Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best paints to use in my kitchen,
bathroom, and other high-moisture areas?
Due to the high levels of
humidity and condensation that both kitchens and bathrooms are subjected to,
they become prone to paint cracking, peeling and mildew. In order to avoid
these problems, a semi-gloss paint is recommended. A semi-gloss paint has a
higher sheen value, meaning it provides a harder finish that proves more
moisture resistant. Along with this, a semi-gloss finish is also very
washable and scrubbable.
How long does
alkyd/oil paint take to dry between coats?
The majority of
alkyd/oil paints when applied at room temperature will be dry set-to-touch
within six to eight hours and may be recoated within 16 hours. Poor
ventilation, low temperatures, thick films and high humidity will increase
How long does latex paint take
to dry between coats?
The majority of latex paints when applied at
room temperature will be dry set-to-touch within one hour or less and may be
recoated within four hours. Poor ventilation, low temperatures, thick films
and high humidity will increase these times.
What do I do about mildew on painted walls?
Mildew is an exterior surface problem and is areas of black, gray or brown
spots formed on paint and other surfaces, particularly in damp, shady areas.
Mildew is caused by warm, humid conditions, poor air circulation and little
direct sunlight, like under eaves or overhangs. Shrubbery planted too close
to a building is an ideal place for mildew to grow.
Mildew must be
removed before painting or it will come through the new paint. Remove all
mildew by scrubbing with a solution of household bleach and water. Mix 1
part bleach to 3 parts water, and remember to rinse the surface thoroughly
with a garden hose after washing. (Power washing is recommended for larger
areas.) Always wear appropriate safety equipment (rubber gloves and eye
protection) when using this solution, and protect your shrubbery and plants
with plastic sheeting.
After getting rid of all mildew, priming is
essential for better adhesion, sheen uniformity, mildew control and
durability. Select a top quality exterior paint in the color and sheen of
Can paint that has been frozen
be used after it thaws?
As long as the paint is not clumpy or
doesn't have a foul odor, it is usable.
What can I do to minimize paint odor?
Ventilation! Ventilate well,
any rooms being painted. Warm air movement is the most effective
paint-curing mechanism. Remove any drapes and furniture, if possible, before
painting. Paint fumes, even from latex paints, can permeate drapes, carpet
and furniture. Cover furniture if it can't be removed.
Can plastic shutters be painted?
painting make sure that the shutters are dirt free. Apply a single coat of
"Gripper." Follow with a 100% acrylic latex, satin or semi-gloss paint, in
your choice of color. One to two coats will be required. Base that decision
on how well a single coat covers the primer.
What is sheen?
When beginning your paint
project, you'll want to consider the sheen of the paint — or the gloss
level. The higher the gloss level, the shinier the appearance and the more
scrubbable the finish.
There are different
types of sheens for different areas of your home.
are ideal for low-traffic areas such as formal dining rooms and master
bedrooms. They provide a beautiful matte coating that hides minor surface
imperfections. Ideal for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.
Eggshell paints provide excellent coverage that is washable and scrubbable.
They have a slightly lower sheen than satin but offer the same type of
durability. Eggshell paints are ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and family
Satin paints go a step above flats in scrubbability, providing a
nice balance between washability and subtle gloss. They perform and look
great in just about any room.
Semi-gloss paints ensure maximum
durability. They are commonly used in children's rooms and high-moisture
areas, such as bathrooms, as well as for trim.
High-gloss paints are
highly reflective and work well for highlighting details, such as trim and
decorative molding. They are also the best choice for doors and cabinets —
or any area that sees a high volume of abuse.
Ceiling flats are designed
specifically for ceilings. These are usually extra spatter-resistant.
How can I safely dispose of any leftover paint
that I may have?
If you have any leftover paint, thinner or other
chemicals, they should never be poured down the drain or otherwise disposed
of carelessly. Leftover paint in usable condition can be donated to
churches, schools or other organizations.
To determine if old paint
is still usable, stir it with a paint stick and if the paint is smooth, it
is still good! Empty cans or those with a small amount of water-based paint
in them should be left open and allowed to dry in a ventilated area, out of
the reach of children and pets. In most states, cans with dried latex paint
may be discarded with household trash. Oil-based or alkyd paints should be
allowed to dry by adding absorbent material such as kitty litter. Leftover
paint can become dangerous if not disposed of correctly.
familiar with the disposal procedures recommended in your municipality. Some
make regular, scheduled pickups of household hazardous waste; some have
Should I use an oil or
Usually, a quality latex or water-based paint will be
sufficient to fulfill your painting needs. However, in some circumstances,
it may be better to use an oil or alkyd-based paint. Here are a few
suggestions and some strengths and weaknesses for both:
Quality interior latex paints
provide better long-term flexibility, that is, resistance to cracking and
chipping. Latex paints also tend to resist yellowing with age in areas
protected from sunlight. They emit fewer odors, clean up with water and are
not flammable. Latex paint takes a shorter amount of time to dry than oil
Faster dry time
Relatively small open-time (amount of time paint can be brushed before it
Oil-based paints offer
superior one-coat hiding and better adhesion to difficult surfaces (such as
those not thoroughly cleaned). Oil-based paints allow for greater open-time
(or length of time the paint may be brushed before it sets), superior
resistance to "blocking" (or face-to-face sticking) and resistance to
abrasion, once cured.
Greater flow and leveling
Requires solvent cleanup
Does paint expire or have
a specific shelf life?
When stored properly, an unopened can of latex or
oil-based paint should have a shelf life of 2 years. The best storage for
paint is in a cool, dry area, away from extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Paint should never be allowed to freeze and should be stored away from
furnaces and other heat-generating appliances.
What prep work do I need to do before starting an
exterior painting project?
Remove loose, flaking, chalky or
blistered paint with a paint scraper, putty knife and wire brush. Loose
paint can also be removed with a power washer. Sand the edges of the areas
where paint has been removed to create a smooth surface.
Fill gouges or
holes in wood siding with an exterior-grade patching compound. If damage is
more extensive, replace the damaged piece(s) altogether.
seams and gaps with paintable exterior caulk.
Clean the outside of the
house from top to bottom. If you use soap, rinse the siding well. Allow the
surface to dry.
Mask off areas that are not to be painted. You can put
newspaper or plastic drop cloths over things like windows, doors, sidewalks
and driveways to protect them from drips.
what order should I paint the outside of my house?
Paint in the
following order overall: 1) gables, 2) main siding, 3) windows, 4) siding
trim, 5) doors.
When painting siding, always paint from the top down,
and paint next to the trim first, creating a border about two to three
inches from the edge of the trim. Then begin painting the rest of the
siding, remembering to paint under the edge. (Hint: Paint in small sections
of three to four clapboards and a few feet at a time, applying a fresh brush
full of paint to unpainted areas and working back into the areas you've
already done. Be sure to paint in the direction of the siding.)
the siding is dry, paint the windows, siding trim and doors.
What should I use to clean my paint brushes and
For latex paint, use soap and water. Oil-based paint
requires turpentine or paint?thinner. Be sure to clean brushes thoroughly at
the end of each day.
Are there any tricks
to painting windows, doors and trim?
Generally, use more delicate
strokes with less paint on the brush when painting any kind of trim or
details. Below are some more tips for each specific area.
Mask off the glass panes. Use a small trim brush to paint the dividers from
top to bottom. Paint the window surround areas next. Then use an angled trim
brush to paint the face trim around the window.
trim from the top down. Use the largest brush that fits the trim you're
painting. Take care that paint doesn't "glob" or drip as you work in
crevices and joints.
If the door has raised inset panels,
paint those first. Then paint the door surface surrounding the panels.
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