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painting hints and tips

Sealing a lid

How do you minimize the evaporation of paint or varnish that's kept in a store-bought can? With the lid on securely, turn the can upside down for just a second or two, then return the can right side-up. This coats the entire inside top surface of the can with a thin film, therefore, helping to seal the lid.

Another idea...

After your next paint job, wipe the paint can's lip, and lid clean. Close the lid tightly and store the can upside down. This old painter's trick keeps the air from entering the can and prevents a surface skin from forming on the paint.

Shelf life

Many stains, paints, and clear finishes have a limited shelf life. It's a good idea to label a half-empty can with the current date. Next time you need to use the finish, you will have a written record of how long it's been sitting on the shelf.

Use the right Paint

Interior and exterior paints are specifically manufactured for each purpose. Exterior paints are generally adequate for interior use, although the reverse is not necessarily, true. Do not use acrylic paint over enamel or varnish; it will not adhere.

Prep Tips

Use washable paints in kitchens and baths especially.
Before painting:
  • Clean surface, remove mildew with bleach.
  • Repair minor cracks with spackling compound.
  • Reset nail pops in drywall, then spackle and sand smooth.
  • Let surface dry thoroughly.
  • Sand woodwork, enameled or varnished surfaces.
  • Follow paint manufacturer's directions.

Instead of masking windows

Instead of using masking tape on windows, or worse yet, painting them and then using a razor blade to remove the paint on the glass, try this:
Cut newspaper into strips to fit the panes.
Dip them into water to get them wet
Stick them to the glass. (because they are wet they will stick)
After painting just peal them off, they come off with no fuss and no residue.

Paint Removal - Cleanup

In regards to latex paint removal, menthol hydrate or gas line antifreeze work very well.

For removal of dried oil base paints, you can use laquer thinner, but be careful, it can be harmful to some surfaces.
As always, try it in a hidden area first.

Thanks to Ron Baert a painter of 20 years experience.....

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