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Paint Perfect

June 4, 2013

Painting a wall

I love painting. NOT. Because I don’t like to paint I have learned many simple strategies to make it go faster and look better in the process. This week I am going to share some of my secrets (okay – my painters secrets too) with you. Later, if you know of any that you want to share with me – please do.

  1. Preserve your paint by keeping the lid tight when not in use. To keep the lid clear of paint build up, punch a few holes in the channel where the lid fits to allow all the paint to drain back into the can.
  2. New drywall MUST have drywall primer on it before you begin your painting. Make sure you use drywall primer – nothing else will do the job.
  3. Paint your room in the right order. Top down. Cut in the ceiling with a brush being sure to get all the edges. Then you roll the rest (roll the paint on from the ceiling edge backwards). Allow the paint to dry and move on to your walls. Put painters tape on the trim so the leading edge slightly covers the molding so that the paint will not seep underneath. Cut in the ceiling, corners and baseboards. Begin with a paint-heavy stroke about ½ inch from the joint and then use a second lighter stroke to smooth the paint out to the joint. The jury is still out on whether or not you should do the woodwork before or after. I think that in rooms with a lot of woodwork it is easier to do it first and keep a clean line around the edges afterwards. But, you have to decide this one yourself.
  4. Having the right brush is extremely important. Don’t buy the cheap one that has the bristles falling out (you get what you pay for). If you tug on it gently and you come away with some, you will be wasting time pulling them off your freshly painted wall. Use synthetic brushes with latex or oil-based paints and natural bristle brushes only with oil based paints. Sash brushes have the angled head and are great for your sharp lines. Stain brushes are stubby with short bristles (this keeps the stain from dripping).
  5. Having the right roller is another important choice you will need to make. The smoother the surface, the shorter the cover nap should be. For most of my painting jobs I choose a good quality polyester or nylon cover. They can both be used on either latex or oil based paints. Foam rollers are pretty nice also and can be used to apply smooth coats for less cost. Make sure you “defuzz” the roller before using it. I usually run my hand up and down it a few times getting the extra fuzz off or you can wrap tape around it so when you take the tape off the extra fuzz will be gone.
  6. Finally, light up your life when painting. You need extra light when painting so that you can see the entire room without shadows. You want to have a smooth, clean finish on the walls with no drips, smudges or missed spots. Work lights are reasonable at your local hardware store and I guarantee you will use it for other projects in your home.

To women holding paintbrushes,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, the ToolBox TomGirl

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