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The key to a great paint job is preparation. Begin by removing as many furnishings from the room as you possible can. While it may seem like a lot of trouble it will make the job go faster in the long run. Use plastic or cloth drop clothes to cover any remaining furniture or ceiling light fixtures. Plastic does not absorb paint so until it dries it can smear and make a real mess. I recommend cloth or canvas drop cloths for the floors and areas were there will be traffic.   Take down all pictures, paintings, mirrors and window treatments. Remove wall switch plates and electrical covers being careful not to electrocute yourself in the process.   Now it is time to inspect your surfaces. It is essential that the surface be clean of all dirt and grease in order for the primer or paint to absorb properly and for you to get a smooth coat. Use a sponge and TSP (trisodium phosphate) to wash walls and trim. Let the surface dry thoroughly before attempting to sand , prime or paint.   *Surface Cracks and Holes- Examine the walls and ceiling for cracks, flaking plaster, nail holes, blistered paint and other surface blemishes . For small nail holes and little cracks, simple fill with several applications of a good wall spackle and putty knife, letting dry and sanding between each application. Be patient and don't be messy. It makes for less sanding.   For larger plaster cracks, remove cracked or flaked material with a putty knife. Moisten the area with water with a rag or paint brush, It helps the spackle adhere better. Apply spackle to the surface hole and cover with drywall paper or nylon mesh, integrating it into the spackle. Smooth out, let dry, sand. Don't try to fill all of a large crack or hole all at once. Repeat spackling and sanding between coats.   *Mildew- Mildew can be a real predicament in baths, kitchen, laundry rooms, damp closets and basements. Remove mildew with a solution of half household laundry bleach and water. Wear rubber gloves and goggles. Several good scrubbing of bleach and water should remove all the mildew. Let the area dry thoroughly. You may consider having a mildew inhibitor added to your paint and or getting better ventilation to the area. Keep in mind this bleach solution will also bleach out colors in carpets, furnishings etc. Be careful.   *Markers & crayons- You can try removing markers and crayon with a little detergent and elbow grease but markers are notorious for showing through fresh paint jobs. Most paint manufactures sell a sealer specifically made to cover marker bleed through. These products work exceptionally well.   * Sanding - You will of course want to sand any areas you have been spackled as mention earlier, but also pay attention to "trim" areas that are painted in gloss or semi-gloss paints. These areas will need to be roughed up a bit in order for better adherence. In general walls that have been painted in a latex flat or satin paint will not need to be sanded other than to smooth over any blemishes. Make sure you wash and remove any dust after sanding.   +Masking -Don't hesitate to mask off molding, door trim, floor boards etc. Your paint supplier has a vast array of masking tape and painters tape that meet most any masking needs     The Right Paint For me, the general rule of thumb is, the more expensive the paint the easier it is to apply and the longer it will last. Use a high quality paint. Wait for the best paint your dealer has goes on sale and buy it.


A high-quality brush means a high quality paint job. The better brushes have more bristle allowing more paint on the brush, and a smoother stroke with less brush marks.   A natural bristle brushes with animal hairs is made for use with oil-base paints, varnishes, shellac, oil-base stains and non water based polyurethane.   Nylon/polyester brushes are manufactured mainly for latex paints but can be used with oil based as well. These are long lasting brushes that are easy to clean and hold their shape after hundreds of hours of use. Buy a high quality blended brush.   Polyester brushes are best for latex paints.   A 2-21/2 brush is generally used for cutting in trim. walls, and ceiling. I prefer, and use a a two inch sash brush from both windows and trim


Purchase a good quality roller with with screws in the handle to receive an adjustable paint pole.   Natural fiber roller covers made with mohair or a blend of polyester and lamb's wool usually are suggested for oil-base paints and varnishes.   Synthetic fiber roller covers, are made for latex paints.   It is important to consider what type of surface surface you are painting when determining the pile or the nap of your rollers. Choose the right pile. The general rule of thumb is as follows   Smooth: for walls, floors, fine finishing-3/16" or 1/4" Medium Smooth: for sand-textured walls-3/8" or 1/2" Rough: for light stucco walls, masonry floors-3/4" or 1" Extra Rough: for brick, block, masonry, stucco- 1/4"   A small three inch roller can come in handy for small spots     Roller Pan- Get a heavy duty, deep rolling pan. Some people like pans with plastic disposable tray inserts. I find it just as easy to clean out my good metal pan.   Caulk and caulk gun- You will want to use a good quality latex caulk to seal any possible outside air leaks, IE; where door and window trim meat the walls. Run a very small bead between the   Canvas and/ore plastic drop clothes-Again, a good canvas or cloth drop cloth absorbs the paint while the plastic drops can be a real problem. Canvas and Clothe cost can cost five times more than plastic but if taken care of they can last for 25- to thirty years.   Putty knife- You may need a large assortment of putty knifes but usually a two inch and a four inch will get the jog done. Use the two inch for cleaning cracks and applying glaze on to window caulking gun   Extension pole An extension pole is a must for rolling walls and ceilings. It gives you better leverage and control over you roller and diminishes fatigue   Mineral spirits -Mineral spirits or paint thinner will be necessary for oil based paints paint or urethanes.   Masking tape and painter's tape- Masking tape and painter's tape is a must if you are a sloppy or inexperienced painter. I prefer, and use painters tape around base moldings and some trim because it has less gum than masking tape and easier to remove. After you have applied the tape to the surface, smooth out with a two inch putty knife in order to make sure you have full contact.   Rags- Get and use plenty of cotton rags for cleaning as well as removing unwanted fresh paint. rags


Priming helps to seal wall and ceiling surfaces, eliminating lap marks, dry patches, flaking, and promoting consistent color and luster. Usually trim that has painted with an enamel will not need to be primed unless it has had extensive sanding and patching.   You will want to prime a previously unpainted surface such as dry wall, plaster, concrete or bare wood. There is a bit of a controversy however among painters as whether or not to prime previously latex painted drywall and plaster.   One school of painters believes that numerous layers of latex paint actually result in an absorbent surface that requires priming. A primer tends to be a bit more diluted than the topcoat and more easily absorbs into the tiny holes of the surface, hence making a smother topcoat In the event you lean toward this school, have your primer tinted so it matches you final topcoat. I prefer this school of thought. Paint is not that terrible expensive. It is the labor, your labor that is worth so much and in order for a paint job to last for years, it is best to do things right.   The other schools believes you simple need to plan on painting two top coats of latex. Some painters dilute their first coat with water for latex paint, and paint thinner for oil based paints. This acts as a primer.   Use a brush and roller to prime just as you would paint. See below.


PAINTING THE CEILING Make sure you have plenty of light.. If you are painting the entire room begin by "cutting in" the ceiling color with a 2" or 2 1/2" trim brush where the ceiling meets the wall. Apply a three inch wide strip around the perimeter of the ceiling. You "cut in" where it is difficult to use a roller. It is advisable to cut in a four foot section along the ceiling and then roll the section of ceiling that meets where you just cut in. This keeps a "wet edge", enabling you to better blend where you rolled and cut in. Alternate between cutting in and rolling the ceiling. If two people are painting, one can cut in and one can roll.   Get an adjustable extension pole and the job will go much easier. Cover a roller with paint in the paint tray and remove the excess by slowly rolling along the tray's ribs. Roll approximately a four by four foot area at one time. Roll a wide "M" in the surface area. Reload paint and then over lap the "M" by rolling on a "W" over it. Reload again and blend in the two previous coats. .Work the given area until you have achieved an even thickness. Move on to the next area, overlapping the previous area by half of a roller width. This ensures an even coverage. Be careful to apply each application evenly. Leaning to one side or the other of a roller will cause lapping. Work from one corner on the room to the next until the ceiling is complete. Wait for it to dry and apply a second coat if necessary.


After the ceiling has thoroughly dried, start cutting in where the walls meet the ceiling. I don't recommend it, but mask the ceiling if necessary. While it is advisable to alternate "cutting in" and rolling it is impractical if only on person is painting. Cut in around windows, door molding and baseboard. Masking makes more sense here if you don't have a steady hand. Start rolling, using the "W/M" method working from the top of the wall down. Paint/roll one wall at a time. Let thoroughly dry and apply second coat if necessary.


After the walls have been painted and dried, it's time to tackle the trim Inspect for cracks and holes. Fill with a good latex filler. Painting trim is a slow laborious project, so turn the radio on and simple keep at it. Make sure you washed the trim with TSP.Use a 150 grit sand paper to rough up any smooth spots. This will help that paint adhere better.   Begin by masking off areas of the walls and floors, floor boards, that you feel you might have difficulty painting freehand. If you have carpet use a wide painters tape pressed along the edge between the carpet and molding with a putty knife. Always remove tape before the paint completely dries so it will not pull or tear, especially when using latex.   Your paint dealer will also carry numerous "paint shields" for painting trim.The shield can work well but make sure you remove the paint from it with a rag after each time you use it. You may also try a long mud knife.   Buy the best quality brush you can afford. See above for brush information.     Dip the brush into the paint one-half the length of its bristles.Gently tap the brush against the inside of the bucket to remove excess paint. Paint with steady, even strokes, always lifting the brush's tip at the end of each of your strokes. be consistent when loading the brush with paint and don't wear an area out. curl. To cut in tight areas, for example, where the trim meets the wall. load less paint on your brush, hold the brush diagonally to the surface, and use the tip of the brush.   Window sashes - If possible remove the window sashes from the frame. This isn't such a chore on newer manufactured windows. Again, wash sand and paint as you would the trim.   Painting Doors - Doors get lots of abuse so check for cracks and hole. It is essential to give them a light sanding. It is ok to paint the door on it's hinges in most cases but remove the door handle. Flat doors can be painted with a roller only to quickly apply the the paint but be sure to smooth it with a brush. Paneled doors should be painted with a brush.

Clean Up

Be sure to follow the disposal directions on all of the product that you buy, especially ail based products. Don't leave half filled based paint sitting around the house. Dispose of rags that have been used with oil based paints nightly by first thoroughly soaking them in water and then disposing of properly.

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