I am always saying that I learn so much from my tradies and the experts around me. Well I got to spend a LOT of time with painter Dan from Newy Paint Crew when we were working on the Carrington House Project. There were some great tips that he gave me to help me up-skill on my self taught (or dad taught) filling and gapping skills.
Below I have combined for you a quick and easy how to combining some simple no how and some of Dan’s great professional hacks.
Filling Your Walls
You can get filler in many forms, some you need to mix, others come premixed, If you were a DIYer, I would grab the premixed options for sure.
There are various types of finishes, the one I use is a gloss finish that is for interior and exterior use, I find it ideal to use to patch before the last few coats. And most importantly it is a none shrinking filler, which means that when it dries it will not shrink off. You will know what I mean if you have filled a hole before and thought that you did a great job to find that when it dried off that it has shrunk away and had to fill it again.
That is why overfilling, when you patch is pretty important, not overfilling so much that it’s so hard to sand, but overfilling enough that if there is any shrinkage, any temperature changes or anything happens, that you’re covered and you don’t have to do it twice. But this stuff helps you along with that.
Don’t overfill it too much, it’s hard to sand and sanding is the least fun part of painting. All right, so we’ve got a nice surface here. Nice flat, smooth surface. So it should be pretty easy to get a good fill in there. So what we’ll do is, we’ll just apply a little bit to our tool here.
DIY STEP BY STEP
– Use two scrapers or blade tools.
– Apply a little filler to one hole at a time
– Use the our other tool and we just want to put a little bit on the end of the second tool, kind of like using tool number one as an artist palate, yep we use two tools
– Then what we want to do is, work it in,
– Smear it off either side. So it’s nice and flat.
– And then keep just a little bit of excess. So that it’s easy to sand.
– Move to the next whole and do it again
– Check the drying time on the back of the tube before you sand or fill again
THE WHAT IF….?
Ok so that was easy right? But what about when it is a curved surface, like a chair rail or a picture rail?
You know what there is no secret to the success here! You use the same technique but there may be a little more excess on the sides you need to sand off. OR to be honest with a curved surface it is sometime easier to put a little on tool one and then use your finger to smear it in if it is a SUPER tiny hole like a punched nail. But if you decide to do that make sure you have a cloth handy as you will not be able to resist wiping it off on your pants otherwise.
Money saver alert – NEVER put your putty from your scrapers back into the tube, once it has start to get a skim on it and go off on the tool t will then effect the longevity of the whole tube. If it has been on the scraper.
Gapping Your Walls
First of all, when we are gaping, it’s always good to have everything sealed. When we gap it and we use a wet rag to wipe it down, if we have new Gyprock wall and or freshly set and patched areas of new plaster it can damage the surface of Gyprock and the filler and leave a furry finish.
IT can be achieved but if you want to set yourself up for success then undercoat/seal/prime first before you grab the gapping gun.
All right. Next we want to have a, if we can, we’ll have a leak less gun. there’s a lot of guns on the market. Some just keep squeezing when you take your hand off the trigger. So a little trick if you don’t have a leak-less gun is to pop back the pressure shaft when you’re done, by just pull back the shaft at the end after each application which can be pretty annoying. So instead I would go with leak-less.
The trick is just applying the right pressure and the right consistency with your motion. Deliver nice speed. IF you try it on an offcut of timber or board first you will get use to the trigger and the flow.
The flow can be effected by the size of the whole you make in the applicator tip. YEP that is right they all come WITHOUT a hole generally and you will need to get a sharp blade to make a hole in the end. To do that lay it on a surface that is safe to cut on (not the kitchen bench and cut off the tip at a 45 degree angle. NOW the size of the whole depends on how big the gap is that you are filling.
So there are heaps of variables here, a good guide is to cut it so that it fits the corner of the surface you’re applying it to.
Once you have applied your bead of gap, wipe your finger along it to smooth it in. I use a wet rag to do that. I use a nice thin rag that is wet not saturated, just damp. Just water not spirits.
If you make a total mess of it, NEVER FEAR you can sand it back!!!!
Yep. Now what you do once you finish that, you just run your hand along it so that if you have a little bit of excess on there, don’t wipe it on your shirt.
There are different products on the market. If you just use a normal gap sealer, normally most of them are sandable. They’ll have it on the back there, whether they’re sandable or not. I recommend you get one of those. Remember NEVER use a silicone to gap with when you are going to want to sand and paint over it.
When starting out I would do a shoulder width of gapping at one time NOT an entire wall run. Once you get comfortable, you will find yourself getting more and more comfortable. You can go for longer stretches, but just say shoulder width, nice in front of your body, nice motion. You have about a minute or so to wipe it done before it starts to go off.
Just a few simple tips from the trade experts can mean that your project finishes up looking that little more polished and you get there without all the stress.
If you want to connect with Dan and his crew the best way is by Instagram HERE and remember if you are renovating the best place to start it with solid planning and budgeting, to help you smash that download my FREE APP HERE
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