Different surfaces require different preparation steps, so before you take on your next painting project, consider the following tips and information:
Use patching paste to fill any cracks, joints and nail holes. After that, sand the bare wood until it’s smooth and use a tack cloth to remove sanding dust.
Make sure you remove all the wallpaper from a surface before painting it (chemical wallpaper removers are readily available). Once the wallpaper is removed, wash off the old adhesive and rinse the entire surface with water. Make sure it’s completely dry before you start painting.
Previously painted surfaces
Use cleaning products to wash off grease, dirt, and soap and oil buildup. Remove loose paint and powdery substances, and make sure you prime all bare areas before you apply a topcoat. Avoid “spot priming”—it can cause a non-uniform appearance between primed and non-primed areas.
According to Robert Keech, owner of Keech Painting Contractors, Inc. in Windsor, it’s also important to keep an eye on the caulking around windows and railings when painting the interior of your home. “Caulking shrinks and expands with changes in temperature, and if it shrinks too much over time, it allows cracks to open up and let in water,” he explains. “That’s a good way to get dry rot, which can be expensive to repair.”
Mr. Keech also recommends keeping a can of paint around the house so you can ensure an exact color match when you need to perform touch-ups. The downside is that paint can only be stored for about two years before it starts to degrade, but Mr. Keech says even paint that’s three or four years old can still be used for minor touch-ups. “Make sure you store the paint off the ground at a moderate temperature. Room temperature is ideal, but you really just need to avoid situations where it could freeze. Also, make sure you thoroughly mix any old paint before applying it.”
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