I’m Back! I decided to take this past week off for a little R and R, and I could think of no better way to kick off a new year on the site than with a series I’ve wanted to start since for some time. I call it, Home Imbrewvement. The function of the series is to pair the trials and tribulations of home improvement projects with the alcoholic beverage necessary to forget the parts of the project that didn’t go so well. Example: a glass of whiskey does wonders to calm the nerves after forgetting to shut off the electricity before installing a new light fixture. You get the idea.

The fixture in question. I may have received a mild shock or two, but look how well it matches the cabinets! File that last under things I never thought I would some day say.

The fixture in question. I may have received a mild shock or two, but look how well it matches the cabinets! File that last under things I never thought I would some day say.

For most first time home owners, myself included, one of the seemingly easy projects to take on is painting. For those who have painted their homes, I need not detail how wrongly the word easy is used in relation to paint. For those who have not, I’d hate to spoil the surprise. However, any pro, amateur, or casual painter will agree that a good paint job is all in the preparation. This means that painters tape will be among the first things you’ll consider before painting. The omnipresent and classic 3M sprung into my minds eye without ever having put brush to paint, this is how heroically they have endured in the market. Confident in the ability of a time tested product, I used their tape to paint my basement earlier in the year. The tape performed remarkably, but, the shortcomings of the previous home-owners were thrown into sharp relief. Imagine, if you will, that the persons who used to live in your home didn’t do a job well. Though thus thought is shure to drop your jaw, it became more than a real horror in our home (future blogs I assure you). Remember how I said a good paint job is all in the prep? They clearly chose not to prepare well, as evidenced by the photo below.

Not sanding the trim before painting = this mess.

Not sanding the trim before painting = this mess.

And so, the tape did its job, but it also revealed a job that had not been done. Now suspicious that the trim had not been sanded upstairs I took to the store to find a delicate surface tape in the hope of avoiding the same issue. It was then I noticed FrogTape. Previously against the idea of using any other brand of tape, my curiosity had me asking opinions. As I found none conclusive, I decided to test them against one another. After all, why the hell not? Now, they both tout an “edge lock” or special sealant that one is to believe is some sort of magical barrier that will never allow paint to bleed. They also both sport enlarged width acting as a better barrier when painting. Following is my photo data.

One hell of  a clean line. Seems Frog Tape works as well as they claim.

One hell of a clean line. Seems Frog Tape works as well as they claim.

3M tape also performs admirably.

3M tape also performs admirably.

Ahh, here we notice some bleed from under the 3M.

Ahh, here we notice some bleed from under the 3M.

Never the two shall meet... Or I forced them to.

Never the two shall meet… Or I forced them to.

An after photo of the trim. The discerning eye would see that the Frog Tape side seems to have out performed the 3M, if only marginally.

An after photo of the trim. The discerning eye would see that the Frog Tape side seems to have out performed the 3M, if only marginally.

My conclusion on the tape is this – FrogTape is well worth your time and consideration. 3M tape still performs as well as you would believe, but its normal adhesive is very tacky, and its delicate surface leaves something to be desired. However, a truly good prep job should result in a wonderful paint job regardless of the tape used.

My conclusion about painting in the winter is this – DON’T. Cold temps don’t bode well for paint drying, dust gets all over, and into, everything. Ventilation and air flow is poor, and the added dry time of each coat will leave you feeling ill accomplished compared to warmer weather painting.

If you must paint in the winter, you’ll need a whole host of beer to get you through it. Nothing fancy, specific, or particular, just good old fashioned beer. Trust me, you’ll need it when you realize that not even the delicate surface tape doesn’t leave the trim paint where it ought to be.

The most important tool for the job.

The most important tool for the job.

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