Painting Tips Take The Hassle Out Of Painting

Whether you hate to paint or love it, we can all use painting tips to make the task less of a hassle.

There comes a time when you look around the house and decide that it's time to put a coat of paint on the walls. The kids have used the walls for a coloring book, furniture has scraped the walls, the old color is out of style, or you just simply want to make the house appear fresh and clean again. Over the years I have found the following painting tips to be very helpful in making this chore go a little smoother, a little easier, and with less of a mess to clean up afterwards.

Getting a Head Start

  • On the day before, remove all pictures, decorations and all accessories from the walls.
  • Once the walls are bare, take time to repair holes dents and scrapes using fillers or putties. Doing this the day before allows time for drying.
  • Once the filler/putty has dried, you will need to sand the surfaces smooth.
  • Set Up and Preparation

    Set up a work area by gathering all of the following items:

  • drop cloths
  • paint brushes
  • rollers
  • rolling pans
  • edgers
  • plastic bags
  • hammer
  • screwdriver
  • paint can opener
  • rags
  • Have them all in one area so that once you begin the project you won't be stopping to go to the garage to look for things you need.

    Prepping the Room

  • Move everything to the center of the room. Spread drop cloths across the floor and cover the lamps and furniture with additional drop cloths. I always tape the drop cloths together to keep them from slipping and moving.
  • To make painting and clean up easier, remove all handles and light switch/electrical outlet plates. This is a great time to put them in a pan of soapy water to get them cleaned up and looking new again as well.
  • Using the painter's blue tape around doors and windows will make the job much easier rather than trying to cut in around them. A trick to use is running the tape in as long a strip as possible. When you need to cut the tape, start the next piece by overlapping the first piece by several inches. Always overlap the previous piece of tape. The idea behind that is when you get ready to remove the tape you can start with the first piece and pull the tape off in a long continuous strip rather than pulling many separate pieces.
  • One Of The Most Important Painting Tips: Get Comfortable!

  • Dress appropriately! Now is the time to break out the old sweats, T-shirts and shorts. Wear comfortable, old clothes that you won't fret over getting a few spatters of paint on them.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off in case you need to leave the room.
  • Remove all jewelry, as Murphy's law in painting states that spilled paint will always find the smallest and hardest-crevice-to-clean to enter.
  • Wear a baseball or shower cap over your hair.
  • Open the windows to get some fresh air into the room.
  • Turn the music up and the phone off. Let the answering machine do its job while you are doing yours.
  • Take some breaks for a cup of coffee or an iced tea. While you take a break look around to make sure that you have not missed any spots.
  • What To Look For When Buying Paint, Rollers and Drop Cloths

    Paints - Professional painters like to use oil-based paints for furniture and cabinets. This is so because they dry more slowly and allow for a smoother finish. Clean up requires the brushes and rollers to be cleaned with paint thinners or other solvents. When using water-based paints, clean up can be done with soap and water. So, it's always a good idea to ask the salesperson in the paint department which one is best to use in your situation.

    Brushes - Again, the type of brush you will need will depend on the type of paint you are using. Oil-based paints require natural bristles. For water-based paints, it is best to use synthetic bristles. Brushes come in many widths and styles. Brushes that are tapered to a chisel point will make doing the trim work and cutting-in much easier. Brushes with flag cuts or split ends will hold more paint and can cover a greater area before requiring a dip into the can again.

    Rollers - Rollers also come in a large variety of sizes and textures. The rollers that have plastic cores will outlast rollers with cardboard cores. Again, ask the people at the paint counter which would best meet your needs.

    Drop Cloths - The drop cloths that will work best for you will depend on how much painting you plan on doing. The canvas cloths are the best to use on floors as they are more slip resistant and will also last for years and through many paint jobs. The plastic cloths tend to be slick to stand on so you need to be extra careful. Plastic cloths are good if you paint infrequently and only plan to use them once or twice and then throwing them away.

    Painting Tips For Easy Clean Up

    The walls look great and you only have one more step to your project--cleaning up the mess!

  • Always clean the brushes and rollers as thoroughly as possible and allow them to dry completely before storing.
  • For water-based paints use warm water and a mild soap and wash thoroughly then use old rags or paper towels to dry.
  • When using solvents for cleaning be sure to use rubber gloves. Be sure to follow the instructions on the container for proper disposal techniques when you're done.
  • Use a straight-edge razor to remove splatters and drips from tile, windows, or glass. It will remove the paint from the surface area with almost no effort...just be careful not to cut yourself.
  • OK! The job is complete and now it's time to sit back and finish that cup of coffee or glass of iced tea and enjoy the work that you have now completed! Hopefully these painting tips will come in handy, saving you time and frustration!

    If you have some of your own painting tips that you would like to share with others, please use the form below to submit your painting tips.

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    When opening a new can of paint, I take a flat blade screw driver and punch slots in rim of can, that way any paint that fills the rim will drip back into the can. Therefore the paint will not run out and all over the can.

    Pete Metz

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