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Advice from Paint Professionals: How to Achieve the Best Painting Results

(MS) Whether you are in the process of selling a home, renovating an existing home or just trying a different decorating scheme, painting the walls is one of the least expensive ways to create a new look. The experts offer you the following painting tips.

You should have all your paint supplies gathered and ready to use.

The surface to be painted should always be clean and dry. Any rough spots should be sanded and primed. You should also consider priming if you are painting over wallpaper or a very dark paint color.

Step One - Cutting In. “Cutting in” is the art of drawing a straight line separating two colors using only the brush -- no masking tape or other aid. You often see it at the edge between a wall and ceiling or when you are painting around a door or window. Cutting in is easy if you use a high-quality paint brush and follow these simple rules:

1. Fully load the brush with paint.

2. Place the brush parallel to the area to be cut, push the bristles against the surface and let the brush open up into a semi oval. Then move it into the line you are cutting. Follow the line until the line of paint begins to break up. Repeat.

If you are not comfortable cutting in with a brush, you can always use special painters tape to ensure you get a straight line.

Step Two - Painting the Surface. You have two options for painting a substantial surface area; use a large 4-inch to 6-inch flat brush or a 9-inch roller cover and frame.

If you decide to use a brush, the best way to load a paintbrush is to dip the brush about an inch or two into the paint and then gently tap the brush against both sides of the paint can. Don’t wipe the brush against the side of the paint can; it will cause paint to dry up on the brush and the lip of the can, creating dry paint balls that end up in the paint and on the substrate.

First, begin painting along the edges you have cut in. Use short strokes to spread the paint evenly along the border or edge. After you have thoroughly covered an area, use longer strokes to smooth any lines that may have developed. Continue to paint in this manner.

Using Roller Covers: Most professionals prefer to use roller covers for large wall surfaces. To load the roller, pour paint into a paint tray or pan. Dip the roller about half of the way into the paint and roll it along the grooves of the pan to load. Then, dip the roller half way into the paint and again roll back along the grooves of the pan to load. Repeat this process two more times until the roller is saturated with paint.

Begin rolling the wall by creating a “v” shape. Fill the shape and roll smoothly from top to bottom. If the roller cover was loaded properly, a 9” x “ roller cover should offer about 6 to 12 square feet of coverage from each dip. Professional painters also use rollers on extension poles to quickly and easily paint walls and ceilings.

If you need to stop in the middle of a project, be sure to complete the wall you are working on to achieve the optimum result.

Last modified Oct. 1, 2008

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