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.
... like this one.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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 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!