F.A.Q.

Can I put latex paint over a surface that was previously painted with an alkyd (oil) product?

Painting Tip: In most cases and with the latex technology used today, this should not be an issue. The surface to be painted needs extra attention in preparation to be repainted.

WARNING! If you scrape sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust or fumes. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST OR FUMES CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a properly fitted NIOSH=approved respirator and prevent skin contact to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vaccum and a wet mop.

Do I need to prime every time I want to freshen my walls with another coat of latex paint?

A: No. Primers are not always needed when repainting. If you are repainting a similar color, you can lightly scuff sand to remove the gloss and clean the surface. Once that is completed, you can simply repaint over the existing latex coating. More than one coat may be needed for uniformity.

Please note that switching sheens or drastic color changes may require a primer to minimize the amount of topcoats used.

WARNING! If you scrape sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust or fumes. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST OR FUMES CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a properly fitted NIOSH=approved respirator and prevent skin contact to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vaccum and a wet mop.

Do paint products that are considered a "Paint and Primer" in one product have primer mixed in?

A: No. These types of products do not actually have primer mixed into them. The “Paint and Primer” products use quality resins that allow for good adhesion. This helps to eliminate the use of primers in most circumstances.

How do I tell if the paint on my walls is latex or alkyd (oil) based?

A: You can take some denatured alcohol or fingernail polish remover on a cloth and lightly rub it on an inconspicuous test area. If the paint softens and is easily removed, then it is a latex paint. If the paint does not really seem to be affected by the test, it is typically an alkyd coating.

How long does it take for paint to "cure"?

A: Depending on color choice, atmospheric conditions, and other variables, latex paint may take up to 60 days for a “full cure”. In most cases, latex paint can be put to normal use after a day or two. Fresh latex should be allowed to cure for at least 14 days before attempting to wipe or wash the walls. It can be sensitive to water or chemicals during the curing process. Also see the previous question regarding sheen choice. Lower sheens will be more susceptible to moisture and chemicals even after fully cured.

Why does the paint on my freshly painted wall peel off when I remove the masking tape from the trim?

A: Masking tape or even “Painter's tape” may tend to stick to fresh coatings if not removed shortly after painting or pulled improperly from the surface. When the paint is applied to the walls, it will inevitably cover over the tape as well. As the paint starts to dry, it will start to adhere to the wall as well as the tape. This “bridge” of paint from the walls to the tape will lift as the tape is removed.

To help minimize this issue, you can lightly “score” the edge of the tape with a sharp razor or utility knife. This will help break the “bridge” or “film” between the painted wall and tape. Also, try to pull the tape staying close to the wall but pull away from the painted edge.

I have a less-than-perfect wall and want to hide the imperfections without having to apply textured paint. Do you have any suggestions?

A:If the imperfections are not too pronounced, sponge painting with multiple colors can hide a multitude of "sins." The greater the contrast among the colors used in the sponge painting process, the more the overall effect will hide imperfections.

What should I use to paint my garage floor?

A:If this is a concrete slab on grade, check to ensure that the surface does not have a moisture problem prior to considering an opaque coating.

Tape a 2-foot square plastic sheet to the floor (use duct tape and tape around the entire perimeter of the plastic sheet). Leave in place on the floor for one or two days. Then, check to see if moisture is present between the floor and the plastic. If moisture is present, painting should not be attempted. If the area is still dry, then the surface can be painted. Clean the surface to remove all contaminants.

If the surface is smooth, etch the surface to create a profile with the H&C Clean and Etch or similar product. To resist hot tire pick-up we recommend a polyamide two part epoxy.

When painting a room, in which order should I paint the walls, ceilings, and trim?

A:As you can imagine, this can be open to debate. For the most part, however, the ceiling and walls are primed prior to installing the trim. Naturally, the ceilings are done first, and then the wall. Once the trim is installed and the edges caulked, the trim is primed and finish coated. The trim is therefore coated last. Even when repainting a similar order is followed. Ceiling first, walls second, trim last. If the trim were painted first, splatter from the roller could end up on the freshly painted trim. Since time is of the essence in repaint work, there is not usually enough time between painting the trim and painting the wall to use masking tape on the freshly applied paint.

I want to paint one wall a different color. How can I select the wall that should be painted with this different color?

A:This is often called a feature or accent wall. While this could depend on the overall space, the wall that comes into view opposite the main entrance is in most cases selected as the feature wall and should be the one to receive the special treatment.

What is the best way to touch-up or repair a wall?

A: Touching up an existing painted surface can be challenging - professional painters wrestle with this constantly. Ideally, use paint from the same can that was used originally, but reduce it about 10% to 15% with the reducer recommended on the can.

If you are touching up walls on which the paint was applied with a roller, use a small trim roller. If the paint was brushed on, use a brush.

Apply a small amount of the touch-up paint and "feather" the edges, starting at the outside edge of the touch-up area into the center of the area. "Feathering" entails drawing the brush across the area outside of the touch-up onto the new paint to create a transition that diminishes the appearance of the touch-up. If the surface had to be patched, use a primer sealer. Try to prime and paint to a natural break. Please note, though, that sometimes repaired areas may be noticeable. In this event, painting the entire wall may be the best option.

How do I wash my freshly painted wall?

A: To assure maximum washability and durability, wait at least two weeks before washing the dry paint film. Avoid any abrasive or harsh chemical cleaners as these could damage the paint film. Concentrated Cleaners (Liquid or Dry):

Read all package directions before using. It is always recommended to test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area prior to use. Mix or dilute the cleaner per package instructions. Solution strength may be adjusted depending on amount and type of contaminant. Remove any heavy debris and contaminants. Using a sponge or cloth, wash surface dirt and marks. Do not allow the cleaner to dry on the surface. Always clean from the bottom of a wall to the top. Rinse the surface thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.

Premixed Spray Cleaners:

Read all the package directions before using. It is always recommended to test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area prior to use. Turn spray nozzle to desired spray pattern (open with nozzle facing away from you). Remove any heavy debris and contaminants. Apply the cleaner to the dirt and marks (apply just enough to wet the area). Using a damp sponge or cloth, wipe to remove the surface dirt and marks and any excess cleaner. For difficult stains, some scrubbing may be necessary. Do not allow the cleaner to dry on the surface. If recommended on the label of the cleaner, rinse the surface.

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