House Painting How To Manual
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Cleanup and Safety

House Painting Tools and Materials

The objective of a paint job is simple, but without the proper tools, it can become a laborious process. Before you begin, be sure you know how your paint is going to be applied. If using a roller, be sure to get a quality spring roller frame and handle. The handle should be capable of accepting an extension pole. If you are working in several colors or over several days, it is best to get several roller covers, as it is easier to throw them away after use than trying to clean them. When selecting a roller, pick the right roller nap for the job. Short nap (about 1/4 inches should be used for glossy paint. A medium nap will work for most cases, carrying a good load of paint and spreading it appropriately. For rugged surfaces, such as textured ceilings, use a thick nap (1 - 1 1/4 inches). This will allow the roller to cover the peaks and valleys. If you are using a roller, a paint tray is also an essential.

Brushes should be purchased for the appropriate size of the job. Large surfaces where a roller will not work require a 4 inch brush. Trim and fancy work can be done best with smaller brushes. A two inch brush usually does a very good job of cutting-in. Try to find good brushes that are not prone to loosing their hair. A flat brush will do for most purposes. An angular sash brush is good for inside window frames.

A utility knife will come in handy as will a putty knife for scraping excess paint and smoothing areas where old pain might be flaking. A scraper and brush is also necessary for preparing older surfaces to accept a new coat of paint. Sand paper can both smooth surfaces and prepare already painted surfaces to be covered by another coat of paint.

Masking your work and protecting surfaces that are not supposed to be painted is an important task. Be sure to have drop cloths, masking tape and a paint guard handy. Sometimes you can use old newspapers to mask larger areas.

Most paint cans can be opened with a screwdriver. A paint stick will serve to mix the paint, even an unused wedge will do this job, but it is quite time consuming. If you have a drill, you may wish to purchase a power mixer, or if you have no drill, a spinner will mix paint fairly rapidly. Paint and hardware stores will mix the paint for you, but if you leave them set more than a few days, they will likely need to be mixed again.

Rubber gloves, coveralls, hats and face masks may all prove useful depending on the extent of the job you have in mind. Many paints are oil based and having paint thinner close by is a good idea for keeping clean and quickly cleaning up an awkward splatter. Paper towels, shop towels, sponges and other clean-up commodities should also be kept for use when necessary.

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