How to Use a Paint Shield

There are many painting tools which are useful for you to perfect your project.

One of the errors usually committed by painters, whether they are do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts or professionals, is accidentally painting beyond the target surface.

It is a usual problem, especially for beginners, to spill paint on other surfaces. This is the reason why paint shields were made.

Basically, this tool’s job is to cover free surfaces from paint spills. It prevents the paint from going beyond the target surface. 

Such tools are becoming more, and more of a need for more homeowners are taking on painting projects.

Most of them do not employ the service of a professional and do the job on their own. This way they can save bucks of money from paying their labor. 

How do you actually use this tool?

1. Choose the tool that fits the project you are about to do

There are some options to choose from in picking out the right tool. Do not be confused as not all brands or stores refer to these the same way. Some are called trim guards. You can also see that some are labeled as “paint guides."

The materials used made also differ. Some are made of an aluminum blade, while others are made of purely plastic.

The length varies too – some are long enough to measure 40 inches long, while others may even be shorter than a foot.

With these different measurements, how will you know which one to buy?

First and foremost, know the size and scale of the surface area which you are going to work on. Use the following guides.

If you are working with a handheld sprayer or refreshing the coat on window trim, choose a smaller-scale paint trim guard. 

If you see the label "trim guard," that actually means these are small or miniature paint shields.

Commonly they are as long as a ruler. These are perfect for covering small areas. 

Warner Plastic Spray Paint Shield Holder, 10187

Meanwhile, if you are going to work on normal-scale small home projects, a six to eight-inch drywall knife is just right. Similarly, a ten-inch one is best for larger-scale projects such as ceilings.

If your project is enormous, the tendency is for you to use a medium-to-heavy-duty sprayer such as an airless paint sprayer or a professional paint sprayer.

Usually, this is being used for more prominent coverage like interiors or the whole house. In doing such projects, what you will be needing is a more traditional tool. 

These are typically used for big projects, such as a home exterior. In this case, a more traditional tool is what you need.

If you are after a tool that is more flexible, you can also make use of a piece of cardboard as a substitute to a shield. As a matter of fact, you can see that a lot of products on the market have cardboard clips included to lengthen their reach.

2. Set up your tool

In every project, preparation is essential. Before starting your project and making use of your new shield, see to it that all your materials are ready for work.

Not only that you should prepare your painting materials, but you may also want to cover all the surfaces which you do not intend to paint.

You can just cover these areas with newspapers or cloth. To hold them together and keep these surfaces protected, you may also use paint tapes.

Once you have secured the area, find the edge of the surface and align the shield where you intend to begin spraying.

3. Use your paint shield.

After preparing all you need, you may now start your project and use your tool. Before starting, see to it that there is enough distance between the paint sprayer nozzle and your device.

Bon 13-265 36-Inch by 6-Inch Aluminum Spray Shield

There is no exact measurement, but as a rule of thumb, two to three inches may already be enough.

When you spray, it is best if you keep a majority of the materials in the middle of the shield. Doing this gives you maximum protection.

Keep the guard at a suitable angle to ensure paint lines are straight. Remember to work slowly and carefully to avoid over-spraying on the wrong surface.

Also keep in mind that to achieve the best result, the sprayer and the shield should work together. When the sprayer goes up, so should the guard.

If you are going to move your sprayer or if you are going to cover a different position, make sure to move your shield first. By doing this, all the material which may be accidentally sprayed will be prevented by the guard.

4. Maintaining your tools

After using, make sure to clean your shield thoroughly, especially if it is made of aluminum. This is to avoid leaks and runoff when you are about to use the same shield for a new project.

In cleaning your tool, merely scrape the excess paint off with a paint trowel. After which, wipe the surface clean with a damp paper towel or work rag, followed by a dry one. Remember not to use hot water in doing this step.

Repeat the steps above as necessary.

Other Things to Remember When Using Paint Shield

Make sure the edge is always at a certain angle to avoid additional patches or waves. For example, in painting ceilings, see to it that the angle is downwards. This is to protect the edges from the paint and avoid the ceiling from unnecessary paint marks.

Remember to maintain a certain distance between the shield and the painting device. This is to make sure that you do not accidentally spray off the edge.

When using a spray gun, be sure to be firm and steady. Move the gun in line to the surface in a controlled up and down motion.

Using this tool is practical and economical. Not only that saves you from creating a mess in your project, but it will also save you money from repainting. Using one will come naturally as long as you keep practicing with care.