Went to the local Home & Garden Show and sat in on a painting class. Here
are some hints I gleaned. You probably know most of them.
* Don't mask window glass - use Chapstick! Use cling-wrap on mirrors,
door-knobs, and anything else from which it would be irritating to clean
Don't wash your brushes, use a bucket containing water and (a lot) of
liquid fabric softener. The brush will clean in ten seconds.
* There's a big difference between a "paint" brush (expensive) and a brush
only fit for slathering on finish remover.
Never paint from the can. Plus, your container should contain no more than
1/2" of paint. A swell container can be made from plastic milk jug or bleach
bottle. Cut a large window in the bottle. You'll have a handy container, a
handle to hold it, and a ready-made funnel for putting the excess back in
the can. With a suitable cut, you can fashion a grip for your brush so the
brush hangs vertically inside the bleach bottle.
* Spray your hand (or other body parts) with PAM (regular, not
garlic-flavored). The paint splatters won't stick.
The instructor made a painter's apron out of a 13-gallon trash bag,
complete with neck loop and ties for around the back. I can't describe it
* Punch 4 or more holes in the rim of your paint can. This allows paint to
drain back into the can. The "point" on the painter's tool is designed for
For your paint-holding hand, cover it with a nitrile or other plastic
glove. Dump some talc or baby powder in the glove first, and seal the open
end of the glove to your arm with blue tape.
* Unused paint: Take a bit of the cut off trash bag, or plastic sack, spray
it with PAM. Open the lid of the half-empty can, breathe into the can three
times (CO2 to dispel the oxygen), place the bit of plastic over the can
(PAM-side down), then the lid, and hammer into place. Turn the can upside
down and store. The PAM will rise to the surface in the paint, forming a
thin film atop the paint, protecting the paint from any residual oxygen in
the can. Remember, paint doesn't "dry" so much as it "sets" due to contact
To keep paint from leaking under blue masking tape, run a dull object
rapidly, one time, lengthwise, over the edge of the tape. This slightly
heats the blue tape via friction, and the heat slightly melts the wax that
holds the tape to the wall. This melted wax makes a much better seal.
* Don't like the smell of the paint? Add 4 drops of vanilla extract to your
Do not scrape the brush on the side of your container. Loading a brush is
a three-step process. DUNK the brush in the paint, DRIP to allow excess to
fall out, PAT the sides of the container with the brush.
* Likewise painting is a three-stroke process. Starting at the bottom UP
'til the brush no longer lays a complete layer of paint (LOAD), then DOWN to
smooth the paint (SET), the back UP (FINISH).
Wash your brush or roller every two hours.
* Do Not Use fuzzy six-pack rollers. Get a Teflon-coated roller. More
expensive, but it won't leave fuzz and spreads the paint better. Using the
Fabric Softener trick above, it, too, can be cleaned in ten seconds.
If you want to use a small, open, container as a paint supply, here are
two tips: Line the container inside with a large Zip-lock bag, it makes
clean-up easier. With two pieces of duct-tape (one shorter than the other)
you can fashion a palm-holder. Place the short piece of duct tape on the
larger, sticky-side to sticky-side. Hold the container in the palm of your
hand and tape your hand to the container. Well, your hand really slides in
and out, but this enables you to hold the paint dish in your palm.
* The next tip is mostly just clever and requires two empty 5-gallon paint
buckets and 4 longish pieces of Velcro tape. Cut four slits in the lids of
the paint buckets, thread the Velcro through the slits, and belay your feet
to the lids with the Velcro straps. Ta-da! Eighteen-inch-high stilts! No
more moving the ladder to cut-in the ceiling!
A needful thing for cleanup is a "Brush and roller spinner". You attach
your brush (or roller) and rapidly move the handle back and forth. This
action spins the bejesus out of the brush and really helps cleaning. You
cannot get this tool at HD or Lowes, (some ACE stores might have it) but
here's a link for four different models (about $20).
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
* If your "scraper" bends, it's not a scraper - it's a spreader (like for
mud). You scrape only with a rigid blade. Using a spreader as a scraper
invariably results in gouges.
Always remember: Oil or oil-based products (like wax) and water (based
paints) do not mix. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Oxygen is the
enemy of not-yet-applied paint.
I'll post a follow up on other tips as I recall them, as well as the book
containing most of the hints and tips.
Right now I'm still hung-over.