Painting Tools — How to Use and Care for Them

paint-brushesPainting is one of the most essential DIY jobs, and it needs care and skill to get it right. Each of the various tools available has to be used correctly, and it also needs to be looked after if you don’t want to be constantly buying unnecessary replacements.

Paint Brushes

Still the default painting tool, brushes come in many types and depend partly on what you’re willing to pay. You can make do with perfectly adequate cheap brushes which you discard after use. On the other hand, reusable brushes go up to professional quality, and the best synthetic fibres both give a finer finish and don’t shed bristles.

The way you clean and store brushes depends on the paint you’ve been using. If it’s water-based, just clean them with water and wrap them in any of various substances from lint-free cloth to foil.

If you’re using oil-based or solvent-based paint, brushes should be stored immersed in the recommended cleaning fluid, ensuring the bristles aren’t resting on the bottom of the container. You can use an improvised container or buy a purpose-made cleaning tub, which will come with manufacturer’s instructions.

Paint Rollers

The quickest and most efficient way to cover large surfaces is to use a roller, although you’ll still need brushes for edges and corners. It’s also worth remembering that rolled coats are thinner than if you use brushes, so you’ll need more of them.

If you’re using a roller, you need to buy trays of non-drip emulsion. The type of roller sleeve you use will determine the finish — short-pile for a smooth surface, for instance, or shaggy sheepskin for texture.

Whichever you use, when you’ve coated the roller with paint, roll it across the tray’s ribbed surface to ensure a smooth covering. To get a smooth blend at the edges, always work your way back to the area you’ve covered when you start with a newly charged roller.

Paint Pads

Paint pads, rectangular bonded fibres with a foam back that allows for flexibility, are ideal if you want to cover a large area with liquid paint. The paint tray that comes with them has a built-in roller, allowing you to remove excess paint. With the pad flat against the wall, gently scrub it from the corner, painting strips around four time the pad’s width.

Paint Pods

This is a power painting tool, allowing the paint to feed through from the paint pack to a roller attachment. It also has a triangular brush for painting the edges. It has a self-cleaning cycle, clearly explained in the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you want to free yourself from the job of painting, please contact our London decorators at the Handy Squad and we’ll be happy to assist.

Tel: 0800-0 12 12 12