Monday, March 26, 2012

Excellent Painting Tips

So a few posts back I talked about taking one entire weekend recently to reorganized a spare room, thanks to the "exercise machine chain reaction of 2012", and part of gussying up the new room was to paint it.  When we first moved into this house, we had come from a townhouse with all white walls we couldn't touch.  I vowed that when we were homeowners, we would get some color up on the walls and make this place our own.  Flash forward to present day, and we have completed nine rooms that are fully painted, and I for one, have found some handy tips and tricks along the way I'd like to pass along.

Before you start painting any room, there comes the all important (and sometimes tedious) prepping the room for paint.  Start by taking off all the light switch and power outlet covers.  Then get yourself some brown or blue thick masking tape, and tape off all door frames, window frames, and closet areas.  Make sure the seal is tight so no paint can leak through.  Don't do the floorboards though, I have a GREAT tip for that.  See this little beauty below?  Well you will find it next to all the painting/tape supplies.  It is a great little invention that will save you time, AND many stains on your carpet.  The best thing about this is that it's TWO steps in one!!

Turns out this little baby is both tape (for the taping off the floor boards) AND a plastic drop cloth. Once you get it in place, the plastic then unfurls to reveal 24 inches of roomy plastic that acts as a drop cloth.  It's akin to a Christmas miracle in my book!

Tape and drop cloth in one!  GENIUS
This is so great because the tape and plastic are one unit, there are no gaps between the wall and the floor, thus NO drips can find your carpet.

Next, let me introduce you to my "little friends".  I am in LOVE with these two little gizmos.  Matter of fact, I could easily paint an entire room with them (and I have).

The 4 inch roller pad and the 1" trimmer pad - purchased these at Fred Meyer, but I'm sure you can get them anywhere.
Are they not adorable?  The 4 inch pad is possibly the best invention for painting a room I have come across.  See those little wheels along one side?  Well you use that to make perfectly straight lines.  It works awesome in places like the ceiling line, and between wall colors in the corners (if you are doing two color shades in one room).

Check out this bad boy in action.  Look how straight that edge is!  You just dip the pad into the paint tray, lightly wipe of excess, start a bit below where you want to be and move your way up to the ceiling line, and let the little wheels do the work for you as you roll merrily along.  (Another great tip is: If you are painting over another color, find some of the original ceiling color and with a medium brush, paint the ceiling color down 1-2 inches into the old color and let it dry as we have done here.  That way you are sure to get a perfect edge with the new color)

Here is a close up of the completed line:  Super straight and perfect.  I can hear all the OCD peeps out there clapping with glee.

Now onto the 1 inch pad.  These are stellar for edging around windowsills, floor boards, and sometimes small places like door frames or around outlets.  As long as you have the tape securely fastened to the wall, you can press this pad (sort of has a spongy quality to it) into the wall and really get into all the nooks and crannies for complete paint coverage.  I usually do a 3-5 inches off the base boards and then finish off the wall with a paint roller.

Here is a major TRICK I have learned with base boards, tape, and plastic.  Finish the wall of course with the roller but remove the tape and drop cloth soon after you finish.  Do not wait until the paint is completely dry.  If you do, there might be dry chunks that pull off with your tape and leave chips/holes near the base board.  Pulling it off while the wall is still drying is the BEST way to make sure you will get a clean, straight line.

By the way, speaking of rollers.  They have even done some improvements on these too in recent years! We've have been using a "paint stick" that seems like a roller paint brush at first, but the awesomeness here stems from the fact that the handle holds tons of paint that you suck up directly from the paint can!  This is fabulous because you can do entire walls without stopping for a refill.  They claim you can paint your walls in 1/3 of the time of regular rollers, and we can attest that it really is another great time saver.  

I have found them in the $25-$40 range at a few different stores and they have lasted through multiple projects as long as you clean them well.  These are also so great for painting ceilings or above your head.  Our bedroom has a very high, vaulted ceiling and we used this technique the whole time with little to no dripping (They do come with a "splatter shield" that fits around the roller that you can adjust at will to minimize splatters and leaks).  LOVE IT!

Now if you have never painted a room, or have not painted a room in a long time, I challenge you to go and try out some these new handy gadgets that really can help cut down on time.  

A quick new coat of paint can brighten up/change the outlook in any room, and that can help you get to your happy place just a wee bit faster.  Kids rooms, play rooms, even bathrooms are another great place to pick a fun color and experiment. Add some new bedspreads, or throw pillows, hang some new decorations on the walls or a new shower curtain, and it's like you have a whole new room.  So go get creative!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Great ideas, Jenn...would have loved to have had the plastic taping thing the last time we got ambitious in our living room...heh

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