How to Cover Walls the Fastest

1. A Faster Way To Clean

First and foremost you need to start with a clean surface for paint to adhere to previously painted walls and woodwork. Just use a sponge and a trisodium phosphate cleaner to easily wash off dirt, and grime. Be sure to buy TSP concentrate and mix it with water, as it’s a better value than liquid TSP.

Just use TSP on all of your woodwork. It slightly etches the wood, which helps the paint form a better bond. Use it in kitchens to clean grease from walls, in bathrooms to remove hairspray and around light switches to remove fingerprints. Wear rubber gloves and turn up the cuffs to keep the TSP solution from running down your arm.Fastest_way_to_cover_your_walls

 2. Remove The “Goobers”

Even if you open your paint right after bringing it home from the paint store, you can still have small chunks or strands of hard paint in it. If those end up on the wall, you’ll have to pick them out and reroll the area. So spend two minutes straining out the ‘goobers.’

Buy a paint strainer or just use an old pantyhose to strain the paint. Place the strainer over an empty 5-gallon bucket, then pour the paint through the strainer. The strainer catches any debris in the paint. This is also a great time saver to start boxing your paint.

 3. Cut One Wall At A Time

It’s tempting to cut in along all the trim, the ceiling and the corners in the room at once, however you’ll get better results if you cut in just one wall, then immediately roll out the wall before cutting in the next one. That’s because if you roll out the wall right away, while the cut-in paint is still wet, the cut-in paint and the wall paint will blend much better, reducing the chance of lap marks.

 4. Don’t Bother Tapping Off All Your Trim

Taping off all your trim with masking tape is time consuming and doesn’t guarantee good results. Paint can still bleed under the tape. In short, taping off everything is a waste of time.

Instead, only tape horizontal surfaces, like baseboards and chair rail, where paint splatter can land and be noticeable. Vertical surfaces, like door and window trim, aren’t as vulnerable to splatter, so don’t bother taping them. Just be sure to cut in carefully with your paintbrush so you don’t slop paint onto the trim.

5. Cover That Wall Fast

If you’re right handed, paint the wall from left to right. If your left handed, paint from right to left and reverse all the following directions.

Right handed : Load the roller sleeve with paint and roll from the baseboard to the ceiling to get the paint on the wall. Then roll straight back down, without reloading the roller, to ensure the wall is covered. Load the roller and move over about 3 inchs to the right and roll the full height of the wall again to feather out the leading edge.

When you get to the top, move about 6 in. to the left, without reloading, and roll back down to smooth out any runs or lap marks. Then reload the roller, place it on the feathered edge and start the process over. As you paint, roll horizontally where you cut in along the baseboard and ceiling. Only roll about 3 ft. at a time so the paint will stay wet as you roll the walls.


How to Paint your Ceilings

So you’re thinking your ceiling needs a new coat of paint? The first thing you need to is decide if you are going to paint the walls also, or just the ceiling. If you are going to paint the walls, make sure you paint the ceiling first, that way you don’t have to worry about the ceiling dripping paint on finished walls.

Painting CeilingsOnce you’ve got your painting plan figured out, you need to pick out your paint. Measure the rooms height, width, and depth. Give this information to the company you decide to buy your paint from and they will assist you in determining how much paint you’re going to need to get the job done. As always, having a little extra is always a good thing in-case you need to do touch ups later.

The next step is to remove the furniture from the room, however if you live in a place where this isn’t possible move all the furniture to center the room and cover it well with a tarp or plastic.

Next, cover the floor with plastic and make sure you tape it down to prevent paint getting under the plastic onto the floor.

Now you’re prepped, but there is one more thing to sort out before you decide what you’ll be doing your painting with, and that is do you need primer? The rule is that if you intend to paint over a color that is darker than the hue you’ve selected definitely put on a primer. This will make it so the new shade won’t be bled through by the old color. It will also save you time and money to put up a primer before the finishing paint because the new color will require less coats of paint. Follow the next steps with the primer as you would with the finishing paint. Make sure you let the primer dry 24 hours before you begin painting.

Next step is to cut the ceiling, which means to paint the edges of the ceiling to minimize the amount of paint that gets on the walls.

Once the prep work is done you have a couple options:

  1. Buy or rent a paint sprayer and spray the ceiling. It’s a bit of a mess but it gets the job done, just remember if you do this, take plastic over the windows and anything you don’t want to color as a fine mist will cover everything. Easy to paint over the walls, but not as easy to get off of glass.
  2. Or use a roller to paint instead of the sprayer. If you decide to roll the ceiling you can either use a ladder to get up their comfortably or use an extension pole for your roller. Then paint the ceiling in even strokes to make sure you keep an even thickness across the area.
  3.  After you paint your ceiling, if the walls are you next step, go for it. Just make sure the ceiling is dry before you get started.If the ceiling was the only part of the room you painted, the last thing you need to do of course, is clean the room up, put the furniture back in place, and enjoy your new space.



How to Paint French Doors

French Doors

Do you have a pair of French doors that need a new look? It can be daunting task to figure out how exactly to paint those beautiful French doors with all that glass. So here we have it all broken down on exactly what you will want to do to make it as easy as possible!

Remove the Doors

Before you do anything you will want to remove the doors from their hinges. This will allow you to keep them even and steady while performing the paint job. It also will allow you easy access to all the nook and crannies of the doors. Lay out some plastic painters sheets where you will be painting, and set up two saw horses to lay the French doors across. This gives you a flat area to work.


Once you have the doors laid out on the sawhorses. Be sure you remove any hinges, handles or metal from the doors. If there are any cracks, be sure you repair them prior to beginning painting. Use the putty to fill the cracks and holes. Let completely dry and then use sandpaper to smooth the surface. Using a damp cloth, remove any of the dust that might be left behind after sanding.

To prevent paint from getting onto the glass windows, using painter’s tape tape off the glass panes.


As with any painting project, be sure you use a primer to get the best results possible. Simply paint the door with your chosen primer and wait to dry completely. Using long strokes and going in the direction of the wood, apply the primer. While one door is drying, apply the paint to the other door. Depending on the previous color on the doors, you might need a second coat of primer. Use your best judgment.

Paint and Seal

Once the primer is completely dry, you can begin painting with your chosen color. Using the same methods (long strokes, going with the grain of the wood) apply your new coat of paint. Let dry completely, and apply a second coat. Be sure you paint both doors evenly, and if your doors face the outdoors, make sure to apply a weatherproof sealant. The sealant helps to protect your new paint from rain, sun & snow.


After the doors are completely dry, put all the hardware back on. Remove all of the painter’s tape from the glass, and double check your work for any missed spots. Hang your doors back in their location and enjoy the look of your newly finished French doors!


Refinishing Furniture: Stripping Furniture

Last week I started a series on Refinishing Furniture. We talked about assessing your furniture, determining what you wanted to do, deciding on stain and more. In this post we are going to discuss stripping your furniture and how to do it efficiently and effective.

Note: This advice is meant for a basic piece of furniture, it is not meant as a guide for antique or valuable furniture. I am taking this approach because most of the questions I get are from people who have found fun pieces of furniture from garage sales or thrift store. This furniture is not worth putting in 20 hours or spending $1000 dollars on. This guide is mean to turn these projects into an easy day or even afternoon project.

Stripping Your Furniture

The first thing you will need to do is to get your materials.

You Will Need:

  • A can of stripper from your local hardware store.
  • A pair of neoprene gloves. Stripper is nasty and will burn you if you do not wear these.
  • A plastic scrapper.
  • A touch scrubbing brush.
  • Sanding paper and sponges.
  • Green scrubbing pads

Choosing a stripper is a tough choice. First, you can choose the harsh strippers, these work but will burn your skin and get you high if you don’t have good ventilation. These tend to take 15 -45 minutes to do their jobs. The second kind are natural strippers. This kind of work but can take hours (like up to 24 hours!) but are better on you and the environment. Personally I use the harsh chemical strippers because they do their job and they do it quick. I make sure to wear neoprene gloves, long sleeves and goggles (you DO NOT want any of this in your eyes).

Applying The Stripper

The trick to getting stripper to strip well is to brush on a thick coat of stripper onto the area you plan to strip. Do not brush it around, this will dry it out and cause it to lose its effectiveness. Let it sit for roughly 10-15 minutes. You should start to see the finish bubble. At this time, I don’t scrape the stripper, not yet. When the stripper has cause a good amount of bubbling I apply a second coat of stripper and leave it for another 10-15 minutes. This makes sure that all of the finish has separated from the surface. I use a cheap brush for this and throw it away when I am done.

This is a common table with no value outside of it's use as a table.

This is a common table with no value outside of it’s use as a table.

Another tip when applying stripper is to not do too big of an area at a time. Be patient and do small areas at a time. When removing the stripper you will be thankful that you don’t have to rush.

Removing The Stripper

When you are ready to remove the stripper, start by scraping off all of the stripper with your plastic scraper. You will find that many area will strip down to bare wood with just your plastic scraper. For areas that still have finish on them, pull out your green scrubbing pad and scrub the area thoroughly, this should remove any remaining finish. For any curved, grooved or carved areas this is where you will want to use your dense scrubbing brush (and make sure you have eye protection). Scrub these areas thoroughly and you should remove all stripper.

When you are done stripping double check everything to make sure all finish has been removed. If any finish remains, start another round of stripper.


Once all finish has been stripped you will need to clean off all residue from the stripper. Stripper contains wax and will not allow you to finish your furniture well. Use a hose and a scrub brush or even a power washer at this point to clean your furniture as well as you can. Make sure to wipe down the excess water and get the furniture to dry as quickly as possible so you do not have any issues with water damaging your furniture.


Fixing Cracks in Wood: Furniture & Doors

It is happens in a second. You are redecorating or moving and as you are hauling around a heavy piece of furniture you hit the door with a sharp edge. The door is grooved or scraped and the wood surface marred. Whether the damage is extensive or minor, you will always know of this imperfection. However, this doesn’t mean you need to replace the door or endure the flaw. You can easily fix a scratched wood surface using one of two methods.

Step 1: Asses the Damage

First, assess the damage. If it is small and in an indiscernible area, you can probably patch it up with a little colored wood filler. Go to the hardware store and see if they have wood filler that is tinted to match your door. It helps to know the type of stain on your door but you can also bring home color samples from the store, or contact the manufacturer. If the color is basic, it should be easy to find.

Step 2: Prepare Wood Filler

Prepare the wood filler according to the package instructions. Some need to be stirred; others are ready straight out of the container. Scoop up some filler on a putty knife and work it into the back of the scratch. Layer the filler if necessary, to ensure the filler reaches the very back. When the scratch is filled, run the blade across the surface so the filler is flush to the door. Allow the filler to dry. Then lightly sand the patch’s surface with 220-grit sandpaper so it blends into the door. Dust with a tack cloth and you are done.

If All Else Fails, Refinish the Door…

If the scratch is deep or long, remove the door from the hinges. You’re going to need to refinish the whole door. Lay the door on two sawhorses and remove any hardware. Sand the entire door with 100-grit sandpaper, then wash it with trisodium phosphate (TSP). Rinse off the cleaner and dry the door carefully.

Apply wood filler into the crack as you would with the tinted filler. You don’t need tinted filler here. Instead, the filler needs to be stainable. Fill the crack using a putty knife and let it dry. Sand around the patch with 100-grit sandpaper and then dust the area with a tack cloth.

Stain the entire door using your stain of choice and a rag. Wear gloves and rub the stain into the wood working with the wood’s grain. Allow it to sit on the surface for 10 minutes and then wipe off. Follow the directions of your particular stain. You can apply a second coat to get a darker color.

At this point, you are finished once the stain is dried. However, you can apply a polyurethane topcoat to the door for added protection. Use a rag to apply the topcoat and rub on three or four coats. Allow the topcoat to cure for 12 hours before putting the hardware back on the door and rehanging it.