Saturday, October 4, 2008

What you need to paint your room, yourself!

When writing the last entry, I felt there was so much more to say about the supplies you need before you start to paint a room yourself. So many little tricks I have learned about being "ready". I wanted to share these with you. Some may seem like common sense to most, especially if you have painted before. To others, I think these notes, these TIPS, can save you a lot of heartache.

Sometimes reading is a better way of learning than from experiencing it yourself, learning the hard way is over-rated! What I mean is just knowing to have paper towels and a damp rag in the room can save a lot of trouble. Imagine you are painting a room, you have taken all the steps to tape the ceiling seam and base moldings. You have painted the trim, the area at the corner where the wall meets the ceiling. You are ready to get the roller and do the wall. As you roll, you are humming along to the music you put on (another tip) and the roller touches the ceiling beyond the tape. Now there is a mark of the wall color on your nice white (or whatever color) ceiling. If you didn't have that damp rag, you would be running around, looking frantically for something to use, and by the time you get it, that small amount of paint is dry. Now you will have to re-paint the ceiling! With a damp rag right there, there is no issue! Get off your ladder, take the rag, wipe the paint and viola, it comes off. No one is the wiser.

So, take a look at this list of tools/ supplies that I recommend you have when you start painting a room - who knows, it may save you more time than you think, and make the process more enjoyable!

Blue tape - as I have said before, blue tape is your friend. You should use this on all moldings, around windows and door frames, and base or ceiling moldings. You will need to press down the edge so that paint will not seep underneath the tape.

Trim brush - there are many sold in the paint and large hardware stores. I like to use a 1" or 2" angled brush for trim - it allows me to get into the corner without a mess and allows me a nice clean edge when I dare to cut in with color and not use tape ( you should not try this if you haven't done it before, or you do not have a steady hand.... it is very difficult!) You do not need the most expensive brush on the wall - but the least expensive is not good either, as the cheapest brushes tend to shed bristles and not last very long. Be sure to clean up your brush as soon as you have completed the painting. If you take a break for an hour or less, you can wrap the brush in plastic, but I would recommend cleaning the brush if the break is longer. When using latex, simple soap and water will do. Be sure to get all the paint out of the brush, squeezing it until the water runs clear. This will add to the longevity of the brush.

Drop cloths - most people cannot completely empty a room of furniture to paint - like they do on those great shows on HGTV and TLC - (I love those shows!) It is best to try to get all you can out of the room. The rest, try to get into the center, and be sure to cover with a drop cloth, just for protection of spattering paint. Better safe than sorry here! For the floor, you will want to use a drop cloth that has a plastic side, or thick canvas, so that any drips or spills will not soak thru the cloth to the flooring below. Many people do not think of this until it is too late, and use a simple sheet. This may be ok for the furniture, for spatters from a roller, but not for spills. And don't think they can't happen to you, that would be your first mistake.

Paper towels and damp rag - these are great to have, hopefully not needed, but if you need them, you will be soooo happy you had them handy! These are great to wipe up errors (as dramatized above) or to wipe the paint can after pouring into the roller tray, or to place the brush down in case you need a place, or for wiping each others faces when the paint gets on you!

Brush holder/cup - this is a great tool for when you are painting the trim. It is best to have a handled cup to put paint in for your brush so that you do not have to keep getting up and down the step ladder to re-load your brush. It is also great so that when working with a partner, one can do the trim, and the other can follow behind with the roller - this always makes for a quicker painting experience! This tool can be a used plastic container you once got from the Chinese take-out food, or you can purchase this tool, made especially for this purpose that has a place for the brush built in right next to the cup with a handle.

Step ladder - one with two steps works best for one story rooms - if you are painting a vaulted ceiling or a room with higher than 8' ceilings, you will need a regular ladder. It is best to use a ladder and be right at the area you are painting, than trying to reach. Most times the reaching will be a sure way to make a mistake or get hurt ( by falling off the ladder). Safety is most important when painting or doing any home projects.

Roller handle - when painting walls in the room, the easiest tool to use is the roller. Longer poles are available to attach ( screw into the end of the handle) to the roller handle and many people prefer to use this than get on a ladder. Beware of the end of the long pole when re-loading the roller with paint, as it may knock over some things in the room, or knock into your partner! This is tool you will have, to be able to use again and again, if taken care of.

Roller pads - these are the pads that cover the metal roller on the handle, that hold the paint. There are many types to use. Be sure to buy the one that best matches your circumstances. For example, if you are painting a stucco wall or popcorn ceiling, you need a thick padded roller. The roller pads are identified by the thickness of the pile. If you are unsure, ask the salesperson, whom in most stores is very well educated in the supplies you will need. This is a tool that you will most likely want to replace each time you paint. Cleaning a roller pad is a messy job, and for the cost, I always feel it is best to start new for each job and paint color. Like with the paint brush, you can cover the roller AND tray with the paint if you need to take a break. I would not however, ever take a break in the middle of a wall- get to a corner! When doing 2 or more coats of the same color, you can cover the tray and roller in plastic bags, and return to them later in the day, when the first coat of paint has dried. You can even come back to it the next day, IF it is well covered with plastic to keep the air out.

Roller tray - this is the metal or heavy duty plastic tray that holds the paint. There are different sizes and depths available. Be sure to match up the tray with the roller handle you have purchased. This is tool you will have, to be able to use again and again, if taken care of.


Roller tray liner - you can use these inexpensive liners to eliminate messy clean up. They are not the 'greenest' idea, as you toss them out when you are done, but can save you the mess. Be sure when purchasing the liner the size is the same as the roller tray your purchased.

Paint - this is a given - you have learned all about how to choose your color palette, the types of paint available - now you need to figure out the square footage of the room to determine the amount of paint you need to purchase. The easy way to do this is measure the room - multiply each wall width by it's height, then add all walls together - subtract out the measurements of the doors and windows ( I don't do this step, as I do not think it amount to much for a basic room, and do not want to be caught short on paint, so I leave those numbers in)- this will give you the square footage of the room. Most gallons of paint cover approximately 400 square feet. Be sure to check the labels, they will advise what each brand will cover. Also keep in mind that you may need more than once coat of paint - this was reviewed in an earlier post. The darker the color, the more likely you will need two or more coats; or if you are going over a difficult color with a lighter color... you will definitely need 2 or more coats - keep this in mind when figuring out the amount of paint to purchase.

and last but not least...
Music! You may want to have music to listen to - it can make it a much more enjoyable project!

If you have gotten this far, the rewards are just around the corner - you have invested a lot of time in choosing the color palette, purchased the supplies you need, the music to play and in no time you will have a new and rejuvenated room!

2 comments:

SkySky said...

If you're painting over a few day period, you can put your brushes and rollers in plastic bags (I usually double-bag) and put them in the freezer (twist the bags tight so that the brushes aren't exposed to the air). This keeps the paint from drying. The next day, you need to let your brushes and rollers thaw out for about 30 minutes before using them. This saves you from having to wash your brushes/rollers at the end of every day. A professional painter taught me this trick and it's a good one. Jamie

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