One of the many mistakes I made when trying to paint my first apartment was snapping up rolls of painter’s tape at the hardware store. Not only did it take a nice chunk out of my budget, but it also prompted my brother, the contractor, to give me that “Are you crazy?!” look that I’ve gotten so used to. I quickly learned that painter’s tape can be a handy little prep tool, but it’s not a necessity. At a few bucks a roll, painter’s tape can tack on a hefty sum to your total painting costs, especially if you’re painting several rooms.
Instead, Contractor Brother gave me a quick lesson on how to carefully cut in around windows, doors, and ceilings with an angled trim brush. Inexperienced painters or those with unsteady hands-likeme-can also opt to use paint edging tools. To keep my project even cheaper, I used a piece of thin, rigid cardboard as a barrier between the wall I was painting and the area that I want to keep clean.