Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s move into the stuff you’ll be handling all the time while working on your next project. First, you need a hammer and paint can opener. You can get an opener for free when you purchase your paint. Don’t forget to ask for a paint stick too while you’re there. For trimming, I keep a big plastic cup in my bag. It’s a lot easier to handle than those large, heavy paint cans. I prefer solid plastic over the disposable cups because they are easier to clean and not easily crushed.
Now, let’s talk about application. I can’t stress enough that your paint brush can really make or break the quality of the job you do. I never hesitate to spend good money on a brush. The better the brush, the more smooth your strokes will be and the flatter the paint will lay without having those annoying brush marks.
I use the Do It Best Select line of brushes. They are made by Shur Line and are a 100% polyester bristolene filament brush with a comfortable wood handle. These brushes really clean up well, too. I’ve been using the same one for several years now and believe me, it’s seen a LOT of paint!
Want to know a great tip for cleaning your brush after painting? Throw in a stiff bristled scrub brush! When cleaning your brush, lay it flat in the sink and use this to scrub down on your bristles. Take care to always scrub down so that you don’t kink your brush. This will take the dried on stuck on little pieces of paint that you can’t ever seem to get off by hand. The best part is that it’s super easy and saves a ton of time.
When it comes to rolling paint on walls, I also splurge a little bit. I prefer using this fancy critter. It’s a supreme paint roller frame that is constructed to meet the demands of everyday use and provide professional quality performance. It features the Hold Tite fan cage that holds roller covers 50% tighter than wire cage frames yet allows easy installation and removal of roller covers. Also features the Sure Grip handle for added comfort and reducing fatigue. It’s a little more time-consuming to clean, but it’s certainly built to last. After using this roller frame, I won’t ever go back to the inexpensive wire type. It’s worth the few extra dollars. If you’re painting a door, or something that requires a super smooth finish, try a small, foam roller cover instead of a nap one. The quality of your roller cover can sure make a difference in how flat your paint lays. Cheaper covers tend to “lift” the paint, creating an unwanted texture.
You will also need to get yourself a paint tray. I prefer to use the disposable plastic liners so that when I’m done, clean up is easy. Just make sure that your tray is designed to work with the size of roller that you plan to use.
Time to begin! First, lay out that canvas drop cloth you bought and start using that paper masking tape along the base boards and window and door casing. Next, start taking off the switch and outlet plate covers in the room. Most plate screws are a slotted head. For that, I use a slotted rotary screwdriver like this one.
It takes the work out of your wrist because the shank rotates in the handle. You probably better throw i a simple Phillips screwdriver as well. You never know when you might need to use it. Often times I need it to take down towel bars and mirrors in bathrooms as well as curtain rods. The room looks so much better when you paint behind the fixtures, not around them.
Before you paint, be sure that your surface is clean. I keep a 3″ cheapo brush in my bag to use for cleaning up cobwebs and dust. The last thing you want is a lumpy finish from dirt being trapped in your paint. You will also need to use spackle to fill in nail holes. This quick drying product comes in a little plastic tub and is easily applied with your finger. Just be sure to wipe off the extra so that the surface is nice and smooth and the repair won’t stand out.
Time to get started! Be sure to mix your paint with the paint stick before pouring. Also, if you’re doing a large area, don’t dry out one can before switching to the other. Make sure that you mix the gallons. I like to start with the trim first and then roll into it. On a wall, I usually do about a 4-6 foot section at a time, pealing back the paper masking tape as soon as I’m done. Failing to do so may cause the paint to come up with the tape. Remember, paint is made up of a lot of glue, so it will bond to the tape.
Once you’re finished, pour the extra paint in your tray back into the can and start cleaning your brush. The wetter the brush, the easier it will be to clean it. Don’t forget to clean off the roller frame as well.
If you’ve chosen a very dark, saturated color, the paint may take several hours to set and become its true color. Dark reds often start out looking pink but settle in with time.
Be sure the paint is dry before putting back your plate covers, curtain rods and pictures. If the paint isn’t dry, the items may leave marks or indentations in the paint.
I hope that my tips for painting help you to actually enjoy the task. I love the instant gratification that painting gives me. Going from one color to a fresh, new color is pretty exciting. Please feel free to offer your suggestions or ask any questions.