The right way to paint - Part II

All of a sudden the living room ceiling doesn’t look so large, does it.

Last week, The Hardware Guys went through the whys and wherefores of prepping properly for painting. Their point: prep and cleanup just go along with painting. They’re not as bad as they seem.

It's all in the details
This week, we’re going to concentrate on materials. This is one of those subjects where the saying “you get what you pay for” proves itself. i.e. chose a good quality paint, in the long run it's worth it.

Before we get into other materials, here’s something many people don’t think about: furnace registers. Many Royal Oak homes are older construction and the registers made when your house was built probably aren’t made today. If you plan on replacing the registers do it before you paint, the new ones made today are smaller then the old ones your replacing.

The more general things you’ll need include:

Wallpaper remover, if you’re lucky enough to be spending a nice, warm spring weekend painting a wall that has been wallpapered for years and years and years and years and years. This is almost another topic in itself, and spins off into sub-topics including anger management for the amateur painter, and which anti-depressant might be best for you. Ask at Frentz and one of the guys will explain exactly what you’ll need and how to go about it without hurting yourself or your loved ones.

Wall washing supplies. Paint sticks better to a clean surface. New construction may look perfectly clean, but a lot of dust was flying around when that new home was built, and you’ll see it all too quickly if you just paint over new drywall. To get that non-glossy surface, wash with TSP.

Primers. As Mike said in the last column, you’re going to put on two coats of paint, no matter what. That doesn’t include the coat of primer. Taking the time to prime over a glossy or stained surface, (or water leaks, a large patched area, Magic Marker, crayon or stained wood) will give you the look you’re picturing in your mind’s eye. The Hardware Guys recommend BIN, Bulls Eye 123® and KILZ® as great primers, depending on the job. Again, just ask and they’ll steer you in the right direction.

Brushes. Be a sport and buy new ones, unless you’ve taken very good care of your old ones. Using a cartoon brush that looks like it exploded at one end because the bristles are so hard and dirty can screw up the entire job. Start with a new sash brush for trim and cutting in, and a large (4-inch) brush for large wall areas or flat doors.

Rollers. Rollers are designed for different paints. For flat wall paint, get a 3/8" nap roller. For oil base paint, you’ll want a roller with a 1/4" nap (that’s because oil base paint is so thick).

Masking tape. It’s good to frame in wall or trim areas you don’t want to paint, but Mike says “most of the time it’s better and easier to paint the window as close to the glass as possible and then scrape with a razor scraper when the paint is dry.”

Drop clothes. Thin ones for the furniture, thick ones for the floor so you can walk around without ripping them. Mike says there’s a combination drop cloth made of paper and plastic that works really well.

Ladder or step stool. Roller handle extensions are a must for ceilings and walls, but the extension causes you to push harder and thus get an uneven area of coverage. Use a ladder so you can apply equal pressure for equal coverage.

Finally, lighting. “It’s better to find your mistakes as you are going along rather than the next day, when all your supplies are put away (see anger management and anti-depressants in “wallpaper remover” heading at the top of the column),” Mike says. Any light will do. You don’t need morning light, afternoon light, early evening just before dusk light, or any of that baloney. An old table lamp with the shade removed will do just fine.