pro painting tips

While it may seem simple enough, painting can be a surprisingly complicated task. Photo: John Molloy Painting (2015)

To the uninitiated, painting may appear to be a deceptively simple task, which may be why so many people opt to take the DIY route when repainting their homes. However, without prior experience or knowledge of the many variables involved, a novice painter is liable to make a potentially costly mistake. To help consumers gain a better familiarity with the ins and outs of the painting process, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide their pro painting tips.


Avoiding paint compatibility issues: Cleve Dayton of The Painting Pros

When repainting, a common mistake is to apply a water-based paint product over an existing oil-based surface. Due to their differing consistencies, water-based and oil-based paints are unable to properly bond together, which means even a recently applied coat will soon begin peeling off the wall. To avoid this situation, always pre-test the character of a painted surface by applying a rag or cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. If paint comes off, it’s water-based; if not, it’s oil-based.

If you find that the area you plan to paint over is oil-based, you’ll need to prep it prior to applying your water-based product. This consists of two basic steps: completely sanding the area and applying an oil-based primer, which will provide proper adhesion between the new paint and the existing surface.


peeling paint

Without proper preparation, applying water-based paint over an oil-based surface can have disastrous consequences. Photo: The Painting Pros (2015)

A preventative approach to exterior painting: Greg Kuzmicki of Solidarity Painting, Inc.

Substandard painting is the most common cause of dry rot in a home’s exterior, so it’s important to take a preventative approach when painting yours. This primarily consists of priming and sealing all gaps and joints where moisture may be able to penetrate, including the backs and edges of siding panels. For sealing, use a high-quality caulking material to ensure maximum durability. By spending extra time and money on these preventative measures, you’ll have confidence in the integrity of your home’s exterior.


How to paint with less mess: Erik Bergstrom of EBCON Corporation

Anyone who’s painted before knows what a messy endeavor it can be. This is due in part to the way paint cans are designed, with gutters that are prone to overfilling, which causes paint to drip down the outside of the can. The good news is you can avoid this sticky situation with a simple modification. Use a hammer and finish nail to punch holes around the can’s gutter (spaced two to three inches apart). This will allow paint to drain back into the can instead of filling up in the gutter and overflowing.


stucco cracks

To avoid water intrusion issues, apply an elastomeric product to seal cracks in exterior stucco. Photo: CertaPro Painters of Silicon Valley (2015)

Repairing cracks and cavities in exterior stucco: Dan Ford of CertaPro Painters of Silicon Valley

If you live in a stucco home, you’ve probably noticed the development of small cracks or cavities in your exterior walls. While unsightly, there may be more to worry about than mere cosmetics, as these cracks and cavities can serve as water penetration points that potentially lead to dry rot issues.

Fortunately, this problem can be solved with the simple application of elastomeric paint. Containing twice the amount of resin found in conventional products, elastomeric paint fills and seals cracks and hairline fractures, which neutralizes the threat of water intrusion. To deal with missing patches of stucco, use an elastomeric patching compound to fill in and seal them.

3 Responses

  1. Charlotte Eddington says:

    We just repainted the exterior of our home about 3 months ago. Our home has stucco on the outside. I didn’t know that you could paint stucco, but we hired a painting service and they airbrushed the entire home. I had no idea that a few cans of paint could make our home look so new and updated. It was a great investment for our situation.

  2. Drew says:

    I like your preventative approach. It’s not a good idea to skimp on quality when it comes to paint so doing all of the preparations will save you a lot of headache down the road. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Judy Wilson says:

    The last few times I’ve attempted painting my home, I would make a huge mess with my paint. It helps to know how I can paint with less mess with these tips. I liked your tip to use a hammer and nail to punch holes around my paint can’s gutter. That seems like a good way to allow my paint to drain into the can instead of overflowing the gutter. I’ll try that if I decide to paint my house again.

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