As a homeowner, it can be easy to grow tired of looking at the same thing all of the time. Sometimes, we look at the same thing for so long that we fail to see the flaws in it. Whether you’re wanting to improve your home or just add some new life to a room, a fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest ways to spruce things up. Below are tips that will better both the experience and the outcome of your painting projects.

1. Clean the Area First

Cleaning surface areas before painting goes a long way to improve the quality of the finished product. Painting over dust and cobwebs makes it much easier for the paint to chip later on. The cleaning process doesn’t have to be fancy. Soap and water on a cloth works great, and it will ensure that the new paint sticks to the walls for longer!

2. Apply a Primer

Avoid inconsistent textures and blotchy areas by using a primer. Spots that have been cracked, repaired, or replaced will absorb paint differently than the rest of your drywall. Using a two-in-one primer and paint combo can work if the walls have been recently painted or are in good condition. That being said, there is no better way to ensure a smooth finish than using a stand-alone primer before your final color.

3. Use a Drop Cloth

Consider opting for a drop cloth instead of laying down plastic. Plastic can not only be heard to keep in place, but paint that falls on it can splash and will remain wet much longer.  Canvas and cotton drop clothes are a great alternative. They are easy to keep in place, absorb paint drops instead of spreading them around, and can be reused.

4. Box the Paint

Boxing your paint simply means mixing it all into one large container before painting. Cans of the same color often contain slight differences that may show up once dry. Mixing all of the paint beforehand will ensure a consistent color throughout and reduce the risk of leftover paint drying out over time.

5. Paint Down 

Start at the celling and paint down to the floor. Painting downward will allow you to catch any drips and mistakes. As you go, be careful not to paint over areas that are dry or beginning to dry. This will help prevent “lap marks,” streaks, and inconsistencies.

6. Paint Trim First

If you’re painting the trim along with the walls, tackle it first. Wipe it clean and apply the paint. If you get paint on the walls, you can simply paint over it later. Once you’re ready to paint the walls, just tape the trim and you’re good to go! Bonus tip: us a putty knife to “seal” the tape. This will get rid of air bubbles and help prevent paint from running underneath.

7. Avoid Humidity

If possible, avoid painting on rainy or humid days. Excessive moisture in the air will slow the time it takes for paint to dry. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does increase the likelihood of drips, streaks, and accidental contact.