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Painting tips!

Ok, always an interesting discussion! Share the little things you do on a job to make it quicker/easier/better. I love learning new little tips!!

TO ADD YOUR TIPS KEEP REPLYING TO THIS POST. We can expand on them as we go along via the link list on the right.

Couple to start;

  • Drop of fairy liquid to liven up heavy dragging oil based paint

  • Photos before starting a job - Show all previous damage and not get the blame!!! Overspray, runs, paint on fixings etc etc…

  • Baby oil to clean gloss off skin

  • Food colouring in filler to help see when there is loads of repair

  • Warm up old tape that keeps tearing!!



That is a discussion all in itself. Let’s start with that and see where we get? So what do you do with Fairy Liquid in oil paint?

:smile: haha… I was taught that by a decorating college tutor many years back (doesnt sound like i should mention his name). Instead of using turps to thin oil based paint as it evaporates and keeps drying out, he advised one or two drops of fairy into about .5 litre of oil based paint. Thoroughly knock it up and it will help open the paint up! Keeps wet edge and stops drag. I think he must have been using this method before owatrol came available but it definitely does helps to liven up the paint. Whats your thoughts?

AArrggggghhhh - is my response!!

Ingredients in Fairy are: (i did have to look this up before anyone asks)

• Aqua
• Sodium laureth sulphate
• Alcohol denat
• Lauramine oxide
• C9-11 pareth-8
• Sodium chloride
• 1,3-Cyclohexanedimethanamine
• PPG (polypropylene glycols)
• Dimethyl aminoethyl methecrylate/hydroxyproply acrylate copolymer cirate
• Parfum
• Geraniol
• Limonene
• Colourant

There MAY be an element of fact in this as Fairy Liquid appears to contain
both an Alcohol and Glycol. Alcohol as a solvent will help in thinning an
oil paint to a certain degree (it will also break it down) and a form of
Glycol is used in both Oil and waterbased paints, but you are opening
yourself up to a whole host of problems here and how the other ingredients
affect the paint i can not say. What the one is below PPG nad above Parfum
is anyones guess!!

One word of advice - before you add ANYTHING to paint - check with the
manufacturer first please. Some have been tried and tested - Fairy Liquid
will not be on that list of approved ones i am sure.

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My thoughts are, I don’t get it :slight_smile: It’s not a route I would go. I cannot recommend washing up liquid in any paint, simple as that.

There is a potted history of using fairy in very small doses in water-based paints to try overcome cissing. I have been there, done it, got the t-shirt. All well and good until there is a problem and then you are in a laughable position of explaining to a technical support person, well, yes, err, I added washing up liquid, never let me down yet…

Do you use this trickery on interior or exterior oil paintwork or both?

More chat on fairy liquid as a paint conditioner

Thanks for the feedback guys! I am generally an interior decorator so I can safely say I have not tried this on exterior work. From my own experience I can confirm this method has previously worked to overcome some of the problems oil based paints can bring. I would definitely agree that there is nothing to fall back on should your system fail but thankfully i have not had any issues… These days I generally price my work to include Owatrol. I would be very interested in your views after trying the fairy route yourselves in order to see its effect on paint!

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What about adding a drop off water to water based paints,for oil based white sprit,or oil based paint conditioner,

what about putting paint in a bucket off warm water to help thin it,or place in room with heater on,

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To give these excellent tips their own space, I moved a post to the topic: How to eliminate strong paint smells and also set up related topics based on Simon’s opening tips. See top right for full links

That is a safer approach and one that chemists would feel happier with too. The paint manufacturers have the labs and the technology to see what works with what. As an example Farrow and Ball chemist said he was fine with Floetrol in his water borne paint. I believe Eicó are OK with Floetrol too, but absolutely not XIM Latex Xtender. Tikkurila we have been told not to use any additive other than water in the Feelings range.

It could be argued that they are just covering themselves being so restrictive. Fair enough, they make it and support it!

I also hear what you are saying @jrsl_interiors about never had an issue so far. Do we know definitively though that the life of a few jobs was not reduced by the fairy? Or extended?

It is impossible to prove either way, anecdotally. If the lab says xyz happens when you add a 3rd party additive, e.g. it affects say the resin, you can extrapolate that the film may break down prematurely. Us lot, looking, we can’t tell diddly really can we?

Until there is lab proof of no issues with other additives, I would say it is best to play according to the rule book that is supported, especially nowadays, with formulas changing monthly with UK brands especially. The UK made gloss paint in use even 4 years ago has nought to do with the gloss of today. I don’t know what the lab rats have done with new improved Fairy over the past 16 years, do you?

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This topic is now pinned. It will appear at the top of the Painting department until it is unpinned by staff for everyone. Individual users can turn it off for themselves.

  • Masking tape dispenser is essential kit, will save you hours and keeps the roll tidy.

  • A rag tied to your belt, saves your work clothes from getting caked in painty hand marks, and you always have a rag close to hand. Saves hours.


Yea! Tired of drying my washed work clothes and getting ‘bits’ all over the flat!!!

Sponge sanding pads for preping stair spindles

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I moved 5 posts to an existing topic: Mirka Mirlon - the alternative to sponge sanding pads

  • if you cant take a door handle off and have no tape, use Vaseline,

(EDIT - See this about masking fluid)

  • and if you have bad eyes when painting a ceiling use the paint that go’s on pink then turns white think its made by dulux.

(EDIT - Info on colour changing ceiling paint )

  • another good tip when mixing fillier turn it upside down on filling knife to see if its mixed correct it shouldnt fall off,

  • and as for caulking I don’t use a finger use a slighty damp brush,

(EDIT - see tips on using caulk)

  • rollers I carry a spray bottle to give them a light mist spray over,i also use with drop off washing up liquid when using wet and dry,

I moved a post to a new topic: Using acrylic caulk - a few tips

Best advice is not to run out of tape? If your brush touches Vaseline that will contaminate the paint I would think?

There is artists masking fluid which a very able forum reader uses on a regular basis to protect glass. Here is a video and a new topic to get stuck into. Ideas on a digital postcard

Spray shops also have a product that protects all surfaces and then can be peeled off.

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Only today tried removing bits off old paint from door hinges, used fluxaf,it worked well,made mistake off using blue dolphin tape the fluxaf took the dye out of the tape,which was used to protect paint around door hinge so white tape next time otherwise worked excellent.

What about this cleaning surface of door wipe over with drop off washing up liquid in bucket ,with microfiber cloth ,then while still wet rub over with 120 wet and dry when finished wipe over with microfiber cloth, then paint.