Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pin 33–PAM dries nail polish

I am in desperate need of manicure so please don’t judge the up close and personal shots of my cuticles.  And, yes, I bite my nails and pick at my pam dries nail polishcuticles and I know it’s not good and I should stop.  My mother has been after me since I was 5 about it.  Some habits are just too tough to break!  Anyways, I have managed to stop biting for lengths of time and during that time treat myself to a manicure or two.  But, especially for my toes, I can’t always squeeze a mani-pedi into the budget so I do it myself.  This is far less fun but I’ve gotten pretty good at it.  I am severely patience-impaired when it comes to something like nail polish drying.  It’s not just waiting for it to dry enough to basically function it needs to set enough so that you don’t get dents etc.  The worst is doing it in the evening and it doesn’t set enough before bed and you end up with the cross-weave pattern from the sheets on your freshly painted fingers and toes.  Super annoying.  I just don’t have that kind of time now that I’m chasing a toddler!  THIS PIN says that spraying wet nails with PAM cooking spray, of all things, will dry them instantly.  Ridiculous it sounds, but also amazing if it works.

So I painted a finger nail… yes just one.  My nails are in no shape to show off with a bright color right now but I’m dying to know if this works and didn’t want to ruin a whole set of nails if it didn’t…  So once the paint was on – one thick coat – I went over to the sink and sprayed the PAM on.  I took a picture then washed my hands gently with soap and water and patted dry… and guess what???  DRY!  Totally dry, no marks even from the towel.  I tried to mark it up with another nail, but not a scratch or dent.

pam dries nail polishPAM dries nail polish

Bottom line – ABSOLUTELY DO IT!!

Totally works.  I have no idea why and I don’t even care.  I will definitely be doing this once I stop chomping on my nails for a bit….  I know I know… I’m trying…. Paint away and pick some fun pretty spring colors so I can have pretty hands vicariously through you :)


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pin 32–ammonia cleans gas stove grates

Hello again!  Lovely to have you back…  I hope no one was too bored with all the paint pins!  But we are on to new things this week.  When we bought our house I wasn’t sure how I felt about the gas range that came with the house.  Almost 3 years later I LOVE cooking on it but HATE keeping it clean.  It has a black top which makes every little crumb and spot show up immediately.  I am not the neatest of cooks so it gets dirty all the time and it’s hard to wipe up when it’s still hot and harder to remember to wipe it up once it has cooled down.  So I end up with nasty grates.  I saw THIS PIN and had high hopes for a small effort big results cleaning solution.
dirty gas stove gratedirtry stove grate
So I got my ziploc bag and ammonia out.  The first problem was my grate did not fit in the bag.  So I had to improvise, using small kitchen trash bags (I doubled up just in case of leaking).  Then I added 3 T of ammonia (the pin says 2-3 but since mine were so gross I did the 3), tied up the bag and shook a bit.  Then I left it on the counter overnight. This is what I got.
grate still dirty after ammoniaammonia cleaned grease

It seemed to take some of the nastiness off the bottom areas but not anywhere else.  Major disappointment. :(
Bottom line – don’t bother
There was definitely grease taken off but not enough.  I might try soaking over night (submerged) in a tub of diluted ammonia next time.  Somehow I don’t think this lazy girl will be getting a clean stove without some scrubbing action though!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Painting Pins Blowout!

painting tipsAs I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve done LOTS of painting since we bought our house and over time have tried a lot of different tips, tricks, and supposed shortcuts…  I have found some of them on Pinterest and shared them with you.  But today, I’m going to just run through the things I’ve tried in the past sans my own pictures.  Just a quick run down to help you out next time you get ready to paint some walls!  Click pictures for pins, sources or products - just remember I am not paid to endorse anything linked to and I am not responsible for the quality of product or services you obtain through links :)  I am only providing them so you can see what I am talking about!

1.  Use a good brush – my favorite for cutting in is a 2” angle brush that costs me about $15.  It’s a little steep but if you take care of it well it lasts a long time and is well worth the investment!

2.  Use contractor's paper to cover the floor (hard floors).  It’s cheap and you don’t trip on it. Just use some painter’s tape to hold it down.

3.  Buy a reusable flexible plastic spout for pouring paint.  It cuts down on5 Paint Spout Extenders the mess of pouring out of the can and lets you put the lid back on better because there isn’t a well of paint in the groove.  And it makes it easier and neater to take the lid back off later because there isn’t dried paint gluing it down.  I have a few and they cost me a couple bucks at the big hardware stores paint departments.

4. Unless you are super horrible at cutting in don’t tape the whole room.  It takes forever, it’s difficult to do it totally straight and it’s hard to get it off without pulling at the paint you so carefully put where you want it.  Now, believe me if there is something important expensive to paint against, by all means tape.  You can bet your behind I taped the edges of the $$$$ tile work we had in our bathroom (whole floor, shower walls and ceiling!).  But generally I don’t tape for ceilings or trim.  Instead of spending a bunch of time with tape, take extra time being careful cutting in.

5.  Go around the room in the natural direction.  For me, it’s going from left to right.  I’m righty and I do better with paint strokes from left to right.  I can see better and I have more coordination.  Next time you paint think about which direction seems better.  Your results will be better if you work to your strength! Wooster® Painter's Comb (1831) - Ace Hardware

6.  Use a paintbrush groomer/cleaner to clean your brush.  It looks a little scary but it makes a HUGE difference!  It has metal spikes on one side to comb out the brush as you rinse it and a metal brush on the other to brush off dried paint from the metal parts and upper bristles.  Again, only a few dollars investment – I have this specific one and love it.

Painting tip: Wrap aluminum foil around doorknobs and hardware when painting to catch dribbles. It forms a mold and stays in place.7. Wrap things like doorknobs is foil or plastic wrap. It takes 2 seconds and you won’t be mad at yourself for bumping the roller into them. 

8.  But if it all possible just take off all hardware – switch plates, outlet plates, doorknobs, curtain rod paraphernalia….  anything you can remove will make painting go much faster.  For things like sinks and toilets it’s pretty unlikely you’ll take them out so wrap those is plastic wrap.  But if you are starting from scratch paint the walls BEFORE installing them!

9.  Use a fine sanding sponge between coats, especially when using a paint with any gloss to it.  It’ll get those tiny little bumps off.  Just make sure to wipe down the walls again!

10.  When you’re having a hard time choosing a color – get some white cardstock (or similar color to what you’re painting on) and paint the papers then tape them all over the room.  You’ll be able to see what the color looks like in all parts of the room and different lights at the same time.  And one little sample paint will paints lots of pieces of cardstock.painting tip - line paint tray with foil. Clean up is a snap, just be sure to let the paint dry before you throw it in the trash.

11.  I have lined my roller tray with foil several times.  It is a great thing to do when you don’t want to keep buying those things but pay attention to the types of grooves.  It worked best for smaller job and trays that had bumps as opposed to lines.  The lines were too sharp and broke through the foil after a bit so I still had to deal with paint on the actual tray.  So just look close at the tray before bothering.

Paint tip12.  If you’re painting a ceiling get one of those shields that attach.  It’ll keep the spray off your floor and your hair.  And when you’re cutting in for a ceiling or other high areas cut a plastic container lid to sit around the brush to prevent drips.

13.  If you have to wait some time between coats or need to stop in the middle, wrapping your roller/brush in plastic wrap then putting in a plastic bag will keep it from drying – for a bit.  Best if you’ll be getting back to it within 24 hours because otherwise there are some dry bits that end up on the wall… we learned the hard way on this one :)

I think that exhausts my wisdom on painting…  do you have any other tips to add??


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pin 31–acne pads clean up paint

Inevitably while painting some paint ends up on the floor, for me at least.  I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding much, but there’s always the almost fall acne pads to remove paintoff the stepladder or losing your balance in some awkward position to get that tight corner and then there are blots of paint.  Or, my favorite, you don’t realize the blot then step in in and you’ve got textures paint marks around the room.  With latex paint clean up is generally not too bad but there is always the 1 or 2 marks that just won’t come up.  THIS PIN says you can use acne pads or facial cleaning wipes to get them off.  Supposedly the alcohol helps lift the paint.

So here’s one of my paint marks…  annoying.  I could’ve probably scratched it off after a bit of work but who wants that w-word.  Here goes…

paint splatter

and… woohoo!  minimal effort, paint gone! excellent.

clean floor

Now I’m sorry to say it didn’t work out so well for this little bugger…

thick paint spot

Bottom line – worth trying

It didn’t take very long to realize that the more smudgy-smeary type paint marks came up a bazillion times easier than the blot types.  It could be that the paint was too thick I suppose but it still came up using my finger nail.  The source site says it’s best used within a day of drying which I did not make (it was nearly 4 days after).  It’s a great shortcut for the thinner marks for sure.  I’m sure the sooner you get to it the better it works.  As a warning though, after going through the room and cleaning up all my marks (more than usual I have to say – it’s like I was painting drunk!) my fingers were really dry and smelled like the pads.  After several washings and lotion applications they were better but still felt tight.  More than 24 hours later I still feel like I lost my fingerprints.  I’m sure it will go back to normal but if you’ve got a lot of marks maybe grab some latex gloves!

used acne pads on paint


PS – As of posting this it’s been a week since I did this and my finger tips went through a whole scaly, flakey and peeling thing.  I’m sure it was the salicylic acid in the pads.  So either wear gloves or use something without acne medication if you’ll be cleaning up a bunch of spots like me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pin 30–trim roller to avoid paint lines

Another week of paint pins!  Woohooo!

Kidding – I don’t expect anyone to be this excited :)

So THIS PIN suggests trimming the edge of the roller to avoid that tendency for rollers to leave a goupy line on the wall that you have to spread out.  Seems reasonable right?

trim paint roller

So I trimmed my roller on both ends with regular scissors.  Do it over the trash as the loose fuzz can fly away easy.  Then I painted as usual.  This is what I got.

paint lines on wallpaint lines on wall

Yeah that’s right the line still showed up.  Now in fairness it wasn’t as often and really only when the roller was full of paint or I pressed a bit harder, but it still showed up.

Bottom line – not worth it

It really didn’t have enough of an effect to make me want to do it again.  It was just another step added before getting to paint.    On the other hand if you do enough painting that you wash and reuse high quality rollers, it might help to cut of that same area if there is some crusty paint that won’t come off.  And that’s pretty much all I have to say about it :)

More to come on Thursday!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Pin 29–tape to remove lint from roller

Bonus Pin!!!  I’ve been hearing from some of you that you are planning on doing some painting of your own soon and I didn’t want to hold out on this one!  There are a few variations of it – using various tapes, lint rollers, whatever – but the general idea is use something sticky to wrap around the roller before you paint. 

tape to remove roller lint

tape to remove roller lint

TADA!  All that lint would’ve ended up on your wall!  Boooooooooooo!

Bottom line – DO IT!!

I’ve actually been doing this for a long time.  It’s quick and easy and since you’re set-up for painting there is usually painters tape hanging around within reach.  It works just as well if you use masking tape or a strong lint roller.  If I’m using  a longer nap roller I might do it twice to really get all of it.  Super awesome way to avoid pulling paint soaked linty things off your wall while you’re painting.

One more week of paint pins coming up!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pin 28–vanilla cuts down paint fumes

I’ve done enough painting to come to terms with the smell.  I actually kinda like it , which makes me weird I’m sure.  But it’s definitely not good to be in a closed spaced with paint fumes for long.  I’ve been trying to buy vanilla in paintlow or no VOC paints to help with this but it’s really hard to totally escape the smell.  THIS PIN says that adding vanilla extract to paint will make it smell nice instead.  I love the smell of vanilla – probably because it usually comes with dessert!  So it seemed like a great possibility.

I was a bit worried that the color of the extract would change the my paint color since I was using a shade of white so I decided to use clear vanilla that you can find at any store that sells cake decorating supplies. 

I have to say that there was not the teeniest noticeable difference, even after at least 2 oz.  Maybe I could’ve added more but the paint is expensive enough I’m not going to waste a few dollars pouring vanilla into it!

Bottom line – waste of time

I honestly couldn’t even smell the vanilla after stirring the paint.  Extracts are not exactly cheap and I know my paint wasn’t so I just wasn’t willing to possibly ruin the paint and waste all my vanilla.  Had I a darker hue of paint I might have been a little more daring so please give me a shout if you’re willing to dump ounces of vanilla into your paint!!

Bonus paint pin tomorrow!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pin 27– plastic milk jug paint cup

milk jug paint holder

Yay for more paint pins!  This pin seemed liked a great idea, mostly because we go through gallons of milk around here as fast as we breathe air so I always have plastic milk jugs in the recycling bin.  But also because holding a paint can makes your hand cramp fast and putting it on some sort of stand is fine until you need to move it a few feet every couple of minutes.  I know they have a slew of commercial/retail paint cup types of things but I just don’t want to spend money on them and I definitely don’t want to clean it.  I have used plastic cups before and that worked ok, easier on the hand, light, and best of all disposable.  This looked like an upgrade given that it had a handle! 

So I actually did this twice, but only took pictures the second time.  I just took my best utility type scissors and starting cutting.  The first time I got excited and cut out quite a big section.  The second time I was a bit more conservative.  Let me just say, best to leave the bottom “cup” part deep with a bit of a lip in that forward facing corner to prevent spills.  I want to stress this because what will inevitably happen is this.  You’re on the stepladder and concentrating really hard on cutting in near the ceiling and your other hand gets lazy, no longer holds it level, and paint spills onto your floor.  If you are at all like me it will happen.  I promise.milk jug paint cup filled with paint

Anyways, the picture above is my recommended cut out shape.  Don’t cut too close to the handle either because it will make the bottom more likely to bend forwards.  My favorite thing about this pin (other than not having to worry about cleaning it!) is that there is a place to put your paint brush when you need to put it down to say, step down the ladder or use your finger to snatch lint or whatever out of the wet paint on the wall. 

Bottom line – LOVE it!

It’s free, fast, light, easy and disposable!! Those are seriously the best words ever, especially when talking about painting supplies.  Definitely try this one.  I would imagine a smaller milk jug might be better for smaller jobs but regardless it will work.  Try it!

more paint pins to come this week!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pin 26–damp brush to prevent soaked brush

The painting continues!  This pin was immediately attractive because I HATE how the whole brush gets completely saturated and you end up used but clean dry brushwasting paint because you can’t wipe the side of the brush enough and there is dry paint globs mixing with the fresh paint…. UGH!  Whatever.  It was also appealing because it would mean being able to use the same brush sooner and not having to wait until it was completely dry.  So I have a favorite paint brush, if that makes me weird so be it! :) I had really high hops for this one (it is sourced from Home Depot after all) but a few concerns too.  Would it water down the paint?  That would not be good for even coverage.  Would it prevent enough paint from being on the brush?  That would just be annoying.  Maybe it just might work; that would be awesome.

So I wet the brush in the sink and then squeezed out as much water as I could, which was a challenge.  And I took a paper towel to it too.  It seemed damp but certainly not dripping wet.  So I got painting (cutting in on my ceiling – worst part of painting ever!).  This is what the brush looked like after a few minutes.

some paint on brush

And this is the status a few more minutes later…

totally saturated brushwatery paint dripping on hand

YUCK!  As I had feared, the water in the brush just  diluted the paint as it seeped up it and then starting dripping all over my hand.  And there was paint saturated all through the bristles anyways.  Blech.  So I had to get some paper towels to keep handy to periodically squeeze and wipe the brush so my whole arm wasn’t white.

Bottom line – NEVER DO IT!

It may be that since I was doing the ceiling gravity had a particular hand it busting this pin but I would think it would happen eventually if you were doing a wall.  And it’s possible that the water might dilute your paint which would be super sucky if you were doing a nice deep saturated color.  So my final word on the subject is don’t do it and just suck it up that you’re wasting paint that sucks into your brush.  Chalk it up to collateral damage or something….

More painting pins next week!  A couple good ones too!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pin 25–rubber band painting squeegee

So I do the painting in our house.  My husband is amazing and really getting the hang of all the DIY homeowner stuff, but painting is just not something he likes to do.  In fact, his patience for it is so bad that he’s rubber band on paint canannoyed before he even starts.  I actually like painting.  I think it’s the type a in me… and it’s an excuse to be in a quiet room without our toddler running around like a maniac!  Anyways, our new home project is redoing our extra bedroom which requires lots of painting.  So this is the first of a slew of the supposed painting tip pins.  First up, this one – using a rubber band on a paint can as a brush squeegee sorta thing.  The thought being to avoid using the side of the can so you don’t end up with annoying dry paint glops that settle into your paint then end up on the wall. 

rubber band on paint can

So first thing first, get the rubber band on the can.  Sounds easy right?  I’m sure it is if you have another set of hands.  It took me a few minutes but I finally managed to get it on the can without spilling paint.  Triumph!  Then I realized I had to stir the paint which required taking the rubber band off then stirring and then putting it back on.  So after all that effort I had an elastic on the paint can.

I started painting, using the elastic to take off excess paint and it worked fine.  I can’t say it worked any better than using the side of the can but itrubber band on paint can after wasn’t leaving a semi-dried painty mess either.  So I did all my brushwork and tried to remove paint from the band which only sorta worked.  I had to remove the band.  Getting it on was tricky enough but now it had wet paint on it.  I tried my best to remove it without making a mess but despite all my efforts….

elastic splattered paint on floor


Wet goopy paint all over my floor.  In my ever unprepared way, I lacked paper towels at hand but I found yet another thing that baby wipes clean superbly. :)

Bottom line – don’t bother

From what I can tell there weren’t any benefits that out weighed the hassle and aggravation.  I just got saddled with an extra step and a mess to clean!  Don’t do it!

‘Til next time with more painting pin busting!