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Panting and papering tools

Painting is a job do-it-yourselfers tackle more than any other, and the one where, for a modest investment, they can use the same high-quality tools professionals use: a basic roller and a good-quality brush. If you have a lot of wall area to cover, consider using a 5-gallon paint bucket with roller screen instead of a pan. You wonít need to keep refilling the pan, and bucket allows you to douse the roller (covering it with paint quickly) and flick off the extra against the screen.

The basic papering tool kit consists of a brush or blade for smoothing out paper, a utility knife for trimming seams, and a narrow trough for soaking paper. Most papers used today have adhesive on the back, which eliminates the messy and time-consuming step of brushing on paste. You simply dunk and book the sheet, place it on the wall, and smooth and cut it to fit.



  Mount a brush in the end of a spinner, dip the bristles in water, and pump the spinner handle: the brush whirls fast enough to spin clean.
  This paint- mixing spinner has a long stem that fits into the chuck of a drill. Pull the trigger, and the blender thoroughly mixes a can of paint.


There are two basic choices to make when you buy a good brush. First, get the right type of brush for the paint: nylon bristles for latex paint that cleans up with water and natural bristles for oil-based paint that cleans up with mineral spirits. Second, get the right size brush for the job. Most people find it easiest to cover large areas with a roller and use a brush for corners and trim. This means you donít need a huge brush that holds a pt of paint. The best compromise for all-around use is a 3- inch wide, long-handled brush.

Some people prefer a brush with angled bristles. But once you get the feel of a straight-ended brush, youíll be able to flex it to suit the job at hand, and you wonít need an angled model or several different sizes. The best brushes are flagged and tipped. When bristles are tipped, the ends are slightly tapered, which helps to release an even, controllable amount of paint. When bristles are flagged, the tapered ends are slightly split, which helps the brush hold more paint and spread it more smoothly.

Some high-end varieties, such as mohair, are used to apply clear sealers without introducing air bubbles. But for painting, standard rollers are fine. For many projects, both 9 and 3- or 4-inch models are handy. A large roller covers unobstructed surfaces most efficiently. You can load it up with paint, apply several horizontal swaths of paint, and spread them evenly across the wall with vertical strokes.

To spread paint evenly close to trim and in confined areas, a smaller roller offers more control. Roller sleeves with a short nap produce the flattest finished surface, but they donít hold much paint. Models with a thick nap hold a lot of paint, but their woolly texture leaves a pronounced stipple pattern on smooth drywall.

Sprayers and Power Painters
Another option is to use a power painter, which feeds a constant supply of paint to a roller, or a sprayer, which dispenses paint through an adjustable nozzle under pressure from a compressor. Both types get a Jot of paint to the wall in a hurry and save you the trouble of returning a roller to the pan for more paint. But the increased capacity isnít really necessary on projects that involve only one or two walls most do-it-yourselfers can use a few breaks to refill pans or buckets.



  Brush Checklist

Use nylon bristles for latex paint.
Use natural bristles for oil-based paint.
Use a flagged and tipped brush for maximum control.
Roller Checklist

Use a fine-napped sleeve to leave a smooth finish.
Use a thick-napped roller to leave a pronounced stipple.
Use 9-in, rollers on large walls; 3- or 4-in, rollers on small areas.

Sprayer Checklist

Strain paint through cheesecloth to prevent lumps from clogging the spray tip.
Always wear safety goggles and a respirator mask when spraying paint.






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