The paint project is nearly finished! Can I get a big yeah?!?
I hope I can show you some reveal pictures tomorrow. But today I just wanted to share a few tips about a painting. Tips I gathered the hard way, by doing it myself.
1. Set realistic goals
When I told you about my plans last week, I really was thinking/hoping I’d be able to do ALL of the woodwork in our house in one week. Both upstairs and downstairs. I had a week of and that seemed like so much time. When we actually started the works on Saturday I realized within hours that my goal was totally unrealistic. Out of the ballpark unrealistic. I had to admit that I could be very happy if I managed to finish the downstairs in one week. And with some help from My Love that goal will be in the pocket tomorrow.
2. Choose the right paint. Water based paints versus Oil based paint
Originally all of the woodwork was painted with an oil-based paint. I kind of had decided to stick with that. Then I had a talk with the expert at the paint shop. I decided to move over to water-based paint, even if it meant I had to do an extra coat of primer. This is why:
* Water based paint, is healthier due to less toxic fumes. This is especially important when used indoors.
* Water based paint dries really quick. This makes it harder to work with but you can paint something twice in one day, which speeds things up considerably.
* Water based paint hardly smells. Since I was painting our living quarters at a time of year when you really want to close your windows at night, this was a factor indeed.
* Water based paint doesn’t yellow as fast and easily as oil based paint. And of course since I was going from yellow to white this argument really was the kicker.
So I painted everything three times, first with a special primer and then with two coats of finish paints.
And everything is so white you have to put sunglasses on
3. Adjust your technique to the paint
I was using fast drying water based paint. And during the day the sun was shining and the temperature was pretty warm for the time of year. This meant I really had to work on my painting technique. There was no time to touch up drips and errors. This meant that I tried to work in one continues flow (compared to, for example, doing all the brush work on a door first and then do all the roller work, which works fine with oil based paint). And whenever there was an overlap I worked really hard at making sure that that was smooth and not drying to thick before I could even it out.
4. Use the proper tools
I used quality brushes and (for the most part) quality tape. We ran out of the good tape (I can really recommend the blue Scotch Painters tape, it is harder to find here but the paint shop had it) and resorted to the cheaper stuff. Boy were we sorry afterwards when we removed it and part of our walls came with it. More touch ups to do later. I should have known better since I have had painters tape misery before.
This door stopper I found at Aldi’s a few weeks ago. It came in real handy for keeping my doors open and immobile while I painted them.
5. Learn how to paint window frames without taping
In general I’ll say that a window frame looks much better when you paint it without taping it. Placing the tape correctly is not only a lot of work when you have to do a lot of windows (which is why I definitely did not tape all the windows in our porch, remember), it is also very difficult (but I do have a trick for neat tape placement on windows). Inevitably paint will sip underneath your tape and onto the glass, or alternatively tape will be stuck on the window frame leaving tiny bits unpainted.
Professional painters never tape they just paint two hairs wider than the old paint edge. That is hard to do but you can do it too.
This is how I freehand window frames.
- Get real close and personal. You absolutely have to be eye level with your brush and very close to the window.
- Make sure you are standing stabile and strong. The only thing moving should be your hand that is holding your paint brush. If possible rest your moving arm against the frame or window.
- Use the proper brush. I use a small round brush. It is about the size of the average ledge of the window frame I am painting.
- Put a fair amount of paint on your brush, but only on the tip.
- Paint a straight line a few millimeters away from the edge. This will serve as your guide and form a kind of runway that makes your brush move really smooth.
- Carefully place the brush straight on the edge, nearly but only just NOT going over the edge.
- Draw a straight line. Try to have a little bubble of paint on the outer edge of your brush that you push forward. This bubble will be that itty bitty bit of paint that covers the edge between woodwork and glass.
And this is how you make it work when you it doesn’t go perfect:
- Any little spills and uneven edges can be touched up immediately with the tip of your nail or with the tip of a wet cloth.
- When the paint has dried you can touch up the edges with a very sharp knife, they makes ones that are meant especially for this and they are so easy to work with (sorry forgot to take a pic).
- Remember you are standing with your nose on that paint job and every little curve seems huge. When you are finished and the room is decorated again those little imperfections won’t be visible. Be realistic and not a perfectionist.
If this is too difficult to follow in text. My Love shot a little video of me painting a window. I wasn’t aware that he was filming so I am just mumbling something to him and please ignore the very unglamorous look of me. This is me hard at work, dirty hair and clothes and all (and that music in the background is our radio and purely coincidental, but funny considering the way I look here).
6. Tape windows when it really is a better idea.
I taped the windows on our hallway door. They are leaded light windows (is this how you say it in English, Google said so). So the outer edge isn’t glass but lead. I wasn’t so sure about my number 1 and 2 solutions for imperfections here, and this window is very in your face all the time.
I really paid a lot of attention to the paint placement. The door is finished now and all the problems with taping windows happened. There are a few leaks and a few missed spots. I’ll work on the leaks carefully and I’ll have to apply solution number 3 to the missed spots. There is no way I could patch them without making a bigger mess. The door looks fab nevertheless though.
So this concludes my tips. I hope these were helpful.
CU tomorrow for some reveal pics and THE LINKY PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ll be posting the linky party tomorrow night (my time). I hope that a lot of you Got Things Done! and will link up. I have seen tweets and emails about Blogs getting a Makeover, Projects getting Done, Boxes getting unpacked and Gardens getting weeded. Link it all up so we can all see it and rejoice together.
I am writing a series of 31 days to Get it Done! You can find all the posts in this series here.
On the first day I explained in detail what this series is about and what I am going to do, find that post and all the posts since then in order here.
PS I hope that YouTube thing works. It is my first ever video. Can’t believe that I am posting that one on the internet for all to see, wish I looked a little better. Ah well, I always say I am all about keeping it real, better put the deed to the word then.