Home Repair Tips – Painting Your Home

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

For thousands of years, natural fiber or animal hair brushes were the only things you could use to paint with. Now, however, there are several ways to apply paint:

• Brushes

• Rollers

• Pads

• Spray guns or cans

Good brushes are expensive, but they hold and distribute paint more evenly than cheap ones. The end of each bristle in a good brush is split or “flagged”. These “flags” help spread the paint evenly.

Good brushes have bristles with flag ends that hold paint and spread it evenly. Hog bristles make some of the best brushes.

Natural bristle brushes are used for varnish and oil base paint. For water base paint, use nylon (synthetic) bristles.

The right amount of paint brushed on a wall should cover well but not run. Too much paint should be brushed out evenly before it runs. Too little paint will require a second coat.

Brushes come in several sizes and shapes. for different uses. They may be large and rough for whitewashing, or small and angled to paint around the edges of doors and window frames.

Be sure to clean your brush immediately after you use it. Brushes used for vinyl or latex paints can be cleaned with water or detergent and water. Saturate others in the correct thinner. Thinner that’s been used for cleaning is fine for the first rinse. Work the thinner through the entire length of the bristles. Squeeze out the thinner.

Then soak the brush in clean thinner. Work it through again. Repeat the process several times until the brush is clean. Finally, comb the bristles with a steel comb and hang it by the handle so the bristles will dry straight. When the brush is dry, wrap it in foil or heavy paper and hang it up by the handle. Never store a good brush without protecting the bristles.

Just like brushes, rollers also come in different shapes and sizes. The roller should match the type of paint.

If you get too much paint on a roller, it will splatter. So be sure you press out the excess paint in the roller pan. Running the roller too fast will also make a roller in paint, start in a spot a short distance from where you left off and work your way back. This will help prevent heavy spots and runs.

Some rollers are worth cleaning. Others are better used once and thrown away. Clean rollers in water or the proper solvent.

Paint pads are made of the same materials as rollers. They also come in various shapes.

Painting pads also come in several shapes and sizes. Many pads are made of the same material as rollers. The big difference is that the paint is wiped on instead of being rolled on. Clean paint from pads as you would clean rollers.

Spray painting equipment can be simple or complex. Bypass guns need a compressor but not an air tank. Other. types need an air tank as well as a compressor. Some spray outfits have an electromagnetic vibrator in the gun and no hose or compressor. One type, called an airless sprayer, shoots a jet of pure paint without using any air at all. This type covers best and drifts least. Professionals use it for painting just about everything.

Always wear a mask when you spray paint. Experiment first. Test the gun before actually painting anything.

Keep the spray at right angles (90°) to the surface being painted. Start each stroke beyond the edge of the surface being painted, and move the gun with an even, parallel, back-and forth stroke. Keep it moving so paint will not build up in one spot. Too much paint will ripple, blister, or run. Spray corners and edges first.

If you must spray paint in a room, make certain it is ventilated well. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and wear a mask.

Clean spray equipment as soon as you finish. Spray the proper solvent through the gun before you take it apart. Use a tip cleaner or a broom straw to open clogged jets. A wire or nail will ruin the gun.

Spray cans are like small spray guns. A propellent gas forces paint through a spray nozzle.

Use a spray can as you would a spray gun. Never use a fanning motion. Hold the spray straight, 10 to 12 inches from the surface. Move it parallel to the surface and keep moving. If you stop for even a half second, you will get an orange-peel texture or the paint will run. Don’t change direction until you’ve passed the edge of the job and are spraying into air.

Spray can paint is even thinner than paint used in spray guns. It doesn’t cover as well and runs quicker. Two or three thin coats are better than one heavy coat. Give the paint plenty of time to dry between coats. While you’re waiting, turn the spray can upside down and spray until clear air comes out of the nozzle.

This cleans the nozzle so the paint won’t dry and clog it before you want to spray the next coat.

Because spray cans are under great pressure, they can explode, and careless handling can be dangerous. They should never be punctured or thrown into a fire. Store them in a cool place, away from hot water and heating pipes.

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