Decorative Painting Tips: Miscellaneous

  • To create a perfect holder for the bottoms of just-painted boxes that need a place to dry, turn a long-stemmed wine or champagne glass upside down and place the wet box on it with the bottom facing up.
  • When painting very small items that need paint on all sides and edges stick a push-pin in them and hold the pin while you paint. Then push the pin head into a piece of Styrofoam® to let the piece dry.

  • Keep a magnifying glass with your painting supplies so you can see any fine detail work in patterns and pictures.

  • For quick clean-up of messy hands, buy a container of baby wipes (preferably the ones where you pull a towel out from a hole in the lid at the top) and pour in a bottle of rubbing alcohol (other names are surgical spirit, isopropyl alcohol) which you can buy at a pharmacy. Always keep this at your painting table and take it to seminars or classes with you - it's very handy for a quick clean-up when you've got paint on your hands!

  • When using an eraser to remove tracing lines from your finished project, first rub the eraser over a piece of cloth to remove any hard spots or dark smudges on the eraser.

  • Undercoat an area you want to paint gold with red, and silver with a bright blue like pthalo blue. It makes your gold or silver vibrant and also gives you better coverage.

  • Always shampoo a new mop brush before you use it to remove any loose hairs. Allow the brush to dry flat instead of upright, so the water doesn't stay in the ferrule and loosen even more hairs.
  • If, while working with a mop brush, it begins to lose hairs, wrap your hand with masking tape--sticky side out--and run the mop brush over this sticky tape on your hand. The tape will grab any hairs that are about to fall onto your painting.

  • Never forget to wash your mop brush after use. It hardly gets wet so its very easy to think you needn't clean it! If you forget, whatever paint or medium you have used will dry and harden in the mop brush and render it completely useless.

  • When using a bristle or stencil brush for the first time, e.g. in faux finish projects, wash it well under the tap and tug at the hairs so that you remove any loose hairs. Otherwise, hairs may drop from the brush as you're painting and harden on your surface.


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Understanding Colour
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