Archive for January, 2009

Painting rooms 101

January 16, 2009

Copyright 2005 -


I am a first time home owner and I plan on painting some rooms. I’d like help from you. Can you provide the dos and don’ts and gotcha’s I have to look out for.

1. What brand of paint should I go for? Big home improvement store or a local paint store?
2. What types of brushes will I need and how many?
3. What other tools should I arm myself with?
4. How many coats of paint is right to get the right shade?

thanks in advance


Hello Ryan,

1) There is no right answer for home improvement store paint or local paint store. The fact is this… each company makes one of two great products and everything else generally performs the same with the exception of the Zinsser Company. Zinsser makes all great products but more geared towards specific applications and a wide range of primers and sealers. There are good products sold at both places but few. You may be able to find the exact product at both places.

Paying $30-$40 or even $50 for a gallon of paint does not mean it is quality paint at all. You would be surprised. One of my favorite wall paints is sold at a box store and that same product is re-labeled and sold at a paint store, two separate prices. Obviously, I opt to save money.

2) You want one or two paint brushes for painting walls in bedrooms and around the interior of a home. A quality nylon/polyester blend is suitable for most acrylic paint. Choose a 2.5” angular sash brush and a 3” flat paint brush for cutting ceiling lines and longer runs like the top of baseboard. I suggest a brush without flagging. Choose a paint brush that is chisel tipped and tapered for a sharp, clean accurate cut.

3) You might want to purchase a 5-in-1 tool, it will come in handy throughout the year. You will need plastic or drop clothes or both, masking tape and rags.

The list:

Step ladder, deep-well roller pan, a 5 wire heavy gauge steel roller frame, an 2’ – 4’ extension pole will save you time and reduce fatigue and get you up to 9’ ceilings. Use a quality white woven roller cover. I recommend a 1/2” or 3/8” roller cover for smooth to lightly textured walls. A single edge break-away razor for scoring the masking tape prior to pulling the tape off the trim and molding. You may need a hammer to remove nails and some spackling or drywall mud and a knife to spread it with to repair any imperfections.

4) Most paint covers good in 2 coats so I would at least plan for that. The more intense wall colors often require 3-4 coats and sometimes more and some require a specific primer. Ask the representative at the place of purchase how many coats should the paint cover in.

Do not purchase cheap inexpensive roller covers, expect to pay close to $5 for one. Almost all roller covers shed fibers but the white woven covers shed the least if at all. Purchase a brush that will last throughout the years. Take care of it. A quality brush will save you time and make painting a whole lot easier.



Painting walls Red

January 16, 2009

ICI Color Pallet

Painting walls red is the most difficult range of color to get nice solid coverage.

Here are a few painting tips on how to get the best solid coverage when painting shades of red.

First, the quality of paint has little to do with coverage when it comes to painting red. The term ‘quality’ and ‘professional’ are two loosely used words in this industry. It would be foolish of me to tell you to go out and buy a quality paint because what defines quality?

Do you think you are going to pick up two gallons of paint at the paint store and compare labels and make a decision? No, you most likely wont and good luck having the store representative tell you why a particular paint is better than another.

Second, we want to take a look at the paint chip and determine if your particular color requires a tinted primer to be applied to the walls first. Often a shade of gray primer is required under many shades of red.

SW 6869 StopOn a Sherwin Williams paint deck or color pallet, the color chip will have a P printed  above the color number. The P indicates optimum color results are achieved using the designated Color-Prime system.


ICI Crimson RedOn an ICI Paints Color Pallet its not as easy to quickly determine if a gray primer is required. The ICI Color Pallet has each color broken down into 3 parts. The first portion is the HUE, for example looking at the color Crimson Red #31YR 10/591, the HUE is 31YR, the Light Reflective Value (LRV) is 10 and the last portion is Chroma, 591.

Hue: The color family

LRV: The lightness or darkness of the color. The higher the number the lighter the color.

Chroma: The intensity of a color. The higher the number, the more intense the color.

Here is a fair rule-of-thumb. A gray primer is likely recommended for any Chroma value over 450. An ICI Store representative can assist you with the shade of gray to use.

This is what you need

You want to use a quality white woven roller cover, not any yellow or green colored covers – generally speaking. Do not be afraid to spend $5 for a single cover. This is not an area to skimp on. White woven roller covers are white in color and are more tightly woven providing a smoother more solid finish. White woven covers generally shed the least if any at all so you should avoid getting fuzzies in the paint.

Use a 3/8” roller cover for smooth walls and a 1/2” cover for slightly textured surfaces.

DO NOT use Lambs wool roller covers for intense wall colors.

This is how I recommend painting red colors.

When you are ready to paint, do not cut or trim anything in first. Simply pull out a roller pan, fill it with red paint and start rolling as tightly as you can to everything. If you use masking tape, then you should roll very close to everything. You  may even want to roll horizontally near the ceiling to get closer. Allow the first rolled coat to dry before you cut or trim it in.

Now that your first coat of red is dry, you can start cutting-in the areas you were not able to get with a roller. Allow to dry.

For your second coat, you want to cut-in first and allow it to dry before you roll the second coat.

If your red requires a third coat (likely) then again, wait until the walls are dry, and start painting the edges first and then roll.

Some paints will allow you to backroll and others will not. Back rolling is best described by rolling an area and before you get too far down the wall, you go back to where you started and lightly re-roll that area without adding more paint to the wall. The trick is to allow the paint to set-up a bit and then lightly pass the roller cover over it again.

To determine if your paint will allow you to do this, simply roll a small area behind a door and wait a few minutes and then lightly re-roll it. If the area looks worst than before you backrolled, then your paint is best left rolled and left to dry. Meaning, don’t go back over it until its dry.

More painting tips & techniques on my other site.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

January 16, 2009

cabinet_001Painting kitchen cabinets is an inexpensive way to make your kitchen cabinets look like new again.

In the days ahead I am going to cover all aspects of refinishing kitchen cabinets.

Berger’s Paints & Finishes

January 14, 2009

zoo part1 048I snapped this photo a few years back at the Cleveland Zoo. Click for larger view.