By Andy Meredith
To save money on some of our renovation and remodeling projects, Candis and I do a lot of our own work. When we first started our business together, neither of us had much capital and we had to learn how to do things ourselves because we couldn’t afford to have pros come in and do it for us.
As we gained experience in home renovations, we learned that unless a job really needed to be done by professionals or we were working with a tight deadline, it was just more fun and more satisfying to do it ourselves. Among the things that have saved us money as we’ve learned to do our own repairs and work, painting has to be one of my favorites.
For one thing, if you know the basics, you don’t need a lot of expertise to do a great job painting a room. This was one of the areas of home renovations where I didn’t feel like I was being thrown in the deep end. As I got more experience with different houses and different painting projects, I picked up a few pretty great DIY painting tips that just about anyone can use, whether you’re renovating a home to sell or making upgrades to your own home.
Don’t Skimp on the Prep Work
First of all, if you want to turn a simple painting project into a nightmare that will cost you time and money, then don’t prep the room first. If you want to turn even a huge interior painting job into a walk in the park, take the time to move furniture, mask off everything, put down drop cloths, and get the whole space ready to start painting. This might take a while, but it will save you a ton of time and a lot of frustration, too.
Cover Hardware and Hard-to-Mask Detailing With Vaseline
Of course, painter’s tape won’t stick to everything, and some things that you want to mask off aren’t the most convenient shapes or sizes. You don’t have to cut specific, tiny pieces of tape for these to keep them clean. Instead, cover them with a layer of Vaseline.
It sounds weird, but the Vaseline (or any other kind of petroleum jelly) will keep paint from soaking through and staining or covering the things you want to keep clean.
Q-Tips Are Your Best Friend
If you need to apply some of that Vaseline to small inset screws and other tiny or detailed areas, doing it with your fingers can be a pain. Instead, grab a Q-tip and use it as an applicator. Plus, if you have a box of Q-tips around and you accidentally drip some paint somewhere that it shouldn’t go, you can easily dab some paint thinner or remover on a Q-tip and clean it up in just a couple of seconds. I never would’ve thought they’d be so important to painting or remodeling, but Q-tips have definitely saved me a lot of headaches over the years.
Soak Your Brushes in Fabric Softener
Finally, brushes can get matted and hard to use really fast. When you’re done painting for the day, clean your brushes off and soak them in a cup of fabric softener. The bristles will stay softer, and you’ll be able to use your brushes for a lot longer.
I use these tips on every house that Candis and I renovate, and they help me save time while doing a really professional-looking job that’ll make our buyers happy. Try them out and see what they do for you!