my Old Workshop

Pro painter tips to take the work out of painting (part II)

Paint a room in this order: ceiling, door and window trim, walls, then baseboards. Here’s why.

It’s hard to avoid some splatter on walls when painting the ceiling, but no big deal if you’re painting the walls afterward.

And while some recommend painting trim last, it’s much easier to cut-in to the edges of door trim than painting the outside edge of trim without messing up the wall. You shouldn’t need to mask this trim, but if you prefer to, that’s easier than masking the wall.

Baseboards are another animal. It’s tough to keep wall paint from getting on baseboards without masking, so paint them last, and use a plastic edger to get a clean line. Cut a rectangular section out of a plastic liquid container, and hold the straightedge where baseboard meets wall.

Windows made easy

Masking all that window glass is a pain, so here are some quicker methods. Holding your plastic edger against the glass, you can paint quickly without messing up the glass. Or wipe a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the outer edge; the jelly protects the glass from paint, yet wipes off easily after the paint’s dry. (Leave a hairline crack along the edge, so paint bonds with the glass.) If you do spatter paint on glass, let it dry, and scrape it off gently with a knife or scraper.

If you’re painting again in the next day or two, don’t bother cleaning your brushes. Seal them in plastic bags and hang them up or lay them flat. Or stick a dowel through the hole in the handle, and suspend them in thinner or water.