Ask an expert

10 useful paint hacks for beginners

Check out these helpful hacks and give your painting skills a boost. Wall painted in Resene Turbo.

It’s never too late to pick up a paintbrush and start your DIY journey. With the right Resene paint, equipment and advice, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve at home. If you’re new to the painting game, these clever and sometimes surprising hacks will make your project easier, quicker and more successful, as well as ensure your equipment lasts well.

Hack #1: Load your roller adequately

When using a paint roller like a professional, it’s important to load your roller with the right amount of paint – don’t be shy! Once you’ve decanted your paint into a roller tray, coat your roller very thoroughly – remember that it should look like a hotdog coated in batter.

Hack #2: Start from the top down

Once you’ve chosen your colours and paint products and done all the required prep work, it’s time to get painting. The standard painting order for a room is to start at the top and work your way down – ceiling first, then walls, trims and floor

If you paint the walls before the ceiling, you’ll risk getting drops and splatters from the ceiling onto your freshly painted walls. However, depending on your personal preference, painting skills and the amount of detailing in the room, you might want to consider doing the trims before the walls.

Load up your roller so that it looks like a hotdog dipped in batter. This colour is Resene Adrenalin.
Always work from the top down when painting a room.

Hack #3: Don’t clean brushes between days

While cleaning paintbrushes properly is absolutely crucial for their longevity, you actually don’t need to worry about cleaning them at the end of the day if you’re planning on using them again the following day. Just wrap them in a reusable plastic bag overnight and they’ll be all ready to go in the morning. You can do the same thing while you take breaks during the day too.

Hack #4: Protect your paint from the sun

Summer is a great time for DIY, but very hot temperatures can negatively affect your paint. Never leave your main paint tin in direct sunlight. When painting outside on very hot days, leave your main can of Resene paint indoors and just pour the amount you need for each painting session into a paint pot. 

When you paint, contaminants from the surface can be transferred from your house to your paint as you dip your brush or roller back into the paint. If you paint from a paint pot or paint tray, you won’t be contaminating your main paint.

Hack #5: Prolong the life of your brushes

Before you start painting, take some painter’s tape and wrap it around the ferrule (where the bristles meet the metal). Make sure it’s nice and tight, with half on the metal of the handle and half on the bristles. Doing this step ensures paint won’t be right up against the ferrule, which will stop it from drying in the head of the brush and splaying the bristles out, meaning your paintbrush will last a lot longer. Once you’ve finished painting, simply remove the tape.

No need to wash your brush at the end of the day if your job isn’t quite finished – just wrap it in a reusable plastic bag or cling film and keep it in a cool place. This colour is Resene Norway.
Decant the amount of paint you need into a paint pot and leave the main paint can inside. This colour is Resene Alabaster.
Protect your brushes by wrapping painter’s tape around the base to prevent paint drying between the bristles.

Hack #6: Speed up the drying process

Paint drying properly is an important part of the process, but as we all know it can take a long time. To speed up your drying time, keep the air moving. Turn on a ceiling fan and/or position a few portable fans strategically around the space – good air circulation will accelerate the evaporation of the moisture in your paint and ensure it dries as quickly as possible. Open the windows too unless it’s particularly humid outside. 

Don’t be tempted to use a fan heater, hairdryer or heat gun on your freshly painted walls or furniture, as a significant change in temperature can potentially impact the paint’s colour and create flaws in the finish.

Hack #7: Get paint out of clothes

Paint splatters are a fact of life and while wearing old clothes or overalls is recommended when undertaking a painting project, sometimes the worst can happen. The key is to address it immediately. Blot the stain with a wet cloth to remove the excess paint and stop it from drying. Get the stain under running water as soon as possible – an old toothbrush is a good way to remove paint from the fibres of cloth.

Open doors and windows and use portable fans to increase the air circulation and speed up your drying time. This wall is being painted in Resene Sea Fog.
Act quickly to prevent paint splatters staining your clothes! Blot with a damp cloth and rinse under running water.

Hack #8: Painter’s tape pourer

As seen on TikTok, you can create an effective spout for your paint can by applying painter’s tape in a ‘V’ shape to make pouring easier. Use wide strips and make sure they’re pulled nice and tight.

Hack #9: Choose CoolColour

If you want to use a dark Resene paint colour on your outdoor furniture or home exterior, choose a Resene CoolColour formula. Resene CoolColour paints have the same vibrancy as normal Resene paints but contain special heat-reflective technology that keeps dark colours cooler than the normal colour when exposed to UV light. This helps protect the substrate and coating and makes surfaces cooler to touch in summer.

Hack #10: Get crisp, clean and seriously straight paint lines

First, use masking tape to mask off the area you want to fill with your feature colour. Then, paint along the edges of your tape with the same colour paint that is already on the wall. This will bleed through underneath the tape and seal the edge, so when you paint on your feature colour and take off the tape, you end up with a perfectly sharp line.   

The bleed-through occurs because the texture on your wall often has a light orange peel stippled texture. When you put masking tape on and paint on top, the paint invariably bleeds into the gaps where the texture is. By painting with the existing colour first, it fills those gaps and gives you a perfect straight line.

For more tips on decorating, visit your local Resene ColorShop or use the free Ask a Resene Paint Expert service online.

This TikTok trending hack makes pouring paint much more mess-free. This colour is Resene Parsley.
Choose a Resene CoolColour formula when using dark paint colours outdoors. Fence stained in Resene Pitch Black.
Painting over masking tape with the colour that's already on the wall will help you achieve crisp, sharp lines. Wall in Resene Savour and Resene Black White.

About MasterStroke by Resene
MasterStroke by Resene is here to help you master your paint and decorating DIY projects. Brush up on your skills with advice, tips and ideas from our trusted experts.

Check out the latest how-to videos on our YouTube channel.