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Published at Sunday, 10 May 2020.

Preparation, the key to a successful paint job is to take the correct steps when preparing the job. Preparation for this article, has two parts, the first part is wall prep. The walls you are going to paint may have nail holes or imperfections that need to be filled before you paint. The proper way to fill them, if they are smaller is with water putty, by simply forcing a little bit of the putty in the hole and breaking it off flush with the surface. For larger depressions, use a drywall compound or spackle, which may require a second application to fully fill the indentation and make the repair/"patch" flush with the wall. When choosing colours for exterior surfaces, consider the style of the brickwork or masonry of your home along with the colours used on nearby buildings, so as to pick colours that are sympathetic to these surroundings. Colours for fences and sheds should be selected with the same criteria in mind. Solvent or oil-based paints are used where a tough, durable finish is required for interior and exterior timber, masonry and furniture - although, as mentioned above, the new generation of acrylics and multi-surface paints offers viable alternatives. In general, brushes need to be cleaned with turpentine or white spirit.

The second part of preparation is surface prep, it addresses covering the surfaces you do not want to get any paint on. A little plastic sheeting will go along way to keeping paint off of floors, window coverings, handrails, cabinets, counter tops, etc... And, if you are not confident with your ability to paint a straight line next to door casing, baseboards, cabinets or hardware protect these surfaces using masking tape. There are two basic types of masking tape white/yellow and blue. The white tape sticks to surfaces better but, can pull off finishes on cabinets or stained woodwork. Blue tape usually will not pull off finishes but, does not stick as well, this will probably be the tape to use for most applications. Always wipe down or dust the surface you will be masking to assure the best tape adhesion possible. If you use blue tape you may need to re-rub down the tape before painting next to it, only mask off areas with blue tape that you will be painting for a given day. With either tapes, do not assume the are a force field that paint will not penetrate, use them as a reference and dry brush the paint next to the edge of the tape and avoid soaking the edge of the tape with a lot of paint, this will cause the paint to "bleed" through giving you an undesired look. If you will need to apply multiple coats of paint, on the first coat, paint as close to the tape as you can, not really getting paint on the tape. With the second coat or a one coat application, you can use the tape more of like a paint barrier and get a little more paint on the tape if you immediately remove each section of tape after painting the section, this will keep the paint from sitting on the tape and "bleeding" behind it. Also, if you get a lot of paint on the tape it is not good to let the paint dry on the tape because some paints (especially the glossier paints) will peel if allowed to dried, with the tape when it is pulled off. White tape should not be left on for longer than a couple of days and I suggest not leaving it on more than a day in areas that receive long periods of direct sunlight. Blue tape can be left on for days, if it will stay on, there again it does not stick as well and may need rubbed down again immediately before painting up next to it. By far, the most important characteristic in determining whether you are Warm or Cool is your hair color. If you can't determine your exact eye or skin tone, then your hair color will provide the answer. Why? It frames your face! Technical advancements are constantly being made to improve the life span, durability, wear and performance of exterior paints. The Akrylatfarg range at Ray Munn, for example, is an environmentally sound water-based option. If you have large holes or cracks in a wall purchase a small can of vinyl repair paste. The reason I prefer it over regular wall Spackle is that after it dries it is much harder and sands easily. You can even use it for minor wood repair in a pinch.