THE FOLLOWING MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED
WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR ©
This is an updated article reflecting the
2014 floor painting in our shop. A further
update for 2017 has also been added.
These Topics will be Covered
2017 Update: Alternate Paints
Additional Painting Tips
Don't Buy Crap!
Why Paint At All? Well, a properly painted, smooth-finish floor can make a small shop look larger, is easier to dry mop, and facilitates the location of small parts lost on that floor. Bare concrete will also shed dust, which is unwanted in a stage lighting shop. Finally, painted floors are a psychologically better place in which to work, and they present a better image to customers and others.
This article will detail procedures that will allow one to obtain a clean, good-looking, durable floor finish for one's shop or work area. This is the method we use but is by no means the only one. It is geared toward painting a concrete floor, but the techniques may be modified and applied to a wooden floor, as well.
I will be assuming a fairly flat, aged concrete floor, as is the case at our shop. If you have new, leaking, or effervescent concrete, you will have to seek the advice of a professional, as those problems are beyond the scope of this article. Such floors MUST be treated or fixed before attempting to paint; likewise for any broken or deeply gouged/cracked concrete. Seek professional advice and fill all holes or repair any damage before painting. The same goes for any seams or openings near or at floor level in the walls. Seal them with caulking or use expandable foam for the larger holes. Follow the directions on each product as to procedure and drying times.
Please Read the *ENTIRE* Article Before Beginning!
Size First choose the rollers and brushes. Their size will be determined by how large an area you have and whether there are a lot of narrow areas or obstructions you must paint around. I chose a 200mm roller and a 50mm brush because there are a lot of ins & outs, posts, and small openings in our shop. You may find that your job will be done well with the larger 250mm roller and a 75 or 100mm brush. Alternatively, a smaller 75mm roller may be handy for tight areas. You will decide what best fits your space.
Brush Types The brush selected may be a cheapy unless you think you'll have a lot of brush work to do. I only wanted to do trim along walls and posts, so a small, cheap brush worked. Be cautious not to go so cheap that you get a brush from which the bristles will detach while painting.
Roller Types There are several types of rollers. Our floor is flat but has a number of small gouges and depressions, so I selected a semi-fuzzy roller that will sop up a lot of paint and push it into those depressions, thus filling them. Don't buy too cheap a roller. The cheap ones deform easily and an out-of-round roller causes "flutter" marks in the paint. The substrate on cheap rollers tends to unwind. That is, the fuzzy surface with its backing begins to unroll in a strip.
Roller Frames Buy a roller frame to match, preferably one with the wire supports rather than just one with a straight axle. This strengthens the roller when bearing down on it to squeeze paint onto rough spots or into hollows. The straight-axle type tend to lose their rims when pressed upon too hard. Restoring rims to their proper positions is a very annoying task when a roller and frame are full of paint. A good frame can partially make up for cheaper rollers in that it gives better support, thus making deformation less of a problem. Still, better rollers last longer with no unwinding.
Flat and Gloss You will need flat-finish, latex (water based) paint, and if still legal in your area(*), a gloss-finish, enamel (oil base) paint, preferably of a different colour from the latex paint. The former will be your base coat, while the oil enamel will be the top (finish) coat. Latex is absorbed well by concrete and wood, and it will present an adhering surface for the top enamel coat. A glossy final coat makes for easy cleaning and higher durability. I generally suggest a bright colour for this final coat, especially if your shop is small. Bright colours give the illusion of space, plus it's nice to work in a bright shop. A light-coloured floor does show the dirt, but this is actually a plus when cleaning.
(*) In Canada, the type of paints being discussed here are
no longer legal in oil-based enamel. Instead, use a water-based,
gloss-finish, acrylic enamel that is meant for concrete surfaces.
(See farther on regarding Alternate Paints)
Colour Selection Since our floor area is large, colour shades were less of an issue, so I selected a white base coat with a flat finish, and a medium-grey, gloss-finish top coat. The darker final coat complimented our shop better. I am suggesting different colours for base and top coats so that hollows will show up, as well as roller marks and thinly-coated areas. Hollows may be more easily recognised when initially contrasted with a different colour. As for thin areas, when one is rolling on paint, at some point the roller will give up most of its paint and will actually begin to pick up paint from the floor. This makes for too thin a coat, and if the underlying paint was to be the same colour it might go unnoticed. This is most important when dealing with the top coat.
Costs About 200 square metres needed to be covered, so we bought 18-litre pails where possible, which left enough over for re-coating future high-traffic areas. Cost for the base coat was kept under $5 a litre by purchasing recycled paint from Boomerang. However, the top coat this time was more than double the cost (compared to a decade or so ago) at just under $11 a litre. (All in 2014 Canadian funds.) Read the container's label for coverage, and then purchase an appropriate amount to do your shop.
Depending on paint type, the floor temperature should be 12 to 15 degrees C or higher. (Read the paint label's recommendations.) Humidity should be low, but that is not essential. However, low humidity equals a shorter drying time.
Plan Ahead Decide whether you are going to attempt to paint the entire surface at once or if you are to divide the work by area. This will be determined by the size of the floor(s) to be painted, available manpower, amount of space available outside the painted area in which to place moved equipment, and whether the shop must be in use during the painting schedule. It would be ideal to be able to close the shop and move out everything. Otherwise, plan in stages the areas to be painted. Select natural breaks such as cracks or seams, doorways, area boundaries, etc. This will reduce the noticeable overlap and paint seams that will occur when painting happens over multiple sessions.
Personal Considerations Wear old clothes and shoes, and have plenty of rags close to hand. Tie back long hair or wear an old cap. Remove jewelry to protect it and to facilitate easier personal cleaning afterwards. You may wish to consider a skin protector creme, as well. Such a product makes for easy personal wash-ups after each painting session because it is put on the skin before painting.
Do use worklights to illuminate the area to be painted. Strong light will make imperfections and dirt stand out more, thus helping you to prepare the surface better and to get the coats of paint to be even. If possible, do not paint facing the light. Instead, try to have it illuminate from the side.
Dust and Fumes Before beginning to clean or paint, ensure adequate ventilation against dust and paint fumes. Cover any equipment or work benches/desks before doing the next step. I found that opening the loading doors in our shop helped dissipate the dust. If you have a forced-air furnace, consider turning on its blower to increase air circulation. This will reduce the concentration of fumes. If you use this latter method, be sure to block off vents into offices or show spaces to keep fumes out. Furnace rooms sometimes have an outside vent for combustion air; opening the rear filter compartment of the furnace will allow the blower to draw in outside air for distribution to the painted area.
Isolate Areas Regardless, close off all rooms not being painted to keep dust and fumes to a minimum. I don't suggest the furnace blower be used during the cleaning phase if the amount of dust being raised is excessive because the furnace might spread dust elsewhere despite its built-in filters.
Low Temperatures If you must paint during cold weather (not recommended) and cannot open doors/windows, be sure to wear a filter mask when working. Also take frequent breaks away from the dust and paint fumes.
After all repairs have been made to fix cracks, water leakage, etc. and seams/holes in walls at floor level have been addressed, the floor must be made ready before applying paint. Doing this will ensure that the paint will stick to the old surface and be durable. First, move out of the selected area all items that are not too large or bolted down. Be sure not to block doors, and to leave passage within and through the temporary storage area where you've moved everything.
Employ all the following methods! Good preparation means a
longer-lasting finish so you won't have to do this again as soon.
Scrape First skim the old floor in the worst areas with a paint scraper to remove any loose paint and dirt. A razor-blade knife may be required for tight spaces. Then sweep and/or vacuum. Now employing its bristle attachment, use your old floor polisher to scrub the floor. Be sure to scrub closely along baseboards, bench legs, doorframes, and anywhere dirt builds up. This is when the dust really gets kicked up. If it gets excessive, wear a dust mask, promote ventilation, or have an assistant trail the floor polisher bristles with a vacuum hose and crevice tool. Sweep and then dry vacuum the floor. Assess the area and scrape again where necessary. Do one final vacuum.
Water Now put a thin coat of plain water onto the floor and wet scrub with your polisher. I don't recommend any detergent as it is hard to remove all traces of it which may then interfere with the paint's ability to adhere to the floor.
Electrical Safety Be sure to wear rubber boots and hold only the insulated handle of the polisher. These units are typically not grounded and leakage current may be present. As an additional safety, have a helper stand by to be sure the polisher operator is OK during this phase. Before grabbing any metal switch to turn the polisher on or off, lightly touch it first to be sure it is not electrified, then switch it with one finger so as to not envelope the switch bezel in case voltage is present. (Electricity flowing through a hand may not allow it to let go, thus electrocution becomes more likely.) Remember you will be standing in water on bare concrete while using an electrical device, so safety is paramount. If you suspect your polisher's electrical integrity, wear rubber gloves or check its metal parts with a volt meter between them and ground. Resolve any issues before usage.
Vacuum Now, wet vacuum the floor and inspect it. You may find that some areas have peeling or bubbling paint. Scrape, remove scrapings, and wet scrub again. Wet vacuum a final time, then allow to dry at least to damp.
More Water For very dirty floors, consider a pressure washer or a garden hose with a pressure nozzle. There will be a lot of water waste generated, so this method may only be suitable for a ground-level floor where one can hose or squeegee waste water into a floor drain or outside through a door. If not, have a helper follow along with a wet vacuum. If no wet vac is available, squeegee the water and mop as necessary, being careful that no mop strings or other particles are left behind. There should be no pools of water left on the floor. Rinse with clean water and mop or wet vacuum. Allow it to dry at least to damp. Remove any remaining foreign material.
Adhesive Tape If some areas require sharper edging, use masking tape to define them. What ever is being taped must be dry and at room temperature so that the tape will stick for the duration of the paint job.
You should now be ready to paint
Materials Preparation Get your latex tray, tray liner, roller, frame, handle, paintbrush and rags together. Spread a protective layer of newspaper to catch spills. Shake the latex paint well and open it. If it's a 5-litre or smaller metal can, take a common nail and punch eight holes evenly spaced in the groove into which the top fits. This way after you pour, any paint caught in this groove will drain back into the can. With larger pails of paint, the tops seat differently, and some cans have built-in spouts, making hole punching unnecessary.
Place a liner into your paint tray. These are handy because they can be thrown out after usage. Mix the latex paint thoroughly and pour enough to fill the well of the tray, unless you feel that amount would be more than needed to paint the area you have selected. Use your brush to wipe the lip and sides of the can. Loosely replace the lid so as to keep out dirt and insects, but do not pound it in place as you may require more paint during the job. Set the paint can aside where it won't be knocked over -- Remember: the top is loose.
Selecting a Start Point Being sure your shoe soles are clean, move into the area about to be painted. Lay out the direction to be painted from and to, so that you will not paint yourself into a corner or away from the switch needed to turn off worklights after each daily paint session is completed.
First Coat Do not be concerned if the floor is still damp, as long as there are no pools of water; latex paint, which is water-based, will be right at home -- and in fact, the slight dilution of the paint will be good for a first coat because concrete or wood will absorb it better. Now employing the sheet-metal edger as a shield, use a paintbrush with a well-defined bristle edge to do along the base board or around any legs, footers, etc. The edger will direct paint to the floor. Be sure to brush it out well. Do not try to cover the old surface with this coat. A thin, even coat of paint is what is required. Stop after a couple of metres. You must begin the roller portion of this area before the brushed area dries in order to prevent overlap marks and possible bubbling. This will be especially important when you get to the enamel portion of the job.
Technique Dip the roller slightly into the tray's paint well and bring it up to the sloped portion of the tray, rolling out the excess. Coat the roller evenly and slowly. Fast rolling here and on the floor will spin paint off the roller and splatter where it's not wanted. Begin to paint by starting with a light pressure a couple of roller widths away from the edge of what you just painted. Roll some strips while working your way back toward the edge area. Starting away a bit is done to prevent the build-up of paint on the floor where it overlaps what was just painted. This is especially important when the roller is initially saturated. Increase pressure a bit as the roller loses paint.
Continue to roll out the paint, making it thin and even. Ignore the fact that the old floor may be showing through and that roller marks are appearing. To get into small hollows and grooves, tip the frame at 45 degrees and bear down a bit on the roller's edge so as to squeeze paint into the depressions while moving back and forth slightly. Now roll lightly over top of the area to smooth out paint lines and to remove surrounding build-up. Don't be distressed about paint pooling within these small hollows; since no equipment or person could ever fit inside during the normal course of work, thick paint there will not be a liability as it can never be touched.
As you approach an unpainted edge area, switch back to the brush. Lay the roller well out of the way so you don't step on it, and keep it off the floor to prevent nap flattening of the roller's fuzzy surface. Continue alternating brush and roller until you have completed the day's designated section.
After-Session Securing Remove all paint materials from the area as a start to finishing up from the day's work. Be sure to barricade the painted area and place signs as necessary. If animals or small children have access, the barricades will have to be suitable to keep them out.
Drying Assistance If you decide to use one or more fans for drying, position them to blow at floor level across the newly painted area. Arrange them so that air flow is in one direction; that is, don't have the air streams fighting one another. So perhaps have a fan at one end blowing toward the painted area, while another at the other end faces away. Venting the latter toward the outdoors is a good idea, if feasible. You may also consider leaving the furnace blower on if you can keep fumes from circulating to the rest of the building. Guard from dust getting blown onto the new paint. Leave fans run until the next painting session. (Air movement is more important than temperature for drying, so using fans can decrease the time between re-coatings.)
Day-End Paint Storage When painting is finished for the day, you could remove the tray liner and set it on top of the can to drain. If you wish to do this, prop it up with something to keep it in the draining position. If you are using a container with a spout that won't allow this to be done, lean the liner onto a plastic 2-litre ice cream container. After draining, place a top on the container to prevent hardening or scum formation while it's waiting to be used for the next day's coat or for the next section to be painted.
Alternate Paint Storage Given that the paint will only be stored overnight, a time-saving method is to not drain paint from the tray, but to simply place three plastic retail bags over the entire thing. Slip them on alternately from each end to make the best seal. This will keep the paint from forming a scum. The next day, one need only remove the bags to start right in with the painting session. I have kept even enamel paint liquified and scum-free for over a week with this method.
Utensil Cleaning If you prefer to clean after each session, try to transfer any remaining paint on the brush or roller back to the can or onto the floor itself. Then use newspaper to paint or roll out any remaining excess. Fold each page on top of itself and dispose into a hazardous waste bin if there is such a procedure in your area. Be sure these papers do NOT go to paper recycle.
Utensils Alternative You could then wash out the brush and roller, but I consider this all a waste of time as you will be right back at it again tomorrow. Also, even though the paint is water-based, it is being flushed unnecessarily into the environment. Therefore, as discussed regarding the paint tray, use plastic kitchen wrap or a retail bag to cover each brush and roller. Leave the roller right on its frame and handle. Be sure to not leave any air paths that would allow the paint to dry. Additionally, suspend the brush and roller so that the bristles and roller surface do not touch anything, otherwise impressions will occur, making for uneven painting the next day. Remember to separate the brush and roller combination for each paint colour, or label them so you won't come to use a utensil with the wrong-colour paint in subsequent paint sessions.
A Disadvantage Be aware that there is a drawback to wrapping the utensils for later usage. Not washing these after each session means that the brush bristles and roller nap may eventually clog. Pliability will be reduced and if that happens, you may find that the paint will not go on as evenly, or that it won't fill hollows as well. Brushing and rolling out as much paint as possible before wrapping will help, but over many days of a long job you may need to clean utensils completely from time to time, or simply replace them altogether.
Paint Can Securing Before using a hammer to reseat the top, cover that top with a rag to prevent splatters. I suggest a rubber mallet rather than a metal hammer so as to not deform the can top or edge.
Area Securing Allow the floor to dry overnight. Remember to place those barriers around the painted area to designate not to only others, but to yourself, that this area has just been painted. It's not unusual to be engrossed in some part of your business or daily routine and to absent mindedly walk onto your new paint job just as you may have done for years when no fresh paint was there. It's easy to be distracted and forget -- barriers remind one not to forget.
Inspection Touch the paint near an edge to be sure it's dry, and then push into it to be sure no impression is left. Try several areas to be sure; more drying time might be needed. If all is well, inspect the floor in clean shoes or sock feet to see if there are any lumps, hair, bristles, or dirt caught under the first coat of paint. Alter the angle of the worklights you are using. Some missed spots or problem areas will only become visible when the lighting angle is changed. Try shining a light directly along at floor level to show up anything that might not be even with the surface itself. A bright flashlight works well for this purpose.
Resolve Problems If any bad areas are found, scrape them, and then sweep or vacuum to remove any fine particles. Don't fret if some paint comes off with these unwanteds. You will cover such areas with today's coat. Next, look for hollows or missed areas, again by varying the lighting angle. These can be specifically targeted as you apply the second coat. However, if larger areas of concrete become exposed, consider doing individual touch-ups, waiting for them to dry, and then continuing with the instructions in this section.
Error Correction Realise that your chance to fix any errors are during the base-coating phase. This is the stage where it's easiest to get your floor looking the way you want because any overlaps and corrections will be soon covered by one or two finish coats. However, once you go to enamel paint, it's much harder to make things match should you have to redo anything. If a second base coat is deemed unnecessary, skip to the Enamel Coat,
Ready Items Get your materials back together, unwrap the liner and utensils laying the kitchen wrap paint-side up some place where no one will lean. (You'll continue to re-use the same wrap throughout your project.) Inspect the brush and roller for any dirt, and if necessary, use a coarse wire brush to comb out any foreign material. Do this over a garbage can in which you don't mind paint splatters. Wash the wire brush upon completion.
Coat #2 Place the liner into the tray, stir any remaining paint and then pour in well-mixed, fresh latex paint. Now start the second coat. As was done yesterday, begin with the brush and metal edger doing not only the same edging as before, but also filling in any missed hollows which should now stand out well against the first coat of paint. Switch to roller, and by alternating brush and roller, follow the same procedure as yesterday. Remember to not get so far ahead with one paint applicator that when you switch to the other, the previously painted area has dried too much.
Cleanup Secure items as was done the previous day, with particular attention to securing the can tops and wrapping the utensils. Because you will be switching to oil-based paint, the latex paint and utensils will not be used for a few days now, unless this is the end of the latex portion of the paint job. If this is the case, read Final Clean-Up.
Inspection Check to see that the latex paint is *completely* dry, then look for dirt, brush bristles, etc. Carefully scrape and then vacuum as necessary. If touch-ups are required, you will have to wait until they dry. Once the floor is ready, you may start the enamel coat. This will be your finish coat so particular attention should be paid to it as it will be what everyone sees and works upon. If you have any doubts or want to make corrections, do it during the latex stage. As previously mentioned, once enamel paint is applied, it is much harder to make corrections and to have it match.
Materials Preparation Begin by getting the same materials together except that you will need a new tray liner, a new roller, and a new brush for this paint -- unless all first-colour latex painting has been completed. If you have washed out the first brush and roller, be sure they are completely dry before using them with the enamel paint.
Top Coat Follow the latex painting instructions farther back, being sure to brush/roll the paint out well, and to allow lots of ventilation. Do not worry if this enamel coat does not cover -- you can always do a second one. However, if you have done a good latex job, one top coat will often suffice unless you want the extra durability of two layers of enamel paint. As before, do not try to make one thick coat cover the floor. Two thin coats are far better than a single, thick one.
Some words regarding staged painting: You may need to break an area into two jobs because during the painting times traffic needs to flow through it, or items need to be moved first into an unpainted section, then onto a newly-painted area so as to complete the floor of a crowded space. If so, leave a base coat strip about a hand width wide between sections. Do not place a top coat here. When it comes time to do the alternate section, bring the base coat up to this strip. The strip will eventually be covered by the top coat of this second area.
The reason for doing this is to prevent base-coat latex from ending up on top of final-coat enamel where it may not stick. In addition, bringing the enamel coat to the edge of the base coat may end up spilling over onto an unpainted area. That would mean that no primer (base) coat would be on bits and pieces of your floor. This could result in colour differentiation and/or a poor wearing characteristic. So don't allow enamel onto bare concrete or permit latex primer on top of enamel.
Cleanup Once an enamel session is completed, clean up as detailed in the section for the latex coats, except that some paint solvent may be required because oil-based paint is being used. If a second enamel coat is not required, go to your next floor section and begin again at the start of this article with floor preparation. If you are finished the entire shop floor, go to the Final Clean-Up section.
Another Coat? Should enamel recoating be necessary, follow the directions on the paint can for this. It's been my experience that several days may be required between coats to allow the first to dry and to cure. Be cautious here; it may be dry to the touch, but walking on it may produce impressions because the paint underneath has not yet hardened. This may be the case if the floor temperature is cool or humidity is high, making for a longer curing time.
For any lines or objects that were marked by masking tape, do NOT pull the tape off when it is cold. Use a heat gun to gently warm the tape as you slowly remove it. Having a helper pull the tape while you heat it will reduce or eliminate the tendency of the tape to pull the paint off the floor. Paint is most likely to be pulled up where there was old paint poorly adhering to the floor which was not removed during the preparation stage.
Latex When you have completed all sections with latex and/or water-based acrylic enamel paint, pour or brush any excess paint back into the can, and then roll or brush the paint out of utensils onto newspaper. Wash the roller, tray liner, and brush in warm water. To get all the paint out from brush bristles and roller nap, use a hose with a nozzle to force water into the brush. Dry thoroughly.
Enamel For oil-based enamel, pour or brush any excess paint back into the can, and then roll or brush the paint out of utensils on to newspaper. Suspend the roller or brush into a container with Varsol or an equivalent solvent. When the paint has soaked off, squeeze any remaining paint off using a latex glove to protect your hand. Wash the brush and roller in warm water with liquid dish soap, adding soap as necessary. As a preliminary to this step, you may opt to mix dish detergent with a small amount of Varsol. Two big squirts of soap to a quarter litre of varsol should be enough. The brush and roller may be additionally cleaned here using your gloved hand to further remove paint from the utensils. Now go directly to a water rinse, adding more soap if needed. Hang to dry.
Frugality Allow the Varsol in the first container to settle so that the top three-quarters can be reclaimed. Pour this part into a sealable container marked "Recycled Varsol", or similar. Don't mix it with unused Varsol. As for the Varsol/soap mixture, keep recovered amounts in a separate, air-tight container for future usage and label it. You may employ these recycled Varsols for paint cleanup at a later date, thus saving you money and reducing damage to the environment.
Disposal You may keep the tray liner and reuse it a few times after the paint has dried and hardened. However, once it comes time to get rid of it, take it along with the used kitchen wrap, tape, painted newspapers, unrecoverable Varsol, and any empty paint/Varsol cans to a hazardous waste depot, if your community has such a program. If there is any paint left over, be sure to tightly replace the paint can covers. Label colour, date and location painted on each can. Should it eventually come time to dispose of unused paint, please send it to a paint recycling depot.
As mentioned farther back, oil-based enamel paints
are no longer available in Canada except for metal.
As we had some additional areas to be painted
this year (2017), an alternate method was tried.
More Painting For a base coat on both concrete and a bare plywood floor, we tried an oil-based primer paint meant for metal. Ordinarily, a paint designed for coating metal surfaces is unsuitable for wood or concrete because it does not breathe. That is, moisture is prevented from permeating the paint where it would get at the metal. This is desirable where this material is concerned, but typically results in blistering when used on surfaces that transmit moisture, such as untreated concrete or wood.
Longevity We found that the latex base coat with an acrylic-enamel top coat did not last as long as when we used an oil-based top coat. This was especially true where water pooled on floors during excessively heavy rains that found their way into our building via the foundation/floor boundary.
Experimenting So in the fall of 2016 as a test, we painted a concrete-floor crossover located just inside the entrance to our place of business. The concrete was prepared as discussed earlier in this article and then allowed to completely dry. One coat of light grey, metal primer was applied which absorbed well into the concrete and dried to a very flat finish. To see what would happen, it was allowed to handle regular traffic including persons wearing wet and/or snowy shoes or boots, as well as being subjected to cooler floor temperatures during winter.
Assessment Now it's late summer of 2017 and the primer has stood up very well -- in fact, to the point where all that was done before the top coats were applied was to sweep and vacuum it, then power scrub it with water and the old electric polisher. No primer touch-ups were required.
Top Coats After drying, two top coats of water-based, gloss-finish, acrylic enamel meant for concrete were applied. It is the same paint as the one used on top of the latex base coat as described in the main article. This preparation technique and same combination of paints was carried over to our wooden showroom floor except that no water was used for cleaning -- just sweeping and vacuuming. Next year a report will be added to this article as to the durability achieved via this method for each type of surface.
After a year, the oil-based primer and acrylic enamel have worn well except where gouges made by equipment went all the way to the concrete in areas where moisture collects. Everywhere else, this seems to be a durable finish -- especially on our wooden Showroom floor.
We continued using this painting method for areas not completed in 2017, and will do so in the future when floor painting is required.
Plastic Wrap When storing unused paint, place a layer of transparent kitchen wrap right down on top of the paint in the can, being sure to cover it completely. Seal the can. When you next prepare to paint, remove the wrap; there should be no paint scum with which to contend.
Rescuing Usable Paint If the paint can is damaged or becomes rusted during storage, strain the paint in it through some window screen into one or more two-litre ice cream containers. The screen will filter out paint lumps and the largest of any rust particles. Again place plastic wrap onto the paint and also some across the top of the container. The covers for these containers are not necessarily air tight. Snap the lid on over the wrap so that the wrap extends out from under the cover. This will form a more effective air seal.
Another Container Type An alternative to ice cream containers is the plastic tobacco can. It seals well without wrap. Consider using them for long-term storage if the large paint cans or pails have a litre or less left. These are generally liquid and air tight, and have screw tops, so they make good storage containers for paint. Before pouring in the paint, coat the threads of the tops with petroleum jelly or silicone lubricant so that the paint won't lock those tops on. (If a top later becomes seized, use a rubber strap-wrench to remove.)
Write on the can or affix a label to identify the paint type and number. Then, add a date so you'll know at a later time when that paint was last used. Additionally, you might apply a dash of paint to the outside of the contaner for fast identification of colour and finish.
Storage Place left-over paint in a cool, but unfrozen location to be held for required future touch-ups or a full re-paint. Keep a record of what paint was used with brand name and stock numbers, along with the date you painted each part of the shop. Write this on the cans but also keep a paper or computer log. An alternative is to remove the paper label from the paint can and write the above information on the back. Then file it with the other associated paperwork. Label each plain can as to what is still inside. Saving all this information will be useful whenever it comes time to renew these same surfaces and/or to order new paint.
Regarding the computer log, as is described in
Additional Considerations, an older computer is
a handy thing to have in your shop.
You should now have a clean, durable
surface of which you may be proud.
A Few Final Words:
Some may be tempted to buy 99-Cent Store paint accessories.
They think: Oh, it's only a small job; I will throw everything out
once this project finishes. Well, besides the fact that tossing
this stuff out is wasteful and clogs the landfills, poor quality
accessories are too frustrating to use and end up costing
more in time and wages than saved on the purchase price.
Here is what one can expect when using these poor quality products:
- Bristles splay easily
- Bristles loosen and end up stuck to your paint job
- Brush marks are more noticeable
- Handles deform making for an uneven paint job
- Handles break or detach
- Frame hardware falls off allowing the roller to disengage
- Frames deform (flex, twist) making for uneven paint
- Frame handle threads allow extensions to loosen
- Rollers surfaces don't absorb paint evenly
- Rollers leave fuzz stuck to your paint job
- Roller hubs absorb paint and deform, producing flutter marks
- Roller hubs deform under pressure, with the same result
- Roller hubs pop off or otherwise disengage
- Plastic splits
- Plastic feet break off
- Metal feet bend easily
The manufacturers want you to buy their junk products over and over;
the easiest method by which to assure this is to produce commodities
that quickly break or don't wear well. The way to keep them out of
Canada is to never buy them. Items aren't stocked that don't sell.
Don't Buy CRAP!
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