Monday, February 23, 2009


I overheard part of a conversation this morning where two people were discussing paint.

They were discussing it very thoroughly, too. Brand names, colors, price, interior, exterior, finishes … they covered the whole spectrum in a little under 5 minutes. (As long as it took me to heat up lunch.) I half expected one of them to flip out paint swatches at some point.

I don’t like to paint. I can paint, though not always very well. And I do paint as it was all me that did the house in 2007. Two coats, thank you very much. But it is among my least favorite things to do.

In its defense, it is a project with immediate gratification. Even on a huge project, just 10 or 15 minutes worth of painting and you can already see what you’ve done.

It’s still too cold to do any exterior painting jobs here, and I prefer those to interior ones. (You can afford to be a little messy outside.) And outside, you aren’t trapped indoors with the lovely smell of paint.

While I’m not a good painter, I am adequate and I do have a few tips to share.

· If you’re messy, like me, paint thinner can be your best friend. I usually keep two rags nearby. One is dampened with paint thinner, the other with soap and water. Soap and water work great if you catch your oopsy immediately. The paint thinner comes to the rescue if you don’t notice right away.
· Using the same brush the next day? You don’t have to wash it out. Just stuff your brush inside a Ziploc bag. Keep it out of the sun or away from heat and it will stay like this for days.
· If you’re painting siding or trim, the smaller foam rollers work perfectly. I did an entire house this way. And those disposable pads? I’m not a fan of them, but the mother, who is the painter at This D*mn House, swears by them.
· If you know you’re going to have a tight squeeze, try an artist’s brush. We have some gingerbread up at the apex of the house and I only take it down every few years. To keep from getting white paint on my gray house, that artist’s brush is da bomb!
· The clear plastic deep lids that DQ puts on top of their blizzard and sundae cups are great for holding paint. I had a small metal bucket that was just a little bigger than the cups and I used that bucket all summer the year we painted the house. If you can’t recycle, at least reuse, right?


Gene said...

Zero VOC paints don't smell like latex and oil-based paints of old. Paint thinner is nasty, but necessary for oil-based paints. For latex paints, the wet rag is fine for recent drips. For later drips, just scrape them off.

Jayne said...

I actually like to paint, and I think it's because of the immediate gratification and the fact that it's a lot of bang for the buck.

Karen Anne said...

I wrap my paint brushes in aluminum foil to keep from having to clean them when I take a break.

NV said...

Gene -- Thanks! Good tips.

Jayne -- Yup. Good to see that you've DONE something, isn't it?!

Karen Anne -- Foil? Will keep that in mind if we're out of bags!