower sheen when you're using a high quality paint like this. We like eggshell in every room except the kitchen and baths, where you'll want a satin. Never use semi-gloss; it shows every imperfection in the wall, and really isn't necessary. If it's good paint you can still wipe down the walls even with an eggshell sheen, trust me.

The Brush:




Is it wrong to be emotionally attached to a paint brush? Asking for a friend. ;) A 2-inch, straight cut Nylon-Poly blend is ideal for cutting trim and baseboards, and this is the exact brand and model I use and love. (I may have yelled, "AT LAST! My arm is complete again," when we started painting last week.) Good quality paint is thick, almost pudding-like, so you need this stiffness of brush to move it around on the wall - but it's still soft and bouncy enough to smooth out any paint ridges. This brush costs about $13 on Amazon, and will last you a lifetime if you take care of it.

You can also cut high against the ceiling with that brush, but if you have two people working and can afford another brush, get the 3 inch version, too. That's the one John uses.


The Roller:

Any roller frame will work - you probably already have one in the garage - but the roller itself should be this one or something like it:

The "nap" is the length of the fuzz on the roller. The longer the nap, the more paint the roller can hold and the less it will spatter and drip while you're rolling. (Foam rollers spatter like crazy, so avoid those.) This one costs $7 on Amazon and will last you many years if you clean it properly. ("Cleaning it properly" just means running it under water and squeezing it 'til the water runs clear. Takes about 5 solid minutes, but it's worth it.)

The Pole:



An extension pole isn't just for painting up high; it will spare your lower back when rolling low as well. It also lets you roll a lot faster. This little baby is a huge part of why we can paint a 10X10 room start to finish in under 2 hours. That particular model costs $20 on Amazon, but it's worth a hundred times that after a long day of rolling.

The Bucket:



The roller bucket we use in the video is discontinued, but this one by Wooster is only $12 and essentially the same thing. Don't get the smaller 1/2 gallon version, though; it's too small and won't give you enough roll-off space. This bigger one will be more stable and has a nice deep roll-off.


For drop cloths use either old sheets or canvas drops on the floor, not - I repeat, NOT - plastic ones. You can use plastic to cover your furniture, but as I explain in the video, it's a major hazard on the floor. 

Most rooms shouldn't need anything taped off, but if you have an extra tight space or some special circumstance use a blue painter's tape, any brand. Don't do that homeowner thing where you tape off all the trim, though. Don't do it! Watch the video and do what I do instead. (Just have a wet rag on hand while you're learning, ha.)

So there you go! For about $70 you can have all the tools pro painters use - and tools that should last through all your future painting projects. When you consider how much it costs to hire painters these days, this is well worth the investment - and honestly quite fun once you get the hang of it.

Right, any questions? Hit me up in the comments, and John and I'll do our best to answer them.  Or, if you have suggestions for future video topics, let me hear those, too!

129 comments:

  1. Do you have any tips for painting trim? All the trim in my house is a very yellow shade of white and I'd like to redo it with a purer white but that is so much trim and it feels like it's gonna take forever.

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    1. Trim is a bit more complicated. As a general rule, if I didn't want to mess up the walls, I would use tape above the trim on the wall. The hardest part is painting the tiny 1/4" top of the trim but tape will help with that. VERY IMPORTANT!!! Always test your existing trim paint to make sure you're using the right paint. If your trim is already painted with oil based paint, you CANNOT paint over it with latex. The easy way to test this is to take a colored rag, apply some rubbing alcohol to it, and rub the trim. If some white comes off on the rag, it's latex and you can paint it with latex paint. If nothing comes off on the rag, it's oil and you will have to either prime it or use oil based paint over it. Hope that helps!

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    2. Will this same trick work to determine what kind of paint is on a wall or ceiling?

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    3. Yes, it's using a substance (rubbing alcohol) that is acting as a mild solvent. If it dissolves a bit of the paint (the color comes off) then it's latex. So it doesn't matter where the paint is, this method will tell you if it's latex or not.

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  2. OMG This is the greatest! I'm embarrassed to say that I was one of those people that taped off the whole room because I am a hot mess when I paint. But now that I know how to do it right, I solemnly swear that I will not tape off another room in my life. Any idea on how I can get those hours and hours of my life back? Now I'm totally inspired to paint a room!

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  3. I totally paint trim that way. I love it so much more than spending all that time putting up tape, just to toss it later. As well as being frustrated when the tape pulls little bits off the edge and I have to go back and fix it. (when I'm not as fast as I should be at getting it down) PS. You look great, staaahhhhpppp.

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  4. My Husband and I used to run a painting business as well (just part time) Now we run a music teaching studio and we just repainted this week and god is valspar amazing. It covered even our brighter colors like magic in 1 coat. And we never tape either!

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  5. I wish I had this years ago! I always tape, and dread taping!thank you so much!

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  6. wish this were posted a couple of weeks ago when I bought a gallon of semi-gloss for our contractor to paint the bathroom. oh well, at least Sherwin Williams gave me the contractor's discount. live and learn! thanks for the pro tips!!

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  7. What’s the best way to paint up high i have a vaulted ceiling in the entryway and stairway. Do need to rent scaffold or can it be done with ladders and planks? I also live in Texas where orange peel or knockdown texture on wall and ceiling is common. Will the same technique work for cutting in?

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    1. I also am a-scared of my orange peel texture and it affecting my ability to transition from wall color to ceiling in a clean line, because the previous painters apparently struggled and it looks awful.

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    2. For high ceilings, I use an extension ladder and a long roller pole. When you're cutting it in, bring it down maybe a foot to give yourself a lot of room with the roller. As to the texture issue, we almost always paint over orange peel or knockdown here in Florida. The medium stiff brush will help get into the valleys and you shouldn't have a problem. :)

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  8. Our house is 100 years old this year (happy birthday house!), we have lived here for 13 years. When we moved in we painted everything. We did not know at that time about oil/latex incompatibility (which we certainly do now), and used latex. I'm pretty sure we weren't the first. Now we are in the situation of needing to repaint everything (been in that situation for years, but without the time/resources-yes, we have a couple walls with huge patches of paint missing). We are getting ready to attack this beast of a project and really really need a solution other than scraping all the paint off all the things. A painter friend recommended a specific primer I'm forgetting the name of-what would you do? Scrape the worst parts, prime what's not peeling and hope for the best? Or scrape all the things?

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    1. I'm so sorry. Sadly, there are no solutions to this. The problem is latex paint becomes basically a plastic sheet when it dries. It initially sticks to oil paint but over time, oil paint leeches oil and releases the latex paint from the surface. So you get peeling. If you have some peeling already, you can use a primer as a temporary fix since primer sticks to both latex and oil. However, the primer won't penetrate the latex and eventually, the latex will peel off the oil. Our friend has trim like that and the only advice we can give is don't touch it and hope for the best. Sorry again.

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  9. Anne-Marie McDonaldApril 11, 2018 at 3:44 PM

    Jen, thanks for the great tutorial and supply recommendations.

    When my hubby and I paint, I am the official cutter-inner (that's a technical term ;) ), and I use a metal putty blade or painter's straight edge to cut in the edges. Not quite as elegant as your technique, but still much faster than taping everything. I second your suggestion to use good paint - it makes a huge difference!

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    1. Inhav found that better quality paint also makes brush and roller clean up quicker.

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  10. Due to a series of slightly hilarious misunderstandings my husband and I ended up painting a full room of ours dark red, which we both hated. We quickly realized that neither of us liked it and covered it in a darkish grey, but it took a few coats. Now I work a fulltime job in that room and it's just too heavy of a color for me, I'd like a light blue or light grey blue.
    My question is, is it bad to have multiple layer on the walls? If I needed to remove the layers how would I? Will it be difficult to go from the darkish grey to a light color now?

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    1. Nah, we've been in houses where you can see 15 layers of paint when you remove the switch plate covers. As long as all the paint is sound, you should be fine. And you should be fine covering the paint with a lighter color though it will take a few coats.

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  11. Thanks for the video! But tu paint trims that way, they were already painted? How do you paint them? Always first? What if they are black, and your walls very light color??

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    1. If you need to paint the trim, then yes, paint that first. (See John's tips above about checking to see if the trim is latex or oil.) As long as you're painting the trim with latex, you usually don't have to worry about avoiding the wall; you'll cover that up later so go ahead and slop the trim paint on the wall a bit. ;) If you're keeping the trim black, though, and your walls are light, you might have to get out the dreaded T-A-P-E. ;)

      If you're covering the black trim with white then use a primer first, followed by a good quality satin latex. (Semi-gloss will need more coats, and isn't necessary if you're using good paint.)

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  12. Wonderful and informative! Can you also give instruction on the proper cleaning of different kinds of paint and storage tips of painting equipment? What kind of brushes and rollers to keep and which to dispose of?

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    1. I second this!!��

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    2. For the most part, water based paints will clean easily with water. I have used dish soap occasionally when I paint a dark red and it stains the bristles but that's pretty rare. You can get a brush comb if you have some dried paint in your brush. For oil paints, use mineral spirits. For storage, I just hang my brushes and make sure everything else is dry before packing them away. I have literally used the same roller cover for the last 10 years and it's still fine. And finally, I keep everything if it's still good and clean. Sure, that brush might be crummy but you might need a crummy brush someday. If you have the space, why not hold on to it?

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    3. Hi, thanks so much for all this information! I was also wondering about cleaning. Where do you do the cleaning? When you wash out the brushes, do you wash them in a bathtub? I worry about the paint water damaging inside, but outside is also not good, as it runs off into nature. Another question: where we live, we have mosquitoes, and if you unfortunately kill one on the wall it leaves a nasty stain. In the future, if we're painting, what kind of ingredients should we look for in paint that would ensure it's a good enough quality that we will be able to do some dab-up cleaning? (We live abroad, so we can't necessarily go by brand, hence I wonder about ingredients or grades or kinds we should look for). Thank you again! I really enjoyed this (and am wondering why as I'm not a crafty, handy person at all!?). :)

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  13. I wish I had this 6 months ago when we moved into our own home for the first time and painted everything.

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  14. Yay! Can't wait to use these techniques on my next painting project! Also I hope that the appropriate level of horrified at the fact that you have a human body is "not at all horrified". I mean if you were secretly a robot that would be okay but I'd be a little horrified at first.

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  15. Valspar is good paint. When we shopped for paint at Lowe's for our small bathroom, we weren't going to need anywhere near a gallon. A clerk gave us a good tip: just buy the 8-oz. sample jars. We only needed about 4, saved a lot of money and didn't end up with a 1/2 gallon of paint we couldn't use.
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Valspar-Mystic-Sea-Interior-Paint-Sample-Actual-Net-Contents-8-fl-oz/999989836

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  16. Girl, your eyebrows are On. Point. Also, watching you guys paint is very soothing.

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  17. So, you only do one coat? Is that because the quality paint you buy covers that well?

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    1. The honest answer is it depends. If you're going over a light paint with a light color and you're using good paint and it's a similar sheen, you might only need one coat. Generally, we do what we call 1.5 coats. A very thorough first coat and a very fast second coat. Of course, there are three coat rooms where you're putting a dark red over flat white and that's no fun. It really just depends on the situation. The better the paint, the easier time you'll have.

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    2. My semi-pro painter mom always recommended a base of grey when making a significant colour or colour value change. Seems to require fewer coats to get even coverage than a white base, whether going light to dark or dark to light.

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    3. Thanks...this post has lit a fire...we have been in our home for 10 years and have only painted one room (the bathroom because we had work done in there). I've procrastinated on the rest because every room has the dreaded wallpaper that needs removed first. But I'm tired of my home not looking like us and you reminded me what the wonders of a fresh coat of paint can do!

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  18. I'm quite proud of my cutting-in skills, and was gratified to see/hear you doing the same techniques and using the same tools I've acquired. When John pulled back to show your sitting position as you cut in the baseboards, my immediate thought was, "I just lay on my side." Seconds later I hear: Jen, "I've even been known to lay on my side...." John, "I always lay on my side."

    The roller portion of the recording was eye-opening, from start to finish. Thank you for the tool and technique suggestions! I'm pitching that awful roller tray today.

    This "Epbot Garage" idea is a keeper.

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    1. Oh! Another comment reminded me to add: I use a flea comb and shampoo to clean my brushes (after latex paint, obviously). The flea comb does a good job of stripping the paint off the bristles. The shampoo rinses out easily, and is a great way to use up a bottle of stuff you bought accidentally.

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    2. Regular ol' shampoo, not flea shampoo. Hotel shampoos are good for this too. Going to get offline now, before I find one more thing to fix in my reply!

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  19. I had no idea it was this easy to paint without taping (I figured it was possible, but required a certain level of skill). I will keep this in mind the next time I have to paint a room!

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  20. We're getting our house ready to rent out (we're moving for my husband's job), and we've been debating whether to paint ourselves or hire someone. These tips couldn't have come at a better time! Thank you!

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  21. I totally understand the horror of seeing yourself on camera or hearing your own voice, but you look great! No one else ever notices those little things you dislike about yourself. <3

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  22. I just have to tape. We've tried not to, and it didn't come out well, at least to my standard. I get a little compulsive about lines.

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  23. I painted for a few years for my college which happened to be in Wooster, OH. So we used the Wooster brushes. My preference was the 2.5 inch angle brush for most cut work. Smaller if I was painting windows. And I painted a lot of windows. Brushes for painting are such a personal choice though.

    And can I say how happy I am to see a how to paint that does it right? I hate watching painting on some of the home improvement shows cause it was always done wrong.

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  24. Thank you for this fantastic tutorial, it's very helpful! And Jen, I think you look awesome :)

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  25. Tips for cleaning brushes! Do you use special brush cleaner, that says I can't dump it down the sink when I'm done? Or just some kind of special soap? I can't get all the extra gunk out of my brushes. You say yours last forever if you take care of them, so please advise on what that means : ) !

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    1. Good question. I think the problem is that people want to finish a whole job before cleaning a brush. If you're going slowly or you need to take a break and you see that the paint is drying a little on your brush, wash it. Most municipalities are okay with washing small amounts of latex paint down the drain since it's non-toxic but you should check your local restrictions. As to soap, if I need to use it, I usually just use dish soap. If your paint does harden a little on your brush, you can use a wire brush or a brush comb to get it out. And seriously, most of my brushes are at least 10 years old so it can be done. :)

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  26. Thanks for the tip about using a pole on the roller!
    When dealing with popcorn ceilings I sometimes take a flat edge screwdriver and scrape it along the edge of the ceiling to knock off a tiny bit of the popcorn. It isn’t noticeable and then I don’t have to worry about catching any popcorn on my brush.

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  27. That video was amazing. I'm still not convinced I can cut in paint without messing up my trim (I occasionally sort of spasm for no reason?) but taping is the absolute worst so I'm going to try it anyway. Any tips for painting a dried-out segmented wooden garage door, if you've ever done one? My hope is to paint it a different colour than the frame around it without getting one colour on the other, ha. And I'm wondering if a roller is going to work, since it's got those square indents.

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    1. For your trim concerns, just have a damp rag in hand while you're painting - it'll erase any "oopsies" no problem.

      John's painted dozens and dozens of garage doors, since it was in vogue for a while to apply faux wood-grain on them. (Real wood garage doors aren't practical here in FL.) Since yours is already wood, it will need a good primer first. We paint them in sections, slowly raising or lowering the door so we can paint the cracks, and use a combo of brushes and small rollers (brush the indents first, then roll the flat parts).

      The hard part is there's usually a weather-stripping sealant/strip of rubber that you'll have to avoid on the top and sides of the garage door's opening. You can either wrap that strip in wide tape, or just remove it and re-install it once you're done painting. (For our own garage door it was time to replace the weather stripping anyway, so we yanked it off and installed new after it was painted.)

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  28. This was super informative! Thanks for the tips!

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  29. I *just* painted my bathroom and have apparently done everything wrong! Super excited for your cut-in method for my next endeavor...never taping again would make me so happy!

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  30. Thanks to you both for the awesome videos!
    And this is for Jen - thank you for being brave and going on camera. I have been avoiding them for years because I got old and fat and was ashamed of how I look. But I recently read something that got me to thinking that by not putting myself out there, I contribute to the problem of everyone you see online presenting only the perfection rather than the reality. I make it harder for others by not being willing to show myself. So please do NOT apologize for how you look. You are wonderful and you are holding the door open for the rest of us. Thank you.

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    1. I have spent the last decade or two avoiding pictures, and I realized that there is very little documentation that I was even there! I have made it my new goal to not let my self-consciousness keep me out of my children' (and friends!) history! They love me the way I am! I am so grateful for the pictures I have of my mom and my grandma's--I would hate to rob them of that, simply because I didn't look "pinterest perfect"!

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  31. Love it, love it, love it! Seeing talented people demonstrate their craft is one of my favorite things. Your videos are great, you guys look like naturals (I know it’s really hard to get over the self-consciousness). You literally made watching paint dry interesting, keep up the good work!

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  32. Question, oh mighty painters! I want to paint my trim white to unify the look of the house and update it (the trim differs in each part of the house depending on when a remodel was done.) Would I paint that first and then do the walls? Also, the cut lines are awful in some areas due to heavy heavy texture on wall and ceiling. I am assuming I would do the ceiling, and could bring the white paint down.... and then when I do the walls, cut into the ceiling line then?

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    1. Yes, always paint the trim first if you can; it's much easier to cut in walls-against-trim than the other way 'round! Same goes for those ceilings, so your instincts are bang on: do the ceilings first, erring down onto the walls where it's bumpy, then cut your walls in last.

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  33. My other half is a professional painter and he can't watch home maker over shows, he gets cranky LOL

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  34. Thank you! You are lovely and this was so informative.

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  35. Okay first of all, painting is my favorite kind of house project, so now I love it even more with these cool tips and tricks. We used our wedding money to get just about every room in our house painted before we moved in and I love all the colors but this video makes me want to paint!

    And secondly... GIRL. What spare tire/chins?!?! I am way too busy saying OMG THOSE EYEBROWS PLEASE TEACH ME YOUR WAYS OH BROW QUEEN.

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    1. Ha! Thank you, thank you, you've all been awesome and I really appreciate/need the support. ::MWAH::

      Also my brow ways include daily plucking (my literal Jewish roots!), Anastasia brow pomade applied with a super stiff brush, and lots of Youtube brow tutorials. :D

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  36. Any professional opinion on needing to back-roll sprayed paint?

    The tip on how to avoid getting paint all over the end of the roller was useful. After 40+ years of amateur house painting I had figured most of the other things out and developed the cutting in skill without taping.

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    1. We're pro back-rolling, and always used that method for exterior house painting. It gets the sheen even and catches drips, which is especially crucial on cinder-block or stucco or the like, which is super common down here. (Then I put my foot down and declared we'd never paint another exterior again. Such grueling work in the Florida heat! That's one kind of painting I'll never miss.)

      We never sprayed interiors, though, since that's really only necessary for painting a house-full of popcorn ceilings, which mercifully we never had to do.

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    2. "Such grueling work in the Florida heat!"
      and then there is that portion of the year in parts of the state where it rains almost every day, but only for a few minutes. Mom and Dad spent a bit over a year living in Melbourne, and the daily rain was Dad's nemesis. It usually hit right as he was leaving work and riding his bicycle home.

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  37. I have a question! I've been wanting to paint the house for years but the old owners did a terrible job on the walls in so many places. If there's uneven wall everywhere do you just patch it like picture holes, and sand it, prime, paint, or do I sand first, patch or not? I'm afraid it's going to take eons to fix the walls in my kitchen...

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    1. I don't know the extent of the problem but normally, you'll just patch the holes, sand any major issues, and paint. Primer is for unusual problems like nicotine and for problem paints like oil based. Most of the time, the wall paint is going to be water based and just needs regular paint over it. Pro-tip! If you want to hide imperfections in a wall, use the flattest paint possible. Glossier paints tend to accentuate problems. Good luck!

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  38. Thanks for sharing this video! It was fun to watch and I learned so much! All your videos have been great!

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  39. Perfect timing! My daughter is buying a house in a couple of weeks and has to paint every room. Which means we will be helping too. :) Jen-you look great, we all love you and don't see you the you see yourself in the mirror. I took a class on decluttering years ago, and the only thing I remembered was that she said to never apologize that your house is messy, then you are telling people to look for the mess. Keep the videos coming, it's awesome!

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  40. This was very cool and very informative! And now I want to paint (my kitchen has wanted painting for...a long time).
    And Jen, please don't worry about how you look--I know I am looking more at what you're doing than studying you. I get that talking (and seeing oneself) on camera is always weird, but really, you do an excellent job of explaining and you sound great!

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  41. How ‘bout the ceiling? Any tips? I have one room I simply can’t empty. I guess cover everything? My shoulders and neck are already dreading the job.

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    1. Ceilings are a bear. Get a good pole and a thick roller and it should be a little better. Just keep in mind that if it's a popcorn ceiling that's never been painted, using a roller on it is going to take A LOT of the popcorn off and it's going to be everywhere. O.O

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  42. Thank you so much for making this post and video!! This is going to help so much for my next painting project.

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  43. Thanks for your reply above about when/if you need multiple coats of paint. I was wondering, if you do need to do multiple coats, that means you need to cut in for each coat, correct?

    Thank you so much for this post/video! So helpful.

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    1. Usually, yes, but it can be a quick cut. Just make sure your first cut in is really good at the edge and you won't have to be quite as perfect with your second.

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  44. This is perfect timing! We're first time homeowners, and are repainting a dark green hallway (why?) a nice light blue this weekend. We were absolutely dreading having to tape all the trim and door frames, so thank you thank you for showing us how to avoid that fate.

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    1. Got one room in my place that is Pink with Green trim and a touch of Blue, and putrid Yellow carpet (the carpet is not the little girl's fault but the paint color choice was).
      ouch
      But eventually I will paint it. Tis but storage at the moment, so who cares?
      Me, I care, it's fugly.
      But too much else to get straight first.

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  45. Thank you this is awesome! Are there any tips for painting the "orange peel" texture? My entire house has this texture and I am not sure how to paint it and get good coverage.

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    1. Textures are actually easier to paint than smooth walls if you use a nice, thick roller. 3/4 inch nap should be all you need. The stiffer brush is a good idea too since it will put paint in the valleys of the texture.

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  46. We inherited a house from my in-laws. It was built sometime in the early 60's and I believe the paint is the original. My in-laws were heavy smokers and my mother-in-law hung all her pictures on the wall with foam-like tape (it's almost like weatherstripping). When we tried to remove the pictures, the tape either stuck to the wall, or pulled the paint and the paper layer of the dry-wall/sheet-rock off. Also, the paint is very dry. It almost feels and looks like paper. There's no sheen to it at all.

    So my question is how do we clean the nicotine off the walls, get the remaining tape off without pulling more paint off, patch the dry-wall, and then what paint won't be soaked up by my super dry walls?

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    1. Pull the tape off as gently as possible, then patch, then commercial stain-covering primer, like Kilz. It stinks, so keep some windows open, but it will set up the old walls for good adhesion of paint as well as seal up the nicotine smell. I'd love a recommendation for something less stinky than Kilz - anyone?

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    2. There's latex Kilz. Also, I'd recommend washing the walls and then see if it still smells. Using a big flat mop can speed up the washing a lot. I used to be a smoker and the smoke is not that hard to clean off, but your mileage may vary.

      A tip for the tape: pull dental floss down the back of it against the wall. That will cut off a lot of it, and then you can sand down the rest.

      As far as paint, go with Jen and John's recommendation.

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  47. Jen, John, I am fully willing to go to straight up and down for you guys, but why? I have considered myself a decent home painter, and always did whatever movement I wanted. Am I not noticing some huge flaw you with your eagal eyes would?

    Also, Jen, you are beautiful. Thank you so much for posting it! My new house has horrible paint colors, so I am going to do lots of painting!

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    1. Good question! There's nothing wrong with rolling in some different directions but it's pretty inefficient. Our goal as painters was to finish and go home and a methodical technique was the best way to do that. The problem is that people have been told for years that you have to make V motions with your roller or else it's wrong and that's simple not true. So yeah, if what you do works for you, rock on!

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    2. Ah ha! It all becomes clear--thank you!

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  48. Oh, how I wish I'd had this tutorial a year and a half ago when we were painting all the rooms in our house. This was so helpful. Thank you! <3

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  49. I am getting ready to paint my kitchen/family room. I am spackling (sp?) some areas and I seem to be having trouble with feathering the edges without getting a groove in the middle of the patch. Any good tips?

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    1. Big swipes with a big spackle knife. Little knive's and little motions tend to leave marks and grooves. If your knife is bigger than the patch, you can swipe over the whole thing and it should be a perfect feather.

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    2. Will I be dragging the spackle knife against the wall that will just leave enough spackle to fill the hole or will I be dragging the knife gently to leave a thicker shmear on the wall to cover up the hole plus a bit on the sides of the hole? If a thick shmear, how do I get the edges feathered but enough of the spackle left to fill the hole plus the sides? If I've already left a thick smear and made a mess of things, now what? Will lots of sanding help things? Thank you for your advice! I love reading all the posts!

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    3. My dad's a handyman, but not a painter (We love our tape, but that may be because Mom is a messy painter...). What he does is go over the smear with a damp rag to knock it down and hide the difference in texture.

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  50. Thanks for the great tutorial! You both rock! I was curious to see what advice you would give. I have seen your finished rooms and they were awesome. I was expecting the same old home dec advice. I was pleasantly surprised when you taught all the techniques that I learned from my dad, even down to the Purdy brushes and roller cover. ( He was a painter and faux finisher in the 80’s.) I love watching your videos. They are now one of my guilty pleasures.

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  51. Thank you so much for your painting tutorial! I feel courageous enough to tackle the hideous yellow walls in our new house. Before I do, I have a question, please: What about the inside of dormer windows? I want to paint the walls near a dormer window, but I want the inside space to remain white and I can't figure out how to paint an angled wall. Thanks (love the eyebrows, Jen!!)

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  52. We really enjoyed this video (and the kids' room makeovers). I plan on watching this again before we update our teen's rooms this summer.

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  53. This was great! I don't remember where I originally saw this technique, but I've used it for years. My dad was a general carpenter/handyman but never taught me how or trusted me to paint anything, so now when he sees my paint skills at my own house and is impressed I get to tell him I'm self-taught ;) I can't wait to see more Epbot Garage videos! <3

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  54. Having worked in Theater most of my life - a good tool is priceless and NOT TO BE LENT OUT. Paint brushes take time to find the right one - bad handle = blisters. Would love to see more faux finish tutorials. And in my house the tool of the trade is our gingher scissors. I have mine, my sister has hers and never shall the twain meet.

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  55. Any tips for getting rid of mould before painting, and/or stopping the mould from coming back?

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    1. When we moved into our house there was mold/mildew underneath the wallpaper along the backsplash behind the kitchen sink, both from the sink itself and from a leaky window above it. We removed the wallpaper, used a regular mold/mildew spray [the kind usually meant for the bathroom], made sure it was clean and dry, then used Zinsser WaterTite Mold and Mildew-Proof Waterproofing Paint. It's designed to be used on masonry/cement, and they say that it can only be used on surfaces like that, but it's worked fine on our old painted plaster for a decade without peeling, or mold/mildew regrowth [there's a five-year guarantee for that]. It's oil-based and comes in white. They claim that you can tint it [a handful of pastel colors only], but you're not supposed to paint over it [that voids the mold/mildew warranty; though it should still be waterproof as long as the surface underneath is sound].

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  56. This was great, and so soothing to watch! I did a lot of room painting when I first bought my house, and didn't bother with tape either. Just careful cutting in. I didn't really think to remove faceplates for switches and things though - good to know! I'm planning a few changes as I've now been living in the house a few years and want to shake things up in a few rooms!

    I'd love to see how you tackle stairs. Is it even possible for regular folk to do this without some sort of platform or ladder? The only walls I'm ever wary of painting myself is the wall that goes up my stairs, I can't reach the top to cut in.

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    1. For stairs you'll need an extension ladder and some creative thinking, ha. I could tell you some of our Magyver-like solutions over the years, but honestly they're not safe. (Like I said, John was forever giving me heart attacks.)

      That said, if it's a typical narrow stairwell with a landing, then you *should* be able to put the ladder feet on a single stair, lean it against the back wall, and cut in the wall to the side of you. Be sure to have a helper stand on the first rung of the ladder while you do this, to weigh it down and keep it from sliding out. Even this isn't hugely safe, though, so please use common sense and know when to call in the professionals!

      If you're still gung-ho to try it yourself and want a safer solution, you can rent some baker's scaffolding. Baker's scaffolding is pretty user-friendly, and sets up beautifully on stairs to give yourself a level working platform.

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  57. This is wonderful. I plan to bookmark this post forever. I cut in like that, and everyone looks at me weird! Thanks for the tips.

    Also, I found this platform thing that is amazingly helpful for my 5' 1" self in so many ways. Painting is the best use, though.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-39-1-2-in-x-12-in-x-20-9-16-in-Aluminum-Work-Platform-AP-20/100662616

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  58. Well that is super helpful! Thanks!

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  59. Whenever my wife has a painting project idea, my first thought is cleanup. I really don’t mind painting, actually enjoy it. But I HATE cleanup. I know that’s a strong word, but it’s always my first (and only, really) objection. The perfectionist in me sees the paint buildup and all that water. I agree that good tools and good product is much easier to work with. Next project will use NO tape though. I know I can do it; we have popcorn ceilings too.

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  60. If you haven't already found the blog McMansion Hell http://mcmansionhell.com/ Kate has fantastic snark for people's color and design choices.

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  61. Great to get some pro tips! Right now I'm having trouble finding a bonding primer for my front door. The contractors were supposed to stain it, but never showed up. Any sealer I try can be scrapped off with a fingernail, or just rubbing it. Has anyone had experience with Kilz Adhesion? Or I hear Sherwin Williams makes a good one. My door is like plastic (fiberglass?), but wood grained and expensive (so probably not plastic). Lowes sold me the wrong stuff and said to rough it up with sandpaper! Not this door!

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    1. Ouch, that's a hard one. Kilz is great stuff, and one of our go-to primers when everything else isn't working, so that could definitely work. If you already have paint on there that's peeling or scratching off, just try to scrape and sand what you can first.

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    2. Thank you for replying. It turns out I'd have to special order the Adhesion, so will stop by Sherwin Williams (my exterior was done in theirs by a contractor and whatever they used on the front door has stayed on for 7 years) and see what they have.

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  62. I've got a question.. When I initially painted my house, it was recommended that I wash the walls with TSP wall wash (which was a PAAAAIN!). Is this necessary? I imagine if your walls are dusty you can give them a quick swipe with a damp or dry cloth, but is the full on wash with TPS/bucket of water/sponge necessary to prep the walls if you're painting?

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    1. Oh gosh, no, it's not necessary! The only exception is in old kitchens, which can sometimes have grease on the walls. In that case you wipe them down with any de-greasing cleaner and you're good to go. Everything else, though? Dive in. Honestly even a little dust is no problem; just paint right over those suckers. (Brush off your trim with a broom, though; dust there CAN get in the way.)

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  63. I needed this video 6 years ago...or even 1 year ago... Oh well, now I'm prepared for the next house!

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  64. Oo, one more question (thanks again for doing this guys! I will totally be buying all the equipment off Amazon soon, using your links of course!).

    I have stained wood trim, which I like the look of, but it has tons of paint blobs on it! How do I go about getting the paint off, but leaving the wood and stain on? Scrape with razor blade?

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    1. Ah, see now that's good news! You can use rubbing alcohol to remove latex paint from stained sealed trim since the stain and sealer are oil based. Try it on an inconspicuous section first but it should work.

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  65. We moved last July. The previous owners graciously painted the entire interior, but lately we've noticed the walls in the bathrooms look like they're "dripping" every time we shower. I assume the paint is probably low quality, and I'd like to re-do the walls, but do we need to prep before simply re-painting? Does the old paint need to be stripped or should we slap some primer over it and finish with a high quality satin (thanks for that tip!)?

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    1. They look like they're dripping? Weird. Generally yeah, prime and paint and you should be good. Unless they did something really, really wrong with their paint job, primer and paint will work.

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  66. Thank you so much for this! I have one problem I'd like to ask you about. I am the solo painter and I've found that when cutting in that I can always see the difference between the "drier" cut in and the "wet" roller. Is it because I'm using cheaper paint (I think I used the Valspar low cost) or because I paint everything with a sheen?

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    1. The easiest way to describe it is that sheen builds. So, I put one coat of satin paint over flat and some of the paint will absorb into the flat. The satin sheen will be a little satin. Two coats and now the sheen is pretty close to what it's supposed to be. After 2 coats of reasonably decent paint, the sheen isn't going to change anymore. A hundred coats of satin paint will still look satin. Now, if you cut in with cheap paint one time and then roll into that cut in, that connecting point is really two coats. The sheen will be different. So you cut and roll again and the problem goes away. The shinier the paint, the more coats to get to the true sheen. Gloss might take 3 coats. Flat might take one. Of course, a good paint is thicker so that one coat is going to be very close to the true sheen and the overlap between cut and roll isn't going to be as noticeable.

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  67. This is great! Really wish I'd watched this before we painted our spare room last month. Also you two are so cute together!

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  68. Great video! I used a lot of your tools and techniques when we repainted our new house. One thing I'd add as a suggestion is for the hand bucket when cutting in, I found a little plastic bucket (from Home Depot) with a handle and a magnet so it holds the brush for you when moving up and down the ladder, and it has liners so I can change out colors quickly. For our bedroom and my office we did two colors per room to get accent walls, and it was so handy. Going up and down the ladder myself and not having to worry about the brush was the best part.

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    1. Magnetized buckets?! WHAT IS THIS SORCERY? I have to go look for those now!

      I could see bucket liners being handy, too, though we make quick work of them with a high-blasting garden hose. For a situation with lots of colors like yours, though, sounds perfect.

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    2. Yes! I used an actual purchased paint bucket with a magnet and a handle at my sister's house because we forgot to bring an old butter tub and it is so so so much better!

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  69. What are your thoughts on angled vs. straight brush for cutting in? I've always used an angled one, just curious why you guys opt for straight.

    (Aslo, STAHP YOU LOOK ADORABLE :-) )

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    1. Oh, you. ;)

      I actually started with an angled brush, but over time I found it easier to cut interior corners with a straight cut, since I can hold the brush at a 90 degree angle to the trim & jam it into the corner, if that makes any sense. Plus my paint would dry out more on the longer bristles in an angle brush, since you have to dip into the paint at an angle, too.

      It's purely a matter of preference, though, so if an angled is working for you, stick with it!

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  70. This was so helpful! I've been doing the cutting in wrong all these years. No wonder I was always frustrated by the painters tape that always bled. I want to paint my buffet; do you have any videos or tips for painting furniture? Thanks for your help.

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    1. Ohh, furniture is a whole 'nother ballgame - maybe that could be a future vid?

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    2. Yes! I second a furniture painting video! This was so unbelievably helpful, Jen - thank you for making it! We are about to paint almost our entire house after moving 2 weeks ago, and I feel so much more prepared now! P.S. You are absolutely adorable, and I audibly 'awww'ed' a few times at how cute you and John are together.

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  71. Ok, Now I need a tutorial in how to clean brushes and buckets after painting a room.

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  72. Um the video isn’t showing up on your YouTube channel at all. And after I watched it and closed The YouTube app it wasn’t in my history. I think there may be something wrong with your settings.
    That said I loved the tutorial and am eyeing places to paint in my house!

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    1. Sorry about that; it's actually intentional, so you can only watch the video here on the blog. Blame my skittishness in front of a camera; I don't want this being shared anywhere people don't know us, for fear of trollish remarks on my appearance. :/

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  73. No worries - you two are great at this tutorial thing! I also like how the video and the article complement each other, content-wise.

    One thing that made me smile: When you (Jen) were talking about cutting in, I got a distinct Bob Ross vibe. Almost expected you to start talking about "happy little trim" XD

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    1. Bahaha, talk about a missed opportunity! (I love me some Bob Ross.)

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  74. Where were you guys when I bought this house you could have saved me from learning the hard way! I have been loving on you two and have crafted and laughed along side you for years so just wanted to say thank you for posting this and everything else that you do. PS my kids can tell when I am reading cakewrecks and come running to see what is so funny because I apparently have a special wheezing snort cry laugh that only comes out when I read CW :) mwah! Tania

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  75. I hate painting. It literally brings me to tears every time. It may be the only thing that even thinking about it brings on anxiety. So we hired some pros and a year later, it needs to be painted again. But you made it look so easy, I’m going to attempt to paint my daughters bright purple faux finish bedroom into the serene office I’m dreaming of.

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  76. What a wonderful tutorial! So grateful to you two. You have saved my sanity I'm sure. Pinning for future painting projects. I would like to second the recommendation for a furniture painting tutorial, as well. You both rock. Thank you for sharing something this helpful.

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  77. I would love some tips on picking paint colors. We are just about to close on a 60's ranch with a recently updated modern style kitchen. It's currently a green color that in normal circumstances I would like but in this kitchen kind of makes me feel queasy. I'm thinking I'll paint it white, but even then I know you have to be careful about undertones or you can throw the color balance off. I'm all about cutting in and not taping, but I had never heard about the deeper roller bucket, that is amazing.

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  78. Great video! Can hardly wait to get started with my daughters room now.
    My question is about peeling paint. Hubs and I figured that cheap paint was used on top of a gloss paint before they sold the house. Now both the bathrooms, all the doors and cabinets have paint that is peeling off. After reading through the comments I tested the paint underneath what’s peeled off and it, thankfully, is latex. What would you suggest we do about the sections where the paint won’t peel off? If we make sure to prime it before will it help?
    Thanks again for the great video!

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