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    Tips From The Idaho Painter

    What paint brushes should a professional painter use?

    The Essential Brushes for Any Project

    Something I am asked to talk about a lot as a professional painter is how to make sure that you are using the best brush for the project that you are trying to tackle. Today I am going to go over what I consider to be the most essential brushes in my tool-bag. Now these are brushes that I use on professional job sites as well as projects just around my own residence. But before I get to talking about what products I use I wanna talk a little bit about brushes in a broader stroke (no pun intended), as I know it can be hard to justify spending the money for a high quality brush when you don’t understand what makes a high end brush.

    There are a lot of different types of bristle and filaments out there and they make for an overwhelming number of options to choose from when you’re looking at brushes. Brushes can be broken down into two main categories though, synthetic (filaments) and natural (bristles). Natural bristles come from animal hair while synthetic are often nylon, polyester, or a combination of both. When I am buying a brush I always like to find one that not only suits my project needs but also has Dupont filaments. The reason I like the Dupont filaments is they actually absorb water slower than your typical nylon or polyester filaments do which allows them to maintain their stiffness and shape a lot longer. How they are able to do this better than any other bristle or filament is because Dupont manufactures their own special versions of synthetics. They have their nylon called Tynex, polyester which they call Orel, and finally Chinex which is a modified nylon that is often compared to a natural bristle feel.

    Ruining your brushes from lack of proper care can end up being a costly mistake especially when the higher end brushes, you want to make them last as long as possible. Modern paints tend to dry a lot faster these days, especially if you live in a climate similar to mine where it's very hot and dry in the summers it can be hard to keep your brush from drying out. The best practice for keeping you brushes in tip-top shape during your projects is to clean them every hour while painting. This will ensure that your bristles are staying stiffer and holding shape longer, regardless of what kind of bristle you are using. With that quick crash coarse in bristles, filaments, and maintenance of the brush under you belts lets start talking about the brushes I always keep in my bag.

    If your next project is involving the painting of an exterior of a house then you are going to want to get a Chinex brush for their stiffer filaments. On any of my jobs where I am working on exteriors I am using a 3 inch angel sash 100% Chinex filament brushes. My personal favorite choice for this type of brush is the Premier Riverdale. I usually tend to go with an angled brush on jobs of this nature as they make it a lot easier to get paint into corners and feel more versatile to me than your typical flat brush in my opinion. You can just as easily use a flat angle brush as well, it really just comes down to personal preference.

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    Getting the perfect spray pattern with airless tips.

    Get The Perfect Spray Pattern

    Let's talk about feathered edges, that light airy and fluffy edge we all dream about, yeah that one. The one you get with an airless spray gun that is spraying just right.  A nice feathered edge with no tailing.  With a few tips and tricks I am going to teach you how to get the perfect and consistent feathered airless sprayed edge. 

    Now the first tip I have to share is patience, this takes time to learn and mess around with before you start understanding your pump and guns PSI levels and what to gauge it at for the perfect finish. It took me many years to understand what PSI I had to be at and what that even meant, with patience and consistency I picked it up and so will you. 

    Getting the proper spray pattern is typically related to pressure.  Demonstrated in This Video I will be running multiple pressures with a couple different tips to show you that every tip is different as well as what it looks like with too low of pressure and too high of pressure. I will also be spraying with one product because when switching products the pressure will be different since the consistencies of the product are all unique. I am using a Titan 440 which does not have a digital pressure readout but I do have a Titan HEA gage set up so that I can read what the levels are at. You can use what ever sprayer you have available.  It is essential to know the pressure so having a gauge at your gun is useful to get a feel and understanding of what the PSI should be at.  Once you get dialed in the gauge will not be necessary but in the beginning I highly recommend having one. More expensive sprayers have a digital read out on them showing you what the PSI is at the pump.

    I will be starting off using a regular high production tip with 700 PSI and I see fingering immediately. Fingering is caused when there is not enough pressure and it looks as if there is a split in the spray pattern on both sides that didn’t get any product.  Tailing is related to lack of pressure at the run the majority of the time. I’ve bumped it up to 1000 PSI now and the fingering is starting to go away because more pressure is coming from the gun. I bumped it up to 1500 PSI to try and completely eliminate the fingering and it is looking good. Now do not get frustrated because you may have to try this a few times before you are happy with the results and there is a nice feathering on the edges. The edge can have a more pronounced edge or a gradual feather depending on the tip.  Titan HEA tips are designed to give you a more pronounced feather whereas the Titan high production tips are designed for a sharper edge.  

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    Improving your brand in your location

    Improving Brand Awareness

    Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Therefore you want to create a consistent presence and realize that perception is reality.  Try to figure out what makes your brand unique and find unique ways to advertise.  Here are 6 marketing and advertising options for you to promote your brand.

    Yard Signs: Make your yard signs simple and readable with little information.  Key information you need to have on your yards signs is  phone number, website, and the words “Free Estimate.” I do prefer high quality metal yard signs, the same as relators usually use.  Purchase 5 signs and make a sign check out form so you can keep track of where they are at. Placing signs at a 90 degree angle to the face of the house makes them visible to drivers from five houses away. (Example: realtors do it this way)

    Vehicle Logos: Make your vehicle lettering large and simple to read.  You want everyone who sees your vehicle to be able to gather what you do and key information on how to get ahold of you. Make sure to have your phone number and “Free Estimates” large and easily readable as well as your website.

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    For more tips and trick from The Idaho Painter you can visit us on YouTube Paint Life TV.  Or visit our webpage for painting hacks, instructions on how to paint a house, tips on estimating, and for painting 101 tips like estimating how much paint to use.


    Why use blue painters tape.  FrogTape tips.

    Why Use Blue Painters Tape?

    With the amount of masking tape a professional painter uses on a single job, it’s essential to evaluate whether the tape you’re using is right for your workflow. Using the right tape for the right job can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of your career. Everything depends on where you’re masking and how long you anticipate your  project to take.

    Tape can generally be placed into three different tiers: production tape at the low end, then blue tape, then FrogTape which is the highest quality. With each of these tapes, you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean the more expensive tape is the right one for your job. The biggest differences between these tapes comes down to release time, resistance to uv rays and heat, as well as the quality of the paper itself. For more details on the benefits of blue tape, watch my video CLICK HERE

    The release time refers to the amount of time the paper can stay on a surface once it has been applied. After the duration of its release time, its adhesion may fail, it may badly splinter when you attempt to remove it, or it may leave behind residue which will be difficult and time consuming to remove.

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    How to paint a stairwell

    Painting A Stairwell

    Stairwell Painting Tips and Tools: If you’ve done a decent amount of painting you have more then likely come to a point where you have to paint a tight space like a stairwell, and it can some times be a real pain in the rear. And if you are new to painting maybe stairwells are intimidating you from making it your next project, but it’s not as hard as it may seem I promise. Today I am going to be giving you some tips and tools that make painting in tight tall spaces a lot easier and hopefully save you some headaches a long the way.

    The first tip that I have for you takes place before the actual painting process even starts and that’s picking the paint you want to use for the stairwell. When you are working in these kinds of spaces sometimes it can be challenging to properly layout your paint on the wall and get the proper finish you want. I would suggest using a lighter color high quality paint in these kinds of spaces as they are less likely to show any flashing. Darker and low quality paints are less forgiving when it comes to not getting a proper layout making flashing more likely to occur.

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    Mixing hot mud with the Mud Mix Ball

    The Mud Ball

    The Mud'n More Mix Ball. If you have ever tried to mix mud before, you know that it can be a super frustrating process. You spend too much valuable time struggling to get all of those chunks of powder out and achieve that desired smooth consistency. All while racing the wheel of time to do so before the mud starts to set. If you could find a tool to help you in making this process more efficient, wouldn’t you want to give it a shot? 

    Well, we stumbled upon a product that we are absolutely smitten by, and might make all of your wildest dreams come true… at least your mud mixing dreams, that is. 

    This handy little guy is a silicone ball with a paddle that attaches to your standard drill. It comes with two measuring cups. One for the mud mix, and one for the water. Just add 3 scoops of 5 Minute Mud, one scoop of water, and mix to your hearts content. Before you know it you will have the perfect, silky mud with ZERO chunks. 

    Cleanup is just as easy. Because of its silicone lined inside, you can literally just let the mud dry inside the ball. Give it a little squeeze and it will all crumble out. Followed by a quick rinse, and it’ll be good as new. 

    This is one product that everyone needs stocked up in their rig. It saves us an immeasurable amount of time AND gives you a better consistency of mud. What more could you want? Plus, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can use this handy little set up for Saturday morning pancakes… just don’t tell the spouse. 

    To learn more or to purchase the Mud’n More Mix Ball, CLICK HERE