Houzz TV: How to Paint a Wall Faster
Many books about painting will tell you to paint a small strip along the baseboards, doorways, trim and other edges of the room with a brush before breaking out the paint roller to paint the rest of the wall. But before you do this paintbrush work, called “cutting in,” consider paint expert Shauna Gallagher’s method: Roll paint on the wall and then use a paintbrush for the edge work. To learn more about this technique, watch as she paints the feature wall of a room.
Good basic video for wkd. Warriors !... the pro way is to roll OVER (slightly by 1/2-1") the feathered, cut lines so as to hide the difference in texture a brush makes from a roller...the average homeowner can't see the difference but it also allows for not touching freshly painted wall when done first -as most homeowners do! And pulling tape at a 45 can lift edge too much if applied thick...I suggest pulling straight down in line w the tape line. And always do twice! Even for "single coat" paints for best finish and depth of colour. Excellent teacher !
Right from the start there is a messy roller, it's going to drip every time you load, never mind using the brush to remove the excess. Use a paint pan, don't dunk in a bucket. As a faux painter for 20 years, this is definitely not the way to go. Cut in one wall at a time if you are working alone, then fill in painting in random directions not the up and down method shown. This will keep a "wet edge" and the paint will dry evenly. Never stop painting in the middle of a wall. It will dry and when you start again the overlapping area will show up darker or leave a line.
Love this video. Thank you!
Taping up sides with broad tape, painting the corners with a long handled angled brush or corner roller then rolling the wall, is faster IMO. No ladder to move arond and more.
Painting the corners first is often a good idea because they are the dirtiest and might need a few more hands than rest of the wall.
Corner roller is the fastest.
Also painting them second with a brush will leave a different paint texture on entire edge in the hands of non proffesional painters.
IMO exp. best to paint them first the roll the rest as close to the edge and a bit ower the masking tape, this way evens out the texture even in most corners.
Roling only down sounds good in theory but better to do it up and down starting from the middle of the wall and closest to the edge. Helps with optimal paint destribution.
Also a thin roller has less paint and you might have to re-dip it and start in the midle then redistribute paint anyway.
In the end no DIY work is fast, you often dont know the jobs quiks and you are learning as you go.
On top off that we dend to be a bit of to perfectionists whe we work for ourselves cause we know where every mistake is.
It may take less time to paint, but how much time was spent masking everything off? The only thing I ever mask are floors when I'm painting baseboards; otherwise, I cut in freehand in sections then roll before the cut in paint dries so there is no dilineation between the two.
May I ask what color blue she used? I love it! And than you for the awesome tips!!
After years of doing this, I have finally found that it is faster and easier for me to cut in along the ceiling line than it is to tape it. This is especially true when the surfaces vary in texture, or just evenness.
Great video and some useful tips... but how long did it take for her (or someone) to put up all that tape and paper border? If someone could show how to paint without all that prep work (as so many professionals do) that would be a real timesaver!
How was this "faster"??
Very helpful. Great technique. Would love to see how you tape that wall-ceiling line. Not so easy adjusting for uneven surfaces. Is there another clip to demo that one?
And taping off each adjacent wall is very time consuming. I doubt you saved much time overall. Whatever you saved in paint time...you more than lost in taping, removing the tape...then dealing with the touch-up involved where the tape messes up the edges, especially on a textured wall or ceiling.
The hardest part to teach a DIY'er about painting is that the prep work, when done properly, will usually take longer than the actual painting. And nothing shows as unprofessional as much as poor prep work.
Problem with this is you end up with more brush lines along the edge instead of maximizing the rolled texture.
I seem to have difficulty getting the seal with the tape so not to get leakage - any ideas?
I never tape edges- I prefer to use a good angle brush and a bit of patience!
"Cutting in" usually means painting alongside another surface without using tape. I have been interior painting for years and I can tell you that her "professional technique" is going to leave noticeable ridges of paint and variations of colour on the wall. Use a paint pan instead of a bucket if you don't want drips and splatter everywhere. Your first pass with the roller should be at least one roller width from the adjacent wall so the paint thickness can be easily evened out and cut in first so you can feather out the paint!
I almost never use tape, way too time consuming. Cut in first carefully with an angled brush, then roll.
Although her "professional" technique is not just what many professionals would use (eg. taping), she makes some excellent points and gives reasons. After 25 yrs in the business, I found some good ideas!
All three videos are very helpful! Thank you!
Brilliant tip about the clear film around the roller, and also the cutting in less work less to paint, changing my style from now on, cheers.
There is no way to tape a popcorn ceiling.
I have painted my whole house nearly twice in 7 years. I'm wondering what the pros recommend when painting the top line next to a popcorn ceiling. (And please, no funny comments about removing the popcorn--we're not interested in removing a whole house full of popcorn--I'm just looking for practical advice. Plus we pretty much dig the sparkle popcorn in our dining room anyway!)
This is awesome! I wish there was an image on the page that would allow me to pin it to one of my Pinterest boards.
I am all for hiring a pro.
I wish I watched this video before I painted. Just spent a few days painting my kitchen... then spent a few days cleaning up the edges.
angelkins7 you can use a flat tip screwdriver to scrape away about a 1/4 inch of the popcorn ceiling along the wall. It will hardly be noticeable once you repaint the ceiling. This will still require you to cut in the wall colour freehand but touch up with more ceiling paint is fairly easy.
In response to angelkins7,
I am a professional painter for over 15 years. "Don't use TAPE". Taping takes up to much time and is a waste of money. It isn't guaranteed to keep paint from getting under the tape and may dry before it is removed. Do you want to learn how to be a perfect taper or a better painter? There are occasions where you will need tape but not for cutting in corners. Removing the tape can be a problem and a bit messy because it should be removed before the paint has time to dry. Cutting in the edges of a wall top and bottom take a little practice and you will make mistakes along the way. That is why when you paint you need to have a small damp rag with you at all times to wipe up the mistake as they happen. Then apply the paint again do this until it looks right. When wiping up the mistake be sure to put the damp cloth over one finger and with a clean area make one pass so you don't make a mess. Don't be afraid to remove paint from where you are painting as you clean up the mistake.
Let's get to cutting in the wall. I like using a 3" angle brush for cutting in corners. I will cut and paint all the corners first painting about 4" away from the corner with a 3" brush using long strokes. The reason I make it about 4" wide is so the roller will overlap what I cut in. Keep in mind when rolling the paint horizontally on the top and bottom of the wall go over the cut in paint close to the edge to cover the brush areas. Most likely you will need to cut in a second time to cover any bleed through of the previous color.
When getting paint on the brush dip it only about 1/2" or less and swipe one side clean on the edge of the can. As you get better you can load more paint on the brush. The side of the brush with the paint should be facing the edge you are cutting in. Always start away from the corner touching the brush gently to the wall then gliding it close to the edge as the paint is applied to the wall. On your next pass take the brush back over the heavy paint and bring the tip of the brush almost touching the edge you are cutting in so not to get the ceiling, if necessary do a third pass. The trick is to not push on the brush but lightly touch it to the wall. Be sure to relax your arm and do long strokes. I have a trick I use to ensure a more perfect cut in job. Hold the hilt of the brush, kinda like you would a pen, with the back of your hand closer to the wall stretch out your pinkey so that it touches the wall to help steady the brush. Another tip is to never hold your breath when cutting in. This causes tension that will not allow you to relax. You should exhale slowly as you cut in corners. If you are not holding a paint can and are not on a ladder place your free hand behind your back to help you balance and keep your hand off the wall.
Have to agree with brian987. Painting is all about the prep work. I myself rarely ever paint without first scraping and then wiping down the wall to ensure the wall has a nice, smooth surface. Then I use a primer, as this ensures that anything that would prevent the paint adhering to the wall properly is removed and/or covered over. This will help to give the paint a more even, smooth finish and texture. Many people feel priming is a waste of time and money, however, I've found I get the results I want more often than not when I take the time to prep and prime the wall. This is what works best for me, however, whatever works for you.....go for it! Just curious, Amwax.......what exactly is in the "Flowtrol" you mentioned? Just wondering if this may be something worth trying. Thanks for any info you can give me. Happy painting, folks! :)
Wonderful videos & great suggestions in the comment section too.
General: I use a paint tray. Loading the roller from a bucket is messy and can cause splatter.
Prepwork: on finished floors using a dropsheet or cardboard is a no-brainer. Light sanding the wall, then use a troublelight and shine from bottom up. Repair all imperfections (It will blow you away how many spots you will need to fix. Repair. Resand. Re-check. Prime wall. Sand lightly.(180 grid paper)
Popcorn ceilings: use the blunt end of a 2" finish nail and go along the ceiling making a groove between the wall and the ceiling. It will allow you to get the paint into the groove without touching the popcorn ceiling. (nail the nail on top of a 2x2 - allows you to walk on the floor rather than using a step ladder)
On smooth ceilings I use a shorthair pad that has adjustable wheels. Set it to 1/8" and "cut in" at the ceiling by rolling the pad along horizontally, The side of the pad can be used to do the vertical corners.
A good lintfree quality roller( and a quality applicator that does not jam and is easy to clean) Wash any new roller and then take a broomstick and spin the roller on it by rapidly whipping it down the broomstick. It will spray but its only clean water. The roller will be nearly dry. Load the roller liberally then rolling it out "medium" on the paint tray. Do only one wall at a time. Start the loaded roller midway upwards. The painted section from the pad allows you to roll very close to the ceiling without touching it. Then down and up again. The next row should overlap by about 2". When you are finished with wall, roll out the roller until it is "dry", then go over the painted surface in a continious up/down motion to roll the paint even to eliminate all edges
PS: when you load the pad make sure you have paint only on the bristle part not on the tool itself. Start a little bit below the ceiling and slide the pad up against the ceiling until the wheels touch the ceiling. If you start with the wheels right away against the ceiling chances are you will push paint against the ceiling. Practise on a board to get the loading right - too much paint on the pad will mess up the ceiling. Too little you have to go over it again(it will look scratchy)
Buy good quality paint. I rather paint twice than using these one-coat paints
Flotrol is a product--a liquid that professional painters add to thick wall paints (e.g., Benjamin Moore) to enhance the paint's ability to self-level. This greatly reduces the brush marks otherwise fairly visible. I have a half-gallon of Flotrol, unopened, waiting for my next project. Bought it at my contractor's recommendation, from a Benjamin Moore store.
Simsala you have great advice. I've used a pad in my previous house with smooth ceilings and had to be very careful to NOT get paint on the roller. That's the worst. Now all my ceilings are popcorn, whoever thought that was a good idea? I use a smallish angled brush to cut in next to the ceiling. I find I don't get paint on the ceiling when painting, but do manage to touch the ceiling with the brush when reaching around, moving my feet on the leader or otherwise not paying attention.
Tape is unnecessary for a pro...a BIG waste of time. Any pro worth their salt can cut a line by hand with results just as good as they would taking the time to tape and slop, but only take half the time. For a DIY'r...tape can cause as much harm as good. I've seen many instances where a DIY'r did not firmly press the tape against the surface and ends up with a junk line, but if care is taken to make sure there is complete adhesion of the tape to the wall, a clean line can be achieved.
Regarding rolling first then cutting in....it is faster, but should only be done when using a flat (matte) finish where the different textures left by the brush and the roller will be insignificant. Definitely not the right way to go if using a satin finish...the difference in texture will be noticeable.
Last comment....for goodness sake, with either method, please DO NOT try to get as close as you can with the roller. That little bump of the roller on the ceiling that you are risking might result in having to paint the entire ceiling because undoubtedly, you will not have a white in the van (or your basement for the DIY'r) that matches the color of the ceiling. Even if it's the paint you used the last time you painted the ceiling, unless that was just last week, the length of time the paint has been on your ceiling and various environmental factors that have effected it will insure that the whites will not match.
Thanks all for the popcorn ceiling ideas. Clarification question: so if I use a screwdriver, paint can key, or nail on a board to create a groove between the wall and popcorn ceiling to prevent paint from getting on the ceiling, how wide and how deep of a groove are we talking? (One person said 1/4" screwdriver width. Do others agree on width, and more importantly, how deep a groove are we talking here?) Thanks again!
If you look at a 2" finish nail head you will see how"big" the groove is. All you need is to remove the pieces of popcorn from the ceiling/wall connection. And make sure you do not apply too much pressure so not to break the drywall tape. With the small groove you will be able to just "slide" the brush bristles into the groove. Dont overload the brush. Once you have the groove covered retract the brush and get a 2 1/2" paint band on the wall into which you can roll the rest of the wall paint. If you have painted more often you will know when to stop the roller before it would hit the ceiling. Not so professionals use a small 1" thick roller (about 5" wide) and paint the band with that rather than using a brush
I would say 1/4" width might be more than necessary and create a visible alteration to the ceiling. I would turn the screwdriver sideways (thinways) and do it that way. You don't need to go deep....you are just trying to create a groove that you can paint a straight line, so sometimes you might have barely any depth (where the popcorn recedes), and at other places (where the popcorn protrudes down) you may have to remove 1/4" or more. Note: "barely any depth" means, you still make a groove just a very shallow one...the minimum depth of the groove should be about 1/16th of an inch. Good Luck!
Jeez, so complicated...popcorn ceilings are generally not that deep! Just scrape away with the screwdriver until the surface is noticeably flat and you realize that your fear was for nothing. As long as the ceiling is freshly painted before you paint the walls it will look like it was designed that way. Also nobody ever looks up unless a seagull is about to poop on them.
photodivah Cut in and roll and then wait at least 4 hours and then cut in and roll again. The second time you cut in is a lot easier because you don't have to paint right up to the edge of the first cut. If you apply the second coat too soon there is a chance of "burning through" the first coat if it hasn't dried long enough.
I normally wait till it's touch dry before applying a second coat, I also do the cutting in at the same time. My finished job looks okay, good luck with your job.
I must say that most everything in the video is in direct contradiction to everything that I've spent three decades learning. A professional does not tape off, relying instead on a steady hand and hundreds, if not thousands of hours of practice. Every professional I know, myself included, can easily tell if a 'weekend warrior' has painted using the method in the video. When you cut in after you roll, you can see the cut all too easily. I personally usually cut in with a three inch angle sash brush, and while that size brush may be unwieldy for most, I can cut into very small areas, and don't buy that when you cut in first you are wasting time because you are painting too far from the corners. Advice that I would give to homeowners attempting to paint would be to buy quality tools (a $4.99 brush isn't going to cut it, no pun intended), quality paint, and to cultivate patience, and realize the finish coats (not coat) of paint is a very, very small part of the job. As in most endeavors in life, what one puts into a project will be reflected in the final product.
I kinda agree with you Mr Professional but I think this is offering tips to the weekend warrior, I do a little weekend work but I don't necessary agree with what is said in the video it does offer tips for people like me and I use your method of cutting in, Just saying
I think this forum is not to criticise the weekend warrior. Professionals are just offering their version and methods they are familiar with and has worked for them. Wether you use a screwdriver or a nail to make a groove in the ceiling; wether you paint from a bucket or tray - all is optional to the user and by trial and error everyone will find out what works best for them
I've was a painter for about 40 years,never used tape,& you cut in before you roll,1.if you roll your walls,than cut in you're could and banging into your fresh painted walls or 2. drip paint from your brush on to your fresh rolled wall .
@Fendy Lusianton it DOES have a Like button. Look under the video description, it was near the Comment button which you would have clicked in order to comment.
Does anyone leave 5-6" to cut in? Don't think so.
I'd never mask on to an adjoining wall. You're likely to pull that paint off too.
Roller all in one direction? Never. Always paint in all directions for walls.
I would see this as an alternative method of painting. However, not faster.
Daisy England I just have to ask: How do you clean the paint off of the rim of the can after you pour out paint and why is it that professional painters always roll vertically and not in all directions as you emphatically recommend?
Well, over the decades I've seen many a paint job. I have to say I've also done a few, and I am not a professional by any means. What I've found is: the one coat paint never looks that nice, prime first and then paint (even if you paint with the one coat stuff) otherwise the paint sucks into the drywall and looks uneven, and that I can NEVER tape well enough on walls to not have paint leak underneath. I will always use tape and contractor paper up against the baseboards. I have been known to use a 12" drywall(?) or putty (?) knife -- the metal thing that is 12" wide x 4" tall with a handle in the middle -- and place that against the crease of the walls or ceiling and use my angle brush to cut in. Definitely keep a small bucket of water and some paper towel so you can wipe off any accidents or wipe the blade. Once I get my technique going, I even skip the blade. I was taught to cut in first, roll in a "W" pattern from the middle up to the ceiling and then middle down to floor in a 3' strip on the wall and then move over for the next strip and overlap the strips.
Also, put the cat (or dog) in another room so they don't tip over the paint (don't ask me why I tell you this)!
Wrapping the roller in plastic to avoid the paint drying on the roller...I did not see that coming! Excellent tip!
Cutting in after rolling the wall leaves brushstrokes. Why would anyone want to see the brushstrokes? Cut in first, then roll as close as possible to the corners so brushstrokes are covered as much as possible. My last home was a custom build and the painters cut in last, leaving brushstrokes around every door, baseboard, etc. It irritated me to no end until we moved. Looks lazy.
The only time rolling first (which is a marginally quicker way IMO) is acceptable is when using a flat or matte finish. If you are using a coating with ANY sheen, even eggshell, it will leave noticeable brush marks which are tolerable on trim when spraying is not an option, but look terrible on a wall.
If you cut in after rolling, aren't the brushstrokes more visible?
Yes they are. Even when you cut in first, you should feather out the edges. When rolling after cutting in, do not start at the cut in edge, but in the center of wall and roll out paint then meet the edge with a less heavily loaded roller.
No I don't use tape, I go freehand all the way. I always get a good result. But it's important NOT to have too much coffee beforehand.........!
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I have had my painting business for over 27 years. One important tip to remember is to box or mix your paint gallons together before putting on walls and ceilings. Gallons of the same color can vary.
Weekend Warrior or not, the job's the same, so why not listen to what the pros are saying? Their tips will save you time and unnecessary hassle. For instance, something I don't see mentioned above: do all of you non-pros know how much easier, quicker, and more comfortable it is to paint with a long extension pole on the roller?!
Otherwise, my votes are as follows: cut in first, top-quality angled brush, breathe, take your time (and the comment about the extended pinkie is spot on too!). Tape is time-consuming and almost guaranteed to fail in several spots which will mean even more time fixing the damage. When it's roller time, apply paint in a 'w' (-ish) pattern just to get it roughly in the appropriate area, then work it more systematically up and down, overlapping to feather the edge. I'm a 60 year-old female but I've been the painter in our house for years (my dad and grandfather were professionals).
Paint pan definitely. Plastic bag when you need to pause the job, definitely. Top quality paint always. Oh, and it's Floetrol with an 'e' in there, BTW.
That was a really informative video; it will come in useful when I get started with painting the rooms I've been putting off for a while.
Thank you very much.