Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Everything You need to KNOW to Paint like a PRO Part - The Basics

Paint is the fastest way to add dramatic style to your room, and it can be easy too! Here are all the secrets that have been passed down to me from my mom (a paint pro) and my art degree. 
this is a LOT of info- so bear with me

Keep Wet paint for later by storing it in the fridge. This trick only lasts a few days. Cover the paint in plastic. Put the rollers tightly in a grocery sack, and the brushes in another bag, or your glove. The cool humidity in a fridge will help keep the paint longer. 

Don't waste money on a roller extender for a normal room, use a broom or mop handle. 
Use an angle brush to "cut in" correctly, and you'll never tape trim again. 
Start in an inconspicuous place. Press the brush against the wall at a safe distance from the trim. Then as you travel down the edge, slowly, scoot closer towards the edge of the trim until you can travel straight down the edge. If you need to reload your brush, start at a safe distance from the trim in  the part you already painted and scoot inwards and down at the same time.

Prevent spills, by planning ahead. Always reattach the lid to the paint can.  
What You Need to Paint Like a Pro: 
1. Paint Guide: Select one that is 10" or smaller. The bigger it is, will make it harder to keep pressed in the line. Hold it at a 45 degree angle  with the edge firmly pressed in the corner. Run your brush along the edge. *Check the guide continually for paint build-up, and wipe clean often. 
2. Small Foam Roller: (select the size based on your needs) These are perfect for small spaces that a regular roller won't fit in. It also leaves a very smooth surface, perfect for glossy finishes. 
3. Rollers: You should get at least  1 roller per color, but you may want more since it is often easier to toss than to clean them out totally. *SEE ROLLER SELECTION BELOW*
4. HANDy Paint Cup: I am not usually a fan of gadgets, but this cup is awesome primarily because of the magnet that holds your brush when your not using it. 
5. 2 inch Angle Brush: I love this little one, but a regular handle will work as well. Make sure to buy one with soft bristles. Price really changes the quality, so make sure to buy one that is mid-price range. *SEE CARING FOR YOUR BRUSHES*
6. (whoops there are two 6s) The rubber band trick actually works great! Especially if you are working with oils... which you won't want to get in your HANDy cup. 
Roller: Nothing fancy necessary.
7. Plastic Drop Cloth: I prefer the plastic ones because I just don't trust the cloth ones for big spills, which you never know when catastrophe will strike. 
8. Painters Tape: Frog tape is the clear winner in all the side by side comparisons bloggers have done... but use whichever you prefer. A hair dryer can help remove stubborn masking tape. Don't leave your painters tape up for more than a week (unless the instructions say otherwise)  it can become REALLY hard/impossible to remove.... you will loose your mind. 
9 & 10: A sturdy plastic or metal rolling pan, and disposable roller inserts: You can either super clean the roller pan every time or toss it when you are finished. Once your paint has dried in the disposable pan, it should be tossed otherwise the wet paint will soften parts of the hardened paint and leave you with floaty chunks of dried, rubbery paint. 
Many fancy paint gadgets suggest "after some practice, you will find this tool really useful." So basically you will probably be incredibly frustrated and go back to the old faithfuls- brush and rollers.
ROLLER & BRUSH SELECTION
Never, ever, ever,  EVER buy the cheapest brushes or rollers. They shed. The roller will leave little fuzzy hairs all in your beautiful paint. The cheap brushes will shed bristles. You don't have to buy anything fancy or expensive, just mid grade. You can even buy store brand rollers if you want, but I would buy a name brand synthetic, soft, brush.
Unless you are painting a stucco texture, a regular roller will work best. The thicker rollers waste a lot of paint by absorbing it, and splatter painting your face, arms, hair, & clothes. 
BRUSH CARE
only wash brushes in cold water. Try and never dip the brush in as far as the metal (ferrule) and definitely never leave your brush soaking in water that touches the ferrule. This can cause you to loose bristles. 

PAINT SELECTION
Oil vs Latex
Oil is tough stuff. If possible, avoid it at all costs. It smells really toxic, takes forever to dry, and is murder to clean up spills. You should use it if you need to cover up a really bad mess. 
You should consider oil (like Kilz) to cover stains from water damage, dark wood, covering up old funky messes. You can also use it for trim and doors, since they often get messy if you want, but glossy latex can work too. 
DON'T PAINT LATEX OVER OIL PAINT- I mean obviously you can, I did it on my headboard, but sometimes the latex paint will chip off or get easily scratched.
Latex is a water based paint that is easy-ish to clean up. It comes in low VOC options for safe breathing. 
Flat paint is best if you plan on painting over any future messes. If you don't see yourself washing the walls, this option is for you. Touching up flat paint is undetectable. 
Eggshell, Satin, Semi-gloss: Easier to wipe clean, but always try to remove the filth with water alone first, then hand soap and water, since most commercial cleaners will dissolve/soften the paint and damage the finish. Great for cabinets or trim as it is easier to touch up than gloss.
Gloss: Statement pieces (like stripes in the same color, but different finishes) cabinets, doors, or trim. Looks crisp and reflects the light appearing clean.

Beginner Painting Tips: 
  • Get most of the paint off your roller. You may feel like this is saving you time, but it is actually just wasting your paint. The paint will spray all over you and can cause drips down the wall.
  • You don't have to push. The paint should come off the roller with ease, if you are pushing, you need to re-load your roller with paint more often. 
  • Paint in a "W" pattern, crossing over your previous roller lines. This will leave a seamless finish. 
  • It will take less time to do 2 thin coats well than 1 thick coat which will waste your paint, and you will have to clean up more mistakes. 
  • Cover the WHOLE floor with a drop cloth, not just the edges. Buying a few smaller drop cloths makes this easier than one big piece unless the room is empty and rectangular. Tape it down,  to itself (the smaller pieces together) and to the base boards. You will inevitably step in a paint drop and unknowingly track it across the uncovered floor.... or worse experience a big spill. If it is just laying there it will drift from your movement, and you may not notice until you spill paint on the uncovered floor. 




2 comments:

  1. I can see you have been doing some painting recently!! All good tips, I also put my wet brushes and rollers into plastic shopping bags. Another tip from me: if you buy cheap brushes wet them the day before you use them. Dry brush them before using to remove all loose bristles before you start painting.

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    1. Oh that is SO helpful! I have been up to this point a total brush snob- all brushes are not created equally, but you could be onto something here. Removing the starchy protective coating and the super loose bristles could totally save me lots of money. & I love a bargain!! Thanks Eva!!

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