Masking Your Home and Using Drop Cloths

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Welcome to the next video in our series where we provide real training from real painting contractors .

This is a carry on from our last video.

Today we're going to go over step six in the painting process, and that's dropping and masking.

Tomorrow we will get into the fun stuff of spray painting!

Video Summary:

One of the most important steps for painting your house is the dropping and masking. You will need to get a masker, preferably professional grade to ensure a quality job is done. The masker pulls tape and paper through at the same time, making it easy to apply. You can then simply stick down the paper anywhere that you do not want to get paint.

You will need to get your own masking paper and tape. The tape will vary in and color size based on the particular step of the job you are on. Initially you will use one inch tape and later you will need closer to an inch and a half. Some parts of the masking process will require regular tape and others you will want to make sure you use blue tape. Duct tape is good to have on hand for the surfaces that are difficult to apply regular tape to; roof lines, shingles and even concrete.

Whether you are spraying, brushing or rolling you need to get Painter’s Plastic to cover windows, doors and any other furniture or items. Use a new razor knife to cut the sheets to whatever you size you needs them to be. It is worth getting a few drop cloths to have around, but since they are not cheap, you can get away with only having one or two, depending on your budget.

For windows and doors, if you are rolling or brushing you can get away with just using paper instead of plastic sheets. Create a small paper awning to put at the top to prevent any splatter. A handy tip to remember when masking, is to keep strips of tape ready to go (stuck to your shirt) in the event things come loose while you are mid task.

Working along the edges, you may want to first run a strip of the larger (one and a half inch) tape under the siding. This makes sure everything is sealed off tightly and you can them run over this with a regular strip of tape and the paper.

If you come across any pipes or other protrusions from your house, it can be difficult to figure out how to paint around them. The best approach is to mask them off to them the match the bottom of the sliding since it will be too difficult to paint all the way to the ground.

Once all doors and windows are masked off, awnings are over windows and drop sheets are in place. If you decide you want more coverage but do not have enough drop cloths, you can always use old sheets from the house and lay them out for protection.

The next step is to mask the same section again as if we are going to spray rather than roll or brush. Make sure all your drop cloths are covering anything you do not want paint on including ornaments and even the deck. As you spray near corners, you may want to have additional coverage on items around the bend, because spray can sneak around corners. It is also good to remember the corners where the siding and roof meet, as these are easily forgotten. Be sure to get that corner of the roof sealed up really well.

When spraying you need to tape the paper to the drop cloth, otherwise the pressure from the paint sprayer can force the paper to lift letting paint get right underneath it. If you come across any labels that need to remain visible, all you need to do is put tape over it and then use some five-way to stick over the two edges.

When masking the roof line, use duct tape first right against the edge. Then you can use the masking paper. Again be sure to tape the paper to the drop cloth if you are going to be spraying, because the papers can lift so easily and you will end up with paint on the roof.
You need to cover the entire roof with something; tarps or drop cloths or even sheets. Spray can drift across so if only half covered you will end up with a very visible line along the roof. This same idea applied to driveways and decks too. Make sure you cover the entire area so there are no miscellaneous spray patterns left over from wandering paint drops.

The masking and taping is pretty much complete at this point. If you will be using a brush or roller you can mask as you go along. This is beneficial if you don’t have a lot of drop cloths, so you can just move them each time you go to a new section. Spraying is much more involved and it can take a good part of a day to get the house masked off properly. You want to be sure that you can focus on the painting and not have to worry about where the paint may be sneaking off to.



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