Houzz TV: How to Paint a Wall Like a Pro

Houzz TV: How to Paint a Wall Like a Pro

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Houzz TV: How to Paint a Wall Like a Pro

It takes more than paint to successfully change the color of a wall. Paint expert and decorative artist Shauna Gallagher shows us the tools she uses on the job and shares her tips on how to use each one. Watch as she walks us through her tools and gets ready to paint. You can apply her advice to your next painting project.

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Rose Bianco

I've never seen that grate-like thing to put inside the 5 gallon bucket. this was really helpful.

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anna463

Thank you for this video.. these are great tips!.. especially the tape gun!! that is the best thing ever! besides the extension bar.. =)

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Sanj Gunetileke

Great video! I have walls with wood trim on the top and baseboards on the bottom. What is the order in which I should paint these. Wall first and then baseboards or the other way around?

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skmom
I love the suggestion to use a chip brush to clean up the edge of the can! Thank you! I've done a lot of painting myself, wish I'd known all of these tips long ago as they would've saved a lot of frustration.
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Toni Smith

Thanks. A simple and effective video that has provided the basics. Just what I need!

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Sheila Schmitz

I love that tape gun too! Just the tape is not enough when painting around the ceiling and baseboard.

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Jane M Hart
Painting tips.
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thewrightplace

I'm a newbie at painting. Great tips - thank you! Is there a Part 2 on how to properly apply the paint? Please!

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Sauve

Great video. It's short and concise. I'm getting ready to paint the interior one wall at a time. I already have all these tools because I was the detail painter Dallas for a professional painters company way back when. I'm going to hire a professional for the ceilings though. I want the great room to have a glossy mirror like finish. I'm sure I cannot manage that so time to call in the professionals.

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normpo

If you want to make your left over paint last for retouches, when your done painting, store the can UPSIDE DOWN. It will keep that skin from developing on the top of the paint. I've opened cans that were 10 years old and the paint was fine. I don't smoke so the paint on the walls usually stays clean and you can use your old paint to cover up any marks or chips that happen.

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Tom S
Great video; live the tape dispenser!
   
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From Our Hideaway

This is the most helpful painting instruction I have ever seen!

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Mike R.

I always "cut in" (paint the edges) first before painting a wall with a roller because it all blends in better when you finish with a roller.

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PRO
JC Interiors
Not bad, but having been a pro painter/designer since 2002 I would suggest the following:
1) Simply using the 1.44" tape is adequate to avoid spatters on baseboards & woodwork. It's less expensive & the attached paper is unnecessary.
2) You always cut 1st then roll. You want to create the most consistent texture possible. Cutting after rolling can create an outlined or halo effect that will flash out with higher sheened paints.
3) Taping off a ceiling is next to impossible. You have to hand cut it.
4) A 5-in-1 is one of the most important tool a painter can have. Pressing your tape down with this ensures a good crisp cut. It can be used to open cans, scrape walls & more.
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Pat Seigel
You didn't mention anything about cleaning the walls.
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PRO
JC Interiors
5) A Handy Paint Pail is another essential tool for cutting. It has a comfort grip handle to avoid hand fatigue, a magnet to hold your brush and disposable liners for easy clean up.
6) Patches always need to be sanded.
7) The shinier the paint, the more imperfections will show therefore I always use satin for woodwork and flat or matte on the walls. It looks classy and hides imperfections.
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PRO
JC Interiors
Ok one last thing, maybe two...always tape off your roller cover to avoid getting roller fuzz on the walls. Take a long piece of tape, step on one end and with the roller cover on the frame simply roll it up and down. Pay special attention to the ends...they usually have a lot of fuzz. Before painting I always pole sand the walls to eliminate prior roller fuzz and create a nice, smooth surface.
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gersongroup

This was PERFECT! spoken in terms I totally get and I am ready to tackle the project now!

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Nina Pearlmutter

When closing up the paint can after painting, I always put on a damp paper towel sheet that covers the can cover. This keeps splattering paint from the rim off you and the surrounding area when you hammer the cover on.

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tracey3042

Excellent tips that were all supported with logical explanations. Thank you.

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PRO
DKKrupa & Associates, LLC

Here's a tip: After spackling small holes, instead of just using a small piece of sandpaper to sand any irregularities, use a fine grit sanding sponge. That will ensure you're using even pressure.

In addition, I use a flashlight. "A flashlight?," you ask. Position the flashlight so the beam shines along the wall surface. Any irregularities or bumps will immediately show up so you can easily sand them out.

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ANN MCDERMOTT

WOW I LIKE THE TAPE GUN. BEST INVENTION I HAVE COME ACCROSS IN A LONG TIME. I HAVE SO MUCH MOULDING AND TRIM. THIS WILL BE A NEW MUST HAVE FOR ME. THANKS !!!!!!!!

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TAG

The recommendation to spend the money on the best roller frame and handle is spot on -- most newbies don't put enough paint on the roller. Push too hard and the cheap frames flex = uneven application with lines. Buy the best stuff ...once -- you will never need to purchase again. I don't need to use tape -- with a good brush (necessity) and some practice it's easy to cut in .. doing it free hand also allows for slight variation that naturally occur in all corners. I actually find tape to be more difficult. The tape/ paper guns are great -- many place that need to be protected. I use them to make a band around the room -- protecting the floors at the baseboard intersection. I would also recommend buying a good canvas drop cloth -- they make them 4' wide and room size long -- for doing one wall. They last forever, easily washed and lay flat -- the paper or plastic ones are always moving. Using the combination of the band from the tape gun and good drop cloth = no clean up on carpet or wood floors. Get a box of the painters plastic -- cover everything in the room -- you will splatter. I buy good rollers and throw them out -- trying to clean them for another project never works. If you can't finish the project that day -- wet the roller, place in a tight plastic bag and place in the refrigerator -- same with the brush ... they will stay fresh and be ready to go .. even from weekend to weekend. Paint is easy -- and I enjoy it ... get a few good tools and your project will be easier with better results .... most people don't buy good tools. I newbie can't achieve professional results with cheap tools.

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KelAnne Arasim
Have painted my own homes for years--and agree, this is very helpful to newbies and those with limited paint experience. Nice job! Have used all but that ladder is still helpful even with pole extension, because height leads to needing a little more leverage as your arm extends---so even a step ladder helps to control your arm pressure when applying the wall paint with an extender roller. And I'm not that short! (5'7") but I'm a woman and today's newer ceiling heights really make for challenges. Just make sure your ladder is tall enough for you not to be on the top steps AND is stable without someone else having to hold. Nothing makes you happier than fresh paint to change a room AND it finished.
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Robin Gladstein
Proper prep is the most important - and most time consuming - part of painting. But it's SO worth it! And the order I paint is: wood trim (crown molding, baseboards, door trim, etc), ceiling, then walls. Sometimes I cut in first, then roll in the paint. Other times, I cut in last . . . and FYI, I'm a DIY-er , NOT a pro, so the pros may have different opinions!
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Sydney Boll

Great video!! Many helpful tips. Good info too about the different colors of tape and their usage. I never realized that the different colors were for different purposes! Another tip I learned from my nephew, (who is a professional painter): Use a drill to drill holes around the inside top edge of the paint can (where paint collects and makes it difficult to close/open the lid). This enables any paint that collects in this area to drip out through the holes and back into the paint can. You still want to wipe off that area with a brush or rag when completely finished painting, only so there is little/no paint there, as ANY paint in this area will make it difficult to open the lid when used again. (Using a mallet to ensure the lid is closed tightly is an excellent tip as well!) It's well worth your time to drill these holes in the top, as this helps tremendously in decreasing the amount of paint collected and clogged up in this area if the holes aren't there. I myself have often wondered why paint companies don't just automatically put these holes in the lid. I know I'd be more apt to purchase a can of paint that already had these holes. I think it would be a huge plus for paint companies to sell even more paint! Guess we'll have to start a campaign for that, huh?! :) Good luck with your painting, everyone! :)

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Marianne Clelland
Awesome, helpful, thorough video. Thanks!
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Lynn G

...and one on painting cabinets too please...!

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acjlwkm

Great information delivered in a no nonsense way. Thanks.

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bkharman

One comment to contradict the "use a rubber mallet to close the lid"... If you have any paint on the lip of the lid or on the rim of the can/bucket, this is a bad idea as all of that paint will end up on the floor, your clothes and anything else in a 4 foot radius! Instead, either clean up all and then proceed, or stand on the lid or apply constant pressure to close it up. Don't ask me how I learned this trick (many moons ago!!)


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darcydawn
Excellent presentation. Feel like becoming a weekend warrior
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madhub140

That was EXCELLENT! She is definitely a pro and an articulate teacher. Thanks for that video.

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casa_de_malcuth

I've used the green tape and to me it's no different to me then the blue tape. I line my pans too. I say invest in a paint stick, it really saves time.

   
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Veronique Le Kim

thank you for the great advice. I will certainly apply some of these.

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Big Irishlady

I'd like to see how to pull the tape off the wall so that the paint doesn't come up. I like this video.

   
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sonyakwi

One extra tip: before closing up the paint can I put a small amount of paint into a small jar for easy access when I just need a little touch-up. This along with a little mini roller and small paint brush. Great for small nicks or nail holes.

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kelleeann1

Very helpful! Thank you!


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alexansj

I would love to know WHAT I need to use on a very DARK BURGANDY WALL that I am wanting to re-paint to a very light 'white'. I don't want to have to do 3 coats to cover. Is there a 'magic' way of doing this?

   
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Maher778
this is for beginners... more videos are needed for professionals, for eg. to make a smooth wall having halls...
   
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elaineliu
Learned a bunch of new stuff. Thanks for sharing!
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shawnstu

My understanding is that a coat of shellac will stop bleed-through. Also, that "red" will eventually bleed through even 10 coats of white without some preventive undercoating.

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tsudhonimh

alexansj - Ask for a "high-hide white" primer and apply it carefully for the base coat.

When you paint, don't try to make one roller-ful cover more than 2 or 3 square feet. The most common cause of poor coverage is simple - people spread it too thin.

And don't look back, see some show-through and try to re-work that spot. Paint goes through an awkward semi-transparent stage as it is drying. Just keep going and examine the wall when it's completely dry.

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taithomas
Loved this video! I never knew that there were such variety of painters tapes . I'd just go any buy anyone. Now I know!
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Lindsey C
I thought I knew what I was doing, but I'm obviously not a professional. Thanks for sharing these tips! I want the bucket grate and tape gun.
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Rod Ramirez

Would love to see more videos like this. Shauna really knows her stuff, and she's obviously just scratching the surface of her skills and knowledge.

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alexansj

Thank you for your advice. The LAST THING I want to do is 10 coats..........but that is my biggest dread. Someone had suggested Kilz???? Or is there a better product out there?

   
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Lori Fleener

great usable tips thx:)

   
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Trillium

If you have a corner where the wall and the ceiling connect and there is a crack, use caulk to fill in the crack before you paint. This advise came from someone I met who owned her own painting company. I do think there are so many tricks to painting and have to agree with a previous poster that the tips here are very basic.

   
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donaldstagaard

40 years ago, I painted my way through High school and College. I learned from union painters. We never used tape. The truth is, that in all the time you take to apply tape, you can cut to ceiling, baseboard and around casements with just a brush. Back then I could cut a ceiling line with a 6" brush. Now I use a 3". The brush end goes perpendicular to the edge your painting, then move the brush along that edge. You don't cut to the exact corner (because that's impossible) but out about a 1/16" to an 1/8" of an inch. Let the paint do the work. Liquid creates its own edge. With practice you can get a very clean edge. People always comment how crisp and clean our painting looks. Painting back from the corner also allows more tolerance for your line inconsistencies. Six feet away the eye does not read a 1/16", especially at the ceiling. I taught my wife and she cuts a better line than I do. Go slow with patience.

Paint and cut from top down. This way you are always covering roller spray. Paint ceiling first down onto wall a couple of inches. Then cut the wall line up to ceiling. Paint the wall and rough cut to baseboard and window casements. Then paint the baseboard and final cut to the wall. It's harder to cut a line upside down and paint flows down. Cutting the edge of window casements is easy. Your moving down, gravity and the paint do all the work. No one sees top and bottom casements.

I don't care for angled brushes, because you can only use one side when cutting. The other common mistake, is plastic drop cloths. Plastic does not allow the paint drops to completely dry. An hour or two later you walk on them and suddenly your dragging paint on to the carpet in the next room. Spend 20 bucks on a canvas drop cloth. You'll use it for the rest of your life.

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PRO
Rudel Custom Homes and Remodeling

Fantastic Video! What great easy tips for DIY people. Tape and paper is great for newbies, cutting in for the first time can be such a challenge and could quickly discourage someone from trying another project. Can't wait to see your next video!!

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bkharman

Well said donaldstagaard ! I personally don't invest in a canvas drop. I prefer to use cardboard or red rosin paper. I can see the drips so i don't bring them with me, and it is cheap and easy to find. Firm enough that it wont rip through and recyclable!


cheers.

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akamara40

Great tips - thank you for sharing! I have wanted to do my own painting on small jobs... your tips come in very handy.

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maisonetlamaison

great tips!!!! didn't know that spending more for the rollers make all the difference and the tape gun is FANTASTIC!


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Charles Raymond
this video is really helpful, thanks.
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Frank Schwing

My dad taught me to close a paint can by putting it on your drop cloth, put a rag or piece of newspaper on top and step on it a couple of times at different angles. This will never beat up the lid and closes it solid.

Be sure to read JC Interiors comments which are great additional tips. I would add to his 'always sand patches' that you need to focus on the edges of the patch. They should be sanded to the point that they taper to nothing. Feel with your hand because you can feel imperfections that you can't see. If the edges aren't sufficiently sanded, that's when you will see the patch job. If I'm patching on a wall that was painted with a roller, I sand until I can see the paint roller texture at the edge of the patch.

If you are painting in an old house (built prior to 1978), you will want to get a lead test kit to make sure you don't have lead paint. If you do, special precautions need to be taken. Also, check whether your current paint is oil or latex. Latex paint will not stick to oil unless primed first. Use rubbing alcohol to see if the existing paint comes off. If it does, it's latex. If not, you have an oil based paint. Test in a bunch of places. I had a situation where everything was latex except one door for some reason.


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PRO
Prescott Window and Door

I've been painting UN-professionally for 40 years and have to say that there are many 'tricks of the trade' and new products on the market, but in the end, with experience, everyone finds their favorite tools. I love to paint. It is instant change and very relaxing to me. I put on some light jazz and am in no hurry. Even an old dog can learn new tricks. I just finished painting a living room and monster foyer/hall in matte finish. I had no idea I would love it so much! And those nifty little plastic hand held buckets for brushes and mini ramps for 3" rollers - can't be w/o them. Who knew? But my go-to for 40 years is the slanted 1" high quality soft brush for edging. With a steady hand and eye, I can hand edge faster than put the time into taping.

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nala2k4

Question: How do you get a sharp line between ceiling and wall if your wall is textured. I've tried tape but when I remove it I have an uneven line because of the bumps!! Help please.

   
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ericaseelig

Excellent video. Good teacher, well organized, complete and oh, so helpful. Merci.

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lenkoskitalo

A couple of suggestions. 1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOUR IS THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT STEP! With a brush, paint large swatches on various walls ... to make sure you're OK with the colour ... and the sheen ... in daylight and artificial light. And make sure you put on 2 coats to get the real deal ... you'd be surprised how much the under-lying or existing surrounding colour affects your perception of the colour. Don't make either coat too heavy so you can do them within 30 minutes of each other ... and let it dry for a few hours hours. WET PAINT COLOUR CAN LOOK A LOT LESS APPEALING WHEN IT DRIES. 2. When rolling on paint make sure the natural light or an artificial light will allow you to see and avoid "ridges" left by rollers ... I don't use an extension pole, but do it all by hand, rolling in different directions to avoid/wipe out roller ridges. 3. When rolling I find an 8" roller a lot less tiring on the arm than a 10" roller ... and I'm a man! 4. Do your "cutting in" last ... not first ... as this is this is time consuming and tedious near baseboards and ceilings especially. If possible, it's best to paint your baseboards and crown mouldings last. And use a high quality tapered brush ... and a steady hand instead of green tape.

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Sara Swenson
I've done a lot of painting but learned some super useful tips for my next jobs...coming up this fall!
   
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mrsben

IMHO, excellent tips for the novice. That said; as I have been doing my own painting for the last 35+ years agree with many of the tips within the comments . As for the use of drop sheets in recent years I have converted to just using $-Store plastic table clothes as a protective measure against splatter on furniture that after a few uses I just dispose of. (They have static cling which makes them perfect for the task and are easily re-sizable.) As for their use on floors I normally just cover them over with old, flat bed sheets that launder up well and store easily. Secondly, I've attached a photo of a plastic adapter that I've hoarded which was purchased many, many years ago ... ☺ ... that attaches over the lip of a quart or 925 ml paint can but to my knowledge they are not made anymore. Why I don't know and I am glad I bought a few as when doing small (brush) jobs they are worth their weight in gold as one can work directly from the can.

@ nata2K4: Re your question re textured walls/ceilings there a few methods you can use. i.e.: Caulking, create an overlap line etc. Rather than try to explain them to you, do a web search "How to create a clean line when painting". Hope this helps and HAPPY PAINTING.

   
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Nancy Bremner

Even though I have been painting for many years this was a well worth it video to watch. I wasn't quite sure why you would put the paint in a large pail and as for a mess around the can here in Canada we can buy cheap rubber/plastic pouring rims that you insert onto the first rim of the can and you never get any drips or extra paint in the rim - so no paint splatters when replacing the lid. I also recommend using plastic wrap for rollers and brushes to hold your tools for a few hours or overnight; wrap very tightly. You can start to paint the next day without fear of having your brush or roller hard from dried paint; also works on your paint pan as well. You can also buy an article that is similar to a broom stick in a variety of sizes as an extension to your roller to roll ceilings or taller walls. Could JC Interiors explain about taping off the rollers? Did you mean to just tape the end of your roller so you are really shortening the length of your roller? I find the rollers do get frustrating as they start moving off the roller holder or as JC states they leave fuzzies behind. Here is a tip; if your can has the formula written on the lid save the lid and mark which room the paint was for. You then have a physical reminder for the store should you ever have to repaint or touch up. Formulas change all the time and I think this is the best way to keep record. I know a written record could be tidier but the lid also has the colour swatch right on it. :)

   
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emidickens
Very informative vídeo...Thanks
   
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Greg
A painter taught me a trick. Wrap and then unwrap the roller with 2 inch tape before using it. This gets any loose lint off the roller so it doesn't end up on your wall.
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Shauna Gallagher

Regarding comments and input on individual methods, there are many ways to approach painting, and this video was created with the novice in mind. I always want even an intimidated weekend warrior to feel confident that they can accomplish a quality project.

To touch on a topic that has been mentioned several times, the taping off of the ceiling line versus cutting in without taping... Throughout years of teaching, I have watched many of my students in frustration as they attempted to cut in a ceiling line. Not everyone has a steady hand, the eye focus, and the sense of pressure needed to cut in a straight line without the tape there. It's true that with practice, one can learn this technique. But often, the weekend warrior is just tackling one room and if they practice on that room, the squiggly lines from practicing are the end result in the room. The tape and paper is very effective if burnished down tightly, and gives a confidence boost to said warrior. They can practice their cutting-in brush technique with the protection of the tape, and maybe by the second or third room they'll no longer need it. I often don't tape off a room, but always like when I do because it's easy to bump the ceiling with the roller, and then there is no paint fixes to deal with!

The other topic to mention is the question of cutting in edges first or rolling walls first...yes, if you are cutting in a thick line, and do so after rolling the walls, the texture difference between the roller and a brush mark would be pronounced. But if you can roll very close to the ceiling line, then the brushwork is such a minimal cut-in line that it's smaller than what you would see if you brushed first and then rolled over it. I wanted to demonstrate that you can spend less time cutting in if you roll very close to the ceiling and corners. Because every How-To book instructs the painter to cut in first, I see people spending far more time cutting in than is necessary because they are brushing triple the width needed.

Oh, one last thing: if you are going to close your paint can with the mallet, but do have paint on the rim, you can place a small towel over the lid of the paint can prior to hammering the lid shut. This will catch any spatters that could potentially get on the periphery of the area.

Happy painting!

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Dre

Thanks for the great tips! I use a plastic pouring lip on the can - a very handy device that just snaps on the paint can rim and prevents spillage in the channel and down the side of the can.

   
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clairefernanda

I love the video and her style and camera presence. Very helpful. THX

   
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Tim Price

I wish these materials were available here. Especially the paper and tape and the longer fibre rollers, a few others too.

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raineferdinands

I have never attempted to paint and am terrified of mucking up my home and so opt for prof help. This video is excellent and now I wish I had seen this earlier in my life.

A few comments on Shauna's presentation skills; simply super... clarity of voice, precise and relevant information. What usually annoys me is that women presenters often find the need to grin unnecessarily, play with their hair or wear clothes exposing their decolletage. Shauna is all about the message and ever so professional with no unnecessary distractions. Well done Shauna! More women need to emulate her presentation technique.

   
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PRO
T.J.'s Painting & Renovations Co.

Great tips for a more efficient way!!

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PRO
The Handyman On Demand Limited
cutting after rolling?
   
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aprilcls

Here's a question for the pros. If you'd like to store left over paint for very long periods of time (years), would it be ok to pour the left over paint into Ziploc bags and store them inside the can (so less air to mix with paint) or does the plastic react with the paint? I think it's best to pour left over paint into a glass jar or anything smaller that doesn't allow excess air to mix with the paint. The same principle applies to left over soda - I always squeeze the 2 liter bottle until the soda is almost at the top (and less air is in the bottle) before I screw on the lid to prevent it going flat. Just curious.

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dzermer

So helpful! very well explained in non-pro terms but important details are provided.

I shared with my daughter who is painting her baby nursery!

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PRO
Hansens
she should be a pro she knows her paint and how to use it correctly
   
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bessdougher
Good Paint instructions