Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Things Not to Half-A**: Painting

First of all, I'd like to say traffic was awesome this morning. I think if you live in a huge metropolitan city like I do, it can totally make your day. Like a lot of people this week {due to the kiddies on Spring Break} I have taken some time off. I had a lovely three day weekend and only have to work two days this week!

As I mentioned before, I began the bedroom transformation. The furniture is painted and about 75% of the room painting is finished. I was able to sleep in my own bed again last night despite the fumes. My poor husband slept downstairs on the couch because of the smell.

I wish I could describe to you how much painting I have done over the past year. When we moved into our house, I had never painted a room before. Sure, painting is easy right? Just take the paint and dip the roller in it and go at it! Oh, you are so wrong young grasshopper, so wrong.

In lieu of a dear friend of mine over at The Sweet Spot buying her first house {Congrats Shanen and Sean!} here are a few things I have learned {by trial and error} over the past year.

Note: I am completely anal when it comes to edging and lines being perfect. So if I can find something that works, and is to my standards, then it must be painting gospel!

#1. Stay Away from the Blue Tape:

I can tape a room in 15 minutes. That is the baseboards, windows and doors. Now my husband, he takes about 45 minutes to tape a window. I don't tape the ceiling and I'll explain why later.

The absolute *key* to having a nice clean line is masking tape. Don't buy that blue tape crap. Sure it says it's for edging but it does not stick like you need it to. If you do use this you'll get bleeding all over you trim. Tear off about a 2 foot piece of masking tape, start on the left and work your way to the right. Line that puppy up with the edge of the trim and use the pad of your finger to lightly tack it down. Once it's in it's place, take the pad of your finger, jam it down on that tape and run it along the edge of the trim. When I say jam, I mean jam. I use the top part of my nail on my index finger {just don't get your nails done before you start your project}

I use this Shur-line pad applicator for actually painting the edges. This makes things super easy.When you take the tape off, pull it off at a 45 degree angle. If you pull it straight off it'll probably tear which is more work for you. I usually remove tape after I've finished trimming that particular wall with paint.

#2 I Hate the Ceiling

First I'd like to complain about something. When I moved to Texas, I noticed that every wall in every house had this spackle on it. Why would you spackle a wall? It's called Orangpeel. Not literal, but the texture that they use is the texture of a orange peel. They use a huge sprayer when they build a house and spit it onto all of the walls. They like to use this to mask imperfections. So when they screw up the drywall and all of a sudden you have a big hump in your wall or when the nail heads poke out, the orangepeel is there to cover it up. You can't tape the ceiling off either because of it. It is so heavily textured that the tape can't make a solid bond with the wall. So when you pull the tape off, it has completely bled onto the wall. Yeah, I loathe orangepeel. Because of this, I hate doing the wall/ceiling transition. Imagine trying to write your name on a piece of sandpaper. None of your letter formations would be solid and the letters would be jagged because of the texture. OK, OK I'm done ranting!

Use this:

Get your workout clothes on because you'll be getting your exercise from going up and down that ladder!

There is a technique to using this. You cannot overload. When I say overload I mean so much paint on this that when you press down, paint oozes out the edges. My edger has guides on the top and the handle swivels {I couldn't find a pic of it but it is a Shur-Line product}

Take a brush {a 2 inch brush for example} dab it in the paint and spread it on. Do not dunk the pad in the paint. You don't have to cover the whole entire pad, just the most important part which is where the wall meets the ceiling. Make sure that all of the little hairs close to the top get hit. I mean just a smidgen of paint. Climb the ladder and gently place it against the wall with the wheels touching the ceiling. Give it a little pressure and slowly start to slide it against the ceiling. It's not about trying to make a straight line by yourself, it's about allowing the wheels to follow the ceiling. If your wheels run into a bump because of that stupid orangepeel, it's OK! Lift where ever it's catching slightly and keep going. If it starts to skip, climb down and start the process all over again. You might only be able to do about 6 inches at a time. It's OK! Take your time, you don't want it to look ghetto do you?

#3 Best Roller EVAR!

I swear to god I am not being paid by Shur-line, but almost everything I use to paint, I use of theirs. This roller on a stick is fantastic! It even has a shield so it doesn't spray it's little paint pee-pees everywhere. Of course, like any good painter, you must have some sort of covering. I know. You are so careful and you will try really hard not to get it everywhere. I don't believe you. If you're really into this you can buy a canvas dropcloth for a few bucks and I'm pretty sure they are washable. I just buy the $2.99 plastic ones for easy clean up.

The key to a nice even coat is not to get too much or too little on the roller. Don't you dare put a roller on the wall that is dripping paint! Use that nice little tray you also picked up at the hardware store and get a even distribution of the paint on the roller. Use a zig-zag technique to roll the paint on and fill in the spaces. If you have any sort of textured walls, you might have to make a few passes or press a little bit harder to get in all of the grooves.

Random Tips

-Get one of these. Makes for easy cleanup under water and you won't get paint everywhere when you are refilling your tray. AND it's reusable.

-Also get a few of these tray liners. Fits into your existing tray and you just throw them away! It rhymes!

And one last thing. Here is a cheat. Instead of filling holes from where you hung that mirror 6 months ago then hated it and took it down leaving a pencil size hole... use masking tape. Yes I said it. Masking tape is my duct tape. It can fix anything.

Here is a crappy close up {tape is on the right}:

And here is after. See? Can't even see the tape!

I might warn people with untextured walls to be careful with this. I would think you'd defiantly be able to see the seams of the tape.

With all of that being said, I'd like to again dedicate this to my friend Shanen. Here is to painting your 2 story vaulted ceilings! Have fun! I've got a 28 foot ladder in my garage Sean is welcome to ;)


The Lavender Lily said...

You sure have learned a lot about painting! I might need to see a video demonstration of painting the top of the wall by the ceiling. I think I get how it works, but I just love demos...ha.

You are such a DIY-er...I'm so impressed!

Dreamer said...

I'm cracking up. We totally HATE the edger... it did an awful job on our ceilings. But you know why?? Because we dipped it in the paint tray!!! Too bad I didn't read this BEFORE I painted a bedroom wall. Your tips are amazing, Martha Stewart! (p.s. I'll let Sean know about the 28 ft ladder! His dad let us borrow one, but it only goes up 16 feet!)

penny lane designs said...

Ohhh la la! I just checked your blog and I love the new layout! Very cute. :) Hope all is well with you.

Kristina with a K said...

I'm so glad I could help! And I'll be happy to demonstrate anytime!! Haha

Shanen- You can easily redo the ceiling. This will sound weird, but if there is any loose ceiling paint anywhere, tear it off and take it to Lowes or Home Depot. They can match it and you'll have back-up paint. Just go along the ceiling/wall crevice with a brush. Then you can go back with the edger once it's dry.

Yay Marina! So glad to "see" your smiling face :)