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How to use a paint shield to get a professional finish

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Outlines how to use a paint shield, with expert tips in choosing and using a shield to get the best professional-looking result every time you paint.

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Painting has never been easier. There is a wide variety of paint colors, sprayers, finishes, and the lot out there, so it’s not unusual to see a homeowner try to take on a painting job by himself or herself.

However, stopping paint from dripping or being applied to a surface is one primary concern of painters. Many paint colors produced today dry very fast, so what can you do to prevent paint from being applied beyond the line or area needed? Well, that’s where shields come in.

How to use a paint shield: what does it do?

A paint shield as the name implies is a tool used during painting to prevent overspray. It serves as a cover for surfaces that are close to what is being painted so you do not get paint on them. The shields are also called “Spray shields” “Paint guards” or “Trim guards.” The shield is usually a flat and straight material that is flexible, meaning it can be bent to fit into different lines and spaces.

Most shields are made from cardboard or plastic materials. The shields can be handheld, screwed in, or attached to a handle that is similar to a large putty knife. Some painters have even used putty knives and dustpans as paint shields during small painting jobs. After all, painting is all about being creative.

Sure you can use tape or cloth to cover the areas you don’t want paint on but doing that will take a while plus the tape or cloth might not be resistant enough to keep the paint out. Paint shields on the other hand make your work neat and fast.

They also come in different shapes and sizes. Some are long, others are short, and some are wider than others. The size and type of painting task at hand will determine which paint shield you will use. So how do you use a paint shield? Let’s get on with that.

What other tools do you need?

Before you move on to using a paint shield, you need a few tools.

Safety gear. This includes a pair of goggles, work gloves, and a face mask. It’s not healthy to get paint on your skin, in your eyes, or breathe the odor in excessively. These prevent that.

A paint shield and a handle. The one you get depends on your budget, the size of your task, and your choice. For the handle, you should use any material that can hold the paint shield firmly in place. You can find more about paint sprayers at https://www.thetoolgeeks.com/.

How to use a paint shield like a professional

Using your shield might prove tricky if you haven’t used one before. Don’t sweat it though.  The steps below will make it seem like child’s play so let’s get on with it

Put on Your Safety Gear

Getting paint on your skin, in your eyes, or inhaling the odor can cause a serious health risk. So use a pair of work gloves, goggles, and a face mask.

Prepare the Space

Before you go ahead, you need to prep space. This involves taking a look around, determining what you want to protect, the way to position the shield, and the size of the shield you will need.

For instance, if you are planning on painting the baseboard trims in your home, your priority might be protecting your carpet or floors from overspray.

This will require a small shield called the “trim shield.” You can also use a small putty knife or a straight piece of flat wood. Prepping the space helps you know what to use and what to do.

Pick Out a Paint Shield

Since you know what to cover, you can pick out the right shield. As stated earlier, paint shields come in different size variations.

You need to consider the task at hand and then you can pick the appropriate paint shield. You will need a flat material that is capable of absorbing the paint.

If you use a material that isn’t paint-absorbent, chances are you will experience overspray because the paint will just drip down and would not stick to the paint shield.

Attach the Shield to the Handle

I highly recommend using a handle with a paint shield. The handle will serve as an extension of your hand thereby reducing the risk of having paint on your skin.

Usually, the handle is like a putty knife with a grip instead of a blade. The grip holds the shield tightly in place. You just have to fix the shield into the grip tightly.

Some handles are designed with a button or lever. When pressed, the grip opens up so you can fix the shield in it and then push the lever back into position to lock the shield firmly.

Set the Shield in Place

The shield should be positioned well in place. Usually, you will need a shield when you are painting corners or edges.

Set the shield against the surface you do not want the paint to get on and ensure the tip of the paint shield is positioned tightly against the wall. You can tilt the paint shield at about 45 degrees. This allows the tip of the shield to be positioned as tightly as possible.

You should check if the shield is tight and there is no opening or space that paint can go through. Paint can get through the smallest spaces especially if you are using a paint sprayer or spray gun.

Paint the Intended Surface

With the paint shield set firmly in place, you can go ahead to paint either you are using a paintbrush or a sprayer. The size of the shield will also determine if you need an extra set of hands especially if you are using a sprayer.

If you have someone around, you can ask them to help you hold the shield in place while you spray the surface. Ensure the person is also using protective gear.

If you are using a sprayer, ensure to leave enough distance between the nozzle and the paint shield, usually, about 2-3 inches is enough.

Always move the shield along as you paint. If you notice the shield has become engulfed in paint, a good precaution will be to switch the shield for another or clean the paint and let the shield dry before you continue the task.

If you continue using a shield covered in paint, chances are the paint will start to drip on the floor or the surface it’s meant to guard.

Tips for using a paint shield

  • Use the appropriate shield for your task. This means you should use a shield that is wide and long enough for the surface you want to cover.
  • Keep the shield in the right position. If the shield isn’t properly set in place, the paint will find its way on the wrong surface. The right position will be to tilt the paint shield a bit to about 45 degrees. This will allow you to paint the intended surface fully with less care and a shorter time frame.
  • Move the shield along as you move on. A proper way to use a paint shield is to set the paint shield in place before you paint the intended surface. This way you don’t need to worry about accidental spray or brush strokes.
  • Clean the shield. If you notice the paint on the shield is getting too much, it is best to take a break from painting and clean the shield. A good way will be to scrape the paint back into the paint bucket. This will help you conserve paint. Then you can wait for the shield to dry before you continue the task. If you have extra paint shields, you can just swap the old one for a new one. This will limit the number of breaks you will need to take to allow the shield to dry.
  • Always use safety gear so you don’t get paint on your body in the process.

Did I Answer All You Want to Know About Using a Shield?

If you have any questions about using a paint shield or something else you will like to know, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below and I’ll attend to them as soon as possible. Have an error-free painting experience.