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The Ultimate Guide to Painting your Home

Updated on March 6, 2013

So you want to be a Painter?

No? You don't!? you just want to learn how to paint your own house? I you want some tips from a pro then?


You want to know everything!? Well ok! you drive a hard bargain...

Here goes nothing!

Before You Start

Ask yourself the following questions

1. What do you want to accomplish? Make a list of everything you want to get done ( eg. I want to paint all the rooms on the main floor, including the ceilings, trim and doors.)

2. Do you like do it yourself projects?

3. Are you okay with the project taking at least 2 times as long as hiring a professional?

4. Are you willing to invest the time to learn the appropriate preparation, painting methods, materials required, etc...?

5. Do you have the time to take on this project right now?

6. Does your spouse think this is a good idea? (Most important)

7. Are you ready to have some fun!?

Then Let’s get Started!

Arm yourself with the right tools for the battle ahead! - Amazon is a convenient (and cost effective way) to buy those tools

What you'll need:

At least 2 Quality Paint Brushes:

Our team of Toronto Painters use Purdy 3" Pro-Extra Glide

Paint Rollers:

We like Purdy White dove roller covers. You will need one for each different kind of paint ( If you are really trying to cut costs you can wash them using a 2 in 1 paint brush and roller cleaning tool. Be warned though, it takes a long time...)

Drop sheets: Buy quality canvas drop sheets. (Plastic drop sheets don't absorb spills and you end up stepping in them and transferring them to the areas you are trying to protect)

Paint Trays: We use Richard high capacity trays (Buy the disposable liners to make clean up a breeze)

Hand held Pail: There are many on the market...but for us there is only one option : The Handy Pail ( Once again, buy the disposable liners to make clean up a breeze)

Use an extension pole to roll out the walls and ceiling ( your arms will thank you and you will do a better job in less time): We like using Purdy 2-4 and 4-8 foot extension poles for interior work.

You will need a good ladder: The lighter the better: For lower ceiling heights we like to use a 3 step ladder for added mobility and speed. For higher ceiling heights you will need to use an appropriate height extension ladder.

Taping and putty knives: You will need a few different sizes (depending on the extent of patching you will be doing) We recommend having a 2" 4" 6" and 12" knife in your arsenal (Marshalltown and Richard are excellent choices)

Sand paper, sanding blocks: Norton Makes some great sanding blocks that come in different grits. (They come in coarse, medium and fine) Pick up one of each.

Patching compound: We like to use a quick drying compound like Drydex (goes on pink, turns white when its ready to sand)

Drywall tape: For patching larger holes (In this case you will also need a drill, saw, wood and screws)

A good quality Primer: One of the best that we use is STIX Bonding Primer

Other tools you might want:

Mini rollers

Foam rollers

Caulking gun

Shop vac

Vacuum sanding attachment

Pole sander

Screen sander

Spray equipment

Faux finish brushes and tools

Etc,etc,etc, the list goes on

Purdy 144152730 Pro-Extra Series Glide Angular Paint Brush, 3 inch
Purdy 144152730 Pro-Extra Series Glide Angular Paint Brush, 3 inch

Our Team Likes to use The Purdy 3 inch Pro-Extra Glide.

HANDy 2500-CT HANDy Paint Pail
HANDy 2500-CT HANDy Paint Pail

The Handy Pail is just that! Handy! It fits snuggly on your hand and cuts the time it takes to cut in.


Paint any room in just 10 easy steps - We think they're easy...

So after much deliberation and consultation with the spouse (of course) you have decided to paint the kitchen first. No, the Living room!

Ok, now that that's decided just follow these simple steps:

1. Decide on a paint colour. (The hardest step for many) We recommend visiting for some inspiration. It is a truly amazing website.

2. Buy all your paint and materials

3. If you can, move everything out of the room. If you can't, then move everything into the center of the room and cover with drop cloths.

4. When all the furniture and floors are covered you may begin your prep work:

a) Remove all switch plates, wall coverings and window curtains.

b) Remove any nails and screws you no longer want and Indent the hole to be filled with the back of a screwdriver or drywall hammer. (The indented hole will hold joint compound better)

c) Using your putty knives apply a thin coat of mud to each hole. (Let dry)

d) When compound is dry, sand smooth with a sanding block and apply another coat of compound, fanning it out to cover a bit more surface area than the previous coat.

e) Sand and repeat as necessary until your wall is perfectly smooth.

5. When all your holes are patched it's time to prime. All patched areas must always be primed. (Primer seals the newly patched surface) Skipping this step will make the patch stand out like a sore thumb!

a) Pour primer into your paint tray, using a 3/8" nap roller, roll out the patches ( not too think that you leave streaks.)

b) Let dry and repeat once more.

6. now that everything is patched and primed it's time to paint. (We always begin with the ceiling)

a) Pour some ceiling paint into your pail and set up your ladder in the corner that you want to start in.

b) Start cutting a line around the perimeter of the ceiling with your new 3 inch Purdy brush. (you don't have to be too worried about getting the ceiling colour on the walls because we will be painting them after. Just make sure that you don't leave thick paint streaks. Those will show when the paint dries.

c) Once you have gone all the way around, it's time to roll out the ceiling. Using your 3/8" roller sleeves, roller, and extension pole; Start on one side and systematically roll across the room, slightly overlapping each pass over the previous one. (We recommend wearing goggles and keeping your mouth closed for this step, because contrary to popular belief paint does not taste like chicken...seriously!)

d) Now That your first coat is dry, repeat steps b) and c).

7. Ok ceilings are looking nice! Now it's time to paint the trim! What? your arms are sore? Nobody said ceilings aren't an excellent upper body workout!

a) Now fill up your Handy pail with your trim paint, we're on to painting baseboards. This is where things get a little bit trickier. We Freehand this next step, but that level of brush control takes years to master. If you have hardwood floors we recommend taping off the floor so that you don't get paint on them. If you have carpet you can use a metal brush guide.

b) Dip your brush and apply paint to your baseboards, smooth out the paint so that there are no drips and streaks. You don't have to be too careful about getting paint on the walls because they are getting painted next. Like the ceilings though be careful to brush smooth any pain that does get on the wall so that streaks don't appear when it dries.

c) Paint your door jambs, door window casing in the same fashion. Also if you have any other decorative trim work such as crown moulding or wainscoting now is the time to paint that too.

d) repeat steps a) through c)

8. Ok now it's time for the main attraction! What? You want to call BP Paint and Reno to finish the job? Why don't you finish this one yourself! You should always finish what you start!

a) Just as we did before, shake up your paint and pour some in your pail. This step is where a true painter shows his might. You must now cut in the perimeter of the room. That is, outline the edges so that you can later fill them in with the roller (This is the harder Part)

b) use tape to mask off the trim and the ceiling (after you have let the paint dry completely)

c) Brush on a smooth even coat making sure not to leave any drips and streaks and not to get any paint on un-taped areas.

d) Once the first coat is cut, roll all the walls once, making sure to overlap the cutline, but to not get any paint on the freshly painted ceiling or trim.

e) Once the complete first coat is dry. You may proceed to cut and roll another coat.

f) 2 full coats are often enough. Should you be applying a stunborn colour though ( such as RED) you could be at it for a few more coats. Repeat as necessary!

9. You can now clean up, put back the switch plates, curtains and pictures and move back your furniture.

10. Last but not least, give yourself a big pat on the back and pass out on the couch, you deserve it after all!

What are the best Interior paints? - We use Sherwin Williams paints, theses are our favourites!

There are tons of paints to choose from out there, but not all of them are made the same. Our Mississauga Painters most often use a select few paints that we trust to do the job right every time: Here is a list of some of our favourites:

For Walls: Pro Mar 200 zero VOC - Great quality paint with Zero Volatile Organic Compounds

For Trim and doors: Pro Classic - Hands down the best trim and door paint available. Self leveling, beautiful smooth finish

For Ceilings: Promar 400 - Great paint, good value and excellent coverage

Exterior: A100 - Excellent durability and great coverage that stands up well to the elements


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