Sunday, January 3, 2010

Painting in the new year

Vika and I decided to repaint our kitchen. The old paint demonstrated several big problems. First, because it was a flat sheen, it both showed food stains, hand prints, etc. Second, washing it (even with a damp rag) discolored the wall, meaning any stain was for all purposes permanent. Third, it flaked off easily, so that any semi-vigorous rubbing would actually remove the paint from the wall! The color (an earthy tan) was nice, but definitely not kid-friendly.

So, we began by asking friends, reading a book, borrowing some tools, then making many trips to Lowe's for supplies and more supplies. Neither Vika nor I have any painting experience, so we began without a clear picture of how to do this! It made for an adventure, a learning experience, and a fun time. To work around our kids' schedule, we painted in afternoons when they took a nap, then again in the evenings after they were in bed. We ended up painting until midnight or so for two nights, including new year's. There's nothing like doing something to really learn it. Lessons learned:

  • The AccuBrush (on the left), which I received as a Christmas present, works wonderfully. It takes a bit of time to learn and can't paint all the way into a corner, but it's very fast. The thing that took me time to realize was that the brush needs to paint in one direction: backwards when doing a long section of wall to avoid marks from the wheel, brush, etc.
  • A corner brush (on the right) was fairly useless. It doesn't paint the seam when the two corners meet. I found using a standard paint brush easier.
  • The paint stirrer was fairly useless. It works, but leaves a lot of paint on the stirrer afterwards. A free paint paddle would have worked better. Live and learn...
  • A trim edger is very, very helpful. However, be sure not to paint against one side, then place that painted side against something you don't wait painted. Oops.
  • Painter's tape it good, but not a cure-all.  Some paint actually seeped under it. In other places, pulling the tape off de-laminated the paint, since the paint formed a continuous sheet from wall to tape. So, it helps but don't rely on it too heavily.
  • A paint stirrer isn't that helpful -- a lot of paint sticks to it. A free paint paddle would have worked fine.
  • Rollers are wonderful. Brushes are much slower and harder to use.
  • It's really fun to see the results after you're done! Not perfect, but much, much better than it was...
Here's the final result. If only I could paint that fast in real life...

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