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Let’s Roll

Spring is soon upon us and it’s time to freshen things up a bit. When you want the biggest impact for the least amount of money, painting wins every time! Painting, like most projects, can be made easier by having the proper tools. The various painting supplies include drop clothes (for obvious reasons), paint brushes, rollers, paint pans or buckets and painter’s tape, if you choose to use it. If you are a beginner, opt for the tape.

In one of our earlier newsletters we discussed choosing paint colors, so assuming you’ve picked your paint, let’s get started!

Let’s begin by choosing the proper paint brush. When using latex paint choose either nylon or polyester. When painting with an oil based paint, varnish, shellac or polyurethane choose either a natural bristle brush or a blend of nylon AND polyester. Rule of thumb: Buy the best brush your budget allows. The cheaper the brush the more likely it is to shed it’s bristles on your painted surface. Better brushes come in a package to be used for later storage after cleanup.

Angled brushes make it easier to cover trim and make a nice, straight line for trimming in corners and edges. Straight bristled brushes are best for large, flat areas such as your front door. Both types of brushes come in various widths so you can just choose what size feels the most comfortable for you.

Get a paint bucket or any plastic container you have lying around that will hold a small amount of paint. Fill the container to about 2 inches deep, dip your brush into the paint, lift it just above the paint and tap any excess from side to side. Do this a few times until no paint is dripping. Now, you have properly loaded your brush! Perhaps you have done this scenario: you dipped the brush in the bucket, wiped the paint off of both sides of the brush and started to apply the paint. Not only did you not load the brush, you unloaded the brush! Now you know the proper technique.

It’s time to begin!

Grab your angle brush, load it with paint and start “cutting in”. This term is used to describe the method of painting along the ceiling, above the baseboard and around windows and doors. Paint a width of around 3 inches so when you use your roller you get no paint on the trim.

When this job is completed, it’s time to get out the roller.
Rollers come in various naps, according to your paint surface. The 3/8 inch is the most common nap for painting standard walls, (I prefer 1/2 inch, it holds more paint). The idea is that the thicker the nap, the more paint it holds, so it stands to reason that if you want to paint over bricks or stucco, for example, you would need a much thicker nap. They can be as thick as 1 1/2 inches.

You can either use a paint tray (which most people opt for) or if you are painting a very large area requiring more than a gallon, use the 5 gallon bucket with a mesh painter’s screen. The screen method saves time refilling the tray.

If you choose the tray, fill it just to the mid part (where the ridges begin). Do not over fill it, it will be a mess!
Start by rolling the roller into the paint slowly. Continue to roll until all the roller has paint on it.
To properly roll the wall, you will need a paint roller extension. These are great because they are adjustable to various lengths. If you do not happen to have one, any mop or broom with a removable handle can be unscrewed and screwed right into the end of your roller! Seriously!
At any rate, you need to extend your roller to reach up to the area that you just cut in.
Place your fully loaded roller near the top of the wall and make one long stroke all the way down and back up again. Refill the roller and move over a little and repeat about 4 times. Then just blend them together so the area has an even amount of paint on it. Easy Squeezy!

If you did not finish the job in one day, feel free to put your brush in a zip lock baggie until the next day. It will be just fine if no air gets in. The same holds true for the roller.

Here are some tips for cleanup.

Let’s start with the brush. This is the one time you may scrape your brush on the paint can to get most of the paint off. Rinse with warm, running water, bending the brush back and forth to get off any excess paint. Add a few drops of dish detergent and “scrub” the brush in your opposite hand to remove any paint lodged in the center. You may also use a comb to do this chore. Thoroughly rinse and squeeze the brush between your fingers to form the original, crisp edge at the top. Store in it’s original package, after dry.

I, personally do not wash and save rollers when the project is done because they are so inexpensive and cleaning is a real chore.

Now for some general tips.

If you want to keep the paint out of the can rim, simply drive a nail down through the rim to form several holes. The paint will drip back into the can.

Did they forget to give you a stir stick? Shame on them! No worries, just use a wire hanger squeezed together to form a “stick”. Actually, I find it works better than the conventional stick because it acts as a whisk and blends quicker.

Speaking of stir sticks, here is a tip to organize your paint colors throughout your house.
Get the same number of stir sticks as you have paint colors in your house. Paint a small amount of paint 1/2 way up the stick. With a permanent marker, identify the color, sheen and brand of paint. Don’t forget to mark which room it is, as well. For example; Baer’s “Here Kitty Kitty Black” satin, kitchen.
Do this for all the rooms. Next drill a small hole in the top and thread on a metal ring and hang somewhere in your basement or garage for easy access. You think you will remember what color goes where, but trust me you probably won’t! If you are selling your house, the buyers will love you for it!

You may actually want to paint a room the but the walls are covered with wallpaper, (we all know what a horrible job that can be). Wallpaper is not as difficult to remove as you may think. Granted it will take time and patience but, again, it’s all about the proper tools. You will need a wallpaper scoring tool to make hundreds of holes in the paper. Then use a garden sprayer and fill it with very warm water and a wallpaper removing liquid that contains enzymes. This is the critical part, the solution must have enzymes in it to “eat” the paste. Spray this concoction on your walls (one wall at a time) and WAIT. This is the tough part, you must allow the enzymes to do their job. (wait at least a 1/2 an hour). You may have to spray it twice but the paper should just pull off with no scraping if you did it right!

Like everything we do, with practice we only get better. Painting is no exception. To those of us who love instant gratification, painting is a god-send! One day your wall is a pukey shade of green and the next day you are relaxing in your latte-colored living room! What could be better than that, I ask you?
If you have never tried it before, start out by painting something small, a piece of furniture, for instance to get the feel of the brush and paint. Soon you will move on to bigger projects and wonder why you didn’t do this before!


Indulge me, it’s off to Chinatown again! Why do I like to go to Chinatown? Because despite the slightly seedy environs, there are some really excellent restaurants. On the corner of Nu’uanu and Hotel Street sits Fete restaurant. It is New American cuisine with equal parts Brooklyn and Hawaii. The owners are Chuck Bussler and his wife, Robynne Mai’i.

She is a graduate of Iolani School, Middlebury College and Kapiolani Community College’s Culinary Program. The decor is simple and familiar now in Chinatown restaurants with exposed red brick and reclaimed wood. It is a small, cozy/crowded place with an active bar. The menu is somewhat eclectic but features a number of specialty items as well as extremely fresh fish, courtesy of Ashley from Local I’a Hawaii.
They have particularly extensive and well-curated wine and craft beer lists, which makes me happy! Much of the menu is locally procured including: MA’O Farms, Hawaiian Island Goat Dairy, Otsuji Farm and another 20+ places. I especially enjoyed the Bacalao (cod fritters), twice cooked Lodovico chicken and the raw oysters from New England and Prince Edward Island. What’s so amazing at this place is the homemade rocky road ice cream! I would go there just to sample the ice cream and forget about the menu items, but the menu items are pretty damned good, so go try it!

Fete is open Monday to Thursday 11 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday 11 am to 11 pm
Parking is on the street or in a municipal lot nearby.

2 N. Hotel Street
Honolulu (808) 369-1390



Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN 5 K FUN RUN AND WALK RELAY on March 11th from 8 am to 1 pm at Kapiolani Park. There will be food truck vendors and a farmer’s market to add to the fun. Check out the website at or call 922-0200

There will be lei making workshops the Kaneohe Community Park on Keaahala Road in Kaneohe from 4-5:30 or 5:30-7 pm on March 12th. Call Kelsy Takahashi for more information at 768-8989

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be held on March 17th from 11 am to 3 pm on Kuipaukukui Street in Kapolei. CAll Alan Akaka at 735-9379 or

Don’t miss the Great Hawaiian Rubber Duckie Race on the Ala Wai Canal on March 24th from 9 am to 12:30 pm sponsored by the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii. For more information call Donna Fouts at 532-6744

Waikiki Artfest near Kapiolani Park will have a 2 day craft fair featuring local artists from March 31st to April 1st from 9 am to 4 pm both days.


Manoa Valley Theater presents Fun Home: a musical drama from March 1st to the 18th.

Blaisdell Concert and Exhibition Hall:

Wiki Wiki One Day Collectible and Hawaiiana Show March 18th at the Blaisdell Hawaii Suites. For more information Call Ilene Wong at 941-9754.

Luke Bryan – What Makes You Country Tour will be at the Arena with two shows, March 23rd and March 24th at 7:30 pm

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra presents the following entertainment in the Blaisdell Concert Hall this month:

Latin Pop Revolution on March 9th at 7:30 pm

Rhapsody in Blue March 11th at 4 pm

Russian Dance with Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and Stravinsky March 17th at 7:30 pm

The rock music of Journey featuring singer Brody Dolyniuk on March 30th at 7:30

Even rock music on Sunday, this time of Led Zeppelin featuring Brody Dolyniuk on March 31st

If you like noodles, you are invited to the Noodle Fest Hawaii in Ward Village. There will be noodle dishes from Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Italy as well as other countries around the world. There will be plenty of cooking demonstrations and eating contests. March 24th from 3pm to 9 pm More info is available at

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff