Paint / General
for interior painting
ALWAYS READ THE
LABEL!: Paints and surface and coverings are continually changing
to improve their performance and durability. Because paints are
always changing, manufacturers use the labels to give the very
latest information on that specific can of paint. Even the professionals
read the labels constantly because that is the manufacturer's
way of giving instructions. Because every paint is different
and different applications require formulations and so forth,
a label will give the average coverage area per gallon, drying
times, times between 1st and 2nd coat, surface preparation requirements,
and possible problems with other coatings. They also give specific
warning information which, of course, should be followed very
carefully. Plain and simply, ALWAYS READ THE LABEL!!
Rough vs. Smooth
The surface will
affect the type of paint you choose to cover it with and how
much you use. Oil-based paints are easier flowing and can cover
a rough surface better and faster that latex paints but oil-based
paints can be more difficult to work with and are more expensive.
Rough surfaces usually need more cleaning and preparation that
smooth ones do. Rough surfaces usually require more paint to
cover them than smooth ones do. A textured ceiling may require
3 or more coats of paint to make it look nice, whereas a smooth
ceiling can be done in two coats. Consider your surface as you
decide which paint to use. More paint and preparation usually
means more time and money.
Oil vs. Latex
are a tougher, longer lasting paint and are more resistant to
wear and tear and fading. They also clean up very nicely, even
under the toughest circumstances (like a child drawing on the
wall) but often present a challenge to first-time or amateur
painters because they require special brushes and chemicals such
a paint thinner and turpentine for their use and preparation.
Latex paints are not as durable and resistant to fading but are
very easy to use and cleanup after painting is a breeze. Latex
only requires soap and water for cleanup. Latex paints are usually
much thicker that oil-based paints and under ideal situations
can cover in one coat. A good oil-based paint can cost up to
$40 a gallon for the paint alone while a good latex paint can
often be obtained for around $20 a gallon.
Gloss: A glossy surface is a smooth and shiny
finish which can often brighten up the room. If you want your
room to feel warm, glossy is not the right finish. As a finished
paint surface, glossy cleans the easiest because of its ultra-smooth
finish. Glossy is best for recreational, play rooms and rooms
with a high-moisture level such as bathrooms and mud rooms. Gloss
is also a good choice for the kitchen as water, steam and food
splatters clean up well and resist stains.
Satin or Semi-Gloss:
A satin finish is
common in many rooms of most homes and offices. It adds a small
amount of reflection and luster in any color from light to dark
and gives good definition to walls and ceilings without adding
glare. Satin finishes clean fairly nicely although care should
be given to not rub out the small particles which give a satin
finish its special luster. Often times walls with a satin finish
that are highly scrubbed and cleaned can dull and look flat.
This problem can only be corrected by repainting.
Eggshell or flat: An eggshell finish is just what is says,
a finish with much the same look and feel as the surface of a
white chicken egg. This paint type absorbs light without showing
reflection of light sources. An excellent choice for a warm or
subdued room. An eggshell finish has no luster whatsoever and
has a very flat look in any color range. Eggshell finishes are
perfect for a family room, work room or any room where you want
a warm flat feel to the finish of your walls and ceiling.
If there is one
single most important part of painting, this is it. Paint won't
stick and wear properly if the surface is not clean and properly
prepared for the specific kind of paint you choose. If you are
using a latex paint, you must first sand and clean the surface
with a type of solvent such as Wilbond(tm) that will help ensure
the paint will adhere. Be sure to remove any dust by first vacuuming
the wall, and then wiping it with a damp cloth. You must also
use a shellac, acrylic or oil-based undercoat especially if your
latex is going onto new drywall or previous oil-based paint.
If you forget this step your new drywall will absorb the water
form the latex paint and bubble. Your paint will also not stick
properly and may peel in large sections with chunks of drywall
attached. If you are painting over rough and porous materials
such as brick or concrete, the surface must be sealed first.
If you are not sure how to prepare the surface, look for a primer
or base-rated paint and read the label on the paint can. Visit
our manufacturer's list of web
sites for additional information about priming and preparation
Lead: Many older paints had lead in them to
stabilize color and durability. This can be a serious concern
if you happen to be sanding or covering one of those older paints.
Any paint manufactured before 1970 has the potential of high-lead
concentrations and should be handled with great care. Proper
masks and clothing should be worn if sanding is involved and
the dust should be contained and disposed of safely. Because
lead is a heavy metal, once it gets into your biological system
either through ingestion or leaching through the skin, it does
not come out quickly. Treat the threat of lead-based paints seriously
and do your research before you undertake any painting project,
especially one in an older home.
Asbestos: A naturally occurring micro fiber that
gets into your lungs and stays, causing serious health risks
even death. Many old homes used asbestos insulation and floor
tiles in their construction. Any time you are removing plug covers
or tiles or attic doors in older homes, be aware that asbestos
may be present and take proper precautions in its handling and
removal. Homes as young as the 1960s were still using tile that
contained asbestos. Be extremely cautious when removing, sanding
or painting any old 9" block tile floor. Considering a certified
asbestos removal service may prevent serious potential health
Ventilation: Proper ventilation is a must in any
paint job. Paints and chemicals give off harmful vapors and can
be very damaging to health long term. Consider your health and
your ability to enjoy your good works of painting after the job
is done. Open plenty of windows or doors. After painting, leave
the premises while it dries to minimize exposure to the fumes.
Paint will dry faster with dry, warm air.
Varnish vs. Polyurethane:
or any bare wood surface such as doors or furniture require some
kind of surface covering to protect the natural wood surface.
This was traditionally accomplished with oil-based varnishes.
Although these are still available, they must be applied with
special brushes and chemicals.
Oil-based varnishes: Very tough and durable and will likely
last the life of the surface they are applied to when properly
taken care of, but are more expensive and require more coats
and longer drying times.
Polyurethane: On the other hand, polyurethane as a
coating has its place. On a hardwood floor, two coats of a very
hard water-based polyurethane finish can be applied in two days
and the floor is usable in a week. With a varnish, the same floor
may require four or more coats and may not be usable for 1 or
2 months. Varnish is good for doors, however, because of it's
resistance to water and the outdoor elements. Consider the finish
and the use before deciding on the covering.