Professional use rollers for large areas of walls. I used them successfully for a while but you tend to get a lot of drops flying off the tips of the bristles and end up looking like you have a strange disease. Was dubious about pads when they first came out, but tried them and been using them for many years no problem. Both need a lot of washing afterwards to get the paint out.
Both for acrylic (water-based) wall paint. Use only brushes for gloss paint, and if you want to make a good job use only oil-based paint - water based gloss looks OK for a start, but surface is soft and soon absorbs dust and looks scruffy.
Don't use pump powered rollers. They're gimmiky and don't work as well as the ads would have you believe. For large areas of emulsion or acrylic, use rollers. Learn to cut in, masking is time consuming, amateurish & doesn't work very well.
With gloss, keep the brush well loaded, but not overloaded. If you get sags or runs, unload the brush elsewhere then use the now empty brush to brush out the surplus gloss.
Buy the best quality brushes you can, cheap brushes are a false economy. A good tip with gloss, if your job will run over one day, pop the brush in a glass of water. The paint will not mix with the water asuuming oil based gloss & neither will the paint be able to dry out. The next day, just shake the water off the brush and carry on.
If you want a glass like mirror finish on glossed wood, wait for it to dry out completely, about two weeks or so. Then rub it down with 1500, 2000 grade wet & dry and re-cover. The result will be far superior to one coat.
Cutting in is a skill and there's only one way to learn it. Keep the brush well loaded & keep moving. So many painters try to creep along with cutting in. Move the brush smartly along & it will work. For corners, work with the bristle by twisting the brush to a point - obviously small brushes work best for this.
The biggest tip is take your time & do it properly. It may be tedious at the time, but if you rush it, you will have lots of time to be reminded of a bad job.
A professional roller setup will save time and money on larger jobs: a wide roller with attachment both ends, ie the roller is in a Y shaped metal yoke. A deep metal tray to go with it.
Invest in a heavy duty telescopic metal handle with screw attachment for a roller as above. In many rooms, this rig can do away with ladders etc.
A small (approx 4 inch wide) roller for architraves etc with narrow tray to suit. These rollers can more or less replace brushes except for cutting in. Buy spare rollers in packs of ten to suit paint - they wear out.
Modern acrylic paints are very good and there's no need to stick to oil-based enamels for trim. The best all-round gloss level for trim is low sheen.
Sprogget is right about cutting in. Wean yourself off tape. Use a good quality oval cutter and keep it well-washed and clean. It should last for years. The long handled ones are most comfortable to use. Train yourself to be ambidextrous with the cutter.
If you have to leave a brush for a while, rather than rinsing it out, wrap it in glad wrap to exclude air. Ity should be fine for up to 24 hours.
If using water-based paint, keep a damp cloth handy for wiping up drops.
Want to do it as a professional or an amateur? Several rooms to do so you will need a base coat probably. Ceilings all white...? Good quality roller on a pole. One to do the cutting in with a bristle brush,(not this nylon crap) and the other to lash it on with the roller. Just lightly let the roller do the job...don,t go as if you are rolling out tar! That way you get minimum splash. Preparation is the main key...fill any bits needed, sandpaper etc. Make sure you sheet up well for anything left in the room...nothing worse than seeing someone rubbing spots off the furniture later.
...the chap who taught painting and decorating said "...and if you can find somewhere that does 3 foot wide rollers let me know". He'd charge around the "rooms" we were working in saying, "yer missed a bit, no don't bloody argue, you missed a bit" He was always right. He also covered female psychology in that he described the situation that you've been beavering away all day whilst SWMBO was out shopping. You're thinking that you've been doing a good job then she comes in and the very first thing she says is "You missed a bit!" And the real PITA is - she's right.
I always found it best to let the (now ex-) wife do all the decorating That way I could never miss a bit - she only had herself to blame I'd rig the ladders and trestles for the stairwell, but let her do the painting. After all, she was the artistic one, and the one who wanted it done.
shortly about to paint my 5th entire house. Would concur with the other posters. Some more tips you might want to try.
Start in cupboards/ unseen areas (behind where wardrobes will go, etc) so your practising will be less obvious. Leave the public rooms / SWMBO rooms till last when you're better!
Don't overload the roller/brush. After every few minutes, give in a good press/squeeze to unload the deep bristles before reloading.
Don't go too fast = splatter.
Be very observant at the beginning. Just how much paint on the brush causes runs? Just how many strokes can you make before the paint builds up deep in the brush? You only need be very careful for the first 30 minutes or so whilst you get used to the paint/roller/wall situation, then you can speed up with confidence.
Start nearest the main light source (usually a window) and work away.
Wop a supermarket bag around your brush, squeeze air out and seal with an elastic band when you take breaks during the day. Rinse properly in the evening.
Someone mentioned paint pads. I didn't like them originally but have found that for painting oil based gloss paint on large flat surfaces i.e. a door they are brilliant. I used to hate painting doors because I used to find that even painting quickly it was difficult to paint without overlapping some of the already tacky paint (if that makes sense).
I now use a large paint pad and apart from getting a very smooth finish (and believe me I am a perfectionist!) I can do one side of a normal door in a matter of a few minutes.
I concur about not using masking tape even though I hate cutting in and am not very good at it!
Interesting no-one has mentioned roller nap or or paint type fit for it's intended application. You would do well to learn about them both and utilise them appropriately. Long naps can be messy with some paints if not applied carefully but have an important role to play in some areas; short naps better suited in others. Ceiling paint is very different from wall paint, very different indeed. Don't be afraid to use a small roller and tray in smaller areas.
The walls and ceiling will take no time; it's the timberwork where your time will be spent unless you're spraying, which you won't be.
Check what it says on the tin! If you are using generic paint (Dulux etc) then rollers are fine. Farrow and Ball (amongst other high end paints) recommend using a brush for emulsion. I tried to cut corners by using a roller in the first room, then compared it to a brush in the second. The difference was noticeable.
Rollers/Pads... good quality ones are cheap enough nowadays that you can just chuck them instead of trying to clean them.
Gloss... As sprogget says, brush out any sags or runs, but be careful not to over work the paint. With gloss paint you should be laying it onto the surface, not brushing it in... otherwise you will end up with lines.
Gloss brushes can be tightly wrapped in a nappy bag (or freezer bag), without damaging the bristles, then seal the end of the bag around the handle with masking tape. (The only time you should ever use masking tape in my opinion). This will mean you can use the same brush without cleaning for several days. Then, if you want, chuck the brush! If you opt to clean it, be careful how you do so as you may damage the bristles.
You haven't mentioned windows... if you have any to do, again don't mask off. just paint liberally then use a blade to clean the glass... you can get special holders for Stanley knife blades, designed for the purpose. Gives you a very neat finish that you could never achieve by masking/freehand, and takes half the time.
I've long since given up on masking tape and use a cutting in brush instead except for keeping things like light switches or fittings, worktops or hard floor coverings free of paint. Whatever the manufacturers say it'll always lift paint and leave a rough edge behind.
Cling film rollers or large paint brushes during breaks. This will just about work overnight but not much more. Small paint brushes usually dry out overnight after cleaning. When you've done, chcuk out the old rollers so you don't get tempted toi use them for the next job when they are worn and cloegged with the paint you couldn't clean out completely.
Small rollers work surprisingly well as long as you haven't got an enormous area to paint. I noticed the contractors where I work use them a lot and after I got tennis elbow after painting the outside of the house made the change. The speed doesn't seem to be any less.
Finally, preparation, as they say, is the key, so the most important skill of all is ignoring the siren calls to get the job done quickly.
Trying to bite my tongue here but this IS Jest Blast.
Go to a reputable paint store and seek advice. Anyone who can't maintain and keep quality brushware for years (rollers too) ought not to have them in the first place. Rollers used for acrylic paints are THE easiest thing to clean and dry, hence the heading of this post. Fullgloss enamel is the hardest thing to manage with regard to brushware and even that is easy if you know how. Seek counsel from that paint store.