Questions About Painting Techniques

Q. My husband and I just bought our first house and are starting the painting this coming weekend. From past experiences I have had trouble when removing the painter's tape. Last time the painter's tape pulled the paint off the wall when removed. Why is that and how do I avoid it?

A. The easiest way to avoid tape pulling paint off is to not use tape. Learn to paint without it. It's not a tough as it sounds.

1. Use quality paint from a paint store. Avoid the cheap paints from the big boxes. Quality paint flows and covers better with less effort. Less effort translates into easier handwork.

2. Use quality tools. Quality tools hold more paint and release that paint to the surface better than cheap tools.

3. Search this forum for tips on cutting in by hand. The techniques have been covered several times. If you must use tape, remove it the same day. Retape the next day if applying another coat.

Q. I am going to be painting the interior of a big empty house and I am looking for the most efficient way to do it. I have brushed and rolled a lot, but think this would be a good project to spray. I think we are talking ten rooms and ten colors. Any thought on the pros and cons of both airless painting and painting using an air compressor? Also, is clean up of one device over another easier?

A. With an air sprayer, you would have to lug the compressor around; the airless sprayer is a smaller, more contained unit. Most painters these days prefer airless. If you use a siphon sprayer with your air compressor, you will need one with an external mix nozzle to spray latex. An airless sprayer is a better choice for painting indoors as they have a minimum of over spray.

There are two types. A high-pressure type that has a head pump and can generate over one thousand psi. A hose from the head unit goes into a bucket of paint and a long high-pressure hose goes to a sprayer. This is the type professional painters use. They are coming down in price for a homeowner model, or you may want to rent one.

The other kind that works on essentially the same principle is the small Wagner type airless. Honestly, you can put out a fair amount of paint with either airless type but you will have to use a very wide mask on the ceiling, wall and wall-floor moldings. A roller or brush would be better.

Q. I purchased a faux paint roller but have never seen what type of pattern it will give me when I paint. I am not sure how to apply the paint using it, and how to clean the roller after I use it.

A. Try your roller out first on a piece of poster board that has been painted on the shiny side with your base color of paint. Check out your roller. If the inside tube of the roller is made of plastic, you can drop your roller into a bucket of water after using it and leave it there for a couple of hours. Then rinse it. You will find that most of the paint has settled in the bottom of the bucket.

Q. Is red paint a really big problem?

A. It's only a hassle if it not done with the right steps. A dark red or gray primer is a must, and just assumes at least two coats after that, maybe even three. Use a good roller, at least 1/2 inch or 3/4 inches, and good brushes. Semi gloss or satin might be slightly harder to cover than a flat.

Q. I've just designed a saying, on tracing paper, for my wall. I need a way to transfer it to my wall. I will be painting it freehand (it is not a stencil). The paint I will be using will be more of a color wash, so the transfer will have to be light. The only thing I can think of is the old standby, pencil scribbled on the back. Does anyone have a better idea?

A. There are two ways to do this: The first is to use a projector that will display the image on the wall where you will then use a light pencil to mark in your outline. Depending on how big your original is, you can get one that can handle a 4 x 6 image for about $30.00 in a craft shop.

The other is to use a perforator, which is a device that looks like a small pizza cutter with closely spaced spikes. You trace the outline of what you want to paint on the original drawing with the perforator. You then tape the perforated sheet to where you want to paint and then dust the surface of the paper with colored powdered chalk.

When you remove the paper, the outline will be on the wall for you to further draw the outline of your subject. This is the method sign painters use to put hand painted logos on service vehicles.

Visit our Community Forums for more answers to your home improvement questions.