Best Painting Tips and Tricks

When it comes to cheap and easy projects, painting is at the top of the list. A fresh coat of paint on a wall or a piece of furniture is like a fresh start!

The amazing people over at HGTV Magazine (one of my favorites! always great ideas!) have a special bonus paint section in this month’s issue, packed full of tips and tricks for making painting easier and using paint to make your projects POP. (You can also sneak a peek online, and then hit up the newsstand to get the full issue!).

We combined some of their great tips with some of our favorites to give you all the BEST painting tips, tricks, and techniques to make your projects amazing! (featured image: Lara Robby/Studio D for HGTV Magazine)

This post is part of a series about great painting and paint color tips. You can see the other posts here:



Best Painting Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Accent Wall Ideas

Want to paint but not sure what look you want? Check out our post for over 100 different ideas to paint interior walls. 

100+ Wall painting ideas @remodelaholic #painting #walls #design #inspiration

Choosing a Paint Color

If you’re stumped on colors, the amazing Cyndy has shared so many great paint palettes with us — see them all here.

From transitional colors (that work with both warm and cool tones) to the easiest whole-home paint color scheme and choosing the perfect white paint — there is a treasure trove of information!

Tricks for easily choosing white paint colors. RemodelaholicYou can also test out paint colors using an app!

Prepping for Painting Walls

Before you start painting: be sure to give the walls a quick wipe-down with a soapy rag or a mix of 3/4 water & 1/4 bleach to rid of grease and other stains. These stains can prevent paint from sticking!

Want the perfect finish on your walls? To eliminate brush lines & have a smooth finish use paint conditioner. And if your walls are in rough shape to begin with, follow this tip and use washable flat paint to help minimize the imperfections.

For My Love Of - use flat paint to on uneven walls via @Remodelaholic
tip via For My Love Of

Tips for Painting Walls

Be sure to pick up a roll of painter’s tape for crisp edges. Or, if you have a steady hand, try these tips for freehand painting and cutting in around edges and trim.

Home Made by Carmona - tips for painting freehand and cutting in edges via @Remodelaholic
tips via Home Made by Carmona


Want more than just a solid color? Try a stencil! These tips will help you to have a successful stenciled accent wall.

Just The Bees Knees tips for perfect stenciled wall via @Remodelaholic
tutorial via Just The Bees Knees


And don’t forget to look up! Applying a dark shade to a ceiling can make it appear higher, creating an illusion of infinity — or use it to add both height and color like this.

Just The Bees Knees painted ceiling to add height via @Remodelaholic
image via Just The Bees Knees


The same principle is true of smaller decorating jobs, too — painting the back of a bookcase gives such class and depth to a room! (And you can build your own bookshelf, too 😉

paint bookcase backings black to add depth and drama @Remodelaholic
tip via Remodelaholic

Taking a Painting Break

When you’re taking a break, but will need the paint roller or paintbrush later, wrap them in plastic wrap to prevent drying out. Wrap the paint tray, too!

wrap paint roller and paint brush with plastic wrap to prevent drying out while painting

See how Jenny painted and upgraded her kitchen, hall closet organization, and all the trim and molding in her whole house.

Clean Up After Painting

When you’re done painting, don’t let leftover paint go to waste. You can store it, or even donate it!

Store leftover paint in labeled jars
image: Lara Robby/Studio D for HGTV Magazine

When you need to pause your painting project, place paint-covered rollers and brushes into a plastic bag (tightly sealed) overnight to keep them moist until the morning.

Make post-painting clean up easier! Clean your brushes out right away (after using the last tip to keep them moist until you finished painting!). Running a brush comb through the bristles of a paintbrush will help dig out any leftover gunk, leaving it soft and flexible.

Use a brush comb to clean paint brushes
image: Marko Metzinger/Studio D for HGTV Magazine

More Painting Tips

When you’re looking to add a splash of color and character, paint your front door!

Front Door Paint Colors @Remodelaholic

If you have a project where you want a softer color, and you want to still see the luscious wood grain — use one of my favorite tricks and use paint to color-wash the wood!

How to use paint to stain wood any color -- the wood grain still shows through @Remodelaholic

You can use this technique to darken a stained (but not sealed) piece like I did on my Dutch barn door to help it match my painted doors. You can also use this on fresh wood, like I did on our yellow Swedish mora clock and this easy carved sign, where the color made the project!

And of course, whitewashing is a classic finishing technique — same idea, just with white paint! Use these tips to get just the right aged look.

Just The Bees Knees how to whitewash furniture via @Remodelaholic
tutorial via Just The Bees Knees

Painting Furniture (and More)

Refinishing furniture? Try chalk paint for a lovely finish — and you can make your own in any color!

Prodigal Pieces how to make your own chalk paint to refinish furniture via @Remodelaholic
tips via Prodigal Pieces

Or, try another type of paint — read this post for a full guide to 5 different types of paint and when you should use them for painting furniture.

Painting Furniture Tis For Using 5 Different Types Of Paint, Photo Of 5 Chairs All Different Colors With The Type Of Paint Shown On Each

For an instant hit of color and a rubberized texture, dunk absolutely anything into Plasti Dip. It can easily be peeled off if you spontaneously change your mind!

Painting Upholstery

Want to freshen up an old piece of furniture? Splatter-paint a canvas drop cloth and upholster it to any chair!

image: Lara Robby/Studio D for HGTV Magazine

If the upholstery is in good condition already, you can paint it! (Yes, paint a fabric chair!)

You can paint curtain panels, too, for an inexpensive custom drapery style. (More ideas here.)

painted confetti drapes tutorial
tutorial via Remodelaholic


And, what’s that you say? What about a rug? Why yes, you can paint a rug!

tutorial via Remodelaholic

Painting Cabinets

It’s a big job, but painting your cabinets is a relatively inexpensive way to update a kitchen or bath! You can save thousands of dollars by using your existing cabinets and doing the painting yourself with these amazing tips.

Cabinet Door Painting Tutorial by The Palette Muse featured on Remodelaholic
tutorial by The Palette Muse via Remodelaholic


Use a tinted primer to have double color protection against the dents and dings.

The Rozy Home - guide to painting cabinets via @Remodelaholic
tutorial via The Rozy Home


Pick up this ridiculously simple must-have tool for a perfect cabinet finish!

The Rozy Home - must have painting tool via @Remodelaholic
tip via The Rozy Home


To make your painted cabinets look built-in and professional, paint a piece of trim to fill the toe-kick space below the cabinet.



Provident Home Design painted bathroom base trim to update vanity cabinet via @Remodelaholic
tutorial via Provident Home Design

[pinit align=”center” url=”” image_url=”” description=”Do you have a paint project? Before you get started, come check out this great collection of the best tips, tricks, and techniques for all kinds of projects! From Remodelaholic. #Remodelaholic #paintideas #remodelideas #walldecor”]

Best Tips, Tricks, And Techniques For Any Painting Project, From Remodelaholic

For more painting tips, be sure to check out the May issue of HGTV Magazine — on newsstands now and filled with more painting tips for happy-ending projects!

HGTV May 15 Cover

 Still need more? Check out these:

Painting Furniture? Tips for Using 5 Different Types of Paint
Painting Furniture Tutorials By Sincerely Sara D For Remodelaholic

5 Color of the Year Paint Trends

Remodelaholic 5 Color Of The Year Paint Trends For 2018jpg

The Most Popular Black Paint Colors

Most Popular Black Paint Colors For Walls, Doors, And Cabinets @Remodelaholic Crop

Best Painting Tips, Tricks, and Techniques - I wish I had known all of these before my last painting project

+ posts

Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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  1. If you want an even easier way to wash your rollers but dont have the time? Pull them off the handles and drop the rolls into a 5 gal bucket of water and cover with a lid. Let it sit over night or til you have time to rinse out the rollers. The heavier-than-water paint will drain to the bottom of the bucket. It will save you massive amounts of time trying to spray out the rollers or lots of money from buying new ones all the time. It makes clean up a breeze!

    1. That sounds too brilliantly easy to be true, Amanda! I’ll have to try it on our next painting job. Thanks for sharing!