All painting projects begin the same way — with a trip to the hardware store or home center to gather supplies. But you’re going to need much more than paint and a paintbrush. As you think about what you’d like to make over in your home with paint, take the “pain” out of paint-supply shopping with helpful hints and tips from celebrity designer Lisa LaPorta.

How much paint is enough?

You don’t want to run out of paint mid-project or have gallons of a custom color left over when your project’s complete. But how do you make sure you buy the right amount? Simply measure the room.

“It might seem like the most obvious tip, but measuring the area you’re painting is an easy way to save yourself some aggravation, time and money,” LaPorta said.

Typically, one gallon of paint covers 375 to 400 square feet. Measure walls with a tape measure, and multiply the height by the width (in feet, not inches). “Once you have your square footage calculated, write it down and bring it with you to the store so you can get the right amount of paint for each area. This way you’ll get what you need during the first — and only — trip.”

Beware of high-contrast color changes, like painting a light wall a dark color, or vice versa. This will likely require extra coats and, thus, more paint. Ask your paint retailer about selecting the right primer to reduce the number of coats you’ll need, since it’s less expensive than paint, saving you money in the long run.

Tools of the trade


When you’re standing in the aisle, cheaper is always better, right? Wrong! In order to achieve professional-looking results, you need to think — and shop — like a pro. “Invest in high-quality tools that deliver a perfect finish every time, and not the least expensive products that will leave brush marks or streaks,” LaPorta adds. “For more than 85 years, painting professionals and home improvement experts like me have turned to Purdy for the best in applicators and tools.”

Purdy’s new 9-inch cageless frame features a “dog-bone” design, which eliminates skipping and thumping on the wall when you’re painting. You’ll feel — and see — the difference as soon as you start rolling. “This lightweight, durable, high-performance roller will become a mainstay in your DIY painter’s kit for years, helping you finish more jobs flawlessly than if you were to purchase inexpensive ‘throw-away’ sets each time you paint a space,” LaPorta said.

Be sure to use this painting supplies checklist — and a few extra tips from LaPorta — to ensure you have everything you need to get your project done right, without running back to the store in the middle of it:

• Painter’s tape. Helps to keep clean lines as you cut in or paint trim

• Primer. Use a primer to seal the walls so that paint covers smoothly and evenly

• Stir stick. Make sure to ask the paint desk for stir sticks; it’s always a good idea to stir paint and/or primer before you begin


• Pour spout. Helps to pour paint with less mess; also keeps the can clean and label directions visible

• Roller tray and liner. You’ll need a tray to dip your roller cover and brush into

• Roller cover. Use a high-quality roller cover; for drywall or plaster, use covers designed for smooth/semi-smooth surfaces

• Paint brushes. Available in various sizes, brushes help when painting corners and trim; angled options perform better for detailed work

• Drop cloths. Good to protect your flooring, carpet and furniture while you’re painting

• Screwdriver. When using paint in a metal can, this helps remove the lid


“Although you won’t find it in the aisles of the hardware or home improvement store, a box of baby wipes is good to keep handy to quickly clean up any mistakes,” LaPorta said. “If you take the time to do a little planning before you head to the store or start painting, it will go a long way in saving time and creating a perfectly painted space.”