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lorilori
messy painting

Well, I thought I was a fairly good painter...However, my beautiful 72 year old house with original trim tells another story! I guess all my other projects involved painted trim! Any tips on cleaning up the little edges that bleed under the paint tape on the trim and straightening up the cove ceiling edge? Thanks!

abrown
Re: messy painting

Nothing sucks worse that painters tape that fails. I have no idea what type of paint that you were using ( water or oil base) but the best thing to do is to get it off your trim before it fully cures. I am guessing your trim is stained and finished. If you used waterbase paint you might be able to take a plastic razor blade and get the bulk of the paint off or if is just a little take a rag soaked in really hot water and rub to get the rest of it off. For fine detail ares you can take the rag and wrap it over the blade of a putty knife and use the sharp edge of the putty knife to force the rag in tight areas. If your trim is finished with high gloss finish you have to be carefull what you try to get oil base paint off with because you will dull the finish, if your trim is not high gloss you can try a rag with paint thinner, lighter fluid or goof off on it. Do not rub hard on the finish it may take 10-15 seconds before you see the paint starting to break down, if you rub really hard you could destroy the finish on your trim

BigWalt
Re: messy painting

My2¢... I have used local hardware store and house painter’s tapes and they are horrible.

Now I use auto body shop masking tape / painter tape. They're the best on the market. The bad part about it.....don't leave it on for more than a day or two because they're SOB to remove.
.:mad:

By the way, you can buy it from auto body / paint supply stores. Look in the phone book, you'll find them.

One more thing, if you see "auto body tape" inside local auto parts store.....run away...they're not the same if you buy from auto body /paint supply store.....trust me on that....I've been doing this for years.

A. Spruce
Re: messy painting
BigWalt wrote:

My2¢... I have used local hardware store and house painter’s tapes and they are horrible.

Tape and roller/brush painting are a bad combination, PERIOD! It only works if you know how to do it, even then results are mixed. The best advice is to use a good quality brush such as a Purdy or Baker. A sash brush (angled bristles ) works the best for detail painting.

BigWalt
Re: messy painting
A. Spruce wrote:

Tape and roller/brush painting are a bad combination, PERIOD!

That might be the truth but I do have good results with auto body tape...:p:D

Quote:

It only works if you know how to do it, even then results are mixed. The best advice is to use a good quality brush such as a Purdy or Baker. A sash brush (angled bristles ) works the best for detail painting.

I agree with paint brush but not many people know how to use correct brush.

A. Spruce
Re: messy painting

What works better than tape is a flat metal edge, such as a drywall taping knife. You move the edge along as you are painting, cleaning the edge as necessary as well as cleaning up any bleeding that occurs before it has a chance to set. Fresh latex will wipe right off with a wet rag.

kentvw
Re: messy painting

I ain’t no painter.

But I was recently accused of being Anal Retentive, OCD and just wayyyyyyyyyyy too type “A”.

Anyway, I like to learn new things, do them well and do them right.

I work in “the trades” and I like to know the tricks of other trades.

I met a painter years ago who taught me a bunch of painter secrets.

One of those “tricks” was to shoot a bead of “painter’s latex” into all joints were wall meets wall or ceiling or wood work. A small bead cleaned off with a finger and cleaned up with a water soaked and rinsed rag.

This gives a defining line to cut-in your paint to.

A. Spruce
Re: messy painting
kentvw wrote:

I ain’t no painter.

But I was recently accused of being Anal Retentive, OCD and just wayyyyyyyyyyy too type “A”.

Anyway, I like to learn new things, do them well and do them right.

I work in “the trades” and I like to know the tricks of other trades.

I met a painter years ago who taught me a bunch of painter secrets.

One of those “tricks” was to shoot a bead of “painter’s latex” into all joints were wall meets wall or ceiling or wood work. A small bead cleaned off with a finger and cleaned up with a water soaked and rinsed rag.

This gives a defining line to cut-in your paint to.

I too subscribe to the "bead of caulk" theory, however as suggested above, if the trim is stained against a painted wall, then the caulk thing doesn't work quite as well. I have purposely waited for the original poster to add commentary before delving into the caulk zone vs. cutting in methodology.

lorilori
Re: messy painting

Thanks everyone! The original poster is overwhelmed!
I've never heard of painters caulk but look forward to the "caulk vs. cutting" commentary. I suspect, however, if it's anything like the caulk I tried to do on my tub, I'll need more practice before attacking the dining room! I've tried a straight edge before, though not with this project, and not had much luck. I've also not heard of auto paint tape but that's an interesting option. I still have 3 rooms, two stairwells and a hallway to go so perhaps I can try all your tips and figure what works best for me.
A little more detail: it is the original trim: gum wood that I don't believe has had anything done to it since the original stain and varnish (or whatever they did in 1936). Also, the coved ceiling does not have the edge that others I've seen have. It is just smooth to the wall. I'm using a latex paint from my local hardware and a Purdy angled brush. Also, this is a project that was started by well-meaning, but messier than I, friends some time ago while I was at work. So, I've old mess and my new mess.

A. Spruce
Re: messy painting

Ok, the caulking trick is to put a small bead of caulk in the corner of whatever you're trying to paint. The caulk fills any gaps or roughness in wall texture and gives a "glossy" smooth surface for the paint brush to glide on. When the brush doesn't have to get into pits and pockets, it can release it's paint quickly and cleanly with fewer strokes, making painting faster and easier and the finished product more professional. Painters caulk is a latex caulk that is very easy to use, though as will all caulk, it takes a bit to get the hang of the application technique. I would say that by the time you get to the end of a 10' wall that you should be caulking like a pro if you follow these few simple tips.

  1. Cut a small hole at an angle in the end of the tube 1/8" or less in diameter.
  2. Use a good quality caulking gun. If you're not sure what that is, go to a paint dealer (not Home Cheapo ) for advice on what the pro's are using. A good gun is not necessarily an expensive gun, but there are features that make all the difference.
  3. With latex caulk, have a wet rag with you. You want the rag soggy, but not dripping, don't wring it dry or it won't be of much use.
  4. When applying the bead, use a small, continuous bead. Don't worry about trying to fill all the gaps with the first application, the key here is to use small amounts of caulk. Only apply caulking for as far as you can comfortably reach.
  5. Wet your finger on the rag and then press it into the caulk and drag it along with a slight pressure. Don't allow the caulk to build up on your finger, if it does, stop, wipe it on the rag, and continue. Take short strokes to prevent build up on your finger. When you're done, go back to the beginning and pull your finger along in one fluid stroke.
  6. Always lift your finger while in motion. This prevents the caulk from sticking to your finger and pulling out of the joint or having pull marks.

Painted surfaces against stained material, such as the trim you described, you can use a clear, paintable caulk ( NO SILICONE ). The nice thing here is that normally stained trim isn't caulked to the wall because you'd see the caulk. By using clear, anything that gets on the stained material will be invisible, the gap and wall will get painted, making the transition between the wall and trip seamless.

If you don't want to caulk stained trim, still no biggie. You simply load your brush as described in a previous post and place it 1/4" or so away from the trim. In one motion apply pressure and start your stroke. As the bristles bend you use motion and wrist position to guide the bristles up to but not touching the trim and continue your stroke. Because of the texture on the wall you'll likely have to stroke in both directions. To do that, make your first stroke and stop, lifting the brush while in motion. Now turn the brush around and stroke back in the other direction. This will fill the pits and pockets from both sides. At this time you will clean up any goof marks with a damp rag - not soggy, but not wrung dry either. Cleaning up wet paint is far easier than going back after it has dried. If you slip and take paint off the wall you can carefully retouch that spot, no biggie.

Now, if you're doing two different sheens of paint OR different colors of paint, you'll use the same technique described above, only you'll want to paint the smallest surface first because it's more difficult to get the paint where it's needed without getting it everywhere else too. If the paints you're using are just different sheens (gloss/semi-gloss on trim, flat on wall ) then the excess paint can be left to dry. If using different colors, then the color should be cleaned up as much as possible and allowed to dry completely before continuing with the second color on the larger surface. The second color will be cut in in the same manner described above.

That's all there is to it. As with the caulking, painting is a learned technique. It won't take any time at all to develop a style and rhythm that works for you and produces professional results. You've already got a good brand of brush, as long as it's taken care of it should provide many years of service.

A. Spruce
Re: messy painting

A bit on brush use and maintenance. While using the brush, don't let paint get all the way up to the ferrel (metal band ) because it will be difficult to clean and as the dried paint builds up it will deform the bristles. Never leave paint in a brush, not even over night. It's quick and easy enough to wash and will prevent dry paint from building up in and on the bristles. After washing leave the bristles a bit wet, reform them to a nice point and hang the brush to dry so that water will drain away from the ferrel and handle.

Dried paint build up is inevitable and it's easily removed by soaking the brush in lacquer thinner. The lacquer thinner will soften and dissolve latex, then carefully use a wire brush to work the paint from the bristles. Follow up by washing in warm soapy water, rinse well, reform bristles and hang to dry. You'll also find that errant bristles will curl or get bent out of shape. These strays can be trimmed with a pair of scissors.

Now on to using masking tape. The problem with using tape is exactly what you've described, paint bleeds under the edge and usually is dried by the time you get the tape off, making clean-up difficult to impossible. You have to be careful of the types of tape you use because if they're too sticky they'll pull the paint from whatever they're stuck to, even painters tape (the blue stuff ) will pull paint if left for several days. Tape should be applied, painting done, and the tape removed as soon as possible. If you absolutely must use tape, then proper technique in painting will minimize bleeding.

  1. Always draw your brush from the surface of the tape OFF the edge and away. Never draw the brush towards the tape because the edge will act like a knife and scrape the paint off the brush, forcing it under the edge of the tape.
  2. Use a relatively dry brush. Great dripping gobs of paint will pool and flow under the tape, a dry brush will minimize the amount of paint available to make a mess.
  3. In instances such as yours where you're cutting in trim, take the time to press the tape firmly to the wall along the cut-in line. Again, it's imperative that you use a relatively dry brush to minimize bleeding.
  4. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet. This prevents the paint from drying and sticking to the tape and pulling off, it also allows clean up of any bleeding while the paint is still wet.

If at all possible, I'd recommend using a shield such as a dry wall knife over taping. The shield can be cleaned quickly and easily as it's moved along. The same "dry brush" is used with a shield for the same reasons as is used with tape.

Finally, your problem of dried paint on your stained trim. First, try using mineral spirits (paint thinner ) on a paper towel or white rag (colored rags will impart their color ) and gently rubbing the area. It should soften latex enough to remove it. If that doesn't work, then you might try Goof-Off, but first try it in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't mar the stain/varnish.

The best cure for dried paint splatter is prevention and clean up before the paint has had a chance to dry. This is where improving your cut-in technique and doing away with tape will be of great value.

Hope some of this info is helpful. Good luck with your project and please report back your progress. :cool::)

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