Archive for the ‘sundries’ Category

Scotch #2015 3 Day

November 7, 2008


Here we take a quick look at Scotch #2015 3 Day removal masking tape. This product works fine for the job that takes a few days to complete. I used it for masking off the baseboard for second coat and left the tape on for two days. I used Glidden EVERMORE Super Washable Flat paint and scored the tape prior to pulling it which is necessary when using EVERMORE Super Washable Flat due to its fast curing armor-like finish.


I taped a room 20×16 and removed the tape fine, mostly in one piece and left a clean painted edge. I would describe the adhesion as medium to high tack and the tape is rather thin. I did however have some trouble with tearing while pulling the tape off the roll, a common characteristic with thin tapes. The edges were fine and no damage or dents on the side of the roll found.


Do it Best Masking Tape

November 7, 2008


Lets take a look at the performance of Do it Best brand masking tape.

The application here is simple, to mask-off the baseboard for second coat of wall paint. The tape was applied over poplar trim finished with a varnish. I cut twice over the tape, once the first day, let dry and a second cut the next morning, let dry 2 hours and pulled the tape. The wall paint used was Glidden EVERMORE Super Washable Flat.


Thankfully I only used this tape in a few areas to try it out. As you can see on this short piece of trim I was unable to cleanly pull the masking tape without it tearing. The bridging was scored with a blade and still the tape tore easily on both attempts to pull from both ends. The tape did however seal down tight providing a very sharp clean painted edge. This tape has extreme tack and I paid $1.88 for this misery. The mil thickness is not known but I can say you can practically see through it.

3M Pro-Pad Sanding Sponge

November 1, 2008

Put down that sandpaper and grab one of these!

You may remember these 3M Pro-Pad Sanding Sponges under a different name, Glit Sanding Pads now with a new name and now made by 3M. When you want flexibility without sacrificing any bite, the 3M flexible Pro-Pads are very effective where other block style pads are not flexible. The flexibility of the sponge backing help reduce burn-out when sanding hard edges where hard block style pads can burn through the finish quickly and expose bare wood.


IMG_0632 The soft sponge backing is very pliable allowing squeezing into the tightest places. Available in a variety of grit abrasions 60, 80, 100, 150 etc., you can be sure to find the right one for your finish work. Perfect solution for sanding spindles, trim, casing and baseboard and a must for sanding oak trim. When sanding oak trim the sponge helps catches splinters so your fingers don’t.

More here on sandpaper.

Caulk. The act of caulking

October 16, 2007

Undoubtedly caulk is a one of the painter’s best mediums. The saying goes, caulk and paint will fix what a trim carpenter aint. Trim carpenters who do nice work can save a painter countless hours of preparation. I am very fortunate to work behind an excellent trim carpenter on our jobs, in the past I worked behind some of the worst; in the trade we call them hacks.

For example: we might use 4 or 5 tubes of caulk on an entire house with our current carpenter. A house of the same size with a careless trim carpenter may require over a case of caulk and all of our caulk is hand-laid.
So when, what, where and how?
We believe that any and all trim should be caulked where two pieces of wood meet or where the trim meets the wall. Even though a trim carpenter can install the casing tight to the door jamb, we believe that area should be caulked.
Here’s why, if we were to paint a casing without caulk that was installed properly with a tight fit (no gaps), that casing will generally be fine for the time being. All houses expand and contract, so while it might be tight today, it might not be in other months of the year. The other reason and it’s the main reason is shrinkage. In new home construction or any project that requires new wood materials, you will have shrinkage of the wood.

What caulk should I use? As far as painting goes, there is only one type of caulk, paintable acrylic with silicone and typically a 35 year caulk. NOT silicone caulk! We DO NOT use caulk to fill nail holes or imperfections in the wood.

When to apply caulk? On pre-primed trim we caulk between the two coats of finish. We simply do this because all our caulk is hand-laid and the first coat of paint allows our fingers to glide better over the surface, this method is best. On bare wood, we caulk after the primer coat is sanded and swept clean.

See also: Caulking TIPS

Putty & Fillers

October 11, 2007

DAP CRACKSHOT mixed with blue food coloring provides easy-to-see patches when it comes time to sand. This allows smooth feathering of edges while at the same time helps prevent missing areas that need sanded. This TIP may or may not require a primer to lock in the food coloring. Test a sample area first.

With countless methods and products available to prepare new trim for paint who’s to know which method produces the best finishes. We take a close look into various products for filling nail holes and repairing imperfections on the surface of trim to achieve a nice smooth finish. Painters all have their preference when in comes to filling nail holes on new trim. A few popular methods for filling nail holes are, nail putty, window glazing, wood filler, drywall mud, shrink-free spackling, sawdust and glue, whiting powder and oil based paint, even caulk to name a few.

The method of attack is solely based on the type of finish you desire. For every method mentioned previously, there are countless products available. For example nail putty in our area is sold by MinWax, DAP, Sherwin Williams, Color Putty brand, Crawfords to name a few but all perform differently. Nail putty is sold in oil-based and water-based formulas. It’s important to know which to use under various finish paint products. For example, you might think using a oil-based putty for oil-based paints is best, not true.

In fact, it’s the opposite. When an oil-based putty is used under oil-based paints, the nail putty leaves a shiny wet spot in the surface of the paint and takes months to dry out.

Paint contractors can not afford to wait the recommended drying period of up to 21 days for oil-based nail putty to cure prior to painting so we turn to other methods that allow us to produce quick turn around on finishes without much delay. There are many work-around methods to use oil-based putty under oil finishes. Some include using whiting powder or drywall dust to dry-out the oils in the putty with the idea of making the putty as dry as possible and still workable to fill holes with. While this method can work the putty still needs to skin over and overnight is best before applying the finish paint. Another method used in the field is filling with an oil-based putty and priming with an acrylic primer prior to applying an oil finish.

See also: Stainable Wood Fillers

Stainable Wood Fillers

August 31, 2007
For this little review we will be testing how well two wood fillers work. We are using MinWax and Elmer’s Wood Filler on pine then staining with MinWax English Chestnut. Using a plastic blade I applied both wood fillers and allowed to dry then sanded smooth. Photos were taken during the process.

It’s my opinion the Elmer’s Wood Filler worked nicer than the MinWax product. Both sanded easily and to a powder. I would prefer to be on the lighter side rather than a dark spot in the wood. If it was my job, I would use a custom blended wood putty rather than a filler. The color can be controlled easily with putty.

Patching nail holes

May 5, 2007

There are multiple options for filling nail holes. I will be using DAP DryDex Spackling & Nail Hole Filler which goes on pink and dries white for this How To. Another great DAP product is called CrackShot. In the past I wrote DAP about possibly making patch filler that dries another color other than white. The problem with it drying white is finding the many patches you made. The dried patch blends so well on pre-primed trim which is very popular in the new home market and remodeling projects.

A temporary work around is adding one small drop of food coloring to a sizable amount of patch. I squeeze out enough filler I know I can work with before it starts drying and add one small drop of coloring. This way the patch will show faintly over the white pre-primed factory primer when dry. The benefit of being able to see the patch is also to help prevent over sanding which can ultimately lead to re-patching if you sand too much off.

I prefer to use a nice flexible 1” and 3” blade. Start by squeezing a small amount of filler over or near the hole or area to be patched then press and motion the blade over the area. The goal on filling nail holes is to press enough filler into the hole that the filler puckers back out leaving a slight crown of filler above the surface. If you fill the hole flush, chances are depending on how deep the hole is, the filler may shrink leaving a slight swell and re-patching may be needed.
I will cover filling nail holes with nail putty in the next few days.

Sandpaper Time Saver

April 24, 2007
Here are the types of sandpaper I found over the years to save me time on the job. The Glit #150 extra fine works great for sanding sealer, between coats of acrylics, sanding spindles, drywall patches etc. The Glit #100 works great for sanding oil-based primer on poplar.

UPDATE: The Glit pads are now 3M Pro-Pad’s

Hermes J-Flex cloth back is an excellent paper for sanding bare wood prior to priming or staining, you’ll find other uses for it once you have some. J-Flex is a little on the pricey side but worth it to save time. J-Flex is sold in rolls. Hermes Abrasives
For the orbital sander I prefer Norton’s Gold P-150 for sanding dried latex paints on rework jobs, also works well on bare wood. Easily removes cured sags and runs.

2007 Worst Product Nominee

April 23, 2007

Don’t toss out those rusty metal pans just yet. Wooster Brush came out with the R410 polypropylene 3 quart pan and I finally had the opportunity to try it out today. While I was excited to toss out my metal pans for a six pack of new polypans, my excitement was short lived, the R410 is downright lame.

First off let me say there is a need for a deep-well polypan, no doubt. I want a set to replace my metal pans. Currently I use the R404 with my Jumbo-Koters and love it, excellent combo. But, this R410 is crazy bad. The ramp is designed similar to the R404 but the problem is the ridiculous steep drop-off. Click the photo to see it up close. I had trouble loading the cover, it took forever to get one nice load. I am used to the gradual ramp on the R405. So my question is this, if the R405 is perhaps one of the hottest pans out there, why not just copy it in poly? Is that too hard?

Rolling out of the R410 reminded me of rolling out of a 5 gallon bucket with one extra feature, a ramp but the concept doesn’t work. Don’t believe me? Go try one. I wasted so much time today dickin’ around with this pan.

Keep an eye on this blog, I just might take a torch to it to see if it can be tweaked to work like the R405 that I am so fond of, the pan that saves me tons of time on the job, the pan that allows me to roll crazy fast.

Paint contractors know the importance of time and we target all aspects of the job to save a little, it all adds up. This video shows one of those examples of saving time. This is how you load a roller and it better not take more than 3 secs. Don’t blink!

Radius 360º

April 20, 2007

The newest addition for sanding walls was introduced by Full Circle International last year. The Radius 360º features a full 9” diameter, die-cast aluminum head with wide pivot brackets that give the tool unique side-to-side, up and down, and circular mobility.

A common problem with the traditional sanding poles seen in the photo was flipping on the wall causing some pretty serious wall repairs if you were not careful. We’ve been using the 360 for some time now and it’s never been flipped.

Another very beneficial feature is the ability to attach most any extension pole so you can sand those 16’ high areas often seen from a loft upstairs. Holy smokes! What more can you ask for?
There is more, the ½” thick foam detachable disc forms to the wall far better than the rectangular designs which often only sand around the outer portion of the sanding pad. The Radius 360º sands much more evenly with less effort.

And if that wasn’t enough, the sanding pad sheets are hook and loop so swapping out a worn pad is a snap.

Cons: Does not fit below outlets and all the tight areas that the traditional pole sander can.