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Colour Your World – Aug/Sep2016

Colour Your World - Aug/Sep2016

Essential DIY-painting tips for professional results

I would have to say that painters are the most-underrated members of any construction crew. You can spend thousands of dollars on the best materials and fixtures, but nothing will ruin the look of a finished project quicker than a bad paint job.

Of course, for many homeowners looking to keep costs down, painting is seen as a DIY-able task. While I’d always recommend hiring a pro if you can afford it, if you really want to paint the town— or at least, your house—yourself, here are some tips on how to do a better DIY-job of painting.


Rule #1: Invest in good quality paintbrushes and rollers. If you try to use a dollar-store brush, you’re going to get a dollar-store finish. Good quality brushes will hold more paint, saving you time and arm strain, and the bristles won’t come out and stick to your walls.

Before you pick up your brush, make sure you take care of the prep work first. If you’re freshening up old colours, you’re going to want to clean the walls first to remove dust and any grease spots, and fill the holes where artwork used to hang.

If you’re not confident in your brushwork skills, you can cover up any areas that you don’t want coated with painter’s tape. You’ll also want to remove the cover plates over light switches and electric receptacles, and maybe put a piece of tape over the switches and receptacles too.

Jim’s Pick

Brenlo Custom Wood Products is one of my go-to places for trim. On their website (, you can search by material, dimensions, and styles ranging from Colonial and Arts & Crafts to Modern.


You could get away with newspaper to cover the floor, but canvas drop sheets are best. They aren’t slippery like plastic sheeting, and the paint will dry on the canvas, rather than sitting as glob waiting for someone to step in.

If you’re painting new drywall, you’ll need to start with a coat of primer. Primer is also a good base if you’re trying to change a dark colour to a lighter one. There are even heavy-duty primers on the market that will cover up nicotine stains if you’re renovating a place that used to be owned by a heavy smoker.

It’s best to work from the top down. That way if there are any drip lines, you’ll clean them up as you work your way down. When you’re done, store any leftover paint in a cool, dry location for future touch-ups, and make note of the brand and colour in case you need to buy more down the road.

Jim Caruk – Renovation EditorWe look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?