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3 Painting Tips I Learned the Hard Way

Like a flash, here we are at week 2 of the One Room Challenge! This week was all about paint. We all know it works wonders right? Well, I’m hoping it’s the magic that this sad bathroom desperately needs. Each time I paint a space, midway through I have two thoughts: “what was I thinking?” and “I wish I would’ve known this before!” I’m sharing some of my painting tips and challenge progress here!

chantilly lace from benjamin moore white paint
My favorite white- Chantilly Lace

(Part of my design journey includes sourcing products and sharing them with you! Naturally, some of my content includes affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click and purchase.  This commission allows me to write more content and support my boys, so thank you!)

If you’re catching up on this space, you can see my complete plan on this Week One ORC post.

Painting Tips

So, before we dig into the painting tips, let’s catch up on my progress this week!

bathroom refresh painted white
Painted! The lights are removed so here’s the progress with a spotlight lamp 🙂
  1. Remove & Replace Hardware (old towel bars and toilet paper holder is gone!)
  2. Paint Walls (!!!)
  3. Repair Holes (half done, one major hole left to tackle…)
  4. Replace Toilet Seat  (purchased, not replaced yet!)
  5. Replace Light Fixture (removed old one, waiting for new one)
  6. Paint Cabinets? (I ordered some paint chips and am still deciding!)
  7. Replace Cabinet Hardware (ordered the replacements…)
  8. Replace Sink Faucet (looking at options..)
  9. Paint Tile Floor (Ordered the Rustoleum Floor Tile Paint Kit – excited for this part! ) 
  10. Find Artwork (hmm…I might just shop our home on this one)
  11. Style  (received these lovely towels and am looking at shelves & plant hangers!)

Ok, so I was feeling pretty good about getting the walls painted, but looking at this to-do list, I realize I better get going! 🙂 Especially if I’m going to paint the floor and cabinets. Yikes. Speaking of painting…

painting tips

1. When In Doubt, Prime!

So, most of my painting occurs pretty spontaneously. It’s like when you just feel like cleaning out the closet and just go for it! For this bathroom, I had a remaining gallon of Chantilly Lace and started late one Saturday.

bathroom before updated
Before reminder of drab brown paint

Halfway into one podcast, I realized that the old brown paint was just sucking up the usually easy to apply Benjamin Moore paint. That’s the point where I should’ve stopped. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve put down the brush and grabbed some primer.

Instead, I painted for days. I ran out of podcasts and quickly ran out of patience. 4 coats later, the painting is mostly done. Oof.

painting tips, wrap brush in saran wrap
Tip: wrap paint brush in cling wrap in between uses

2. Don’t Let Brushes Dry Out!

If you’re not finishing your project in one setting (see above), it’s crucial to keep the paint brushes from drying out. I’ve been known to ruin many of brushes this way.

I love these paint brush covers to keep brushes from drying out

Here’s how to keep them fresh while you’re waiting to apply the next coat. First, wrap in cling wrap. Tuck inside a plastic cover. And if it’s going to be awhile, you can actually pop the wrapped brushed in the fridge. The cold keeps the paint from drying.

3. Complete All Repairs in Advance

Again, we can reference the general issue of spontaneously painting here. Because I was so excited to jump in, I completed a lot of the prep like taping and removing basic hardware.

fix repairs in advance of painting

And then, once I got started and began painting around old towel bars and toilet paper holders, I thought, “why am I doing this? These are crap.” So midway through painting, I removed those as well. I’m glad I made that decision but it does mean that I had to cease paining, make repairs and then start painting again.

Next time, I would remove and repair EVERYTHING right from the start.

I hope these painting tips are helpful for your next painting project!