Expert Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Paint Job

If you’re ready to tackle a DIY paint project, here’s all the insider knowledge from a paint expert—so you can craft a decor masterpiece at home.
Expert Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Paint Job

A fresh coat of paint can pep up a room faster than you can say Fleur de Sel, which just so happens to be Ashley McCollum’s favourite white of the moment. We turned to the Sico colour expert for some insider tips and tricks to help you achieve a flawless finish in all your DIY painting pursuits, whether you love a classic neutral or you’re ready to try something funkier (minty green accent wall, anyone?). Make sure you brush up on our starter kit of tools for any DIY job and then dive into McCollum’s pro tips so you don’t paint yourself into a corner. You’ve got this!

A built-in primer works for some projects

We love the ease of grabbing a bucket of paint with a built-in primer, like Sico Endurance, an acrylic paint plus primer. “It’s a great choice for a standard DIY paint job—it’s an easy-to-apply paint that is durable, tough and resilient. It also offers excellent hide and long-lasting colour.” 

When you’re painting a brand-new wall or opting for a drastic colour change, like making a very dark wall a very light colour, it’s recommended to use a primer, like Sico GoPrime Duo Primer-Sealer.


“Cut in” with a paintbrush before filling your walls with a roller

If you haven’t heard of “cutting in,” now’s the time to familiarize yourself with the sleek technique. According to McCollum, it means “painting the ceiling line, the edges of the wall, and around windows, doors and baseboards with a paintbrush.” Basically any areas where it would be difficult to use a roller. You do this part of the paint job first, before filling in the middle, and she recommends using a 2½-inch angular paintbrush to really get into every nook and cranny. And don’t make the rookie mistake of cutting in your entire room all at once!We suggest cutting and filling with a roller one wall at a time,” McCollum explains. Otherwise, your cuts will dry too early and end up looking different from the rest of the wall.    

"Box" your paint for even colour distribution

Another bit of painting jargon for you, but boxing your paint simply means mixing all the gallons you’ll be using into a large empty pail and blending them together to ensure that the colour will be uniform throughout the space.  

Expert Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Paint Job

Always overlap your roller strokes

The rolling technique we recommend is to roll up and down the wall and move over about the width of the roller overlapping the previous stroke,” says McCollum. For the best possible results, always make sure the roller is sufficiently loaded with paint.     

For crisp lines, seal your paint

So you’re planning to try that cool look where you only paint half the wall, but you’re worried about the two colours bleeding together. Fret not! “You can get a crisp paint line by sealing the tape with paint,” says McCollum. “For example, if you are doing the bottom half of the wall green, while the top half is white, you would have to do a light thin coat of white paint at the bottom half of the tape with a paintbrush before painting the bottom part of the wall green.” That light coat of white will seal the edge of the tape and help prevent the green paint from bleeding under the tape. When the white paint has dried on the tape, you can apply the green. “Once you’re done with the second coat, remove the tape at a 45-degree angle towards the painted section,” says McCollum. She encourages doing so while the paint is still wet to avoid rips and unevenness. 

If you don't finish in one day, keep your tools wet overnight


“You can wrap your paintbrushes and rollers in a plastic bag or in plastic wrap,” says McCollum. “For the paint tray, you can layer a garbage bag or plastic wrap over the paint to cover it.” The key is to keep air away from the paint on your tools.

Store brushes for your next bout of inspo

This may be your first DIY paint job, but if all has gone smoothly we’re guessing it won’t be your last, so don’t toss all your equipment just yet. Rollers can be difficult to clean thoroughly, but well-maintained brushes can help spruce up more than a few rooms in your home. Once you're done with your project, wash paintbrushes thoroughly with warm water and soap,” says McCollum. “A good-quality paintbrush that is cleaned and stored properly can last many years.”

Need some inspiration?

Now that you’re up to date on painting techniques, it’s time to choose colours and get creative. Sico has some great resources to get you started.

Warm up your whitesIf you’re planning on sticking with classic white, consider one that’s a bit cosier. Warmer hues and undertones are taking the lead these days. McCollum says, “I lean towards warm whites, such as Sico’s Fleur de Sel, which is a favourite on-trend neutral.”

Ground your space with earth tonesDiscover the Sico palette that will add warmth to your space while keeping it modern.


Paint outside the box: Want to create a geometric mural on your wall? Get the step-by-step instructions here.