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Painting Tips



For exterior painting all loose and peeling paint must be removed to a solid base. The best way to determine a solid base is to Ensure that the remaining paint has no lifted edges. All missing caulking should be replaced and a tight seal should be renewed around windows and trim boards. If proper preparation is done the paint job simply lasts longer.


Cut and Roll

For all painting tasks you should always cut (cutting in) an area first; cutting in means the use of a brush to paint the edges of an area. After the cutting in is complete you will then roll out the larger surface areas. It is important that when you roll out the surface you roll into the cut line as tight to the edge of the surface as possible to avoid seeing the different texture of the brush and roller in the finish.


Ceilings First, Trim Second and Walls Last

The normal process for painting interior rooms follows this procedure. Ceilings are always done first. Two reasons for this: firstly is to avoid splatter on just finished walls or trim and secondly to allow an overlap onto the walls that will facilitate an easier and quicker straight line cut with the wall finish to the ceiling edge. Trim is done next in the majority of projects (there are some exceptions for dark coloured trims with light coloured walls). The walls are done last. The completion of the trim first facilitates an easier and quicker straight line cut with the wall finish to the trim edge.


Exterior Stains

To avoid lap marks when using exterior stains (especially semi-transparent stain), try to work in the shade as much as possible. Paint only one or two boards at a time, making sure that the stain does not dry in the middle of a board during application. Complete the boards from side to side or top to bottom before moving to the next board.


Painting Ceilings

When painting a ceiling, and there is a window in the room, keep the light source at your back and start painting away from the window. This will ensure that you will see any missed areas and reduce lap marks. Note: If there is more than one window in the room, choose the largest one and follow the same procedure.

Acrylic Paint Application Over Alkyd Paints

Despite manufacturer claims of acrylics being applied directly to alkyd paints it is always recommended that a buff sand over the entire surface being painted is completed prior to the acrylic’s application to the alkyd surface.


Dark Colours

Painting with dark colours on a hot day, or in direct sunlight can cause the paint on the surface to skin over and trap solvent in the film. As the solvent tries to escape, blisters can form in the paint. Repair of these blisters requires sanding and repainting.


Soak Those Rags

Rags that have been soaked in paint thinner or have been used during the application of wiping stains must be spread out to dry or soaked in water and put in a closed metal container. Solvent soaked rags improperly disposed of are a cause of SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION AND FIRE.


Dry Your Brush

If you are going to reuse a brush that has just been cleaned with water, blow it dry with a hair dryer first. Any residual water in the brush will dilute the paint on the brush, causing it to run down the handle when painting. If the brush has just been cleaned with mineral spirits, dry the bristles as much as possible with paper towels before starting to paint in order to prevent paint from running down the handle. Spread the paper towel out to dry before disposing.


The Stripping of Old Paint

At one time paint was removed by torches to renew the surface. This activity is no longer in practice and is not covered under most liability insurance policies. The cost of stripping paint from exterior or interior surfaces is generally cost prohibitive. For instance, the cost to strip a 100 foot square area of shingles is slightly less than the cost to replace those shingles. Replacement is preferable over the stripping of any older surfaces as it is safer and provides a new surface whereby stripping cannot reproduce the original finish to most surfaces.


Resealing The Can

After opening, and before using a new can of paint, drive about 5 or 6 holes with a nail around the rim where the lid sits. This will allow paint to drain back into the container instead of filling the rim. If the rim fills with paint, it is difficult to reseal the can.


Invest In A Good Brush and Roller

Buy a good quality brush or roller. A cheap brush loses bristles, doesn’t hold as much paint and is harder to use when “cutting in” to another surface. Cheap rollers tend to matte and leave an uneven “stipple” on the surface.


Keep A Wet Edge

When brushing or rolling, always work from the dry surface back into the wet paint, working fast enough to keep a wet edge. If you are going to take a break, do it in a corner, never in the middle of a wall. This will help avoid lap and roller marks in the painted surface.


Major Colour Change

When a major change in colour is going to take place, from dark to light, there is a misconception that the surface should be primed before the first coat of finish is applied. The fact is that white, white base and even some medium tint bases have better hiding power than a primer.


Colour Chips

Most paint manufacturers produce their colour chips in a low sheen and often the architect or owner is surprised to see the colour in an eggshell or semigloss finish because it looks different. To see what a colour will look like in an eggshell or semigloss, wet the colour chip with water.

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