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Professional Tips and Tricks

In my 40 years as a house painter and contractor, I've gathered many tips and practices that are now part of my every day routine. Some of these tips simply make my work faster or more efficient. Other tips help produce higher quality results.

I'm certain that homeowners painting their own dwellings will benefit from these suggestions. Less-experienced contractors may also find my suggestions helpful, so over the coming days and weeks I hope to provide this information freely via my Twitter feed.

Why am I sharing this hard-earned experience? It's my belief that generosity of knowledge and practice brings benefits to the giver and the recipient. I hope you'll call on me the next time you require a professional house painter.

You can access previous tips and keep up-to-date by "following" me on Twitter.


It is possible to paint textured ceilings in a room without painting the walls. However, there is extra work involved. Because the rough edge where the texture meets the wall makes it impossible to use a brush without making a mess of the wall, you need to tape off the wall to protect it.

Use 1.5 inch or 2 inch "gentle" masking tape and a sharp edge (such as a broadknife) to apply tape to the wall. You want the tape to be applied extremely firmly to the wall at the top edge of the tape (next to the texture), but not at the bottom edge of the tape. Use a single length of tape to go all around the room.

Then unroll some painter's plastic (usually comes in widths of 8 feet to 10 feet) and lift the bottom edge of the masking tape to slip an edge of the plastic under the tape. You can proceed around the entire room with a single length of plastic which will fall all the way to the floor, protecting the walls from roller spatter.

Don't be alarmed if a small amount of ceiling paint leaks under the tape and onto the wall, here and there. Just use a clean white rag to remove it while it's still wet.

Copyright ©2011 by Nathan Harms
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