I have been painting professionally for 18 years. Mostly wall paintings, furniture, and decorative items. But my customers often prefer a female painting in their house instead of a big, strong guy who speak another language.

For decorative painting, you have to glue them in, as they often use a rag or trowel to complete the finish. Most surfaces require some kind of base to start the process so that painting can be done well. I’m sure there are lots of tips and tricks for painting, but these are a few things that I’ve learned along the way that continue to cut costs and simplify every day.

1. Foil for cleaning: I know you can paint through plastic tray liner, but if you are painting on a regular basis, it really cuts into the budget. I started to buy a separate roll of heavy duty aluminum foil. We pull a piece off to fit into the tray. Saves us from cleaning the tray and there is a fresh pan to roll each time. And when the aliens land, we can always put it on our head so they can’t read our thoughts.

2. Color additive for quick cleaning: I’m sure you’ve heard of Flotrol. Each company who manufacture paint also features its own. It is typically a latex color additive. I add about a quarter size to the base of my brushes. It keeps the paint in the brush and makes cleaning a breeze. If you don’t do that, you’ll get some paint hardened on the bristles.

3. Grey Tinted Primer under red: If you’ve ever painted a wall red, you know that it takes 5 or 6 layers to get the right cover. Grey Primer is the solution. It makes the red more opaque, so it usually covers in two layers.

4. A primer on walls not required: Colors of good quality are well opaque. If your walls were previously painted, you don’t have to prime them to change the color. The exception would be if your walls have a dark color and you go light or if your walls are disgustingly dirty or moldy. Still a bit of info, these new “primer and paint in one ” paint themselves out, they’re not for use in any furniture unless it’s already painted. You should still prepare raw wood and furniture first for durability.

5. Cut the edges with a brush and then roll: I always recommend that you first cut the edges with a brush and then roll them perfectly while it is still wet. Maybe work on a wall or on a half wall. This is most important with eggshell or satin colors paints.

6. Use Quality tools: cheap brushes and rollers make for more work and frustration. If you hate painting, it may be your tools. You get what you pay for. Invest in good quality and clean thoroughly after each use. Cheap brushes have bristles that spread everywhere. Cheap rollers leave fuzz and cause splashes of paint.

7. Use Quality tape: Do not use a masking tape that’s vanilla colored on walls or trim strips. It is too sticky and leaves either residue or pulls paint and wallboard off when you remove it. Use the better products like the Blue Tape. There are different brands, some better than others.

8. Quality Drop Clothing: Use heavy screen or vinyl-backed clothing. Painter plastic is for covering furniture and not floors. You will slip and break your neck when you try to use plastic. It’s too light and it’s slippery.

9. Wrap the brushes in plastic: While you are waiting for the layers to dry, you can wrap your brush in plastic so that the paint does not harden and cause crusty bristles to emerge.

10. Cool Those Rollers: If your project extends over more than one day and you hate to clean the rollers, you can wrap them tightly in plastic at the end of the day and cool them. The cold prevents the paint from hardening and you can reuse it the next day.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions or comments, I would like to hear them. Post them in the comments section below to start a conversation with your fellow painters.