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Paint Job Tips: Neater Painting

The key to painting faster, with better, neater results is preparation. These tips show how a few extra minutes of work before getting out the brush translate into a quicker, more professional paint job.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Move furnishings for easy access to the walls and ceiling

Cover the carpet with canvas drops

Protect hard floors with rosin paper

Remove cover plates, then tape over switches and outlets

Caution!

Turn off the power to the room before removing cover plates. With the plates removed, live terminals inside the box are exposed.

Shelter baseboard with overhanging tape

Use wide tape and plastic to protect doors and windows

Mask off sensitive wiring and tuck it in the box

Hang and bag light fixtures

Don't  panic!

Don't panic!

Fast Blotting Will Save Your Carpet

Spilling on carpet may seem like the ultimate painting disaster, but it doesn't have to leave a permanent stain. The keys to complete stain removal are speed and lots of water. Latex paint dries fast and seconds count. Don't go for the water bucket yourself. Shout for someone else to bring it. Immediately scoop up the spill with a wide putty knife, dustpan or whatever is handy. Don't wipe up the spill; you'll just force the paint deeper into the carpet. Then start to blot the paint with a wet (not just damp) rag. Keep the paint wet. Continue blotting, refill the bucket with clean water and blot some more until the paint is no longer visible. When you're done, set up a fan to dry out the soaked carpet.

For small drips or splatters, use the opposite approach. Just let the paint dry. Tiny drops of paint will sit on the carpet's surface. Just be careful not to step on them. After they dry, trim them off with a scissors.

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Paint Job Tips: Neater Painting

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