Types of Paint
There are two basic types of paint used in household painting-emulsion, a water-based paint generally used on walls and ceilings. And gloss paint, an oil-based paint used on woodwork and metalwork. A high proportion of paints now sold are gel-type – known as thixotropic – which are non-drip. They adhere well to a brush or roller, minimize splashing and have good covering power. Proprietary brands of exterior wall finishes are available for outdoor work. Both water-based and oil-based paints can be used. Depending on the finish required; both are specially formulated to provide a weather-resistant finish.
Emulsions. Conventional emulsion dries to a matt finish. It has the disadvantage of a dull surface. Which tends to show up marks. It cannot be washed and can only be lightly wiped. Emulsions of the non-drip variety are generally more durable, moisture resistant and washable than conventional emulsions. Some proprietary emulsions have special additives that enable them to cover woodwork and metalwork as well as walls and ceilings. They are available in a wide range of finishes. Ranging from matt through to various stages of sheen and gloss. Brands containing vinyl will be tough and washable.
Gloss paints. Generally used on surfaces requiring a tough finish that can withstand frequent cleaning. Unless using a non-drip variety. An undercoat should always be applied first. Many gloss paints today contain additives to increase toughness; some brands are made up so that brushes only need to be washed out in soap and water after use.
Paint stripper: Liquid chemical used for removing paint. Strippers can be used on metal and plaster as well as wood. Brands vary in suitability for different jobs, so always ask the retailer’s advice. Stripper contains strong chemicals, which can burn, so always wear gloves when using it. If necessary, lay paper on the floor beneath the item being stripped – the paint that peels off will be impregnated with the stripper and may affect existing paintwork, as well as being a hazard to children or pets.
Preparing blockboard for painting
Allow four weeks for blockboard to dry out where it is to be used before painting it. This reduces the risk of the paint cracking.
Removing grease from walls before repainting
When washing a wall before repainting it. Remove any patches of grease by rubbing them with a cloth dipped in turpentine substitute. If the wall surface is too porous, run a hot iron over a sheet of blotting paper to draw out most of the grease. Then seal the area with an aluminium primer.
The right way to use a spray gun
Using a spray gun is one of the most convenient ways of painting large areas. Before starting, mask off any area that is not to be painted and thin down the paint. Always wear a face mask and work with the gun no less than 300 mm 12in away from the surface. Never swing the gun in an arc from side to side, as this will lead to an uneven finish. Instead. Keep the gun moving in a straight line and work across the surface.
Avoiding smears when painting skirting
The finished surface of a painted skirting board can be easily smeared if the brush picks up dirt from the floor. To avoid this, first sweep the floor. Then stick masking tape flush against the bottom of the skirting to protect the brush.
Painting a cement-rendered wall
Before painting a cement-rendered finish for the first time, the lime in the cement must be neutralized, or the paint will be washed off by rain. Paint the surface with a masonry sealer – made up by dissolving 1 lb of zinc sulphate into 6 litres of water – or a zinc chromate primer, obtainable from a builders’ merchant. Leave the sealer or primer to dry before starting to paint. Any excess solution can be stored for future use. Complete the job with a masonry paint. This can be either emulsion or cement-based; the former is more hard-wearing.
Painting exterior pipes without marking walls
When painting drainpipes or waste pipes on outside walls, hold a piece of cardboard at the back of the pipes to prevent paint marking the walls.
Preparing wood for priming
When painting new woodwork, stop up the holes with wood filler before the wood is primed. Normal practice is to seal any knots with shellac, fill the holes and then prime the wood. Tackle any holes that have been missed, or not filled properly, before under-coating the wood.
Insuring that interior paintwork lasts longer
When painting areas subject to sunlight and condensation inside the house – such as window ledges and french window frames – use gloss paint for the top coat. This gives a harder and longer-wearing surface than matt paint.
Preparing and painting a gloss-painted surface
When painting over existing gloss paint, first wash the surface thoroughly. When dry, rub the surface with fine glasspaper. This helps the new paint to adhere. Brush the surface thoroughly before painting to remove all traces of dust from the smoothing.
The order of painting exterior walls
If exterior painting has to be spread over a period of time, treat each side of a house as a separate. But complete, part of the job. Any weathering or shade changes between new tins of paint will then be effectively disguised.
Painting flush doors
Mentally divide flush doors into three horizontal sections when painting them. Working from the top section downwards, paint vertically down the left-hand side of the first section, then down the right-hand side, and finally join the two with horizontal strokes. Finish the whole section with vertical strokes, working from the bottom upwards. Follow this procedure for the other two sections ; work quickly so that all the sections dry together.
Best time of year to paint outside
Whenever possible, try to do outside painting in late summer, following a dry spell, and starting after the dew has cleared. At other times of the year, damp will cause the new paint to peel, excess sun will make it blister, while frost makes gloss paint go flat.
If the job has to be done during a wet spell, wipe over the surface of woodwork with a dry cloth first, and always work on the driest part of the house.
Painting mouldings in two colours
To lessen the risk of mess and to ensure a perfect finish when painting intricate mouldings in two colours, always paint the whole of the moulding first in the colour that will appear on the recessed areas. Leave this to dry and then paint the raised surfaces of the moulding.
Painting narrow surfaces tidily
If possible use the correct width of paint brush when painting a narrow surface, such as the edge of a door. Using a brush wider than the surface not only leads to paint runs down the surface, but also wears the brush down in the middle. If the right width of brush is not available, however, use the brush sideways on to the surface to save wear on the bristles and lessen the possibility of drips and runs.
Using masking tape when painting
Apply masking tape to protect surfaces when painting awkward angles, such as glazing bars in windows. Peel off the tape before the paint has dried hard: otherwise the edges of the newly painted surface will be damaged.
Painting carpeted and uncarpeted stairs
When painting uncarpeted stairs paint only every other step, so the staircase can still be used when the paint is drying. Alternatively, paint half-way across each step. When the paint has dried, complete the job. If the staircase is to be carpeted, only the visible area need be painted.
Painting plaster with emulsion
When painting plaster with emulsion, always apply a coat that has been thinned with water to the plaster first. This thinned-down coat helps seal the plaster for the second and third coats necessary for full coverage.
The first stage before painting with a roller
Before painting a ceiling with a roller, always start by touching in corners and a thin strip around the edges with a 38mm brush. Using it edge-on. It is awkward – and often impossible – to use a roller in corners effectively, and if one is used along the edges it can smear paint on the adjacent walls. Repeat when painting walls.
Stopping dust settling on a newly painted door
Just before applying the top coat of paint to an outside door, sprinkle a little water on to the ground immediately in front of the door with a distemper brush or from a watering can fitted with a rose head. This is a trick used by decorators to help to lay dust that would otherwise be blown from the ground on to the wet paint-even if it is only slightly windy – and mar the surface.
Preparing polished furniture for painting always make sure that all traces of polish are removed from a wood surface before applying paint or it will not adhere properly. If a silicone-based polish or ordinary wax polish has been used, rub the surface with a clean piece of coarse cloth dipped in turpentine substitute. Then clean off the surface with fine-grade glasspaper. Before starting to paint the entire surface, test on an inconspicuous area to make sure that all the polish has been removed. If not. Go over it again.
Filling fine cracks in plaster before painting
Fine cracks in plaster should be filled before the plaster is painted. But the task can be time-consuming and laborious. Make the job easier by using a paint brush to brush a cellulose filler over the cracks. Mix the filler to the consistency of a thick paste. Wipe off any excess filler with a damp sponge before it dries and then, if necessary, rub down the cracks with fine-grade glasspaper.
Painting furniture with a brush or spray gun
Spread sheets of newspaper over the floor and stand each leg of the chair or table in the lid of a tin before painting. If the legs stand directly on the paper, they will stick to it as the paint dries and the finish may be spoiled. For speedier coverage use a paint spray gun. Hold a card behind the legs to block most of the spray.
Storing paint brushes over long periods
Before storing paint brushes, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned. Use warm, soapy water to remove emulsion paint and turpentine substitute to remove oil-based paint. Shake out as much moisture as possible, then store the brushes with newspaper folded around the bristles.
Choosing the right paint for a decoration scheme
Seeing paint over a large area makes it easier to assess its suitability for use within a decoration scheme. Cover 600mm 24 in square panels of hardboard with the paint and place them against the walls. This check is also useful while painting, because colour shades vary in different lights.
Painting putty in filled holes in wood
If using putty to fill holes in wood, always wait for at least two days before painting the filled surface. This allows a thin crust to form over the putty, and for it to dry out slightly. Without this crust. A paint brush will not only leave bristle marks across the surface of the putty, but it can also drag the putty away from one side of the filled hole, making the filling-useless.
Removing paint from intricate mouldings
The easiest way to remove paint from mouldings or awkwardly shaped pieces of wood, such as the grooved bottoms of stair balusters and the rounded legs of kitchen chairs, is to thoroughly soak a pad of wire woo1 in paint remover. Wearing rubber gloves for protection, rub the pad over the surface and well into the crevices. Allow the paint remover to soak into the surface for about fifteen minutes and then go over it again with the pad, keeping the wire wool well soaked. Repeat the procedure until the paint has been removed.
Planing a flat surface accurately
Before planing a piece of wood, lightly scribble on it with a soft pencil. Pencil marks will remain on any low spots, thus providing an accurate guide to the amount of additional planing necessary to get a flat surface. Finally, after removing all the marks, run a careful check with a try square to make sure the surface is true.
Avoiding dye and paint runs on a door
The easiest way of avoiding disfiguring runs and drips when painting a door is to remove the door from its hinges and paint it laying flat. Place the door across a pair of small trestles, or similar supports. Paint one side of the door and then the other.
Always follow this procedure if staining a door with wood dye. As it is important that the dye is applied to the door in one operation only. This is because rescuing splashes or drips of dye will lead to areas of the door being stained darker than others.
When applying emulsion paint. Start from the top of a corner in a room and work downwards. Spreading the paint in strips about 250 mm 10 in wide, horizontally across the wall.
Gloss paint, on the other hand, should always be applied vertically. Start from the top corner again, but work downwards in squares of about 500 mm 20 in. This is because gloss paint starts to dry quickly, so a bigger working area will mean that the paint will be awkward to brush out. Try and avoid overlapping the paint when joining up one section to another.
Removing tile paint from brickwork
The easiest way to strip red tile-paint-frequently used on fireplace surrounds – is to burn it off the bricks with a paraffin blowlamp. This method will not destroy the original colour of the bricks.
Preparing a chemically stripped surface for paint
Chemical strippers can burn skin severely, so always wear gloves when working with them to, remove old paint. After using a stripper, clean the surface thoroughly with turpentine substitute. Then rub down with a medium-grade glasspaper. If the slightest trace of stripper is left on the surface, it will react with the new coat, causing it to blister.