Masking Wood Trim

You can paint like a pro if you mask your work. Use pre-gummed masking paper or wide masking tape to protect anything you don’t want splattered or painted over. Masking is a great way to paint adjacent surfaces, like where door or window trim of one color meets wallboard of another. Mask the trim and you can paint the wallboard right up to the edge of the trim. Reverse the process and you can paint the trim to within a whisker of the wallboard. When you’re finished, carefully remove the tape and presto! A perfect paint job.

1 Use pre-gummed paper or wide masking tape to protect wood moldings from paint splatters. Leave the outside edge of the masking tape loose.

2 After applying the tape, run the tip of a putty knife along the inside edge of the tape to seal against seeping paint. You should remove the masking materials as soon as the paint is too dry to run.

Handy Person Tips

• To clean paint rollers, fill an empty one-quart milk carton with solvent, put the roller inside and crimp the ends shut. Give the carton a few shakes, then let sit for a couple of hours.
• Simmer hardened paint brushes in full-strength vinegar. Re move the softened paint with a wire comb or brush.
• To remove oil or enamel paint from your hands, rub on paste floor wax and then wash with plenty of soap and warm water. There is no odor and it’s easier on the skin than paint remover.
• In time, a partly used can of paint will develop a skin on top. To prevent this, cut wax paper the size of the can and drop it in.
• To save partial cans of leftover paint, fill the airspace with a lightly inflated balloon before pressing on the lid.
• A coat of penetrating stain applied to a smooth wood surface may last only three or four years, but a second application after the wood has weathered will last as long as 10.
• To give bathroom fixtures a new look, paint with an epoxy paint, sold especially for that purpose.
• Never stir varnish. It has no color pigments which need blending and stirring will create air bubbles which can ruin a smooth finish.
• To frost a bathroom or garage window, make a solution of one cup of beer to four tbsp. Epsom salts and paint on the window. It washes off when you want a clear pane again.
• If you have a small hole in your wall (after moving pictures etc.) take a wax crayon as near the color of your wall as possible. Rub the hole with the crayon, polish with a dry cloth and the hole is invisible.
• Clean out old nail polish bottles and fill with ‘touch-up’ paint for scuffs and scratches that may occur on your walls.
• When hanging pictures on plaster walls, put a small piece of adhesive tape where the nail is to go in. Drive the nail through the tape. This helps prevent the plaster from cracking.
• When drilling a hole in any kind of wall, take an envelope, crease the edges to hold it open, then fasten it to the wall just under where you are drilling. It keeps a great deal of mess from hitting the floor and makes clean-up easier.
• After wallpaper or painting, write the amount under a light-switch plate and you’ll always know how much wallpaper or paint you need for that room.
• To remove old wallpaper, first pull off as much as you can, then soak the remaining with Fleecy. It will peel off easily.
• Before wallpapering a wall, apply a coat of clear varnish to any grease spots. This will prevent the grease from soaking through the new paper.