Top 5 Painting Tips from a Pro

Today I am excited to share with you some painting advice from a pro who has had years of service in the paint industry. The best part, if you have a burning question that was not answered in this post, please feel free to comment or message me at and I will ask our expert, Nigel. We will do our best to answer it!
Please know that all of the opinions are 100% his own, no paid compensation was given.
1.You get what you pay for! Whether it’s the quality of the paint your purchase, or the painter you choose to hire, there is a
distinct and proven relationship between paying for peace of mind versus cutting corners. At Catchlight Painting, we use only the best paint we can get our hands on and even then, the cost of the paint only makes up 10% of the cost of the typical project. Similarly, we hire the best
painters we can and pay them well – shouldn’t you do the same? We want ethical painters with proven experience and skills, painters we would be comfortable with in our own homes.
Benjamin Moore

Our favorite brand of paint is Benjamin Moore. Here in New England they have been the preferred paint forever, and most architects and designers specify their product too. We absolutely love their new Century paint which is designed to compete with luxe European paints in look and feel. When dry, Century feels like leather – I kid you not. It has a finish between flat and matte but looks rich and deep.

What we most like about the Benjamin Moore product line is the consistency of their quality standards and the caliber of their field reps. Benjamin Moore has serious brand loyalty in our market, and their support staff are talented, educated, trained, and offer exceptional service – you can’t ask for more than that!

5 painting tips from a pro
 2. Read the directions! I know, this seems obvious but trust me, most people and painters don’t. The paint manufacturer has invested research, time, and money in developing a high performing coating that will last for years if it is applied properly. This includes stirring or shaking the paint (read the label – clear finishes don’t like being shaken!), allowing proper coverage rates and dry times for optimal results.
5 painting tips from a pro

3.Use a bathroom specific paint in your bathrooms! Moisture, steam, humidity, condensation – these will quickly dissolve a poor-quality paint so use a paint engineered for the bathroom environment and you will be a lot happier.

Our go-to is the Aura Bath and Spa line by Benjamin Moore. Optimized for hot, steamy, humid environments, it covers easily and with a durable, matte finish, provides a uniform and sophisticated finish to ceilings and walls. Best of all, it is self-priming over surfaces in good condition.

best bathroom paint

And when mildew shows up on your ceiling in a few years, don’t call a painter, simply wipe if off with a typical bathroom type cleaner that contains a bleach dilution.

4. Don’t forget to prime! Many homeowners wonder if they need to prime their walls before they paint – the answer is yes! Many new paints are labelled self-priming – make sure you still apply sufficient coats per the directions for best results. Otherwise, buy a high quality acrylic primer to seal porous or spackled/repaired surfaces and you’ll save yourself a ton of extra labor. For exterior projects, most wood comes pre-primed from the lumberyard – this coating is designed to keep the wood stable during transportation and storage – it is NOT intended to act as a ‘field’ primer so make sure you prime here too.
Our favorite primer these days is Stix by Insul-x, now owned by Benjamin Moore. It’s a urethane-based acrylic primer that dries quickly and sticks to glossy and hard surfaces with minimal extra prep besides ensuring the surfaces are squeaky clean. It has almost no odor and dries fast enough to seal stains, but slowly enough that it can be brushed and rolled to a smooth finish, making the topcoating even easier. Whether we are priming over kitchen cabinets or old oil-painted trim, Stix performs as advertised – it sticks!
best primer
5 painting tips from a pro

5. Take your time! Remember that scene from The Karate Kid where the patient brushing of a fence instilled a sense of calm and intentionality in the tempestuous kid?

Painting requires patience, attention to detail, cleanliness, and planning – done well it can be meditative and immensely satisfying. Done in a rush, it will get the better of you and yield disappointing results.

Nigel Costolloe is both the owner and estimator at Catchlight Painting, a commercial and house painting company serving Greater Boston. Nigel is active regionally and nationally in the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) as a leader, speaker, and mentor.
5 painting tips from a pro

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