December 8th, 2016

6 top secrets for painting small spaces, doors, and trim

We love the quick boost of happy that painting small spaces and small projects with fresh color. A new paint color has the magic touch of quickly transforming something forgettable into something truly dynamic.

I also love how new paint just looks clean. Not clean as in modern but clean as in—Man, I didn’t know that door was quite that dirty until I painted it.

To get that room revival feel we love so much—and to have fun doing it—there are a few tricks in this painting tips video that we hope makes your painting projects and room revivals easier, faster, and more fun.

We love the quick boost of happy that painting small spaces and small projects with fresh color.


1. Getting There

Getting paint lines you love starts before you dip the brush. Especially true for things like crown molding, mantles and painting small spaces like between the wall and the ceiling, being able to see it from straight-on is an enormous help.

So is being balanced and having a place to put things, like the paint can on a step stool or nearby sturdy surface. Having to paint, crane your neck to see, and hold the can is a lot to ask. That’s why people who paint avoid the extra energy output required of so-called ‘short-cuts.’

A good ladder is excellent. For most rooms, we find that a 4-foot stepladder is the best—tall enough and easy to move. I also use a small scaffold on which I fastened a board as a shelf. It makes getting to just the right height easy and safe. And I can easily move left and right. It’s also on wheels so I don’t have lift it very often when moving it around the room.

I like to use a small scaffold on which I fastened a board as a shelf. It makes getting to just the right height easy and safe.


2. Quick Clean Ups

When I run into spackle that wasn’t sanded smooth enough, some mistake or preexisting gob of joint compound, I don’t want to interrupt my flow to go get sandpaper or a sanding block. The extra effort of chasing down tools mid-project can make the ease of painting small spaces into a bigger time-consuming project really fast, so I carry a multi-tool in my pocket (some people call it a ’5-in-1′ or a painter’s tool) and use it to scrape or screed things flat and clean. It doesn’t create much dust—which I love—and it saves time and effort, which I double love!

I carry a multi-tool in my pocket (some people call it a '5-in-1' or a painter's tool) and use it to scrape or screed things flat and clean.


3. More is Less

For a surface like thin molding, there’s not enough room to neatly apply a brush loaded with paint, so I take an extra step I call ‘loading the board’.

I dip and dab the brush in the can. Then I squiggle the bristles across the piece to spread the paint a bit, a little like buttering toast.

Then, with the brush a little drier, it’s ready to spread the paint to the edges neat to cut-in a clean paint line (we talk more about cutting-in here).

Taking one more step in situations like this is actually less work. It’s awesome how new paint takes a frumpy space and springs it to life with new lines and crisp edges.

on a small piece of trim, turning the brush sideways helps keep all the bristles on the wall or wood and helps control the flow of paint.


4. Brush Off

With wide surfaces, like a wall against trim, laying the brush flat usually works great and creates a nice wide border for the roller to connect with. But on a small piece of trim, turning the brush sideways helps keep all the bristles on the wall or wood and helps control the flow of paint.

on a small piece of trim, turning the brush sideways helps keep all the bristles on the wall or wood and helps control the flow of paint


5. Stay Still

Whenever I’m painting something small that moves, like a door, window or DIY project, I try to keep it still and in a good spot so I can work on it easily.

Propping a door half-way open, for example, enables you to get the color on without having to hold it with your free hand. Keeping it half-way open means you can work on both sides of it without having to wait for one side to dry. And, of course, it lets you pass through it…. carefully, of course.

Propping a door half-way open enables you to get the color on without having to hold it with your free hand.


6. Look Back

I like to look back ever few minutes whenever I’m painting a lumpy, bumpy, contoured and cornered surface. There are lots of them, but a raised panel door—which has its own how-to associated with it—is a great example. So is dentil molding.

Places paint can gather like corners or hinge mortises are famous for grabbing an extra few drops of paint off the brush without you knowing it, then let out a little drip or two.

Your best defense is a quick look back and a strike-off with the brush and you’ve outsmarted the door and more with these six secrets to painting small spaces and small projects.
Your best defense is a quick look back and a strike-off with the brush

 

This post is sponsored by Glidden® paint, a PPG brand. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

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