Achieving professional results when repainting interior walls and ceilings involves much more than just slinging paint. Prep work is as important as the actual painting process.
Santa Rosa-based professional painters Stephan Sallee (Stephan-sallee-painting.com) and Michael Chavez (mikechavezpainting.com) share their tips about how to prepare wall surfaces, when to use a primer and how to get crisp paint edges and ensure proper paint coverage.
If your walls have flat paint and are relatively clean, you’re probably good to go. But if they are dirty and grimy, Sallee recommends scrubbing them with no-rinse TSP (trisodium phosphate). “Wipe the walls with a rag and then wipe down with a dry rag,” he says. Wear gloves, a long-sleeve shirt and safety glasses to avoid skin irritation.
For kitchens, and bathrooms, Sallee recommends adding the TSP to one gallon of water, along with ½ cup of bleach. The solution also is ideal for cleaning window frames, especially aluminum, where mildew tends to accumulate.
Drape furniture, and mask the windows. Sallee suggests inexpensive paper tarps with plastic backing for floor protection, which absorbs spills and splatters better than plastic.
Caulk the edges of windows and door trim, as well as the top edge of baseboards to hide gaps and create a crisp transition between trim and wall surfaces. Sallee prefers the 35-year siliconized caulk because it resists cracking and shrinkage over time.
If you are painting over gloss or semigloss oil-based paint on doors, trim or walls, Chavez recommends lightly sanding, then priming the surfaces with an oil-based or hybrid primer, which will bond with the new paint. For problem walls with water stains or crayon marks, he recommends Zinsser High-Hide primer.
If your color palette includes dark red colors, Chavez highly recommends a gray-tinted primer, and dark gray for darker colors. A white primer is essential for light colors such as yellow and pink that have semi-translucent characteristics.
“This will allow you to achieve an opaque finish without having to apply a third coat,” he says.
Get ready to paint
Forget the traditional metal paint tray. Chavez and Sallee use 2½- or 5-gallon buckets to hold their paint, along with a roller screen that hooks onto the inside rim and looks a bit like a washboard ($4.95 at Ace Hardware). That allows them to dip their rollers and squeeze off excess paint on the roller screen.
Start with the ceiling
Begin by painting around the perimeter, bringing the paint an inch or so down the walls. When it comes time to paint the walls, it will be easier to achieve a visually crisp line between them and ceiling, Sallee says. If there’s a large window at one end of the room, Chavez recommends rolling the paint in a pattern that leads away from the window. This will hide what he calls the vineyard-row effect, the subtle lines created by the roller pattern.
Taping the edges
When the ceiling is dry, Sallee and Chavez recommend that DIYers use painter’s tape to achieve a crisp edge between wall and ceiling. If you can finish the job in one day, white masking tape is fine, but if it’s going to remain in place for a few days, use blue painter’s tape, which doesn’t permanently bond to painted surfaces. Both prefer 1½-inch wide Scotch Edge-Lock because it is thin and easy to work with, and it has superior bonding ability.
1 flat-topped pumpkin with a stem that has no soft spots or cuts in it
— Sanitizing wipes
— Spray adhesive craft glue and a face mask
— Sphagnum Moss (aka Green Moss)
— A Lazy Susan
— A mini warm glue gun and vinyl gloves
A chop stick to press the cuttings into place without burning your fingers
— An assortment of succulent cuttings with a variety of colors, shapes and textures including 3 large rosette-type thrillers for a large pumpkin, some branching fillers and trailing spillers.
— Tiny pine cones, fir cones, seed pots, etc. for embellishments.
— A trivet
Cut the stem of the pumpkin down to about half an inch.
Clean the pumpkin with sanitizing wipes or a 10% bleach solution on a damp rag.
When the pumpkin is dry put on the face mask and spray the top of the pumpkin with the spray craft adhesive.
Once the glue is tacky press a ½-inch pancake of green moss firmly onto the pumpkin.
Put the pumpkin on the Lazy Susan and pick out some large cuttings for the focal point.
Leaving a ½-inch stem, apply hot glue to the succulent and attach it firmly to the moss with your chopstick, holding for 3 seconds. If using 1 thriller, place it slightly off center.
Build around your thriller(s), packing the plant material in tightly to prop the larger cutting and to keep the glue from showing as the succulents become less plump as time goes by.
Add acorns, nuts, etc. as desired.
Place in a shaded cool indoor location or in a sheltered outdoor location. Place on a trivet for good air circulation beneath the pumpkin to prevent rotting.
Mist with a spray bottle and set outside occasionally in fresh air to preserve the succulents.
Handle with care, as this is a long-lasting but fragile arrangement.
When you are done with your arrangement plant your succulent cuttings and compost your pumpkin.