Posts Tagged ‘brushes’

Painting Mistakes




Skipping the Tape
Do you have the skills to get straight lines around the woodwork, windowsills and doorframes? Grab the painter’s tape and get the nice, clean edges you want.

Painting Without Primer
Primer gives paint a good surface to adhere to and brings out the true color of the shade you’ve chosen. Going without it can lead to poor results.

You took the time to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Wait. Make sure it’s completely dry before you sand and prime. Otherwise, all that patching was a waste of time.

Paint Buildup on Pad Edge
When using edge pads around ceiling edges and corners, make sure to wipe off excess paint frequently to avoid marking the surface.

Brushing When You Should be Rolling
For a large interior area, a roller will do a better job in less time. Select the right nap roller for your sheen of paint and try to avoid pushing the roller into the wall when you paint.

Underestimating How Much Paint Needed
The pros say you need one gallon for every 400 square feet. Plan ahead and you can avoid running back and forth to the store with a paint swatch in your hand.

Assuming Walls are Clean
Paint looks much better when it has a good, clean surface to stick to. Wash your walls before painting and get professional results you can be proud of.

Painting When the Humidity is High
When the air is full of moisture, water-based paint takes longer to dry. If the weather winds up more humid than expected, take the day off and wait for a dry day.

Skipping the Surface Prep
Your new paint won’t stick to glossy, dirty walls that are in bad condition. Take the time to prep, or you’re bound to have problems down the road.

Paintbrush Abuse
When using latex paint, wet your brush bristles with water and shake the brush dry before you dip it in the paint. The brush will hold more paint and deliver better results.

Buying any Paintbrush
When you’re choosing paintbrushes to use with latex-based paint, nylon/polyester blends produce the best results. Turns out polyester is good for something besides sport shirts.

Painting with Furniture in the Room
Getting paint off your furniture is a lot of work. If you can’t move it out of the room, at least make sure it’s completely covered with a drop cloth.

Failure to Protect the Floor
Paint has the amazing ability to go all the places you’d least expect it to. Before you pop the can open, make sure you have a drop cloth over everything and the edges are taped.

Polka-Dot Doorknobs
Unless you like the look of splattered paint, we recommend that you slip plastic bags over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid unsightly paint splatter.

Painting the Wall Plates
Want professional-looking results? Take five minutes to remove the wall plates and tape around your light switches and electrical outlets.

Spring Painting DO’s



Primer comes before paint.
Tempted to skip the primer? Primer not only provides a good surface for the paint, but it also brings out the paint’s true color.

Paint like a pro.
Painting is your chance to show off your skills. Use an edge pad for clean lines around doorframes, ceiling edges and corners so your walls look great — down to every last detail.

Create a sticky situation.
Paint won’t stick to the wall if you haven’t taken the time to prep. The surface must be clean, non-glossy and in good condition.

One gallon at a time.
How much paint will it take to cover your walls? The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.

Dry days make good painting days.
Moisture in the air keeps water-based paint from drying. Skip the humid afternoon paint project and slow drying walls won’t wreck the rest of your day.

Put your sandwich bags to work.
Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go. You’re so resourceful.

Out with the old.
If the old paint on your wall is flaking off, it’s a good idea to buy a paint scraper and get it out of the way. Once all the old paint is gone, sand the surface smooth, prime and your new paint will look great.

Clean finish.
If you’re looking for paint in high-traffic areas, semi-gloss is the way to go. Shiny and durable, semi-gloss is a parent’s best friend.

Give the walls a sponge bath.
Washing your walls from top to bottom is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.

Don’t look back.
Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and color streaks in the paint’s surface.

Polka dots look good on fabric—not floors.
Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a drop cloth. It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation.

Take away the shine.
Paint doesn’t always adhere to glossy surfaces. We recommend using a light grade sandpaper to take the gloss off the surface so your new paint sticks like it should.

Turn in the brush.
Small rooms can feel gigantic when it comes to painting. A roller will do a better job than a paint brush in less time.

Spare the wall plates.
Before you start, remove all wall plates and tape off light switches and electrical outlets. You’ll get high marks for professional-looking results.

Patience is a virtue.
You’ve completed your mission to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Now, make sure it’s dry. Then sand smooth, prime, and you’ll have a surface good enough for any pro.

Other Paint Application Tools


The major advantages of paint rollers include speed of application and versatility. Since most wall paints are formulated for roller application, you will do a quicker, smoother job with a roller.

Standard wall rollers, used in large open areas, are 7″ to 12″ wide. Specialized rollers can be any length from 2″ to 18″, depending on the job to be done. Special rollers are designed for painting round surfaces or into corners.

The best roller frames are expandable, made from heavy-gauge wire, have end bearings for smooth operation and a threaded handle to accommodate extenders.

A critical element in any roller is the type of fiber used in the cover and length of the nap. Mohair covers are especially good for applying enamel; lambswool covers are excellent for alkyd paints, but not latex; synthetic fibers make all-purpose covers but cannot be used with specialty coatings, such as epoxies and polyurethane.

Smooth surfaces such as plaster, hardboard, etc., require 1/4″ and shorter nap. Very short nap is used with enamels and gloss finishes, and longer naps with latex or flat paints.

Naps of 3/8″ to 1/2″ are used on semi-rough surfaces such as light stucco, sandblasted metal, etc.

Rough surfaces such as concrete block, heavy stucco, etc., require longer naps of 3/4″ to 1-1/4″.

Quality aspects of any roller are the type and density of the fibers used. Some fibers become matted and lose resiliency when they absorb water.

Core construction is also important. In a quality roller, the core is round, has no conspicuous seams, shows no indication that the fabric will separate from the core at the ends and does not deform when squeezed gently. Some cores are made of untreated cardboard, which will soften and collapse from excess moisture; phenolic core (treated cardboard) and plastic will hold up in heavy service. Other roller cores, made of polypropylene, are thermally fused to the fabric cover, unlike others in which the fabric and core are glued.

Regardless of the material, be sure the core will hold up with both oil and latex paints. It is wise to use a separate cover for each kind of paint.

The density of the fiber determines the roller’s ability to hold paint and spread it evenly. Inexpensive rollers that become matted or fail to spread the paint will produce a mottled finish, regardless of the quality of paint used. They may also leave lint on the painted surface.

Shields are available to combat spatter and drizzle. Some roller shields are incorporated into the structure of the tool.

Select the Right Roller Cover
The most important factor in selecting a paint roller cover is the surface that is going to be painted.
– short nap (1/8″ to 1/4″) cover. Longer nap can leave a pronounced “orange peel” effect. Use on smooth plaster, sheet rock, wallboard, smooth wood, Masonite and Celotex.
– (slightly rough) – medium nap (3/8″ to 1/2″); longer fibers push the paint into rough surfaces without causing “orange peel.” Use on sand finish plaster, texture plaster, acoustical tile, poured concrete, rough wood and shakes.
– long nap (3/4″ to 1-1/4″); longer fibers push paint into the deep valleys of rough surfaces. Use on concrete block, stucco, brick, Spanish plaster, cinder block, corrugated metal and asphalt or wood shingles.
The rule for using almost all roller covers – “The smoother the surface, the shorter the nap; the rougher the surface, the longer the nap.”
1) The application of catalyzed (two-part) fiberglass or epoxy coatings. These coatings have strong solvents that destroy normal covers. Special high-solvent covers are available for these coatings.
2) The application of paint to extremely rough surfaces occasionally requires an extra long nap roller cover (1-1/4″ or 1-1/2″).
3) The application of texture paint to a smooth surface requires a special cover to pull or peak the paint on the surface for the desired texture. This is often referred to as a stipple roller cover.


A paint pad applies paint quickly, as well as offering several advantages not possible with rollers.

Rollers, because of their circular motion, tend to spatter paint, especially if rolled too fast. Since pad applicators lie flat on the surface, spattering is avoided.

A second advantage is that a pad can be used in corners. If a ceiling and wall are being painted separate colors, a roller cannot be used at the point where the two surfaces meet, because the roller will mark the other surface.

Paint pads have guide wheels or trim tabs that guarantee a straight line at the point of intersection. This same device allows for painting around trim and molding without marring the second surface.

Pads hold a great deal of paint and spread it quickly. For even faster application, manufacturers offer pad trays, some of which are equipped with a revolving wheel to speed the proper loading of the pad. When a pad is wiped on the revolving wheel, the proper amount of paint is picked up on the surface of the pad.

Pad refills are available for most pad applicators. Although cleanup is relatively easy, some users prefer the disposable feature.

There are also a variety of special paint pads; these include pads for painting in corners, for applying stains, for rough surfaces and for edging. There are also pressure-fed pads with a trigger-controlled paint supply.


Foam brushes are so inexpensive that they are often considered disposable; but most are substantial enough to be cleaned and reused. Foam brushes have handles like regular brushes, but a foam pad replaces the bristles.

Foam brushes are ideal for clear finishes. Most brands are not recommended for use with lacquer or shellac. The chemical formulas of these finishes attack the foam.


There are many products specifically designed for applying texture paints. Among them are special stippling roller covers. Some of these are foam with various patterns etched into the surface; some have deep, looped material.

Special large-diameter texture painting rollers are available for the heavier consistency of texture paints. Texture edgers can also be used to texture where rollers cannot reach.


Spray painting is far more efficient than other methods in certain instances, such as covering large areas with the same color or painting intricate surfaces such as furniture or grillwork, where other tools won’t reach all surfaces. It requires some practice in order to handle the equipment and get an even paint covering.

Spray equipment has been available to homeowners for many years, but airless sprayers offer an easier way for do-it-yourselfers to spray paint. Airless sprayers eject paint at high pressure and must be handled carefully to avoid possible injury. An electric airless paint system consists of a paint container, high-pressure pump, motor, handle, and housing and pressure regulator. Extension nozzles, longer suction tubes, extra nozzles and viscosity measuring cup are optional accessories.

Important points to remember in using an airless sprayer, as with other types of sprayers, are proper paint consistency, pressure and tip selection.

Choice of spraying tip depends on paint consistency, but generally the thinner the paint, the smaller the tip needed.

Paint consistency also governs pump pressure. Thinner materials such as stains, lacquers, enamels and sealers require less pressure than heavier materials such as house and wall paint.

Paints formulated for brush or roller application may be too thick for spraying. They should be tested and thinned if necessary.

Other types of spraying equipment have several operational differences.

A suction gun has a vent hole in the cover of the paint cap. A stream of compressed air creates a vacuum, allowing atmospheric pressure to force material from the container to the spray-head. These guns usually are limited to quart-sized containers or smaller and are used where many color changes are necessary.

In a pressure-fed system, the material is force fed to the gun when large amounts of the same color are being used, when materials are too heavy to be siphoned from a cap or container by suction, or when fast application is required.

Non-bleeder sprayers cannot release air until the trigger is pulled. These are used when air is supplied from a tank or from a compressor having pressure control.

A bleeder gun releases air at all times, thus preventing the pressure from building up to a point of popping the safety valve.

Some paint sprayers can be adapted to other uses with proper accessories. For example, an air-gun attachment blows dust from objects to prepare the surface for painting; an adjustable pressure-relief valve regulates maximum air pressure on air guns; an inflater attachment converts the sprayer into a pump to inflate toys, tires, etc.

Another type of applicator in this category is a rotary-disc airless paint sprayer. An auger pump pulls paint from a container mounted under the electrically powered spraying head into a high-speed spinning disc. Centrifugal force from the spinning disc causes the paint to flow through a variable gate opening.

The gate control regulates size of paint swath and eliminates nozzles and high-pressure injection hazards.

High-volume, low-pressure paint sprayers reduce the amount of over-spray typically caused by airless sprayers and conventional, air-powered spray guns. More paint reaches the surface and painters save time and money on paint, drop cloths and masking.

Paint brushes


Brushes are highly efficient for painting all areas – small, medium and large – and for all types of paint. A poor brush, however, will result in a poor finish.

Filaments used in paint brushes are hog bristle and other animal bristles, as well as manmade filaments (both tapered and level), including nylon, polyester and other level synthetics. Tapered polyester filaments are recommended for all paints. They do not absorb water or lose resiliency as do natural bristles and nylon. Natural bristles work well only with oil-based paints. Nylon can be used with latex paints or oil-based paints.

The American Brush Manufacturers Association has developed a Code of Ethics in regard to packaging and labeling of brushes. Literature is available from the association regarding the Code of Ethics.

A quality brush has a high percentage of bristles with flagged (split) ends, which is important for holding and spreading paint. The better the flagging, the more paint a brush will hold and the fewer the brush marks left on the painted surface.

A quality brush also has filaments that vary in length for smooth flow and application of paint. Bristles on brushes used for precision painting, such as sash brushes, should be “tipped.” They have pointed ends, allowing more precise control of the paint.

China hog bristle is the best natural filament to use with oil paints. China hog bristle can be used only with oil-based paints, because it absorbs water and becomes loose and floppy. It does not have the long wearability of polyester and nylon brushes.

Other natural hog-bristle brushes are recommended for use with varnish and lacquer in addition to oil-based paint. Ox, camel, squirrel, badger and sable are used for artists’ and other specialty brushes.

Nylon bristles should be used with latex paints, and tapered polyester for all paints, including oil, latex, varnish, lacquers, shellac and marine finishes.

Inexpensive brushes contain little filament and are made from the poorest-quality hog bristle or from level (not tapered) synthetics. Level synthetics flag poorly, if at all. The end product is a poor painting tool.

Nylon and polyester (the best synthetics) are tipped, flagged, and tapered individually during manufacturing. Quality brushes are made with multiple sizes of tapered filaments similar to pure bristle brushes. The flag is maintained during long use. Generally, the longer and thicker the brush made of tapered nylon or tapered polyester, the quicker the job will be done.

Synthetic hog bristle can be used with all paints. Like other quality synthetic brushes, the bristles are individually tipped, flagged and tapered.

Quality brushes are made of tapered filament, either natural or synthetic. Normal bristle or filament lengths for general household use include: 1″ wide brush, length out of ferrule 2″ to 2-1/4″; 1-1/2″- and 2″-wide brush, length out of ferrule 2-1/4″ to 2-3/4″; 2-1/2″ and 3″-wide brush, length out of ferrule 2 1/2″ to 3″ and 3-3/4″- and 4″-wide brushes, length out of ferrule 3″ to 3 3/4. Flatting brushes 4″-6″, 3-1/4″ to 4″-length out of ferrule) are used to apply paints to ceilings, cellars and other large areas.

Quality brushes are thicker at the ferrule and have smaller wood plugs or dividers in the ferrule to spread the bristle and allow for more paint-holding capacity. Inexpensive brushes have wide plugs and reduced amounts of bristle.

Besides paint brushes, special brushes found in many homes include enamel and varnish brushes (flat or chisel shape) to reduce lap marks sometimes resulting from alkyd paints and lacquers, and Dutch calcimine (flatting) wall brushes, used to apply water-based paints to large areas.

Paint Brush Glossary
– bristles are tipped. One end on one side of the brush is longer, giving working end slanted appearance.
– ends of bristle originally embedded in hide of hog and are ends that go into brush setting.
– working end of brush is shaped to resemble end of steel chisel on both sides of brush. Most quality varnish brushes and a number of quality wall brushes and sash tools have chisel edges on both sides.
– wood, metal or leather bound form into which bristle is set; also holds handle of brush.
– working end of each bristle and tapered filament is divided into fine hairs called flag ends. Hold paint in brush and help spread it evenly.
– heel is section of brush where butt ends fit into ferrule. When this becomes clogged with paint, it is “heeled up” and will not work efficiently.
– proper proportion of stiff and soft bristles or filaments.
– working edge of brush is straight. Large brushes usually have square edges with natural bend of bristle inclining toward center of brush.
– tapered polyester, tapered nylon and natural bristles are thick at butt end, thinner at flag end. Tapered brushes of each different material are made by blending various sizes of tapered polyester or nylon or natural bristle.


Care Suggestions
1. Clean brush immediately after use, before paint has a chance to harden. Use proper solvent for oil-base paint; for latex-base paints, clean with warm, soap or detergent water solution. If brush does not clean thoroughly, clean in paint thinner and rewash in warm detergent solution.
2. Comb wet bristles with metal comb.
3. If brush is to be stored for long periods, return to pouch supplied with brush or wrap in foil or heavy paper, with bristles smooth and flat.
4. Always store fiat or suspended from a nail or hook so that bristles are straight and the brush is not resting on bristles.
5. Do not allow any brush to stand on end in either paint or water.
6. Do not soak a brush in water; it will damage either the filament or the epoxy setting and cause the ferrule to rust.
Rollers and Pads
1. Clean after every use, removing excess paint by rolling or pressing on a newspaper, then washing in proper solvent or water.
2. Dry and wrap to store.


Choosing the Right Brush
For successful painting projects, use the correct brush to fit the job. Various manufacturers recommend a number of brush sizes and styles for specific painting projects.
– ceilings, floors, chimneys, shingles, boats and pools. Recommend a wall brush, 7/8″ to 1″ thick and 3″ to 6″ wide; 4″ wide flatting brushes are preferred. There are also lightweight 4″ to 6″ flatting brushes that are ideal for large areas.
– cupboards, floors, eaves, large pipes, picket fences and table tops. Recommend a fiat varnish or fiat sash brush, 2″, 2-1/2″ or 3″ wide. For window sashes, suggest a 1-1/2″ or 2″ angular trim brush. There are two kinds of sash brushes-fiat and angular.
– trellises, radiators, metal furniture, ladders, garden tools and small windows. Recommend 1″ or 1-1/2″ sash brush or small at varnish brush. For small window sashes, suggest 1″ or 1-1/2″ angular trim brush. Automotive repainting-recommend 2-1/2″ or 3″ soft hair flowing-style brush, such as quality nylon or ox brush or a good varnish and enameling brush.
– recommend 2-1/2″ or 3″ soft hair flowing-style brush, such as quality nylon or ox brush or a good varnish and enameling brush.
– recommend a 1-1/2″, 2″ or 2-1/2″ soft hair flowing-style brush, such as a quality nylon or ox brush, a good varnish brush or a quality tapered polyester brush.

Preparation – It all Starts Here

Take down window coverings, wall decorations, and remove wall plates from switches and outlets. Cover furniture and the area of floor to be painted with tarps or drop cloths. Repair any holes, cracks or flaws and give the surface a thorough cleaning. Tape woodwork and other surfaces not being painted. Prime new drywall, unpainted surfaces, or any dark colored surface you plan to cover with a lighter color.

When painting over an existing semi- or full-gloss finish, the surface must be sanded to give the new paint something to adhere to (paint adheres better to rough surfaces than smooth ones). Smooth over cracks and other surface imperfections with spackle and a putty knife, and then sand smooth. Viewing the surface from an angle will reveal any spots that may have been missed.

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