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How to Paint a Room


Painting a room is one thing which professionals definitely do differently than home-owners. One of the simplest improvements to your painting you can make is also one of the best. Just throw out that paint pan you have. You know, the rectangular one with a slope to the bottom.

Once you do that get a 5 gallon plastic bucket - any old one will do. A top which fits it is a bonus. Then get a metal roller screen like the one shown in the picture. They cost a couple of dollars at most paint stores. Mine is probably 15 years old and is covered with multiple layers of different colored paints. Along with this get an extension pole. For most residential interiors a 4 foot pole is most convenient. They make some short ones, but they are designed more for working in confined spaces like bathrooms and don't give you the length you want to paint a ceiling or a big wall. In tight spaces you can usually do without a pole so just forget about the ultra-short ones. Get a longer one if you are going to work outside or have really high ceilings. Long poles start to get awkward inside if you don't have high ceilings. Most of these poles are extendable so a 4 foot pole usually extends to something like 7 feet.

Once you have these then screw your roller frame on the end of the pole, pour a gallon of paint in the bucket and get to work. There are numerous advantages to this method over the flat paint pan.:

  • It holds more paint. No stopping to refill.
  • It is twice as fast to load the roller with paint.
  • It is easier on your wrist and arms - you use two arms to hold the pole.
  • The bucket is not as messy.
  • You can dump the screen and the roller into the bucket and close the top if you want to stop for lunch or until the next day.
  • You can mix multiple cans of paint (called "boxing") in the big bucket.
  • The screen just needs a quick wipe when you are done and is easier to clean than a pan.
  • More stable/Less likely to tip over.
  • Pole allows you to cover larger areas more quickly.
  • No stooping required.
  • With a long brush to cut in with you can almost completely avoid using a ladder.
  • I could go on, but you are probably tired by now....

There really is no good reason to use the old "traditional" flat paint pan unless you are using it for sponging or other decorative techniques and need a flat "palate" to work with. While you are at it pick up the best roller frame you can. One which flexes or has the socket break on you is not going to save you anything in the long run.

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    This is a single article from STUFF dated July 20, 2006.

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