Friday, December 21, 2012

Tips from the Lazy Painter

If you read the DIY blog realm like I do, you see post after post of "I love painting! Cutting in is so easy anyone can do it!"

Screw that!

I'm here to say right here, and right now, I SUCK at painting.

Yep, there we go.

It may not be so much that I suck at painting as much as I may be the queen of lazy painting. In my family we joke that everyone is masters of guerrilla warfare. My mom can sew anything- the insides look like crap, but the job is done.

My sister is the worlds worst organizer. She looks organized, but everything is crammed in pretty boxes so on the outside it looks lovely, but you still can't find anything.

I am a guerrilla painter. If you really look at my paint jobs, they suck, but the color is on the wall and if I hang up enough art- you can't tell how much I suck. (Photo editing software helps too...)

Here are some tips from the guerrilla painter.

1.) Make it fun

Turn on your pandora, take off your pants, get a large diet coke and rock out.


I don't understand why more bloggers don't recognize the amazing-ness that is an edger. I do not cut in. I don't. I suck at it, it looks like a toddler with a paintbrush tried to make something I quit doing it, and I rock my edger.

It is like $3 at Home Depot and you can buy the pads at Wal-Mart for like $1 a piece. The doodad has wheels on it that glide smoothly along trim and moldings and gives you a nice 3 inch block of paint.  Having that three inches makes it really easy to roll into and you're not spending hours cutting in a room. The trick with an edger though is to only edge a small section at a time, then roll it, or the edge will dry and you won't get a smooth finish. When Brenna and I paint together, she rocks the edger, I rock the roller.

Got a small space above a window or something? Edge the whole freaking thing. No point climbing up and down the ladder a thousand times. Just rub your edger all over the place- easy peasy.

Using this bad boy has also eliminated a lot of my tape consumption. If I use tape, I use frog tape, because the seal is a lot better than scotch blue, in my opinion, and I know my crappy paint job won't damage my wood. I only really tape places where there isn't enough of a lip for my edger (like around my fireplace) but even then, I taped it, and then edged over the tape.

3.) Get the stick thingy.

For some reason I never bought the stick thing before we bought this house, but I finally caved because our ceilings are so tall, even on our 6 foot ladder I couldn't paint all the way up. Now I use it almost all the time- it will cut your paint time in half and your legs will thank you the next day when you're not climbing up and down the ladder 47 times.

4.) Not gunna see it? Don't paint it.

Now, I'm not saying paint like 2 inches below where your couch hits and leave the rest- that's just silly, but say you have 1 inch between your woodwork and your floor boards. If a piece of furniture is for sure ALWAYS going to be in front of it, don't risk damaging your woodwork by painting it. Yes, I could tape it and get in there with my foamy brush and meticulously paint the whole thing, but for what end? Example; I'm painting the living room right now. We have a giant ass sectional that can not fit anywhere else in our house. It is ALWAYS going to be in front of that 1 inch gap, so no- I'm not going to paint it. By the time I get rid of the couch I'll want to re-paint anyway.

5.) Prime.

I know that doesn't sound lazy, because why paint 2 coats of primer only to paint color. Uhhh, because it makes your color stick better- obviously. Plus with primer, you just get your roller on the long stick, slap a couple coats on in less than an hour and you'll make it so you're not edging your new color on for the next three days to get a level coloring.

6.) Do it with someone else home to corral your dogs so you're not worried Seamus is gunna rub is fat ass in the paint and then scurry all over the house rubbing paint on everything. 

Or maybe that's just at my house.

7.) Do it all in one night.

I don't care how tired I am, I'd rather stay up until two in the morning and get it done than to wrap all that shit up and seal everything and start over the next day. No. Do it once.

8.) Buy your supplies at Wal-Mart (but not your paint!)

Wal-Mart's paint is terrible...but their supplies are the same as everywhere else and they are so cheap you can stock pile rollers and edger pads (example, a foam brush at HD is $0.67-$2.00, WM has a pack of 12 for $1.50)

9.) Throw that crap out.

Because you stock pile everything at Wal-Mart you don't have to spend 2 hours scrubbing brushes and roller pads in your stinky utility sink. Yeah it's not the most environmentally friendly thing, but I'd rather buy it cheap and throw it out than deal with cleaning it only to have it probably be stupid and crusty anyway the next time I went to use it.

10.) If your walls suck Paint sassy, but Neutral, accessorize boldly.

In our first apartment, I painted the walls really fantastic colors. I loved them. I'm not kidding, our living room was pumpkin orange and peacock. It was awesome.  I loved it. It only worked because all of our furniture was light and neutral, but now, after the 8 hour fiasco of painting the popcorn wall the Seal color (dark charcoal), from now all, all popcorn walls will be painted relatively calm. If a wall is flat and you paint it sassy, then you hate it, 2 hours later and it's gone. On a popcorn wall, you'll never get that part of your life back. So, to make it so I don't waste away with my foamy paint brush, all popcorn walls will be painted a sassy neutral and then be accessorized with the obnoxious colors that I love so very much.

So those are some of my lazy painters tricks. I'm sure I'll think of more the deeper into this house we get.

Do you guys have any lazy painting tips? Or lazy house tips in general?


  1. I freaking hate cutting in. I HATE IT. But I do love to paint... because like you I take my pants off, but on some music, and go to town. I actually have a "painting bra" too so when it's hot as heck out in the summer I can be sans shirt too. Maybe instead of the DIY Action Squad we should have been the Pantless Painters

    1. ME TOO! I have a bad bra I paint in because big boobie bras are EXPENSIVE and god forbid if I get paint on a good bra. No Pants Painting Parties!

    2. One up-vote for a name change to "The Pantless Painters." I am positive that will boost SEO.

      Also... I am a MAJOR fan of the edger tool. I always buy that and a $30 gift card for a housewarming gift to all my friends to kick off their painting excursions. When I introduced that tool to my mom, she literally cried because it changed her life. Lol. All she could think about was 20 years ago, cutting in their entire house when it was new.

    3. That is an awesome house warming present!

    4. I love it, because I also pint pantsless. Hahaha. And edgers save my sanity.

  2. Mom here. If you do one thing for the environment, put all your spent rollers, edger pads, foamy brushes, etc. out somewhere safe and let them dry completely before disposing of them. Hardened paints does not seep into the landfills and water tables the way wet paint does. Same goes for empty or partially empty paint cans. Pop that lid and let that old paint dry rock hard before you throw it out. Have a super day sledding in the snow. Love, love.

    1. Hi Mom! We do let them dry...partially because I'm lazy and never clean up right away, but we don't have any empty paint cans so we haven't had to deal with throwing paint out yet. We do, however, have a large box of spray paint cans with no idea what to do with.

  3. We're big fans of the edger here, too. We were out of pads for it when we started the bedroom, and Dave tried cutting in--took FOREVER. So we went to buy pads. I must admit I rarely prime anymore, though--unless covering up something especially dark or weird. Like the stripes that used to be in Ari's room. It seems like we always need exactly two coats of paint whether we prime or not--at least with the fairly light, neutral stuff we're painting over in most of this house. And I'm into the instant gratification of seeing the color right away ;)

    1. That was my philosophy for a long time too- and probably will be after we get the first coat of new paint up in this house. For now, everything is getting a coat of kilz to get rid of that "empty house smell" But there is the joy of seeing the color contrast right away!

  4. I'm lucky because my mom loves to paint, so I just help her out whenever she's in town - haha.

    Seriously though, we have textured walls everywhere with matte paint that suck moisture like no tomorrow. To get the paint on (and into all the cracks) we spray water before painting and it cuts way down on time and paint used. If you buy high quality pigment, you can even water it down a little to do that final coat to fill in the specks showing through.

    I'm also a fan of pantsless painting :)

  5. Ohhhh honey thanks so much for posting this! I LOVE the rolly edger things and I ALWAYS buy the cheap supplies and I ALWAYS throw the stuff out when I’m done. One good trick I’ve learned is to roll up your wet rollers with Saran Wrap overnight if you are doing multiple coats. It keeps the paint on the roller wet so you can reuse the same roller the next day for the next coat, without having to clean a thing! Then of course when you’re done just chuck it. ;-)


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