Using a Paint Brush

The Paint Brush is the most widely used tool for applying paint. The first step is to select the right brush for the job at hand. For example, if you want to paint a window frame or skirting board, a 50mm or smaller Sash Cutter will suit your purpose. If painting Ceilings and walls (Cutting - In), a 75mm brush would be best. If you have a weatherboard home and decide to paint it, a 100mm brush would best suit this job.

New brushes should be washed in warm water and shaken vigorously to remove any loose bristles. A brush Spinner can be purchased at most Paint Stores, which makes this process easy. Previously used brushes should also be washed, to remove any dust and free up tight bristles. Leave them to dry before use.

Now you have selected the right brush, how do you use it?

Pour a little bit of paint into a clean container (paint pot). To load your brush, dip it into the paint, then gently tap on each side of the pot. This will remove excess paint and help minimize any drips.

Cutting in is a learned technique that professional painters take for granted, however if you are a do it yourself kind of person, the only advice I can give is to use low tack masking tape and take your time. Carefully remove the masking tape as soon as possible after the paint dries. Use a Stanley Knife or similiar to cut a line between the paint and the masking tape, to ensure that it does not pull off any fresh paint.

When finished, wash the brush out. Water for Acrylic Paints, or Turps for Oil based paints (alkyds). Finish the washing process for both water based and oil based, with warm soapy water. Spin out the residue and water. Repeat the process until you no longer see any traces of paint.

To keep your brush in good condition, shape the bristles and wrap in tissue paper, or the cover that many brushes are purchased with.

Stay tuned, next time we will talk about using a Roller.

Paint Stripping

Every time you repaint a surface, a little more thickness is added to the existing layers. This build up of successive layers of paint can eventually lead to problems, including clogging of detailing and the moving parts of doors and windows start to bind and catch against their frames. Anyone with an old house that has double hung sash windows will know exactly what I am talking about. When this happens, it is time to strip the paint back to bare wood and start again.

In the past using a blow torch was the most popular method to strip paint, however these days electric heat guns are commonly used. Alternatively, a chemical paint stripper can be used. Most Paint strippers contain dimethylene chloride or caustic soda. You must wear the correct safety gear when stripping paint. Heavy duty Industrial gloves, Safety Glasses, an Apron or disposable coveralls and steel cap boots.

You should have access to running water, in case any of the chemical gets on your skin or in your eyes. Wash with copious amounts of water. If you get any in your eyes go to a doctor asap.

Another thing to be aware of when stripping paint from old buildings, is the possibility that there will be lead based paint in a prior coating. Where possible the area to be stripped should be encapsulated, so as to catch the old paint for easy collection and disposal when you finish.

Adventures in Kaniva

So for the last 7 weeks we have been busy rejuvenating the Kaniva Shire Hall. Yes, that’s right Kaniva, 35km from the SA Border on the Western Highway, 19 km from Nhill.

This Heritage listed building was in desperate need of a refurbishment. The Shire of West Wimmerra posted a tender, which we won.

The scope of work included a complete refurbishment of both the exterior and interior of the building. The Interior walls were so bad that they crumbled when we started to scrape them down. We also had to replace half a ceiling in the Old Chambers that had a hole in it.

Day 1 was spent travelling for 5 hours, then setting up base camp at the Mcracken family farm house. Many thanks to Rob & Judy for letting my crew stay there.

Day 2 - Site Induction and set up. After going through the site job file, and helping to establish the ground rules for the job, I headed back to Whittlesea, leaving Jake in charge.

Jake and Zac proceeded to carry out plaster repairs, while Adam and Tyler followed through with the painting.

Tyler is a local boy that wandered in looking for some work. I admired his gumption, so gave him a casual labourers position.

I visited the site weekly to check on progress and quality. On my week 3 visit, I thought the boys deserved a bit of a reward, so we went to the local pub for a meal. I discovered that Zac drinks like a fish!, and I was the first to retire from the innings!

Very surprised to see them all on the job bright and early next day.

Seven weeks later, we hand over the job, and everyone is very happy. Local council were a pleasure to deal with. Thanks Trent and Bernie.

Big thanks to the team, Jake, Zac, Adam, Ahmet and Tyler.

Edwardian Renovation in Hughesdale

Edwardian Renovation in Hughesdale

One of our latest projects is an Edwardian home in Hughesdale that needed upgrading.

Every Room had wallpaper, which we removed. The walls in this old house crumbled in parts as we took the wallpaper off. Our resident plastering pro, Jake, returned the walls to as new condition. Then Shannon and Jake finished the painting to a very high standard.

See our Gallery for a look at the finished product.