Artists & Gilders Decorative Studio
Ross O'Neal Inc.

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Pro tips
Cleaning Rollers
We leave our 1 1/4" stucco ceiling cover buried in product from job to job 'till we need a new one.
Other covers 3/8 to 3/4": We use a roller cleaner marketed by Home Right and sold by Sears. It's a little gray donut with a port for a garden hose or similar faucet. WORKS GREAT! With a hose and a 5 gallon pail (or a slop sink), we can clean an 18" cover in 2 minutes, like new. CAVEAT: Covers must be in good condition, i.e. cannot have dried out from nonuse (out of product during break or lunch). If the cover is soft, it'll clean.
P.S. These cleaned covers work great for apply enamel to paneled doors, etc. as all of the "fuzz" is already gone.
Clean Hinges
I saw a neat trick in a house the other day. The painters had used big fat rubber bands as hinge covers while spraying. Too bad they didn't mask anything else. But hey repair work can return a nice profit.
Hanging Murals
I have been installing painted murals for years. The only time I have had any problem at all was when the artist has not totally primed the canvas BEFORE painting. Both front and back ideally. However I have has success with only front being primed. The process is fairly simple. Given the dimensions of the surface you will need from one to four hangers to assist. Start by making very good measurements marking on the surface and canvas the exact center lines, both vertical and horizontal. The wall surface MUST be primed with OIL BASE primer. Let dry for several days. Then apply good coat of WALLPAPER PRIMER. Let dry a day or so. Then installation happens. DRY HANG the mural. I use something like Shur-Stik 111, a heavy duty CLAY based adhesive. It is very sticky. One coat on wall or ceiling, let dry overnight then start in the center of the surface keeping all your lines in order. Apply liberal, but not too much paste to wall area. Again depends on how large the project. Starting in the center of the surface begin sweeping the mural into position. Usually work in kind of a circular motion from center to top, bottom and sides. It is not complicated, unless you are installing a huge mural. Then there are some other issues that have to be dealt with. Any competent installer should be able to get it done with ease. Trimming should be done ONLY after the application has had a good chance to cure out. Shrinking can happen, even with well primed canvas. Avoid margin errors by waiting until next day to trim excess.
Hope this helps you.
Old Walls
One more thing, As a restorer of OLD homes I use yards and yards of unpainted canvas to 'line' plaster walls. The lightweight canvas can be installed with wheat paste or something like that. Sometimes I will use something like a medium weight adhesive. Again depends a lot on the absorption rate of the plaster. Usually NOT primed or sealed surface. This is a real old world technique and done to hide hair line cracks in the plaster. Very effective.
Easy Paint Stripper
Whey you are stripping paint from woodwork or furniture, give this tip a try. Cover the wood with paint remover, then cover that area with a sheet of waxed paper. After letting it set overnight, peel away the waxed paper and the paint will come off with it.
Pat Plant
Pin Those Table Legs
When painting a table or chair, put pushpins into the bottom of each leg to allow you to paint the legs without getting paint on the floor.
Susan Smith
New Jersey
Step-by-step Painting
Next time you paint stairs, try painting every other tread. You'll be able to use the unpainted steps while you wait for the others to dry.
Paretic Wagner
Sand Stops Falls
Painted wooden steps can be slippery when wet. Next time you paint, thoroughly mix a cup or two of fine sand into the paint before you apply it. The rough surface will help stop spills.
B Barauskas
Fan-cy Protector
If you need to paint the ceiling but have a ceiling fan, relax. You don't have to go to the trouble of taking the fan blades off. Instead, cover them with the plastic bags that protect your newspapers and shoppers from rain. They're a perfect fit and protect the blades from paint drips.
Josephine Krug
Less-Mess Paint Can
As soon as you open a can of paint, punch a few holes in the drip channel with a hammer and nail. Paint won't fill the channel and drip over the edge. This doesn't prevent the lid from resealing.
Sam Yoder
It's In the Bag
Disposable paint roller sleeves that are used once and thrown away can be neatly discarded by using a paper or plastic bag as a "mitten" to pull the sleeve from the frame. Fold the bag over the wet sleeve for easy and clean disposal.
Victor LaMoy
New York
Picture Perfect Shutters
If you can't decided what color to paint your shutters, try this trick to help you visualize new possibilities. First, photograph your home's exterior. When you get the pictures back, cut out the shutters with a utility knife. Now take the "shutter less" photo to the paint store and lay it on color samples until you find one you like.
Jolene Kishart
New York
Catch the Drips
Here's how to reduce dripping when painting a ceiling. Cut a slit in the middle of a plastic coffee can lid. Place your brush through the lid and start painting. The lid, rather than your arm, will catch drips
Marie Hayman
Restore Your Brushes
Natural-bristle and latex paint brushes can be restored to their original softness with this method plus they smell great. Clean the brushes as usual with recommended solvent, then wipe them dry. Finally, rinse the brush briefly in hot water and ordinary laundry softener.
Ross O'Neal
Easy Brush Hanger
When you need to dry some paintbrushes, simply unravel a wire coat hanger and loop the brushes on it. This tidy, space-saving idea lets your brush bristles dry without bending or breaking.
Marie Wallis
No-Mess Paint Can
Scrape excess paint off your brush without dripping paint down the side of the can with this simple method. Stretch a large rubber band vertically around the paint can. Wipe the brush gently across the rubber band after dripping it in the can.
Susan Cvetkovic
No-Mess Paint Can Part 2
To keep the rim of your paint can completely free from paint, simply cover the rim with masking tape. When you're done painting remove the tape and you've be able to create a clean and tight seal on the can.
Joseph Gethces
New York
Neat Trim Painter
A wide drywall finishing knife can ensure a neater paint job with straighter trim lines when painting trim areas in your house. Use the knife as a straightedge while you paint trim with a brush.
Mable Nix
New York
The Right Touchup
Here's an easy way to have touchup paint readily available to fix small chips in your painted cabinets or woodwork. Simply clean out an old nail polish bottle, fill it with paint and store the bottle in a handy place. The nail polish brush ensures easy touchups -- and there's no mess to clean up.
Jeannie Bozeman
Sound Advise
NEVER do a show house for free unless you are completely unknown in your area. Show houses do one thing, sell homes for realtors. Interior designers get all the credit, even for your work and most are not staffed by knowledgeable staff that will represent your work fairly. As much as I would like to, I cannot recommend them. You would be better off representing your self at a local hardware store or mall and doing public demonstrations of your talents. There, you are the center of attention! They will want to talk to you and ask questions. Few people want to do faux for themselves, they are just curious. Be polite, answer their questions, show your portfolio and hand out your business cards. Also offer to demonstrate for museums, ladies garden or book clubs, anywhere you can demonstrate your talent! You deserve your own spotlight.
I have been a decorative painting artist for over fifteen years. The best form of advertising are not show houses or print advertising. Our work is visual and has to be displayed or demonstrated before a live audience! Home shows are great! Women's clubs are even better! The best word of mouth advertising you will ever get. Note: I have also found it beneficial to do one project a year as a benefit project for a local nonprofit organization. It is a great way to network and to say thanks for all their hard work. Everybody gets something from it.
An Ounce of Prevention
Did you know you can use five quarters and a rule as a rough postal scale. Just lay a pencil on a flat surface and place a 12-inch ruler across the pencil,
centering it on the 6-inch mark. Then stack five quarters on the 3-inch mark and center the letter on the 9-inch mark. If the letter outweighs the quarters,
you'll need to add more postage. (The secret: Five quarters weigh exactly 1 ounce -- the same as the maximum weight of a first-class letter mailed with a
single 32-cent stamp.
D.F. O'Donnell
North Carolina
Ruled by Money
If you've ever needed to take a quick measurement, but didn't have a ruler handy, you'll appreciate this tip. Reach into your wallet and pull out any U.S. paper currency. It measures about 6 inches.
Take their Measure
Use a flexible cloth measuring tape (available at sewing centers) for those workshop projects that require measuring irregularly shaped objects.
Ed Robertson
A Razor for Studs
Having trouble finding a wall stud? Try using an electric razor. Gently run the razor across the wall (be careful not to damage the paint). When the pitch of the razor's buzzing changes you're probably holding it over a stud. Now, run the razor vertically to see if the pitch remains the same.
Good to the Last Drop of Oil
Top off your lawn mower engine's oil tank by putting oil in a turkey baster. It's neater and easier than using an oil can and funnel. Plus, the baster is the ideal tool for filling engines that have hard-to-reach oil filler caps.
Dorothy Baird
Put a Bag in It
Here's a convenient and neat way to store all those plastic grocery store bags. Cut a 3-inch round hole in the center of one side of an old plastic milk jug. About 60 to 70 bags can fit in a single jug.
Donald Cianfrocca
New Jersey
Repel Moths, Fight Odors
For a fresh-smelling way to keep moths out of your closets, buy a bag of cedar shavings (usually sold as bedding for hamsters). Put the shavings in the feet of old panty hose, then hang the "cedar stockings" in the closet.
Lynn Griley
Charcoal Odor Fighter
Prevent musty odors in damp basements by hanging a wire basked filled with moisture-absorbing charcoal briquettes from the ceiling.
Glenda Stubblefield
Drywall Dust Buster
Have you ever battled to keep drywall or wood floor dust from dirtying your entire house when remodeling? Next time, cover the doorways with large shrink-to-fit storm window kits.
Kevin and Pamela Sigsby
Get Wired
When rewiring a lamp, tape the new wire to the old one. As you pull the old electrical cord out, the new one automatically follows it in.
K. Paul
If you discover an under-the-counter drip but don't have time to fix it right away, you can prevent water from pooling with a piece of string. Tie one end of the string to the pipe where the drip forms and let the other end dangle into a cup. Drops of water will follow the string.
Mary Gautz
Fixing A Hole
When repairing a hole that's too large for wall surfacing compound alone, but too small for a typical drywall patch, try filling the hole with a cotton ball before applying surfacing compound.
Kim Milner
A Screw Loose
Use a soldering iron to loosen wood screws frozen by glue, rust, or paint. Hold the tip of the iron in the screw's slot for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the screw with a screwdriver.
Teresa Kolibaba
No-Mess Mud
Here's a clean and easy way to patch those wall cracks with joint compound. Simply put some "mud" into a plastic sandwich bag. Cut off one corner of the bag, then squeeze the compound into cracks and other tight places.
Cynthia Pope
Fix Those Cracks
Here's an easy way to patch a crack or gouge in your wood floor. Fill the crack with a mixture of sawdust and shellac. As the shellac hardens you'll barely be able to tell where the repair was made.
Charlene McMillan
Loose Screw Solution
Tighten up those loose screws with this simple method. Try wrapping a small piece of steel wool around the threads. The screw should tighten up with little effort.
Howard Wiener
Plate Your Walls
Do you find it difficult to patch large holes in your walls? Take a paper plate or aluminum pie pan and punch two holes, about one inch apart, in the
center. Thread some string into one hole and out the other. Fold the plate and push it into the hole, unfold it, then pull the string toward you. Now, as
you hold the string, you can repair the hole -- the plate will keep the drywall mud in place.
Howard Ross
Water Heater Life Saver
This simple tip can dramatically extend the life of your water heater. Once a month, draw a pail of water from the bottom of the heater. This helps
remove the dirt and residue buildup that can damage the heating elements
Nancy Fontaine
Tee is for Caulking
It's hard to find the ideal plug for an open tube of caulking. Try this easy solution. Insert the end of a golf tee into the open caulk tube.
Gloria Schroeder
Workshop Postings
This is an easy and inexpensive tip for creating a convenient place to hang patterns, notes, and plans when working in your shop. Simply glue a block of plastic foam to the back of your workbench.
Marjorie Babbitt
Nut and Screw Finder
Do you want a quick and easy way to find the right nut, nail, or screw? First, store these items in a small multi-drawer workshop chest. Then, place a small mass of clay-like hanging compound, such as FunTak, on the outside of each drawer. Embed one of the objects from each drawer in the compound.
Karen Schindler
New York
Magnetic Pick-Up
Do you ever need to pick up small nails, brads, pins, and other metal objects from your workbench? Put a large magnet inside a glass jar. The magnet's force will penetrate the jar and pick up these items. When you want to drop them, just remove the magnet.
Bob Kasiski
New Jersey
Attractive Organizer
Help keep your workshop organized by using a magnetic-strip knife holder for hand chisels, punches, and other metal tools.
Darrel Stucky
Mallet Substitute
If you need a rubber-tipped mallet but all you have is a regular hammer, put a chair leg rubber tip on the hammer head. It won't scar the wood you're
Maria F. Lowrey
Stick to It
A piece of sticky tape -- face up -- is a convenient landing spot for nuts, bolts, brads, and other small parts when working on project that require disassembly. During reassembly, each piece is readily available and laid out in proper sequence.
Barbara Russell
North Carolina
No More Lost Pencils
To avoid misplacing pencils on top of a cluttered workbench, glue a block of polystyrene foam plastic in a back corner. A piece of packing material about 2x4x6 inches is about right. Stick pencils into the rigid foam like pins in a pincushion.
William R. Brunyate
Easy Insulation Cutting
If you're having trouble cutting fiberglass or foam insulation, try using your garden hedge clippers to cut a straight, clean edge.
Don Wold
Drill Leveler
When drilling into a vertical surface, most people have little trouble sighting and holding a drill perpendicular from side to side. But holding it perpendicular up and down, at the same time, is another matter. If you can't drill a straight hole for this reason, tape a spirit level to your drill. Tape it to
the top of the drill or align it with a label or nameplate on the side. Now just watch the bubble to keep the drill level.
N. Cavalcante
New York