Painting tips (and the laundry room walls)

Hey there! I’m back with another update on the basement laundry room. When we started finishing our basement in January, we decided to move the washer and dryer to a dedicated room down there. Some people thought I was crazy, but I can now tell you from experience, it’s freakin’ awesome. ;) (You can see the reasons why I did it here.)

I told you about the paint color plan for the basement a couple of months ago, and I knew I wanted to paint the laundry room this Pebble Beach color from Benjamin Moore:

pebble beach, benjamin moore

I got these matched at Sherwin Williams because I’ve fallen in love with that paint, and I got it for a great deal during one of their sales.

Since I was painting the laundry room, I figured this would be a great time to recap some of my favorite painting tips. I use these pretty much every time I paint and they keep the process as cheap as it can possibly be!

First up, the dreaded preparation. If I can avoid this part, I do. :) I showed you how I fill holes in the walls here and that’s still my method. But if there are small nail holes I’ll just quickly fill them with spackle and wipe away the excess (don’t even need to sand) or just leave them alone – paint fills them in if they are small. ;)

I saw an idea in Family Handyman a while back that recommends using nails to make holes in the rim of the paint can to prevent the paint from filling up that area and dripping all over the sides:

preventing drips on paint cans

I have tried it and honestly it didn’t do much good. I used large nails and lot of holes too – it just didn’t drain well. So I stick by my easy (but messier) method, which is just wiping the paint from the rim with my finger and onto my paint t-shirt:

painting clothes

I wear that one pretty much every time I paint. If I don’t have it on, I just grab a rag and use that. I always find it’s impossible to keep my hands completely clean while painting anyway, so why not just use them. ;)

I saw a tip from Sabrina Soto on HGTV once a while back that I still use – before I paint I grab painters tape and use it to clean off the roller:

frogtape clean off roller before painting

(You’ll be seeing a lot of that green FrogTape around here by the way, I’m one of the members of their new Blog Squad, whoot!!)

This way the fuzzies end up on the tape and not your walls! (And the cheaper your roller, the more fuzz you’ll get off, in my experience.)

Here’s another tip – it took me a while to realize this, but even if I’m painting a regular room with normal ceiling height, I put my roller on a pole, instead of holding the roller. It is SO much easier on your body to stand back and let the long pole do the work. My back and shoulders used to ache when I used just the roller. Now it doesn’t bother me much at all because I use the pole.

By the way, please don’t buy a pole at the store just for painting!! Any standard broom that comes apart (and most do) will attach to your roller:

use broom pole for paintinguse broom pole for painting 

You can’t tell from these photos but that red broom handle is covered with paint. ;)

As far as trays go, I just use the plastic liners as my tray, without a metal tray underneath. You don’t need it. I’ve tried the metal paint trays where the paint is supposed to peel right off and uh, it did not happen for me. Maybe it was the fault of the operator, but it was ridiculous. Save your money. :)

When it comes to small jobs where I’m just using a small foam roller, I will either just dump some paint on a couple paper plates:

cheap paint tray

Or I will skip the plastic tray all together and use up some of my plastic shopping bags and line the metal tray with it:

plastic bag paint tray

If you do this, make sure to turn the bag inside out if there is print on it. :)

I don’t buy the little handheld paint trays specifically made for cutting in with a brush. Instead I use coffee cups and wash them out after each use:coffee cup as paint tray

If you don’t have any (we don’t drink coffee so we don’t have a ton), you can get them for about 25 cents at Goodwill. They hold just enough and are the perfect size for a paint brush. The handle makes them easy to hold on to and carry around the room.

One more tip I learned years ago – if need to stop mid-painting and have wet brushes, stick them in a Ziploc bag or a plastic grocery bag (tied up) and they will stay wet for days.

Some say to put them in the fridge but I’ve never found it necessary – they stay wet just as long left out as well:

store wet paint brushes for later use

If I have paint left in a tray I’ll wrap it up in a bag and tie it up to keep it till I’m ready – that way I’m not trying to get all that paint back in the can (you’ll always lose some). You can keep used rollers ready to go that way as well! (Although I find they dry out quicker than the brushes.)

And when are ready to wash the brushes – you’ll love this little guy:

paint brush cleaning comb

This brush comb is about $5 but has saved me a TON in new paint brushes. You just brush it through while washing them out. It gets all the bits of paint out and leaves the bristles nice and straight while they dry out. I LOVE this.

So there you go! A few of my favorite painting tools and tips! If you have never painted and are nervous about it, don’t be. I hadn’t put a drop of paint on a wall in my life before the day we closed on this house. And that first day I painted our family room and it’s still the same today…so I did OK. ;)

Back to the laundry room -- here’s the space before we started:

And here it is after the tile was installed, Pebble Beach was painted on the walls, and baseboards and quarter round were installed:

light gray laundry room light gray laundry room white tile

I was up at the crack of dawn one morning scrambling to get that trim down so the washer and dryer could be installed! By the skin of my teeth, I tell you.

I thought this color was going to be much lighter than it was – but there isn’t any natural light so I think with that it would read MUCH lighter. I love it though – it’s coming together just as I had imagined! I’m going for a “rustic elegance” look in there – that term came to me after I started the shelves in here and I think it’s fitting. I’ll show you those soon! 

So do you use any of the tips I mentioned? Do you have any painting tips I missed here?  I love hearing new ones so share away!

**Don’t forget -- the next Show Us Your House party is next week and it’s time to show off family rooms! That one will go up Monday morning this time – probably around 10 a.m. EST. I know that will be different from my past link ups that go up at night so I wanted to make sure to let you know!

Have a great weekend!!

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