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Best Drop Cloth Materials

Without the right drop cloth, you are going to cause even more work for yourself very quickly. Drop cloths protect floors and furniture surfaces from paint. It’s easy to drop a paint brush, and people don’t always have the option to move all of their furniture out of their homes for the sake of completing a house painting job, and not everyone is going to get new flooring or carpeting afterwards. Drop cloths are often a good idea even if this is the case, just in case. However, the right drop cloth materials matter, and we can’t just throw anything on the floor or furniture surfaces and hope that the drop cloths in question are going to provide the right protection. All painters need to choose the right drop cloth material in advance in order to keep their rooms and homes in order, and there are many options …

Canvas Drop Cloths

canvas drop clothCanvas is the material of drop cloth that’s typically reserved for professionals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it! The majority of professional house painters use canvas drop cloths, and i’m sure you have seen a pro and their canvas drop cloths are often full of different paint stains. Professional painters try to avoid spending too much money on the disposable types of drop cloths. Washing canvas drop cloths is ultimately cheaper than constantly replacing the disposable variety of drop cloths, which should be the most cost-effective option for professional painters and amateur painters alike.

Canvas drop cloths will absorb paint spills, which makes them more effective in some ways. The paint is not going to run after it has been spilled. People won’t accidentally get paint everywhere after spilling it and then moving the drop cloth. If they spill a lot of paint, it is possible that the paint is going to seep through the canvas drop cloth and onto the floor. However, it will take a really substantial spill for that to happen, especially if you use the thicker canvas drop cloths.

To start with, canvas drop cloths are going to be more expensive than other types of drop cloths, which is one reason why people are not necessarily going to purchase them right away. However, for people who do enough paint jobs, long term they will benefit from getting canvas drop cloths. Canvas drop cloths are also not going to tear, which means that they’re among the few types of drop cloths that people can use on sharper surfaces. Canvas drop cloths are more versatile than all of the other drop cloths that are currently on the market, which is one of the many reasons why professional painters favor the canvas drop cloths and it’s the only style we recommend here at Paints on Ladders.

Paper Drop Cloths

paper drop cloth with maskingUsing a paper drop cloth seems like a bad idea for a lot of people, since they figure that the paint is just going to soak through the drop cloth. However, if you are painting on a budget, you may not have a lot of options. Paper drop cloths can cost less than five dollars, and they can actually work fairly well if the paint job in question just involves touch-ups and minor paint work. They’re not going to work very well in situations that involve a lot of paint, or if you move around the ladder a lot as the paper can tear. However, they can save money and provide enough protection under the right circumstances.

Paper drop cloths are going to tear in a way that won’t happen with other types of drop cloth materials, so they need to be handled with care. However, people who are performing the most minor of paint jobs are not going to have to worry about that in most cases.

Plastic Drop Sheets

plastic drop sheetsPlastic can be used when you are trying to cover up brick, masonry, furniture, and abnormal objects like sculptures. However, we don’t recommend to use plastic on sharp sculptures or sharp furniture, since they might end up breaking the plastic drop cloth. However, plastic drop cloths should still manage to provide a safe barrier for the majority of surfaces that people will use, especially with small amounts of paint such as spray painting applications.

Plastic drop cloths have the advantage of being non-porous, so they are going to manage to provide more protection from paint than most other drop cloths. People can also find plastic drop cloths in a wide range of different thicknesses, which is not the case for a lot of other drop cloth materials.

Plastic drop cloths have the advantage of being reusable, which can make all the difference for the people who are trying to save as much money as possible on their home repairs and who need to be able to paint multiple rooms.

However, it should be noted that plastic drop cloths are not going to absorb the spilled paint. As such, the spilled paint is going to run if people move the drop cloths at any time. They are also going to be effectively taking the paint with them when they move the drop cloths around after spilling the paint. People are often going to have to wipe down drop cloths after using them, and they are going to have to wash them off in many cases.

Paper and Polyester Drop Cloths

These are literally drop cloths that are made from a combination of plastic and paper. As such, people can potentially get the best of both worlds. These drop cloths are less likely than many others to slip out of place. The paper manages to effectively absorb the drips from the paint. The plastic manages to provide an under layer of protection, which manages to protect the floor and furniture from the paint. It’s easy to get a drop cloth like this to fit the space indoors.

It is true that these drop cloths are going to rip fairly easily. However, they are still going to be less likely to rip than many of the drop cloths that are made from either plastic or paper as opposed to both plastic and paper. These drop cloths are versatile and effective, even if they’re not perfect in all conditions.

Other Handy Drop Sheet Resources;


Cleaning Roller Covers after Painting

It’s common for home owners to paint their entire house in the spring or summer months. In fact, when these jobs are done to a good standard, the home will have a completely new, refreshed look. This is often because of the home owner and the family’s preferences, they may choose to change the color of each room in order to start with a new look for the inside and out. Before you begin this kind of work, however, there are number of different things that will need to be prepared in advance. From buying the best type of quality paint for the job and good painting equipment or even hiring professional painters to complete the work, every part of this job must be well laid out for the best results. That said, there is always one significant part of any painting job that should not be left out of the planning process, and that is the clean up afterwards. The clean up process is the part that most people really do not like, even though it must be done and completed with the appropriate measures. Specifically, if you expect to keep the paint rollers for additional jobs (which you definitely should..) so that they can save money as well as time shopping for more paint tools and equipment.

How Paint Rollers are Normally Cleaned

how-clean-paint-roller-bucketStandard practice for most painters will be to flush the paint from the rollers on the outside of the home (usually the lawn or the garden area) by using lots of water from a hose. Another common method is washing and squeezing the paint out of the roller within a laundry tub/basin until the water runs clear. As an alternative, there are some tools that can be used to expedite the process and also keep your frustration level down. So, for those of you who are interested in what is available on the market today, here’s two basic tools that the team here at Paints on Ladders recommended for quick clean up.

As stated previously, a big part of the clean up process is running water through the rollers to release all of that extra paint quickly. However, there are some additional ways to make sure that the paint is completely removed and no residue of the paint is left within the roller material.

Experts Tip: Getting this right makes a big difference to how well the roller performs the next time you use it.

1. Rejuva Roller Cleaner Review

rejuva roller cleanerWant the best in class roller cleaner that will clean any size roller in no time with no fuss and no second guessing yourself whether all the paint has been removed?? The Rejuva Roller Cleaner is the one and only product that guarantees success. Used mainly for water based paints, Simply insert the roller cover into the cylinder, seal the cylinder, attach the hose to the unit, turn it and wait for the water to run clear —> Done!

This product is amazing and works well every time, its quality construction means that it was last the test of time too.

See the full specifications here..

2. Home Right Roller Cleaner and Handy Painters Tool

save some paint roller cleaningPainters can also reduce the timing in cleaning paint rollers by using the home right roller cleaner. This product can be used in conjunction with paint thinner or mineral spirits for oil based paints. This is because the home right roller cleaner is a three in one solution that takes care of clean up jobs quickly and thoroughly without any unnecessary complications. This tool has a straightforward simple design that removes as much as 60 percent of the paint off of the roller with only one swipe down the roller. To complete the job (removing the remaining forty percent of the paint that is left on the roller), all the painter has to do is use the built-in comb to comb off the off the excess paint from the roller. It is also important to note that washing the roller will be required following the scraping of the roller cover.

See More Details Here…

Solvents for Cleaning Paint Roller Covers

For water based paints – Water is fine and the Rejuva roller cleaner will do the trick nicely. Alternatively a good garden hose nozzle and some patience will also get the job done.

For oil based paints – You can use mineral spirits or paint thinner, in general mineral spirits is our recommendation as it is more refined, smells less and doesn’t contain other additives. Paint thinner is also a good option, it does come down to personal preference. We use this product for thinning oil based paints, it works a treat.. More Details Here..

Paint Roller Cleaning – The Wash Up

Cleaning rollers after a major paint job is usually a daunting task that even the most seasoned painters do not typically like doing. However, there is a lot of great products and information online today that can assist everyone with getting this part of the job done with as little fuss as possible. So, for those of you who need the extra help in cleaning up paint rollers quickly, there are some great tools available that can be used to finish the process in a fraction of the time. Two of the most commonly known and recommended tools are the Rejuva Roller Cleaner and the home right roller cleaner. Both of which can be used to expedite the process and restore the paint rollers to their original condition. When the job is done right, painters can use their rollers again for at least 3 to 4 more times, using these extra tools can save you time and money and perhaps most importantly reduce frustration.

Handy Links for Roller Cleaning Advice

  • Mineral spirits vs. paint thinner, there is a difference and this article details some considerations
  • For environmental considerations you may be asking yourself, is it really OK to pour paint down the drain? Here is just one opinion on the matter
  • This method is in line with roller cleaning whilst saving water, but we’ve found you can still get residue left in the paint roller after the jobs done..

diy-vs-professionalProfessional Contractor vs.. Do It Yourself (DIY)

Size of job, quality required, personal skills, tools investment, timeline…

So far at this site, we have shown how to use a caulking gun, why you have a painters drop cloth, and made informed views on the best ladders as against cheap ladders. We’ve shown what types of paint brushes to use and how to paint ceilings with paint roller extensions.

For all of that, when do you use a professional, and when do you have a crack at it yourself?

I guess it comes to your own values, time available, and long term goals.

Doing the best painting yourself can provide immense satisfaction, with the bonus of saving you money and supplying you with a garage full of quality painting equipment that paid for itself. That lightweight step ladder can be used again and again for many roles; your best belt sander can be used on your furniture or car projects, as will the quality air compressors or electric spray gun. You will find the best painters tool has many applications.

Sooo…how much time and living space do you have, and what’s your earning capacity loss during the time your painting walls and cutting in ceilings?

Pride in your work is great, but sleeping in an unfinished bedroom for 3 weeks will strain the relationship of your current love interest…”Parfum de Paint” won’t cut it, Romeo. Time frame is a key factor when deciding whether to do a job yourself, and always keep in mind the expectations of others living in the house..

Could you be making extra $ elsewhere- that means you could pay a professional painter, giving some-one a job (great for the economy) and still not be out of pocket. Is it too big a job for the time you have? Be aware however, that a big wall doesn’t take long, with quality extension poles and paint rollers.

Unless it needs a lot of patching… (See our patching advice here..)


Our Recommendation – Here’s a thought…

Look, here’s the thing with the crew at Paintsonladders- we’re a bit of a Dorothy Dixer, we really want to share our knowledge, and most importantly help you to succeed when painting yourself. It can be a really worthwhile, money saving, esteem building, and dare we say it! – a relaxing thing to do.

So, we don’t actually recommend Services.

Personnel and management can move on, get better, or fall from grace. The guys we know in “your area” may now be a team of 7 skilled super painters, or a bunch of travelling yahoos from the Heckarwees enjoying a laugh and an earn at your expense when they bought the good guy’s business name…

We just can’t tell you, because brother, the world keeps change’ in.

Read our suggestions, they are what we truly think best, maybe have a tryout to test your own abilities, with that one room, and  if  still unsure, follow our ideas on how to find a good painter.

Get yourself the basic kit for, say the spare or smallest and simplest room- 4 straight walls, one window and a ceiling type of thing. Our front page tells you the basic needs, but think about a few quality bushes, a roller tray and a good quality roller, add a lightweight ladder and a few painters drop sheets. Have a go, be relaxed about the outcome, and view it as a learning experience- your temperament will describe the best outcome.

It could be fun, and it could cost you a few dollars, but it may give you an enormous boost that will make you just that little bit pleased with your work-for years !

Follow our Tips and Advice!!

safety-manSafety First – Assess the Task

  1. Can the Job Harm Me. Most jobs can harm you but what we are talking about here is the potential for the job to harm you, in other words what is the likelihood of you hurting yourself. Power tools, working at heights, in confined spaces and near hazards are all warning signs that you may need to consider however as we have mentioned in this article, it does come down to your own skills and confidence.
  2. Can the Job Damage my Home. Water leaks from plumbing jobs are a prime example of this, some other examples may include fire hazards from electrical work, structural damage from removing walls, using the incorrect materials for the purpose to name a few. Your home is a large investment and an investment worth nurturing so consider the task at hand in terms of whether you are protecting your home.
    1. Home Value – Home value can be reduced when the finished result of the work isn’t up to expectations, carefully consider the impact this may have when if it comes time to sell the property.
    2. Cost to Repair any Damage – If your home is damaged as a result of the work, consider the repair cost and weigh up the risk of this occurring.
  3. Does the Job Require a Permit. Electrical work requires the correct licenses as does plumbing and certain building tasks. Dig permits, building permits, council approvals are some other examples that you may need to consider.

What to expect from a professional painter

service level, accreditation, examples, questions to ask them..

You are about to ask some guy you don’t know to do a good paint job, eh? Will they use the best quality paint- or even just good paint? Are they cowboys with an electric paint spray gun, the paint types whose best brush is with the law?

Word of mouth is hard to beat, but there are other, subtle signs too.

pro clean_painterProfessional Painting Equipment and Work Methods

What is the equipment like?- if they left paint all over the vehicle they came in, maybe your home and fittings are going to be the same!

Generally, a tidy approach will affect how your property is going to be left. Beautiful cutting in paint work and dripless caulk gun use mean less work for the painter to have to do when he/she finishes- but making sure there is no “left behind “ work is your job to check. If you don’t look for it, a poor craftsman won’t be pointing to it. When they paint ceilings, is there fleck covering everything else- get on it- or away from them – straight away.

It’s YOUR home- be a nasty and check/ question everything that seems not as it should. Dry paint on your good sofa doesn’t remove itself…..Ever.

Where is the painters canvas drop cloth? The painters drop cloth should be covering everything- it is easier and better for them, so be suspicious of poorly placed equipment. Dumb but true- check behind items- the whole walls gets painted, even behind the refrigerator, unless the quote says otherwise

Are they using quality types of paintbrushes– or are they stopping and pulling bristle from the work- or worse, leaving them in the paint! Ask them how to paint ceilings and walls as a process- what do they think you should (and do) expect of the job, and how long will it take.

quality and cost

Note: At Paints on ladders we give you the skills and right advice to achieve top quality yourself!

Things to Remember;

  • There are 3 types of job- good, fast, and cheap.
  • You can have fast and good- but it won’t be cheap;
  • You can have cheap and fast- but it won’t good;
  • You may get cheap and good-but it won’t be fast!

Be fair to your painter- know exactly what you want done, what is being quoted for, and make sure you both agree with what’s written on the quote. A painter cannot, nor be expected, to change colour of paint once you decide on it. Paint costs money for them to buy (and you usually get it cheaper via the painter) but it also takes them time to purchase and mixed the paint required- if you change your mind- expect a bill for it!

Don’t go about it meanly- if they say the ceiling or doors require redoing, they probably do. It is such a letdown for you (and will cost more) when the new paint makes the old door frames and skirting boards look drab and ugly.

Painter’s will bring and often leave overnight the goods and equipment they require– expect tidy piles of drop clothes and extension poles to be sitting with the painters best ladder and caulk gun somewhere in the job-in-progress area. They may take home the lightweight step ladder, their best belt sanders or bring home the electric paint spray gun and respirator, but that’s because, hey- they don’t know you, either ( nah, they just wanna keep stuff tidy…)

Preparing the Family

Have you and your family readied yourself for the sights, smells and inconvenience of a paint out? To us painters, there is little, to no smell, but hey kiddo- you’re not a painter maybe, and for you it might mess with the delicate flavours of your Chilli Crab and Chianti dinner…


Summary of Advice – Professional Painters

Summary? Get word of mouth, or visit the “last job” local to you that they state they did to check their work. A fair price for a fair job, remember to get some left over for touch ups of the knocks that WILL happen later, and check your state for registration listings or what accreditation to be expecting. Make sure they are as proud of the work as you are of your home.

When they finish, buy them a pack of beer as an additional thank you- if they are as good as you’d want, they deserve it.

Handy DIY References:

  • Many ways to save money with a DIY project done right
  • House renovations for sale (including a lick of paint) can be very rewarding
  • A guide for when you require permits whilst working on your renovation projects
  • Contractors require a license if they are going to work in your home, be sure to check that any labour you utilise is compliant in accordance with the contractor requirements here..

how to setup a dropclothHow To Set Out Drop Sheets So That You Don’t Get Paint On Furniture

Professional painters understand that drop sheets are vital if they want to have a painting experience that is stress-free and not messy. In fact, drop sheets are equally as important as rollers and brushes used for painting. Nobody wants to complete painting their walls and ceiling only to discover that they have made a total mess of everything by splattering the paint on the floor and even their furniture. This is where a drop sheet comes in handy. Drop sheets are important to place before you begin painting and it is even more important to spread them well. Spreading a drop sheet badly may be worse than  not spreading one at all. So, how do you set out a drop sheet to make sure there is no trace of paint on the floor after painting your walls or ceiling?

First, you have to select the right type of drop sheet. Go for a heavier type of drop sheet, especially those made from strong fabric like canvas. They are usually made of strong weave which give total protection to the floor and furniture.

drop cloth setupLaying your drop cloth

Before you lay the drop sheet, clean up the floor properly using a vacuum to prevent debris and dirt from being trapped underneath. If you have paper or plastic drop sheets, you will need to tape them at their edges to prevent any sliding while walking on them. You can make use of a masking tape to secure the sheet covers your furniture properly. This will make it stick with the furniture long enough for you to complete your painting task.

You will need to fold the drop sheet to the appropriate size of your room in case the sheet is larger than the room or area you want to protect. Do not cut the sheet in any circumstance. Instead of folding, some people make the mistake of cutting the sheet only to discover they needed it again to be used in a larger room.

To protect the borders of the room from getting paint, you can always tack these areas with small nails or tacks. If you are going to paint the ceiling, endeavour to remove all curtains, drapes and wall arts that may be stained while painting the ceiling. At the very least, ensure they are well and truly covered from getting paint droplets or spatter.

Plastic drop sheets are usually slippery. If you are making use of a plastic drop sheet, you will need to put on rubber sole shoes to make sure you do not slip while walking on the drop sheet. But other types of drop sheets do not have this problem. The plastic is throw away, yes, but be very careful about them. Not only slippery, they will stay “wet” and may well mark things when you are cleaning up after your good days work is done.

After painting, you will need to remove the sheet by folding one edge after another to prevent any spill of the paint splatter on the floor or furniture. After effectively removing the sheet, try to wash off immediately and store for future use. Usually, plastic drop sheets cannot be washed while those made with fabric or cotton can easily wash off. So, when buying a drop sheet, these things should be considered before making your purchase.

painting the ceiling

How to Paint Ceilings

Alright, it’s Learning time, and you want to paint ceilings, right?

Or do you want to be painting ceilings RIGHT!

You’re going to need some stuff. Get the good stuff, purdy paint brushes, Wooster paint brushes, corona paint brushes- we can tell you all about all types of paint brushes and extension poles, what we see as the best ladders or cheap ladders, drop clothes (a good painters drop cloth is a savings that starts from the first drop.. or drip)

So a list of goods needed as you show the world how to paint ceilings

  • Drop cloths (protect your floors and other surfaces)
  • Painters ladder (cheap ladders can be fine, but the best ladders are light ladders)
  • Paint pole (or extension pole) for your paint roller extension-unless you have very long arms…
  • Caulk gun (see our article How to use a caulk gun)for cornice gaps
  • Good paint brush (trust me, you pay for cheap paint brushes in hours)
  • Paint roller tray
  • Sand paper, spaka and applicator. Fill. And fix the cracks.
  • Foam paint brush if you aren’t paint confident.

We have another section in Paintsonladders to assist you with how to paint ceilings, so for real benefit I suggest you read both, you can’t get enough of a good thing…

Now. How To Paint Ceilings…

So, you take all unnecessary wall and room furniture out or have it covered with drop cloths.

You have filled and sanded any cracks, then caulked any cornice gaps (see Caulk guns). So all is now prepared that way.

Now, getting your best ladder, you will learn the easy way how to cut in paint. Cutting in paint when painting ceilings is easier because you will be painting walls next, right? So practise cutting in paint around the ceiling by doing all the cornices as close to the plaster line as you can possibly do on the wall side. You get On the ceiling side, ensure you go at least the width of your Wooster paint brushes ( or whatever types of paint brushes your using)toward the centre of the ceiling from the cornice. This allows for more streak free paint rolling as you won’t be bumping the roller on cornice. Next job for your cutting in brush is to hand paint around any light fittings, air vents and any other features on the ceiling area that won’t be flat and smooth to roll.

Keep the cutting in lines fine and close to the light or other fitting, it leaves a very fine and professional look you will be proud of for a long time. It’s still good to go wide on the outer or ceiling side of the fitting you’re cutting around, as you will find it easier and faster to roll later.

With cutting in, do not lean out or away from your painters ladder, even on a light weight step ladder. It’s a bad, dangerous practice. I move my Mennards ladders forward whenever my arm is forced to straighten. You keep brush control, and it’s safer.

Place your roller tray in a central and safe position on your painters drop cloth then put your painters ladder away and let’s apply the paint roller.

As a matter of course, you will have stirred your paint thoroughly. Fill the painters roller tray by no more than 1/3 of its deep point. Join your best paint roller to the paint roller extension pole and gently roll into the tray. Avoid as best you can getting the hooked end of the roller covered, it helps to ensure a cleaner roll off, but don’t over worry on it…

Roll off excess paint, and, starting usually furthest from any window, and roll from the ”cut in” edge of the ceiling cornice you did earlier. Work the roller from one full side of the ceiling right over to the other cornice edge, just overlapping the cut in area of the other end point. Try to provide an even, not heavy, coating. With each roll on (or application), make sure you cross over the last roll off point by an inch or two. Don’t try to squeeze extra milage from your roller- keep going back to the tray, coat up your roler, re-apply more to the ceiling and come back over again to smooth off.

Painting ceiling, like all best quality paint application, is about stopping and checking your work.

The best paint rollers action is smooth and damp (“full”), not overly “wet”, and even the best paint rollers can’t work well without good paint and a quality paint roller extension pole. When you use the best quality paint and all quality items you get the best paint roller action-


So don’t get a cheap paint roller or paint roller extension. The flimsy, rattly extension poles translate to the rolled end, and you get a bad, “railway line “effect. This will stay, unless you roll it out smooth when it’s still wet. So you have finished to the window side, now inspect the work, but almost certainly you will need to do a good end to end roll to finish. All this means is to make the roller “full” again and do the complete ceiling , end to end, one side to the other.

Of course, use your judgement, painting ceilings will reveal itself as to how it is going as it goes on, but understand the wet will probably dry looking even better than is does when  wet, so don’t overstress how to paint ceilings when they are not yet dry.

That’s how you become THE BEST PAINT ROLLER !!!

Now see our section on Clean-ups…

Painting the house as a home owner

Painting the house is a very exciting project for a homeowner and they usually don’t compromise over the quality of the paint. Some of the homeowners will go for the professional contractor’s services, while the others take it on for themselves as a DIY project, usually with great enthusiasm. Out of all the painting jobs, the painting of the walls is considered the most difficult job. It is mainly because of the reach required using a ladder and the difficulty of using a roller at a very weird angle. According to  experts, the inexperienced painters wastes a lot of time and paint on the ceiling area and this is something which they need to take proper control on. The heavier or larger ceiling painting jobs can be easily done using a roller which is far, far, easier to use on the ceiling instead of  brushes.

The tools that you will require for painting your ceiling with a roller:


ceiling paintingOther Considerations when painting the ceiling:

In the first step, you must cut in around any light fittings and other ornaments that may adorn the ceiling, such as air con vents or decorative plaster strips and points in older plastered ceilings. Make sure you have left a good 2 & 1/2 ” wide brushed on strip of paint to work the roller away from. You need to then  decide on to the direction in which you are going to roll. The purpose is to keep the direction consistent all through the ceiling, giving a seemless and streak free finish.  According to the experts, the best approach is to roll in the direction (as in parallel) along the side of prevailing natural light source (coming from the big window in the room.) This is good in the sense that no roller lines should show up.  All this talk  about the roller lines will only be an issue with the smooth ceilings. The textured ceilings are not really a bother for showing up the roller lines, particularly if s flat style of ceiling paint is applied.

After choosing the most suitable direction, you must start the painting project from the leftmost corner of the room. It is difficult to explain as how to roll the paint in the best form, but the bottom line has 2 crucial points. The first crucial point is to “roll the paint off”- that is, get a smooth and regular level of paint off the roller and onto the ceiling. It’s actually easier than it sounds, and you will quickly figure it out. Too much or too fast and it will be leaving spatter evey where, so go steady and don’t leave specks that you will require cleaning up’- Smart and lazy style wins…

The other crucial point is to really smooth it up with a final coat. This method is also known as the ‘laying it off’. It means that at all times you are keeping a wet edge. If possible, it is ideal for you to apply your roller strokes along the full width or full length of the ceiling, that is, start one side and go all the way to the other, as smoothly and continuously as you can. All that matters here is the steady pressure and control on the roller strokes for maintaining the quality/ quantity of the ceiling paint going on all through the project.


The use of roller for painting the ceilings require some technical expertise which can be learnt. In order to get the best finishing results, the roller must be rolled according to the type of ceiling and the flow of natural light in the room.


caulking gun fillerHow To Use A Caulking Gun – Professional Advice, Tips and Tricks

We’ve had so many responses to our caulking gun / how to use caulk gun it’s fantastic…but people still seem to be wasting a lot of time and caulk gun effort!

This caulking gun article is meant to be a caulk gun for dummies lesson, no offence. The idea is, in a how to use a caulk gun lesson we can start slow, and you can skip on if you want… but stay and see how clever you already are by reading our how to use a caulk gun article s.l.ow.l.y.

Caulk Guns. Caulking Guns. Is there a difference? Nah….

Do you know how to use a caulking gun- or more importantly, do you want to know how to use a caulk gun

Look, using a caulk gun is easy. Making a clean job of what you’re doing is, also. It just takes a little time and care…then comes speed and skill. Do the first, and you will know the answer on how to use caulk gun quickly and cleanly. You will save quite a bit of time and money, too, because the caulk in your caulk gun costs $$, and it’s better in the cracks on the walls than on your drop cloths down below.
(Doesn’t matter how good you get, you still need drop sheets and, just so you know, proper painters canvas drop cloth is the only stuff to have.)

How to refill a caulk gun

The caulk gun operates on a simple trigger/lever system. It’s not hard; you slide the caulk thread end into the opposite end to the trigger, and gently set to position with one or two squeezes of the caulking gun to hold it in. Gentle, you just take up the slack of the caulking gun bar or slide to JUST hold it.

Then cut the screw end cover of the caulk tube away (Stanley Knife job, be safe…), leaving much of the VERY important thread still on. Then attach the point tube that guides the caulk. Now you will know if you cut the thread too close on your caulk. If you cut too close, just throw it out. (You don’t need the head ache) and try again. I’m betting you will only make that mistake once….. We all did.

Now cut the point tube to about 1/8 inch size of angle at about 50 degrees, so it’s like a needle tip. Your caulking guns is ready, but are you ready (ominous thunder…) to use a caulk gun?

The where and how to use a caulking gun are;

  • Any cracks;
  • seams in door frames (where they meet the wall)
  • Skirting boards; ditto
  • Ceiling cornices; yep, again.
  • Around vents and openings of other nature.

Caulking guns make a job look really really smooth and professionally finished……

If you know how to use a caulk gun, and this is it……

  1. Have your caulk gun prepared as above (How to load a caulk gun)
    Get a pan of plain old cold water, and a scrap of cloth you’re happy to throw when finished.

    1. NOTE – These cloths you need to wet, and keep a bit more than just damp. Wet. You will use it to wipe of the excessive bits of caulk to smooth and make seamless the cracks and filling. You rinse clean in the bucket, as you need to keep it gunk free so it stays smooth wiping.
  2. Start on gaps that are not seen straight away when you walk in a room- behind the door for instance.
  3. Moving left to right (or the other way if it suits you, just ONE direction )squeeze gently and repeatedly so the caulk of your caulking gun eases into the gaps, and once you have filled , oh say, an arm’s length area ( stops you from having to stop and keep coming back ).
  4. Wipe the area filled with a wet finger, then tidy up around the fill with the damp cloth.

Expert Tips During Caulking

Most caulk won’t sand, so make it clean with the wet cloth if it’s in places you don’t want. Make sure the caulk is level or “fits in” with the repaired area. As you learn how to use a caulking gun, your speed and skill improve very quickly.
Keep checking the finished work before it sets. This is important..

Are you out of filler on your caulk gun yet?

See the bar that’s been pushing the caulk out of your caulking gun? Look to the lever/ switch/ break tab that allows the bar to move free (well, it’s a bit sticky you will find, but you’ll get it.)

Now pull the push or slide bar all the way back toward you, drop the empty caulk gun tube, and replace the tube. Your caulking guns ready to go again. Save time by unscrewing the old point tube and re-fitting it to the new (replacement) tube .Don’t be tempted to mix pastes caulks or glue mixes with the same point tube. Too ugly, trust me.

So now you know how to use a caulk gun, and you are practiced in sneaky unseen places, check /clean your result and you will know how to a caulk gun in high traffic, high visibility areas, and all will be amazed at the quality of your work!

Seriously, practice, in the “dark” places, move to the easy seen when your good at it, and everyone will impressed at the way you know how to use a caulk gun.

See our review on easy to use caulk guns we’ve used. These are better for the format we like, and I think you will agree if you try them.

Still Need some More Tips with Caulk Guns? Read on…

Caulking guns are commonly used as an adhesive to bond materials and also used to seal gaps on different surfaces. With some practice, they are quite easy to use and do not require any advanced technical ability to master. If you want to seal against water and air, caulk is the easiest way to do it. Caulk is most commonly used to fill up cracks or little openings in walls, woods or other surfaces but there is a huge range of products available, see our definitive guide here….. If you just bought one and still aren’t sure exactly how to use it properly, there are some additional tops below to learn what a caulking gun can do for you and how best to use it.

  1. Always ensure you clean up the area you want to caulk. If the area is wet, use a dry rag to wipe any trace of water out. The caulk will not hold well when used on a wet surface. Next is to fix the caulk tube properly on the caulking gun, see our guide above. Make sure the tube is well placed at both ends of the gun and the plunger is central.
  2. Cut a tiny portion of the spout at the tip. You can cut it straight or cut at an angle. Whichever way you want to cut, make sure to cut it properly to get the ideal quantity of caulk sprouting out from the tube. If it is your first time, create a small opening so you don’t splatter the caulk and make a mess when squeezing the trigger. Some caulks are packaged in a cardboard tube. If that is the type you have, you will need to use a puncturing device (most cardboard tubes come with one) to open up the seal.
  3. When you are set, squeeze the trigger or gun handler slowly as you draw the gun towards you. Then release the gun handle when you have reached a maximum point. It automatically springs back. When it goes back to its original state, you can pull again. How quickly you pull the gun and how hard you pull the trigger will determine the amount of caulk applied on each spot. If you pull harder more caulk will sprout out and if you pull slowly less will sprout. So, you have to apply the right amount of force based on the type of filling you are doing.
  4. After filling the area, clean off the excess caulk on the surface with a damp, almost wet towel. Then clean again with a dry towel. This is very important. Do it every time you are about to move the ladder or yourself further on during the project. If you think its easy to come back and do it all later on, think again. Once the caulk does its job and sets, you asre in for a difficult and tiresome job. Do it straigth away, the easy way.

use a caulking gunSafety Tips when Using a Caulking Gun

  • To avoid making a mess, avoid staying close to the bead. Rather, stay slightly away as you squeeze the caulk. Before you apply, try to use an off area to experiment with the trigger. You will discover that you may need more or less to complete your task.
  • Remember that there are different types of caulks available such as latex, acrylic, and silicon. Silicon doesn’t take paint well but lasts longer than the other types.
  • After use, make sure you store it properly away from children.

Check out how these professionals do it here…

putty knife in actionBest Scrapers and Putty Knives – How to Use Them

The reason people want to paint their home is to brighten and smarten up the look and feel of the place they enjoy calling home. But, before you proceed with the job of making your rooms and surrounds more beautiful, you the homeowner need to check the surfaces of the walls for  cracks and holes, which are obviously not be the best surface for adding a layer of paint too. With a bit of effort, where  repairs are needed to be made, you can reasonably quickly repair a surface to perfection using  scrapers or putty knives. These are simple tool that give sophisticated results, if used carefully for the repair . A scrapper is first used for removing the old chipped paint and grit from the surface surrounding holes and cracks and chips. A putty knife is then used for applying speckling for making up for the crack and holes in the wall, before repainting can be done. It is a DIY job that can be completed with ease by anyone who has some basic skills by using the putty knife and the scraper DIY tools.

Preparing the surface:

First thing first, the surface area needs to be prepared and for the purpose, the following steps need to be performed:

First, check the entire surface of the area that needs a repair so you know the amount of speckling or filler needed.

Then, Place the drop cloth on the floor just next to the wall for the purpose of catching the falling particles. This will help you in saving the clean up time, and save your flooring .

Lastly, Make sure that the room is properly ventilated with open windows which will prevent people working in the room from getting excessive inhalation of the many dust particles. Get yourself and any others a few simple paper masks for filtering the dust from your nose and mouth. If the ceiling requires some patching, some eye protection is a good idea also

wall scraping putty knifeHow to use a scraper?

For the purpose of patching the holes on the walls, the scraper is the first thing that you will be wanting  to use. It is used for preparing the wall before applying the speckling filling. If the surface has lots of old paint chipped up, then a heavier scrapper or the one with a wider blade must be used for easy and quick wiping off dof the old paint. If you have a wall sander ( a cheap, flat plate you can add to your roller extension to save time and muscle strain…) use it to quickly tidy off the whole wall. This will make for better paint adhesion where the wall is in good order, and help expose the areas that need fixing. The entire thing should be done in a way that the hole can be precisely flattened to wall level smooth with no residue particles seen on any side of the hole before you apply it with filling. The inside of the hole must also be cleaned enough so that the speckling filling stay in firmly when applied. A word of caution, don’t go digging the hole out, just clean it a bit. We are repairing, not demolishing the wall or creating a new Grand Canyon

How to use a putty knife?

At this time, its a good idea to have your speckling mixture  prepared. If pre mix, make sure its air bubble free by kneading it between the putty blades and scrapers until it has a smooth tight consistancy. If preparing from dry powder, create a donut shape of the dry mix and add water to the centre, a little at a time, stirring the powder “in” whilst keeping the sides of the “donut “shape up. This way you can keep the water where you want it, and only mix enough speckle as required.  In order to apply this mixture for the patching of the holes, a putty knife has to be used. The following steps will show how with the use of a putty knife:

  • Before you apply the putty onto the hole for patching, you need to apply the putty first on the knife. For this purpose, you need to be sure that the putty is applied fairly evenly all across the putty knife’s blade. Make sure that you don’t put too much of the putty material onto the knife.
  • Apply it very smoothly onto the hole by spreading it over the surface in an even fashion. If there are any ridged areas, then smooth them gently with the putty knife. Remember, the more you put on in excess, the more you will have to sand off to bring it back a smooth flush or flat to the wall. Too little and all you get is a shallow, smooth hole that still shows up under the paint and looks wierd. Again, for lots of patched areas, you can use the pole sander when the whole lot are finished ( Note, I didn’t try the bad pun there)
  • When appliying paint later, first put a covering patch of paint to the repaired work. This will ensure the patch working becomes even more difficult to see, and if you’ve been consistant and careful, no-one will see your good work.

wall prepConclusion:

The scrapers and the putty knives are essential equipment which work in tandem for patching the holes in the wall. The scrapper is best used for removing the old  particles and tidying and the putty knife is creatively used for applying the filling.

Corona and Princeton Paint brushes

If you are looking for a paint brush for your DIY paining project, then your selection should be very much based on three important things. The first one is the material of the bristles, second one is the quality of the handle/ grip and the third one is the size of the brush which you choose according to the nature of the painting job. The Corona and Princeton paint brush reviews are worth reading to know about the quality products of these manufacturers. Both the manufacturers are good, as where the Corona manufacturer comes with different commercial products for productive tasks you will find the  Princeton paint brushes are more focused on producing brushes for artists.

corona paint brushesTop products from Corona and princeton:

The following are the top Princeton and Corona paint brushes:

Corona 2.5 inch Chinex paint brush

it is a 2.5 inch small brush which is apt for painting around tight corners and edges and also for full painting of small objects. The product has the hand formed chisels which most of the professionals today desire to have. The handle is comfortable with an unfinished type of raw hardwood sash. The ferrules are made from the strongest  (stainless steel) material which firmly connects the bristles with the handle, and doesn’t deteriorate over time when properly washed and cared for, a further sign of it’s quality. The manufacturer aims here to provide users with a softer and denser bristle material. The full 100 percent DuPont Chinex type of tapered synthetic filament gives good option and value to the user. You surely wouldn’t need to have a backup brush If a brush as good as this one is in your arsenal.

Corona 2.5 inch Professional paint brush

This is a professional level brush which can be equally useful for the home users well for their DIY painting projects. It is 2.5 inches in size, which makes it appropriate tool for painting along the edges, corners and the skirting around the house. It comes with a hand formed chisel which many of the professional painters desire to have in their favorite brushes. The handle is excellent, lightweight and manufactured from raw or unfinished hardwood. The beavertail type of this handle give users with top control and precision over a variety of their painting tasks. The price is very much affordable and the product promises to serve you flawlessly for a long time to come.

corona paint brush reviewCorona 3 inch paint brush

The best thing about brushes from Corona is that they always look well after the comfort of their users and also after the quality of the brushes. This one from Corona is a nicely balanced product giving good value to the user with its limited size. It is a 3 inch brush which can be used well on walls, doors, skirting and works on the corners evenly. It is a multi-use brush which can be used servicably with a large variety of paints. For the cutting in paint jobs, the hand formed chisels give great precision to the painter. The smooth tips of the brush are maintained even after many uses.

Princeton 9000 Series

It is a nice value pack for artist with 7 brushes of different sizes. It is a complete set for any artist who wants to do any scale of painting. They come with typical, but handy small golden Taklon handles. It is an economical pack which will do the job for you for a long time.

best princeton paint brushesPrinceton Synthetic paint brush set

This is a special set for the painters where they will get 4 brushes in a pack. It has synthetic type bristles which are ideal for painting in making fine strokes. The brushes are in different sizes which will give you good options to use for different painting purposes. The quality is excellent with good grip which will help you with all sorts of painting tasks. Probably best suited for fine arts, never let a good brush get away just because it may be intended for uses otherwise. If you have that tiny speck to cover, or want to brush out a paint blemish or repair point, try these. Sizes of this type are unbelievably handy to have in your kit.

The best brush for cutting in

The cutting in brushes are essential to handle the painting task of going around the edges of the wall, ceiling, floor edges and cabinets etc. People usually have different color schemes in their room where the paint shade changes around the edges. Even the professionals who have good brush control with their hands couldn’t do justice with the job if they are holding the wrong paint brush in hand. There are different paint brush types available in the market but all are not suitable for cutting in paint jobs. Sure, all of them “can” cut in, but…

You want to paint faster, smoother and better, right ? The cutting in brush ideally is smaller in size with stiff bristles that doesn’t deviate much from the target area and doesn’t create an unsightly boundary or edge.

best cutting in brushFinding the suitable paint brush for cutting in job:

The users also have the option of using the masking tape but it often isn’t suitable and feasible in a current setting. The masking tape option can take a lot of time and the results may not that impressiveas  that you would have liked. The best paint brush for cutting in demands just a bit of practice and then you will be on your way. Initially it will be a time consuming job particularly because of the limited size of the brush but as you go on with the plan, your hand will become steadier around the edges and your speed will improve. It will only become easier or  possible by using a top quality bush which is well made and ideally manufactured to do the painting job around the edges- the “cutting in ” that looks so sharp and tidy.

The paint brush selection really is the key for producing desirable results around the boundaries. The most expensive paint that is available on the planet wouldn’t look good at all if a low quality and inappropriate paint brush is used for applying it. The best paint brush reviews for the purpose of cutting in shows that the appropriate option for the job is the one which is a premium medium size brush. They brush ideally should have a 2 to 2 ½ inch  width, and hold a good enough angle to apply a balanced filmof paint on the edges in a more controlled and speedier way. This type of tool demands practice after which you can master the art around the edges. The best paint brush brand for this specific job will tell you about the best ways of using the tool and how to get thenoughenoughe maximum productivity out of it.

cutting in paint brushUseful tips for using the cut in paint brush:

The following are some useful tips for applying paint when using the cut in brush:

  • You need to have ample amount of light while working on the edges.
  • Don’t think about applying too much paint. A smooth kind of an even coat would give the best look.
  • A dip and touch methodological approach should be used when dealing with any kind of cutting in paint tasks.
  • There are a few paint color types which wouldn’t cover up with a single coat. Cutting in and then rolling for a second coat is desirable.