DIY painting tips: Basic start-up kit

Household 2 min read

Whether you’re new to painting or have been at it all your life, you’ve come to the right place.

I spent some time with Progressive Insurance Facility Maintenance Technician Kevin Morris to brush up on some painting DIY tips, including prep, painting tips, and choosing the right paint sheen for your room. To put it mildly, he and the Facilities Team have painted a lot of walls.

“If you’re hiring a painter, it costs about $40-45 an hour and at least $1 per square foot,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s a pretty big bill, which is why I would much rather do it myself.”

Paint any room with these 12 products

Choosing the right products for your painting project can be a pretty daunting task. Below is a simple list of the essentials:

Painter’s plastic 

Perfect to cover your furniture and anything else you want to protect from paint splatter.

Canvas drop cloth

Ideal to place on the ground because it’s absorbent, reusable, and it doesn’t slip.

Painter’s tape

To protect the areas you don’t want to paint.

Paint trim cup

Ideal for small brush jobs and for convenience when you’re painting wall edges.

Paint pan/paint liner

Paint liners protect the paint pan and are disposable.


Morris recommends spending the extra dough on higher-quality brushes, such as the Purdy XL™. “You’ll get a better finish and nicer product,” he said.

Disposable rags

Makes it easy to clean up drips and paint spills.


For a nice finish, Morris recommends a 9-inch roller with a 3/8- to 1/2-inch nap.

Putty knife and spackle 

Use to fill in any holes, bumps or cracks in the wall prior to painting.

150-grit sandpaper

Use to sand down the spackle after it dries.

Adjustable paint stick

It’ll keep you off the ladders and be easier on your shoulders.

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