Professionals Guide to Painting Prep

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Painting is a common DIY project that can significantly enhance the appearance of your home. However, it’s vital to understand that cutting corners on preparation can be costly. Inadequate prep work may lead to unsatisfactory results, requiring you to redo the entire job. It’s not just about choosing the right color; it’s also about ensuring that the paint adheres properly and lasts. Here’s our detailed guide on identifying and preparing your existing paint for its makeover.

  1. Identifying the Paint Type:
    • Rubbing Alcohol Test:
      • Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and rub it on a small paint area. If the paint softens and sticks to the cotton, it’s latex; otherwise, it’s oil-based.
    • Age of the Paint:
      • Houses painted before the 1980s often used oil-based paints.
      • Environmental and health concerns led to a shift from oil-based to latex paints. Latex paints emit lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them safer and more environmentally friendly.
  2. Preparation for Painting or Removal:
    • Safety Precautions:
      • Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a mask. Ensure adequate ventilation.
    • Surface Cleaning:
      • We typically use a cleaner like Sherwin Williams’ TSP to remove dirt and grease. We also make sure to use a Swiffer duster and go over every inch of the room to remove any dust or hair that can cause imperfections in the job.
  3. Painting Over Existing Paint:
    • Latex Over Oil:
      • Prime with a product like Sherwin Williams’ Extreme Bond Primer. Then paint with latex.
    • Oil Over Latex:
      • Lightly sand the latex, apply an oil-based primer, and then paint.
    • Same Type Over Same Type:
      • Lightly sand, clean, and paint.
  4. Removing the Paint:

    • Chemical Strippers:
      • Use a stripper like Sherwin Williams’ Klean Strip according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Heat Gun and Sanding:
      • Soften the paint with a heat gun and scrape or sand it off.
  5. Cleanup and Disposal:
    • Dispose of materials as per local regulations and clean up using appropriate products.
  6. Repainting:
    • Prepare the surface properly and repaint using your chosen Sherwin-Williams paint.

Remember, proper preparation is crucial. Skipping these steps can not only diminish the quality of your finish but can also lead to more work and expenses in the long run. With careful preparation and quality products, your DIY painting project can achieve a lasting, professional appearance. If you’re dealing with older, potentially lead-based paints or this project seems like it is more than you want to handle, it’s wise to consult a professional.

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