The Eight Ps of Painting

Interior house painting is a skill that, with my collection of “Ps” can be well done by almost anyone. I recently painted quite a bit and have shared my tips below to help you paint better in your home. So, without any further ado here is my collection of “Ps” of painting:

Passes – Two primary passes and touchup, that’s the routine. If the room doesn’t need primer, that should be all that is required. I do one pass of the cut-in first. The cut-in is the detail work around trim, ceilings, doors and windows. Then I go through with the roller. This first pass takes forever it seems, but sets the tone for a prompt rest of the way. The second pass is a repeat of the first, and it takes much less time. Lastly, go around the room(s) with a very small brush and touch up anything that is still showing the wall underneath or primer color.

Patience – When it comes to the first pass, it takes so long it seems. That is the true test of one’s ability. Don’t cut corners on this task, as it will show up the most.

Positioning – You are gonna have to move your body! The key to delivering a good stroke of the paintbrush or roller is to have the right positioning. Further, I try to give the same stroke at all times; and reposition my body accordingly. It doesn’t make sense to reach for some really far out and ridiculous angle to make a stroke of the brush or roller. I always paint with my right hand also, this ensures consistent delivery of the stroke; even if it seems like it would be more natural to use my left hand. I find painting the left side of a door frame a little difficult, but it ends up looking better than the sloppy left handed attempts.

Paintbrush – This is the money shot. Skills with a brush and a good brush at that are the difference maker. I’ve used Purdy and generics and generally prefer the Purdy units, but they cost a bit more.

Push – This is a trick of the paintbrush. The more you push the brush, the more effective it can be in certain applications. Especially, when going for a corner or edge on a ceiling. Basically, when you push the brush a certain way, the bristles can behave differently. This is most applicable in the 1” or 1.5” length brushes when used for tight spots, such as around doors, windows and trim.

Paint – You have to use a good paint. I didn’t think it made a difference until I hired a color consultant and she insisted on Benjamin Moore paints. Further, she recommended the Affinity series. This is a great collection of colors, as they all go with each other. That means, even a lackey like me can’t mess it up! While the series doesn’t have every red, blue and green; it does have hundreds of colors to choose from.

Preparation – Move it or lose it! When I paint a surface, I work to get everything off of the walls and out of the room. This means, removing mirrors from walls in the bathrooms, take outlet and switch plates off, remove light fixtures, move the toilet! My logic is that any other way; it looks like you painted around it! Further, I believe it goes quicker as many of these items come off and go back up very quickly.


Protection – I am at the point now that I don’t use a drip cloth or painters tape. I think painters tape is a false sense of security as no matter how much you work on the application of it, paint can still seep underneath. But, spills still happen. For latex interior paints, the cleanup can be done with soapy water soon after the spill.

Good luck – happy painting!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Neal on January 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    No wonder you were hungry, you forgot the pizza!


  2. LOL! Yes, I was hungry primarily because I had no food and was only eating one meal a day.


  3. awsome post amd wonderful give advice .
    like you way buddy!


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