Refresh Your Home With a New Coat of Paint or Two

Mark Vandenbrink


A fresh new coat of paint is always a great idea to give your home a mini-make-over before listing. If you prefer to do the painting yourself we have come up with a quick list of tips and tricks from the professionals to make sure the painting goes smoothly.

Avoid Lap Marks

Lap marks are those ugly stripes you get when painting unevenly, or when painting over already dried paint. To avoid these stripes make sure that each stroke of your paint roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint has time to dry.

Mix Paint for Consistent Colour

Even though you have two cans of the same color paint, they may differ slightly. Therefore, it is easiest to avoid one wall or half of a wall looking a shade off by mixing the two cans of paint prior to rolling on the walls (this is called ‘boxing’).

Let Paint Dry Before Removing Tape

Sometimes when you try to pull the tape off the trim when the paint is dry, it removes small pieces of the paint which can be very frustrating. Instead, use a blade and cut the tape loose before pulling off and this will leave you with a clean straight edge.

Paint Trim, Ceilings, Then Walls

When professional painters come in to paint they choose to paint in this order for good reason. They paint in this order because it is faster and easier to tape off the trim instead of the walls. Don’t be too concerned with making a mess when painting the trim as you'll cover up any mistakes when painting the walls. Make sure you wait 24 hours for the trim paint to dry before taping, you could use this time to paint the ceiling, then move on to the walls.

Prime Over Wall Patches

Sometimes when wall patches are done, to cover up little holes or cracks in the wall, they can stick out even when covered in paint. This is because the materials used for patches is very pours, absorbing more paint than the walls resulting in a spot that sticks out like a sore thumb. In order to avoid this, make sure you sand these spots to make a smooth surface, and then use a primer on the walls before your coat of paint. It may sound like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it.

Clean First

This seems like common knowledge but is important to mention. If you don't clean the surfaces that need to be painted, the paint won't always stick. This is especially true in places like bathrooms and kitchens where there may be grease or oil on the walls/ceilings.

Roll Paint Along Edges

The area beside the trim that is painted with a brush rather than a roller is very noticeably a different texture than the rest of the walls. In order to make this look more uniform to the rest of the walls, use a roller and roll over the hand-painted section beside the trim before it dries to create a uniform look. It is best to use a small roller, such as a three-inch roller, and be careful not to bump the roller onto the trim.

Use Cotton Drop Cloths

The professionals use cotton drop cloths rather than plastic ones for a few different reasons and we think you should as well. The thick canvas drop cloths stay in place easier than the plastic, and the plastic drop cloths tend to be slippery to walk on or use a ladder on top of. The plastic also doesn't allow the paint spills to dry very quickly which can then be tracked through the rest of the house.


Mark VandenBrink is an award-winning Century 21 Real Estate Professional and someone who believes in helping others reach their dreams of home ownership.

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