Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Painting Tips & Tricks: Prepping Your Space

Welcome back!  How was your long weekend? Ours was filled with lots of family time and trying to get a few projects done around the house.  Not something a lot of people would necessary think is fun, but I love DIY projects.

My latest projects have been painting a couple of rooms in our home.  I'm hoping to have reveals to share with you soon.  In the mean time, I thought I would share some of my tips, tricks, and lessons learned from my years of painting.

The first little nugget of wisdom for you is:

Prepare Your Space

Clean the Baseboards:  How you prepare your space is going to be somewhat dependent on what room/area you are painting.  One thing that will almost always be the same is baseboards.  This may seem like such a minor thing and a waste of time, but it could make all the difference in the finished product.  It doesn't have to be a big production.  Usually all that needs to be done is a good dry wipe down to remove any dust.  Failing to do this before taping will allow paint to seep between the tape and trim (since the tape would rather stick to the dust) and give you something like the picture below when the tape is removed.  Not so pretty.

"What if I don't tape my baseboards?", you ask.  Well, you will still find it beneficial to give a quick swipe to the room.  Dust picked up by the paintbrush is hard to get out and can make the new paint look bumpy and dirty.  Not the finished look anyone would want after working so hard.

Clean the Walls: Most of the time this isn't a big deal.  Paint today does a really good job of covering all the little smudges and such.  However, if your kids are like mine, you can always have some interesting surprises.  Needless to say, lip balm and gloss do not allow latex paint to adhere to a wall.  It's best to just do a quick once over on the walls and take care of anything before you start.  Otherwise, you will be scraping areas of the wall and having to repaint.  No fun!

Tape:  Next thing you should do after cleaning up those baseboards is tape.  There are several options out there now.  I still use the blue painters tape by Scotch 98% of the time.  This time I ran out of my supply (thanks to my youngest making a trap for bad guys in his room) so I used some of the Frog brand to finish a doorframe.  No big deal.  Just find one that you like and feel works the best.

The amount of tape you use, in my opinion, is a personal comfort thing.  What does that mean?  Each person has their own level of ability when painting.  A little secret here for you - I rarely tape.  Almost never!  But that's because I've been painting for years.  Would I recommend not taping to a person doing their first painting job?  Absolutely NOT!!  Even if a person has been taping for years and still wants to put blue tape on every piece of trim in the room, so be it.  Each person needs to do what makes the job easiest for them.

That being said, there are places that I still have to tape.  Tight corners are a place that still has me getting the tape out and meticulously placing it on the trim.  I don't want to have to worry about where the paint goes even if no one will ever see the mess.  I'll know the mess is there and it will bug me even after moving out of the house.

Take Care of the Floor:  Sometimes you will need a tarp down, sometimes you won't.  If working over carpet, it's a great idea to have something down under where you are painting.  It doesn't have to be much and it can be moved as you progress around the room.  Working over a hard surface like wood, tile or linoleum are a little more forgiving and small 'oops's can be cleaned up rather easily.  Always put your can of paint in a safe place with the lid on no matter what surface you are on.  Accidents do happen.

Corral the Kids:  Now, if you don't have kids, this won't pertain to you.  Go on and enjoy your painting solitude.  If you have young kids (or pets), put a barrier up at the door.  Baby gates are great at keeping the kiddos out of the mess but still allowing them to see you.  Have kids that are a little older?  Get a movie going or get a game out for them to play.

Regardless of what you do, you will have interruptions.  Be ready, and don't be surprised.  It's easier to leave your area when you are needed than to have the kids constantly coming into the room and getting too close to a wet wall, a full paint tray or tripping over a can of paint.

Do you have some tips or tricks you like to do when painting?  I would love to hear them!  Comment here or on Facebook.  I'm always looking for new and easier ways to do things.

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