June 9, 2014

Wall Painting Tips from a Contractor’s Wife

Hey guys!

I have my friend Olivia from DIY Mothers over with another guest post. Olivia previously shared 5 decor trends she wished would die out. Today, she’s sharing some tips for painting your walls.


Hey everyone! I’m Olivia from DIY Mother, and I’m super excited because Whitney has been kind enough to let me share some more of my decorating endeavors with you all today. This month, we’ve been working on re-doing the dining room, and I’m going to share some of my favorite painting tips and also show you some pictures of the process.
PicMonkey Collage
My husband is a contractor, so as an aspiring decorator I consider myself very lucky. When I want to make a small renovation or change something in the house, he’s cheering me on and teaching me how to do it like a pro. A couple of months ago, he taught me how to re-tile; I did everything from ripping the old tile out to grouting the new tile.

Needless to say, I’ve picked up a few things through the years that’s helped me grow as an interior design enthusiast.

My latest project has been painting the living and dining room in our house. We have big windows in the dining room, but the living room tends to be a bit dark. After spending a couple of hours looking at grey-white paint colors at Home Depot, I decided on Behr’s Irish Mist. A helpful tip: when you decide on a paint color, take it home and swatch it on your walls so that you can see how it looks during different times of the day.

We didn’t get to the living room (I have a toddler and a 5-month-old, so we have to pace ourselves), but the dining room is done and I’m so happy with how it turned out. As every interior design enthusiast knows, the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade is paint! And if you’re patient and careful, you can totally pull off an “expert” paint job.




For us, Frog Tape has always worked better than regular blue painter’s tape, especially for crown and floor molding. We also picked up a few small brushes for the trim and corners; it’s important to have those tiny brushes because you will probably have to paint around things like electrical outlets.



If there are any imperfections in your trim, caulk it beforehand. This will make everything look cleaner when you’re finished. Actually, if there are any imperfections at all, focus on those first. Paint won’t fix cosmetic issues on your walls; in fact, sometimes it can enhance them.

After you clean the walls and lay down a drop cloth, tape off the walls. Alot of paint experts don’t use painter’s tape, but it’s still a good idea to use until you feel comfortable enough to paint trim and corners without it.

Before you start the heavy rolling, you’ll want to start cutting in. “Cutting in” just means that you use a trim brush to start painting around the ceiling or trim. When you paint around the trim or ceiling, you want to paint out from the corner using 5 or 6 small horizontal strokes. Then, smooth those strokes out with a long vertical stroke. Here’s a great video on how to cut in at a corner.

When rolling the paint on the walls, paint 2 or 3-ft. areas at a time, and move in an “M” motion. Always start from the bottom and move up and away from you. If you start from the top and move down, the paint will probably run down the wall. When you’ve finished making the “M”, go back and fill in the spaces with light pressure.

When your paint dries, apply another coat. As a general rule, remember that one coat will look good, but two coats will look great. I’m so pleased with how the dining room turned out. Now all that’s left to do is switch out that hideous light fixture and add some artwork!

From this:


To this:


From this:


To this:


What do you think? I think the paint brings so much more light to the (already bright) room. I’d love to fill you guys in on any new updates, feel free to check out my updates, and some of my DIY projects over at DIY Mother!

Thanks a lot, Olivia, I’m sure there’s a lot of us struggling with paint jobs and you’ve made it seem much easier now.

So, guys, do you have your own painting tips that you’ve been using? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know!

Till next time,





1 comments so far.

One response to “Wall Painting Tips from a Contractor’s Wife”

  1. Gladys ramos says:

    Hi I love the change wich color did you choose for the ne dining room ,my house has a same yellow color in the dining room hall and kitchen ,I want to paint something like yours 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

About Me

whitney j decor | whitney jones | new orleans interior designer | new orleans decorator | nola interior designer | nola decorator

I’m a self-proclaimed foodie with a love of all things HOME. I’m at my best when color & coffee is involved, but you can also bribe me with crawfish, bread pudding, and/or hibachi. New Orleans born and bred, it’s how I’ve learned to be confident in my use of unique patterns, bold color, and space planning when transforming my clients’ homes! Welcome to Whitney J Décor!

Join the VIP List

find out How I navigate retail stores for home decor

I'm a loud talking creative with a love for all things home. I'm all about turning your most boring, often neglected space, into your dream home. I love shopping "To The Trade" for décor you can be sure aren't in everyone else's home, but sometimes I have to shop my local retail stores. Want to learn how I best navigate these stores for the most fab finds? Sign up for my Home Decor Retail Shopping Guide!

latest vlogs