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Paint texture technique
If you like the look of textured plaster walls but all of yours are standard-issue flat drywall, consider this Venetian plaster painting technique. You apply the colored texture in several coats and then sand and burnish it for the full effect. Find complete step-by-step instructions and detailed photos in our tutorial.
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Block stains with primer
Don't expect regular primer or paint to cover marker or crayon marks; they'll bleed through even several coats of paint. The same goes for water stains. First try to wash off the marker or crayon with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (at home centers) dipped in warm water. If that doesn't work, cover the marks with stainblocking primer (KILZ and B-I-N are two brands). Apply the primer with a roller so the texture will match the rest of the wall. Buy a cheap disposable roller and then throw it away when you're done.
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Paint behind the toilet
If you have a tight spot to paint, remove the pad from an inexpensive paint edging tool and hot-glue the pad to a stir stick. Now you've got a painting tool that will fit behind toilet tanks and radiators. If you shy away from painting projects because of the mess, check out this collection of tips, Paint a Room Without Making a Mess!