I’ve said many times that I love to paint, but that is an inaccurate statement! What I love, is how painting gives me the ability to bring positive and sometimes very drastic change to something. For sure, the physical wear and tear of painting is hard on my body, especially a big project. (like this whole house renovation) It is exhausting, but at times the process of brushing paint on something is truly relaxing.
How about you? Do you love to paint? Ha! Most people say they hate it!
I’m convinced that the hatred stems from either a lack of the right supplies and/or a lack of on knowledge of those little tips and tricks painters have up their sleeves.
So what are those special supplies and painting tips?
Well, here are a few of my favorites…
These are my ‘go-to’ supplies when painting, (prepping for painting) the trim in a house.
(everything, including my new favorite paint is available at Home Depot, I also have direct shopping links for each item I mention)
Vinyl Gloves: I go through boxes of vinyl gloves, frequently changing them as they fill up with caulk on the outside, and/or dripping with sweat on the inside. It’s horrible to have to keep on a pair of gloves that are filled with sweat. They slip around on your hand.
Rags in a Box: These rags in a box are terrific too. They are tougher than regular paper towels. The way they dispense from the box is perfect for grabbing them as you go along.
Caulk: I love this particular fast dry caulk. Caulking the seams and joints of woodwork gives a finished look as it fills those shadow lines and cracks before painting. To successfully use this caulk read further for the tips.
This is the paint in our entire house now. All the walls and trim upstairs and downstairs are painted with this pre-mixed Behr premium plus ultra eggshell pure white. (I do have a few things that are not this paint in the house, but nearly everything is good ole white.)
I love it! This paint covers well. I always recommend 2 coats for dependable durability of any paint, including this one. It has wonderful flow… in other words, it smooths itself out hiding brush strokes.
Now let’s talk caulking for a bit…
(pronounced ‘KAWK’… not ‘KAWLK’! I know because I looked it up! I started to doubt myself. Being surrounded with Midwestern construction guys that seem to all include the ‘L’ in the pronunciation. Is that just a thing around here, or everywhere? The ‘L’ in caulk is silent. 🙂 )
You need to be sure the caulk you select is PAINTABLE caulk!
I cut a very small angle off the tip of the caulk tube. It’s amazing how fat of a bead of caulk a tiny angle caulk can allow still.
I stick a wire in the cut tip to poke the lining inside the tube to allow the caulk to come out.
On the caulk gun, like this one, is a wire that pivots out for just this purpose. (my thumb is on that wire)
The little tab that my index finger is on is for releasing pressure. Once the caulk tube is placed into the caulk gun and squeeze the trigger, there is a plunger that slides in the back. It will push inside the tube and force caulk out the hole in the tip you cut. If you don’t release that pressure as soon as you’re done caulking your line, it will continue to push a little and more caulk will squirt out.
This releasing of the pressure took me a little practice… especially once I gave my favorite caulk gun to my son and bought a new one… it was very different! I’m not gonna lie, I was really frustrated at first when I started using the new model. As I’d pull the gun away from the crack the caulk would willy nilly squirt out all over… there were a few choice words that slipped out willy nilly too. Eventually I did get the hang of the new caulk gun!
How many lineal feet of practice could all the trim on both levels and the entire exterior on just this latest renovation project be? I know it was cases and cases of caulk!
This is the type of crack I’m talking about.
See that shadow line between the door casing and the wall?
Just a narrow bead of caulk covers it completely.
I hold the angle of the caulk tube tip against the crack, this is important. This angle causes the plastic tip to slightly push the caulk into the corner as you go along. If the tip angle isn’t seated properly against the crack, then the caulk bead just kind of loosely hangs. In that case, the caulk may fall off before you can go back and smooth it out.
I always have a rag in my hand to constantly wipe the tip off. I can clearly see the angle of the cut is then. Having it clean also prevents extra caulk from ‘gooping’ in places I don’t want it.
I only do a short line at a time.
I immediately go back over that freshly caulked line with my gloved finger to smooth it out.
This ensures the caulk gets into the crack. Manually smoothing it gives a smooth finish to the line of caulk. As long as done immediately! This caulk dries quickly and just ‘chunks’ up if delayed at all.
Below you can see the cracks, nail holes and crevices that will all benefit from caulking:
Being efficient and saving time and energy is a big tip:
These board below are actually trim boards we used on the porch ceilings…
Before installing, the boards needed to be primed and painted.
To be able to paint them on a pair of sawhorses with a small roller saved hours of time and energy.
Being careful to not have the roller too overloaded with paint. If so, the paint will easily squish over the edges of the boards leaving bulging lumps once dry. I like to go back and recheck all the edges quick, brushing away the drips before they dry.
By setting the paint roller tray up on a step stool I can easily load my roller without having to bend over. Sounds silly until you have a lot of boards and more work waiting for you. By saving a little time and energy I find I can get more accomplished in a day.
Here’s a painting tip, (mostly caulking tip)
Caulking the edge seam of the beadboard fills in that shadowline great. Problem is it can also fill the grooves in the beadboard and that’s not so great!
Here’s what I do now, (this picture was from a years ago, now I only use this frog tape, it seals better and comes clean off better!) I tape the bottom edge of the beadboard and the top of the countertop.
Then I run the line of caulk in the nearly hidden crack:
Immediately smoothing it with my finger, (should be a gloved finger!)
Then I remove the tape.
This way the caulk is contained where you want it.
Here’s a new tip I just learned this year!
Some of the cabinets in the kitchen are custom built cabinets. The custom built cabinets needed to be painted to match the adjoining factory cabinets. (The factory cabinets came with with a beautiful factory finish.)
After the carefully rolled primer and paint was dry it did not feel smooth to the touch like the beautiful factory finished ones did.
My carpenter and all around handyman suggested wet sanding them.
It worked like a charm!
Here’s what I did. I bought a sanding block and some black ‘wet sandpaper’. When you buy it, the sandpaper isn’t wet. It’s also not for sanding wet paint. Wet sandpaper is meant to get wet prior to sanding, thus reducing the friction and allowing a smoother finish.
Once the paper was inserted in the sanding block tool, I dampened it with a wet rag.
Lightly sanding the cabinets, careful to go with the length of the cabinet, or grain of the wood.
Sanding the painted finish this way didn’t seem to remove anything. I couldn’t see any scratches or missing finish. Yet, that one simple sanding removed that rough feel and left with a satiny smooth finish.
When I finished the sanding, this was the sandpaper! It definitely did remove some finish, but I sure can’t see it on the cabinets.
One final tip is holding the paint brush.
In design, the long handle of a paint brush is to help balance the weight of the brush in your hand.
Even though I’m really having to work the paint into the grooves of this brick of the fireplace in the dining room, this picture kind of shows how I have the brush gripped. Holding it down toward the head of the brush by the metal piece that hold the bristles in place. That leaves the long handle of the brush balancing the weight on the other side of my hand.
Again, this might not seem like a big deal, but it can be. If you have a lot to paint, your hand will fatigue quicker if you’re spending energy just trying to balance the brush.
Here are a couple other posts I’ve written, with other painting tips: Painting the Exterior of a House, which features tips on painting the exterior of a cedar sided house and Give Yourself some Painting Grace, highlighting the process to paint… wall or trim first??
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and now Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.
To read more about our whole house renovation project, check out the posts on this page.