Three Essential Painting Techniques

Learn Painting Techniques to Complete Any Project

The basics every painter needs to master

Painting is not rocket science but there is more to it than it seems. Many people assume they can simply buy some paint and brushes and start slopping the paint onto the walls. Those people are almost always disappointed with the results. Luckily, you can complete most painting projects and be thrilled with the way things look simply by mastering three basic painting techniques:


Brushing is harder than it looks. It all starts with equipment. For most projects we recommend buying two new synthetic-bristle brushes – one 4-inch straight-bristled brush for larger areas and a 1-1/2-inch angled sash brush for when you do the detail work. When you apply paint, follow these three steps:

Load paint on the brush by dipping about 2 inches of the bristles into the paint and slapping each side of the brush once against the rim of the can. This is much easier when you don’t work from a full can of paint.

Apply the paint thickly to the surface using three back-and-forth strokes. Don’t worry about smoothing it out. Repeat the process until you have covered about 3-4 sq-ft.

Without reloading the brush, smooth the paint by moving from the unpainted area into the painted area. At the end of each stroke lift the brush while it is still moving.


Rolling is a great way to get a lot of paint onto a wall in a short amount of time. But since you are working with a lot of paint you need to know what you are doing to avoid making a frustrating mistake. To start, make sure you are using the right kind of nap and roller for the job. Then follow these steps:

Pour about a gallon of paint into a clean five-gallon bucket with a roller screen sitting vertical inside. Dip the roller into the paint to saturate it then roll it against the screen to remove the excess.

Roll the paint on using moderate pressure. Reload the roller when the paint no longer applies easily. Try to cover 3-4 sq-ft each time.

Inspect as you go to prevent areas of uneven application.

Cutting In

Cutting in is the process of filling in recessed space. These are common of the outside of homes, and since the area to be painted is often a different color than the rest of the house the technique requires a delicate touch.

Load your brush with paint and carefully wiggle it into an inside corner. Then pull it along the surface for about 4-inches.

Paint around the edges first and then fill in the center. Use a brush with a very small amount of paint on it to paint the outermost edges.

If glass is involved the easiest strategy is to simply paint over the glass with a light amount of paint and scrape it off once the paint has dried.

Paint Better with the Help of Watson Coatings

If you are getting ready to start a painting project consult with the team at Watson Coatings first. We can give you more tips and advice and love to help novice painters master the craft. Contact us to speak to one of our painting experts.

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