A pad is the ideal detail paint tool. A little understanding and practice will help you use this high-tech tool to lay paint faster, better, and more evenly on any surface.
1. Look for complete paint pad kits. The plastic packaging for the kits is also the loading paint tray and an airtight lid.
2. Make the tool hold you: Make a flexible handle. Place the empty tray in your hand, palm side up, then stick a piece of tape down one side of the tray, loosely over the back of your hand, and up the other side.
3. Always hold and use your painting tool in your dominant hand. Grip the pad handle firmly as you paint. Keep the tool in front of your face; you will have a better view of your work and better physical control of the tool.
4. The tracking wheels -- that's what got you interested in the gizmo in the first place, right? You thought they would eliminate having to use masking tape. Wrong. Even though pads are designed to deliver the paint right up to the edge of adjacent surfaces, they are not foolproof. What can easily happen is that when you load the pad, paint gets smeared onto the wheels and they leave little paint marks along the wall or ceiling or trim. Take out some painting insurance -- masking tape!
5. Load the pad and tray often. This prevents the pad from drying out.
6. Use long sweeping strokes to apply and spread out the paint. These broader movements will give you better leverage and minimize muscle fatigue.
7. If you need to stop painting for a short time, set and store the pad inside the tray and snap on the lid to stop the paint from drying in the tray.
Continued on page 2: Techniques for Control