Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

To paint a wall, door or even a candlestick, the tools you select will determine the quality and productivity of your finished work or project. What you will need for a specific job involves knowing the types of materials to be applied, the surfaces and areas involved, and factors such as environmental conditions, time limits and, of course, budget. 

When selecting a paint brush, you must know the type of paint and the level of detail work required. If you plan to paint a French-styled window, a good choice is a 1 ½ to 2 ½ inch angular sash brush. This type and size of brush makes it a lot easier to work the material into all of the angles of the wood frame.

A professional painter is careful to select the appropriate brush for each job. He or she aims for the ease of use and the quality of finish it provides. Especially as he or she progresses with the work. Consistency in the method of application is the key element here.

If you decide to use a roller to apply paint or another type of coating, you need to make an assessment of the surface. The type of surface or area will indicate the nap roller to use. Three examples:

1. A rough exterior stucco surface – synthetic nylon/polyester or lambs wool cover, ¾ to 1 ½ inch nap thickness.

2. An ultra smooth surface, like a table top –synthetic nylon/polyester, mohair, or sponge rubber, 1/8 or 1/4 inch nap thickness.

3. A medium smooth surface, like plaster or drywall – synthetic nylon/polyester, ½ to 3/4 inch nap thickness. Knowing the smoothness or texture of the surface is essential, when selecting a roller cover.

Spray finishing is the most optimum method to use on many types of projects. A few examples:    

1. A surface or area requires a greater volume of paint to be applied.

2. The surface is to be finished to a high luster, ultra smooth finish.

3. Many small objects need to be painted.

Generally, three types of spraying methods are commonly used today. They include airless spray painting, conventional spraying and electrostatic spraying.

AIRLESS spray painting uses a specially designed spray gun. It has a metered volume of paint pumped to it by a hydraulic paint spray pump. This material, under pressure, moves out of an orifice in the spray gun that is designed to permit a specific width and length “paint fan” to exit the gun. This paint fan is then delivered to the surface. Then, from this point, a special technique is required in order to master and apply paint in this manner.

CONVENTIONAL spraying, which is similar to airless spraying, produces a “paint fan.” The difference is that, with conventional, the materials can be applied with an extreme fineness and accuracy. In this system, a compressor provides an air source and delivers it to a pressure tank with the paint product inside. The paint is placed under pressure to the spray gun, where air is supplied to the gun also. The spray gun can be finely adjusted for paint and air volume. The system is highly adjustable, in consideration of the surface or area to be completed. The HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) system is held in high regards here also.

ELECTROSTATIC is the third major paint spraying system. With this system, you can achieve a highly polished finish. A material or paint product is reached through a process called electrolysis. Electrons travel in a predetermined direction, and direct the sprayed material directly to the surface. Little or no paint overspray is left behind.

The two major requirements are that (1) the paint is thinned to the designated viscosity, and (2) the system ground is secured to a consistent bare metal connection. The only down side to this method is that it cannot be used with non-conducting surfaces. To my knowledge it works only with ferrous, iron/alloy metals, One such example, which is very popular, is “Powder Coating.” This is a major industrial finishing application.

My best advice? When you are planning to paint something yourself, know the desired results that you want to achieve. Ask yourself: “Do I understand or am I capable of producing the quality of finish I am looking for?”

If you have real doubts, listen to your gut feeling. And seek the help of a professional painter. It could make the difference between your being satisfied, or not.

Some general rules for using tools and equipment:

1. Before applying any paint, be sure to wash, patch, sand, patch, and caulk the surfaces. It will really show if you don’t!

2. When using a ladder, never stand on the last step or rung. Be safe. Prevent a fall.

3. When using a spray gun, point it only at the surface you are painting. It can blind.

4. When cleaning a china bristle brush, do not use soap and water to clean it. Your brush will be ruined. Use mineral spirits or lacquer thinner.

5. After using a caulking gun, place a screw at, or wrap tape around, the end of it. This will prevent the caulking from drying out.

6. Do not sand a smooth surface with rough sandpaper. It tends to create scratches that may not come out.

7. Use a roller extension pole to reach further. It will mean less work with more productivity.

8. When spraying with latex, flush pump system with water. Final flush the system with mineral spirits. It will help prevent corrosion from water/steel parts contact.

Using the proper tools and equipment can make a hard job seem easier. You might accomplish more in less time – and with an end result you are proud to call your own.

* * * * * * * * * * *                                                                                                                                    Thanks for stopping by. Make your painting experience fun!

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