Tips for Painting Walls and Ceilings

I think we’d all agree that there is no quicker, bang for your buck, home improvement project that comes close to a fresh coat of paint.  Then you’ve got to worry about brands, color, sheen, what tools to use… or do you just skip it all and hire someone to paint for you?  When we first moved in to our house 9 years ago, I hired it out.  I had an almost 2 year old, worked full-time and lived an hour away from where we bought the house, so it was TOTALLY worth it!

Our entry, hall and living room haven’t been touched since, so after I started coming out of my winter funk, I headed to Sherwin-Williams to pick up my favorite shade of paint.  It’s called Analytical Gray and it’s the perfect lighter blend of beige and gray.  I used it in my dining room last year and LOVED it!  

I have to admit.  I don’t tape.  I hate it.  Maybe I don’t know how to put it on right, because it ALWAYS bleeds through.  So how do I cut in?  I have a technique that I read about a long time ago, that I follow and it works beautifully… IF you have the right tool.

Tip 1 – Use a high quality brush.  My brush of choice?  Purdy!  I have been using their brushes for YEARS and absolutely love them!

Purdy Brush

Each brush is handmade and signed by the person who put it together.  I don’t know who this Barry person is, but he made one heck of an angled brush!  🙂

That’s the next tip.

Tip 2 – Make sure when you are cutting in, that you use an angled brush.  The shorter side of the brush is the direction you’ll sweep your paint.

Tip 3 – Load the brush with paint.  I dip it in the paint then only wipe off a small amount (just enough to make sure it doesn’t drip all over me).

loaded brush

Tip 4 – Place the brush 2 or 3 inches down from where your ceiling and wall meet, then slide it up and across.  Your brush bristles will flatten out and you’ll be able to simply push the paint up to the top of the wall without getting it on the ceiling.  In the photo above, I was flattening my brush out, then sweeping up and to the right.

brush swish

Above you can see I am going from right to left.  See how the shorter end is on the left and the paint is pushed up to where the wall and ceiling meet?


Tip 5 – Once I go across, I come back where I started and even out the paint where I started my “swoop”.

ready for roller

Now it’s ready for the roller!!! (I’m ALMOST ready to show all of my living room, but you’ll have to wait just a bit longer.)

Speaking of rollers, the awesome folks at Purdy sent me one of their rollers and an extension pole called the Purdy Power Lock.  I can not say enough about these!  I admit, I’ve always just unscrewed my broom handle and used that…I mean, why fork over the extra $$ for a pole?  WRONG!  My broom handles always got bent, or weren’t long enough to get to the really high areas. So far, I’ve used this at my house, then this past weekend at our new flip house painting ceilings (which I’ve always hated) and the dining room.  I put a lot of pressure on an extension pole (all my broom handles snap) and this one is certainly tough enough to take it!  Check it out.

Purdy Power Lock

And what about the ICK! factor on those ceilings.  I really think they were painted a taupe color.. or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I kept the extension pole and roller together to do the walls in the dining room as well.  It allowed me to cover more area very quickly and to do longer passes.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s going on in the dining room at the flip house.  🙂

Here it is before.

dining room before

This is a different angle than the after, but see that handsome demo man on the right?  He’s standing in front of the wall I am getting ready to show you.

Here is the “in progress” pic.

flip dining color

Excuse the cell phone picture, I pinky-promise I’ll use my fancy camera next time.

They had a ceiling fan in the dining room, so we replaced it with a chandelier.  We pulled up the cheap wood flooring and will be laying the dark wood-look tile.  Add in some white trim and new windows and my heart skips a beat!  The color here is called Mega Greige from Sherwin Williams and it is to DIE for!

How about you?  Have you painted a room recently?  Your house?  Do you have a favorite brush or paint that you swear by?  Let me know!


Purdy brushes, roller and Purdy Power Lock were given to me to review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. Christina in FL says:

    Hi Karrah, I, too, adore Purdy brushes. Thanks for the reminder on how to cut in. I forget to tape… and I’m not that good at cutting in… I’ll be better at it after your tips.
    Thanks for the clue about the pole. Great idea! 🙂
    Now… the Mega Greige is … ahhhhhh wonderful. 🙂
    Too bad the existing wood floors didn’t work out.

    • Mrs. Do It Herself says:

      I know! We had planned on keeping the wood floors and trying to sand and stain them darker… but we ran in to another little problem. TERMITES had eaten the floor in some parts. So on to plan “B”!

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