Category: Painting


All You Need to Know About… Painting Appliances

Get a new look for less: Save thousands of dollars by painting—not replacing—your perfectly good (perhaps slightly outdated) appliances.

Painting Appliances - Budget Kitchen Update

Photo: homedepot.com

Wishing for a way to refresh a kitchen or laundry room without sinking thousands of dollars into a renovation? If your outdated appliances are still in good working order despite some small signs of a little wear and tear, consider this familiar store-bought solution: paint. Just as a fresh wall color can invigorate any space, so, too, can a brush of bold color or coat of stainless steel completely transform your current refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, or dryer. Painting your appliances can cover up the scratches, update the finish, and even extend their lifespan—all without breaking the bank.

 

Pick the Right Paint

Yes, sprucing up your appliances can cost as little as $20, thanks to the power of paint. Depending on the appliance and its condition, you might need only a small bottle of specialized paint for touch-ups or an entire one-quart can for complete coverage. For long-lasting results and household safety, choose paints appropriate to your project.

• One option—good for unifying the color of your appliances and hiding nicks or discoloration—is to cover with appliance epoxy paint. Application couldn’t be easier for this self-priming paint, with options to either brush or spray, and you’ll find all of your standard appliance colors available.

• For appliances that do tend to heat, like the oven or radiator, you’ll need to purchase a specialty heat-resistant product that is designed to withstand high temperatures.

• You won’t find appliance paint in much more than a standard white, black, or silver, so if a splash of color is the goal, widen your selection to the wall of spray paint for a stand-out appliance in an otherwise ordinary kitchen. Because these aren’t specifically engineered to cover appliances, you’ll want to top with an enamel gloss protective spray. (Alternatively, try a chalkboard paint—black or any other hue you’d like to mix—and start jotting your memos directly on the fridge.)

 

Painting Appliances - How to Paint a Stand Mixer

Photo: dwellbeautiful.com

Before You Start

You’ve carried home your paint cans, but before you begin, remember: Safety first! Start by unplugging the appliance from the wall. Then, spread out a drop cloth and/or plastic sheets  to protect your floors and surroundings.

Remove all hardware (you’ll paint that separately) and give the appliance a thorough cleaning. A little ammonia works wonders to clean off any grease and oil buildup so the paint adheres properly. Just be sure to crack open a window and move some fans into the space for proper ventilation, as those fumes can be caustic. Leave these precautions in place if you plan to spray-paint indoors, or take this time to move the appliance outside before you clean and paint so that you won’t inhale any of the fumes.

Next, rough up the surface of your appliance. While it may seem counter-intuitive to creating a fresh clean look, it helps the paint to bond to what’s likely already a slick, glossy surface. Rub a piece of steel wool in a circular motion across the entire surface of the appliance. High-gloss finishes may require an extra pass with 150-grit sandpaper or sanding block to really scratch up the surface and eliminate the shine. A clean, matte feel is the perfect canvas for a fresh coat of appliance paint. Take a damp cloth and wipe away all of the dust so it won’t interfere with your paint job.

Now, strategically place painter’s tape to cover up logos as well as non-removable knobs and buttons. And speaking of cover-ups, you should mask your face to keep from inhaling fumes. While you’re at it, protect your skin with a long sleeve shirt and pants, especially if you’re using a spray can—this do-it-yourself project gets pretty messy!

 

The Painting Process

Once your appliance is properly prepped, spray, brush, or roll on the product of your choice. If you go with a spray can method, keep the nozzle at a constant level and at an even distance (approximately 12 inches from the surface) for best results. If you’re using a brush or roller, use slow and even strokes to fully coat the entire appliance. If you notice the paint (particularly epoxy) bubble up, no need to panic; in most cases it will even itself out.

Once you’re done with the first application, plan to apply a second or third coat for a smooth, even finish. When spray painting, you’ll most likely need 2 or 3 coats to ensure the surface is evenly covered, and one coat of enamel gloss protective spray if you chose to work with something other than specialty paint. Wait 15 minutes between applications, and when your satisfied with the results, allow your appliance to dry for 24 hours before touching—that includes hauling your masterpiece back inside. Painters who use a brush or roller may only require a second coat to give the appliance a smooth, even finish.

While painting your appliances is not a permanent fix, it does offer you additional time to budget and save for those replacement appliances you’ve been dreaming about all along.


How To: Paint Baseboards

Are your dingy, scuffed, or chipped baseboards getting you down? Perk them right up with a fresh coat of paint. Here's how.

How to Paint Baseboards

Photo: fotosearch.com

Of all the many types of molding installed to put the finishing touch on a room, there’s none more common than baseboard. Whether simply or elaborately profiled, baseboards perform two important roles in a room: They create a pleasing visual transition between the walls and floor, and they conceal the often imperfect perimeters of a flooring installation (hardwood boards with uneven edges, for example, or vinyl sheeting that curls up at the end). Although baseboard molding is an essential component of a truly polished look, most people don’t give it a second thought—that is, until the baseboard gets scuffed, or the paint starts to chip or look tired. Fortunately, renewal requires only a fresh paint job, a project that virtually anyone can do, although there are a handful of important considerations to bear in mind. Read on for the step-by-step details.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Semi-gloss paint
- 2-inch angled paintbrush
- Drop cloth (or plastic sheeting)
- Spackle
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Microfiber cloth
- Painter’s tape
- Paint guard (or large drywall taping knife)

How to Paint Baseboards - Detail View

Photo: fotosearch.com

STEP 1
Painting a baseboard is a fine illustration of the rule that preparation makes the difference between a subpar job and a satisfying, professional-quality finish. After you’ve protected the floor by laying down a drop cloth or taping down a layer of plastic sheeting, it’s best to begin by inspecting the baseboard molding for any nicks or dings. If you find any, patch those areas with spackle and allow the spackling compound to dry. Next, sand the baseboards, including the areas you repaired, using medium-grit sandpaper. Finally, vacuum the baseboards before wiping them down with a damp cloth. Before proceeding, be sure to wait long enough for the baseboards to dry completely.

STEP 2
Adhere strips of painter’s tape along two seams—where the baseboard molding meets the wall, and where it meets the floor. Do your best to eliminate any space between the painter’s tape and the chosen floor protection, be it a drop cloth or plastic sheet. Now, stir the paint before dipping in your small (approximately two-inch) angled paintbrush. Cover the bristles about two-thirds of the way, then tap or dab the brush against the inside lip of the paint can to clear the excess away, not only from the sides of the brush, but from the tips of its bristles as well. Repeat each time you load the brush in order to ensure the tidy and precise application of paint.

STEP 3
Leading with the short edge of the angled brush, start to apply paint to the baseboards. Work slowly, in one-foot sections, and whenever possible use long strokes in a single direction—don’t brush back and forth over the same area. Are you dealing with an intricate trim profile? Pay special attention to the contours, taking pains to push paint into the recessed portions of the molding. To achieve crisp lines along the edges, you can use a specialty paint guard (or, alternatively, a wide drywall taping knife), which you can hold where the molding meets the wall or floor to prevent any wayward strokes from landing beyond the baseboard itself.

Plan on doing two coats, possibly three. For the smoothest possible finish, sand between coats and clean up any dust or debris created during the sanding process. Also remember that if paint ends up any place you didn’t intend it to go, the wise course is to address the error immediately. Simply wipe up any drips or smudges with a damp cloth before the paint has the opportunity to dry.

In the end, like so many other do-it-yourself home improvement projects, painting baseboards isn’t a complex undertaking. It requires neither great skill nor years of experience, only patience, persistence, and the willingness to stay on task.


Is Milk or Chalk Paint the Right Finish for You?

Learn how two popular paint products can each achieve such a wide range of style—from distressed color washes to bright opaques—and how to choose the right one for your next project.

Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint - Choosing a Finish

Photo: fotosearch.com

It’s not how you start, but how you finish, as the adage goes. But when it comes to painting, the materials you choose at the start of your project are key in determining the (paint) finish on your home interiorsexteriors, and furnishings. That means you need a clear idea of what you want and how you plan to achieve it before execution. So what is one to do when interested faced with two wildly popular decorative paints that, on the surface, seem rather similar? Such is the case for milk and chalk paint: Their comparable appearance often leads to a muddled understanding of their characteristics, uses, and application techniques—leaving many DIYers with a glazed-over expression about which to use. Brush up on the facts about these two unique products to learn which is best suited for your next paint project.

Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint - Milk Paint Finish

Photo: milkpaint.com

BASICS
The confusion between milk and chalk paint can be chalked up to their numerous and beneficial shared traits. Both are fast-drying, environmentally-friendly, easy-to-use paints that can be applied to either indoor or outdoor surfaces to confer a solid or distressed ivory hue—even mixed to produce custom colors.

Milk paint considerably predates its lookalike, all the way back to colonial times due to its easily-sourced, all-natural ingredients. These include limestone, clay, pigment, and the milk protein casein from which the paint derives its name. Most often sold in powder form, milk paint tends to cost less than chalk paint, but it must be manually mixed with water before application, lending it an overall thinner texture.

Chalk paint, on the other hand, is a thicker paint made from calcium carbonate, talc, and pigment. Named after its characteristic chalk-white undertones, this extremely fast-grip paint is familiar in look and feel to matte white acrylic paint. Chalk paint was only developed in the ’90s by renowned industry expert Annie Sloan, and is generally sold today premixed in standard quart cans. No measuring and mixing required at home, but the convenience runs more expensive than milk paint.

USAGE
Both milk and chalk paints stick to myriad surfaces, from wood, masonry, drywall, and plaster to metal and glass—a DIYer’s dream. And with either medium, you can achieve everything from a thinned wash to an opaque coat.

But because milk paint cracks, flakes, and distresses more easily, it is ideally suited for farmhouse-style kitchen cabinets and vintage furniture like antique dressers. As milk paint must be manually mixed and stirred before application, it can lead to a more unpredictable distressed finish—sometimes sloughing off in a fine powder, other times chipping away and lending winsome appeal to period-style pieces.

Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint - Chalk Paint Finish

Photo: chalkpaint.com

Chalk paint, on the other hand, has a more easily controlled and consistent matte appearance that is apt for use in reviving outdated furniture, metallic accents like lamps and coat racks, and fabrics. While chalk paint does not self-distress as readily as milk paint, you can sand it manually to achieve a soft, distressed finish.

TIPS
And now for arguably the best news: Neither milk nor chalk paint require either sanding or primer unless the surface in question is uneven or slick, in which case lightly sanding the surface is desirable before painting. You need not shy away from one or the other because of the effort involved.

To create a non-distressed, uniform finish of milk paint, add a bonding agent to the paint for improved surface adherence. Otherwise, skip the bonding and allow the milk paint to self-distress. If spraying on for even easier application, milk paint should first be mixed, stirred, and strained.

Chalk paints generally have such a strong grip that a bonding agent isn’t needed, although it can be added if desired. After preparing the surface and paint, use a brush, roller, or (when thinned) sprayer to apply either paint.

In the end, whether you choose milk or chalk paint to reinvent your furnishings, consider sealing it with wax after 30 minutes of dry time for a winning—and lasting—finish.


5 Paints You Can Make Yourself

There’s no need to shell out the big bucks for your next painting project. Instead, try one of these five recipes to mix up your own paint—and the perfect color—from scratch.

Homemade Paint - Five Types of DIY Paint

Photo: fotosearch.com

The next time you’re faced with a painting project, don’t head to the hardware store straight away. Whether you’re coloring a piece of furniture or an exterior wall, there are plenty of homemade options available for you to consider—many of them cheaper than store-bought counterparts and chemical-free. But that’s not all: Mixing up your own homemade paint offers more control over the finish so you end up with one that’s more in tune with your décor needs. Check out five varieties you can craft to brush up your DIY game.

Homemade Paint - DIY Chalk Paint

Photo: etsy.com via brasshipposhop

CHALK PAINT
If you want to achieve an easy-to-distress matte finish and you like the sound of less work—no primer or sanding required before your first coat of paint—check out chalk paint. It’s slight grit and forgiving texture make it a prime candidate for painting wood pieces in a distressed style. To make your own, simply stir up 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris in 1/3 cup of cool water until it’s completely smooth. Then mix that solution with 1 cup of flat latex paint. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t store and reuse chalk paint, so, depending on the project, adjust the amount you mix up accordingly and use it as soon as it’s ready.

 

Homemade Paint - DIY Chalkboard Paint

Photo: Zillow Digs home in New York, NY

CHALKBOARD PAINT
Not to be confused with chalk paint, chalkboard paint turns any old wall into a fun way to jot reminders to self and notes for family or guests—an especially trendy upgrade in the kitchen or entryway. No need to limit yourself to black here! This recipe works for any color of your choosing.

To mix up your own paint, fill a plastic bucket with a ratio of 2 tablespoons non-sanded tile grout to every cup of flat-finish latex or acrylic craft paint, depending on the scope of the project. (You might choose the latex for a wall but mix up a smaller batch with acrylic to paint on smaller housewares like the inside of a medicine cabinet, for example.) Mix thoroughly to remove any and all clumps. Apply with a roller or paint brush in a nice, even coat, then—after it dries—smooth the entire wall with a fine sandpaper and wipe away the dust with a slightly damp cloth.

 

Homemade Paint - Milk Paint Desk

Photo: etsy.com via GreenhillLaneDesigns

MILK PAINT
For painting over furniture with an aged and almost translucent finish, milk paint should be your go-to. The texture tends to be a bit thinner than other paints, which creates a beautiful vintage effect when layered over wood. (To cover non-porous surface like glass, metal, or plastic, mix in a bonding agent.)

Start by squeezing a lemon or lime to get 1/2 cup of juice, and mix that with a quart of skim milk in a pot to curdle overnight. (For larger projects, you can increase the quantity following the same ratio.) The next day, pour the liquid through the sieve lined with cheesecloth in order to fully separate out the curds from the whey. Rinse off the curds in water to keep them moist, toss them into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in dry color pigment, which can be found online or at an art supply store, until you get your desired hue; stir all together. Apply immediately to your wood, leaving it no time to spoil, and paint on an extra coat than you think is necessary—it’s sure to dry lighter than you expect. Don’t worry about any lingering odor while you work: That will go away as soon as the paint dries.

 

Homemade Paint - Flour Paint for Exteriors

Photo: fotosearch.com

FLOUR PAINT
Best for giving a matte finish to exterior walls, this easy-to-make paint is not only cheap—it’s non-toxic. Ready a batch sizable enough for your outdoor project by starting 7 quarts of water over high heat on the stovetop; while waiting for the pot to come to a boil, combine 23 ounces of white flour with 1-1/2 quarts of cold water in a separate bowl. Then pour in each of the next ingredients in the following order, with 15 minutes of stirring and cooking between additions: first the flour-water mixture, then your coloring pigments and 9 ounces of iron sulfate, and lastly 1 quart of linseed oil. Pull the large pot off of your heat and stir in about 3-1/2 ounces of (colorless) dishwashing soap while it cools. When the paint is cool to the touch, you’re good to get to work with the rest of your DIY paint job.

 

Homemade Paint - DIY Fabric Paint

Photo: fotosearch.com

FABRIC PAINT
As you may have experienced with prior house-painting or furniture-painting jobs, regular paint easily adheres to clothing and its hard, impermeable finish withstands many washes. That’s all well and good, but occasionally you may be interested in intentionally adding a paint-on design or coloring over old upholstery without leaving your fabric stiff.

To create your own flexible fabric paint, simply mix the acrylic paint of your choice with an acrylic medium (also found at most craft stores) in equal parts. A medium thins your acrylic so that it goes on your fabric with a softer, more malleable texture. Apply to your heart’s content. Then, 24 hours after it dries, help your design survive future machine washing by heat-setting the fabric paint—swiping a dry iron on medium heat back and forth over the paint for three minutes should do the trick.


How To: Stain Cabinets

If you love everything about your wood cabinets except for their color, forget about spending a small fortune to replace them with a brand-new set. Instead, refinish the boxes, doors, and drawers with a stain that brings out the natural beauty of the material. Here's how.

How to Stain Cabinets

Photo: fotosearch.com

Of all the reasons to appreciate solid wood cabinets, there may be none more appealing than their virtually endless changeability. That is, if you ever tire of the cabinets’ appearance, you can always refinish the wood, transforming the overall look of your kitchen or bath in the process. Of course, the size of the project depends on a number of factors. But generally speaking, you don’t need to be an expert to stain cabinets successfully. With only a handful of basic tools and materials—and in many cases, the willingness to make a mess and clean it up—almost anyone can achieve pro-quality results, without having to hire a contractor.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Mild detergent
- Clean cloths
- Plastic sheeting or drop cloths
- Protective gloves
- Chemical stripper
- Scraper
- Palm sander
- Fine- and medium-grit sandpaper
- Wood conditioner
- Paintbrush
- #000 Steel wool
- Wood stain
- Polyurethane sealer

STEP 1
The process always starts out the same way, even if your cabinets are new and unfinished. Remove the cabinet hardware (including the hinges) and set the doors aside. You can leave the cabinet frames in place, but take special care to protect the rest of the room with drop cloths or plastic sheeting. Once you have prepared the work area, give the cabinets a thorough cleaning. First, rub them down with a clean cloth and mild detergent, then follow up with plain water to eliminate soap residue. Note: There’s one situation when it’s not necessary to spend time cleaning at the outset. That’s if the existing cabinets are painted or stained and, rather than use a chemical stripper, you’d prefer to scrape and sand away the existing finish. Here, you can skip the cleaning and proceed directly to the second step.

How to Stain Cabinets - Brush on Wood

Photo: fotosearch.com

STEP 2
Unless your cabinets are raw wood, the existing finish must be removed before you can apply the new stain coat. There are two ways to go about it. If you’re only dealing with a few cabinets, it may be simplest to handle the job the old-fashioned way, without resorting to a chemical stripper. But if you’ve got a number of cabinets to refinish, a chemical stripper can save you a great deal of time and energy. Stripping products have improved over the years, but it remains important to pay close attention to any warnings included with your chosen product, be it a liquid or gel. Ventilation is a must, and manufacturers typically also recommended that do-it-yourselfers wear the appropriate protective gear (gloves, at minimum). Also, remember to cover any surfaces you don’t want to strip (painter’s tape is handy for the purpose). Once you’ve properly prepared, apply the stripper according to the included instructions. Normally, stripper takes about a half hour to set in. After that, the finish ought to come off easily with a scraper. But bear in mind that with a stubborn finish, it may be necessary to use multiple applications of stripper.

STEP 3
Once you’ve taken off the old finish, move on to sanding the cabinets with 80- to 120-grit sandpaper. If you have access to a palm sander, capitalize on its ability to make quicker, easier work of what would otherwise be a taxing, time-consuming step. As you would in any other project, sand in the direction of the wood grain until you have the cabinets surfaces are smooth and even. Along the way, you may wish to repair any imperfections (cracks or scratches) that you notice in the wood. Finally, finish up by sanding the cabinets again, this time with 150- to 220-grit paper. Vacuum the sanding dust, and before you continue, wipe down the wood with a moistened cloth to pick up any lingering debris. Let the wood dry.

STEP 4
The staining portion of the project begins, not with stain, but with wood conditioner. Conditioning helps ensure that the stain adheres evenly and looks its best. Much like stain itself, wood conditioner goes on with a paintbrush. If the cabinet and doors feature inset paneling and other details, opt for a small brush capable of reaching all the little nooks and crannies. By the same token, if all the cabinet surfaces are flat, you can safely stick with a wider brush. No matter the style of the cabinets, completely coat their surfaces with a thin layer of the conditioner. Once the cabinets are dry, lightly scuff them with #000 steel wool.

How to Stain Cabinets - Kitchen Full

Photo: fotosearch.com

STEP 5
Now it’s time to apply the stain. Unlike paint, the appearance of any given stain partly depends on the type of wood to which it’s being applied. For that reason, it may be wise to test your chosen stain somewhere inconspicuous before you apply the product all over. Reserve your judgment until the test stain has dried. Assuming you like what you see, go ahead and apply the stain using either a paintbrush or a clean, soft rag. Work in the direction of the grain and aim, not only for complete coverage, but for a light, even coating. As you go along, you may notice one or another section looking darker than the rest. Don’t worry: You can lighten things up by rubbing off the excess stain with a fresh rag. Once you’ve coated every cabinet surface, wait for the stain to dry. That may take a day or two, depending on the humidity. During that time, be careful not to let dust or dirt land on the cabinets. Once the stain has fully cured, assess whether or not you need a second coat. If you were envisioning a lighter color, you may be able to get away with one coat. Otherwise, expect to apply at least two coats. Between coats, don’t forget to lightly scuff the cabinet surfaces with steel wool. Repeat the process a third time if the stain color still hasn’t darkened enough to match your taste and expectations.

STEP 6
Today, some products combine stain and polyurethane for one-step finishing. If you happen to have used such a stain-sealer hybrid, well, congratulations—you’re finished. If you opted for a traditional stain, you don’t strictly need to seal the cabinets, but considering the inevitable wear and tear, it’s probably a good idea. Polyurethane sealer goes on with a paintbrush, and as is the case for stain, two thin coats are much better than a single thick coat. Before applying the initial coat of sealer, consider that polyurethane tends to accentuate any surface imperfections. If your cabinets aren’t perfectly smooth, you may wish to sand them down again. After sanding, use a moistened cloth to remove all the dust. Once the cabinets are clean and dry, stir the polyurethane and apply it in long, overlapping strokes. So long as you concentrate on keeping the application thin, the sealer isn’t likely to pool or drip. Next, wait for the sealer to cure—and while you’re waiting, take pains not to let any dust or debris settle on the drying cabinets. After the recommended dry time has elapsed, return to the cabinets and, for the smoothest-possible finish, sand the cabinets one more time (or lightly scuff them with steel wool). Remove the sanding dust, and once the cabinets are dry, apply the final sealer coat.

STEP 7
Re-hang the cabinet doors and put the knobs or pulls back in place (or seize the moment and install replacement hardware). Then stand back and relish the upgrade you’ve given to your old cabinets, and how, in turn, their new look has imbued the rest of the room with a new and exciting character.


INFOGRAPHIC: Your Everything Guide to Painting Prep

Nothing refreshes a home like a new paint job. Read on for helpful tips, tools, and prep ideas to help you make the most of your next painting project.

Few home improvement projects are as transformative as a fresh coat of paint. In fact, painting your own house—whether indoors or out—is one of the smartest upgrades any homeowner can accomplish on their own. But for a DIY paint project that looks truly professional, it pays to prepare the space by cleaning, scraping, patching, and sealing walls and trim.  Knowing the right way to prep will give any paint job a clean, seamless look and ensure your work will last for years. So before you get to started on your next project, check out these tips from the experts at DAP.

Painting Prep Infographic DAP

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This post has been brought to you by DAP maker of caulk, patch and prep products for all of your painting needs. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Bob Vila Radio: Painting Exterior Brick

For best results, painting brick requires proper preparation, never more than when it's being painted for the first time.

Keeping exterior brick masonry walls looking their best requires time and effort. When you paint, proper preparation is key. Here’s how to go about it.

Painting Exterior Brick

Photo: mymcmlife.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON PAINTING EXTERIOR BRICK WALLS or read the text below:

First, use a sandblaster to get rid of any flaked or peeling paint. Next, clean the brick using a solution of trisodium phosphate—TSP for short.

If the brick hasn’t seen a previous coat of paint, apply a masonry sealer. Oil-based, pigmented sealers work best, since they soak deeper into the brick. Apply the sealer using a long-nap roller in combination with an angled-sash brush. Make sure you fully seal the surface, including mortar joints.

Once the sealer’s dry, use a pole sander and medium-grit sandpaper to scuff-sand the wall. After that, you’re ready to paint. Choose a moisture-resistant masonry paint. A single coat is usually enough, but if you want to apply a second coat, scuff-sand the finish first.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.


Bob Vila Radio: For No-Hassle Decorative Painting, Use a Dual Roller

Whereas many other decorative painting techniques can only be mastered through experience, a dual roller brings unique, arty effects within reach for even novice do-it-yourselfers.

Want to add a designer touch to your next interior paint job? One option is to experiment with a dual roller, a tool that weaves together two colors of paint in unpredictable, arty ways.

Dual Roller Decorative Painting

Photo: amazon.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON DUAL-ROLLER DECORATIVE PAINTING or read the text below:

Dual rollers usually come as part of a kit that includes, besides the roller itself, a paint tray split down the middle to accommodate the different hues you’ve chosen to combine. To test the combination, it’s a good idea to first apply the roller to a large sheet of cardboard or, if you happen to have one, an extra panel of drywall.

Use diagonal strokes with the roller for best results. Less rolling produces more contrast between the colors; more rolling blends the colors. Roll as close to edges as possible, then use a trim brush and a sponge to blend the line.

If you compare the time, effort, and cost of wallpapering versus using dual-roller effects, it’s easy to see that, if you like the effects, dual rollers are the better deal. And perhaps the biggest plus is that if you don’t like the results you get with the dual roller, you can always just roll on another coat!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.

How To: Remove Paint from Brick

Tastes change and fashions change, so the white-painted brick that looked so great ten years ago may seem a little dated now. Though it's no easy feat to remove paint from brick, a determined DIYer can tackle the project with the right product ands enough time.

How to Remove Paint from Brick

Photo: shutterstock.com

If you’ve ever tried to remove paint from brick, you know that it can be a painstaking process. Depending on the scope of the job, it might take you several hours or several days to complete the work. Because of the time and effort involved, many homeowners are unable or unwilling to commit their schedules to the project and choose instead to hire professionals.

If, however, you’re dealing with only a modest expanse of brick, or if you relish a challenge, there’s some good news: Paint-stripping products have improved over the years, making the work friendlier to your health and to the brick itself. And these new, safer formulations are the way to go. You may be tempted to try a shortcut, possibly sandblasting or power-washing the paint, but this may do more harm than good, leaving the brick in a vulnerable condition. Many caustic chemical-based paint-removal solutions compromise brick in a similar way. If you remove paint from brick using any of these potentially damaging methods, you may end up with a problem that’s much more serious than paint.

Particularly if you’re dealing with old brick, it’s critical to remove paint by means of the method least likely to harm the material. Today, the best solutions are gel or paste compounds, followed by fabric-based peeling strips. The paint stripper triggers a chemical reaction that causes the paint to soften and adhere to the fabric. In the final step, the fabric strips are peeled away, taking the paint with them in the process and exposing the natural brick. Know what you’re getting into, though. The right paint stripper can do much of the work for you, but most situations call for a great deal of further scrubbing and/or scraping by hand.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Paint stripper
- Peeling strips
- Protective gear
- Drop cloths or plastic sheeting
- Painter’s tape
- Trowel, drywall knife, or similar
- Stiff-bristled brush

How to Remove Paint from Brick - Texture Closeup

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 1
Before applying paint stripper to the brick, it’s wise to test the stripper on an inconspicuous part of the installation. You may find that the stripper you’ve chosen does not work as well as expected, or you may discover the brick was painted to conceal its poor condition. Another good reason to start with a test: Doing so gives you a sense of how much effort the job is going to take. You may still opt to hire a pro, or you may decide, hey, maybe you can put up with the paint, after all!

STEP 2
No doubt about it, this is going to be messy. Minimize cleanup by setting up your work area in a thoughtful way. First, lay down a series of drop cloths or some thick plastic sheeting to catch the peeling and flaking paint that will fall away from the brick. Don’t forget to tape the drop cloth or plastic to the bottom edge of the brick. If you don’t want to disturb the finish of nearby painted areas—the adjacent wood trim, perhaps—take the time to cover it up completely with painter’s tape.

STEP 3
Don the protective gear recommended by the manufacturer of the paint stripper you’ve chosen. Before applying the gel or paste, start out by scraping away any paint that’s already loose. Next, using a trowel or a specialized tool provided by the paint stripper manufacturer, apply the compound to the brick. Be thorough, making sure to push the gel or paste into all the little crevices in the brick and mortar. Layer by layer, build the stripper up to the thickness recommended by the manufacturer.

STEP 4
With the compound in place, start positioning the peeling strips. Typically made of fabric, these strips should be pressed and held against the stripper until firmly attached. Overlap the strips so that no brick remains visible. Once the strips have been applied, let them set for the period of time stipulated by the manufacturer. In many cases, particularly when multiple paint layers are involved, it takes a full 24 hours for the compound to cure and really work its magic.

STEP 5
Once sufficient time has passed, return to the work area and begin lifting off the strips. If necessary, use the trowel to gain purchase behind any sluggish strips. Peel the strips in a slow and deliberate fashion; don’t rip them. As you peel, the paint beneath should come off too. Wherever the strips leave behind either compound or paint, use the trowel to flake off as much residue as possible. If the trowel doesn’t cut it, scrub with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse with water.

Dispose of the used strips according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For some products, the chemical reaction stops on its own, while for others it stops only after the addition of a neutralizing chemical. Also important: Do not attempt to remove paint from brick if, within a month or so, there’s any chance that the temperature is going to fall below freezing. If the brick doesn’t dry completely before the frost, it will be especially likely to succumb to damage.


Bob Vila Radio: Is This the End of Oil-Based Paint?

Health and environmental concerns aside, oil-based paint used to provide the best finish. But thanks to advancements in manufacturing, safer formulations now perform equally well, if not better.

For decades, if you wanted a smooth, resilient finish for a project you were painting, you would turn to oil-based paints. They adhered better than water-based paints, left fewer brush marks, and created a rock-hard finish.

Pros and Cons of Oil-Based Paint

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Listen to BOB VILA ON OIL-BASED PAINT or read the text below:

Balanced against the advantages of oil-based paints are a set of significant drawbacks, including long drying times and more difficult cleanup, not to mention health and environmental concerns.

Increasingly, consumers are choosing latex and acrylic paints instead of oil-based. So are they settling for a sub-par finish? Not anymore, it seems.

Paint producers have been fiddling with new additives that help water-based paints mimic the good qualities of their oil-based cousins, but without the health concerns. In fact, development of acrylic paints has progressed to the point where many products actually surpass the performance of oil-based. They’re generally less expensive too.

Bottom line: New water-based and acrylics combine the best of two worlds, and that makes them worth a serious look when you’re planning your next painting project.

Bob Vila Radio is a daily radio spot carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.