Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Paint it There, or Take It Off?
Painting walls is simple enough: the walls stay put and usually provide fairly simple, fairly flat surfaces. It's another story when it comes to painting shutters, cabinets, doors, trims, and other built-ins. Should you paint it where it is, or take it out to paint?
The first consideration is the quality of the paint job on the item you're painting. As a general rule, you can get a better, more perfect finish on an item if you remove it, clean and prep the surface, paint it, and then return it to its place.
Shutters, cabinets, and shelves all are examples of cases in which it can make sense to remove the item and paint it apart from the wall it's attached to.
There are cases when this isn't the best idea. For example, mouldings and trims often are impractical to remove. It they're permanent fixtures of the house and completely accessible to the painter, go ahead and paint them in situ.
Another case in which it makes sense to leave items in place is when removing them might lead to damage. If shutters are quite old, they might not survive being removed. This can be the case for delicate mouldings, too. It's better to paint them in place than to chance damaging them.
Removing cabinets or shelves from a papered wall can damage the paper. Very careful taping can protect the paper and still allow you to do a good job on the painting.
The last case in which you might choose to paint an item in place rather than removing it is when drying time would be a problem. For example, removing an exterior door and leaving it off for several days while it dries thoroughly is probably impractical. It makes more sense to paint it while it's in place.
Painting details like these requires a steady hand and good quality brushes, either way.