Paint Like a Pro: 20 Game-Changing Tips

paint like a proAny professional will tell you that painting a house is easy…that is if you know what you’re doing.

However, if you’re new to the whole idea of home renovation like most people, there are a few things you need to know.

Looking to take your home renovation game to new heights?

Follow these simple tips:

1. Plan Ahead

This may go without saying, but many forget that preparation is key to getting a paint job done right.

Choose which sections of your interior to paint, familiarize yourself with the different materials and textures you’ll be dealing with, and purchase all your materials ahead of time.

Finally, make sure you develop a schedule that factors in meals and breaks–you should expect to spend a few days working, so think ahead.

Plan Ahead


2. Give Your Interiors A Thorough Inspection

Before you begin, make sure that your walls are clear of any areas where the paint you’ll be covering are peeling or flaking (scrape or sand them, then rinse for good measure).

The same rule holds for slick or greasy portions of your wall, which you’ll need to wash and dry before you can start.

3. Choose Your Colors Carefully

We’ve encountered numerous horror stories about people who took all the pains to paint over their interiors only to regret their choice of color.

Take all the time you need to narrow down your options to the perfect shade –use a color wheel, go through all the swatches your store has in stock, and spend only when you’re dead set on a color.

4. Don’t Cut Costs

Brushes and rollers of poor quality can end up costing you more than if you’d invested in reliable materials.

You lose out in terms of coverage when you scrimp on your painting tools, and the extra few dollars you’ll spend on painter’s tape protect you from messes you’d have to pay to fix anyway.

5. Paint When the Weather’s Dry

Dry weather is optimal for painting your home since humidity slows the drying process and leads to all sorts of messy business like unsightly dripping.

If you aren’t left with any choice in the matter, be sure to take your time and use the opportunity to fix any mistakes you might have made before proceeding to the next coat of paint.

6. Get Your Nap Right

The rougher or more textured your surfaces are, the thicker your nap covers will have to be in order for your work to be thorough.

Likewise, smooth walls need thinner nap covers –if you aren’t sure of the difference, we suggest asking your local hardware store or more experienced friends.

7. Ditch the Furniture

For best results, empty whatever room you plan to paint before you get the job started.

The usual strategy of moving everything to the center of your floor is a cop-out, and odds are you’ll find yourself wasting time reorganizing or dodging your furniture when you should be painting your ceiling at an even pace.

empty room ready for paint

8. Cover Up!

As great as you might be at handling your brushes and rollers, it never hurts to protect your fixtures and belongings from stray drops of paint. Scrounge up some cloth that you won’t mind getting paint on, as well as plastic sheets, bags, or covers and keep your doorknobs and window frames pristine.

Don’t forget to either cover up or set aside the casings on your light switches and sockets too!

9. Primer is Your Friend

Smooth surfaces that have been painted within the last eight years will be fine with a paint-and-primer mixture.

In most other cases, you’ll need to take the effort to apply a coat of primer before your paint. Ask your local hardware store for their recommendations when choosing primer for difficult (i.e. slick or glossy) surfaces.

confused painter

10. Ensure Color Consistency by Boxing Your Paint

When you leave to buy your paint, work with your local hardware store to get the closest estimate of how much you’ll be using over the course of your project.

Once you have the amount you need, “box” them together by mixing them into a single, large container–this eliminates any chance of inconsistencies in shade or tone that may have come from errors in the manufacturing process.

11. Start with the Trim before Moving on to Your Walls

It’s a lot simpler to apply painter’s tape to interior trim than it is to apply them on your walls and more cost-effective than taping over both.

When painting your trim, also take note that you don’t have to work with full precision, since it’s easy enough to paint over any residue that finds its way onto your walls.

12. Ease Up on Your Roller

If you’ve chosen quality materials, you won’t need to strain to get the paint from your roller to your target surfaces.

Allow the roller to do the hard work, and your paint should practically flow onto your walls and ceilings.

paint rollers

13. Avoid Ugly Streaks by Rolling the Height of Your Wall

Uneven stripes and streaks occur when you paint over a surface that’s already partially dried, and they’re a major eyesore once the job is done.

To avoid this kind of unsightly overlapping, roll paint along the entire height of your wall, inching slightly towards your unfinished sections with each pass.

14. Keep Your Roller Loaded

Another tip to avoid overlapping is to give your roller a dip every few passes –you want to make sure that it’s at least half-loaded at all times.

When a roller runs dry halfway through a pass, the thin layer that forms as it tapers out dries quickly, resulting in a higher chance of your paint forming unwanted layers.

15. Work Down to the Floor

Use a brush to work the edges of your ceiling, then work your way from top to bottom using your roller.

This makes the job of covering up drips and splatter effortless, since you’ll be refining the areas they’re most likely to affect as you carry on with your work.

old paint rollers

16. Even out Your Textures by Rolling Paint along Your Edges

It’s true that edges like the ones near your door frames or along the corners of your walls are best painted using a brush.

But any pro will tell you that using only a brush leaves your final output with a noticeably different color or texture–keep your surfaces uniform by painting over your edges with a brush first, then rolling onto them immediately for good measure.

17. Learn to Move On

When working ceiling-to-floor, the higher portions of your surface will naturally dry faster than the lower ones.

When this happens, leave it be. Returning for another once-over can ruin your effort by leaving marks and streaks on the final product.

18. Use Water-Based Paint for Wallpaper

Believe it or not, you don’t need to strip your wallpaper before you can paint your walls.

All you need is to apply an oil-based primer, then paint over the surface as you normally would; make sure to go for oil-based, as water-based primers can cause your surfaces to peel and warp.

19. Cut Your Painter’s Tape after Your Surfaces Have Dried

Straight lines and symmetry are the marks of an expert job.

Get the same results for your home’s edges by waiting for the paint to dry fully, before using a boxcutter or utility knife to help you remove the tape you’ve set up.

20. Clean Up

Effective painting doesn’t end when your surfaces are all covered up.

Don’t let any of the money you poured into buying tools and paint go to waste. Clean your brushes after use, and store all your tools and leftover paint for future use. Quality materials can and should last you a while.

cleaning room

Best Way to Clean Carpet Without Vacuum

vacuum cleaner and carpet

Almost everyone I know owns a vacuum cleaner. It’s because they have a home that is carpeted all over and even if carpet flooring is not anymore the ‘in’ thing today in household interior design (in my humble opinion, I just want tiled flooring better), my mom is a fan of it since I was a toddler.

Back then, she didn’t have a vacuum cleaner but now, she has one on each floor – one for her basement, one for the ground floor and the last one is for the upper floor. She even has that robot thing that roams around the house and checks the carpet if it is dirty. Yes, it is the digital age right.

Vacuum cleaners are bulky and noisy. Most of these machines are not storage-friendly meaning it is so difficult to hide. You must have a machine room to hide all your cleaning tools at home (because I don’t). But if there is one thing I can say about a vacuum cleaner is that it can be a very efficient cleaner. If you buy the expensive ones, there would be no dirt, no stain and no dust ever in your home.

For those who don’t have the budget for a top of the line vacuum cleaner, they are forced to do the cleaning manually. Hey, it’s an adventure to do and it can be a weekend project for you and your spouse, kids or friends. It can be fun!

So, I had to ask her, my mother, the superwoman in the family – Mom, how did you clean your carpets back then when you didn’t own a vacuum cleaner?

She smiled at me and motioned me to sit down on the chair while she opened the freezer and took out a pitcher of lemon iced tea. She also grabbed two glasses as she sat in front of me. She said, “My child, you are in for a treat.” My mom told me of several ways on how to clean carpet without vacuum.

Getting down and dirty!

1- Pick up the dirt.

dirty carpet

What do you do when there is not vacuum cleaner or indoor broom? Well, the only thing you can do is pick up the mess! You need to pick up the dirt on your carpet.

I am not saying that you have to pick up the microscopic dirt on your carpet, no. The large pieces that you can easily get rid of when cleaning the carpet – that’s what I am talking about. Crumpled paper, candy wrappers, plastic seals from jars, and everything else that your big eyes can see; you have to bend down, get on your knees and pick it up.

Even if you have a vacuum cleaner, the big pieces of trash within your home needs to be eliminated first before you run the machine, right? Bring a small trash bag with you and literally sweep the carpet flooring of dirt. Don’t be afraid to bend down and look under the chair and tables especially the cabinets. Trash is lurking under it.

If you noticed, after doing that, your carpet will look at least 30% cleaner.

2- Give it a shake.

Now, some people have rugs on top of their carpet. Don’t ask me why they do it but they just do. It may seem redundant, yes, and I can’t explain why people like it that way. To each, his own, I guess and it’s ok.

Now, if you have rugs within your carpeted home, you can always give it a “shake”. Don’t ever attempt to clean your rug inside the home especially when it’s on top of your carpet. Roll it from end to end and bring the rug outside. Once you have it out on your lawn or the driveway, start shaking it. The dirt will expel itself from the rug like magic.

But first, before doing so, you have to wear a mask. This will protect you from inhaling the dust from the rugs. There is also a big chance that the dirt from the rug will be blown back to your house.  Keep your distance while cleaning the rugs if you don’t want that to happen.

You can also do this for removable carpets too.

3- Use packaging tape for difficult to pick up dirt.


A roll of tape can be your best buddy if you have a carpeted home. Why? Well, the things that you cannot pick up while cleaning your carpets (or rugs) can be stripped off by the packing tape. It is a Godsend and my mom swears by it!

It doesn’t cost much at all and everything will be gone in a snap – cat hair, dog hair, your hair, dirt, dust, and everything else! Prepare at least one roll of tape per room for your carpet cleaning. It doesn’t even cost a dollar; it’s so cheap!

When the tape loses its sticking ability, you’ll know that it has served its purpose. Get another strip and start pressing the carpet again.

How to make this fun? Clean the carpet using the packing tape in sections. And while you’re cleaning, use house clothes and kick off your shoes. Expect to get dirty when you’re done, ok?

4- A small brush can do wonders for your stained carpet.

carpet sweeper

And so it cannot be prevented at all times. There will be a situation wherein your carpet will get stained. Your son may spill his drink or your husband, the clumsy clown that he is (cute clown, anyway), drops a bowl of chili con carne on your carpet. Oh, men! Don’t fret. It can be fixed.

Go to a home goods store and look for carpet brushes or carpet sweepers. Buy brushes that have short and firm bristles. This will work for carpets that have short fibers too. If the carpet fibers are longer, you can use the regular brush and clean the stain like how you would brush your hair. It would work even better if you use a stain eraser together with the brush.

Some people use steel-teeth brushes. Just be careful with it as it can damage fine carpets. There are also long-end brushes (more like a broom for carpets) and if you use that, you don’t need to bend down while cleaning it.

When stains attack!

Certain stains require a specific way of cleaning it. Here are some ideas on how to clean carpet by using various cleaning solutions.

  • Do not rub stains that tend to blot.
  • If all other things fail, use scissors and trim the stained part.
  • For bodily fluid stains like blood or urine, hydrogen peroxide is the best stain remover for that.
  • Commercialized stain removers or stain erasers are perfect when it comes to food stains. Just make sure that your carpet is compatible with the cleaning solution that you are going to use so as not to damage the carpet.
  • If you spilled beer or wine on your carpeted flooring, get a rag and pour some club soda on it. Use this to remove the stain.
  • Sometimes, sticky stuff like bubble gum or other light adhesive stick on the carpet. The best way to take it off is by using a plastic but jagged knife. Be gentle while you do it, though.
  • In some miracle your carpet is stained by grease or something similar to that, the only cleaning solution that can take it out is a dish detergent for grease stains. Put the solution inside a spray bottle and pump some on the affected area. After that, you can rub it until the stain is gone.

Dry clean for detachable carpet works!

Yes, you can easily dry clean your carpet without problems. It cannot be denied that carpet flooring will get stinky and if it is detachable or removable, there is a waterless for you to take the funny smell off but to dry clean it. (Removable carpet can be washed with specific and detailed instructions. Just so you know. This will be discussed next.)

Anyway, first you have to put baking soda, flour or cornstarch on your carpet. Which powder is better? In my opinion, the best powder that can relieve smell is baking soda but for my mom, she loves using cornstarch. It really depends upon the choice of the person using it.

Next, leave the powder on your carpet for at least 30 minutes. It would be best to let it sit for 60 minutes, though. When done, bring the carpet outside since it is detachable. Beat it up to release the powder, the dust and dirt. You’d be surprised on how clean and stink-free your carpet is.

Wash your carpets!

If you don’t feel satisfied with dry cleaning your carpet, then, do it the old fashioned (and most difficult) way – wash it! This is recommended for carpets that can be removed only. If your carpet is not detachable, don’t wash the entire carpet floor inside your home or you will regret it.

As for how it can be washed, different types of carpet fibers require specific washing requirements. Check your detachable carpet for instructions before washing it. Also, you can always put vinegar to make it bacteria-free while cleaning.

There are many ways to clean your carpet even without using a vacuum cleaner. It may require more effort on your part but that’s how it is. It can be an enjoyable home activity, too. Good luck on your carpet!