Feature This...Staging Tip # 30987 Profitable Painting Paraphernalia

Home Stager with FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor

Painting advice is rampant with all sorts of gee-gaws and product suggestions to make projects go more smoothly.

 As Stagers who not only advise, but oversee the execution minor renovations, here's some real cost effective tools we use every day to make our work professional and profitable.... from Feature This...Real Estate Staging!


 The 4" Whizz Roller - less than $6.00

 The Whizz Roller looks like a child's toy compared to some of the ginormous rollers and handle sets on the market which offer maximum width and paint-holding capabilities. So why would anyone bother with a rinky-dink thing like a Whizz?

 We never use those big rollers, because Whizz Roller doesn't wear us out. Fatigue is the enemy here, not paint load. My shoulder isn't sore after painting several rooms in a day with a Whizz. It cleans up much faster for color-changes than traditional rollers. Whizz roller covers are cheaper, last longer, and doesn't shed. The end of the roller is also covered, to make perfect corners in seconds, They are smaller, and fit into tight areas, such as you'll find in bathrooms, and fit better in my paint supply case.

 I'd rather have my little Whizz laying down paint any day over every single paint product I have ever used, some quite expensive. It's just a smarter way to paint.

 The Paint Pad -About $2.00

 If you haven't used a paint pad yet, you are straight up behind the times. They are not perfect, but using a paint pad in conjunction with high-quality 1 inch trim brush will shave HOURS off your time. Just wipe it around the sides of any trim-out you have to do - the little roller-guides will do about 75% of your cut-in to perfection, leaving you with only about 25% to do minor correcting with the brush. Use them along the ceiling, too, to prevent 75% of the time you will have to keep your head at an awkward angle!

 Paint pads are extremely popular in the UK for nearly all residential projects , and is gaining a foothold here in North America. They cover MUCH better, with no splatter or flick-off, pass beautifully over most rough surfaces, and offer a much better finish. I especially like to use them to paint crown moulding before install. What used to take me a couple of hours to achieve now gets done in about 15 minutes with smoother, brush-stroke free results. And one pad will last you for a whole project - they are VERY long-lasting. But buy two, so you don't have to fight over using it with any assistants.

 The Ladder - $199

 With all that money and time the Whizz Roller and the paint pad will save/make for you, you need to turn around and buy the Little Giant Model 17 Commercial Grade Type 1 Ladder for $199. It is a mini- scaffold, and multi-useful step and extension ladder all in one. Don't forget to buy the Project Tray accessory, designed to hold tools and paint cans for only $40 more. Weighing in at well under 30 lbs., this is the BEST purchase you can make for yourself, your back, and your bottom line.


The Paint - $54 per gallon

Yes. $54/gallon paint is the ONLY paint we ever use, because we can do basic math! And the math shows us that paying $54 per gallon and getting DONE IN ONE DAY beats the britches off of paying $30 per gallon and having to drag out a job of TWO OR EVEN THREE DAYS!


So Here's the basic Math proof for those who are still choking on $54 per gallon:

 Example Project with Regular Paint


Master Bedroom currently painted a deep taupe-gray w/ Burgundy accent wall

Goal - Unify and brighten with a lighter neutral color.


Materials needed:

$20.00 -1 gal latex primer (to cover burgundy wall)

$60. 00 - 2 gals of Interior Wall Paint (for two+ required coats)

$35.00 - 1 Gal of Trim Paint (all trim and moulding, two doors, one set of double closet doors)


$115.00 worth of supplies



-Apply Primer to Burgundy wall. Wait lit dry. One hour labor +6 hours dry time

Paint 1st coat on walls. 1 hour labor + Wait til dry 4 hours

Paint 2nd coat on walls, 1 hour labor

Cut in trim first coat. 3 hours labor +Wait lit dry 4 hours

Cut in trim second coat. 2 hours labor


21hours of TIME and LABOR


OR you can use the RIGHT PAINT for the SAME PROJECT:


Materials needed


$108 for 2 gals of Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint, one trim and one wall


$108 total


Do not prime - Aura is self-priming

Paint coat One - one hour of labor + recoat in ONE HOUR

Spot-Paint Coat two.

Paint Trim -3 hours

Paint Trim Second Coat - 2 hours



8.5 hours of TIME and LABOR

That's a savings of 12 hours of labor AND $7 whole bucks~!


So using $54 per gallon Aura Paint by Benjamin Moore:



  • Benjamin Moore Aura Paint - SELF PRIMES

  • Often Requires only ONE COAT (the actual thickness of one coat of this paint is measurable EQUAL to 2 coats of regular brands)
  • Full Coverage Guaranteed in TWO COATS

  • Extremely LOW VOC

  • Recoats in One Hour

  • Fully Washable

  • Seamless Touch-up Feature allows spot patching vs. whole wall painting



 Passing these tips along to your clients who wish to do their own painting will endear you to them.




So be careful!


Michelle Molinari


Certified Professional Stager, Feature This... Real Estate Staging, www.FeatureThisDotDotDot.com
Lead Virtual Designer, www.CurbAppealForDummies.com
President, Acadiana Real Estate Staging Association, www.AcadianaRESA.com


Comments (26)

Laurie Calhoun
Gloria Home Staging, Inc. - Winter Springs, FL
Seminole County FL Home Stager

You are a treasure trove of helpful information, Michelle! Thanks for passing on your recommendations. Your story about the little old lady was funny, too. Thanks for brightening my evening!

Jun 17, 2009 02:53 PM
Kelly Townsend
Coldwell Banker - Santa Rosa, CA
CDPE, Realtor

Thanks for the great tips! I haven't used Benjamin Moore before but will definitely give them a go! I think the smaller paint roller is a great idea, the large ones soak up so much paint and are really heavy after a full day of painting.

Jun 17, 2009 04:06 PM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Donna - You are welcome... :)


Hey Cindy - Yes, that paint pad is a marvel. I am usually "not allowed" to cut in (according to my team), lol, but with a paint pad, I have a much more steady-looking line and require less supervision, heh heh.


Hi Laurie - Thanks for the compliment and glad to have made you smile.


Hi Kelly - Once you try it, you'll hate regular paint and all it's shortcomings in comparison to Benjamin Moore's Aura. I drive 2 hours round trip to buy this brand for every job we have, no matter how large or small the painting task at hand. It's worth it in the long run, always.





Jun 18, 2009 03:27 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

did you have a point here??? lol.... I think you did a great job of taking a sledgehammer right to our brains to knock some sense into those who don't understand how some of this works.... very informative post!!

Jun 18, 2009 04:48 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hey Melissa,

Thanks, lol!

Can you believe many large contractors REFUSE to use Aura paint?

They will tell you it's because the paint does not perform as touted. That's PURE BULL.

The REAL REASON is that it is hard to charge $2000-$10,000 for a job that takes only a few hours or a couple of days, instead of a week or weeks.  And, they can't really mark up the paint a whole lot because contractors don't get steep discounts on premium paint products like they can on commercial grade. Most contractors tack on an extra $15-20 per gallon of paint! And it's contractor grade paint you'll be paying extra for, not premium, low voc, fully washable paint. Also, they can't spray Aura, so they can't justify their fees due to their fancy-schmancy equipment.

Benjamin Moore's Aura simply makes interior and exterior painting too easy to warrant the high labor costs of traditional paint, and contractors do not want to reduce their price according to the actual minimized labor associated with the application of Aura.

So we advise clients who wish to hire a contractor to get a quote for labor only on the application of two coats of paint only, no primer, and tell the contractor they will supply the paint themselves. After the contract is signed and in hand, then spring it on them that the product already purchased happens to be Aura. That way, the bid should be halfway decent!

It's amazing how far an industry will go to protect it's current lazy pricing policies. They'd rather work one inflated-price big job a week then two or even three big jobs a week if they used Aura but reduced their labor fees accordingly.

Astounding progress had occured in the paint coatings industry in recent years, but reform has yet to hit the contractors who do the painting.






Jun 18, 2009 06:49 AM
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

Michelle - as always, you are full of USEFUL knowledge!  I LOVE those paint pads and have been telling clients about them for years. Seems quite a few people have had bad experiences with them, but I agree with your description in that they will not be perfect, but will save tons of time.

Jun 18, 2009 07:03 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Tori!

I just wish we had big paint pads here in North America available. I can only find quality paint pad "systems" available in the UK and Australia. I don't want to have to order  pad relacements from abroad, so I am waiting impatiently for an American product with great big pads on poles and everything.

I love my little pads dearly, and now I want big mommy and daddy pads!


Jun 18, 2009 07:13 AM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Michelle, I only recommend Benjamin Moore and for the very same good reasons that you outlined. The time and money saved pays. When staging you are usually under the gun for time and money so this is one sure fire way of saving both. I love that your clients kiss you after, makes for good day staging when you are appreciated as well as paid for a job well done.

Jun 18, 2009 07:58 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hey there Michelle -

it seems that Great Michelles think alike!


Jun 18, 2009 11:18 AM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Michelle...I have Benj. Moore envy.  There's only one dealer in our area and he's over an hour away and inconveniently located so none of my clients will use him. 

I have to tell you when I first saw those mini-rollers being used on DIY TV shows I thought "how silly" they certainly can't cover the square footage like the large rollers.  BUT I bought a paint package last year that included a small roller and YOU ARE SO RIGHT!   I'm done with the biggies and will opt for the smaller ones every time.  I hadn't thought about the fatigue factor but I do believe that's a big part of why I liked it so much. 

Thanks for sharing all of this great information. 

Jun 18, 2009 11:59 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Well, Ginger, Behr is making a primer+paint product too, so maybe you have a Home Depot nearby.

Unfortunately, it doesn't have the other qualities of guaranteed 2-coat full coverage, and all that other neat stuff that Benjamin Moore's Aura has, but it is a promising alternative in a pinch.

One of the great things about BM is I suggest sellers place it on their property's fact sheet as an upgrade:

  • Freshly Painted with Benjamin Moore Aura Paint

I just don't think Behr has that dinstinction of being an upgrade. But if I couldn't use BM, I'd give it a fair shot.






Jun 18, 2009 02:11 PM
Mary Fasnacht
Washington and Allegheny Counties and surrounding areas - McMurray, PA
Feels Like Home Interiors ~ Pittsburgh PA Home Staging

I love facts and numbers, Michelle, and you have certainly done an excellent job of laying it all out here.  I have not tried the paint pads myself, but will pick some up for an upcoming project and see how they work.  And the roller sounds like it would be perfect for me as I have issues with my shoulders.  Thank you so much for a very detailed post with excellent information!

Jun 19, 2009 12:03 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Mary,

You are most welcome!

Happy Painting...


Jun 19, 2009 12:50 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Michelle - I loved reading about your great painting tips. Painting has always been one of my favorite ways to make a house my own and even though I don't do as much as I used to I still love the instant results!

I just received a huge box from my local Benjamin Moore rep with all the color samples as well as a flip book with the new Aura colors. Can't wait to try them out and I'm glad to hear such a great recommendation from you.

I love the little rollers too although I haven't switched entirely from the large. I find an extension handle (the kind that screw into the roller end) saves a lot of energy and time. Also my days of washing out rollers are done. That was always my least favorite part of painting so now I just throw em out once I'm done. Putting them in the freezer between coats of course :)


Jun 19, 2009 03:54 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Michelle ~ this is great info to pass onto our clients who may be doing the painting themselves.  BTW those paint pads really ARE fantastic helpers!

Jun 19, 2009 05:11 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Aura is my favorite paint and so are the paint pads!  Great information!!  

Jun 19, 2009 10:53 AM
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Hi Michelle,

I've been thinking about getting that ladder ever since I saw it on TV. An endorsement from you seals the deal! And I have to second all of your other tips. Thanks!

Jun 19, 2009 06:26 PM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

I love my "Little Giant" Ladder -- it helps easily paint vaults and difficult places like stairwells -- I can't imagine painting without it!  I haven't tried the Whizz, but I'll have to after your endorsement!  We refer out many painting jobs, but do some if they can't be done on a timely basis -- can't imagine using cheap paint or brushes! 

Jun 20, 2009 02:58 AM
Allegra Dioguardi
Styled and Sold Home Staging and Staging Training - Westhampton Beach, NY
Home Staging & Training, Suffolk Co. Long Island

I'm with you! Well said and thanks for spelling it all out and doing the math!

Jun 20, 2009 05:03 AM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Susan - by all means - GET THAT LADDER! And you are quite welcome.

Hi Margaret - Yes, we too have bee able to get that ladder to complete some amazing feats. And as my mother and business partner, Carol says, "You are only as good and as professional as your tools."

Oh, that reminds me, I tried a ShurLine 1 inch cut-in brush last week, and it supercedes any brush I have ever tried. Super sharp line, incredible control. IF you can find one, you have GOT to try it!

Hey there Allegra - You are most welcome. Thankfully, it was basic math. You wouldn't be thanking me if it was Algebra, Geometry, or Calculus. I was a miserable math student.





Jun 22, 2009 08:48 AM