HGTV Stars Spill Their Disaster-Proof Paint Tricks

These people know paint! From disaster-proof colors to prep steps everyone should do, HGTV Magazine has the full scoop.

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Drew Scott & Jonathan Scott
Property Brothers: Forever Home

Photo by: Larsen&Talbert

Larsen&Talbert

What’s an important paint tip people typically aren’t aware of?

Drew says: Flat paint is more forgiving. The glossier the finish, the more imperfections you’ll see after the job is done. So if you’re painting an old wall that has been patched or furniture that’s not in great shape, you’re better off going with a flat finish.

The easiest way to choose a paint color for a room is…

Jonathan says: Find inspiration photos in magazines—like this one!—of what you want your room to look like. Take those images to the paint store and get chips that match; people at the store can recommend some. Always try more than one sample. I usually take home three.

Tarek El Moussa & Christina Anstead
Flip or Flop

Photo by: Larsen&Talbert

Larsen&Talbert

Is there a painting rule you’ve learned the hard way?

Tarek says: When I was new at this, I tried to skip priming walls before painting them to save time and money, but the opposite happened. I paid the price with poor coverage and inconsistent color that had to be redone, and labor is pretty expensive. For new drywall, I like using a high-quality paint and primer in one.

Which color is tough to get wrong?

Christina says: On Flip or Flop, we try to appeal to a range of buyers with our design choices, so we use gray a lot. It’s a magical color—you can paint an entire floor of a house with it, but the tone will look a little different in every room because of the lighting. Of course, a bold teal front door is always fun!

Leanne Ford & Steve Ford
Restored by the Fords

Photo by: Larsen&Talbert

Larsen&Talbert

What’s the biggest paint mistake you’ll never, ever make again?

Leanne says: Not testing the color on part of a wall before painting the whole room. Luckily it was in my own house. I’d picked a dark blue blackish color, and I painted all four walls and the ceiling without putting a single swatch anywhere. I was just so excited to get going. It pretty much dried purple, so I had to start that job all over again.

Share your best paint trick!

Steve says: My best trick is being a human ladder. I’m 6 feet 5 inches and can reach up to probably 9 feet. But seriously, a sprayer is my real secret weapon—it’s fast, and it gives a seamless finish. You just need to protect everything in the room from overspray with plastic. If you’re not game to do that, I like an 18-inch roller for painting a large space quickly.

Page Turner & Deron Jenkins
Flip or Flop Nashville

Photo by: Larsen&Talbert

Larsen&Talbert

Name something you’ve painted that was totally unexpected.

Page says: At one flip I was trying to sell, I painted the floor of the wood deck to look like there was an accent rug on it. My “rug” was solid blue with a thick white border. A buyer was either going to love it or hate it. Thank goodness it turned out cute!

What’s the most helpful or smartest painting advice you got from another pro?

Deron says: The most important part of any paint job is the prep. Clean the surface, fill any holes, sand the wood, cover the floors, tape off around windows and doors. Putting in extra effort on the front end makes everything go more smoothly—and look smooth too.

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