Six Tips for the first time painter

July 28th, 2014

Six tips for first time painter
Photo used under Creative Commons from Sklathill. Banner and text was added by

Last month, I did Thrift Diving’s 30 day room Challenge. While I did accomplish some, I feel like I could have done more. The biggest accomplishment for me was getting the room painted. We’ve never lived anywhere where we could paint before but our landlord is lovely and gave us the go ahead. I thought it would be pretty simple. I mean sure, we had a huge room today but I didn’t think it would be too bad. WRONG! After painting our giant ass living room is was very clear to me why people hired painters to do this for them.

Not only were out kids confined upstairs for hours while we tried to knock it out as fast as we could, but it was hard. I was literally dripping sweat. It was not a pretty site. As I was painting I thought about all the things I seemed to screw up and thought how people could seriously benefit from my mistakes. So below are my 6 tips for the first time painter. Many of these are common sense but if you’re like me and get excited, you might need reminding how important these steps are.

1. Tape All the Things

I took forever taping things. It took me probably about 2 or so hours to tape off everything. I thought I did great but in hindsight, I got impatient and didn’t tape as well as I could have. I should have checked better but again, I have no patience. There are places where I painted on hardware, such as the air vent that is against the wall. It could have been avoiding if I had taped more thoroughly and taken my time.

2. Drop Cloths for everyone.

When buying supplies, I only bought one big drop cloth. I figured it was huge and I could move it again very easily with me as I went along. WRONG! First, I wish I had taped it to the trip because it would have given extra coverage but also wouldn’t have come up multiple times. Another reason it would have just been smarter to get enough to cover the room would be that it paint ALL over it. Seriously, I am so damn messy. And it would have saved the carpet where my roller decided to hate my and fall out with paint on my carpet. Just drop cloth all the things. Better safe than sorry.

3. Don’t bother with the edger.

Can I say how pissed I am about this? My ceiling is a wreck. I trusted the edger and my ability to not mess it up but that would be incorrect. See it all come back to that taping thing. I didn’t tape my ceiling because I bought the edger and thought, I got this. I did not in fact have it. We now have to paint our ceiling in the living room again, eventually.

4. Take your time.

While it might seem like it’s taking forever, that’s okay. I would recommend breaks. But if you take your time, touch up and mistakes will be small. Again, my impatience got the better of me and I just wanted to get it done but really it came back to bight me in the ass with all the extra work I had to do after it was all said and done.

5. Expect touch ups.

I still have some touch ups that I could do. I’ve been putting it off but really I should just get it done so I can take down the green painting tape that is currently adding contrast to my trim. Some of it, I’m sure I would have just had messes but I think a majority of it was my husband and I not taking our time to just do it right the first time.

6. It will get messy.

This one is important. I got paint all over my hands. I got it all over my paints because my butt apparently doesn’t have wall awareness. In my hair(no clue how). And not to mention on my feet multiple different times. It was a MESS and all together huge pain in the ass to clean but it might not have been so bad had I not been a klutz and spilled some of the paint.


So if you’re a first time painter, while this might seem like common sense, it’s the little things that escape you when you’re excited to finish a project. This coming month I will be doing our bedroom. I’m really excited to get working on my bedroom starting the first. Check back for updates here!

Do you have any tips for first time painters?

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