Paint applicators come in many forms. Some are basic paint applicators while others are for artistic designs. The basic paint applicators are brushes, rollers and pads. You may have seen decorating magazines and and home-makeover programs on TV but they never seem to explain how to select the right paint applicator for your job. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Rollers can be used with both solvent and water-based paints. They apply paint much faster than brushes and are best used for covering large areas. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and textures to suit different purposes. Use a long-pile roller for heavily textured effects, a medium-length pile for lightly textured or smooth walls.
Prepare new rollers by soaking them in warm, soapy water for a few hours before use to release any loose fibers that could spoil a finish. Rinse and dry them thoroughly before using them.
You will need to load a roller from a special paint tray. Lightly dip the roller into the paint reservoir and then roll it gently over the tray's ribbed part to coat it evenly.
When painting with a roller, use zigzag strokes so that you cover the surface from all angles.
To avoid spraying paint all over the floor and adjacent surfaces, don't let the roller spin at the end of a stroke.
Attach an extension handle to the roller handle to enable you to reach ceilings and the tops of walls.
Before painting walls or ceilings with a roller, first use a small paintbrush to cut in at the corners and edges because the edge of the roller won't fully reach into such small spaces.
There are many things to bear in mind if you prefer to use paint brushes.
Choose a good-quality brush with which to paint walls and ceilings because cheap brushes tent to shed their bristles.
A brush that is about eight inches wide gives the quickest coverage, but if you are not used to painting, your wrist will soon tire when using it. Although the job may take a little longer to complete, you may find a brush that is 6 inches wide, along with one that is two inches wide to use when cutting in at the edges, more comfortable to use.
Rub the bristles of newly purchased brushes in the palm of your hand to remove any loose dust and bristles.
Soaking new paintbrushes in linseed oil for 24 hours before use will make them both easier to work with and easier to clean. Although please note that you'll need to remove the oil with white spirit before starting to paint.
Although professional decorators hold their brushes like pens, the important thing is to hold the brush in the way that you find the most comfortable.
When painting walls with a brush, start at a top corner. If you are right-handed, work from right to left and vise versa. Rooms should be painted from top to bottom, starting with the ceiling, then the walls, doors and window frames and lastly the base boards.
Paint an area measuring about two square feet at a time. If you're using emulsion paint, paint in horizontal bands. If you're using solvent-based paint, painting in vertical strips means that the junctions are less likely to show (that is, unless you blend in the wet edges quickly.)
Always finish painting a wall before taking a break or you may find that there is a visible change of tone in areas that have been painted at different times.
Keep a set of brushes or pads and a roller for use only with white paint. This is because no matter how thoroughly brushes are cleaned, remnants of colored paint that was previously used will always end up being deposited on newly painted white paintwork.
Dip only the first third of the brush into paint. Overloading a brush causes paint dribbles. IF paint is allowed to run into the base of the brush, the bristles will be ruined.
Paint pads are designed to apply paint to large, flat surfaces and are supplied with their own special paint trays. Their rectangular faces, which are covered with short, mohair fibers, are backed with plastic foam, which ensures that the pad is always in contact with a wall's surface, even if it's rough.
To apply the paint, first load the pad by drawing it across the paint tray and then sweep the pad gently and evenly against the wall. Although you can generally move the pad in any direction, when working with emulsion paints, use crisscrossing strokes. If you're using solvent-based paints, finish with vertical strokes to avoid leaving streaks.
Paint applicators are probably one of the most overlooked topics when it comes to painting. It's a bit surprising since it's really important. I hope these basic tips will help clear up some of the confusion.
You may have seen a recent infomercial demonstrating Point and Paint and wondered if it's actually a good buy. Please see my Point and Paint review for the honest truth about this product. If you're interested, there's also hardware product reviews at my blog HonestInfomercialReviews.com.
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