Simple idea to paint your office walls without painting your ceiling tiles.

I have done a bit of painting at my office lately. No, I don't love painting, I just think I can get it done quicker, as good or better than many painters and a heck of a lot cheaper. It seems that the really good craftspeople are so busy that they have trouble finding the time to do another job and I needed it done quickly.

In my opinion, the worst thing about painting is masking. Unless you are a real pro, you need to mask. It is a tedious task, putting tape all around the doors, around the windows and up around the ceiling. If you are using a roller, you cannot get close enough to the ceiling grid without touching it or the ceiling tiles, so what do you do? Well, the first couple of rooms I painted, I pushed the tiles up and toward the center of the room, but with the hanger wires, the insulation and the ductwork above the tiles, that is a huge problem and can also mess up the tiles themselves.

Then it hit me! No, not literally, but I had a pile of wooden paint stirrers lying around and I just grabbed a few. I pushed the tiles up at about a 30 degree angle and propped them up with a stirrer like you would prop open the hood of a car (that's the bonnet for those of you who drive on the wrong side of the road.)

That worked, but then I came up with an even simpler method. See the photo below. You just lift up two adjacent tiles and slide the stirrer between the raised tiles and the grid rail. Mask where the grid touches the wall and you are ready to roll (yes, pun was intended.)

Stick it!

Speaking of rollers, I recently did a large warehouse and front office of a rental unit. I had a lot to paint so I purchased an 18" frame, covers and tray. I almost didn't buy it because of the expense, but wow, what a difference it made. With a 1/2" nap instead of the common 3/8" variety, it held more paint and took a lot longer to flatten down. Because it held a lot more paint and I covered a lot of wall very quickly and it really didn't drip too much.

So, my painting recommendations are these: use 1/2" covers unless you need a really smooth finish, use an 18" frame and cover if you want to cover a lot of square footage, and stick it to the ceiling.


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