Trade Secrets 3 

On the last page we were talking about painting a room in your house. The painting is continuing with the trim. 

This includes the windows and frames, the doors and frames, and the base board. The crown molding, if there is one, is often painted with the ceiling, but ocasionally painted the same as the trim.

Now, in what order you paint the trim and walls is a matter of choice. In the past it was always walls first then trim, but I have found that sometimes you can finish the doors and windows, then paint the walls, and, because of the possibility of over spray, paint the baseboard last. The reason is that it's a lot faster and easier (which is sooo important to the professional) to cut the walls into the trim than visa versa.(that's latin for "the other way round").

Painting the trim.

The challenge in using a paint brush is applying the paint evenly. The two problems of missed spots and  runs are both related to uneven paint application. The trade secret for this is cross brushing, or brushing the paint in another direction before carefully laying it off as you want it. Many times have I seen a painter brushing vigorously in one direction, usually up and down, then this having the paint completely unevenly applied. So take a door panel for instance. Dip your brush, then apply the paint to the top lefthand corner, brush it up and down, then work it across the panel before laying it off by lightly pulling the paint in a up and down direction. That should instantly improve the look of your work. That's why a roller help to distribute the paint more evenly before you put a brush to it.

On a flush door (without panels) it will often be finished with a roller. One good reason is that the paint will set very quickly and you might not have enough time to brush it out before it begins to set. Then if you persist it becomes a huge mess.

The next trade secret is work faster. With the new zero V.O.C. paints (volatile organic compounds) they dry much faster than the already quick drying latex paints. So developing a faster stroke is vital to a good look.

On the bottom of this page is a short history of oil based paint for those interested in the subject.

If you have flat doors with no panels, or panel doors, a good way to apply paint is with a roller and brush.

If you have a few doors to do use a 7 inch roller with a 10mm sleeve. If you have lots of casings and windows use a 'whiz' roller with a foam sleeve. There are many varieties of these, the 4 inch length being the best.

Before we paint the door, let's put a peice of paper or cardboard under the door to prevent paint getting on the floor. Now we  have filled, sanded, and cleaned the door and are ready to start putting on the paint. We have a small paint roller and tray, a brush sitting on a can of paint (with about 3s inch of the paint in the bottom), why?? because when you kick it over you have a small accident. A full can will yield a large accident with much running around, swearing, diminished domestic harmony, and possibly ruining your floor. You also should have a rag, and a small 2 inch filling knive at hand. 

Dip the brush into the paint and dab the bristles onto the inside of the can, one dab will do. (This will stop the brush from dripping).

Apply the paint to the hinge edge of the door first.  I usually put masking tape on the hinges first, as this saves the tedious task of cutting around them. Use the brush for the edges and, using a rag, wipe off any paint that builds up on the door face after you've finished.

The foam roller will apply the paint most evenly if you take your time and go back every couple of minutes and check your work. Paint begins to set after only a few minutes, so don't over work your masterpiece. I can always tell when a homeowner has painted in the same spot until the paint has deep brush strokes in it from over brushing.

If there are panels on the door, use the brush to paint around the edges first. Do one at a time, so the paint doesn't dry between brushing and rolling. (This will show as a thick area, not nice). Paint the panels first, then the vertical rails between them, then the horizontal styles, top, middle, and bottom, the vertical side by the hinge and the side by the handle. Note, try to brush towards the edges so as not to build up paint on the corner. If you do, just draw the brush down the edge to remove the excess paint.

Painting ceilings is something I am asked about and usually I think it's best to get a professional to do it for you. If the ceiling has a textured finish and has been painted previously, then it can be painted using a roller. If it has never been painted, then I prefer to spray them with an airless sprayer. Now this definately should not be attempted unless you are qualified. Even if you hire a painter, make sure they know what they are doing, as the result could be expensive to fix.

Cleaning your brush thoroughly is very important, if you are using a sink make sure the paint is removed from the bristles where they join the metal feral. Washing a brush agressively against the bottom of the sink is OK, and you are finished when the water runs clean. Straighten out the bristles when you finish, as they will stay the way you leave them, just like your hair.

Wrap your brush with plastic wrap if you are going to take a lunch break. 30 minutes sitting on top of the paint can can turn your expensive cutting tool into a chisel. You can wrap your brush over night but be warned that leaving the brush wrapped for too long will cause the latex to dry on the bristles and render it useless.

Rollers I tend to wrap with 1mm plastic and store in a cool place. Sometimes I'll store a few in a 5 gallon bucket full of water, then replace the lid.  I wash them rarely because they create so much poluted water.

Drop sheets are used to protect the floor from paint spatter. I don't like putting plastic sheeting on the floor as it is slick and static and...when a paint spot lands on it, it stays wet and can be stepped on and transfered to the rest of the house.

Use plastic sheeting for furniture and buy a canvas drop sheet from the paint store. Canvas drop sheets will leak through if you spill paint on them. So if this happens, I use a 4 inch filling knife to scoop up the paint, IMMEDIATELY and then lift the sheet, clean it as thoroughly as possible with a damp rag, let it dry and carry on painting. (Old bed sheets are too thin but work well to cover computers, as there is no static).

If you follow some of my recommendations about the painting proccess, I hope paint spills will be a rare event.

Trade secrets 4

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 Here is some reference about oil paint



The oldest Mediterranean civilization, Greek, Roman or Egyptian have extensively used painting techniques based on mixtures of encaustic (probably rich in bee wax), mineral pigments (iron, copper, manganese oxides) and tempera. Vegetal oils, such as flax, walnut or poppyseed oil were known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks or Romans, but no precise indication of their use in painting may be found. Tempera is a fluid mixture of binder (organic medium), water and volatile additives (vegetal essential oils). Organic binders used by Italian artists were proteinaceous materials available from animal sources (whole egg, animal glues or milk).

At the end of the roman empire and up to the Renaissance period (15th century), this ancient technique was lost and replaced by oil paint and/or tempera. In Italy and Greece, olive oil was used to prepare pigment mixtures but the drying time was excessively long and tedious in the case of figures. This drawback led a German monk, Theophilus, in the 12th century to warn against paint recipes including olive oil (Schoedula Diversarum Artium). It was reported that Aetius Amidenus, a medical writer in the 5th century, mentioned the use of a drying oil as a varnish on paintings. Similarly, it seems that perilla oil was used in Japan in painting after addition of lead in the 8th century. In the 14th century, Cennino Cennini presented a painting procedure integrating tempera painting covered by light oily layers.

Next is some info about the new low volatile organic compound paints which are currently being made by most paint manufactures to comply with the upcoming laws. All these are going to be water based paints.


Beautiful countrysideThere are two basic types of paint to choose from: water-based paints, often referred to as acrylic emulsions, and solvent-based paints. High-quality water-based paints offer not just an excellent all-round performance profile, they are also a good choice from an environmental perspective. Solvent-based paints, the more traditional type of paint, require users to excercise a degree of caution to avoid potential damage to the environment.

Solvent-based paints are a source of potentially hazardous emissions called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), a family of substances that easily evaporate into the air to form invisible vapours.

When evaporating, the solvents contained in paint emit VOCs into the atmosphere. VOCs react with oxygen in the presence of sunlight to form ozone – "bad" ozone.

It is important to distinguish between "good" ozone and "bad" ozone.

"Good" ozone occurs naturally in the stratosphere about 10-35 kilometres above the ground, which protects the surface of the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays and acts to protect plants, animals and humans from its various harmful effects.

"Bad" ozone occurs at ground level, forms through the chemical reaction between VOCs, oxygen and sunlight, and is an irritant for the mucous membranes. It can also cause nose, eye, and throat irritations; and can lead to shortness of breath, coughing, and asthmatic symptoms.

This "bad" lower-atmosphere ozone can also damage vegetation – plants, trees, bushes – and such impacts negatively on those dependent on nature for their livelihood. This ozone also has a corrosive effect on certain man-made materials: for example, it accelerates the deterioration and fading of certain paints.

A further major consequence of VOC emissions is global warming – VOCs play a significant role with respect to the creation of the greenhouse effect. Further, some chemically very stable VOCs participate in the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer (the "good ozone"): this is the famous hole in the ozone layer.

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