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Home Painting Questions

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If you are preparing for a home painting job, check out these questions and their answers.

Q. Should I use an oil-based paint or latex water-based paint for home painting?

A. Use oil-based paint if the surface to be painted has a preexisting coat of oil-based paint and/or it is heavily chalked. Oil-based paint will adhere better than latex to an oil-based coat and chalky surfaces.

Otherwise, latex paint will be a better choice. Latex can be applied to most surfaces, it has superior resistance to chalking and fading, it has little odor unlike oil-based paint, which has a solvent-type scent, it dries quickly, and it can be cleaned easily with soap and water.

Q. How is acrylic paint different from latex paint?

A. Latex paint can contain a small amount of acrylic resin, but be filled out with vinyl acetate and other low quality resins. 100% acrylic paint contains acrylic, urethane, and polyurethane resins. These resins allow 100% acrylic paint to combine the easy cleanup of latex paint with the superior durability of oil-based paint.

Q. When does a surface require priming?

A. Perform a wet test by sprinkling water onto the area. If it soaks in, the area must be primed. If the water beads up, priming isn't necessary, but applying another coat will enhance your paint job.

Q. What home painting tools do I need?

A. Rollers are ideal for coating large areas. Use a lambs wool roller to ensure maximum coverage.

Brushes can be used for corners and trim or paneling where rollers can't reach. For oil-based paint, use either high quality synthetic or natural brushes. For latex paint, use only synthetic brushes. Natural brush fibers are unsuitable for latex because they absorb water.

Q. Is spraying better than using a brush or roller?

A. If the paint job merits it and your budget allows it, spraying is a faster process. Spraying can coat large areas in minutes and paint intricate surfaces far more evenly in seconds than hours of painting by brush or roller.

Q. What is the best tape for home painting jobs?

A. Blue painter's tape is best for masking corners and edges. It sticks but does not leave residue nor remove loose paint.

Q. What is the shelf life of paint?

A. Paint's shelf life depends on if the paint can has been opened or if it's still 'factory sealed.' It also depends on where it is stored if it gets cold, since it could freeze. In addition, if it was opened, was it properly closed again before storing? If it smells bad and has mildewed, it's bad. If it smells like paint and brushes on, it's OK.

Store paint in airtight cans at temperatures between 3-35 degrees Celsius and away from heat sources.

Q. How should equipment be cleaned when finished with home painting?

A. Clean the equipment immediately upon completion. For oil-based paint, use turpentine. For latex, use soap and water.

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