OK, maybe not never, but practically never. I feel like I’m always hearing people explaining how to tackle painting jobs the “right way” or telling us all what we “need” to get this basic job done properly. Now, I’m all for doing things the right way and putting quality workmanship into your home, but sometimes it seems like we can talk up this relatively-simple job to the point that people are intimidated by the thought of even picking up a paint brush in their own homes. It’s painting, people! Every time I hear someone describe themselves as “not a very good painter” I cringe a little, because really, all that there is to it is that you pick a color you like, slop it on, and then smear it around until it looks presentable. AND, it almost always looks presentable. The skills required to do an amazing job just require a tiny bit of practice and you don’t need to buy a million different specific rollers to get that experience. A lot of those expensive painting tools really don’t make any difference at all! Really. In fact, I almost never buy a single expensive anything for all the painting I do, and here’s why:
Painting should be cheap and cheerful
The ability to paint is the ability for anyone, anywhere to change their own environment and to choose how they want it to look and feel. No matter what your budget is, changing the colors in a room with paint is one of the most powerful DIY design tools that you have and it’s available to practically anyone who’s interested. What’s more, you can feel free to let your creativity takeover and change things up whenever you feel like it, and with very little cost involved. Some of my best paint-based room makeovers have happened using a $15 can of recycled paint and dollar store brushes. So for me, it’s almost really just a matter of principle. 🙂
If you have perfect brushes, then chances are that you’re going to want to keep them perfect. Which means that anytime you get the whim to paint a room or a piece of furniture, you’ll want to have the perfect day and the perfect situation and the perfect set up so that you can do your expensive paint justice and keep you perfect brushes in their most perfectest shape. And then you’ll just never get around to tackling the job because that whole scenario will just never happen. Having materials on hand that you’re not afraid to ruin and throw away if need be, or paint that you’re not afraid to cover up at a later date if you change your mind, gives you such a sense of freedom and really, you’ll just end up painting more often and creating more rooms that you love! At best, I use a medium-priced angled brush for certain cutting-in jobs, and even then, it’s mostly just because it makes me feel fancy. I have to admit that any of those higher priced brushes don’t make me love my paint anymore than the dollar store brushes do.
Honestly, paint technology is pretty great across the board. Event the cheapest paint that you can buy now is pretty amazing compared to the paint we were using 15 years ago. For all of my basic wall painting or fix-ups around the house, I always just buy a fairly basic low-cost paint and I’m still always thrilled with the results and the finish.
Walls don’t have tags on them
Once your room is painted, no one can tell what name brand of paint or paint brushes you used, unless they ask of course. You do get to look fancy for a second if you get to tell your friends that you used the fanciest of paints, but you also get to look clever if you tell them that you just used basic paints, and yet your room still turned out just as beautifully. It’s probably just because your design skills are so astounding. 🙂 Honestly, the only thing people are ever going to really notice is whether or not they like the color of your room and how good it looks compared to before you painted. So save yourself those extra few dollars and buy yourself something nice. 🙂
If you’ve been feeling like you really don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to painting, and you’re worried about wasting a whole bunch of money on supplies, only to mess the project up, stop it! Pick up some basic supplies, even the cheapest that you can find is just fine, and jump right in! Ignore all those voices in your head telling you that you need a certain quality of supplies to have the result you want and be prepared to fall in love with the transformative magic that paint can bring to your home!
(rant over :))
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.