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Old 01-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
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Techniques and tips


I noticed this subforum doesnt have any techniques and tips, as a regular to many forums I think a post with tips and techniques is an invaluable tool.

I am not a professional, but I do play one at home. My Father In Law used to paint houses back in the day with a professional crew and this last year he helped me prep one of my properties for sale. I am a hardcore DIY'er. I have ALWAYS hated painting, until he worked with me and taught me a few things.

1. Prep - a day of prep is better than 2 days of work


The first day on our paint project we devoted entirely to prepping the walls and trim for paint. This meant doing the following.
  • Remove all items from the room (furniture, plants, standing lights...)
  • Remove all outlet covers, switchplate covers, and the trim piece near the ceiling on ceiling fans/lights
  • Clean those dust bunnies, before you caulk clean the areas with a damp rag, you can use the one you plan to use for caulk as long as you rinse it out. I keep a 5 gallon bucket with about 4" of water in the bottom with me for rinsing my work rag out.
  • Scrape up your junk, if you see high nibs use a 5 way or 5 in 1 tool. Scrape up those edges, use the corner to clean out those crevices. Use your 5 way, its a great tool, if you dont have one, buy one, you will want it for cleaning your roller covers.
  • Painters Caulk - I freaking love this stuff now, If you have never properly painted and caulked out your stuff it will take quite a few tubes. Cut your tip small, easier to apply more than to apply less, so I learned quickly. You should caulk the edges of all the baseboards and trim where it meets the walls or ceilings, and also in older houses you can do the corners to smooth them out. I know my lathe/plaster walls had some rough inside corners. Use a damp (wet and rung out) rag and keep it with you at all times. Run a bead of caulk, dampen your finger on the rag, flatten the caulk into the line, clean up excess with the rag. You can even use the rag over your finger after the first run to smooth/clean more, then wipe again with a plain finger to make it glossy smooth. Caulk takes a few hours to dry, dont try to paint right away or you will end up with brush strokes. I could do a whole thread on caulk, but ultimately if its where one surface meets another, you can caulk it and clean it for paint. Remember to clean your rag often, use that 5 gallon bucket.
  • Patching, patch up those holes and low spots. Now I am pretty good with drywall mud, done a few rooms of new drywall, learned as I went, patched a lot of mistakes, sanded way too much mud from putting it on too thick. Remember its easier to put mud on than it is to take it off. Sanding off the excess is a dusty job. I use a 6" knife for applying mud for nail holes and the like. Why, because you get a good guide from the rest of the wall. Slap it on, knife it off. When you are done you should see it look slightly bubbled up from the hole, just slightly, like a hair high. Dont worry it will dry and reduce in size. Remember you are filling the hole not patching a seam... unless of course you are patching a seam and thats a different issue.
  • Sand, after its all dry (caulk and mud) sand your walls. Now you dont have to do the whole thing, but if you get a pole sanding attachment (you will need a pole for painting anyway) you can easily sand most of your walls. I typically spot sand my mud, check my caulk areas for any nibs, then run over the whole wall. The paint will come off the high spots and show the previous color or white (from someones bad patch job). Spot sand these smooth.
  • Tack/Wipe it down, dust doesnt help paint adhesion. After you have done all this prep what is 20 minutes of cleaning. I dust from top to bottom, ceilings, fans, lights, trim (even on top of door and window trim). Get it all cleaned, then do a quick sweep/vac of the floors.
  • Lunch & Beer. After all this work is done you have earned it, take a break, no one works well without energy. I am a workaholic, I will go 18 hours straight on a remodel and not eat or drink, next day I dont want to get out of bed. My wife knows this and makes sure I eat and drink, her dad makes sure I stop because he has union rules as a retiree that require him to have beer breaks.
Thats the bulk I can think of off the top of my head for prep, everyone should feel free to add.



2. Painting, it looks so much better when you have done your prep work, its so much easier when you know how to do it better.
  • Paint, latex can be reduced with water, dont just try this without some guidance though, I killed a gallon on my own. Once I knew proper amounts, how to mix it up right it made a big difference. It helps make the paint a good consistency and makes it go further. I know I have dealt with some paints that were like maple syrup, thank god for water.
  • Roller Extensions, use them. I always thought "I'm tall (6'4) I dont need an extension. I never applied the physics to the subject. The roller reduces the amount of work you do because it extends your arm and reduces your required motion.
  • Buckets and screens, to heck with trays, If you bought a gallon and are doing anything more than trim, use a 5 gallon bucket and a paint rolling screen. They are reusable so its a GREAT investment. I will never roll with a rolling tray again, too light, too messy.
  • Drop clothes, keep one under your feet, bucket and work area at all times. Dont get those crappy plastic things, get a few good canvas ones and use them. I have 3, two 10x10 and one 6x6 (feet not inches). They will cover most rooms/work areas. When working with my partner in crime (father in law) he has a 10x10 under him, 6x6 under the supplies and 10x10 under me. We keep them all lapped over each other so we both have access to the paint bucket, tools, etc and still a good work area. You can do it with 1 but if you have help you will need more. These are reuseable so consider them an investment.
  • Roller covers can be cleaned and reused. I had to repaint our house for sale on the cheap due to a loss of income. So every penny that could be scrimped was. We painted living rooms, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, hallway, breezeway, utility room, garage (ceilings and walls in all) and the outside of the house using the same 3 brushes and 4 roller covers. Use your 5 in 1 tool to scrape the paint out of the roller cover (thats what the curved part is for, never knew that). Then you can spray them out, you want to spray them while they are still on the roller so they can spin. Spray at an angle to make them spin, move from top to bottom so gravity is your friend. Its messy work and if you are rinsing them outside you will get wet, if you have a slop sink, shop sink, utility sink, use it, but you will need some form of hose/heavy sprayer. Once you start seeing clear water flip your roller and go the other direction... After that point your spray just to the edge, so your water is barely contacting the roller, get it spinning as fast as you can and make quick passes down. This is like the spin cycle on your washer, water spins off, your water is just the engine to get it moving.
  • Brushes, I have 3 a wide brush a small brush and an angle brush. Everyone has a preference to one, some work better than others for certain jobs and techniques are like opinions (everyone has one). Invest in a few good brushes and keep them clean. I was taught to use an old paint can, use the 5 way to cut the lid ring/lip out like you are using a can opener. This is the little area that collects the paint and makes your can impossible to close. Some people poke holes in it to make the paint drip back in the can. Cut it out, use the can, you now have a 1 gallon bucket for your supplies/tools. Put some water in it, rinse your brush, scrub your brush with a wire brush (you know those big wire tooth brush looking things) brush it with the bristles (handle edge to bristle tip) like you would pet a dog, dont go against the grain. Swish, brush, flip, swish, brush, flip. Then lift your toes off the ground, smack the brush handle against your toe (shoes on) so the bristles flick, this will smack the water out. Obviously keep it far enough away from the ground that it doesnt get dirty. Place the brush back in the cover (the little paper or plastic thing the brush had over its bristles) this helps keep them shaped while they dry. Hang it over night to dry then store it in your new utility can (your 1 gallon clean paint can with no lip).
  • Cut in the edges, before you start rolling, cut in the edges, so use your brushes to make a 6+" border where you are painting, this way your roller doesnt get anywhere near your trim, doors, windows, floors, ceiling, walls (whichever surface you are not painting).
  • Back rolling, as you roll paint on you will make streaks, once you get a small section filled in (like coloring a picture) you back roll it to flatten out your runs, drips, edges. I have never rolled a perfect wall, but I have backrolled them to perfection. I normally do about 6' wide and then back roll it, another 6' and back roll. When you back roll you should have used the paint on your roller. You back roll before you dip for more paint.
  • Top down, gravity never fails. If you are painting a room paint from the top down, if you are doing ceilings, do those first, if you are doing crown, paint it next, then window/door trim, then walls, then baseboards.

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Old 01-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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Techniques and tips


Painters Tools: A list of tools I keep together for my paint work, I would call these NECESSARY at a minimum.
  • Caulk gun & painters caulk (I get the Alex Brite White w/Latex at lowes),dont use the tip cutter on the handle they always suck, and get one that has a spike for opening clogged tips and popping seals. Also as you go you will find some guns work better than others. I own 3, 1 I hate, 1 I can stand, 1 I love.
  • 5in1 or 5way tool (on a paint job its always in my back pocket, or my father in laws back pocket)
  • Utility knife (100 uses and counting, als great for cutting tips of caulk )
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Paint Screen (goes in the bucket hooks on the edge of the bucket)
  • Roller
  • Roller Extension (a good one that doesnt feel flimsy at the tip I have broke a few of the cheap ones the cost of 3 cheap is more than 1 good one)
  • Brushes, a few good ones, keep 'em clean, keep 'em neat
  • Drop clothes, you can do it with one, but the more the merrier
  • Drywall knife, a putty knife is not a drywall knife, a scraper is not a drywall knife. Yes you can apply it with any tool, I've put it on with a flat head screw driver in a pinch, but the right tool makes the job easier. A drywall knife is a mud knife is a drywall knife... If the blade isnt flexible its going to be harder to work with, the right knife has flex for a reason.
  • Wire Brush, common in any tool box, I have used and abused mine for a decade and its still going strong. Its cleaned everything from cars, to grills, to paint tools (with cleanings of itself in between).
  • Rags, I have a bunch of white reusable cotton rags, any rag will do but it has to be cloth so it will make it through the job. Papertowels are not a paint tool, they are a kitchen item.
I think that covers the basics of what I learned last summer. Feel free to add or write a better one, correct me, etc. Maybe something like this can be stickied to the top of this subforum.

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:57 PM   #3
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Techniques and tips


Invest in a giant roller for interior painting and you won't regret it. Saves so much time and saves on the amounts of mistakes you can make per roll. One of the best things I've ever bought.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Techniques and tips


A couple things
1)Lunch & Beer, beer for lunch? then back to work?
2)I get the Alex Brite White w/Latex at lowes
Go to a real paint store and buy your'e chalk, it is better than
just about any tube of chalk bought @ Lowes
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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Techniques and tips


you know what? id say you have it down pretty good .personally i'm not a fan of back rolling more than a couple of feet .but yea you got it covered. for small divots or nail holes ill just use spackle ,for patch work ill use 45 set .setting compound ,maybe if i need to ill finish it with joint compound. one tool i cant do with out is a box fan for drying patches or drying paint to keep moving along on second coat
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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Techniques and tips


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
A couple things
1)Lunch & Beer, beer for lunch? then back to work?
2)I get the Alex Brite White w/Latex at lowes
Go to a real paint store and buy your'e chalk, it is better than
just about any tube of chalk bought @ Lowes
If you are a pro then no, no beer for lunch and back to work. If you are DIY, do what you want, its your house. I personally dont drink beer, but when I have friends helping I provide the beer and lunch, its the least I can do for a helping hand. Remember this is a DIY site. Personally for my house, I will have to check out the local sherwin williams to see what they offer as they are closer to my house than lowes and I dont mind spending a few extra pennies for a better product.


Remember most DIY guys shop at lowes/home depot and ace. I am a DIY guy and while I use specific places for certain products, when I have small projects I want one stop shopping. Drywall, screws, mud, tape, paint, caulk.... all at once. Thanks for the input though. I appreciate it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltd View Post
you know what? id say you have it down pretty good .personally i'm not a fan of back rolling more than a couple of feet .but yea you got it covered. for small divots or nail holes ill just use spackle ,for patch work ill use 45 set .setting compound ,maybe if i need to ill finish it with joint compound. one tool i cant do with out is a box fan for drying patches or drying paint to keep moving along on second coat
Thanks for the info.

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