* Prices may differ from that shown
Painting the ceiling is always a challenge and especially more tasking around the stairs and landing. I have had an extendable paint roller before and found that it was great in reaching up and getting the hard to reach places but it was a bit of pain every time I ran out of paint as I had to lower the roller and then dip it in the tray and then reposition myself.
The clever thing about the Paintstick is that you can draw paint into the handle, rather like a syringe, so that you can keep on painting rather than having to keep loading the roller up with paint.
I bought the Paintstick from a retailer on eBay and paid £12.99 for a brand new sealed unit. You can buy them for £19.99 from Homgar.com.
The PaintStick comprises of a telescopic handle with a roller frame and a 3/8" roller cover. In the box you also get the fill tube to go in to paint tin so you can draw up the paint and a paint tin cover.
There is also a spatter shield to stop splashing when painting ceilings.
First of all, as with most rollers, check the roller cover for lint. I always rinse the roller cover with water and let it dry before using.
Next it is time to pop the roller cover on to the frame. When looking at the roller cover, ensure that the outer end cap is in the open position by depressing "PUSH TO REMOVE" side of the tab. The roller cover will then slide onto to the roller frame by pushing it on, once it is in position it will click. This is quite tough and it does put up a bit of resistance, you just need to give it some welly.
The roller frame screws on to the handle make sure this is done tightly so that the head cannot fall off while you are hard at work. If you want to, you can then clip on the spatter shield. I prefer to use it without this as I could not get the thing to stay on and I am not very patient. Now the Paintstick is ready to go!
*Ready to draw the paint....*
There is a fill tube that needs inserting through the hole in bottom side of paint can cover and pushed in until tight and to the ridge of the fill tube. This paint can cover will then snap paint onto the paint tin. Now not all tins are circular so this can be a little troublesome. If you have a rectangle shaped tin or plastic tub as a lot are these days, simply get rid of the paint can lid and just use the tube, it works just as good without.
Hold the PAINTSTICK at a 45° angle over the paint tin and place the fill port (a little valve located at the top of the handle by the fitting for the roller frame) over the fill tube. Gently push the PAINTSTICK down until it bottoms on the fill tube. This process is quite simple up till this point. To make the next step easier, the packaging advised to lubricate moving parts with Vaseline. I did not do this and found that the handle used to feed the paint into the handle was really stiff. After a bit of lubricating, the handle moved more freely, it needs pulling all the way back to draw the paint up. Once you think there is enough paint in, start painting by getting sliding the handle, pushing the paint out while you work.
After a few goes with the Paint stick you will realise whether you have enough paint in or not, the general rule of thumb is if you are getting a dot pattern when painting apply more paint. If the roller is sliding around, apply less. The roller should put up a little resistance when being used but should not be too sloppy as this will waste paint.
Vaseline seems quite key to this piece of kit and when I first set it up, I noticed that it already had some in the mechanisms. After a couple of uses I found that the fill port started to leak paint out, I tried to tighten it up but it still leaked. I then lubricated the valve port with a bit of Vaseline and the leaking stopped.
The Paint stick does make painting these awkward places a lot easier as it saves a lot of time. I find the Paint stick easy to use and quite effective at covering large amounts of area. I do find painting ceilings quite tiring though and sometimes holding onto the paintstick and having to continually put pressure on it to maintain the flow of paint can take the toll on my arm muscles! However, when a job needs doing, it needs doing quickly so there so is no time to stand about and moan about achy arms!
Once you have finished your painting and you are pleased with your work, it is time to clean the paint stick. Argh! What a nightmare, the parts are a pain to take a part and you really have to get rid of all the paint from the tubes to prevent it going hard and ruining it for next time.
It does take a while to clean which is why the product only gets 4 stars. However the effects are great and for the same price of a regular telescopic roller, I have one that makes painting a lot less hassle.
I really hate having to emulsion ceilings - it could be because I am 'vertically challenged' or 'short' for people who speak plain English. It could also be because I get easily bored or a combination of the two. Whatever the reason when ever I have a ceiling to paint I just want to get the job over with as quickly as I can.
I was watching QVC one Sunday morning when I saw the Paintstick system being demonstrated and I was quite fascinated. Basically all it comprises is a paint roller on a long telescopic handle but the really clever bit is that you draw the paint up into the handle by pulling the handle out creating suction and as you paint you push the paint out through the roller by gently pushing on the handle. It is a bit like a giant syringe action.
It looked like an amazing invention and, ever keen to try out new gadgets, I rang QVC and placed and order and waited impatiently for it to arrive.
The Paintstick arrived
Once it came and I opened the box I discovered the following components:
* Fill Tube to go in paint tin
* 3/8" Roller Cover
* Spatter Shield to stop splashing when painting ceilings
* Handy Painter's Tool
* Roller Cleaner
* How-To Paint Video
Although I am not generally good at reading instructions it was useful to watch the video as it does give lots of helpful hints and it shows you the process for cleaning the Paintstick after use.
The Paintstick itself was easy to assemble but they do recommend that you lubricate some of the joints with petroleum jelly (vaseline) before use and I do recommend that you do this as it makes it easier when you come to take it apart again for cleaning. They don't supply this so you need your own jar to hand before you start.
Using the Paintstick
The Paintstick has a lovely little non-return valve on the side to enable you to fill it with paint. There is a tube to fit into your paint tin which clips on to the edge of the tin securely and all you do is push the valve on the Paintstick over the top of this tube and pull back on the end of the Paintstick. This creates a vacuum which quickly allows the Paintstick to fill with paint. I would not recommend that you use the very thick emulsion paints with this device as you will find it difficult to pull these into the tube. If you do have the problem just dilute the paint with a little water and it should be fine.
Once the Paintstick is full of paint just remove it from the fill tube and you are ready to start painting. Applying pressure on the base of the Paintstick will push paint into the roller and as you start to roll it over the wall the paint will come through. Once full you can paint a considerable area before you need to go back for a refill but again it is easy to do and what I love most about this system is that you have no need for paint trays which can get spilled. It is a really easy and clean system in use and although I do put a dust sheet down on the floor they rarely get any noticeable marks on them.
The manufacturers claim the following:
* A complete painting system which is easy to use.
* Paint in 1/3 the time.
* Paint an 8x8 foot wall in 1 minute!
* Do-it-yourself and achieve professional results.
* Reach high areas without a ladder.
* Smooth, even coverage.
* Quick clean up.
* Spatter shield protects surfaces from paint spatters.
* How-to video gives helpful painting tips.
It is a certainly a complete painting system and it is indeed very easy to use and very quick. I would contest the bit about painting an 8ft by 8ft wall in a minute because you do have to do the edges carefully but in terms of painting a large area, yes it is quick and the major benefit is that you don't have to keep going back to the paint tray as the paint is all in the handle. It is great if you are short like me because with this I can reach the ceilings in my house from the floor saving lots of time in terms of going up and down steps and moving the steps around as I go. I like to 'cut in' the edges with a paintbrush and I still need the steps for that of course but whatever system I use I would need that.
I loved using it in my stairs and landing because again I could reach the ceiling over the stairs from the landing which was great.
The only downside to this little gadget for me is that it is a bit of trial to clean after use. The manufacturers do give a couple of tools to help with the process which are great however I do like to take the whole thing apart to make sure I have thoroughly cleaned it and that is the tricky bit. It is difficult to get the roller off for cleaning (hence the tip about the vaseline at the start) the little plastic bit that hold the roller in place can break (especially if you lack patience like I do!). That said I have now found a supplier, at www.homgar.com that not only supplies the Paintstick but also supplies the component parts so they can easily be replaced.
I should perhaps say at this point that the thing I hate most about painting whatever system I use is the cleaning of the kit afterwards!
Do I recommend it?
Indeed I do - despite everything I have just said about cleaning it I would choose the Paintstick for emulsion painting in my house every time. So much so that I am now on my third Paintstick and I have a spare in the garage for when that one wears out!
You can buy them on QVC with the added advantage that if you watch the programme you can see it in use before you buy.
Alternatively you can buy it from Homgar for just £19.99 and they do sell additional rollers and additional component parts for when you need them.
Because the Paintstick makes painting so quick and easy I find I can do a room easily in a day and that includes a couple of coats on both walls and ceilings so you just have one cleaning job at the end of the day unless you have lots of colour changes.
Having had the builders in recently which left me with lots of new plaster to paint I would have been lost without my Paintstick.
So although I will admit I am a gadget freak and that not everything I buy lives up to expectations this is one gadget I would hate to be without. So next time you have a big painting job to do why not try a Paintstick? At £19.99 it won't exactly break the bank.
This review was posted by me on Ciao in January 2007