How to Paint Without a Mess

 Painting  without a mess? No way you say there is always a mess. Many people love to  paint , while others seem to hate it. If your considering having some rooms  painted  get several prices from reputable contractors. Do not under any circumstances hire “Jim’s friend” who  paints  on the side. You will usually get exactly what you paid for in the end.

 Painting  is not rocket science but does require some degree of planning and careful workmanship. Not a pro? You do not need to be a pro to produce a nice  paint  job. I will try to cover here the basics and the tools you need to  paint  an average room in your home..

Your tool list should comprised of several inexpensive disposable drop cloths. Painters tape in wide and narrow sizes, several disposable  paint  buckets, a 2 inch sash brush and a 3 inch brush as well as a roller  paint  set. A hammer and one large10 penny nail. Buy good brushes please. You will be able to clean them over and over for years without them falling apart. There are brushes for both oil and latex  paint  but oil has almost disappeared from the markets today. Keep  paint  brushes separate from brushes you would use on stains or varnish finishes.You will also need at least a six foot step ladder for the average eight foot ceiling height room in your home. High ceilings and walls may require the use of a painters scaffold which is available at most rental stores.

The first item of business is of course choosing your  paint . There are so many colors available today the list is endless. Measure your room wall sand ceiling to determine the amount of square footage you are going to  paint  (length times width equals square footage) Each gallon of  paint  has a typical square footage amount that a gallon of that  paint  will cover. They are not all the same. Read the labels carefully. Get all you  painting  supplies and head home. Do not forget to get some painters hats to cover your head. These throw away covers will keep you hair clean while your rolling  paint  on the ceiling.

The second item of business is to remove all items of furniture from the room. Pictures, lamps, drapes, everything goes. Aside from the fact they may get  paint  on them, they are a hazard if you trip and fall over them. If you have wood floors now cover them with the drop cloths you bought. Tape them in place tightly against the baseboards. Tape over anything you do not want  paint  on. Remove all switch and outlet plates. This will all take some time but. clean up will be much faster later.

Carpet is much harder to protect. Use your drop cloths but in this case you will have to work at keeping them as neat as possible as you work. They will tend to bunch up and leave exposed carpet. Spilled  paint  in a carpet can ruin a room. Cloth drop cloths work better on carpet but are far more expensive.

With everything protected in the room, start by filling and patching any holes or imperfections on the ceiling with painters spackle. It dries in minutes and can be lightly sanded. Next start your  painting  by “cutting in” or  painting  all the wall to ceiling joints. If the ceiling is white and the walls are to be a color,  paint  onto the wall a short way, 1″ +-, to make the wall  painting  easier. When your rolling the wall  paint , you will not have to  paint  exactly up to that joint where wall and ceiling meet. A slight variation between the two will never be seen. As soon as you open the gallon of  paint , take the hammer and nail and punch several (6+) holes in the bottom of the lip where the lid seals itself. Any  paint  that gets in the lip from pouring or using your brush will drip back inside the can and not down the outside of the can. It will also keep the lip clean for when you reinstall the lid. Putting your roller pan an a stable surface, pour a small amount of  paint  into the tray.

Hopefully by now you figured out that fuzzy round tube that came in the painters kit goes on the roller itself. By slowly rolling the  paint  roller back and forth in the tray you will get  paint  all the way around the tube. Make sure it is fully covered but not dripping wet. With an even coat of  paint  on the roller start in one corner of the ceiling and apply your  paint . in even strokes until your roller is almost dry. Re-apply more  paint  and starting where you left off add more  paint . When rolling your second application of  paint , roll your new  paint  edge into the last section you just  painted  to achieve a smooth even coverage. Do NOT roll the roller until it is dry or you will get streaks and uneven coverage if you do. Very quickly you will learn that  painting  ceilings is an actual pain in the neck. Straining your neck to look up for long periods of time can actually cause a stiff neck. Your  paint  roller handle will allow a wooden broom handle to be screwed into the end of the roller handle. There are threads inside for this use. There are available telescoping aluminum poles for this but unless your doing a whole bunch of rooms, a wood one works fine for one room. Another benefit is of course you will not need a ladder.. Your legs and neck will love you. Depending on the quality and condition of the ceiling before you started, a second coat may be needed. Check your  paint  can to see the drying time required before adding another coat.

With the ceiling completed and while it is drying, the walls may need some touch up spackle in picture hanger holes and so on. Take care of these and sand lightly. If one wall is to be an accent color different from the other three walls and is darker in color, leave it until last. If it is a lighter color,  paint  it now. The theory here is the darker color will cover the lighter color. If you are doing an accent wall and depending on which is the lighter color, cut in the same as you did on the ceiling. Lighter color behind darker. If all four walls are the same color it is a little easier. Using your 3″ brush or edger if you bought one, cut in the walls to the ceiling, windows, baseboards and all other items in the room. With the cut-in work done you may return to the  paint  roller and start covering the main areas. Take your time. Being sloppy doing the cut-in work will require a great deal more cleanup later. A good habit is to clean your brushes each time you use them as quickly as possible. Do not let them dry out with  paint  in them. Also after washing them, hang the brushes up to dry. Do not lay them down or stand them on the bristles. They will dry with bent bristles and become useless.  Paint  roller sleeves are disposable unless you buy Pro quality rollers. They can be quite expensive..Many stores today have 99 cent sleeves so it is not really worth cleaning them. Buy six or so and just dispose of the used sleeves.

If your base boards and trims are to be a different color now is the time to get out the sash brush. The slanted edge will make  painting  along the floor or carpet edges much easier.  Painting  windows also requires a good sash brush. Many people apply tape to all the glass edges but it is really just a waste of tape and time. Using your sash brush carefully will get minimal  paint  on the glass and it can be removed quickly with a razor scraper. A really useful tool is a painters knife. They are a couple of dollars and provide means to open  paint  can lids, scrape along edges of old  paint , remove caulking and in pairing with a painters towel you can quickly swipe an entire glass door edge to remove any excess  paint  quickly and easily and provide a real sharp  paint  edge. A geed tip here is as you  paint  the inside corners of the windows, when your brush dries a little, place the brush directly in the corner and “pull” any excess  paint  out into the sash or mutton bar.  Paint  tends to run into the corners and becomes unsightly.

Once you applied the required number of coats of  paint  to get a smooth even finish, it is time to clean up. Put all the  paint  and  paint  tools away before you pick up the drop cloths. Fold the cloths and store with all your  paint  tools. One of the larger plastic tubs does a great job storing these tools. Put all the pictures and furniture back and now take a good look at your work. Your beautifully  painted  room just saved you a bundle.


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