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Start small. Try experimenting with a favorite color in a small bathroom or guest room or on an accent wall. It's a great way to see immediate results and a quick fix if you find that particular color is not for you. Think of it as an adventure!

One of the most foolproof ways to inspire a great color scheme is to pull colors from something that you already have and know you plan to keep in the room-like a favorite piece of artwork, curtains, bedding, furniture fabrics or even a cherished family heirloom.

All colors in the spectrum can be classified as being either warm or cool. Reds, oranges and yellows are considered warm colors, which can help create an energizing effect in the room. Greens, blues and purples are considered cool colors, which tend to create a calming effect.

Neutral colors are low-intensity colors, such as grays, beiges, tans and taupes. Because of their low color intensity, they work well with even the brightest colors. Neutral colors are known to "play well" with others because they go with everything, making them an excellent choice to use in any room of your home.

When choosing a room color, it's important to think about the mood you want to create in that room. For example, soothing neutrals and softer, more muted colors can help to create a restful, relaxing mood, which is perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms. Where brighter and more vibrant colors tend to create a livelier environment, which is better suited for the more active areas of your home such as a kitchen, dining area, craft room or a child's playroom.

It is important to think about how colors flow from room to room to room. This is why neutral colors are a wise choice for hallways, entryways or other highly visible rooms in your home because neutrals go with every color.

Lighting can have a huge effect on a color's appearance. For example, natural daylight shows the truest color, while incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows, and fluorescent lighting casts a cooler, bluer tone.For best results, we recommend purchasing a pint tinted to your favorite color and painting a swatch on your wall, then viewing your color at different times of the day and night in the light sources used in that room.

There are three primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Secondary colors are made by combining any two primary colors together (for example, yellow + blue = green, blue + red = purple, red + yellow = orange). Tertiary colors fill in the six gaps between the primary and secondary colors: red-orange, blue-green, red-violet and so on.

A color scheme is a combination of colors used together to create a beautiful designer look. Some of the most popular color schemes for home decor are: complementary, analogous and monochromatic.

A complementary color scheme combines colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel (like red paired with green or blue paired with orange)-creating a classic and timeless look. An analogous color scheme uses colors that lay directly next to each other on the color wheel (such as blue paired with green and purple, or red paired with yellow and orange).

An analogous scheme using cool colors will give rooms a calming and soothing look, while a warm analogous scheme will create an energizing effect.

A monochromatic color scheme incorporates a mixture of lighter and darker shades of the same color (like a deep navy paired with a mid-toned blue and a pale, sky blue), which creates a stylish and sophisticated look.

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These paints have resins and thinners in them that evaporate when the paint dries. This process forms a hard coating and provides heavier coverage on the first coat, effective penetration and excellent adhesion. They are particularly good for chalky surfaces and those that already have several layers of oil-based paint.

It refers to how shiny the paint is. Manufacturers use terms such as flat, satin, semi-gloss and hi-gloss to describe their paints, but there are no specific industry standards.

Hi-gloss paints are great for high-traffic areas because they provide a tough, washable finish that also resists water and grease. Use them on kitchen and bathroom walls, kitchen cabinets, banisters and railings, trim, furniture, doorjambs and windowsills. However, the gloss will make surface imperfections more noticeable, so you will have to work a little harder to ensure a good finish. A semi-gloss provides a little less durability but is a little easier to work with.

These are also called matte finishes and they are good for walls and ceilings in lower-traffic areas.

It's a paint that has a little more sheen than a flat paint, which makes it easier to clean and gives it a more lustrous appearance. It can be used in place of semi-gloss to provide a less shiny finish. Some manufacturers market a satin or silk finish, which is usually a little shinier than an eggshell but less shiny than a semi-gloss.

A wood stain is used to change the appearance of the wood, such as to bring out the definition in the wood grain or match the look of another species of wood. Varnish, which may be water- or oil-based, provides a clear, transparent coating that is durable and hard. Varnishes also come in a variety of shines from flat to high-gloss, and they may be water- or oil-based.

Semi-transparent stains provide a color to the wood, but still allow the texture and natural grain to show through. Solid-color stains allow the texture to show, but not the grain.

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Bristle has naturally split ends called flags, which help hold the paint in the brush so that it is released throughout the stroke instead of all at once.

No. Just remember that humid weather can make someone's hair turn frizzy. Water-based paints do the same thing to natural-bristle brushes, so you will want to use a synthetic brush with latex paint.

Natural bristles are best for most oil-based finishes, including varnishes and stains. Their soft tips leave fewer brush marks.

An angle-tipped brush allows you to put the tips of the bristles on the work at the natural angle that the brush is held. In addition, an angle-tipped brush puts slightly more bristle area on the work than a square-tipped brush of the same width.

Yes, but you must make sure you clean them extremely well. It's best if you just buy two sets of brushes-one for latex and one for oil-based paints.

The best answer is whatever you feel comfortable with. A bigger brush holds more paint and applies it more quickly, but it is also harder to control.

Roller covers vary in pile or nap length, and it's essential to choose the right pile length for the surface texture you're painting. A general guideline is:

Smooth (3/16" or 1/4" nap): for walls, floors and fine finishing.

Rough (3/4" or 1" nap): for light stucco walls and masonry floors.

Extra Rough (1 1/4" nap): for brick, block, masonry and stucco.

Good roller frames have a compression-type cage, which is also convenient, because their covers can be removed quickly and easily. Also, look for a handle that has a threaded end so you can use an extension pole for painting floors and ceilings.

This depends on a variety of factors: Where will the sealant be applied? What type of surfaces will be bonded or caulked? How much stress or movement will the joint be subject to? What other performance requirements will it need to meet?

Latex caulks are good for filling these kinds of gaps. They clean up with water and most are paintable. However, they must be applied in temperatures of more than 40° Fahrenheit.

Yes. For example, vinyl latex is good for small cracks. Acrylic latex is a little more flexible and lasts longer, up to 10 or 15 years. Siliconized acrylic latex should not be confused with a pure silicone caulk. It is a medium-performance caulk that provides some water resistance and lasts up to 25 years or more.

You should apply wall sizing to all walls. It prepares the surface and acts as a first coat. It makes a smooth surface and prevents paste from soaking into the wall.

A wallpaper remover, a three-inch wallpaper stripping tool, a bucket and a sponge. You can also buy a tool that will score the paper before you apply the remover.

Wood stepladders are sturdy and the least expensive, but they are heavy. Aluminum stepladders are lightweight but more expensive than wood stepladders. Fiberglass stepladders combine strength and lightweight and are the most expensive.

You should use a liquid de-glosser, which works without sanding and produces a slight tack for better adhesion of the new finish.

The smaller the number, the finer the steel wool.

These numbers stand for the number of particles per square inch. The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.

It's a cloth that picks up and holds dirt, sand and other debris. You should use one on any surface before you apply a coat of paint or any other finish.

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Using a fine steel wool between multiple coats will give you a smoother surface. Be sure to clean the surface with a tack cloth before painting each additional coat.

A sanding block helps speed up sanding jobs, relieves strain on your hands and makes your sandpaper last longer.

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The sooner you clean your brushes after you are finished with your paint project, the easier they will be to clean. Don't put this task off if you want to keep your brushes in good shape. If for some reason you can't clean your brush right away, wrap the brush in plastic cling wrap to prevent it from drying out. In the case of a roller, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag. Then wash as soon as possible.

Latex paint simply requires warm water and a mild detergent or hand soap for cleanup. For best results, fill a bucket full of warm water in a utility sink, if possible. Then rub the brush back and forth in the bucket of water to try to release as much of the paint from the bristles as possible. Then rinse the brush under clean water and continue to discard and refill the water until it runs clear. Using a metal painter's comb is also recommended to help loosen any stubborn bits of dried paint from the brush. Rub some hand soap into the brush and massage it into the bristles with your hands for several minutes. Then rinse with warm water until the water runs clear and tap the brush gently against the edge of the bucket to remove extra water from the bristles. Then comb one last time with a

Partially fill a large bucket or utility sink with warm water and roll the roller back and forth. Continue to discard and fill the bucket with fresh, warm water, rolling the roller back and forth until the water runs clear. The curved section of the 5-in-1 tool is designed to help remove paint from the roller. Run this curve up and down the roller under warm running water to clean the roller. Then hang the roller to dry after cleaning. Alternatively, roller covers are relatively inexpensive and are designed to be disposed of after use, so weigh the pros of washing and reusing or simply disposing of the roller cover after you have finished your paint project.

To clean your brushes or rollers after using an oil-based paint, use the same process as you did for the latex paint cleanup, except use a paint thinner or solvent-based paintbrush cleaner instead of water.

If using FrogTape®, remove tape immediately after painting. For all other types of painter's tape, wait until the paint has fully dried before removing the tape. Peel the tape off slowly and gently-never rip it off quickly or it may pull up some of your newly painted surface along with the tape.

Any paint on windowpanes can be easily scraped off with a razor blade. The glass can then be washed with warm water and a paper towel. It is recommended to wait approximately two weeks after painting your window trim to have your windows professionally cleaned as it may take that long for the paint to fully cure.

Any spots of paint on hard surfaces can usually be removed by wiping with a damp cloth. For more stubborn spots, try scraping very gently with a blunt knife, taking care not to scratch any delicate surfaces.

If you accidentally happen to spill paint on your clothing or on other fabric, it will be easiest to remove once the paint is dry. Otherwise you run the risk of embedding the paint into the fabric, which will make it nearly impossible to remove. Try working it out gently with a small brush, warm water and a mild detergent to avoid further damage to the fabric.

Like with fabric, first wait for the paint to dry so as not to embed the paint further into the carpeting. Depending upon the type of carpeting, it may be possible to cut the dried bits of paint off with scissors or to work out the dried paint using a blunt knife. Using warm water and a clean white rag, blot but do not scrub the paint to work it out of the carpeting, as this may damage the pile. Always work in the direction of the pile, then blot dry.

The best way to keep paint off of your skin is to use gloves and protective clothing, but if you do get paint on your skin, there is a vast array of special hand cleaners available that are extremely effective in removing paint from the skin without causing any irritation.

Here are some helpful recommendations for what to do with any unused paint you might have: Leftover Tips >>