Wednesday, June 1, 2016

You know this right? About house-painting supplies



Among other things, I'm painting the back of the house this week. Just the part that's visible from the deck. When our French doors were installed, there was a bunch of work done on the exterior that now needs painting. Anyways, this is a weeklong job.

Washing out brushes is one of my least favorite parts of house painting. But when I have a week-long painting job, I only wash my brush once per color, over the course of the entire week.


I wrap my brushes, rollers, stir sticks and paint tray in plastic, to store it for a couple of hours, or overnight. I use kitchen plastic wrap, tightly over each brush or roller, then overwrap in a couple of plastic bags. For paint trays, I seal the tray, tightly with plastic wrap. This keeps the paint from drying out, between painting sessions, without having to wash equipment each time I'm ready to paint.  It saves me time, and makes the job of painting less daunting, so I'm more likely to attempt these projects.

24 comments:

  1. Wow, great tip, Lili. I wish it would work for us. We have such a dry climate, we usually can't paint more than three hours outdoors without having to wash our brushes in order to continue. It really DOES add a lot of time to a painting project, so not having to wash for a week would be amazingly wonderful! Good luck on your painting project!!! Sara

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    1. Hi Sara,
      You might be able to extend painting time by adding some floetrol (as YHF mentioned below) to the paint. The washing up is the part I dread. But If I can get an entire paint color on with one wash, it's not so bad.
      Thanks! I think it's going well, and the weather is finally cooperating.

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    2. You mentioned brush cleaning, below. We have a metal spike comb and a wire brush sort of thing which are both helpful in cleaning (under a hose where we are). The spiky comb is DANGEROUS, though. Very sharp! I use new toilet brushes for a few jobs, too; but I don't know if one would get through our brushes the way the metal and wire ones do. Hmm... will have to think about that! Interesting idea! :) Sara

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  2. To keep for less than an hour, I usually wrap or drape a wet towel around the brush or open can of paint, that helps keep the paint from drying out. But never thought of using plastic wrap to keep from cleaning the brush for a week!! Hmmm....that's interesting, never tried it.

    Some painters like to soak their brushes in cleaner solution several times a day, and change their brush often as they paint to keep a nice wet edge and to preserve their brushes' condition. We usually wash our brushes thoroughly at least daily. I felt that was stretching it a bit, and the reason why we needed new brushes every few years. If kept clean, I read that a good brush should last almost forever. Rollers, we keep in the freezer, after washing out the paint. Keeps for years without hardening.

    YHF

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    1. That "cleaner solution" may have been a paint additive like Floetrol. That's what I would like to have used myself when we were on jobs, but that ups the cost so we just suffered without.

      YHF

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    2. YHF, we add floetrol to the semi-gloss for trim and furniture painting. It allows the paint to level off and give a smooth finish. But I've heard it's mostly used to add to sprayers.

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    3. Hi YHF,
      have you ever frozen the roller with paint on, and wrapped in plastic? I did this a few times when I was painting the interior of our house, many years ago. I read about that online, and it did work for me. Washing rollers is even more time-consuming than brushes.
      I think I will also try dipping the brush into floetrol a couple of times in the day, if I have a super-long painting day. I was painting in direct sun for most of yesterday, so I could only take 30-40 minutes at a time, then I'd wrap my brush and take a break.

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    4. You, know, YHF, I think the value of adding to the cost of a painting job by using Floetrol all depends on the nature of the painting job. It's not cheap stuff, but if I can get a near-pro paint look on the trim, doors, cabinets and furniture that I paint, I figure I'm saving us a fortune over hiring a professional. With the walls it doesn't matter as much, so I never add any to interior wall paint.
      I'd never thought of it as adding to the life of the brushes, so that's a good thing to know. Thanks! And I like the idea of draping a wet rag over the brush or can. Do you have any tips for resealing a can to save the paint for a couple of years?

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    5. Ooops...I should have explained myself better. I have never kept our paint brushes in Floetrol as this was what I was thinking I would like to do but seemed cost prohibitive for our type of work, hardly professional...really I don't know how we survived doing work when we were not trained "in the trade", but managed to make a living for over 20 years. But I observed "professional" exterior painters working alongside us on jobs, and they would constantly changeup their brushes. They kept all their brushes in a bucket of "cleaning solution" and dipped their brush full of paint into the bucket and took out a brush that was sitting in the solution, just shaking it out a bit before using. I assumed it wasn't a brush cleaning solution since they didn't wash the brush before using. Of course they must have had one bucket dedicated per paint color, and I assumed it must have been an additive like Floetrol. Hope I'm making myself clearer lol

      We keep paints in old jars and laundry detergent spout tubs. Seems to keep better than in the original cans. Keep the label too, since knowing the brand and sheen is critical to buying more paint for touchups.

      YHF

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    6. We wash the paint from the rollers before freezing for long term storage. Sometimes we're so lazy we leave the roller in the paint bucket overnight, with just enough paint or twist tie the entire painting tray in a garbage bag.

      YHF

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    7. Anything that helps remove paint completely will extend the life of the brush. You just don't want paint to harden before you have a chance to thoroughly clean the brush.

      YHF

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    8. Hi, YHF--
      What a fount of useful knowledge you are today. I was interested in Live and Learn's tips as well.
      I use a brush over a roller on any application where I can, and we have good quality brushes that are years (almost decades) old. I watch my brush carefully for drying or getting too close to the ferule (? the metal part); and if it looks like either thing is happening, I wash, just on general principles.
      Actually, about three hours is my limit for one sitting anyway, to be able to do it again the next, now that I'm old. So this works out fine.
      We'll keep all the great ideas in mind, though, as we have some painting to do. Take care-- Sara

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    9. Yes, I'm careful about cleaning that part of the brush nearest the metal band, the name escapes me too. But I read in cleaning brushes, it is best to keep the brush faced down, pressing to spread the bristles, rather than facing it up to running water, because that would allow paint to dry inside the metal band. When that happens the brush is useless.

      Take care too!!

      YHF

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  3. I put my brushes in a plastic bag and then put them in the fridge. If it's going to be a few days, I put them in the freezer. Works like a charm every time. This way you don't have to worry about wrapping them just right. I've even come back weeks later to the freezer, and after they thawed out, the brushes have been good.

    Another tip, put a little liquid fabric softener in the water you are cleaning the brushes with. It helps remove the paint from the bristles better than just soap and water.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      yes, this is what we've done with the rollers (when I was painting interior walls, over the course of a month). But in our freezer, I do have to wrap them well, as the fan circulates the dry freezer air and when left a long time, they did dry out a little.
      I'll try that with the fabric softener. Thanks! Also, to clean the brushes, I use a scrubbing brush (it's actually a toilet brush from Dollar Tree) to pull any dried paint off of the bristles. It cleans up the bristles nicely.

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    2. Yes, Live and Learn, I also wrap mine in a plastic grocery bag and into the freezer where it stays good for a long time.

      I hope to never have to paint but I am seeing some places that could use it, yuck, not my thing.

      Alice

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    3. My hubby uses your trick. I'm with Alice--if I can get someone else to do the painting, I will! Bleah!

      Alice ... I got eggs for 49 cents/dozen at Aldi yesterday ... I thought of you when I made my purchase. Hope your prices are similar.

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    4. Kris,
      thanks for mentioning Aldi's price on eggs. I've noticed a trend, here. Your reduced egg prices precede ours in the PNW by about a week. I checked Cash & Carry right after reading your comment, and if I buy a 15 dozen case this week, I'll pay 59 cents per dozen, which could be about the lowest.

      Painting is not my favorite task, either. But I am the most willing, and I think I'm the tidiest at it. I always clean up my spills and drips.

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  4. I've done the brushes and rollers in the fridge trick after reading it somewhere online and it works well. I hadn't heard of putting plastic wrap over the paint tray though - will have to try that next time.

    This discussion is timely since I need to finally finish up painting some interior and exterior trim. And Lili, you'll have to share some pics when you're all done with your project!

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    1. Hi Kathryn,
      Yes, seal the plastic wrap really well, and your painting tray will keep for several hours to overnight. It's not much different than storing paint for use again, after opening a can.
      This does seem to be the time of year for house-painting. Good luck with your painting projects! I'll post a photo or two, soon!

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    2. Would love to see your new french doors. We can't decide on sliding or french doors for one of our bedrooms facing the lanai. Did you install the doors yourselves?

      YHF

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    3. YHF, we hired someone to install them. We are just smart enough to know what we can and cannot do, ourselves. I've got a post still locked between two ears, when I'll show you how they look. I'm super thrilled with how they look. We have one slider left, and may someday replace that one with a smaller French door pair. I'm still thinking on that. With French doors, you have to consider their swing. Do you have interior or exterior room for them to swing open? That's the huge advantage to a slider. No room needed for the swing. Ours have an in-swing, which limits furniture placement inside. But I believe my sister in So. Cal had out-swing doors installed. Good luck in the selection!

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    4. We are the opposite lol....dumb to try everything ourselves. I guess we don't value our home as much as we should....in fact I don't want to spend too much on maintenance or improvement, since for us the value is more in the land than the structure. We need a door for fire safety reason, but in doing so, I would consider functional aesthetics as well. Thank you for the heads up about the door swing. I would like it to swing out, definitely, since space in the bedroom is limited. We installed a single french style door to the garage, and that swung in....hmmm I'm definitely going to hold out for an out-ty.

      YHF

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    5. YHF, not dumb. Perhaps you and your husband have more skill,strength, and tools, to do these sort of things. My husband and I don't. Good luck with this project. Is this a new door to the lanai, where none existed before? If it is, not only will it make the room more beautiful, it will also increase your enjoyment of the bedroom space, by extending it onto the lanai. Life in paradise. Am I ever envious!

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.