Need-to-Know Paint Tips From Your Fave HGTV Stars

Even the most genius painters can use a few refreshers! And if you're a rookie? HGTV Magazine has tips for everyone. Read on for advice from the pros.

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What’s Your Idea of an Accent Wall?

If you’re new to the paint game, start with a solid color or a single stripe. Ready to get adventurous? David Bromstad of My Lottery Dream Home has ideas. “I’ve been dying to do something freehand or geometric. They’re all the rage right now because they bring a level of personality we haven’t seen on feature walls before,” David says.

How Long Does it Take to Paint a Room?

“Whatever your skill level, plan for a room to take the better part of a day,” says Drew Scott of Property Brothers: Forever Home. “Figure two to three hours per coat, and the same amount of time between coats. A good-quality roller helps speed things up, so don’t cheap out — and avoid overloading the roller with paint or you’ll have to smooth globs.” Roll out excess paint on the raised part of the tray before hitting your wall.

What Would You Do With a Dated Dresser?

First-timers, don’t be intimidated: painting furniture is actually pretty simple. “Just prepare it properly so the paint sticks well to the surface and lasts over time,” says David Bromstad of My Lottery Dream Home. “Sand it, fill holes with putty, and prime it before painting. You can also change the pulls to give it the bling it deserves.” Advanced painters, consider stenciling the drawer fronts for an especially impressive update.

How Should You Choose a Paint Color?

“Even for someone like me who’s picked countless paint colors, it can be tricky,” says Christina Anstead of Christina on the Coast. “Paint a few coats of different shades on poster board and move the board around the room at different times of day and at night to see how they look in different light. Then go for it!” If you have paint chips in hand, keep in mind that flat and eggshell finishes more closely resemble their chips, while glossier finishes can appear darker.

How to Prep a Room for Painting?

Some super painters consider it a point of pride to skip painter’s tape. “I’ll paint along ceilings, molding and door frames without tape, using an angled brush,” says Alison Victoria of Windy City Rehab. “If you’re not experienced, use plenty of tape to help in those spots. That’s what it’s for!” Rookies might also benefit from a painter’s tape applicator, which looks like the kind for packing tape.

What Do You Wear to Paint?

Anyone who paints often enough probably already has a splattered shirt and pair of pants that got demoted (or promoted!) to paint projects. For rookies, think: comfy and don’t care. “Choose something you won’t cry over if paint spills on it, like an old or inside-out T-shirt!” says Jonathan Scott of Property Brothers: Forever Home. Also good: old sneakers that have some support (for all that standing) and a cap to keep paint from landing on your hair.

How Do You Store Leftover Paint?

You can keep it right in the can with the lid tightly on (tap it with a hammer or mallet) or in a glass jar if there’s less than a quart (best for visibility). “I put the name on the container, and where and when I used it,”says Mina Starsiak Hawk of Good Bones. “That makes it easy when it’s time to touch up scuffs — or when your kid draws a self-portrait on the wall in permanent marker.”

Who’s Your Paint Support Crew?

Perfectionists, resist the urge to go it alone and enlist your partner to pitch in. “It definitely gets the paint job done faster when you divide and conquer,” Alison Victoria says. “One person tapes, another gets going with a brush — and pours the wine.”

What’s Your Response to Paint Drips?

The best response: act fast. “Most interior paint is latex and cleans up with a little water if you get to it before it has time to dry,” Jonathan Scott says. Goof Off removers also come in handy. If a blob does dry up, scrape it off with a plastic putty knife, and avoid the problem next time by covering the floor with a drop cloth before you even crack open a can of paint. Latex paint should come off hands with soap and water; get out stubborn spots with rubbing alcohol.

How Do You Copycat the Color of a Neighbor’s Front Door?

Paint visualizer for the win! Even if you can’t find out the color of a local front door you’ve been ogling, you can upload a photo of your own door to a paint website and give matching shades a whirl. “I’ve never reached out to someone about a house color, but it’s a smart idea — why not make things easy?” says HGTV designer Tiffany Brooks. “Come to think of it, there’s a house in Chicago with a teal door that I love!”