my Old Workshop

Pro painter tips to take the work out of painting

Painting can be a pain. But while you should never avoid proper preparation and application, you can save time.

It starts with the paint you choose. If ease of cleanup, smell and speed are important, you’ll want to choose water-based latex. Latex paint cleans up with soap and water, and it smells almost nice (although you should always make sure the room you’re painting is well-ventilated). It dries in anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, it can be re-coated the same day, and it’s non-flammable. Oil-based paints (alkyd), on the other hand, clean up with solvents, which shouldn’t be dumped in drains, they give off strong fumes, and they take longer to dry (you need to wait at least 8 hours for recoating). They’re also flammable.

(Having said that, oil paints have their place. They bond better to bare wood and previously painted smooth surfaces, they last a little longer, and they hold up to scrubbing better. And being non-permeable, they can act as a vapor barrier. Here’s how that can help. If you notice peeling or blistering paint on the outside wood of your house, it’s caused by moisture lifting the paint from underneath. By painting the inside wall with an alkyd primer or paint, you can help prevent moisture from finding it’s way out.)

A quick tip: You know that paint that collects along the groove in the top of the can? It can dry up and fall back into the paint, creating a problem later. Drive a nail through the groove in a few places to let excess paint drain back into the can.

More next time.