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For TikTok creator Taylor (@TayBeepBoop to her followers), each wall in her 120-year-old San Francisco home is a canvas. “Paint was just the easiest way to make an impact,” she explains. “Plus I like that it’s temporary. I can change my walls based on my mood.” Zebra stripes adorn the living room ceiling; the long hallway is a blue and white squiggly wonderland; and a corner of rainbow blobs graces the bedroom. With seven murals down, Taylor has learned a few things—like how to stretch the last drops of a gallon and the secret to perfectly crisp lines. Lucky for us, she’s willing to share her top tricks.

Always: Mock It Up

Courtesy of Taylor
Courtesy of Taylor

Before she puts pencil to paper—er, pencil to wall—Taylor draws everything on the app Procreate. Using a photo of the space she plans to paint as the background, she creates a mock-up so there’s no guesswork as to whether the pink circle would look better to the left or right of the green. “I turn down the opacity so it looks as realistic as possible,” she adds.

When it comes time to bring it to life, Taylor steps back to the exact vantage point she had in the app in order to visualize her idea in real life (standing too close would distort her view). Then she grabs her paintbrush. “Stenciling a grid or exactly measuring it out is too time-consuming,” she says. “I just let it flow.”

Never: Use Tape

Photography by Tofe Salako. Pink Ladies, Sunbeam, Bayberry Blue, Fruit Punch, and Apple Lime Cocktail Paints by Benjamin Moore.

No, seriously. A lot of Taylor’s work features broad, curving lines, which makes mapping out edges nearly impossible anyway. How does she keep the lines exact? It’s all in the brush angle. “Most people use the top edge of a paintbrush, but I like to use the side; it’s a lot easier to control,” she explains. Opt for tightly packed, natural bristles that are a short length for maximum precision (Taylor likes this one).

Always: Save Your Leftovers

Photography by Quinn Gravier. Apple Lime Cocktail Paint by Benjamin Moore.

When she was first starting out, Taylor had no idea how far a gallon would take her. After a few miscalculations, she is still using the same five paint cans (each a different color) three years later. “At first I felt like I was stuck in these shades, but now I like that my whole home is coordinated from room to room,” she says.

To stretch her palette, she mixes white or black paint left by the home’s previous owners into her hue of the day. “I get a nice gradient without having to buy another pot, plus it reduces waste.”

Never: Buy Primer

Photography by Quinn Gravier

Taylor is not saying that you shouldn’t prime your walls, just that you don’t need a dedicated product to do so. “I’ve used whatever pale shade I had on hand, whether that was baby pink, light gray, or the extra cans of white,” she says, laughing. As long as a darker color is going on top, no one will be the wiser.