what's the secret to keeping a *wet* edge???

phyl345July 14, 2010

I know keeping a *wet* edge when painting is important ... but I can never manage to do that!! I always end up with *overlap* marks.

I wonder if I am not putting the paint on thick enough? Would you share you secrets on how the heck you do this?


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Fact is, a lot of people DON'T use enough paint and then wonder why they have roller marks. If you can 'hear' your roller making a kind of sucking sound on your wall, then you need more paint - and you should be re-loading your roller BEFORE it gets to that sound. Same is true for using a brush on trim - minus the sound..... brushes are quiet little buggars. :-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Could be not enough paint, or wrong roller cover or just working too slow. Sometimes it comes down to trial and error.

Sometimes a second coat will reduce roller marks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:47PM
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If you are talking about a brush application, wiping the edge with Penetrol (for oil based paint) or Floetrol (for water based paint) will reduce or eliminate lap marks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 3:07PM
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dlm .. yup, I suspect I don't put enough paint on the roller ....

paintergirl .. I am using a foam brush .. could that be the problem? .. also, the second coat definitely won't help cuz I must be on at least the third!

palimpsest .. will buy floetrol tomorrow & see if I can finally get an all-over smooth surface ......

thanks so much,

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:11PM
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I got all of these tips from the experts on the Paint forum:

BEST, BEST BEST tip I ever learned about painting: Don't try to cut in and roll at the same time. Do them separately. You must let the paint dry completely, but you can do all the cutting in first, even applying the second coat of cut-in before you start using the roller, as long as you let each layer of paint dry completely before going on to the next. Once you eliminate the cutting-in time, rolling a wall doesn't take long at all.

Use a roller cover made of a natural fiber like lambs wool. It will hold more paint. It costs more but can be washed easily and reused.

Don't press on the roller. You are laying paint on the wall, you are not trying to press the paint into the wall. It's faster and less tiring.

If your roller makes the sound of bacon frying on a griddle, you don't have enough paint on the roller and it is time to reload.

Use a pole extension on the roller frame so that you avoid or reduce climbing up and down a ladder.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:22PM
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Get a good brush. When I painted the vanity recently, I used a Purdy. Pricey but I could tell the difference!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 7:59PM
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I had always painted by moving the roller in sort of a W shape and doing maybe a 3 x 3 ft section at a time - that's the way my dad taught me when I was younger. Sometimes but not all the time (depending on the lighting and the sheen of the paint) I ended up with roller lap marks. I was complaining about this recently to the guy at the paint store and he suggested that I only paint straight up and down the wall, top to bottom, with the roller using an extension pole. He said that when you paint in a W shape (or any kind of shape where your roller is going in different directions along the wall), the slight texture that the roller leaves behind will reflect light differently in the different directions and make the lap marks obvious. I haven't had a chance to try this yet (we're painting the basement on Saturday) but since he told me this a few weeks ago, I've noticed that several of the HGTV shows use the same sort of "straight up and down, top to bottom" pattern with the roller. So hopefully that will solve my problem (and yours!)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:02PM
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That's funny (about the 3rd coat, I mean).
I wouldn't use a foam brush, it cannot hold enough paint or even cover enough surface. Those are good for little craft projects. Cut in with a decent angled brush.
Floetrol extends the drying time, helps in high humidity and it does help level the paint out, but if you're applying the paint wrong to begin with, won't help much.
Good advise above: cut in first, roll w/quality supplies and use a pole extension.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:06PM
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What graywinfgs said ... cut in and then let it dry. then roll

Even with latex, you should be painting fast enough that a "wet edge" is not a problem.

Roller marks happen when:
1 - You try to spread the paint too thin.
2 - You go back and try to "rework" partly dry paint.

To prevent this, remember that a loaded roller can do about a 2x2ft square of wall. I make an X with arms about 2 feet long, roll crosswise to spread the paint and finish by rolling vertically. I overlap the previous paint square by a couple of inches on the final rolling.

And if you look back and the wall looks horrible and blotchy, it's because it's drying unevenly. This is NOT A PROBLEM! Wait for 24 hours and then evaluate it.

I have never had a problem with Behr paint sagging. Pour enough paint in so the flat part of the roller pan is full (not the whole pan!) ... roll the roller towards the deep part until you have completely covered it with paint. Roll it lightly once or twice on the sloping part to remove excess.

I always roll towards the deep end, out of the firmly held conviction that it's the best way, but I have no evidence.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:07PM
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I like Wooster brushes even better than Purdy. A painter friend told me if you are using force and pressing on the roller, you are not using enough paint. You should not have to press hard with the roller.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:10PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

In order to determine your method for rolling and brushing and the brand you want to call the cat's meow, you must have paint.

Not knowing how much paint to buy is the hardest part. If you're confident you have enough paint to comfortably finish the job, then there's no conscious or subconscious conserving of product goin' on.

If you're not worried about having enough then, IMO, you feel freer to experiment with keeping a wet edge, or cut then roll, or whatever you wanna try.

Part of the secret is knowing you have enough to work with.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:26PM
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I used to do all my own prep-work and ultimately, the best formula is a 12" roller (standard is 9) and roll in an up and down motion or an *N* using a pole.
I wouldn't suggest getting a larger roller -- that takes some getting used to. But, if you just practice with keeping enough paint on the roller, in an *N* formation, you should be fine.
lkplatow said it already, do not use a *W*

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 9:01PM
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I don't have the upper body strength to adequately control a 9 inch roller for hours on end, and not at all when it is at the other end of an extension pole. I switched to a 6 inch roller (standard circumference, not the mini roller type) and love it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 9:07AM
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I am amazed with the number of suggestions you all have given me!!! I think I learned something from every single one of you wonderful people .. I am *certain* I will have success after I purchase the recommended items AND THEN follow all of the directions.

Thank you so much from someone who didn't even KNOW what she DIDN'T know ... knowwhatImean?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 10:45AM
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