There are many home renovation tasks that we are ill-equipped to tackle ourselves (e.g.: plumbing, electric, etcetera). Provided that the house and/or our lives aren’t under any imminent threat from our inexperience, we like to do (or attempt) as much as we can.

One of the “simpler” items on our ever-growing to-do list is painting. When we moved in, the first floor rental unit was a myriad of very bad colors – including teal, bright red, dark purple, and orange. To make matters worse, there were stripes. Oh, the stripes!  Interested in challenging the priming ability of your paint & primer all-on-one paint? Take a stab at covering white and purple stripes.

purple paint in the rental unit

orange paint in the rental unit

red paint in the rental unit

Now, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with a good, visually appealing version of any of the aforementioned colors. However, this place was an eye sore, and something needed to be done. This is where white paint comes in and saves the day. White paint and hours of manual labor.

Sterling, painting away!

We decided to go with white for a few reasons:

1.The light walls brightened the space compared to the previous dark colors;

2. It was easiest for us to stick with the black & white theme throughout the unit (kitchen post to come);

3. This unit is a rental and, in general, tenants cannot be trusted (see this post about the bathroom situation the previous tenants were living with). Touch-ups between future tenants will be easiest when only dealing with one color;

4. We are currently dealing with a seriously lack of storage space, so only housing one paint can is preferable; and

5. We’re suckers for a classic!

I doubt either of us ever envisioned painting enough to form opinions on which brushes and brush extenders we preferred and why, but we did. The brush tools we thought yielded the best results were these rollers, this roller cover, and this roller extension. We really enjoyed using BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Pure White Flat Interior Paint because, by some miracle, it was able to cover these insane colors, and it’s available in a 5 gallon option!


It seems like Blue Hawk may only be available at Lowe’s, so here is a comparable roller cover and extender pole. The feature that made this cover so helpful is that the arm attachment is in the middle of the roller. Most rollers attach to a handle with an arm that is inserted into one side. When using a typical roller, we found that it was much more difficult to apply paint evenly. Any roller cover/extension arm combination with the arm in the center should work just fine. Fortunately for us, we knew we were replacing the carpet after we painted, so no drop cloths were necessary and we were able to paint with reckless abandon!


Here are a few additional tips that may be helpful:

  • You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) put a lot of pressure on the brush. Rolling lightly will do the trick, eventually.
  • Take your time, but be sure that you are working just fast enough that you are moving the paint before it begins drying.
  • Move the roller vertically, moving it horizontally along the wall ever-so-slowly with slight V-like motions.
  • At the end of the day, rather than rinsing off the brush, place it in a plastic bag and close it off with painters tape to keep the paint fresh and prevent the brush from drying out.
  • Patience, patience, patience. We tried to make this task as zen-like as possible and the more we painted, the better we became.
  • Know you are going to mess something up, and that’s okay. It’s only paint, after all.

All in all, we didn’t do too shabby of a job for being home improvement/painting newbies. I have full confidence that we will be able to successfully paint our own unit when the time comes. After all, we’ve had plenty of practice!


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