Read this be­fore you paint

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paint run­ning down the han­dle.

Spread the pa­per towel out to dry be­fore dis­pos­ing.

Get­ting a cleaner edge

If us­ing mask­ing tape to pro­tect a sur­face (ex­cept car­pet) when paint­ing, re­move the tape as soon as you can.

You will get a cleaner “edge” and there is less chance the tape will bond to the sur­face it is pro­tect­ing and be­come dif­fi­cult to re­move.

Mask­ing tape comes in many grades and qual­i­ties so talk to your paint sup­plier to make sure you get the right tape for the job you are do­ing.

Re­seal­ing the can

Af­ter open­ing, and be­fore us­ing a new can of paint, drive about five or six holes with a nail around the rim where the lid sits.

This will al­low paint to drain back into the con­tainer in­stead of fill­ing the rim. If the rim fills with paint, it is dif­fi­cult to re­seal the can.

In­vest in a good brush and roller

Buy a good-qual­ity brush or roller. A cheap brush loses bris­tles, doesn't hold as much paint, and is harder to use when “cut­ting in” to another sur­face. Cheap rollers tend to mat and leave an un­even “stip­ple” on the sur­face.

Keep a wet edge

When brush­ing or rolling, al­ways work from the dry sur­face back into the wet paint, work­ing fast enough to keep a wet edge. If you are go­ing to take a break, do it in a cor­ner, never in the mid­dle of a wall. This will help avoid lap and roller marks in the painted sur­face.

Use an ex­ten­sion pole

Use an ex­ten­sion pole on your roller han­dle. It al­lows you to use longer strokes and saves you from bend­ing over to re­fill the roller with more paint. It also speeds up the job and makes it eas­ier to main­tain a wet edge – es­pe­cially on a ceil­ing.

Paint­ing base­boards

Use two-inch mask­ing tape around the edge of the car­pet when paint­ing base­boards. Al­low the tape to lay on the base­board about 3/4,” and tuck it down over the car­pet fibers as you pull them away from the base­board. The tape will not stick firmly to the car­pet, so let the paint dry be­fore re­mov­ing it.

OA­SIS: Ma­ture peren­ni­als can be used as fo­cal points of a back­yard oa­sis. Lupins are pro­lific and tough once es­tab­lished.

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