Watch Martha Share Her Tried-and-True Tricks for Painting the Most Difficult Part of a Wall
Before you followed Martha on Instagram, you looked forward to learning from her on the air—and you still can. The Best of the Martha Show takes you right back into our founder's studio to rediscover her most timeless homekeeping tips and Good Things, galore.
Naturally, Martha knows how to make painting the most challenging part of a wall a whole lot easier. In the above clip from an on-air episode of the Martha Stewart Show, Martha teams up with paint expert Vance Freed to share a few tried-and-true tricks for painting a wall's edges and hitting those areas that are impossible to reach with a roller.
After you've prepped the walls with primer, transfer just a half-inch of paint you plan to use into a plastic or tin bucket liner with sturdy handles, which ensures that it's easy to carry around but less likely to splash or spill on your floor or carpeting. Martha also says it's worth investing in a paint ladder hanging hook—like this one from Extensionmate ($11.99, amazon.com—which allows you to secure your bucket to the step of your ladder instead of placing it on a wobbly shelf. Another genius tip? Excess paint often accumulates in the inner rim, under the lid, which can turn into a bigger problem down the line. Since the paint that collects there often dries faster, it's not only a waste of product—it makes the lid harder to close. To bypass unnecessary build-up, use an awl, ice pick, or a screwdriver to puncture holes into the inner rim, so that the paint can drip back in.
Now for the fun part: Martha and Freed emphasize the importance of applying a small amount of paint to an angled sash brush to cut in the edges and trims of a wall, including around the light switches, above the baseboards, and just beneath the ceiling. Since too much paint can create a lumpy finish, Freed recommends first painting a thick, downward stripe—this is called a paint deposit—about a half-an-inch away from the area you're cutting into; pull paint from this section as you carefully approach the tricky area. Paint toward the edges, not away from them, and once you've exhausted your paint deposit, go back and feather it in with your brush to remove any raised edges.
Once the edges and trim are complete, pour paint into a ribbed liner and use an extendable foam roller—which Martha says is easier to clean and creates a finer finish—to fill in the body of the wall. Moving in sections of four feet by four feet, move the roller in an up-and-down motion to create a W-shaped pattern. Freed says this can help avoid roller marks, which are caused by the paint that accumulates at the edges of a roller, while providing a paint deposit line to continuously draw paint from. Go over the W-mark with the body of the roller to blend in the lines and forge a smoother finish. And there have it: a perfectly painted wall free of streaks, tracks, and spills, courtesy of Martha.