Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

PAINT SHOP AND WORKSHOP TIPS

Painters and decorators are always on the lookout for better, easier ways to run their paintshops, and workshops. Example: I keep an electronic “guidebook.” Tabbed and indexed. Set up so I can select, then print out any part, as needed. Some part of it goes with me, nearly everywhere.

 

Thirteen tips from Bob’s Painting and Decorating Guidebook.©

 
1.Keep sandpaper sheets and scraps organized.

Needed: Expandable accordion-style file folder – $4.99 up.

A. Assign/label each compartment a sandpaper grid number.

B. Include the following categories: Emery, Discs, Dovetail, Screens

C. File your sandpaper in the appropriate section.

 

2. Organize your small supply of screws, nut, bolts, washers, etc.

Needed: Plastic organizer box, with adjustable or molded dividers.

A. Place each type and length of screw in a separate section.

B. On lid, draw horizontal and vertical lines that correspond with dividers inside.

C. Label each section with the type and size of pieces shown underneath. Use permanent marker pen tip.

 

3. Organize your small supply of nails in the same way.

 

4. Use a self-made wall and shelf unit to store extra shop-vac hose and attachments.

Building tips: Backboard: Plywood, 3/4 or 1 inch; shelf: 1 inch. Attachment holders: Plastic pvc/plumbing connectors. Hose: Garden hose holder/bracket, wall-mount.

 

5. Make tack cloths for wood finishing from cheesecloth. Excellent, affordable choice!

Needed: 1 or 2 yards of new/clean cheesecloth – dense weave.

A. Cut cheesecloth into 6-inch or 12-inch squares.

B. In discarded small cooking pot, bring linseed oil and varnish to boil. Remove from heat.

C. Dampen cheesecloth squares in mixture.

D. Store in covered, heavy glass jars, with tight lid.

 

6. Revitalize paint brushes, hardened with old product.

A. Shellac residue – Soak overnight in alcohol. Rinse and wash in trisodium phosphate (tsp) solution. Use brush comb to help clean and condition bristles.

B. Other products – Soak in paint and varnish stripper to dissolve gunk. Rinse with TSP and comb. Product examples: Latex, polyurethane, wood finisher.

C. Dried product solvent known – Soak brush in that product. Example: lacquer thinner.

— Then use a stripper. Product examples: StripX Stripper, Woodfinisher’s Pride.

 

7. Evaporate water-based paint products safely before disposing of cans.

A. Set open cans in ventilated area.

B. Allow old product to evaporate completely.

C. Replace lids on cans, if possible.

 

8. Dispose of left-over oil-based products, solvents, paint removers, and most water-based products at hazardous waste disposal/collection site.

A. Store in cool, dark, dry location in paint shop.

B. Keep out of sunlight, and off of damp concrete floor.

C. Leave each product in original container, with its label still affixed and legible as possible.

TIP: If label is not legible (dried paint), print product name on outside of can, using black permanent marking pen.

 

9. De-activate oil and other chemicals soaked into old rags.

A. Drop used rags into bucket of water, when through with them.

B. Properly dispose of rags at hazardous waste disposal/collection site.

 

10. Choose chemical strippers with care. Then, follow label instructions.

A. Avoid dangerous solvents. Examples: Methylene chloride, acetone, tuolene, xylene.

B. Safer choices: Organic-active ingredients; slow evaporation.

 

11. Use plenty of sawdust shavings to soak up residue from chemical stripping.

 

12. Store finishing and other flammable products in sturdy, locked metal cabinet.

TIP: A used office cabinet works for this.

 

13. Keep assortment of clean steel wool/abrasive pads in shop.

 

My father showed me how to set up a paint shop. He made it very clear WHY it was important to know that. I was only 10 or 11.
“Suppose you have two minutes to grab your tools, and head out to the site. What can you afford to show up without? Nothing, Son, when you need it NOW!”

 

Gotcha!

 

FREE GO-TO GUIDES: Click on post: Steel Wool Guide and Sandpaper Grit Chart.

 

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Special thanks to the following: thisoldhouse.com and askthisoldhouse.com’s group; also,

Home Depot’s Bill, and homedepot.com; and Sherwin-Williams.com’s commercial consulting.

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Thank you, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob,” and for connecting.

 

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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