How to Paint Like a Pro

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

How to Paint Like a Pro

No need to spend big bucks on a professional painter when you can achieve the same quality yourself. Use these painting tips to save time and get the best results for your next project. Check out these tips to learn how to paint like a pro.

How to Paint Like a Pro

Tip 1: Tape Like a Pro

  • Pull painter’s tape off your surface at a 45-degree angle for the cleanest lines. We recommend Scotch Blue painter’s tape for best results.
  • Pull your tape off before your last coat of paint dries. This avoids paint chipping.
  • Use a hair dryer as a source of heat to soften the adhesive on tape. This will make for cleaner lines and less residue on your surface.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Pull painter's tape off your surface at a 45-degree angle for the cleanest lines.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Use a hair dryer to soften the adhesive of painter's tape.


Tip 2: Get Perfect Lines

  • When painting a line (like in a stripe), paint over the tape going inwards to avoid paint seeping underneath the tape. We recommend Wooster Pro paintbrushes for medium to small areas.
  • For best coverage when painting two-tone walls, paint the light color first for the best coverage (and when you’re removing the tape, don’t forget to pull the tape towards your painted stripe for the cleanest line).

How to Paint Like a Pro: Paint over the painter's tape, going inwards to avoid paint seeping underneath the tape.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Pull the painter's tape towards the painted stripe for clean lines.


Tip 3: Quick and Easy Clean-Up

  • Use a plastic liner for your paint tray to make quick cleanup a breeze
  • Use petroleum jelly to resist paint in small places and corners, like windows. When you’re done you can simply wipe away the petroleum jelly. No need to spend time taping all those tiny areas.
  • Don’t spend extra time cleaning. Avoid spills before they happen by using a hammer and nail to make holes in the lid of your paint can. As you pour, the paint filters back through the holes instead of spilling over the rim.
  • Use Klean-Strip paint thinner to easily clean oil-based paint off your brushes
  • Avoid extra mess by using a brush comb to clean bristles thoroughly.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Use a plastic liner in your paint tray for easy clean up.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Use petroleum jelly to resist paint in corners and small places.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Use a nail to puncture holes into the lip of the paint can to avoid paint spilling over the sides.

Paint Like a Pro: Use paint thinner to clean oil-based paints off brushes.

How to Paint Like a Pro: Use a brush comb to clean your paint brush bristles thoroughly.


Tip 4: Be Patient

  • Moving your furniture back too soon can cause accidental smudges and chips, especially if any of your furniture sits against the freshly painted area. Wait at least 24 hours before bringing furniture back into your space

How to Paint Like a Pro: Wait at least 24 hours before bringing furniture back into your space.

Browse The Home Depot’s Paint Department for everything you’ll need for your next painting project. And follow our All About Paint board on Pinterest for more painting tips and inspiration.