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Painting Tips

Tips for Orlando and Central Florida (FL) homeowners who want to paint their house without a professional painting contractor.

  • Use a quality paint. The saying "you get what you pay for" is very true when it comes to paint the interior and exterior of your home or commercial property. Spending a few extra dollars per gallon will make your job painting much easier. A good quality paint will go on the wall easier and cover better than cheap paint will. On exterior paint jobs, a quality or high dollar paint will last longer and resist fading from the Florida sun. As you can imagine, the exterior of your home is exposed to the elements 365 days of the year. So, it is best not to invest in a cheap paint. By paying a little extra for quality paints, you will ensure that you have saved yourself some and money down the road.
  • Use a quality brush and roller cover. If you are saving the money by not hiring a professional painting contractor spend fifteen to twenty dollars on a good brush. A quality paint brush will help you get the straight line you are looking for. When buying a roller cover for painting, for most surfaces you will want to use a half inch nap cover that is made of lambs wool or lamb skin. These covers cost more but do not drip or splatter paint like the ones that only costs three dollars. A good roller cover will cost around six to nine dollars and will make your job painting much easier and better looking.
  • When cutting in, use a two or three inch paint brush. At the top of the wall, start a couple of inches down from the top and unload the paint from your brush and work your way to the top with minimal paint on your brush. When at the bottom of the wall, start a couple of inches from the bottom and work your way down with the paint brush.
  • Spend the time doing prep work before painting. Taking time to do prep work will decrease the amount of time it takes you to do the painting. For example, remove all outlet covers and light switch plates and move as much furniture out of the room as you can so you have room to work. By taking this extra step, you will save yourself valuable time and ensure that your items are not damaged by paint.
  • If you are painting the outside or exterior of your house there is one thing you MUST DO, pressure clean. If you do not pressure clean your house before painting you can plan on the paint peeling off in months to come. Look for chalk after you pressure clean. Rub your hand across the walls of your house and look for white chalky powder on your hand. If after pressure cleaning your house is chalky then you MUST use a primer or masonry sealer before painting. If you do not, the paint will not adhere to the exterior surface as well and you will find yourself having to repaint sooner than you would like to.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q:
I need to paint the ceiling in my living room. The ceiling has a ‘popcorn’ textured finish. What is the best solution?
A:
If the ceiling has any discoloration at all in any areas, you'd be best off first applying an stain blocking interior latex primer. But first, clean the ceiling with a brush nozzle on a vacuum cleaner tube. Use a half-inch nap quality synthetic roller cover. Have at least two windows open wide while applying and while it dries. Allow to dry at least over night, then apply a dead flat wall paint.
Q:
What do you paint first, the trim work or the walls?
A:
We typically paint the trim work first, then the walls. This strategy will make it easier to sand, prepare, and paint all the details, edges, and planes of the trim work. After all the coats of paint on the trim work are dry, we mask off the trim work and then paint the walls. This does depend on the individual painter or crew.
Q:
What exactly is enamel?
A:
The term “enamel” originally referred to the hard, durable outer layer on the crown of a tooth as it still does. Enamel then was applied to the tough, vitreous coating obtained by melting sand or glass on hot metal, as is done with decorating metal dishes and flatware and in making durable metal bathtubs, sinks, etc. The term was applied also to hard, durable, dirt-resistant oil-based glossy paints, and for years, this was the type of coating associated with the term. In the 1960s and 1970s, the meaning began to be extended to most any tough, durable, dirt-resistant paint, be it oil-based or latex, shiny or dull, until today, there are commercial products with designations such as alkyd gloss enamel, latex satin enamel, and even latex flat enamel. Thus, any current definition applied to paint has to be rather broad and non-specific, but capturing the aspects of durable and highly washable.
Q:
What is a paint conditioner?
A:
A paint conditioner is an ingredient added to paint when surface or weather conditions prevent the paint from performing as it was formulated. The conditioner helps the paint to overcome the negative situation. Often surface conditions such as excessive chalk and high porosity or weather conditions such as cold or hot temperatures, low humidity, etc. challenge the performance of a coating that was formulated to perform satisfactorily under average conditions. Thinner and water evaporate when containers are left open in hot, dry weather, causing the paint to drag. Cold weather turns paint sluggish, and again, it resists best efforts to apply a smooth coating. When the substrate is dry and porous it will suck the solvent from the paint and cause improper film formation. Most latex paints don't wet chalk or dust as well as oils do, and adhesion can be poor at best. The right paint conditioner can help overcome these problems and can also help you produce a more professional-looking job at the same time.
Q:
What is the difference between paint thinner and solvent?
A:
Solvent is a general term used for different organic liquids. Examples of some used with paints and coatings are lacquer thinner, paint thinner, naphtha, denatured alcohol, turpentine. Paint thinner is a specific solvent used with oil based paints, stains and varnishes. Paint thinner is made mainly from a solvent called mineral spirits. Paint thinner is similar to “lighter fluid” and “charcoal starter”. Paint thinner is less flammable than lacquer thinner and gasoline.
Q:
Why is the paint on my home's exterior fading?
A:
When exterior paints aren't capable of enduring the sun's ultraviolet radiation, the unfortunate results are faded colors and a weak skin that allows damage to the building material underneath. Ultraviolet rays tend to deteriorate paint binders. The binder remains as part of the final paint film, holding the pigment particles in place. Most exterior paints contain resins that are naturally resistant to UV radiation. Look for an exterior paint that contains UV inhibitors or pigments that absorb or reflect the sun’s damaging rays and keep from reaching the substrate under the paint film.
Q:
Which method is better for applying outdoor paint - brush or spray?
A:
Basically, both spraying and brushing are fine, so long as the paint is put on at the proper spread rate (sq. ft./gallon). Spraying will provide a smoother appearance, and less chance for mildew to get into brush marks and grow. With spraying, the painter has to be careful about getting a full coat onto areas that are next to areas that won't be painted, so careful masking must be done. Some people think sprayed paint will not adhere as well as if brushed, but as long as the surface has been properly prepared that should not occur.

 

Links

Benjamin Moore Paints

Virtual Fan Deck: Paint Selection Tool

Feel free to use the online paint selection tool provided by BenjaminMoore.com. Also try Benjamin Moore's Envision Color tool to visualize any room of your house with the colors of your dreams!