Ever look at your home and tell yourself, “this place needs a paint job”? Then you head out to Lowes and come home with 287 swatches of colors, ultimately deciding on 6 different shades of blue – all of which appear to be the same except for their exotic name which sounds like the lost love child between Ikea furniture and a Starbucks latte?
Fast forward to the final stroke and the feeling you get when you’re standing in the center of the freshly painted room admiring your hard labor while boasting to your wife for hours over how much money you saved by doing the work yourself…even when she interjects little jabs like, “at least they wouldn’t have dripped paint all over the carpet”.
Now stop…rewind…and play the part when you come home with two arms full of bags with painting materials. You give the room a once-over look and wonder how long it’s going to take to double-coat this baby with a couple of cans of semi-gloss. If there was only a way to save time and be better prepared rather than diving into the shallow-end head first.
Well, before you start your next paint project, I’d strongly advise that you follow these rules and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll save at least 2 hours of your time. Trust me. I had to learn the hard way, but consider my mistakes a sacrifice to tell you how to get the job done right without getting lost in some common pitfalls.
1 – SLOSH YOUR BRUSH
Before your start the grueling task of painting, slosh your brush in whatever solvent you’ll be using at the end of the day to clean the brush. You’ll want the bristles to be conditioned so they’ll be easier to clean later when you’re done.
2 – WRAP THE BRUSH AND/OR ROLLER
If you’re looking to get out of cleaning your brush or roller at the end of the day, but you know that you’re going to be using it again the next day or in the very near future, wrap the brush or the roller tightly in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. When you’re ready to start painting again, the hardened paint will soften once it comes into contact with fresh paint. The freezer will keep the color from fading and preserve the texture of the paint.
3 – LATEX GLOVES OR LOTION
Latex gloves are ideal for keeping your hands clean while painting. The thin texture makes it easier to handle and easier to dispose if you need to work on something else (i.e. move furniture, mix another color, change rollers, etc.). If you’re allergic to latex gloves, try applying a thick application of hand lotion. Once the lotion dries, it will create a layer on your skin that is easy to clean and will also prevent paint from getting embedded into the cracks and prints of your skin.
4 – WET EDGE
Always keep a wet edge as you paint, and work away from the wet edge. If you paint over a dry edge, you will get overlap marks.
5 – AVOID CHEAP ROLLER COVERS AND BRUSHES
This one is important! Cheap roller covers leave “fuzz” on the wall. Cheap brushes leave streaky brush marks, Avoid those multi-packs of rollers.
Sure 10 for a dollar sounds like a bargain, but I’m a strong believer of the motto “you get what you pay for”. You buy cheap and your final product looks cheap. Pay the few extra cents and mark my words, it’ll be worth it!
6 – TEST FOR LOOSE PAINT
Paint can have more mood swings than an ex-girlfriend. Sometimes, you just can’t tell whether or not the new paint will take the way you want it to, especially if you’re painting over another color. Oooooh, how those ex-girlfriends don’t like to be replaced!
Sometimes, one or two coats isn’t enough. Sometimes primer might be called into action. Sometimes the surface just won’t cooperate with the type of paint or color you’ve chosen. The bottomline is, test the paint on the surface first. Even before you buy the paint, ask your paint dealer for a sample vile for you to test out before making the full commitment.
In regard of loose paint from a previous application, test the surface by applying a strip of duct tape to the existing painted surface and rip it off. If flakes of paint more than microscopic size comes off, you may need to scarp and sand the surface before getting involved in a new paint project.
7 – LOW-STICK MASKING TAPE
Better known as “blue tape”, this tape comes off easier and doesn’t peel off primer or existing paint. Blue tape alone will save you at least an hour of frustration over the old style beige masking tape.
8 – REIN IN YOUR PAINT CAN OPENER
Those little metal key paint can openers always seem to get lost in the shuffle. Not much to advise here, unless you want to chain it to a huge hunk of wood like a grade school bathroom key.
If you loose your paint key, try a flat head screwdriver or butter knife. It work’s just as good, just make sure to wash the butter knife well before you decide to spread the tasty goodeness across your english muffin.
9 – PAINTING PROCESS
Make sure that you tackle a room in this order:
10 – STRIP AWAY THE TAPE
Once you’ve finished the painting procedure, allow your paint to dry well. After a few hours, you’ll be able to peel away the strips of tape from around the edges of your perimeter. Make sure when peeling the tape, that you peel away at an angle, that way any paint that may have been painted on doesn’t end up peeling the paint of the wall. Sure it might give you flashbacks of dousing your hand in Elmer’s Glue and them peeling away a glue glove off your hand, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be as amusing when you realize that you have to redo the wall so the paint is even again.
OK Picasso, go out there and get it done right! You can thank me later by coming over to my house and doing a few of the rooms there!