Anyone who’s watched television in recent months will have seen adverts for mechanical painting systems that promise to eliminate dirty paint trays and messy rollers that have to be washed out after use. They are usually promoted as being quick and easy to use with flawless results, enabling even the clumsiest painter to transform a room in a fraction of the expected time.
But do these miracle paint systems really work and are they value for money? We tried a system priced at the lower end of the market and felt rather disappointed, especially as the paint container, which was located inside the roller, flipped open halfway through the job and we ended up with a rather irritating spillage on our kitchen floor!
The roller on this particular system was also disappointing, having a slightly longer pile that would traditionally be more useful for painting artexed ceilings.
Checking out consumer reviews for the more expensive models, it seems that the machines themselves are prone to breaking or malfunctioning after a few uses and there have been complaints that paint coverage is rather thin. Perhaps there isn’t a hi-tech solution to decorating those awkward spaces and ceilings after all, and it’s best to employ traditional methods.
Any professional painter and decorator will tell you that the secret to hassle free decorating is in the preparation. Walls should be washed down so that they are free from dirt and greasy marks, holes should be filled in and rubbed down and skirting boards and window and door frames should be neatly masked with a good quality masking tape to create clean lines and avoid unsightly splashes of excess paint.
Floors also should be protected and light fittings unscrewed so that you’re not painting around them, which delivers an amateur finish.
Investing in some good quality paint brushes is a must. Cheap brushes easily lose their filaments, which can become stuck to the wall and cause excess paint to get onto the ceiling when you’re working on the top border. Some decorators swear by rollers, but the finish is all in the action, as paint is worked in from side to side. Simply rolling up and down won’t offer an even result.
Alternatively, good quality paint pads are easy to use and offer more control. They come in different sizes, and are less likely to cause splashes than over-loaded rollers. They’re also easier to clean under running water and if you invest in reasonable ones, they have plenty of life in them, which makes them an economical choice.
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