In a recent post, I alluded to a short stint as a part time professional house painter. Most people think house painting is easy. Most people will attempt to save some dough and become DIY painters. They can do an OK job, but the professionals will do it better.
I was never good at house painting. House painting takes patience; I always want to get right to it…no reason to waste time with prep work, expensive materials or appropriate tools. WRONG!!
Prep work is essential –
PREPARE THE SURACE- It is a waste of time to paint over walls that are dirty, have flaking old paint and have cracks and holes. Clean, sand and patch, or don’t bother painting.
TAPE EDGES: Unless you are a real pro, you have to tape off those edges…not me. I keep a rag handy and just wipe down my misses (no, not my Mrs.). This leaves paint on the rag which when hanging from my pocket hits against walls and occasionally un-covered furniture (see below) and makes a mess. When I wipe my brow I get paint on my face, and before long the paint in the rag makes wiping errors away fruitless.
REMOVE OR COVER EVERYTHING: Amateurs using a roller create a rooster tail effect of flying paint. Newspapers are not good enough. Paint goes on newspaper, foot goes on paper, paper rips and follows you around the house leaving a trail of paint.
Use quality materials-
PAINT: You think you save money using inexpensive paint, but the extra time and extra coats needed to cover will prove you wrong.
PAINT BRUSH: Why pay for an expensive brush for one job? No streaking, no brush hairs on the wall, less dripping, and with correct care and maintenance the brush will be good for many, many jobs. You also need multiple brushes, tapered for cutting in, two inch for molding and small areas and four inch for walls if you are not rolling.
LADDERS: Oh for God sake, do not reach on a ladder that is too short or even worse balance on a chair.
PAINT BUCKET- Do not paint out of the can, use a tapered paint bucket. A paint bucket does not collect drips on the side. Drips on the side will find their way anyplace but where you want them. A tapered bucket also allows you to better slap excessive paint from your brush. Excessive paint on the brush works its way to the top of the brush and squeezes out dripping the floor, your hand and everything.
KNOW WHERE THE PAINT CAN AND LID ARE AT ALL TIMES: If you do not follow this rule, you will step on the lid and track paint throughout the house, and you will trip over the can and spill mass quantities of paint all over.
USE PROPER TEQUNIQUE-
PROPER BRUSH STROKES: Use long strokes in only one back and forth direction and always keep the brush or roller loaded with paint, beyond that, I’ve got nothing.
The final hint took me several years to learn, but it might be the best advice.
HIRE A PRO: Everyone thinks they can paint, few really can. If you can afford it, hire a pro. Do not hire kids or part timers. Hire someone that has been painting full time and makes a living out of it.
Is there anyone on the Earth covered by Benjamin Moore that does not have at least one story about a paint job gone bad?