On Interior Painting – On the House

On Interior Painting

By on October 20, 2015

If you are like most of us you would probably prefer to paint the inside of a room in your own home rather than hire it done. Not only to save money, but because painting brings quick satisfaction and it isn’t terribly hard to do. An average room can be completed in a day or two. And compared to the cost of hiring the work done, you can take a trip to Europe on what you save.

A bright, fresh coat of paint can make everything in a room look new and clean. But, you must keep in mind that 80% of the task is in the preparation – making the various surfaces ready to accept the pain. This can involve washing, sanding, puttying and even chemical paint removal. Also, there is the question of personal items that must be protected. It’s OK to leave a piece of furniture in the room as long as it is fully protected. On the floor the protection must be designed to handle a “worst-case-scenario” accident. Everyone knows that throw-away drop clothes can make all the difference when it comes to splattered paint – or an accidentally dropped paint tool. However, the barrier that you lay down should protect against a spilled can of paint. That means you’ll want to have a heavy barrier of plastic between you and the floor. We suggest 6 mil visqueen as opposed to the popular 2 mil thickness. In our remodeling company we lay quarter-inch wallboard on the floor and tape it together with duct tape. Nothing will damage the floor below that stuff. Protect as much or as little as you think reasonable while keeping in mind that the floor covering in that room will cost ten times what you spend on the paint job if you spill the paint.

When it comes to interior painting we are repeatedly asked the same questions. Here is a recap that may take some of the concern out of your work – and help you to do it right the first time:

  • Do I need to prime wallboard? Bare drywall must be primed. Drywall is highly absorbent. Attempting to paint fresh drywall without priming will result in excessive paint use and a blotchy looking finished product. Actually, all bare surfaces – as well as those that have been spackled or puttied – should be primed.
  • Can I use exterior paint indoors? It is not wise to use exterior paint indoors. Exterior paint is designed to cure (dry) in an outside environment. Outside paints also contain hazardous poisons to inhibit the growth of mildew. Mildecides used in interior paints are different and safe for use indoors.
  • What is the ideal temperature to apply paint? Paint should be applied at temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And, never paint when temperatures are expected to drop below 45 degrees before the paint is expected to dry.
  • How should I prepare the surface BEFORE I paint? When it comes to paint preparation “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. The cleaned surface should be free of chalked paint, grease, dust, and yes you guessed it, the mildew must also be removed. Clean means clean. Trisodium phosphate (a kind of liquid sandpaper) is great for etching a painted surface. The pores it creates act as a great base for fresh paint to stick too. Mildew can be removed with our famous secret formula:
    • One-third cup powdered laundry detergent
    • One quart liquid chlorine bleach
    • Three quarts hot water
    • Thoroughly mix the first two ingredients into the water and transfer the concoction into a spray bottle. Spray onto the affected area and keep wet while scrubbing for a few minutes. When the black mildew turns white it is dead and can be rinsed with fresh water.
    • Dry the cleaned surface immediately.

CAUTION: If the formula above doesn’t work chances are you have a rare case of black algae. This will mean a trip to the local pool store for a bottle of algaecide.

  • Can I paint directly over wallpaper? No you can’t and yes you can. You shouldn’t paint over wallpaper because doing so can cause it to be released from the wall and the mess that results could end up being worse than trying to remove it in the first place. However, if you insist on taking the task to hand anyway try oil base primer. Water base primer is sure to loosen the wallpaper where the oil base alternative might be just what the doctor ordered. Here, you must be sure to use a very thin coat of primer and don’t brush any area more than once. Once the primer has dried then any type of finish coat can be applied without disturbing the paper below. How’s that for a political answer!
  • Can I paint over oil base paint with latex (water base) paint? You can use latex paint over oil base as long as the surface is clean, dull (sanded or TSP’ed). However, you should NOT use oil base paint over latex.
  • How long before I can apply a second coat? Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when applying a second coat. If the information isn’t on the can call the manufacturer (call the 800 directory service and ask for tech support when the phone is answered – 1 800 555-1212). Be prepared to tell the support person exactly what type of paint your are using and what the temperature is.
  • Do I need to prime the ceiling before painting? The ceiling gets a lot of heat. Consistently high temperatures can wear on a paint job. Priming the ceiling is a good idea whether it has been previously painted or not. In fact, priming all surfaces is a good idea. And, good luck!

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