“Map out your prep. Do you have bad walls (or a lumpy paint job) to cover? Bite the bullet and give everything a good sanding with 200-grit paper before you start. Are you painting a light color over a dark one? Priming is a must. If your walls are pale and smooth, feel free to sip both of these steps.
Pick the right paint (and brush). …a synthetic-bristle brush if you’re using latex paints; natural bristles for oil.
Get down to business. If you’re painting an entire room, plan to start with the ceiling and work your way down, tackling walls, then trim, and baseboards last. Remove light-switch plates, cover outlets with tape, toss drop clothes over the furniture and floors, and tape the edges of the area you’re going to paint with clean-release tape. Pour paint into a Teflon Shur-Line tray ($7; lowes.com) which allows you to peel off any remaining paint in a sheet when you’re finished.
Master the stroke. Cut into ceilings and walls first, feathering out the paint as you go to avoid creating unintentional borders. When painting over tape, brush away from the tape to prevent leaks and blurry lines. For best results, plan on two coats.
Need a break? If you’re stepping away for a day (or less), there’s no need o wash your brush. Just squeeze out the excess paint, wrap the brush in foil, and secure with a rubber band if necessary.
…And Repeat. Give your surfaces that second coat of paint. Let dry, then remove the tape, pulling it off at an angle to prevent chipping. Pour a little extra paint into a Rubbermaid Paint Buddy ($9, lowes.com), to keep on hand for touch-ups later.
Finish up. If you have oil-based leftovers, go to earth911.org to find a hazardous-waste disposal near you. Stir ‘Waste Away Paint Hardener’ ($2.50 homaxproducts.com), into paint and toss the solidified mixture into the trash.”
-p 89 O Magazine Winter 2008