How to Paint a Room in 14 Steps

This is a step-by-step simple as pie way to paint a room.

What you will need:

  • paint
  • stir stick
  • drop cloth / plastic
  • green tape or blue tape [ green has a better edge but is more expensive ]
  • roller pan
  • roller brush
  • cut in brushes
  • rags
  • hammer / nail
  • flat head screwdriver
  • ladder
  • extension handle for roller brush
  • plastic bags

1. If room is furnished, cover everything with drop cloth or plastic sheet, if not furnished, cover floor with drop cloth or plastic sheet.

2. With the green tape (or blue), put along all edges of window frames, baseboards, cornice, crown molding, door frames that you do not want to paint.

3. Open your paint can with the flat head screwdriver.

4. Use your hammer and nail to put drain holes in the rim of the can so that extra paint will drain back into the can.

5. Stir paint with stir stick until you can’t see any separation.

6. Pour small amount of paint in the tray, wiping excess off the can with paint brush.

7. Cut in all your edges.  That means, where ever you put the green (or blue) tape, you should now paint from the tape out into the center of the area 3-5 inches.  These are the areas you will not be able to get to with your roller brush.

8. After all your edges are cut in, rinse your paint brushes, or if you are going to need them soon, put them into a plastic bag so they won’t dry out before you have a chance to clean them properly.

9. Now pour more paint into the roller tray, put your roller brush on the extension handle and put the brush on the roller tray out of the paint. Gently push the roller into the paint enough to cover the brush. Roll the brush back and forth on the ribs of the tray to get rid of the excess paint.

10. Draw a big 30″ W with the roller brush on the ceiling. Then come back to the W and fill in the square.  Move to the next section, repeat the W an filling in and overlapping the areas until the ceiling is completely painted.

11. Repeat the same process for the walls.

12. Let dry. You may need a second coat.  If so, cover your brushes and pan with plastic bags and wait for the room to dry.  Remember to put the lid back on your paint. Start again with the cutting in process, then the ceiling, then the walls. After you finish, clean your brushes in warm water and soap.

13. After the final coat has dried.  Carefully remove the green tape (or blue) and take up all the plastic sheeting.

14. Sit back and relax and enjoy your newly painted room.


Pressure Washing Tips, but really I’m just talking about the nozzles

There are two main categories of  pressure washer nozzles.  Quick connect and threaded.

Today, we are just going to talk about the basic quick connect nozzles that come with most non-commercial pressure washers.

Most systems will have 5 different colors — it is important the you use the correct nozzle for the correct application.

  • Red – Blasting Tip – this tip has a zero degree spray pattern, that produces a pencil thin spray with the highest impact. Commonly used for cleaning stubborn stains from concrete. Be careful using this tip on surfaces that can be easily damaged.
  • Yellow – Stripping – this tip has a 15 degree spray pattern. Commonly used to remove paint or rust.
  • Green – Cleaning – this tip has a 25 degree spary pattern.  Commonly used to clean dirt, mud and grime.
  • White – Washing – this tip has a 40 degree spray pattern.  Commonly used to wash and rinse automobiles, windows, driveways and boats.
  • Black – Soap – this is the soap nozzle. It has a wide orifice and reduces the PSI.


Just like a lawn mower

Just like a lawn mower can pick up objects and hurl them at great speeds in directions unexpected, so too can pressure washers if the operator isn’t paying attention.

A blast from a pressure washer can launch a stone or pebble sitting on your driveway and aim that projectile straight for your windows or even worse, your car!

For those of you with aggregate driveways, this is a common occurrence, as the aggregate becomes lose from exposure, and then you up the PSI, hit the loose stones with a well placed blast of water, and cha-ching, the next thing you know you are forking out dollars for glass repair or you are trying to hide the dent in the vinyl siding from your wife.

Before you start on a pressure washing project, clear the area of debris which could possibly become projectiles.



Power Washing or Pressure Washing

Which is it? Pressure Washing or Power Washing?

Both terms are used interchangeably. In speaking terms, one should use a “pressure washer” to “power wash” an object.  However, in English, nouns become verbs and verbs become nouns, so now it is acceptable to either of the phrases.

Be aware though that there are regional differences.  The southeastern USA uses the term “Pressure Washing” almost exclusively, but the further away one gets from that south east corner, the more balanced the usage of the phrases becomes.

In the Pacific Northwest, the balance is about 60/40 in favor of pressure washing, but if you go farther away to Australia or New Zealand, the balance shifts completely in favor of “Power Washing”.

Since I’m originally from New Zealand, I tend towards “Power Washing”, but I’m bilingual and can speak “Pressure Washing” too.



Quote or Estimate

Many companies will give you “Free Quotes” and “Free Estimates”. But what does this really mean?  If you receive a “quote” from a business or service, that is exactly what you will pay for the goods or service that you receive.  If you receive an “Estimate”, that is approximately or roughly what you will pay at the end of the relationship and that estimate can easily be up to 25% off from the final cost to you the costumer.

Take special note whether you are receiving a quote or an estimate, especially if you are receiving multiple bids for a job.  Comparing quotes to estimates is like comparing apples to oranges.

Real Cost of DIY Driveway Cleaning

We see our driveways everyday, but suddenly one day you realize that gosh, that driveway is really dirty.  The constant traffic in and out during all types of weather brings dirt, oil, grime, slime, grease, spilt drinks, stale coffee, you name it onto your driveway.

The solution – let’s clean our driveway.

Your first attempt on a Saturday afternoon, is to pull out the garden hose, dial the trigger as sharp as you can and blast away.  The results?  Nothing.  Total Cost: 1 hour of labor.

Saturday evening, you spend some time googling on the topic of cleaning driveways and you discover that “power washing” or “pressure washing” is the way to go.  Total Cost: 2 hours of labor and research.

Sunday morning, its off to the big box store to buy yourself a “pressure washer”.  You find a nice looking unit priced at $299.00 but then you remember your research told you that you need a pressure washer with at least a rating of 3000 PSI.  Sadly, those are $399.00, but you have a job to do.  On the way home, you stop to by 1/2 Gallon of Gas.

Total Cost: 2 hours labor & research, 2 hours shopping at big box store, $399.00, plus $2.00 for gas.

Sunday afternoon, you proudly unpack your power washer, hook up all the hoses, pour in you gas, and start it up.  Just as quickly you shut it down and run into the house for some earplugs.  Returning outside to finally start to power wash your driveway.

After an hour or so of power washing, which is definitely a lot of fun, spraying the kids and the dog and the neighbors house, there are still some stains on the driveway which haven’t come out.

Total Cost: 4 hours labor & research, 2 hours shopping, $401.00

Now it is time to go back to the big box store and buy some driveway cleaning solutions, which will cost you around $15.00 and another hour.

Back home, you read the instructions on the cleaning solution, mix it up, spread it, wait and wait, and then power up the power washer again and hope for the best.  If you are lucky, the cleaning product worked on your stain.  In about 50% of the cases, the big box solutions won’t remove the tough stains the way the commercial solutions will.  This rewash process has taken another hour and its definitely time for dinner and a drink.

Total Cost: 5 hours labor & research, 3 hours shopping, $416.00

That’s a total of 8 man hours and $416.00.

Is that time and money better spent on your family?

You decide.


Is it time to Re-seal your deck?

Water Beading

Water Beading

To determine if your deck is in need of power washing and sealing, sprinkle a few drops of water onto the surface of the wood.

If the water beads up, then the wood is still retaining water-resistant properties. If the water soaks in within about 15 seconds, then it’s time to take some action.

When rainwater soaks into the wood, it causes the fibers to swell. This accelerates the breakdown of the wood and causes the growth of damaging mildew and mold that retains moisture and will eventually rot the deck.