Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Your Home’s Interior

Interior Painting

You’ve finally decided on a color and removed all furniture from your living room. As eager as you might be to begin painting, rushing into the project can lead to mistakes that take significantly more effort to resolve down the road. To help prevent additional work, here is a list of the most common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when completing your next interior painting project.

Dirty Walls

You might not notice it at first glance, but chances are your walls are covered in dust, dirt and small debris from years of remaining untouched. Oftentimes, when large pieces of furniture are placed against a wall, dust collects behind it coating the surface of your wall. Furthermore, the constant moisture build-up in your bathroom can cause your walls to develop a thick film that prevents the adhesion of new paint. In all cases, you’ll want to follow the same procedure of washing the wall with a solution of TSP and water and letting dry completely before applying any primer or paint.

Moisture

Obviously, you want your walls to be dry to the touch before you begin painting. But you also want to check for areas where the drywall might be damp from moisture behind the wall due to a leak or penetration from water outside the home. If you feel any soft spots on the walls or see paint blistering or water stains, be sure to investigate before beginning the painting phase of your project.

Improper Paint Usage

While latex  paints are used most commonly in general interior painting applications today, this wasn’t always the case. If you have an older home, chances are that the wall, ceiling and trim surfaces are coated in oil-based paint. The general rule of thumb is that if you’re transitioning from oil to latex or vice versa, it’s necessary to use a quality bonding primer, such as Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start Primer to ensure proper adhesion. Slapping latex right on top of oil-based paint without any preparation may lead to blistering and peeling.

Too Much Paint

You may think that applying a thicker layer of paint to cover up mistakes underneath is an easy fix, but beware that this is not a permanent solution and can lead to inconsistencies in finish. The best rule of thumb is to apply one coat of primer tinted to the same color as your finish coat, and one coat of the paint of your choice. To avoid drips and sags, don’t overload your brush or roller, but put enough on so that it slides easily across the surfaces applying a minimal layer of paint.

Repainting a room in your house can really freshen up your entire space. But if you’re not careful or not sure how to approach the project, it may be best to hire a professional to do the job for you.

How to Prep for Interior Painting

Interior Paint Prep

Between 10% and 40% of the time spent on any quality painting project is devoted to preparation. If the surfaces upon which you apply paint are rough, have many holes and dings, or aren’t properly prepared, no matter how much effort you put into painting, the completed work just won’t look pleasing to the eye.

By following the steps below, you can ensure that your next painting project gets done right the first time and lasts for years to come.

1.    Clear the room

You’d be surprised how much time you can save by painting in an empty room vs. a room filled with furniture and other décor. Avoid paint splatters and constant obstacles by removing most items from the space you are painting.

Cover the floors, fixtures and any remaining items with drop cloths and plastic sheathing to avoid drips and splatters.

2.    Scrape and Sand Flaking Paint

If the finish on the walls, trim or other surfaces you wish to paint is peeling, it’s necessary to remove all loose material before getting started. You can use a paint scraper, a spackling knife, and/or sand paper to remove the flaking material.

3.    Repair Holes and Seams

From small nail pops to visible seams and large holes, you’ll need to repair the drywall before you slap on any paint. While wall patches offer quick speed for repairing holes, they add material on top of the existing wall surface and require significant feathering with spackle to hide.

A better approach is to cut back the drywall to the nearest studs, add a new piece, lay drywall tape on the seams, spackle and sand.

4.    Sand and Clean

The key to a smooth paint job is sanding. Make sure all the repairs you made are sanded flush with the existing drywall. It’s important to give all surfaces a light sanding, dusting and wipe down to ensure proper primer and paint adhesion.

5.    Prime

All areas that have been repaired must be primed with a general latex primer to avoid flashing (this happens when unprimed areas pull all the moisture out of the paint topcoat causing the finish to differ from the rest of the area).

A great tip and time saver is to have your local paint store tint your primer a similar color to your paint to cut down on the number of finish coats required.

6.    Paint

Now that you have adequately prepped your area for painting, it’s time to coat the surfaces with the finish paint you have chosen.

If you are painting a room that requires multiple gallons of paint, it’s a good idea to mix them all in a bigger bucket to ensure the color is consistent throughout.

You’re now ready to complete your painting project. Good luck!

How to Repair Ceiling Water Stains

ceiling_stain

A stained ceiling can be a real eye sore. What’s worse, is that it may be the result of an ongoing problem with plumbing in the floor above. And if you are attempting to sell your home, it’s often a red flag for inspectors that there may be some plumbing issues in the house.

Before you slap some paint on the ceiling to cover up the stain, follow these steps to ensure you properly address the issue.

Assess and Fix the Leak

If you don’t properly take care of source of the leak, fixing the spot on the ceiling will be in vain. Check the area above the ceiling to determine from where the water leak originates. Most stains occur on the ceiling in the first floor of homes and are caused by leaks in toilets and showers in upstairs bathrooms.

If you notice peeling caulk or pooling water, it may be a simple fix to replace with new sealant. However, if there are no visible signs of where the water is coming from, it might be best to call a plumber.

Prepare the Surface

After you have properly addressed the leak, you’ll need to prepare the surface before you paint.

If the drywall on the ceiling is damp or broken, you’ll need to patch it. After replacing the drywall, spackling and sanding, you’ll need to prime the repaired area before you can paint.

If the drywall is in good condition, you’ll need to coat the stain with a pigmented shellac to prevent it from bleeding through the topcoat. Next apply a quality paint and primer and your stain should disappear.

Considerations

It’s likely that you will need to repaint the entire ceiling to avoid slight color and gloss differentials on the repaired area.