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Painting Tips From the Pros

Thinking about painting your home?

Painting can help bring up the value of your home, get rid of old unwanted smells, add personal customization, and bring an sense of newness to an older area.

There can be more to painting than just slapping some paint on to a wall; and we have asked our own experts on the subject for secrets and tips to help you get started!



Preparing the Surface

Get the Area Paint Ready!

“First things first,” says Tony Johnson, a professional painter and laborer here in Gillette, WY, “you’re going to want to clear the room you are planning on repainting.” Every painter we have spoken to has had some bad experience with trying to skip this step. “Anything you don’t want painted should be moved to a safe room.” But the good news is that larger pieces of furniture can be slid to the center of the room and draped with a drop cloth.

Johnson also warned about the type of drop cloth you use. “Acquiring a high-quality drop cloth is so important. You aren’t going to want to use anything lightweight like a bed sheet, because the paint will soak right through it. A nice canvas or paper-backed plastic drop cloth will absorb any drops of paint, and keep your flooring safe from roller and paint splatter.”


Prepare your painting surface!

You are going to want to find and fix any cracks or holes in the surface you are painting. Simply painting over these imperfections won’t hide that they are there. Using painter’s putty before priming will fill in those holes and mend minor cracks. Johnson warns against painting wood trim. “For patching wood trim, you are going to want to use a two-part wood filler. This will keep the spackle from chipping and peeling off.”


Next step is to sand down the rough edges. Sanding down the putty filled holes will keep the surface of your wall smooth and texture free, and really help hide the work that has been done. You can find sanding blocks at your local hardware store.

After you’ve done all the sanding, you’ll want to sponge bath the walls.

Johnson’s advice is: To clean a wall use two buckets. Load up your rag or sponge from your cleaning-solution bucket, and scrub. Before re-dipping, rinse the sponge in the second bucket filled with clean water. For smoke stained walls, Johnson suggests using 50/50 solution of bleach and water.



To Use Tape or To Not?

Taping is officially out. While interviewing Chad Lanes, handy man for a few of our local agents, he says “Painting can bleed through the masking tape and remove paint that it’s stuck to. I suggest practicing how to cut in your lines. If nothing else, try to remove the tape while the paint is still wet.”

Johnson states, “If you can learn to cut in with a brush, you will save a lot of time. Using masking tape is very time consuming.”

“Cutting in” is painting fine lines along boarders, like wall to ceiling, using a brush without the use of tape. This requires a stead hand


Selecting Paint

Pick your primer

You will want a good primer to lay a nice foundation for your colored paint. There are several different types of primers, but the pros like to stick to the alcohol or alkyd-based primers because they cover everything. You can even find the paint color you like, already pre-mixed with primer.


Quality Paint

You are going to want to buy quality paint. Spending anywhere from $20 to $35 a gallon is common for quality paint.  “In general, glossier paints are more stain-resistible and scrub-able,” says Chad. “Flat paints are fine for ceilings and formal rooms, but for most of my customers, I recommend an eggshell gloss. It’s good for hallways, kids’ rooms, even bathrooms.”


Choosing the Right equipment


Finding the right roller is tricky. “I always use a lambs-wool roller,” says Johnson. “The half-inch holds plenty of paint and doesn’t apply too much texture, giving you an overall, smoother finish.”

You can use the cheaper rollers if your short on cash, just make sure to rinse them with mild soap first to remove any stray fibers.



Work with a Painter’s Rod

A painter’s rod is a long pole-like tool that attaches to the end of any roller. This really helps with painting high walls and ceilings. (Most broom dusters spin off and can be used in place of a painter’s rod!)

Purchase Quality Products

Make sure to spend the extra dollar or two to get a decent paint brush. “You’ll soon discover that us professionals aren’t as talented as you thought,” says Lanes. “The equipment we use has a lot to do with our success.” Also, look for angled brushes, as this makes it easier to cut in a line.



Painting Tips from the Pros

Top to Bottom

Paint the ceilings first. This helps to find and fix any splatters or runs on the walls you may have acquired.



Double Check Your Work

Between coats you are going to want to back-prep, or sand off any imperfections that happen through the process of applying paint.


Focus on Windows

Since windows take a lot of time, both of our experts agree to tackle this task first things, when you are still

fresh and ready to go.


Do the Doors Right

If you have panel doors, start with the panels and work from the outside edges toward the center. “Watch the corners, paint loves to puddle,” warns Johnson.



Cleaning Your Tools

Don’t worry about cleaning out brushes and rollers after every session of painting. Paint dries slowly enough, just wrapped tools in an old plastic bag, then you can preserve your applicators.


Expect Touch-Ups

Things happen. Keep a damp wash rag or sponge for accidental markings. Get these when they’re still wet and it won’t damage anything!


Local Hardware Stores to Help You Get Started!


2 Guys’ Deco Flooring America

200 W 2nd Street



Sherwin-Williams Paint Store

818 Country Club Road



Bloedorn Lumber-Gillette

2809 Fern St



The Home Depot

1105 E Bexelder Road



Edge Construction Supply

105 S Warren Ave




1051 East Lakeway Road



Knecht Home Center of Gillette





Tractor Supply Co

4005 S Douglas Hwy




Summer Robertson

Team Properties Group, LLC





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