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May 05, 2021
If you’ve been following along with our Sustainability Week series in this first week of 2021, you’ll know that we’ve been talking about how you can make your renovation a more sustainable event, and your home a more eco-friendly place. We hope that we’ve given you something to think about, some inspiration for your next reno, and, at the very least, some good ideas about how to be a little kinder to our planet!
The crown jewel of our sustainable products is our recycled paint line, Refuge, which we’ve recently expanded to include fifteen colors, with a great mix of warm and cool neutrals as well as some exciting accent colors. We can’t sing the praises of recycled paint enough – not only does it eliminate a significant energy usage and creation of toxic byproducts, but it salvages leftover paint that would otherwise take up space in a landfill. Besides, since it’s created from high quality paint, it retains those premium qualities, offering exceptional adhesion and coverage in a wide range of colors.
Those brilliant qualities will all be for naught, though, if your space isn’t properly prepped. Getting a gorgeous coat of paint hangs largely on two things: foreknowledge, and the process. We’ve got a list of points for the gung-ho DIY-er that will help you paint like a pro.
DON’T SKIMP ON THE PREP
Taking your time before you even dip that paint brush for the first time is absolutely imperative. You want to make sure you’ve created a fresh canvas – for your fresh canvas! There are a lot of small things you can do to ensure that the coat you’re about to apply goes on smooth and looks it’s best.
Give the space you’re about to paint a very close inspection and address any imperfections. Got holes, or bumps? It may seem like a tiny thing, but they can have a large impact. Fill any holes or dents, and sand down any irregular textures. Once everything is even, give the walls a once-over with a damp cloth – primer and paint will adhere better to a clean surface.
Cover anything you want to protect, including moldings and the floor. Avoid plastic drop cloths – spills won’t dry! Go for canvas, which has the additional benefit of not being slippery underfoot, or rosin paper for tile. Even with drop cloths, be sure to mop up any large spills right away, or you might get seepage. Take the extra five minutes to remove your switch and outlet covers. Be liberal with the tape (and don’t rush in taking it off too soon!) and have small plastic bags on handy to cover things like knobs.
Prime, prime, prime. Paint and primer combos sound like a great time-saver, but unless you know a lot about your walls and when they were last painted, it’ll serve you better to do a primer coat. You’ll get better adhesion, more consistent color and way less accidental texture. Be sure to get the right type of primer for your walls; water-based primers are best for new drywall, but if you’re getting ready to apply a latex paint, like our recycled paint, on top of an oil-based paint, you’ll need an oil or transition primer.
Take your time, and don’t pinch too many pennies. It can be tempting to go cheap for supplies such a brushes, rollers and tape, but – don’t. Not only do higher quality supplies get you a better coat of paint, they help you optimize your usage, so you won’t find yourself mysteriously running out of paint. We recommend a synthetic fiber brush or a lint free roller for applying any of our Refuge recycled paints. When it comes to tape, make sure you get painter’s tape instead of regular masking tape. Painter’s tape has a lower adhesion which means it will come up much cleaner when it’s time to unveil the clean edges on your masterpiece.
Last of all – try to paint on a dry day, or be prepared to allot more time than expected for drying between coats. Humidity can slow down the drying process but instead of forging on ahead, adjust your timeline, otherwise the paint will suffer.
TIME TO PAINT
When it’s finally time to start slapping color on your walls (disclaimer: do not ACTUALLY *slap* anything during the painting of your home, please) first thing’s first: box your paint. That means, take all your gallons and dump them in a big bucket, mixing them together. There can be small inconsistencies from can to can, resulting in slightly patchiness or inconsistent color if you have to start a new can mid-wall. Stir your paint with an aerated stirrer, either with ready-made holes or ones you drill yourself, as it minimizes the resistance from the liquid. Use a screen instead of a roller tray to distribute your paint across your roller to make sure it’s not oversaturated and won’t drip or cause paint wastage.
Paint your trim first. It’s infinitely easier to tape off the trim than it is to tape off the walls, so get the trim done first and any oopsies on the wall will be fixed when you paint it next. Ceiling comes next, and then last, the walls.
Go top to bottom – starting from the top with your roller, let the roller do the work and don’t apply too much extra pressure (or you’ll get streaks and smudges). Painting down from the ceiling also allows you to catch drips as you go. Use the feathered edge as your marker of where to start the next roll, and don’t paint over the same area too many times when it’s wet or drying – another cause of streaks and smudges, as well as inconsistent color.
And for the most valuable piece of advice, we repeat: TAKE. YOUR. TIME. Take your time applying the paint, and then give it all the time it needs to dry. Adjust appropriately for extenuating circumstances or humidity.
Whether you’re taking a break for the night or you’ve finished your job, take care of those brushes. If you’re planning to resume the next day, wrap those bad boys up in something airtight – plastic wrap, plastic bags, aluminum foil – and then replace them in their original packaging to help keep their shape, and put them in the fridge or otherwise cold environment. If you’re done with your project, wash them carefully with warm water and dish detergent so that they’re ready to fight another day.
Once the walls are dry to the touch, go ahead and remove your painter’s tape – but not before! Pulling it off while the paint is still gummy can result in jagged edges. Double check with the manufacturer of your paint if they have any special instructions in terms of removing the tape – for example, we recommend removing the tape while our Refuge recycled paint is still damp to achieve the cleanest edge.
If you have leftover paint, prevent it from drying out by thoroughly cleaning the lid and then sealing it with the tap of a mallet. Leaving any old paint on the lid can not only prevent a tight seal, but can result in a whole lot of clumps falling back into the paint as they dry, and there’s no coming back from that. Consider investing in a paint pen – you can buy these at your local hardware store and fill them with your paint for easy touch-ups.
If you’re not interested in keeping your leftover paint – RECYCLE! It’s as easy as googling “paint recycling near me.” It does a whole lot of good for the environment and creates something new and useful out of waste. That’s the essence of sustainability! We’re so proud to be a part of such an exciting industry with community-minded values, and we hope you’ll join us, whether it’s by using our recycled paint, or by recycling your own.
When we started thinking about launching our paint line, we were so excited by the prospect of helping people really start fresh in their homes, creating a space that feels like a haven. That’s why we called our line Refuge: because your home should be a safe place in which you find shelter, solace and sanctuary – sustainably! We hope these tips and tricks come in handy as you take on the task of painting your home, and that you’ll join us on our journey of eco-friendliness by using our recycled paint. If you do, be sure send us your photos, before, after, and during the process of revamping your space, and let us know how much you love your recycled paint!
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