At one time or another all of us get involved with painting, either our home, garage, a piece of furniture, or something. Many people need to Paint their home before they put on the South Bay real estate market. And in these times need to do it themselves for the first time. What kind of paint to use for each job is always a question, and few of us seek out expert advice before we start and many times we end up with something that we didn’t expect or want.
This is an attempt to help those with little or no painting experience to better understand the different kinds of paints, brushes, rollers and the best applications to use around the house.
• AREA AND TYPE OF PAINT TO USE:
1. Kitchen and bath: Choose a moisture- and peel-resistant satin or semigloss with mildewcides.
2. Ceiling: Paints labeled for ceilings are thicker and less splatter-prone than wall paint. They are also extra flat to cut glare from lights.
3. Entry, stairway, and family room: Durable, easy-to-clean 100 percent acrylic latex in an eggshell sheen will stand up to high traffic and fingerprints.
• TYPES OF PAINT:
1. Flat/Matte: A low-luster sheen that provides even coverage and helps conceal flaws but is hard to clean.
2. Eggshell: This soft sheen is easy to touch up and can be wiped clean without burnishing.
3. Semigloss: A slightly shiny finish that’s glass smooth, durable, and washable.
4. Gloss: This light-reflecting sheen can take a beating but does highlight surface imperfections.
• SPECIAL EFFECTS PAINT:
1. Textured: Sand-like granules cover flaws in walls and impart a rustic look.
2. Metallic: Light-reflecting pigments give walls shimmer.
3. Pearl: An iridescent glaze with a milky glow.
4. Suede: Microscopic beads create a soft, fabric-like finish that adds depth and texture to walls.
1. Paint: Quality depends on the type and amount of pigment. High percentages of titanium dioxide pigment, rather than cheaper calcium carbonate, provide better coverage with fewer coats.
2. Primer: A 100 percent acrylic formula helps paint grip surfaces, hides stains, and allows you to go from a dark color to a light one with fewer coats.
• HOW MUCH TO PURCHASE:
Divide the square footage of your wall surfaces by the coverage per gallon listed on the can. Example: A 20-by-23-foot room with an 8-foot ceiling is 688 square feet; 688 ÷ 350 square feet of coverage per can = 2 gallons (make it 4 gallons for two coats).
• SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT:
Prep: tape, drop cloth, sandpaper, etc.
Tools: brush, roller, pan, cover, etc.
Paint: sealer, primer or prep coat, paint
• TYPES OF ROLLER COVERS:
1. Smooth roller, ¼-inch nap: Best for semigloss or gloss on smooth drywall or plaster walls.
2. Semi-smooth roller, ?-inch nap: Best for semigloss, flat, or eggshell on lightly textured plaster or wood-paneled walls.
3. Rough roller, ¾-inch nap: Best for flat or eggshell on highly textured stucco or masonry walls.
Rollers: Blended-fiber covers combine the extra pickup of wool with the durability of polyester.
• TYPES OF BRUSHES:
1. 1-inch angled brush: Best for details, such as moldings and window muntins.
2. 2½-inch angled brush: Best for window and door casing, cabinetry, and cutting in.
3. 3-inch straight brush: Best for large expanses, such as wainscoting and doors.
Brushes: Tapered bristles with split ends that are solid—not hollow—pick up and spread paint best.
HOLES AND CRACKS: Fill holes with drywall compound. For hairline cracks, widen with a utility knife before covering with fiber-mesh tape. Coat the tape with joint compound, let dry, and sand—recoat and sand two more times.
• ROOM PAINT CHECKLIST:
1. Remove window treatments, wall-hung art, area rugs, outlet and switch-plate covers.
2. Cover furniture with drop cloths.
3. Wrap chandeliers and sconces in plastic sheeting.
4. Protect window and door hardware by removing or covering with tape.
5. Sand walls and trim.
6. Dust with a tack cloth. (Treat plaster with a solution of 1 pint vinegar and 1 gallon of water.)
7. Tape exposed outlets and switches, or, remove plates, window panes, HVAC vents, and any other areas you want to keep paint-free.
Note: plastic tarps will protect items, however, paint will lay on the surface of the plastic and can be tracked onto carpeting or floors if you walk on the plastic. Best to use a canvas type tarp or a cheap way is to purchase flannel backed, cheap table clothes at a dollar store and discard after use. Face the flannel backed surface up to catch paint.
• USING A LADDER:
DO stand on a low rung, with your body centered between the ladder rails and both feet firmly planted. Keep one hand free, using the ladder tray to hold your pail.
DON’T stand on one of the top two rungs or overreach; both can throw you off balance. Never paint with one hand while holding your pail in the other, preventing you from easily grabbing the ladder.
• AVOID REPETITION:
Putting paint on the wall is easy, but the repetition can leave you feeling achy. Prevent the pain by changing your grip or the way you move.
1. Roller: Roll up at a slight angle before coming straight down.
2. Brush: Pinch the base of the brush with your index finger and thumb along the bottom of the ferrule.
3. Extension pole: Space your hands about 18 inches apart. For ceilings, roll the area in front of you, rather than directly above or behind, to avoid back strain.
4. For walls, bow down and stretch up from the waist.
• BE ORGANIZED AND HAVE A PLAN:
When you start your painting, work in this sequence to minimize the chance of marring already painted surfaces.
• Start by cutting in with a brush. Next, use a roller to fill the wall expanse. Make W shapes to release the most amount of paint from the roller, then go over the area with vertical strokes to evenly distribute it. Work in 3-by-3-foot sections to keep a wet edge and avoid lap marks.
1. Drips on the floor: Remove latex with a water-dampened rag; use mineral spirits for oil paints. Scrape dried blobs with a utility knife.
2. Bubbles on drywall: Pop and scrape off with a putty knife. Then sand the area with 330-grit paper, tack it with a damp cloth, and use a foam pad for touch-ups.
3. Lap lines on plaster or drywall: Repaint the area, applying light pressure on a roller that has soaked up only a quarter of a full load of paint.
• SAVING LEFTOVER PAINT:
Keep paint in an airtight glass jar is a popular way, however most people keep their leftovers in the original can. If using the can, clean top and fit tight. If using a jar: To get a better seal, cover the opening with plastic wrap before screwing on the cap. Store the jar, or paint can, off the floor in a cool, dry place for up to 5 years, some brands more.
• KEEP A RECORD OF THE PAINT COLOR:
Paint an outlet cover and affix painter’s tape with the color name and number on its back. If you ever have to buy more paint, simply remove the cover and bring this handy “chip” to the store to get an exact match to the aged version on your walls.
• CARE FOR BRUSHES:
Soak synthetic brushes in warm water (use turpentine for natural bristle brushes) and gently wring out. Run a metal brush comb through bristles to straighten them and remove any last bits of paint. Shake out excess water, reshape bristles with your fingers, and lay flat to dry. Store in original packaging or folded newspaper, and either lay flat or hang brushes from their handles.
• OTHER TIPS:
1. To prevent paint spray on baseboards when rolling walls, wipe them down with a wet rag to keep spatter from sticking. When you’ve finished rolling, run the damp rag along baseboards once more to wipe away any droplets.
2. Breathe out or hold your breath while cutting along trim or where walls meet—”It’ll help you keep a straight line.” Up high, be sure to stand squarely on your ladder instead of overreaching.
3. When cutting in on textured walls or ceilings, vibrate your hand a little to get bristle tips into uneven surfaces.
4. To avoid fatigue, switch hands when cutting in—think of the brush as an extension of your arm. And don’t push too hard when you’re rolling.
5. Finally, don’t run your brush or roller dry. “When you can see through the paint—what painters call ‘holidays’—you’ve gone too far.”