Aug 29 2007

Germ of an idea for a How To… blog

A while ago, Matt gave me an idea to broaden my blogging horizons – he suggested I start another blog! I set to thinking about a topic I would enjoy writing about day in, day out, in a niche that I know well to the point of being an authority. After dismissing the idea of a How To Make Money Blog, I went back to my roots. Would anyone undertaking a home decorating project be interested in a How To… blog written by a master painter with a modicum of humor? Who knows, but I aim to find out.

Rather than launch myself into it feet first, I have decided to test the water and post a sample article. I think it could do with some images, but for now, what do you think to the following. Worth pursuing, or re-think?

10 tips for using a paint roller without getting more paint on you than on the wall.

Before I launch into the list of tips, rest assured you are reading the words of a real painter who actually went to college for 4 years to learn the basics of the trade. Unlike most painters who learn at the School of Experience, I was taught the principles as well as the mechanics of painting. I hope that subtlety shines through in the following list.

1 – Wear a hat, unless you want to end up looking like Richard Gere.

2 – Wear coveralls, unless you have more money than sense. If you are so loaded you can afford to ruin your best clothes with latex paint, why not employ a professional painter and save yourself a trip to the clothes store.

3 – Cover the floor and furniture with plastic sheets. As in tip 2, if you have so much cash that you don’t mind wrecking expensive couches and rugs with $10 paint spots, use the money to employ a professional painter.

4 – Place your roller tray on a sheet of cardboard. You will be able to work faster because you won’t be preoccupied with paint dripping off the tray onto the plastic sheeting (or carpet, if you are lazy). You can also keep the tin of paint right next to your roller tray, which means you can drag the whole lot around very easily and don’t waste time walking back and forth keeping the tray filled with paint.

5 – Always use a roller pole. Trust me, it is easier, faster and gives a better finish. Extendable poles that start life at about 3 foot and extend to 10 are the most useful. Obviously, don’t be afraid to take the roller off a pole if you are getting wedged in a tight spot!

6 – Use the appropriate roller sleeve for the surface and the paint you are using. The smoother the surface or the shinier the paint, the shorter the nap or pile you need to use. Rather than give an exhaustive list, the simplest way to choose the correct sleeve is ask the guy in the paint store, or if you are in Home Depot, read the labels.

7 – Trim the ends of a new roller sleeve with a pair of scissors so you get rid of the long nap AND WASH IT UNDER A TAP TO GET RID OF FLUFF. This tip from SCH is one I never came across before in 18 years of working, but it makes sense. (Basically, under use, a sleeve wears out at the ends first, and it isn’t unusual to see pros using what you might consider to be a half bald roller sleeve. They are happy painters, though, because the knackered looking rollers don’t leave lines like a new fluffy one.)

8 – Pour the paint out the back of the can – ie away from the label that tells you the color and type of paint. Also, wipe the excess paint off the rim using your brush. There is nothing worse than replacing the lid, standing on it to wedge it tight, and then walking off with paint on the sole of your shoe! Do not ignore this tip, even if you know you will definitely use all the paint from the tin in one session.

9 – When filling the tray, pour from a few inches high, not a few feet. Splatterville is not a good place to work. Also, very important, don’t let the paint flood the well of the tray and spill onto the section where you charge the roller.

10 – Take a breather. Now you have the room, you, a roller sleeve and a roller tray prepared for painting. But don’t even think about rolling anything until you have a) read the next round of tips on rolling, and b) painted around all the edges of your first wall with a paint brush!

You heard it first. Opinions welcome.

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  1. Matt said:

    I think you could definitely make a blog like this, and open it up to submissions.

    How to make money online tips
    how to make a free blog tips
    how to climb a tree lol

    August 29th, 2007 at 12:46 pm
  2. Ed the Editor said:

    Thats food for thought, Matt. I used to be good at climbing trees too, how did you know?

    August 29th, 2007 at 3:07 pm
  3. Ryan Shamus said:

    Great idea, and great post!

    I’m not into stuff like this (decorating) but with the injection of humor, it makes for a good read.

    I say give it a shot! Might be huge!

    August 30th, 2007 at 7:37 pm
  4. Ed the Editor said:

    Thanks Ryan. I have been looking around and mst of the info is very straight laced. As you say, something a bit lighter and more fun than the norm, but still informative, might work. I guess I need to consider taking this further. Where is that 25th hour of the day?

    August 31st, 2007 at 4:40 pm
  5. Aurelius said:

    I’m in agreement with Matt – if you know something others don’t, share it! Reading this entry made a whole bunch of questions pop into my head that I’d ask a professional painter if one were sitting next to me. I’m sure others would too. Can’t hurt to try I guess.

    September 5th, 2007 at 10:56 pm

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