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The Sweet Secrets of Pro Painters

While everyone can buy a can of paint and a set of brushes, it is those little tricks and secrets of the trade that distinguish an experienced painter from a hobbyist or an apprentice. Mastering every trade and craft certainly takes time and sweat. However, these techniques can help anyone willing to learn and improve to become better DIY painter.

Achieving the Perfect Dip

What you achieve is a full load of paint on your brush with every dip. An ideal dip will fill your brush as much as possible without the paint dripping around. This can be achieved by dipping the brush about 1 ½ inches into the paint and tapping the brush against the can sides, This motion drops the excess paint and forces the paint up the bristles. The key with painting is to keep the brush moving at all times, or it will start dripping paint.

Close in for a Cut

Learning to cut like a pro takes time and practice, but almost anyone with a steady hand can do it. Load the brush and spread out the excess paint. What you want to avoid when cutting in on a wall is to make a hatband – a stripe of paint that escapes onto a ceiling. So you should roll first and cut later. The roller can leave about ½ inch stripe from the ceiling, which is easily painted with a brush, and it’s also faster this way.

Paint from the Top Down

You should paint the ceiling first, and then move down. After you do the crown molding, paint the walls, followed by casement molding around the windows and the doors. Baseboard molding should be painted last, as it prevents the dust from travelling off the floor onto the brush and the casements. Between the coats, take your time to sand off any bumps before the next coat is applied. In a recent chat with paint supplier Apcoatings, I discovered that you can use light to check painted surfaces for drips or imperfections.

Pay Attention to Windows

Experienced craftsmen recommend that you should start doing windows in the beginning of the day, while you are still fresh. For double-hung windows, start by raising the inner sash and lowering the outer sash, reversing their position. Continue with painting the lower portion of the outer sash, and then the entire inner sash. When the lower sash dries out, return them to their normal position leaving them partially open. Finish the job by painting the outer sash.

Give Doors Proper Paint Job

While many painters want to save time by painting the door while it sits on its hinges, they agree that the proper way to do it is to remove it and lay it horizontally on sawhorses. With paneled door, begin with painting the panels, from the outside edges towards the center. Be careful around corners as they might create puddles of excess paint. Don’t forget to tip off the panels with drained brush to level out the finish. Paint the vertical and horizontal stiles following the wood grain. Whatever you do, don’t stop the brush, unless you want to leave a pile of paint. The paint should dry completely before you flip the door for doing the other side.

I hope you find these tips useful. They’ll certainly make you faster and more efficient, but be prepared for accidents and touch-ups. Just follow the steps and procedures explained here and soon enough you’ll be showing others the ropes.

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