Monday, May 16, 2011

Top 5 Painting BFF's

I've been doing some painting around the house with my bathroom face lift.  I would say that I am quite experienced on the interior painting front.  I have painted 8 rooms in my current house and 10 rooms in my former house, some of them two or three times over the course of 14 years.  I have painted walls, ceilings and trim, and have used latex, acrylic, and oil-based paints.  Nothing transforms a room as quickly and cheaply as paint does.

So here are my Top 5 Painting Products, in no particular order.

A Good-quality Brush

Purdy Brush - About $11

The brush brand I prefer is Purdy.  I think that the 2-inch angled brush above is the most versatile for interior use.  It is great for trim and cutting in.  The bristles are nice and tight but soft.  Cheap brushes "shed," and I hate picking hairs out of wet paint.  With proper cleaning and care, these brushes will last for years.

Most synthetic (usually nylon) brushes can be used with both oil-based and latex paints, but always check the label to make sure.  I just bought a natural-bristle brush that is for use with oil-based paint only.  It is supposed to minimize brush marks.  Make sure you keep a separate brush for oil-based use.  In other words, don't use one brush for two different types of paint, even if you clean it afterwards.

Twist and Reach Roller Frame

Twist and Reach Roller Frame - About $12

My current house has 10 foot high ceilings, and 12 foot high in some rooms.  I don't like using a ladder that's too high because it makes me feel a little unsteady.  This roller frame telescopes to extend your reach from 18 to 34 inches which comes in handy when you're just too short to reach an area and don't want to take out a taller ladder.  It's more flexible than a rigid extension pole because you can choose the length.    I used this a lot in my last house (8 foot high ceilings) because I would often stand on a folding chair to paint and would use this to roll the upper part of the wall after I cut in.  The handle of this roller frame is padded, too, so it's comfortable to hold.

Blue Painter's Tape and Frog Tape

The two tapes above are invaluable to me.  I ALWAYS use tape to mask off the trim and ceiling when I'm painting the walls.  Why?  Because I don't have a steady hand, and it is far easier to mask it off than to do the aggravating touch ups later.  I buy tape in 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch widths.  The Frog tape is especially good to prevent bleed through on the edges.  So if you're painting stripes, for example, and want a crisp, clean edge, Frog tape is what you should use.

I have had good success with both tapes, but the key is to make sure that your tape is well adhered before you start to paint.  The beauty of this tape is that it can be left on for days and will still release easily, unlike traditional masking tape.

Paint Conditioner

For Latex Paint - About $5 a Qt.

For Oil-Based Paint - About $11 a Qt.

Paint conditioner is a paint additive which helps to eliminate brush and roller marks.  While not a necessity, it does give a smoother finish by minimizing drag on your brush and roller.  I find it especially useful for painting furniture and trim.  Floetrol is the product for latex paints, and Penetrol is the product for oil-based paint.  Follow package instructions to determine the proper amount to add to your paint.

Paint Tray Liner

The worst part of painting, in my opinion, is the cleanup, so I do whatever I can to make this chore easier.  I have an extra-deep plastic paint tray, and I purchase a disposable liner for less than a dollar.  It fits inside my existing tray, and when I'm done with it, I just throw it away. 

I hope that you consider one or all of these products the next time you get the urge to paint!  Do you have a favorite tool or technique you use to make painting easier or more pleasurable?  Do tell!

1 comment:

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

This is so helpful Vicki, Can't tell you how many times I have stood helpless in front of the paint brushes with no clue. Do you hire out? :-)