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HANDYMAN HINTS: Painting day is when positive change happens

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Having sealed the cracks between the moldings, and passed a final sanding on any wall repairs, we finally wake up to painting day.

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So, not exactly Christmas morning or what might normally be a Saturday at leisure, since work will be involved, but hey, it’s a day where positive change is about to happen. Therefore, get the coffee brewing, turn the radio to your favorite station, and let’s get rolling.

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Besides having a couple of 2-1/2” angled brushes on hand, one for the wall paint and one for the casings and baseboards, and a roller and paint tray, your arsenal of tools should include the following: three-step ladder, one-litre sized plastic container retrieved from the recycle bin, 3’x12’ canvas drop cloth, and saran wrap.

Handyman Hints
Some of the tools of the painting trade. Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Photo by PetarPaunchev /Supplied

The three-step ladder, as opposed to any other particular length, is simply convenient and lightweight to move about, and, is all most of us need in order to reach where the wall meets the ceiling with our angled brush.

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Plus, the ladder is unlikely to have one of those false sense of security, flip-into-position trays to place your gallon of paint. The fate of paint placed in this precarious position is never good, mostly because there’s always the tendency to move the ladder while the paint rests on the shelf, an act riskier than playing indoor egg toss.

That’s why we always find ourselves a plastic one-litre, former yogurt type container to more prudently secure the paint while you climb the ladder in order to reach the high points with your trimming brush.

Don’t rest your gallon on a ladder shelf or attempt to carry the gallon while doing simple trim work. One, a gallon of paint is too heavy and this procedure will wear on you. Two, your hand and the handle will get in the way of dipping your brush.

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And three, driving to the grocer and procuring yourself a litre of yogurt, driving home, eating it (perhaps toss in a cup of blueberries), then rinsing the container in preparation for paint, will still be more time advantageous, far healthier, and significantly less frustrating than had you spilled an open gallon of paint.

Next, when it comes to drop cloths, or what you’ll need to protect the floor as you make your way around the room, choose canvas instead of clear plastic. A roll of plastic is OK for covering furniture or other valuables while you paint, but not so great a product if having to maneuver it around a room.

The advantage of a canvas drop cloth is that it absorbs the paint droplets. Paint that drops onto plastic stays relatively intact, permitting you to step in it and tract it throughout the room. Plus, canvas behaves better, and can be tugged along the wall, pushed into corners with ease, and folds up after use without the layers sticking to themselves.

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In lieu of a drop cloth, could a person be really careful with the brush, and maybe roll the paint on slowly, in order to avoid drips or splatter. An interesting strategy, but just so you know, everybody whose attempted to skip the use of a drop cloth ends up spending hours scrubbing droplets off the floor, so no, not a good idea.

Next, have a roll of saran wrap handy. Tear off a strip of wrap, lay your brush on the plastic, flip it over a couple of times, fold over the edge, and head for a coffee break. Your rollers can be sealed in the same manner, allowing you to safely grab a snack, watch a movie if you’d like, all while your brushes and rollers remain in paint ready preparedness.

Painting sequence? Ceiling first, casings and baseboards next, finishing with the walls. Other keys to success? Do one room at a time, and if there’s too much furniture to move about, be satisfied with getting one or two walls done at a time. Walls are like lawns, they aren’t going anywhere.

Finally, paint when you’re vision is at its best, which is during the daylight hours.

Good painting.

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