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Painting It: Choosing the Right Paint Brush

Many people believe any brush will do. On the contrary!  You will find that, in order to paint effectively, there is a specific paint brush for every need.

 

Generally, there are two types of brushes: the nylon/polyester, which is used to apply waterbourne paints and coatings, example: latex, and the China Bristle which is used to apply petroleum based solvent type materials, example: enamel.

 

 Some examples of brushes used with specific materials

 

  1. Oil based Varnish and Polyurethane: 3 inch white China bristle (preferred).

 

  1. Water based latex, acrylic clear coat: 1-4 inch nylon/polyester, 2½-3 inch (preferred).

 

  1. Oil/alkyd/enamel paints/coatings: 1½-3 inch black China bristle; 2½-3 inch (preferred).

 

  1. Epoxy/Urethane paints: 2½-3 inch black China bristle.

 

  1. Shellac-alcohol based coatings: 2½- 3 inch black China bristle.

 

  1. Ammonia based coatings: 2½ -3 inch nylon/polyester.

 

*Selecting a paint brush based on the material being used is half of the equation. One must also consider the surface or object you intend to paint.

 

Typically, you can base your selection on the size or detail of the project. Painting walls or ceilings requires a different brush than painting window trim.

 

A few examples which illustrate that fact

 

  1. Painting a Wood Door. Use a 1½-2 inch angular brush. These brushes are designed for trimming around hinges, edges and recessed panels.

 

  1. Painting a Wall or Ceiling. Use a 2½-3 inch angular brush or a 3-4 inch square brush. Use these brushes for large open flat areas with little or no detailed trim work.

 

  1. Painting an Ornamental surface. Use a 1-2½ inch angular brush, or selection of artist brushes depending on intricacy of surface or object.

 

  1. Painting Furniture. Use a 2 inch square brush with a narrow ferrule. Select a brush with fine bristles to reduce brush strokes.

 

Helpful Hints to Remember

 

  1. Always use the recommended solvent to clean your brushes. If you do not, your brush may be a one-time use only tool.

 

  1. Store brushes in a hanging container. Or lay flat with bristles wrapped in newspaper, or in the original brush protector.

 

  1. Load China bristle brushes with linseed oil to keep softened.

 

  1. Load nylon/polyester brushes with soap to keep soft.

 

  1. When cleaning paint brush bristles, use a fine wire brush to remove paint.

 

  1. Buy good quality brushes. Consider them an investment, especially if you’re a painter by trade. I recommend Purdy, Wooster and Sherwin-Williams brands.

 

A Painter’s paint brush is an essential, basic tool, like a wrench used by a mechanic. To continue to use it: keep it clean and use it as recommended.

 

One of the best paint brushes I ever used was a brush owned by my father. The brush was thirty-five years old. And, it was made by Purdy.

 

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SPECIAL THANKS: To all of the trade painters, who have been emailing or calling with requests and suggestions for “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter: Part 1

Hotel/facility painters get noticed. Often! In their “whites,” they are recognized easily. During any work day, they are watched by various teammates. Certain teammates or managers tend to be regular observers.

What can you learn from your hotel or facility painter? Here are some possible clues – and tips.

 

1. How to select the right products or materials for the job.

 

A.  Surface/”substrate” type: New, bare wood; old, painted wood; varnished wood; metal, brick, stone, concrete; covered with wallcovering ( paper, vinyl, flock, foil, etc.).

B.  Surface’s current color: Light, dark; bleed-through; solid, patterned; new, faded.

C.  Area’s purpose: One-person use; high or low traffic; interior or exterior; kitchen, children; entry/exit; garage; basement, stairs, stairway.

D.  Budget: Tight-One coat of paint! Flexible-Primer, one finish coat. Big-Top-quality job.

E.  Job’s required life-span: 1 year or less; 2-3 years; indefinitely.

 

2. How to determine and estimate amount of paint needed. Be on the safe side: Buy extra.

 

A.  Walls: Measure two walls. Multiply numbers. Example: 10-ft. x14-ft. = 140 sq. ft. room

(1)  To paint light color over light, or dark over light:

Coverage needed: 140 sq. ft. + 50 sq. ft. (1/3) = 190 sq. ft.

(2)  To paint light color over darker, or over wallcovering:

Coverage needed: 280 sq. ft. (double sq. ft) + 140 sq. ft. (1/2) = 420 sq. ft.

B.  Molding or trim: Measure running length (linear feet). 3 lin. ft. = 1 sq. ft. wall space.

C.  At the paint store, read the label on the pain can that you plan to purchase. Look for “Covers” or “Coverage.” Compare to your estimate, also the type of area you’re painting.

 

3. How to set up the area to be painted.

 

A.  Protecting floor, carpet or tile with dropcloths or old sheeting.

B.  Moving furniture, lamps, plants out of way; cover with dropcloths or sheeting.

C.  Using masking paper and tape to protect windows, trim, brick/marble, special surfaces.

 

4. How to prepare – “prep” a surface to be refinished.

 

A.  Covering and protecting adjacent surfaces and areas with masking paper and tape.

B.  Selecting products based on surface/“substrate.”       See No. 1 above.

C.  Considering surface damage amount and type – eg. scratches, gouges, holes, cracks.

D.  Choosing caulking product. Running smooth, full beads with caulking gun.

E.  Repairing small gouge in the wall – product and tool(s) to use.

F.  Filling holes, cracks, etc. How much product to use?

G.  Using a putty knife to smooth filler even with the surface

H.  Holding/grasping tool for maximum control and flexibility; making right strokes.

 

5. How to apply a primer paint on a new surface, before finish coating.

 

A.  Selecting primer product and color suitable to finishes- white, tan, gray, black.

B.  Applying spray primer versus primer from a can. Which to use when?

C.  Painting up and down? In same direction? Back and forth? At an angle?

D.  Taking short, light strokes, or long strokes? Or, plastering it on?

E.  Waiting between coats, if one coat does not cover. How long?

F.  Finishing “prep” area, so the finish coat will adhere well – and last.

 

6. How to apply a finish coat of paint.

 

A.  Checking paint in can for lumps, clumps, paint strings, etc. Mixing paint again.

B.   Testing can of spray paint for flow, consistency, viscosity.

C.   Selecting brush(es): nylon/polyester bristle, China bristle, etc. (Many choices!)

(1)  Bristle width that will fit area: 2-inch, 2 ½-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch.

(2)  Bristle edge that fits surface: squared, curved, angled, sharp corner, dipped.

(3)  Brush handle length and “gripper” that you can manage.

(4)  Checking for loose or worn bristles in brush – used and new ones.

D.  Selecting rollers: Short or long handle; narrow, middie, or wider base roller.

E.  Choosing cover and nap type, density. Basing on product and surface traits. See No. 1.

(1)  Cover nap: New rollers before buying; used rollers before using again.

(2)  Brushing/rolling methods: Suit to surface, area size/layout, product, drying time.

F.  Cleaning up as-you-paint: spills, drips, splotches, trails, etc.

**  Note: Using a spray gun system calls for a completely different set of skills, abilities and savvy.

 

7. How to prep a used surface for re-painting.

 

A.  Washing all old surfaces first.

B.  Fully sanding, caulking and patching surface/area as needed.

C.  Applying primer, or first coat of the finish product.

 

8. How to re-paint a previously painted surface.

 

A.  Assessing condition of the surface – and area.

B.  Lightly sanding, also caulking and spackling imperfections in, the surface.

C.  Selecting and using roller cover with a nap size similar to the one used before.

** TIP: Looking at roller “stipple” (pattern left on surface before) to determine size used.

D.  Brushing: Using long strokes, and laying paint on evenly.

E.  Rolling: Using uniform motion; slightly overlapping each previous edge (stroke).

 

9. How to prep a used surface for re-finishing – eg. varnished wood.

 

A.  For painting:

(1)   Completely sanding surface to dull existing finish.

(2)  Wiping down surface with liquid sandpaper, or rubbing alcohol.

B.  For staining:

(1)  Using different color: Removing clear finish with paint stripper. Then, sanding surface in multiple stages.

(2)  Removing darker color before staining with lighter color. Doing what’s needed.

(3)  Protecting the wood’s integrity. Doing your best.

(4)  Be careful – and patient!

 

10. How to stain and seal a new wood surface.

 

A.  Choosing stain product: Depends on extent – size and complexity – of project.

B.  Sanding lightly. Making certain that all marks or discolorations are sanded out.

C.  Applying stain heavily to surface. Using rags, cotton towel, or sponge.

D.  Letting stain soak in.

E.  Waiting till the stain feels slightly “tacky” – sticky.

F.  Applying sealer with a brush, roller or spray gun.

 

11. How to varnish or finish coat a new wood surface.

 

A.  Using spray finishing system for optimum finish.

B.  Spraying multiple thin coats, rather than one heavy coat.

C.  Letting solvent evaporate before applying second coat of finish. A MUST!

 

Whatever information or tips you glean from your hotel/facility painter is really up to YOU.
Fact-finding TIPS:
1. Be specific. Tell your painter about the project: room/area; layout, approximate square footage; type of surface/”substrate,” surface age and condition; area’s main uses; budget.

2. Be honest. Tell your painter who will be doing the work. Will it be YOU? Let him or her know what painting, refinishing, and/ or papering projects you’ve done. How did they turn out?

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Read Part 2: “Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter”

Wallcovering Tips; Special Things to Look For; Questions to Ask, and Not Ask, Your Painter.”

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Have a “fresh outlook-ing” day. Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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