A fresh coat of paint in a room is like getting a haircut or that new fabulous makeup which makes you look 10 years younger. It can completely alter the feelings you experience when spending time in the room and increase your affinity toward your home. EVERY summer, thousands of homeowners entrust their homes to college-age painters, possibly on the theory that if you’re smart enough to matriculate, you can smear paint on a flat surface.
The hood of your dryer vent, located on the exterior of the home, takes a beating from the elements and over time can look decidedly grungy. You can give the vent a makeover fairly easily, but keep in mind that the vent is a high-humidity location – one often susceptible to mildew – as you select your paint. Choose a color that accents the trim or base color of your house, and go with a light hue to keep your dryer vent as cool as possible on sunny days.
Painting a room is a great way to transform your home interior, without it costing the earth. But it can be a daunting task and everyone wants to have that professional looking finish. What’s the secret to decorating success? Preparation and practice.
The Tools Of The Trade
Stopping in the middle of a paint job for forgotten supplies can negatively affect the outcome of your project. To avoid unnecessary breaks, it is important to gather everything you need:
- Paint and primer – Interior paint is available in a dizzying number of colors and brands of both oil and water-based paints. Seek out the best paint for your project by asking questions to home decorating professionals and exploring customization options. Certainly take your time with color choice, and remember to inquire about appropriate primers for the chosen paint and wall surface.
- Brushes – Paintbrushes are available with natural (oil based paints) or synthetic (any paint) bristles. Wall brushes are flat-bottomed and wide, approximately 3-6 inches, while trim brushes are flat-bottomed and narrow, approximately 1-2 inches. Sash-trim brushes are cut on an angle and 2 inches or less in width.
- Rollers – Rollers work especially well for large surfaces. Plastic cores are sturdier than cardboard cores and last through many uses. An optional extension pole will remove the need for ladders and make difficult spots easier to reach. There are various covering “naps” to chose from, though the ?-inch is the most popular for a smooth finish.
- Hammers and screwdrivers – These tools are handy for removing nails and other objects from walls, as well as assisting with cleanup and paint maintenance.
- Plastic bags and wrap – Plastic bags and wrap are used to protect fixtures as well as aid in the cleanup process.
- Rags and drop cloths – Even the tidiest painter has drips and spills. Keep these materials on hand to cleanup and protect unpainted objects.
- Painter’s tape – Regular masking tape could be used to protect trim but is much stickier than painter’s tape. This could make later touch-ups problematic and could even damage the walls underneath, so be attentive to which tape you use.
- Five gallon bucket and paint trays – When it comes time to paint a large area, a five gallon bucket with multiple cans of paint stirred together will ensure even coloring. Smaller paint trays are great for dipping brushes that will be used on smaller sections. Both tools will be helpful for your interior painting project.
- Scrape the surface of the vent hood with a paint scraper to remove chipped paint, rust or other types of buildup.
- Sand the vent’s surface using high-grit sandpaper for either metal or plastic vents. Rub the sandpaper in one direction across the entire surface of the vent to encourage paint adhesion.
- Scrub the sanded vent with bleach and an abrasive sponge. Rinse it with clean water and allow it to air dry completely.
- Trim the border of the vent with masking tape.
- Apply one even coat of moisture-resistant primer to the clean and sanded surface of the vent. Paint the primer on with long, even strokes.
- Allow the primer to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sand the vent’s surface once again, using fine-grit sandpaper this time, to promote adhesion.
- Apply one or two coats of mildew-resistant latex exterior paint, using long and even strokes just as you did for the primer application. Use a nylon-bristled brush for latex paint. If using spray paint, apply an even coat; hold the nozzle 6 to 8 inches from the vent and sweep smoothly in a back and forth motion. For either type of paint, apply a thin initial coat rather than a thick coat, which may lead to drips.
- Allow the first coat to dry for about an hour, or as according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply one or two more thin coats of paint.
- Allow the vent to dry for at least 24 hours before running your dryer.
- The workshop either takes place in one day on a weekend, or over two weekday evenings.
Make sure your space is properly ventilated. If it is a humid day, crack open windows for fresh air and use a large fan to circulate and help the paint dry.
Place a rubberband over the open paint can or a piece of mesh in the 5-gallon paint tub. Both of these will allow you to wipe excess paint off the brush or roller while keeping the container edges clean.
If brushes are new, break them in by slapping the bristles on a table edge. Then roll the handle between your hands to cause any loose bristles to fall out before entering the paint can or sticking to walls. It is also a good idea to clip any bent bristles.
Dipping brushes in water (water based paints) or paint thinner (oil based paints) will keep paint from building up in bristles or the brush base. Do not forget that brushes should never be dipped more than 1/3 into the paint.
Give the ceiling attention first, if painting that area. This will allow easy application without fear of rollers ruining the work completed on the walls.
After the ceiling, use brushes to move onto the corners and around the trim. Paint two to three inches in from the edges to make rolling the rest of the wall simpler.
When working on the walls themselves, chose one wall to paint at a time. Paint a 3′ by 3′ “W” on the wall, and then fill in without lifting the roller. Continue working in sections until the wall is complete.
Trim should be painted very last, using an angle brush and a steady hand. Take your time here as uneven trim can draw the eye much faster than one may think.
Once the walls are painted, the bulk of the work is completed, but you can’t quit just yet.
- For a temporary break, do not rush to rinse out the brushes and roller. Simply wrap the paint covered ends in plastic, tightly sealing away any air. Place in plastic bags and set aside until used later in the day. To keep brushes and rollers for up to a week, place the wrapped tools in the freezer. Thaw out one hour before use.
- Take your time when cleaning brushes and rollers. Properly cleaning each tool will ensure a much longer life.
- Brushes should be cleaned thoroughly with the proper material (water or paint thinner depending on the brush and paint used), excess cleaner or solvent should be shaken out, and bristles should be swiped in an “X” pattern onto newspaper. Then reshape the bristles by hand, wrap in newspaper and tape closed for storage.
- Paint should be stored in the smallest container possible to keep out air. Plastic wrap under the lid can provide a tighter seal.
- Storage containers should be labeled: date used, where purchased, where used, color brand and number (name), and if possible, the original label and swatch should be adhered to the container.
- Place a small amount of paint into a separate touch-up container. This small amount will allow you to make little touch ups as needed without having to open and reseal the larger amount of leftover paint. Also label these containers with the room where used and the store where purchased.
- Do not pull up drop cloths until the project is completely dry and touch ups have been applied. Be careful when removing protective barriers; check that all drips and spills have dried and will not accidentally seep out as cloths are gathered.
- Remove painter’s tape delicately. Though intended for use on walls, extensive adherence can still cause damage.
The color and decor of the room is a major contributor to this feeling of relaxation that we experience.