Preparing Your Home for Interior Painting
With any good paint job, it takes proper prep work to get a long lasting paint job. If you’re rushed for time and need to take a short-cut, I recommend you hire a professional painter.
Check your ceilings for any yellow marks caused by a roof leak that’s been repaired, or ceilings that have been neglected for many years. If this is the case, you will need to apply a coat of stain sealer to the water marks or in the case of the whole ceiling being yellow, apply a coat on the entire ceiling. I find that people are surprised how dirty their ceilings are after applying some new ceiling paint. In most cases you will need to apply two coats of paint on the ceiling for a nice finish, and by using a stain sealer you avoid any stains from bleeding through the new coat of paint.
If you have crown moldings that run along the top of the walls and against the ceilings, check for cracks that will need to be filled with latex caulking. When using caulking, cut between a ¼” to 3/8” slit in the end of tube. This will allow you a nice width of caulking for filling cracks. Make sure you have a rag on hand and smooth any excess caulking with the end of your finger. Another area that usually has cracks that should be filled with caulking are the tops of baseboards. Taking these extra steps, makes for a professional paint job.
Any holes in woodwork will need to be filled with putty. I prefer using Durham’s water putty. It comes in a container that is in powdered form. It’s easy to mix, just add water and dries quickly to a hard finish. Once it hardens, use a sheet of fine sand paper to finish. It also can be stored for years with-out the worry of it drying up. Once you complete sanding all the holes, apply a coat of primer.
This is also a good time to check what type of paint was previously used on your woodwork.( Oil or latex) One way of testing the paint is to take a rag with alcohol and rub it back and forth across the woodwork. If paint comes off on to the rag, it’s latex paint. If paint does not come off, it’s oil base paint. If you do not have any alcohol, you can also test with sand paper. Rub back and forth with a piece of sand paper. If a fine dust comes off, it’s oil base paint. If you find that the sand paper has been gummed up with paint residue, it is latex paint.
If you decide that you would prefer to go over the oil based paint with latex, you will need to either lightly sand the woodword or use a paint deglosser on the surface. You will also need to apply a coat of bonding sealer over the woodwork so that the latex paint will properly adhere to the woodwork. Zinsser’s B-I-N primer and Kilz are two quality primers you can use for all the above priming situations.
When applying the sealer, I find that using a 2 ½” brush work best along with a paint pail. Big Boy Ind. has a new dripless paint bucket that holds a quart of paint and is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand. Its has a dripless wiping flange that allows you to paint with-out the worry of paint dripping down the outside of the paint pail and getting on your floors.
Applying latex paint to woodwork previously coated with latex paint is a much easier process. If the surface has a shine to it, you will need to lightly sand or use a deglosser before applying another coat of latex. These steps are necessary for a good bond to the surface of the woodwork.
When preparing your walls for painting, fill any holes from hanging pictures, mirror frames and any other unsightly blemishes. Dap makes a product called Fast N Final that does not shrink or crack and dries quickly. You can also sand this product if needed. This product also does not need to be primed coated.
Once you have all your prep work completed, before painting, move all the furniture away from walls and clean behind all these areas where dust has accumulated. You can use TSP Cleaner (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) for any hard to clean areas especially in the kitchen where you may find grease stains. Give every room a good vacuuming, including woodwork before doing any painting to avoid any dust from blowing on new paint. I also recommend that if you have done any sanding, go over these areas with a damp cloth to remove fine dust.
Once you have everything prepared for paint, you will need painters tape to protect areas where you will be cutting in around the woodwork. Regardless of your experience, whether you’re painting for the first time or an expert, I always recommend you install painters tape along the top edge of baseboards. When your rolling out the walls, paint will splatter and end up on the baseboard if not protected.
When choosing rollers for painting ceilings and walls, spend the extra money to get a quality roller. This is not an area to skimp on. Less expensive rollers will leave a fuzzy material from the roller on your ceilings and walls.
Some of the tools you will need for the prep work include a multipurpose tool that’s performs many functions, a scraper, nail remover, putty knife, paint can opener, and roller cleaner. You will also need screw drivers to remove various wall plates and a painters rag. A product called the Buddy System is a paint bucket holder with custom designed dripless paint bucket. The holder which attaches to your belt, positions your paint bucket at your side for easy access, allowing you to work more comfortably without having to carry your paint bucket. It also has built in tool openings for two screw drivers, multi-purpose tool and side hooks for painters rag and cut-in tape. With proper planning, you can end up with results, just like a pro.