Paint Contractor Secret Hacks. We all have them but few choose to share them. Many years ago I went to Reno Nevada to attend a painters convention. This was a long time ago. I believe it was in the early nineties, anyhow one of the things I was excited about was there was an “Old Timer” that was going to share the painting secrets he accumulated over many many years. This particular seminar was cancelled and I was bummed. We all look for easier or secret ways of doing things better and faster.
I don’t have lots and lots of Paint Contractor Secret Hacks but I do have some and I am willing to share a few.
Blocking- Paint blocking is an adhesion problem created when two painted surfaces are against each other. They stick together and can cause an issue when separated. Lot’s of people are familiar with the problem but few know there is a name for it (Blocking). A secret trick to dealing with this is to use a wax. I use Briwax. I apply a thin coat to cabinet doors, windows, doors, etc. where one painted surface touches another.
Tint Primer- This is a great tip and best of all it’s free. The tip is free of course but what I mean is having your primer tinted is free. One additional bit of advice is to have it tinted 100%. Many places familiar with tinting primer may give you a line about tinting 50% etc. Don’t do it. Tinting your primer helps with hide and gives a deeper tone to the finished surface. Always do two finish coats. The tinted primer is not meant to substitute for one of the finish coats.
Extenders– To avoid brush and lap marks I recommend using them. Lots of painters just use water but I find it dilutes the color a bit. I like Floetrol. It works well and it doesn’t dilute the color.
Tape- I’m very picky about tape. Few things are as bad as having to deal with the aftermath of using cheap tape. Only use the really good stuff and knife it down. Once the tape is applied use a putty knife or 5-in-1 to press it down along the baseboard for example. A great tape is PG 29.
Covers- Again don’t scrimp on roller covers. Unless you plan to throw away the cover, use a sheepskin or lambskin. They are pricey but will last a long time if washed out properly and allowed to dry. Don’t leave them on the roller frame and wrap them up, wash them!
Toss The Tray- The only time I may use a paint tray is if I am doing faux work and need the flat surface to work the brush, feather, sponge, etc. with the product. Use a 5 gallon bucket and grid or speed bucket. If you choose to go with the speed bucket (bravo!!) line it with plastic first. Lay a thicker mil plastic into the bucket, pour in your paint and then run tape around the top of the speed bucket to keep the plastic in place. Trim as necessary.
Wet Edge- If you are painting with something that has some sheen to it like a semi-gloss, keep a wet edge. Instead of cutting out the entire room and then going back to roll. Do a wall at a time and roll into the cut while wet and roll tight or close to the cut. I like to also finish the roll in the same direction, down.
Sand First- It is amazing to me how many painters don’t sand before painting. It cleans up the surface and removes old roller lint, imperfections, etc. Whether you are doing trim or walls, sand it. You don’t have to go crazy just run a pole sander over the wall for example before it gets coated.
Ridge The Lid- Most textured ceilings have the texture go right to the edge of the wall. I like to run a 5-in-1 in that V where the ceiling and wall meet. It knocks off texture and allows for a clean/neat wall cut.
Box Paint- When working with more then one gallon, box or mix all of your paint together to make for a uniform coating. Sometimes one gallon can be slightly off and it shows when you start working out of that can.
Right Tools- Use the right tools for the job. Even the most experienced painter would struggle if trying to work with a crappy brush from Walmart. The tools are an investment in a quality job and many of them will serve you well for a long time if taken care of. Use quality brushes, frames, etc. Go to a paint store and ask them what the pro’s use.