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Painting and Decorating

General Hints,  Hints for Cleaning  Stain Removal

Preparation is the key to a perfect finish so it is important to spend time sanding and cleaning the area first. Fill in all the blemishes first, try shining a light across the surface to show them up. More time spent at this stage will mean there is less likelihood of having start again because the final result is not what was expected.
  • After sanding use a vacuum cleaner to remove all of the dust before starting to paint - especialy skirting boards.
  • To rub down moulded parts of architrave or door pannels use a pumice stone which takes on the shape of the grooves.
  • Sugar soap removes the grime and dirt off paintwork and leaves the surface ready for repainting - even if it appears to be clean.
  • Using a mini sponge roller will reduce the time taken to paint a large surface like a door with gloss paint and the finish is much more even than with a brush. It can also be used for most surfaces as the edge can be run into mouldings. Some corners and edges may need to be cut in with a brush for a neat finish.
  • Use a plastic carrier bar to wrap a paint brush or roller to keep them fresh when having a break or even overnight if they are to be used again the following day. Keep them loaded with plenty of paint and as long as most of the air is excluded they will not dry out, even with oil-based paints (not cellulose). A close wrapping of kitchen film will keep them for a few days. This saves on a lot of laborious cleaning.
  • When cleaning brushes have a spare container to pour the used white spirit into. After a week or two the paint settles to the bottom forming a solid layer and the spirit can be decanted off for reuse - many times.
  • After a couple of rinses with white spirit, rub the brush in a rag to remove most of the remaining dilute paint. Use a brush cleaning fluid to remove the spirit, then give a final wash with detergent and allow to dry. This way the brush will last for a long time.
  • To soften stiffened paint brushes boil a cup or two of vinegar and stir the brush in it until the bristles soften. Then wash in hot, soapy water before use.
  • If the paint on a brush has not been allowed to dry it can be softened with paint stripper. Remove the softened paint with white spirit and wash with detergent
  • When cleaning a roller, use the back of a knife or a spatula to remove most of the paint by running it down the surface lengthwise. This will reduce the amount of rinsing needed before the water runs clear.
  • To clean the spray nozzle of a spray can the recommended method is to turn it upside down and spray until it is clear. An alternate method which preserves propellant is to remove the spray head and put it on a can of W-40, then a brief spray cleans the nozzle.

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