Painting can transform a space, which makes it a particularly enticing project for the millions of people sheltering at home. If you haven’t tackled it on your own before, Consumer Reports has some painting pointers.
First, start with a good paint and a good brush. CR recommends Behr Premium Plus from Home Depot, a Best Buy for $31 a gallon.
For latex paint, use a brush with nylon bristles. The bristles should be nice and stiff to spread the paint evenly. Tug at them to make sure they don’t come out; you don’t want to find any in your paint.
Small, angled sash brushes from 1 to 2 and a half inches wide are best for trim. For cutting in around doorways and ceilings, use an angled sash brush that’s 2 and a half inches. The angle allows you to make a sharp line and access corners. And for painting wide, flat surfaces like walls or siding, a flat brush that’s 3 to 4 inches wide will do the best job.
For walls and ceilings, use a roller. CR recommends using a short-nap one, about a quarter-inch deep. They tend to cause less splatter while still providing you with a smooth, thick coat.
You can also tackle outdoor projects like fences and front doors. CR recommends Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior from Home Depot and Clark+Kensington Exterior from Ace.
CR says it’s always a good idea to keep leftover paint for future touch-ups. If you’re using the original container, close the lid tightly, tapping it with a hammer. Write the date you used the paint and the room you painted with a permanent marker. Don’t store it in sunlight or near a heat source or anywhere it might freeze.