(from The Professional Painters Handbook by Skip Lennox and Mike Benteau, President
For exterior painting all loose and peeling paint must be removed to a solid base.
The best way to determine a solid base is to Ensure that the remaining paint has
no lifted edges. All missing caulking should be replaced and a tight seal should
be renewed around windows and trim boards. If proper preparation is done the paint
job simply lasts longer.
Cut and Roll
For all painting tasks you should always cut (cutting in) an area first; cutting
in means the use of a brush to paint the edges of an area. After the cutting in
is complete you will then roll out the larger surface areas. It is important that
when you roll out the surface you roll into the cut line as tight to the edge of
the surface as possible to avoid seeing the different texture of the brush and roller
in the finish.
Ceilings First, Trim Second and Walls Last
The normal process for painting interior rooms follows this procedure. Ceilings
are always done first. Two reasons for this: firstly is to avoid splatter on just
finished walls or trim and secondly to allow an overlap onto the walls that will
facilitate an easier and quicker straight line cut with the wall finish to the ceiling
edge. Trim is done next in the majority of projects (there are some exceptions for
dark coloured trims with light coloured walls). The walls are done last. The completion
of the trim first facilitates an easier and quicker straight line cut with the wall
finish to the trim edge.
To avoid lap marks when using exterior stains (especially semi-transparent stain),
try to work in the shade as much as possible. Paint only one or two boards at a
time, making sure that the stain does not dry in the middle of a board during application.
Complete the boards from side to side or top to bottom before moving to the next
When painting a ceiling, and there is a window in the room, keep the light source
at your back and start painting away from the window. This will ensure that you
will see any missed areas and reduce lap marks. Note: If there is more than one
window in the room, choose the largest one and follow the same procedure.
Acrylic Paint Application Over Alkyd Paints
Despite manufacturer claims of acrylics being applied directly to alkyd paints it
is always recommended that a buff sand over the entire surface being painted is
completed prior to the acrylic's application to the alkyd surface.
Painting with dark colours on a hot day, or in direct sunlight can cause the paint
on the surface to skin over and trap solvent in the film. As the solvent tries to
escape, blisters can form in the paint. Repair of these blisters requires sanding
Soak Those Rags
Rags that have been soaked in paint thinner or have been used during the application
of wiping stains must be spread out to dry or soaked in water and put in a closed
metal container. Solvent soaked rags improperly disposed of are a cause of SPONTANEOUS
COMBUSTION AND FIRE.
Dry Your Brush
If you are going to reuse a brush that has just been cleaned with water, blow it
dry with a hair dryer first. Any residual water in the brush will dilute the paint
on the brush, causing it to run down the handle when painting. If the brush has
just been cleaned with mineral spirits, dry the bristles as much as possible with
paper towels before starting to paint in order to prevent paint from running down
the handle. Spread the paper towel out to dry before disposing.
The Stripping of Old Paint
At one time paint was removed by torches to renew the surface. This activity is
no longer in practice and is not covered under most liability insurance policies.
The cost of stripping paint from exterior or interior surfaces is generally cost
prohibitive. For instance, the cost to strip a 100 foot square area of shingles
is slightly less than the cost to replace those shingles. Replacement is preferable
over the stripping of any older surfaces as it is safer and provides a new surface
whereby stripping cannot reproduce the original finish to most surfaces.
Resealing The Can
After opening, and before using a new can of paint, drive about 5 or 6 holes with
a nail around the rim where the lid sits. This will allow paint to drain back into
the container instead of filling the rim. If the rim fills with paint, it is difficult
to reseal the can.
Invest In A Good Brush and Roller
Buy a good quality brush or roller. A cheap brush loses bristles, doesn't hold as
much paint and is harder to use when cutting in to another surface.
Cheap rollers tend to matte and leave an uneven stipple on the surface.
Keep A Wet Edge
When brushing or rolling, always work from the dry surface back into the wet paint,
working fast enough to keep a wet edge. If you are going to take a break, do it
in a corner, never in the middle of a wall. This will help avoid lap and roller
marks in the painted surface.
Major Colour Change
When a major change in colour is going to take place, from dark to light, there
is a misconception that the surface should be primed before the first coat of finish
is applied. The fact is that white, white base and even some medium tint bases have
better hiding power than a primer.
Most paint manufacturers produce their colour chips in a low sheen and often the
architect or owner is surprised to see the colour in an eggshell or semigloss finish
because it looks different. To see what a colour will look like in an eggshell or
semigloss, wet the colour chip with water.