Brush Tip Blog

If you’re going to do it yourself, you’re going to save a bunch of money (you hope so). Anyway good tools don’t cost much and will make a difference.


Get a good brush.

A cheap brush is $5 – $10 bucks. A good brush is maybe $20 – $25. I like Purdy and Wooster brushes. My Kassel Painting partner only likes Purdy but he is old fashioned and stuck in his ways. I am working to expand his horizons. 90% of the time I use a 2.5″ sash brush, meaning the bristles are cut on an angle. A good one will hold more paint. It will make a straighter line even if you can’t. The bristles won’t fall out and stick to your freshly painted wall.

Use a brush for latex with water based paint and use a brush designed for oil with oil based paints. Clean your brushes with the proper cleaner – water for latex and mineral spirits (thinners) for oil brushes. Use a wire brush or comb to brush out all the excess paint. Hang then vertically to dry with a bucket under them to catch drips. Save the little cardboard holder-thingy it comes with to store them. It keeps the bristles straight. Between uses I put this goop on that you get in the paint store. Like a hand crème for brushes. It makes them easier to clean out. It also keep them soft, supple and looking younger.

Don’t cheap out on your brush. I mean it!


Roller sleeves (the fuzzy tubes) are real cheap but again a good one will leave less lint. They are measured in millimeters (mm’s) thickness of the nap. A 5mm is very thin. It makes a finer finish but holds less paint. It won’t paint a rough surface because it doesn’t mush into all the cracks and crevices. 25mm would be used for rough stucco walls outside. 15mm is pretty common for its balance of holding paint and giving a good finish. Clean rollers and reuse them because they get better and less and less lint comes off the older they get.


The roller cage or frame is the thing that makes the roller roll. You can use a cheap one but I like the Wooster because it lasts so long and doesn’t get rusty. A cheap one eventually just seizes up and you wind up sliding paint onto the wall instead of rolling.


Even a broom handle is better than nothing. But since you’re saving so much by doing it yourself then get at least a 2′ – 4′ pole. These screw onto the roller cage and make it about 1000x easier to roll paint onto the wall. They reach high and reach low without your arm doing all the work. If you are in cramped quarters with lots of furniture consider a 1′ – 2′ pole. That should be enough for a 5-6′ man to reach the top of an 8′ wall right?


You can use old bed sheets. Or buy canvas tarps at the paint store. Get long skinny ones (4’x12′) since normally you are painting a wall, not a ceiling and you only need to protect the area right under the wall. You can buy rolls of clear poly to cover the furniture and rugs.

You need painters tape (green or blue) to mask off the edges of carpets or floors when painting baseboards. Normally 1″ tape will suffice. Taping like crazy is a good idea for beginners, to avoid getting paint over everything. You can keep resetting the tape until you get it just right. But if you paint all over the floor that’s a bit worse to fix.

Use tape to hold down your poly too. And at night your oil brushes can be sealed up in poly wrapped with tight tape instead of cleaning them. That trick is good for about 18 hours, then they start to dry out.

Masking is about the most important thing for rookies. Cover everything and check it twice. Then you can splatter away and after you clean up no one will know the difference.


This is that cool painters tool that goes in the little side holster pocket on your painter pants (oh yeah, you want to get ’em don’t you? They’re like $20 – go ahead!). Anyway, what that thing is for nobody fully knows, but it does a bunch of jobs. The ones I can think of are as follows:

The flathead screw-driver edge can be used as a screw-driver for light switch screws etc.

  1. The same edge opens paint can lids.
  2. Also opens beers.
  3. The pointy edge can be used to pry out old caulking.
  4. It also substitutes for a Phillips (star) screwdriver.
  5. It can be used when cleaning a brush to get all the goop out between the bristles, like a comb.
  6. It also pokes your leg and rips your upholstery when you sit down, waking you up when you get too tired.
  7. The round curved edge is for wringing paint out of paint rollers. You scrape it along and it does work well, especially under running water.
  8. The sharp knife top blade edge can be used as a very small drywall knife, to smooth out filler.
  9. It can be used to scrape wallpaper.
  10. It can be used to scrape off old paint runs.
  11. It can cut a straight line on masking tape.
  12. It pries up the edge of the masking tape when your fingernails are gone.
  13. It can be used to pull nails and staples, especially staples from walls.
  14. The steel plated butt end can be used as a tiny hammer for loose small nails.

“How much should a paint job cost?” is a very difficult question. While most painters work from formulas and the Master Painters Institute (MPI) offers various methods, the fact is that all paint jobs are unique.

The condition of the surface is a big factor. How hard is it go get at? Sometimes I get a call to look at a house on the side of a cliff. One job was a house built on stilts over water. These are extremely difficult and putting paint on the wall is the least of your problems once you figure out how to get at the wall! It becomes difficult to find fair priced Vancouver House Painters.
Also inside a house; if there is a lot of furniture, who is going to move it? And then it all has to be covered up. And, it’s cramped working in there.
A textured ceiling is harder to paint than a flat one. Sometimes they have to be spray painted or else they will be ruined.
What kind of paint is being requested? Paint runs from $10 per gallon (whitewash) to $80 per gallon (top designer paint). Which is best? (Usually one around the middle says the fair price Vancouver House Painters) at Kassel Painting.


A trick used by some tradesmen is to offer a cheap initial price and then once work has begun start adding in extras. I’ve seen “3 rooms painted for $299” advertised. That’s cheaper than I pay my men, not including the paint! So how does that guy survive? You figure it out. (I already have…)


A true honest painter can size up the job right at the beginning (including the surprises). He will give you a price that really shouldn’t change. If there is an unforeseen problem it should be reasonable, make sense. Like they strip the wallpaper and find the walls underneath are a mess (common). But if the problem is a mistake in estimating then the price shouldn’t change. I have spent $1000’s to complete a job we mis-estimated, because it was our fault, not the customers. That just seems honest and fair to me as fair priced Vancouver House Painters Company..


So a fair price could really be determined by this: How much guarantee do you want in advance that this will be a good job? How much risk are you willing to take? Ultimately, how much are you willing to pay? The world’s best painter may be too expensive for you. So even if that is the perfect job you can’t get it. Ask lots of questions and use common sense to determine what is best, when you are looking for strong group of Vancouver House Painters.

Call To-day – Kassel Painting (604) 436-6052

This is really a matter of taste. Inside the paint doesn’t do much except sit there. Washable is great but when is the last time you washed your walls? Some people tell me they must have washable paint and I ask do you wash the walls and they say “no”. But in kitchen or bathroom obviously the paint should repel water and also be scrubbable to some degree. Lower sheen paint looks better, especially if your walls are not perfectly smooth.


This will wreck any chance of an endorsement and may result in a contract on my life. But I do not recommend designer paints. I love their colours! I appreciate the work they do on providing design tips and seminars at the Home Show. They sponsor home improvement shows on TV. They put out beautiful magazines and brochures and the colour samples they provide (fan decks) are fabulous! But all that costs money. Who pays?


I use local B.C. paint companies. Through our firms’ long relationship with home improvement guru Shell Busey, we have been introduced to Cloverdale Paints and we use their products for many types of applications. Other products we use regularly are ICI paints and Envirocoatings products.

I like the local companies because they are formulated to work best in our kind of weather and geography, where they’re manufactured. They are close at hand for any problems encountered. I’ve sent paint back to the lab for testing if something didn’t seem right. Also the costs are lower due to less transport costs and no tariffs from importation etc. So I don’t recommend the designer paints unless you need the tax deduction. Plus you create jobs in your own area when you buy local. That’s good.

painting preparationFILLING AND SANDING

You work out prep backwards. What do you want it to look like in the end? If you want walls that look like the side panels of a Ferrari you better be prepared to spend a lot of dough. That more


This, in my opinion. is the world’s worst job next to septic tank re-lining. It takes a long time and there is no really good way to do it, despite all the products on the market.

A wallpaper stripper available from a rental place is an more


Caulking is a mastic (paste) that dries to a flexible but strong finish. It also works like an adhesive. Normally it is used to fill gaps where wood trim joins the drywall. Sometimes it can be used for other purposes like making a more

You may be wondering “How will I choose a painter for my home or office project?” The real truth is that any painter, picked at random, may give you a good job or a bad job. The biggest company may not always be the best painting contractor. The one-man neighbourhood tradesman ‘that everybody loves’ may be great, but he also may be on the verge of going bankrupt and skipping town. There is no 100% guarantee. But there are some common-sense guidelines when selecting your painting contractor.

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Painting Contractor Vancouver

  • If they’ve been in business for some years you can reasonably assume the company is reliable, stands by its products and has the ability to solve problems resulting in customer satisfaction. The company probably pays its bills and has learned the business side of dealing with taxes and insurance etc. Otherwise they would probably be gone by now.
  • Look at how they handle communication. Only the very largest companies have a telephone secretary so be prepared to leave a message. But do they return your call in a reasonable time? If you make an appointment do they show up when they said they would? Is it easy to get answers to your questions? Does the person you are dealing with seem knowledgeable? Honest?
  • Does the painting contractor provide a written estimate? If there is no written estimate then you have started on the road to big trouble if you hire that person. Is the estimate dashed off on the spot or does the estimator make detailed notes and send a proper estimate within a day or so? When the estimate arrives is it accurate? Do they have your name, address, and phone number right? Painting is a details trade. Details-oriented people make the best painters. So if they can’t get the paperwork right then there are chances of other misunderstandings like the colours, schedule etc.
  • Is the estimate detailed? Is it perfectly clear exactly what is going to be done? Does the estimate use terms and abbreviations you don’t understand? If you can’t understand it how can you sign it?
  • Does the painting contractor have references of work already done? Not just recent ref’s but references from some years ago? This is a good way to tell the company has really been around for a while.
  • Can they provide a Clearance Letter from WCB? This means they are registered and paying their premiums which means you are not exposed to risk if they have an accident while on site. It also means the company is “all grown up” in terms of dealing with compliance to government regulations.
  • Are they insured for 3rd Party Liability? This is another safeguard and should be at least $2,000,000 these days.
    A typical warranty is one year on workmanship and this should be honored whether in writing or not.
  • Add to all the above a good reputation or referral from someone you know and you may just have found the perfect painting contractor Vancouver.

Painting Contractor Vancouver

Peter Byrne
Kassel Painting Ltd.

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