Monday, October 24, 2016

Tips for Edging Ceilings (and Other Tricky Painting Dilemmas)

In the 8+ years we've lived in our house, I've now repainted every single room with the exception of a couple closets and the pantry.  I also painted our entire basement after we finished the drywall last year. My husband hates painting, so the task usually falls on my shoulders.  I don't mind though; I actually enjoy it for the most part because I get satisfaction with the immediate results of changing a wall color.  The only part that I dislike is all the prep work (because I'm an impatient person and just want to get to the results).



While I still wouldn't consider myself a pro, I've learned a few things along the way that have made some of the tricky painting areas easier.  These methods may not work for everyone, but I figured I'd share just in case they come in handy for someone!  


1.  Edging the Ceiling
When we were first painting our guest bedroom, I started looking for an alternative to taping off the ceiling.  I ended up finding the Shur-Line 2000878 Paint Premium Edger and decided to give it a shot. 



There was a bit of a learning curve to it as far as loading the paint pad and sliding it across the wall. But after I got into the groove, it was actually a pretty handy tool.  I'm not going to say it's done a perfect job 100% of the time, but with our 10-foot ceilings you'd have to get up on a ladder and inspect it up close to see any blunders.




I prefer to hold the edger with my hand for more control, but you can attach a painting extension pole for hard-to-reach spots (this was a lifesaver in our tall stairwell). Over time I've also bought the Shur Line Paint Edger Replacement Pads, because after many uses the tiny bristles might get fuzzy, or even crusty if it hasn't been washed out well.



I also used this edger when I painted the basement walls, which are not textured.  Strangely enough, I found it more difficult to get a clean line next to that ceiling than I did on our upstairs walls, which are textured. Maybe the textured walls hide imperfections better? Anyway, I think I did end up taping off some parts of the basement ceiling. 


2.  Painting Next to Carpeted Stairs
I ran into this dilemma while painting our entire main floor gray a couple years ago. Short of pulling up the carpet on the stairs, how was I supposed to get the wall painted right next to it?



It wasn't as easy as just taping it off... or was it? Actually, yes.  But not with the blue painter's tape. I bought a roll of wide white masking tape from Home Depot, which seemed to have more sticking power than the blue stuff. Basically I just placed it right along the very edge of the carpeted stairs while pushing the carpet down into the corners. (If you wanted to be really careful, unlike me, you would first put down some plastic sheeting to completely cover the stairs.)  




Then I just took my brush and painted along the tape, shoving the brush down as far as I could next to the taped-off carpet. It also helps to use a large putty knife (or similar tool with a flat edge) to push down the carpet further as you're painting next to it. Once the walls were dry, I pulled off the tape which pulled the carpet back up to its original position. Voila!  You couldn't see any of the old paint color. 




3. Painting Next to Rubber Seal in a Door Frame
This tricky spot reared its ugly head just recently, when I was repainting some of our oak trim white. I'd been putting off the front door just for this reason, actually. I really don't know if every seal is exactly the same, but ours is folded so you can pull it out to expose the door frame behind it.  Hubby suggested just pulling it out and covering the inner fold of the seal with wide masking tape. This part is definitely a two-person job. Hopefully the pictures help to explain what's happening here:





Then it was a matter of pulling the seal out as I brushed paint in as far as I could.  Was it fun?  No.  Did it do the job? Yes.  Once the tape is off and the seal goes back to its normal folded position, all you see next to it is crisp white trim.


All of the white trim you see in front of the black seal used to be an orange-y, honey oak color. Not anymore!

So there you have my three tips for tricky painting dilemmas.  I'd love to hear if you've tried any of these methods or if you have your own painting tips -- share in the comments below!

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