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The Best Techniques for Using Paintbrushes, Rollers and Paint Sprayers (page 2 of 2)

Learn the basic and best way to use common painting tools.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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What You Need to Know:

Using a Roller

Rollers apply paint over flat surfaces very quickly and easily. Several different sizes and sleeves are available. You should make sure you have the right kind of roller sleeve for the job. Rough roller sleeves can cope better with texture; smooth rollers are excellent for flat surfaces and applying paints with a sheen. Although you can apply most kinds of paint with a roller, solvent-based paint will be difficult to wash out. Rollers are not very accurate tools, so you will still need a brush to cut in to junctions and woodwork.

Pour paint carefully into the tray reservoir, keeping the paint below the point where the ribbed section of the tray begins (Image 1).

Push the roller along the ribbed section of the tray and then glide it over the paint surface — do not submerge it in the paint (Image 2).

Move the roller backward and forward slowly over the ribbed section to distribute the paint evenly over the roller sleeve (Image 3).

Apply the paint onto the surface in sections by rolling up and down, then "lay off" the paint with the roller (Image 4).

Using a Paint Sprayer

There are many variations of sprayers, so you should carefully check the manufacturer’s safety and operation instructions for the type you intend to use. Whether you are using a powerful compressed-air sprayer on a room or an aerosol can on a radiator, the aim is to build up several thin coats of paint. Spraying is a messy job, so sprayers are most useful in rooms empty of furniture and floor coverings, or for exteriors. When spraying paint you should always wear a mask and goggles, and any other specified safety equipment.

Pour paint into the sprayer reservoir (Image 1). Normal latex paint diluted with 10 percent water, or paint designed for spraying is used.

Assemble the sprayer following the manufacturer's instructions (Image 2).

Try spraying on a sheet of scrap paper or similar. Adjust the flow until you can achieve a fairly even coat with no drips. Turn knob to adjust flow (Image 3).

Spray back and forth over the surface. Apply a thin coat, allow to dry, then add more coats until you achieve good coverage (Image 4).

Using a Paint Pad

The most common design of paint pad is used in a very similar way to a roller. You can use a normal paint tray or a specially designed tray, some of which have a wheel to distribute paint evenly from the reservoir onto the pad.
Small pads are available for more detailed work. They can be used to cut in at a junction. Uneven surfaces are best finished using a brush to follow the slight contours. Cut in with a brush, then lay off the brush marks as close as you can to the junction using the pad.

Dip the pad into the paint held in the reservoir, then move it across the ribbed section of the tray to remove the excess (Image 1).

Apply paint to the wall surface with an up-and-down motion (Image 2). The pad should create a very even coat without the need for laying off.

Disposing of Paint Safely

To thoroughly clean tools that were used with water-based paints, you need a large amount of water. The waste water must go into the sewer system.

Mineral spirits or thinners used to clean up oil-based paints, and old paint cans, must be disposed of as advised by your municipality, often at a recycling facility. Always try to use up oil-based paints to avoid having to manage disposal issues.

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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