Paint With Confidence

Tips from the Pros

Paint like a professional with these helpful tips from experts in the field and put their years of experience to work for you.

Before you begin your project, compile a list of materials needed. Preparing ahead of time cuts down on lost time and helps to eliminate multiple trips to the store. See our materials checklist for a handy list of items that you might need for your project.

Purchase Premium Quality Tools

When purchasing paint applicators, always buy premium quality brushes and roller covers. They will perform much better than less expensive alternatives, providing you with maximum coverage and the smoothest, most elegant finish possible.

Use Plastic and Drop Cloths

Properly protecting your floor is a two-part process. First, lay out a heavy duty plastic to prevent paint from getting on your floor. Plastic alone can be slippery, so cover it with a canvas drop cloth to increase friction and absorb paint spills and splatters. A drop cloth will also reduce the amount of paint that is tracked around the room or to other parts of your house.

Painting with Bright Colors

Pure, deep colors such as bright red, yellow and orange can often be quite translucent in nature, making good, even coverage difficult to achieve. That’s why Martin-Senour Paints offers a series of five tinted primers designed to maximize coverage of bright colors. Ranging from white to dark gray, the best primer color has already been established for every bright color in our system. Ask your Martin-Senour Paints dealer about it. And don’t be afraid to paint with gray—it really works!

Taping Off Molding

  • When applying tape, run your fingernail or a putty knife along the taped edge so that it will firmly hold to the molding. Doing this will make sure that no paint will seep under the edge of the tape.
  • Once the tape is applied, attach plastic or newspaper to cover the exposed trim work that you do not want to paint. As an alternative to tape and plastic or newspaper you can also use pre-taped plastic or pre-taped kraft paper.
  • When painting along a taped edge use a drier brush edge which will allow for precise painting. Do not use an excessive amount of paint because it will seep under the tape.
  • When removing tape, timing is everything. Remove the tape immediately after painting to avoid pulling dried paint off the wall later.

Professional Surface Preparation

  1. Clean & Dry
    Always clean the surface you are painting so that the paint will adhere better, and allow to dry thoroughly. Dust the molding before taping with a clean paintbrush.
  2. Dull
    Paint adheres best to dull surfaces. If you are painting over a previous coat of glossy paint, sand it first to knock down the shine and give the new coat of paint something to grab on to.
  3. Sound
    A new coat of paint is only as good as the surface over which it is applied. Scrape off any loose paint that could potentially flake off (and take your new paint along with it!) Also, make sure to fill holes and cracks with spackling paste followed by light sanding to ensure the smoothest, most intact surface on which to paint.
  4. Sealed
    Coating bare, unpainted surfaces with the appropriate primer will seal those areas so that they will more readily accept paint and allow for the most durable and visually appealing finish. Skipping this step could lead to uneven surface coverage, shiny spots, and potential paint failure.

See our Surface Preparation page for additional information.