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Professional Tips and Tricks

In my 40 years as a house painter and contractor, I've gathered many tips and practices that are now part of my every day routine. Some of these tips simply make my work faster or more efficient. Other tips help produce higher quality results.

I'm certain that homeowners painting their own dwellings will benefit from these suggestions. Less-experienced contractors may also find my suggestions helpful, so over the coming days and weeks I hope to provide this information freely via my Twitter feed.

Why am I sharing this hard-earned experience? It's my belief that generosity of knowledge and practice brings benefits to the giver and the recipient. I hope you'll call on me the next time you require a professional house painter.

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You can access previous tips and keep up-to-date by "following" me on Twitter.


Never work with your paint brush out of a full pail of paint. Use a spare bucket as your "cutting bucket" and put the minimum amount of paint into it—usually less than an inch.

You never know when your bucket might fall or tip, and the handles on paint pails are not securely fastened. Having a minimum of paint in your cutting pail ensures that any spill is only a small spill, and it gives you a place to keep your brush bristles wet when you set the brush down.


A contractor removed the lid from a full gallon of paint, and then carried it through the house to the area where he was painting. On the way, the side of the gallon tapped a corner of the wall and tipped slightly, spilling paint over the edge onto the floor. This could have been avoided if the painter had poured the paint into a cutting bucket before carrying it across the house.

Copyright ©2011 by Nathan Harms
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