Painting Techniques Painting Techniques

Have you ever thought it's a little strange since so many people find painting difficult, when you buy paint brushes or rollers there are no instructions on how to do the job properly.  Well, since so many people do find painting to be a challenge, perhaps there's a place for a quick primer on painting techniques . Here's an overview of proper painting techniques for your next painting project.

Choose good quality equipment


  • Latex (water based) paints are by far the most commonly used interior paint and they work best with synthetic (nylon or poly) brushes. If you're using oil based (alkyd) paints choose natural bristle brushes.
  • Look for brushes that have a chiseled tip and flagged bristles. Flagged bristles have small splits at the end of the bristle that allow the brush to hold more paint and you can tell a chiseled tip by looking at the brush for the side (a chiseled tip is thicker at the base than at the tip). I


  • If you don't know a brand name, ask your paint store what brand of roller and roller sleeve they recommend for their customers. Avoid getting a cheap sleeve thinking you're just going to throw it away because a cheap roller likely won't hold enough paint and likely will shed fibers at random onto your newly painted walls.

Applying paint with a brush

  • Many inexperienced painters get in trouble right at the start by not loading their brush properly. The correct way to load a brush is to dip the bristles about two inches into the paint and as you lift it out of the paint tap it softly on the side of the can (don't scrape it).Tapping removes any excess and settles more paint into the bristles.
  • Apply paint to the wall by pressing hard enough to release the paint – in practice this means pressing just hard enough to flex the bristles.
  • Keep your brush moving and don't stop or you will end up with a paint drip or “run”. A properly loaded brush on a smooth surface should give you a strip of paint between 18” and 24”.

Applying paint with a roller

  • Here again it's important to 'load' your roller properly. Dip the roller into the paint in the paint tray and let it sit for a few seconds to absorb and load paint. Lift the roller out of the paint and move it back and forth against the ribs of the paint tray to remove the excess paint minimizing the chance of drips or runs.
  • Start painting at a top corner and make a letter “W” inside an imaginary 3' by 3' box on the wall then go back and fill in the box .
  • After finished one box reload your roller and move onto the next 3' x 3' section.
  • “Finish off” the wall by gently rolling from floor to ceiling to ensure you don;t end up with any visible lines or roller marks on the wall.

Murray Anderson is a veteran freelance writer whose work has been appeared in books, newspapers and newsletters as well as on numerous web sites in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics including home, consumer, and personal subjects as well as general business and Marketing specific topics.

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