8 Secrets Only Professional Painters Know

Steal these genius tips from the experts to give your next painting project a flawless result.

Are you doing some interior painting but don't know how to reach tall ceilings? Or maybe you're wondering how long to leave painter's tape on? No doubt pro painters would rather you just leave the job to them. But we managed to pry some secrets out of our favorite paint experts. They told us how they handle both of these issues. Then they spilled even more tricks of the trade, so you can achieve a flawless paint joball on your own.

01 of 08

Use an Extension Pole

paint brush extender
Clare Paint

"Most people think they're only for reaching high places, but if you have a lot of wall surface to paint, an extension pole is a must. It will give you greater leverage so you don't have to keep bending down to load your roller, which reduces strain on your arms and back. With better leverage and less physical stress, you'll be able to paint faster and more efficiently."

— Nicole Gibbons, founder of Clare Paint

02 of 08

Protect Doorknobs

benjamin moore paint
"Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs, and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it isn't supposed to go." —Mike Mundwiller, Field Integration Manager at Benjamin Moore. John Bessler

"Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs, and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it isn't supposed to go."

—Mike Mundwiller, Field Integration Manager at Benjamin Moore

03 of 08

Choose the Right Brush

Paint brush tricks
Brian Bedenbaugh

"Investing in a good paintbrush is the first step towards a professional-looking finish. Plan to invest $20-$25 on your brush. As a homeowner, stick with synthetic or polyester brushes for exterior work and soft nylon for interior work. The smaller the brush, the more control, but selecting a brush that's too small would make a project take longer."

Thumbtack painter Brian Bedenbaugh

04 of 08

Don't Forget to Caulk

sherwin williams paint
Sherwin Williams

"Don't forget to caulk around the trim work, crown molding, windows, and door frames. This makes your trim and wall finishes stand out and look like a professional took their time in providing quality work. Plus, caulking could add the benefit of keeping unwanted cold air/draft from sneaking into the room."

—Rick Watson, director of product information at Sherwin-Williams

05 of 08

Use a Box Cutter to Remove Painter's Tape

box cutter paint

"Latex paint can have an almost elastic-like "stretch" before it fully cures, so when you remove the painter's tape that was protecting your floor or door trim, be careful not to pull the paint off with the tape and ruin your perfect finish. Simply use a retractable utility blade or box cutter to score the place where the tape meets the wall so you get a clean edge when you pull off the tape."

—Anne Treutel, Sr. Product Manager at Valspar

06 of 08

Put Your Roller in the Fridge

ace hardware paint
Ace Hardware

"If you're taking a break from painting for the night but plan to add another coat in the morning, prevent your brush and roller from drying out by wrapping them tightly with a plastic shopping bag, using a rubber band to secure them, and placing them in the fridge (not the freezer). In the morning, take it out of the fridge and get to painting!"

—Lou Manfredini, Home Expert at Ace Hardware

07 of 08

Use the "W" Method

behr paint trick

"Many pros swear by the 'W method.' When painting a room, roll your paint onto the wall in a W shape, then fill in around and inside the W to create a square and repeat until the wall is covered. Each "W" should be about an arm's length, with 12-inch strokes or longer, to evenly distribute the paint for a beautiful, professional-quality finish. Don't forget to reload your roller before starting the next W section."

— Jessica Barr, Behr National Sales & Development Trainer

08 of 08

Keep a Wet Rag in Your Back Pocket

PPG paint trick

"When paint hits your trim, grab your closest wet rag. Wiping the unwanted paint with a wet rag will help remove paint better than a dry cloth or paper towel. (Extra pro tip: Use a razor blade to remove unwanted paint from windows)."

Jenny Burroughs, PPG senior product marketing manager

RELATED: How to Clean Paint Brushes and Rollers, the Easy Way

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