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How to Paint Like a Pro. Easily

Painting a room is often a task of dread. It's messy, can come out looking uneven, and trim can become an unwanted color.

But "The Early Show"'s home improvement expert and guru Danny Lipford of "Today's Homeowner" can come to your rescue with these tips and pointers that can help you paint like a pro.

Lipford's Tips for Painting Like a Pro

He explained on "The Early Show" an average room will cost about $500 for a painter to do, but you can do it yourself for about $50.

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He began by caulking, which not only seals the interior of your home from bugs and weather, he said, but also fills cracks and holes for a smooth finish.

Buy quality stuff, Lipford recommended, saying, "A good dispenser makes the caulk line come out more even and buy the correct caulk for the job. It's marked."

Lipford's tips for caulking:
• Use a high quality caulk gun.
• Buy the right caulk.
• Remove all old caulk.
• Apply to a dry surface.
• Cut the tips of the tube at a 45 degree angle.
• Puncture the seal in the tube several times.
• Apply a small smooth bead.
• Use a wet finger to smooth out the caulk.
• Allow to dry thoroughly before painting.

Next is the painting, starting with prep. Lipford said, painters should wear disposable painter clothing, use drop cloths, put paint in a five gallon bucket (the average room needs two gallons), hang a screen in the bucket (don't use a roller tray), wipe down the walls and tape up the trim. He also suggested putting tape around the roller handle to remove later for easy cleanup.

Lipford said you should roller on the paint vertically (lightly at first, pressing harder as the roller begins to lose more tape). Pressing too hard at first, he said, is the biggest cause of a lousy looking paint job. Lipford said it's a good idea to overlap the paint rows.

As for clean up, Lipford said, it's easy. He explained you take out the screen and wash it off, then put the cover on the bucket and remove the tape when the paint dries. To pull off a wet roller from the handle, he said, you can put your hand in a small garbage bag and grab it. Then you turn the bag inside out with the wet roller inside, and toss it.

Lipford's tips for paint rolling:
• Cover up with drop cloths.
• Combine paint in clean five-gallon bucket.
• Wipe down walls.
• Apply tape to trim. "Cut in" around the edges with the wall paint.
• Attach roller screen in five-gallon bucket.
• Roll paint in a vertical pattern, two to three feet at a time.
• Apply the paint evenly and keep the overlap wet.
• Clean up with water and a little dishwashing detergent.
• Remove tape after couple hours.

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