Published on April 2, 2021

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Photography by Tessa Neustadt; Design by Emily Henderson

Anyone who takes on the task of painting an interior without a professional is going to make mistakes—it’s just human nature. Go too fast with the roller and splatters of paint will fly onto the door. If the ceiling tape is not perfectly flat, it’s inviting pigment to get under there, leaving imperfect edges. Paint your house in $110-per-gallon Farrow & Ball or more cost-effective $40 options from Benjamin Moore, but there’s one essential tool any DIYer needs to get the job done right: Bic Wite-Out.

After the tape comes down and the drop cloths get rolled up, you’ll see any missteps. Rather than unearth an old can of the ceiling paint or color-match a new half gallon of the shade, just go buy Quick Dry Wite-Out for $4 from literally any convenience store (or Staples, of course). 

Take a piece of paper or something with a very thin edge and use that as your guide in place of more painter’s tape. Then simply go around the room with the little brush and gently coat over any one-off speckles or smudges on white surfaces, from the ceiling to the moldings. For bigger spots, you’ll need to apply a few coats, just like normal paint. However, be very careful to dab the brush tip against the inside of the bottle’s neck to remove excess first. Otherwise, you could let a drop fall smack in the middle of the wall. (You don’t want to have to hang a picture in an inopportune place just to cover that up.) After a couple laps, the mistakes will be almost invisible. 

The odds that the shade of your ceiling is the exact tint of white as this product are unlikely. Unless you go advertising this painting hack, though, you will be the only one who notices. 

 

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