"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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These are the tools I used for painting my entire home, top to bottom.
Long handled brush. 1 1/2" (38 mm) angled with flagged bristles for cutting in (ceiling, baseboards, door and window trim).

3" (75 mm) roller for small areas as well as for smoothing paint edge after cutting in.

9" (228 mm) attached to telescopic painters pole for larger areas.

I used these 4"x4"x3" inch plastic containers to hold paint for cutting in jobs. They are inexpensive (dollar store) and can be thrown out after each use.

Buying the Right Brush or Roller

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The ultimate finished look of your paint job not only depends on the paint quality but also (and maybe even more so) on the quality of of the brushes and rollers used. If you are planning to do a fair bit of painting it pays to buy the better quality brushes and rollers. Here is list of things you should look for.
- Brushes; bristle type. brushes - quality.
- Brushes; choosing the right type and width.
- Rollers; cover materials and roller length.
- Rollers; nap length.
- Links to other helpful articles.

Bristles are either natural (ox, hog or badger hair) or made of synthetic materials (of nylon or polyester).
Natural bristle brushes are also known as China bristle brushes because most of the ox, hog or badger hair are imported from China.
Oil based paints, stains and varnishes.
Use a natural China bristle brush because the bristles hold paint better than synthetic bristles. High quality natural bristles release paint more evenly for a smooth finish.
Latex paints.
Nylon or polyester bristle brushes are ideal for latex paint. They do not absorb water like natural fibers. Top quality polyester are well worth the initial cost. They hold their shape and flexibility and can be used over and over again for many paint jobs down the road.

High quality paint brushes cost more but it makes painting a lot easier and they will last a lot longer than economy brushes.
- Quality paint brushes, compared to low prices brushes, apply paint in a thicker, smoother film for a more uniform finished look.
- High quality paint brushes have bristles with split ends
- The bristles are flexible at the end which makes cutting in a lot easier as they can hold more paint.
- Brush construction can be checked by tugging on the bristles. There may be a defect if one or more bristles can be pulled out.
- Do not short-change yourself by buying dollar store brushes. They do not cover well and leave ugly brush marks.

There is a staggering variety of paint brushes to choose from. We discussed already the importance of selecting the right bristle type and the importance of quality. There are two more things to consider before heading to the store to purchase a paint brush.

Type or shape.
- Angled brushes are great for getting into corners and ceiling/wall joints. I use the angle brush also for for cutting in around baseboards and window and door trim.
- Look for brushes with flagged bristles. The ends of the bristles have been split to create more surface area. These brushes hold more paint and the paint will be applied more smoothly. Available only for latex paint (synthetic bristles).
- Look for long handled brushes with tapered bristles which means that the bristles in the center are a bit longer than those on the edge. This feature makes it much easier to apply the paint evenly.
Brush widths.
1" to 2 1/2" wide angled sash brush (25 to 63 mm): For painting moldings, trim and frames.
2" (50mm) wide tapered and angled. For cutting in around window and door trim, baseboards, inside corners and along the ceiling edge.
3" to 4" (75 to 100 mm) wide brushes. For walls and ceilings. These brushes are 3/4" to 1" thick (19 to 25 mm).

Cover material.
There are basically three types of materials used for roller covers.
- Synthetic (nylon and polyester) roller covers are ideal for applying latex paints.
- Natural (lambs and mohair wool) roller covers are best used for oil based paints.
- Foam rollers pick up a large amount of paint. As a result the coverage is excellent. Foam rollers are ideal for semi-gloss and gloss paints.
Roller length.
The standard paint roller widths are 7 1/2", 9" or 9 1/2" (190, 228 or 240 mm). However this may be too wide for some wall sections especially above windows and doors and where a door or window is close to a corner. For those narrow spaces I use a 3" (75 mm) roller. There is also a 4" (100 mm) wide roller available as well as several short and small diameter rollers.

Be sure to buy the right roller for the task. The general rule is that the smoother the surface, the shorter the nap; the rougher the surface, the longer the nap. For surfaces with heavy texture, longer naps can reduce the number of coats required.
3/8" (10mm): drywall, wood, light textured walls and ceilings.
1/2" (12 mm): smooth and semi-smooth surfaces like new drywall.
5/8" (15 mm): light textured walls and ceilings, light stucco.
3/4" (19 mm): heavily textured ceilings, coarse wood siding, light stucco.
1" (25 mm): concrete blocks, brick, textured plaster or stucco.
NOTE: 3/4" (19mm) foam rollers are also ideal for ceiling tile, stucco, concrete blocks and other uneven surfaces.

Oil or latex? How to test old paint. Advantages, disadvantages.
Tools and supplies. For surface preparation and painting.
Buy the right brush or roller. Bristles, roller material, nap length.
Surface preparation. Wallpaper glue. Treating mildew.
Liquid sandpaper - deglossers. What it is. What it doesn't do.
Paint Tray Liners. Make your own. Do you really need one?
Painting tips. Getting ready. Tools. Painting. Storing paint.
Clean-up time. Brushes, rollers, trays, solvents, paint disposal.
Lead in paint. Health warning. Remedial action. Government.
Lead. Sources of lead other than paint. Remedial actions. Health concerns.

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