Say No to Cheap Paint and Wallpaper Tools

I just cringe at the very sight of cheap painting tools mainly because the old saying that a bad workman always blames his tools is wrong. You simply cannot do as good a job with cheap tools as with good ones.

I am always asked, "How come you don't get paint sprinkled all over your hair and how can you paint such straight lines without taping?" My standard answer is 25 years of experience and expensive tools.

Don t waste your time or money getting one of those painting kits with tray, frame, roller cover and brush for $5.99. This will probably not be the last time in your life you paint something, so get decent stuff, clean it afterwards and it will last you for years. I have figured a good lambskin roller cover lasts me through at least 50 gallons of paint, and I usually keep a brush for at least a year before it starts wearing out. For about $40.00 you can get a painting setup that can literally last you for a lifetime of regular homeowner use.

First, forget the old paint tray. Those things are unwieldy, messy and a waste of time. For about $5.00 you can buy a five-gallon bucket (which has myriad other uses) and a roller grid, which can be used multiple times. Hook the grid over the edge of the bucket, pour in your paint and away you go.

Cheap roller frames are often flimsy and too flexible. The roller cover keeps coming off, or paint gets inside the roller and dribbles out as you work. This is annoying and messy. Spend the extra few dollar to get a halfway decent roller frame.

I rarely use anything but real lambskin roller covers. Most building-supply stores carry them, as do all real paint stores. Expect to pay about $10.00 for one. These covers carry twice the paint, making less work for you. They don't leave roller marksm they don't sprinkle paint everywhere like cheap synthetic ones and they leave a much nicer finish without little fibers all over your paint job.

Look for Purdy, Corona or Wooster brushes, or buy the better-quality ones from a paint store. A good brush holds much more paint, lays out a smooth, even-flowing line and leaves a smoother finish. Screw a little hook or small nail into the wood just above the ferrule (the metal part) so you can hook the brush over the edge of the paint bucket in between uses. This way you won t have to leave it drying out, or ruin the bristles by resting it inside the bucket.

To keep painting tools from drying out while on the job, forget about wrapping brushes in grocery sacks or tinfoil, storing them in the freezer, or any of that nonsense. It doesn't work. For breaks or even overnight, hang your brush in the five-gallon bucket with your paint and roller. Cover the whole bucket with a large trash bag, tucking it under so air doesn't get in. You can leave your setup for a week without it drying out like this.

And of course, clean all tools properly and let them dry out before storing them.

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