Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tutorial: Clean Paint Lines on Textured Walls

The first stage of our laundry room makeover is complete!  Here's a little preview of the room so far.  I'm warning you, the color is um..intense.

The brightness is a little scary right now but I'm hoping that's only because this room has been nothing but "builder white" since we moved in 6 years ago.  So this is a biiiiiig change.  Also, there's absolutely nothing in the room yet.  Once the room is finished and full, I'll be completely on board with Castaway.  I hope. 

Pretty nice looking paint line at the ceiling huh?  For the first time ever I didn't tape the ceiling.  I decided to try my hand at "cutting in" with an angled brush. There are a couple of areas at the beginning that need a tiny bit of touch up.  Once I got the hang of it, the rest was easy going.  That ceiling line looks pretty good if I do say so myself!

Let's check out the paint line around the baseboards:

I know it's hard but please try to ignore the ugly builder-grade vinyl. One day it will go far, far away.

Here are a couple closeups :

Thank you to our builder for the dust and debris that are forever painted into our baseboards.  Ugh.

Hello gorgeous!  Crisp and clean lines with no annoying touch-up required.  Fewer things make me happier than pulling back the blue tape to reveal clean baseboards. 

Today I'm going to share the caulking technique that I learned a few years ago from a fellow designer. It's amazing and I've been using it ever since.  It works every single time! 

Here's how I do it:

1. Buy some clear (MUST be clear) and PAINTABLE caulk.  I used this brand but any clear-drying, paintable, interior caulk should be fine.

2. Apply painter's tape along the edge of the baseboard.  Press the edge down firmly. I just used my fingernail in this small room but you can also run a credit card along the edge.  Once your tape is applied, it is time to caulk.

3. Place a very small bead of caulk on the tip of your index finger.  We're just trying to close any gaps between the tape and the wall, so that paint from the wall doesn't leak underneath the tape and onto the baseboard.  Trust me, you only need a little bit. About half the size of a pea will do.

4. Place your finger in the corner between the baseboard and wall.  Drag your finger along the corner, leaving behind a little bit of caulk as you go. Once you run out of caulk, put another bead on your finger and pick up where you left off.

Make sure to wipe away any excess caulk that gets pushed onto the wall above your finger.  Do this before it dries.  Otherwise, there will be a faint line of dried caulk all along the wall.

5. Continue around the room, using tiny beads of caulk, until all edges are sealed.  By then, your first wall of caulk should be dry enough to paint.  The caulk will dry clear indicating you are ok to paint.

6. Once your walls are painted and have dried a bit, start to carefully pull up your tape.  You'll want to do this before the paint has dried completely and hardened onto your tape.  If  you wait until the paint has completely dried, you might have a few areas where a little paint gets pulled off the wall right along with your tape.  Not good.

7. Stand back and admire those gorgeous baseboards and, now that you don't need a steady hand to touch up any leaks, have a cocktail to celebrate!

This technique also works really well for painting stripes, chevrons or any other design on textured walls.  I've used it time and time again for stripes, corners where two different paint colors meet, along ceilings, windows and baseboards. 

If you have textured walls, you know how frustrating it is to spend hours painting only to have to go back and touch up with a teeny tiny brush because paint ALWAYS leaks under painter's tape.  No matter the brand, no matter how much they say it's leak-proof, every one that I've tried has disappointed me.  This caulking technique has never let me down.

Textured-Wall-Havers, go forth and painteth stripes upon your walls with confidence! 

So that was weird, huh?  I got a little caught up in the moment. Seriously though, it's almost life-changing. 

Try it and let me know how it works out for you.  I'd also be happy to answer any questions by email.  


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