Summer is the season of the "do-it-yourselfer." Handy homeowners come into their own as the weather warms and they can embark on all those home improvement and maintenance tasks that languished all winter. Painting tops the list for many homeowners; it not only protects your interiors, painting is a great way to liven things up.
Giving interior walls a fresh coat of paint is well within the abilities of most homeowners. The experts at Wagner Spray Tech, makers of tools to ease every painting task, offer the following helpful hints to get you started on your paint project:
•Good surface preparation is the key to a long-lasting and great-looking paint job. Repair cracks or chips, sand and smooth rough edges, and clean chalky surfaces. Give the walls 24 hours to dry after you have wiped them down.
•Assemble all painting tools and cleanup supplies before you start. You will need paint (one gallon per every 300 to 400 square feet), painter's tape, drop cloths, brushes, rollers, paint tray liners, paint thinner and rags. For fast, easy painting, consider a power sprayer or power roller. Recent innovations make these tools easy to use, easy to control, easy to switch colors and easy to clean.
•Protect floors and furniture with a drop cloth or sheet.
•Cover trim with a low-tack painter's tape to protect trim. Low-tack or less sticky tapes are easier to remove and less likely to harm wood.
•Protect windows with Glass Mask, a liquid product that is easier to apply than traditional tape. The product comes in a plastic tube that fits easily in the palm of the hand. To apply, simply press the attached applicator pad to the window and glide it along the trim that will be painted. Once the liquid is completely dry, you can paint the trim. Any paint that laps onto the Glass Mask can easily be scraped off with the included blade. One tube of Glass Mask will cover about the same lineal footage as three rolls of traditional tape. The product is available at hardware, paint supply and home warehouse stores.
•Remove loose fibers from roller covers with painter's tape or a lint roller before using.
•Spray or roll from top to bottom, left to right to cover neatly and evenly. Lighter, multiple coats will cover better than one heavy layer of paint.
•Sprayers offer the best and most efficient coverage when painting large areas or exteriors. After spraying, back roll to ensure even coverage.
•Use a quality brush or roller.
•Place a garbage bag over your paint tray, brush or roller to prevent the paint from drying. This will keep the paint for 24 hours - and let you take a break without worrying that your paint will dry out.
•For water-based paints, rinse brushes, rollers and tools with water. For oil-based paints, use paint thinner. Some power sprayers and rollers now offer disposable wet parts that don't need to be cleaned and are inexpensive to replace. This also allows easier color changes during the painting process.
•Use bristle protectors that fit over brushes and protect them when not in use. They are available at most hardware stores.
•Use a fine-tooth comb to loosen any debris left in the bristles after clean up.