Thursday, May 16, 2013

HOMEWORKS: Proper planning can make painting ideal for DIYs

Not all do-it-yourself projects are easy to do. It just depends on where your talents lie. I for one will not tackle anything having to do with volts or bolts but painting? No problem. As a child – my parents had no qualms about letting me help them out – whether it meant whitewashing the fence or painting the a room. They usually used latex paint – which was easy to wash off and nontoxic. And other than the odd spilled can – I held my own with a paint brush. However, if there’s one thing I learned by working with the two of them it was the importance of planning ahead and using the proper tools. 

“Whether your painting projects call for sprucing up your indoor space or freshening up outdoor trim, a little advance planning, sweat equity and the right tools can go a long way in ensuring a professional looking result,” said Carmen De La Paz, designer and former host of HGTV’s Hammer Heads. 

Big on La Paz’s list of proper tools is tape. For outdoor projects she recommends a tape with EdgeLock technology to ensure sharp, clean lines. “Scotch Blue has an exterior painter’s tape specifically designed for exterior paint jobs and is resistant to sun, wind and moisture.”

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Tips for painting impressive interiors 

Instead of starting from the edges of the surface area load your brush with paint. Then start by painting strokes in the middle of the paint area – working your way to the edges. La Paz said the goal is to lightly whisk the paint on. “The brush has more paint on it than you think,” La Paz said. “So let the brush do the work.”

Lastly – a tip I will definitely give a try. And that is – when doing a two day job instead of washing the brushes at the end of the day put them back in their bags and toss them into the freezer. The next day – pull the brushes out 15 minutes before you plan to use them again and you’re ready to go. 

“You’ll be amazed by how beautiful your home can be when you take the time to tackle those do-it-yourself painting projects and do it right,” La Paz said. 

Tips for painting outdoors

Because of their exposure to the elements and various surface types painting outdoors can be challenging. La Paz recommends that the nap or thickness of the roller is appropriate for the surface you’re painting. Stucco surfaces, for example, have a rougher texture so you need to use a thick nap roller to help pull paint in and out of the crevices. 

Choose paint that’s appropriate for the project.  For example: Choose masonry or stucco paint for exterior or stucco surfaces or paint that is compatible with wood or metal. Read the manufacturer’s label to find out what the paint was designed to cover; as some surfaces will even reject the wrong paint. 

La Paz advises painters to back prime any newly installed woodwork. “This means you should prime and seal the whole board before installing it,” La Paz said. “This will protect the backboard from moisture and prevent bloating and cracking once new woodwork is applied.”

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