PRO PAINTING TIPS: Simple solutions to common painting problems.

Here’s some more fantastic words of wisdom on pro painting tips by AFM’s Jay Watts on the importance of painting correctly. Enjoy!

As you know, many customers think paint is a simple product and painting is easy, so when they encounter a problem that could happen with any paint, they often put the blame on the new “environmental” product they decided to try. When we saw this web article from Popular Mechanics about typical paint problems and solutions, we therefore thought it could prove helpful in educating customers about common
paint issues, so they understand that our high quality “green” paint works as well as ordinary paint, and like ordinary paint would be subject to the same problems from poor technique or preparation. Some useful portions are excerpted below, along with a recommendation of ours:

Box Paint for Consistent Color:
The “same” color of paint can vary between cans. “That difference can be glaringly obvious if you pop open a new gallon halfway through a wall,” a retired painter tells PM. To ensure color consistency from start to finish, pros mix their cans of paint in a 5 gallon bucket (a process called “boxing”). Some pros then paint directly out of the bucket. This eliminates the need to pour paint into a roller tray, though the heavy bucket is harder to move.

Use Tinted Primer:
Before the pros paint walls, they fill holes and patch cracks with joint compound. But if you paint directly over it, the compound will suck the moisture out of the paint, giving it a flat, dull look (a problem called “flashing”). Those spots will look noticeably different than the rest of the wall. To avoid that, pros prime the walls before painting. Instead of using white primer, pros usually have it tinted gray or a color that’s similar to the finish paint. Tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint color than plain primer, so your finish coat will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats. This is especially true with colors like red or orange, which could require three or more coats without a primer.

Sand Away Flaws:
You have to start with a perfectly smooth surface to end up with perfectly painted walls or woodwork. One pro tells PM that sander would be a more fitting job title than painter since he spends so much time pushing sandpaper. Sanding levels outs spackle or joint-compound patches and flattens ridges around nail holes. Sanding also removes burrs and rough spots in your trim. Sand the walls from the baseboard to the ceiling with fine grit sanding paper on a sanding pole. Then sand horizontally along the baseboard and ceiling. Don’t put a lot of pressure on the sanding pole or the head can flip over and damage the wall.

Clean Dirty Walls With AFM SafeChoice Super Clean:
Paint won’t bond to greasy or filthy surfaces, like kitchen walls above a stove, mudrooms where kids kick off their muddy boots and scuff the walls or the areas around light switches that get swatted at with dirty hands. “I always use a degreaser to clean grimy or greasy surfaces,” a pro says. “It cuts through almost anything you have on walls for better paint adhesion.”

Wash New Roller Covers:
Whether you buy cheap or expensive roller covers, washing them before their first use gets rid of the fuzz that inevitably comes off once you start painting. Wash them with water and a little bit of liquid soap, and run your hands up and down the covers to pull off any loose fibers (a practice called “preconditioning covers”). You can start using the roller covers right away—you don’t need to let them dry.

Press Tape With a Putty Knife:
Nothing is more discouraging when you’ve finished painting than to peel tape off the woodwork and discover the paint bled through. To avoid the pain-in-the-neck chore of scraping off the paint, do a thorough job of adhering the tape before you start. “Apply tape over the wood, then run a putty knife over the top to press down the tape for a good seal,” a painter with more than 16 years of experience says. “That’ll stop
any paint bleeds.” Use the blue painter’s tape instead of masking tape. Masking tape can leave behind a sticky residue that’s hard to clean off. Plus, paint can cause the tape to buckle or get wavy, which lets paint run underneath it. Painter’s tape can be left on for days (some up to two weeks) and still peel off cleanly. And it stops paint bleed without buckling.

Start With a Loaded Brush:
Pros take a “load and go” approach to painting. They load the bottom 1 1/2 inches of their brushes with paint, tap each side against the inside of their container to knock off the heavy drips, and then start painting. By contrast, homeowners often take a “load and dump” approach of dragging the loaded brush along the sides of their container and wiping off most of the paint. “It doesn’t do you any good to dunk your brush in paint, then immediately wipe it all off,” a 16-year veteran painter says.

Push Paint to Avoid Runs:
When your brush is loaded with paint, it’s easy to create runs by applying too much paint in corners or along trim. To avoid that, start brushing about 1/2 inch away from the cut-in area to apply the paint. As the brush unloads, move over and slowly drag the brush along the trim or corner. Let the bristles gently push the paint against the cut-in area where the walls meet. You may have to do this a couple of times to get complete coverage, but it’ll avoid excess paint along woodwork and in corners.

Scrape a Ridge in Textured Ceilings:
The problem with painting along the edge of textured ceilings is that it’s almost impossible to get a straight line along the top of the wall without getting paint on the ceiling bumps. Pros have a simple solution. They run a screwdriver along the perimeter of the ceiling to scrape off the texture. “This lets you cut in without getting paint on the ceiling texture,” one of our pros says. “The screwdriver creates a tiny ridge in the ceiling, so the tips of your paint bristles naturally go into it. And you’ll never even notice the missing texture.”

Finish One Wall Before Starting Another:
It might seem easy to do all the corners and trim in a room, then go back to roll the walls, but don’t. Pros get a seamless look by cutting in one wall, then immediately rolling it before starting the next. This allows the brushed and the rolled paint to blend together better. Cover your paint bucket, tray or container with a damp towel when switching between brushing and rolling to keep your paint and tools from drying out when not in use.

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