In today’s economy when many people may be home bound with less money to spend on home improvements, a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to brighten your home and make you feel productive. There are many new products that can make this job easier. Gone are the days when painting walls meant lugging around huge drop cloths and heavy ladders, or suffering hand pain from heavy paint brushes and awkward paint rollers.
The following is a list of painting supplies that make the task easier:
The Paint: The best advice here is to use what the professionals use. The paint may cost more, but it saves aggravation down the line. The paint used by professional painter Gary Barnes, of Kathy McCoy Design Services in Batavia, Ohio, is Sherwin-Williams, which can only be purchased at a Sherwin-Williams store. The paint holds up for years, especially in bathroom and kitchens.
Paint Brushes: A large, traditional paint brush can leave a small hand hurting in no time. The Wooster shortcut 2” flexible brush is so easy to handle, with its rubber handle, it can be used for long periods of time without a lot of effort.
Paint Rollers: Paint rollers that are normally used to paint walls are 7 to 9 inches long, and the cover is sized accordingly. This can pick up quite a bit of paint after it’s rolled in the tray, which can make your arms tired as well as spraying excess paint around when the roller is moved from the tray to the wall. An easier solution is to use a mini-roller. Whizz makes a great Mini-Roller System that can be purchased at any painting supply or hardware store. The rollers are 6 inches long and much more narrow, with smaller, replaceable covers that come in different pile lengths. They are advertised for use on doors or cabinets, but make wall painting fast and easy as well.
Paint Trays: Plastic disposable paint trays are the new alternative to cleaning large metal paint trays. Less Mess makes an inexpensive tray that is sized especially for the 6 inch mini-roller. Using aluminum foil to line the tray makes it last even longer and keeps dried paint off your roller.
Spackle: Filling in nail holes on the wall is an important step to making your walls smooth and attractive, and by having an 8-ounce tub of ready-make spackle paste on hand, the job is easy and fast. Simply apply the spackle with a small putty-knife where needed, sand the area when dry, wipe off the dried spackle dust, and viola, the hole disappears when the paint is applied.
Making Straight Lines: To keep a straight line of paint at the top and bottom of walls, or around door or window frames, tape off the area you do not want painted with Scotch 3M blue painting tape or Frog Tape. The one-inch size is the easiest to use. For the best results, remove the tape when the paint is still wet. This can be a problem when using a primer or multiple coats that dry between layers. If the paint dries, it can pull of pieces of dried paint with it. These areas can be fixed by applying small touch-ups with an artist’s paint brush. Small touch-ups may also be needed when the tape is pulled off when the paint is wet because paint can get under the tape. In this case, wiping the paint off with a wet rag or later touching up the areas with the paint color of the ceiling or floorboard will fix it easily.
Drop-Cloths & Furniture: Drop-cloths are now available in smaller sizes, designed for hallways or small areas. When moving furniture out of the way, furniture gliders make the job a cinch, and can be purchased at hardware stores.
Ladders: Two-step foldable ladders are easier to move than full-size stepladders, and are tall enough to tape off the ceiling of the average home. Foldable one-step stools are also great for sitting while painting near the floor as well as giving a step up when needed.
Pouring Paint: An easy way to pour paint from a gallon can when needed is to replace the top of the can with one with a spout that can be screwed open and closed. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at paint supply stores. An example is the Aqua-Tainer Super Lid SL96. They make touching up later easy and give you more control on paint usage without the mess.
Finally, make it enjoyable. By using the products above, it is easy to paint one room at a time, or even one wall at a time, so the rest of the house can be used normally. By making your comfort a priority, it’s amazing what can be done.