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Interior latex

Painting with this stuff is like painting with cake frosting.

My father taught me how to paint with oil paint, not this shit.

What's the strategy for avoiding brush marks? I've been slopping as much as possible on as fast as possible, then lining it out to the wet edge. But that can't be right, since I'm going over every surface multiple times.

Help!

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

But I was told to paint using a roller by making an M or W and then filling it in.

Of course, I eventually ended up hiring a professional painter because my own painting looked like shit.

scarshapedstar's picture
Submitted by scarshapedstar on

Basically, use a lot of it, and roll it out in every direction. You're gonna need probably 3 coats with a brush.

But I still believe
And I will rise up with fists!!

Submitted by lambert on

... so I'm starting on a room that doesn't matter.

SS, I'm starting from dry wall, and I'm priming the wood trim. I figure when I get to the roller stage, I'll be fine, but I want the trim to look good, too.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

I work with a house-painter during the summer months, whenever she happens to have a rather large job.

Latex is not the best paint to use with a brush. Instead get a good set of rollers and washable covers. You'll need a large roller, a small 2" roller for doing cut-in work (around doors, windows, ceiling, floor/baseboards) and a corner roller for - you guessed it - corners.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Brushes are ok for trim, like ceiling edges, but moving the brush horizontally doesn't leave brush marks as much.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by PA_Lady on

Are you priming the drywall as well? That makes a big difference in how well the paint goes on. Without primer, painting the wall takes more effort with *worse* results.

*edited

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

Primers are special paints that smooth the surface you are painting. They have filling capabilities and can fill in any microscopic valleys, depressions, etc. When they dry, the surface of the primer is coarse . This allows the finish paint an excellent surface to grab onto.
From: Ask the Builder

Some wall prep is good also [I don't know what with] if you plan on covering w/wallpaper.

Sounds like you started already. What color -- something pretty??

Submitted by lambert on

Good idea. But how about where trim meets the wall? Surely that can't be handled with a roller?

Yes, I'm priming dry wall. The dry wall is soaking it up...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

Assuming you're taping off the edges, (use painter's tape, not masking or scotch!) you can use a small roller or a corner roller around the trim.

A brush will work as well, but - as someone above said - use horizontal strokes.

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

clapclapclap, you get the Smartie award today.

Thanks, I love to save time, energy and money using my smarts.

Why, those are the very reasons to support Hillary. My favorite word for her: "smart."

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

with the brush won't leave the marks, use the bottom of the brush and go sideways, in the corners, go top to bottom.

It also depends on the brush you are using, there really is a difference.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

for the proper painting technique.

------------------------------------------------
Real ponies don't oink - Patrick McManus

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

brush should be poly fibers (un-natural) not natural (pig, llama, ardvark, etc)

if the humidty is very low or the hosue is very warm, your fighting rapid evaporation.

stir paint well and keep it stirred.

you can thin latex with a little bit of water if it's really thick, but most never neeed that.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

you probably know, but

primer for drywall is an entirely different paint from primer for wood.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The key to a good looking paint job is all in the prep. Assumimg you've patched and sanded and vacuumed and run a tack cloth, the next step is to prime.

Only one way to prime and that's with Zinzer Bullseye white shellac (do NOT use a latex primer). Stinks to high heaven, dries fast and covers everything so you have a uniform surface that won't suck up the moisture from the paint. I use this primer for everything, have for forever, and nothing else comes close. This stuff is the ticket to a good outcome for any surface.

Have the paint store tint the Bullseye with the same mix and load of color that went into your topcoat paint. The color won't look right but never mind. Light always penetrates paint and the tint in the primer will reflect the same wavelengths as the top color you're looking for. Tinting the primer gives the wall color much more depth - it will pop rather than just lay there.

Bare drywall will need at least two coats of primer, maybe three if the color is dark. What you want to see is uniformity, from all angles; use a drop light to cast light onto the wall from different angles. Check after each coat and you'll know when you've done enough. Shellac dries fast, you can do three coats in a room in one day easy. Use fans to ventilate to avoid getting seriously high from the alcohol fumes. Or not. Let the last coat dry overnight.

Latex doesn't dry the same way as oil, which you've discovered. The secret to avoiding brush marks is thin coats. Use a roller with a thick nap 3/8 at least and paint a big "W" then an "M" and then fill it in evenly. Don't try to put too much paint on at one time, it is fine if the coverage appears a little light because you'll make it up with more coats. Always work from a wet edge. Use fans to speed drying and you can do two coats in one day. Expect to do three coats to get a good finish.

For trim, buy a decent brush made for latex. Don't load it up, and lay on the paint lighter than you would with oil. The first coat should be thin enough to see through. Trim will need at least three coats, four if the paint is dark.

With latex I don't clean the brushes or rollers between coats, as long as I'm staying at the job. For up to three days I just drag out most - but not all - of excess paint on the can edge and put brushes into ziplock bags; use the same bag for the whole job. Rollers I leave on the handle and stick them in plastic grocery sacks or similar, doubled up and twist the opening around the handle, fixed with a rubber band. Same thing with paint trays; I use disposable liners (shoot me) and just stick the tray and liner into a plastic grocery bag; the tray will stay fine for three days at a time.

Multiple thin coats, for both the primer and the paint, is the ticket. If you already have brush marks, lightly sand with 400 paper or an equivalent sanding block to take them down, then vacuum and wipe with a tack cloth; a couple or three additional coats done correctly and they should disappear.

Good luck, have fun, put up photos when done please.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Make love to the wall. Put some time and some care into it. You'll both be happier in the end.

Trust me on this one; I have painted many, many rooms for many, many years.

jeqal's picture
Submitted by jeqal on

I always found that if you want a room painted correctly you have to find your mother to do it for you. Especially picking out the color.

My back room is testament to that.

“Democrats have a habit of falling in love with candidates on the first date.”

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I'm 40 years old and my mother painted my kitchen and most of my bathroom. And I'm not ashamed to say so. They look much better than if I had done it. I don't have the patience for that kind of work.

I did, however, remove the wallpaper from the bathroom. During which I learned an invaluable lesson - rent a steamer. I spent backbreaking hours scraping until I was down to probably the last stubborn 20%. Rented a steamer and most of it came off just from the steamer warming up. Next time, I'm starting with the steamer.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

(but what if you've learnd stuff like that from her or others already? i'm proud that i can do this kind of thing, small as it is)

jeqal's picture
Submitted by jeqal on

I would love to say that I got the painting thing, I do know that when given a brush and showed, by the time my 5 inches was painted she had completed half the room. (and she had to redo mine)
hehe
I did try painting the back room by myself and the lavendar did not look plum in the can.
So on to the kitchen, well heck spraypaint seems a lot faster than this happy who ha and gold is nice.......
Quite frankly I'm a menace to painters everywhere, however, I do do a good oil painting so am forgiving myself my lack of common sense when it comes to painting, decorating, redecorating and decoupage.

“Democrats have a habit of falling in love with candidates on the first date.”

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's a real skill--at least it's not impossible like wallpaper, which always ends up not matching at the seams for most people, or bubbled or torn, etc...

the color thing is hard--I usually paint a big piece of cardboard (i don't buy or have them mix custom colors usually so a small can works first) -- and prop it or tape it up for a week---to look at it day and night, and when the sun hits it and under lamps, etc...

fast is better too, i find, like your mom--get a coat up quick--then let it dry and see where you missed or do the edges, and you're good to go. (and you can always hang art/mirrors/etc on bad spots too) : >

Submitted by lambert on

Situation so far: Walled in porch with new drywall walls, ceiling; windows and doors with trim; cubby. New floor, to be painted.

To summarize:

0. Paint: I'm used to thinking of paint as something that you drive into the surface to bond with it, as with oil, and which smooths itself out when brushed in. Latex is not like that. Latex is about laying a consistent coating on a surface, ideally in a single stroke, and it doesn't smooth itself out.

1. Rollers not brushes: Wall, 2-inch, and corner! (IOW, the answer to "How do I hide brush strokes is: Don't use a brush. Question: Is it possible to paint interior latex only with rollers? Including trim? Except perhaps a tiny brush for touchup? However, the brushes I do have are for latex. Not top quality, but good enough.

2. I know surface prep is critical. I've done plenty of caulking and spackling and sanding. Yes, everything will be primed.

3. It sounds like I'm using -- was sold -- the wrong kind of primer. I was sold B-I-N sealer primer for knots, and Benjamin Moore Acrylic Primer for the drywall. It sounds like I ought to be using the B-I-N for everything, which fits in well with the idea that Latex is all about layering surfaces.

4. Dunno about the multiple coats thing. This is my area, but there are areas in the house that are not mine, and there's no way I'm investing in multiple coats. What sort of compromise would a landlord make on this?

Thanks for everybody's help on this. I'm getting faster and better, but not nearly fast or good enough...

UPDATE I forgot to say, the floor: Oil paint. None of this stain or polyurethane nonsense.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

can use various sized rollers alone, i find.

just use small ones near the taped parts.

(and you can always scrape/wipe away excess paint that gets in the wrong place)

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I've used all sorts, and absolutely nothing works as well as white shellac. On any surface. I've painted rentals with ink and lipstick and crayon and blood on the walls, new construction drywall, salvaged furniture, plywood, doors, on and on.

Zinzer sells a several different primers now. Some people don't like the smell of shellac, but it's only alcohol; open a window and turn on a fan. I'll see if I can find a picture of the right kind, they redid the lables a few years back so they all look the same and I know which one by sight but can't describe it exactly. They all say B-I-N but the one you want also says Bullseye.

Get it tinted. If you bought the paint and primer at the same place, they should do it for free. Take the acrylic primer back if it's original.

Layers is exactly right, and you want the rpimer to seal the surface. The latex paint should then lay on top. Modern times, Lambert, we all have to adjust - multiple coats if you want it to look good. If you're painting for tenants, maybe you just do two topcoats, but the primer coats will make the difference between a fair job and a great one. I am O-C on painting, can't help myself, so you may be pleased enough with a couple of topcoats, but if you put latex on too heavy it will leave brush or roller marks and it will sag.

I use a roller on the big areas, but I am not a fan of small rollers; other people love them. I like painting with a brush, it feels good in my hand and I like the interaction between the tool and the task. I use a brush for all the wood trim and close work, rather than try to run a big roller right up to the trim.

Again, the difference is how it looks when you're done. The total time expended isn't much more to do four light coats than two heavier ones, each light coat goes almost twice as fast as dealing with a heavier coat. The drying time in between I don't count.

I'll look for a photo of the primer.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Here's the link. Shellac is what you want. It says one coat to cover but no, not really. Two coats, always, and then no worries. For heavy stains I've used three, and also when the topcoat is a dark color over a light original. Have the shellac tinted same as the top coat, you will love the results.

They've changed the labeling again, now the word "bullseye" is only on the water-base product and you don't want that, waste of time.

Z-i-n-s-s-e-r. Bavarian origin, perhaps.

Is your floor wood? If so, are you sure you want to paint it? Nothing warms the feel of a house like a wood floor.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

for the floor--or whatever they're called--supermarkets usually have them in lots of areas.

or rub wax in or something....then you can iceskate in your socks : >

Submitted by lambert on

It's a new pine wood floor, with the sort of tongue-and-groove boards that fit together. The essential point is that there's plenty of insulation under it.

Plenty of rooms in the house have painted wooden floors, and they look really good. Old fashioned and authentic. Plus, they're rugged.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm sold on the B-I-N primer, Zinzer, it is in fact what I was sold, but for knots only. What I've done is cut in the edges, but the walls are not done.

Can I just lay the shellac over everything? Or will that cause problems, as laying latex over oil causes problems?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

why put shellac over paint? didn't you buy the finish you wanted (satin, gloss, flat, etc)?

Submitted by lambert on

... shellac over everything that's already been primed (not the finish coat).

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

not a topcoat, amber. It binds to anything, will adhere even to greasy walls, and any kind of paint adheres to it. It is the perfect primer for everything.

Lambert, say again about the walls you've already done. I'm not clear where exactly in this project you are, and I want my advice to be correct.

Ah, now I re-read and if understood you've "cut-in" around the edges with something, primer or a first coat of paint? If so, then yes you can primer with the shellac right over it and I would, you want a uniform base color to put the topcoat on. That shellac is brilliant white, it will show through so my advice is to have it tinted - repeat, have it tinted.

Regards the floor, I had my reservations about polyurethane as well, but I was sold on it by a friend and I'm a convert. Have had several houses with wood floors, both pine and oak, lightly stained and then waxed, and loved them. The wax wasn't much upkeep, but with lots of kids it did need a good scrub and a new coat every three to four months, a few hours usually in the dead of night while everyone else was asleep.

The last house the original wood - oak - had been damaged by dog pee, then carpeted over. Ripped out the stinky carpet, sanded down the wood and then negotiated with a local floor finisher and got them to put on a coat of semigloss poly using leftovers from a couple of big industrial jobs - saved about 30% from the original quote.

Loved it. You could tapdance on that stuff and not leave a mark. Run a vacuum and that's it, every once and a while a hot water mop. Fabulous.

But painted floors in NE is traditional, like I guess other old time things like kerosene lights and handcrank phones :-) You know you can't use wall paint on floors, too soft.

Anything else? You have but to ask.

Submitted by lambert on

I cut in round the edges with (acrylic) primer. Apparently, though, the shellac will cover everything, so I need have no fear about that.

The trim is done in primer, and it's reasonably good, not perfect. Maybe I should cover that up with shellac as well? I'd really like a smooth surface, if that's achievable. And the less I sand, the better my hacking cough will be.

Once a decade, whether it needs it or not, is my motto on floors. No waxing for me. And this wood is simply not good or interesting wood, so there's no point exposing it. Plus, I like the look of paint. And with a couple of quasi-Turkish carpets on it, things will be just fine.

Yes, I have I think deck paint or enamel for the floor, not wall paint. Whatever, it's designed for that purpose.

Thanks very much. I'm sure the shellac is the key. The acrylic was just vanishing into the drywall and the bare wood, and that clearly wasn't right, even if that was what people were telling me was right.

Next, the bathroom, which I imagine will go faster.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

trishb's picture
Submitted by trishb on

When we first moved to Ohio, my parents found their dream house, a relatively formal 1825 brick farm house with 5 barns. It needed quite a bit of renovation, including the floors. Some of them buffed out beautifully, but others were never meant to be left bare. There were mixed woods, mixed grains, and hugely variable quality. A lot of people gasped when my dad painted some of the floors, and let's not get into the thought of covering up all that very detailed woodwork with paint.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

On the trim, depends on how the last coat of primer went on. If the wood was still sucking it up then I'd slap a coat of shellac on that too. The bare drywall will need two coats, the first one seems to be sucked in but its only the surface millimeter or so; the second coat seals the deal.

Re: the hacking cough, some people wear a cheap mask while they sand and it really helps reduce the coughing. That and a waterpipe....

There are a couple of little details about painting with shellac, I'll come back on that.

Oh, and yeah, sure, bathrooms always go faster LOL. What are you doing in there?

Submitted by lambert on

Two walls are old; two are new with drywall; the ceiling is new drywall; the floor is vinyl, so, no paint. Windows, trim. So I need to get it all to match.

Owing to the vagaries of contractors, the fixtures may need to go in before I can get to the walls, but presumably I can cover them up.

On the trim, the wood wasn't sucking it up, but the surface could be smoother, and I can't say the coverage, even now, is complete. (Fucking stuff just sits there, and the light is not perfect.) So, I think shellac might help with that.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by hipparchia on

doing it all over because you didn't do it right the first time sucks worse, i promise you.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and that'll take the pain out of the labor.

Note: Before the flame wars start, this does not work when you're speaking of a normal vaginal delivery of a full-term human. About other species, I have no firsthand knowledge; but based on the sounds they make, I figure it's really NOT that much easier to have kittens, or piglets, or find a calf or a foal than it is to have a baby.

The thing about having a baby, though, is you pretty much can't decide halfway through that you ought to start over...

(and as with any project, the quality of your prep work will show up in the finished job....)

Submitted by lambert on

One per day? I could take 5 days to finish a room, after the prep and the priming, also multiple coats. Something's wrong with this picture.

I've got nothing against craftmanship, but craftsmen don't waste time or materials either.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Speeds up the drying. With latex at 65-75F and a fan, you can start a second coat after 4 - 6 hours. start early in the morning, do the walls, then the edge. Take a break, start again where you first started as long as its dry to the touch. Then do the edge again. Let the second coat dry overnight, then put on a third coat. You'll be so pleased.

Sarah, that childbirth thing sounds awful. We men have other people to do that sort of thing for us; good planning on our part, dontcha think?

Submitted by lambert on

Presumably, the surface dries first. 4-6 hours gives a lot of leeway, so what's the test to start a second coat?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I would be all over it right now, drop everything else and get it painted before the fixtures go in; soooo much less work to do it now.

Get yourself a droplight, cheapest available, maybe $25 or so. Big help with detail work where the light is sketchy. If it looks good under bright light it will look perfect with regular lighting.

Submitted by lambert on

It's more important to get my computing equipment into a new space ASAP than it is to save a little labor on the bathroom.

Yes, I have a droplight. Actually, I think my carpenter took it away with him by mistake...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

(adds item to list to have a long talk with the Flying Spaghetti Monster about)

I have done both things.
Of the two, painting is less intensely painful during the event, but it does tend to last longer. In my experience it's been easier to pay off the paint job, though.

(I will say I'm better pleased with the results of the other labors. They've lasted longer and are more attractive, two decades or so afterward.)

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

if it changes color, it isn't even close. If it stays the same color, touch it gently. If it has no give, press a little; if it doesn't deform, its dry enough for the next coat.

The range of time is for the range of temperature; four hours at 75, six hours at 65 - with a fan. If the air in the room is stagnant, it can take a lot longer depending on humidity.

And that's the time from when the paint is laid down, not from when you finish the room. If it takes you four hours to do the room, take an hour or two break and start right back up at the same spot you started the first coat.

Submitted by lambert on

As I keep saying, the fucking stuff is like cake frosting. It fucking just sits there. [Yes, it's properly mixed and shaken up at the hardware store. It sits there as opposed to oil, which flows.]

So, it's not like latex is like water-color or glazes, where you can have multiple translucent washes.

With cake frosting, either the cake shows through, or it doesn't. So where is the "thin"?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and spread the paint. Keep spreading until it barely covers the surface, thin enough that it just covers, the thickness of a newspaper or so.

From what you say, sounds like you're putting it on way too thick.

Submitted by lambert on

The stuff can't be worked in and smoothed, like oil. It just sits there, whether thick or thin.

Why I'm going to try to maximize use of rollers (with washable covers!). Brushes are too slow, give too uneven coverage.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

And what are you using for a brush? Sounds like a coarse bristle, which would be fine for oil but not for latex. You should be using a medium to fine bristle, not so fine as with a watercolor brush but not much thicker. Foam brushes also work well with latex.

The ridges from the bristles should resolve as the paint dries. If that's not happening, maybe something is on the wall or the woodwork that keeps the paint from pulling together.

Submitted by lambert on

Though maybe I should get foam. Foam would be all about the surface.

The ridges do, ultimately, resolve, but not rapidly, as with oil. It's like there's no feedback. And the stuff just doesn't reward smoothing out.

I suppose I should try to respect latex as its own medium, but its difficult.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Different medium, but the ease of cleanup and the forgiving nature, never mind the odor advantage, plus the lower VOC load on the atmosphere, etc. You'll get the hang of it. What happens with residual brush marks is that with the second coat the paint tends to flow into the valleys and so after a couple or three coats it all evens out. Foam takes away almost all of that issue.

Submitted by lambert on

Shit, it's exactly like spreading frosting with one of those plastic thingies...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I find it better with foam to load up less paint, so it measn more trips from can to wal and back again, not a biggie but still. If you load up the foam it tends to drip and work its way up into the top of the brush instead of staying at the tip where you can work it. If the surface is rough the foam can shred, leaving little balls of foam that have to be picked out. You can wash them out and re-use them, but my experience they tend to degrade so after a while they're no good anymore even if you took good care of them. Essentially they're disposables, while a decent bristle brush well taken care of will last for years.

Are you painting as we speak?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

As for the brush strokes, ideally you don't get involved with spreading out paint you've already applied -- the latex just doesn't want to be shoved around gracefully, so doing the cut-in and then putting just the right amount on the roller to make not-too-thick, not-running-out swipes.

But really, I don't know anything.

Maybe this ridiculously handsome guy knows what he's talking about:

http://diy.aol.com/home-improvement/home...

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Psychic paint advice, VL; what could go wrong?

Eric Studley does make it look easy. I always tape, but then I have a short attention span.

What temperature is your room, Lambert?

Submitted by lambert on

Probably mid-60s when I'm working.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Any colder and latex gets too thick to work; no flow at all.

Go to bed. I'll put up some hints about working with shellac, although VL will no doubt find a slickly produced video instruction with some hot stud/babe to upstage me.

After that it's back to psychoanalyzing the OFB for me; less controversial.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

If you want thin, this is your liquid. Runs like water, drips and sprays all over the place if you aren’t careful. Does a terrific job, but has its own needs that have to be respected. There are several brands; in my experience, Zinsser BIN white shellac is by far the best.

First of all, if you don’t have a good dropcloth go get one. A medium weight (8 oz) canvas, 8 x 12 at least, with a dense weave will do the job and last for years. Have a bottle of rubbing alcohol handy, along with some clean rags, for cleanup of any drips. If/when you do drip on something that's a problem, stop immediately and clean it up; this stuff dries really, really fast.

Ventilate the room. The fumes are alcohol, and they will put you on your can. Not unpleasantly, but falling-down drunk is no way to paint. Be especially vigilant about open flames, like pilot lights or lighters; catching on fire is worse than falling down drunk.

The only way to clean equipment is with alcohol, so I expect to throw everything away. Buy the cheapest roller, with a short nap (marked for Smooth Texture). For edge and trim, buy throwaway brushes of either latex style bristle or foam. Buy throwaway tray liners. Yes, a lot of trash but the alternative is a lot of alcohol evaporation and a big mess, with in my experience a mediocre outcome.

The pigment that makes white shellac work is Titanium Dioxide, and it’s very dense. Even though the particles are small, they fall out of suspension rapidly and form a thick cake on the bottom of the can. If you can get the can shaken at a paint store just before use, great. Otherwise, stir with a stout stick and dig up the settled layer until you can feel the can bottom is clean. Stir completely until there are no lumps or strings. Stir regularly during use.

Pour just enough shellac into the paint tray to bring it to the lower ridges, no more. Immediately replace the can cover. Work quickly because the liquid dries very fast. Do not load the roller; keep it evenly moist but not dripping. Roll slowly so as not to create a spray. With a brush, again do not overload and use a steady stroke without compressing the brush. Smooth out any runs or sags immediately, wetting the brush if needed to soften any thick areas and spread them out.

Expect to use two coats to cover, so with the first coat small areas that appear thin or a scattering of little spots showing through is not a problem; they’ll get covered with the second coat. Tint the shellac to match the topcoat paint, using the same mix and amount of colorant; your paint supplier should do that for you at no charge.

Store used brushes in a ziplock bag for reuse within a couple of days. When the job is finished, set the tray and brushes outside to dry and then dispose in the regular trash.

This is far and away the best undercoat for paint, and will give the nicest possible outcome; well worth the peculiarities.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

It tends to cramp my social life.

Best way to avoid brush marks? Use a small roller or paint pad and cut in small sections at a time. Last time I painted, I used Benjamin-Moore Aura paint which has this totally weird formulation. It has to be applied very quickly to keep a wet edge and you can't go over it to touch up the missed spots until it's dry. There's some kind of polymer reaction that occurs while it's drying that makes it particularly vulnerable while it's still "wet". Totally weird paint but it does live up to it's reputation for having a great hide.
Actually, all Benjamin-Moore paints seem to work very well. They're more expensive but totally worth it if you want good single coat coverage.
Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

I was wondering if somebody would make that joke. But I didn't think it would be you, Goldberry! (And thanks for the kind words on Wolcott's piece.)

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

Mind like a sewer, RD....

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.