Painting seems to be all the rage these days, not that it hasn’t been around for ages. There are so many new products, methods and crazes. There are the spray can ‘lovers’ (that’s you for sure, Grace), the faux painters, shabby chic furniture…DIY’ers etc. So I thought some tips on basic painting, from a painting contractor’s point of view, might come in handy.
Set up and prep are always number one! I use to say it was 90% of the job! Tarp or otherwise, prepare the area, make sure the item is clean, all hardware items are removed, patch holes, dings, etc. (I love One Step Lightweight Patch by Red Devil)…dries fast and little or no sanding required…you can also use a very slightly damp rag to ‘sand’ ) and in case of raw wood and stains, dark to light color changes, always prime. If you have ever painted raw wood, sheetrock or other items without it, you know about the need for this all important step. My overall favorite primer is Bullseye 123 by Zinsser. It does have an ammonia smell, so use ventilation. This product is especially good for stained cabinets or furniture….no sanding required and I like to use two coats. Now you are ready to paint.
One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to buy good paint brushes and rollers. Buy cheap and it will take you longer…. i.e.; more coats or fuzz (or constant brush hairs on the surface of your work) or just plain difficult. If you are painting a room, always use an extension pole, it’s much easier on your hand, arm and shoulder muscles.
If you are painting a room, always start with the ceiling. If you keep a ‘wet edge’ the entire way, you probably won’t have to do two coats. Cut in around the ceiling edges and then roll the walls. By the time you have this done the ceiling should be dry and you can ‘cut in’ all the wall edges. I almost never use tape but if you do, use the ‘Blue’ tape and make sure it is pressed down good around the edges, otherwise, you will get seepage.
Another time saving tip for brushes and rollers …you can wrap them both in plastic bags overnight (put in a very cool place…frig is good) and you have saved a bit of time if you need to paint the next day. I have even put a plastic bag over my paint pan and roller (press down the plastic close to the paint and roller) if I have to leave for a short time. When wrapping always load the brush or roller with a good amount of paint and make sure the plastic touches the item completely. If you keep them in the frig, you can leave them for several days, if covered properly.
Using a spray can, to ‘paint’ an item is fairly easy. Always prep…..spray paint drifts very easily, especially if there is a breeze. Shake the can vigorously until you hear the little ball bounce and continue to do so off and on during the ‘spray’. Keep the can upright as much as possible and work all around the item so as to get good coverage. When you’re done spraying, turn the can upside down and spray until no paint comes out of the tip, thereby, cleaning the tip for next time.
Hope some of these tips have helped you. Happy painting!