Handy Hints - Paint like a Pro

  • 4 min read

Painting is a skill set that can take some time to master. To still help you get started on your own projects we put together a few handy hints to make it a bit easier to learn the basics. 


It is important to put the right amount of paint on your paint brush. The best way to do this is to dip the paint brush about 25mm to 50mm deep into the paint and then gently tap the brush against both sides of the paint container. Never rub the brush against the side of the paint container as you will wipe off too much paint.

PRO TIP: Painting from your 4 Litre paint tin is not very efficient. It is heavy and has a double lip that traps paint. It is always easier using a separate container that has no lip. Haydn provide some great alternatives to using the paint tin, the 2 Litre paint pot and a variety of buckets and trays. Paint Pail offers great options that hold the brush in place and come with fitted liners for an easier clean up.



The paint brush used to cut-in is the most important factor in producing a great result. Even if you use the most expensive paint made it cannot be made to look good when applied with a poor quality brush. Haydn produce specialised cutters and oval ferruled brushes specifically for cutting in, some of our top brushes for this task are Leeda, Karbon, Classic Premier Oval, Genius and Ultimate Oval. The best sizes of brush to use for cutting-in are the 38mm, 50mm and 63mm. They are wide enough to paint away from the edge for the roller to roll into and also they are narrow enough to control.


-  Have enough light in the room. Cutting-in is careful work and seeing well helps.

-  Grip the brush using the pencil grip technique.

-  Do not try to apply too much paint; a smooth even coat will look best.

-  Some colours will not cover with one coat. Cutting-in and rolling a second coat is sometimes nearly as fast as trying to make one coat cover. Two coats will always look better.

-  Use Haydn masking tape on areas such as trim and windows.

-  Use a Haydn paint pot. These have wide openings to make dipping the brush easier and less messy.

-  The method of dipping the brush and then raking it off on the sides of the bucket removes too much paint. Try to use a dip and touch method for loading the paint brush instead. Here’s how:

Dip the brush into the paint straight down about 25mm to 50mm deep depending on the size of the brush. Pull the brush out just above the level of paint and touch each side of the work pot with the brush almost in a very light slapping motion. This technique loads the brush with paint and removes the excess to help prevent dripping as the brush is drawn away from the Haydn paint pot. It takes some practice but works very well.  

-  When approaching the wall with a loaded paint brush start painting about 25mm or so away from the edge. Then paint up to the edge with longer strokes. In other words do not take a fully loaded brush right up to the edge. Paint up to the edge as the paint flows out of the brush.

-  If cutting-in next to a textured ceiling a straighter edge may be desired. Use a small stiff slot screwdriver tip to scrape away a narrow path from the texture in the corner. Then cut-in up to this edge.

-  Cutting-in does take practice. A good cut-in job greatly improves the look of a painted room. A professional look is possible, just use these tips mixed with some practice and patience.



Start at the top of the area with the loaded brush and stroke down toward the middle. The paint should flow smoothly onto the surface with little effort on your part. When the brush begins to drag, stop and reload. Make long strokes. Avoid dabbing small areas as this leaves marks in the paint. The brush will leave a slight track of parallel ridges, but they’ll lie down before the paint begins to skin over. Quickly coat an area with several brush loads of paint, and then blend and smooth it out by lightly running the unloaded brush tip over it - called “tipping”. Try to coat a whole board or section, but don’t let the paint sit more than a minute before tipping. Tip the wet paint by setting the tip of the brush against the wet paint at the top of the board and lightly stroking down the whole length of the board. Hold the brush almost perpendicular to the surface for this stroke.


-  If the new colour doesnt hide the old, its better to apply a second coat than to apply the paint too thick.

-  If you need to pause your painting session for several hours, and don't want to come back to a water-soaked brush from the cleaning, try out Brush Baggies to keep your brush safe while you are gone. When you come back, pull of the plastic and you'll be ready to pick up where you left off painting.

-  It's better to stroke upwards than downwards, so the paint is pulled out of the brush by gravity and friction instead of inwards up the bristles.

-  A common mistake is to force paint out of the brush after it becomes too dry. The goal is a uniform thickness but not so thick as to run or sag.

-  To clean a brush well, use a brush comb and a small wire brush or scouring pad to scrub the brush handle and faces of the bristles.

-  You don't HAVE to push the tape tightly onto the wall, as this just takes more time and energy. The only thing that matters is to keep the extra portions from getting painted.




Available from all leading paint and hardware stores.
Can’t find it? Ask Haydn at www.haydn.co.nz to
direct you to your closest stockist.