Exterior Painting Basics – Painting Tips

Paint one side of the house at a time starting with the highest point. Apply a full even coat, brushing from the unpainted dry areas into the paint’s wet edge. Complete one side of the house, as stopping in the middle of a side can contribute to color variation. Do not paint in direct sunlight, as this will cause the paint to dry too quickly. Do not paint if rain is anticipated within 8 hours.

Brushes are very popular for use on exterior siding and trim. There are a number of brush sizes available in both straight edge and angled sash. When painting aluminum, vinyl or lap siding, choose a brush that is the same width as the “board” you will be painting to save you time and energy. Paint pads are also effective on these surfaces. Rollers work well on stucco surfaces. Be sure to choose a roller nap length that matches the amount of texture the surface has. The more textured the surface, the longer the nap should be. Spray equipment can also be used but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.

High quality applicators will provide the best painting results. Cheap or low quality applicators can make the best quality paint look and perform poorly. Inexpensive brushes do not spread the paint evenly and leave unsightly brush marks. Cheap roller covers also do not spread the paint evenly on the surface and often leave pieces of “fuzz” on the wall. Lower quality applicators are also harder to use because you have to work to compensate for the problems they cause. High quality applicators can be cleaned and used again. It pays to buy the best paint and applicators!

Timesaving Tip: If you take a short break from painting, you can wrap your applicators tightly in a plastic bag or aluminum foil instead of washing them!

Always be sure to stir the paint thoroughly before using and do not thin the paint. If you are using more than one gallon of the same color, mix them together in order to insure color consistency. Paint when the ambient and surface temperatures are between 50°F and 85°F. Avoid touching, wiping, or wetting a freshly painted surface for 30 days to allow the paint to completely cure. After 30 days, the painted surface can be cleaned with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and water. Do not place or hang objects on the surface until the paint is thoroughly dry.

Exterior Painting – Frequently asked questions

Can I paint over aluminum/vinyl siding?
Yes. Always make sure the surface is cleaned to remove any chalk or dirt. Never apply paint that is darker than the original painted surface on vinyl siding.

Do I need to wash my house before I paint?
Yes. Surfaces must be clean before painting. Thoroughly wash with a house cleaner and water solution, making sure to remove any and all mildew. Rinse and allow to dry.

How much paint do I need?
Be sure to utilize our Paint Gallon Calculator in the Project Planner section to help you determine how many cans to buy for your next project.

To achieve one-coat coverage, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 25-30 square feet per gallon. Some bright colors may require multiple costs to achieve sufficient hide.

How do I apply the paint?
When using more than one gallon of the same product, mix the gallons together to insure color and sheen uniformity. Two coats of this paint will provide maximum protection.

How do I paint shingles & shakes?
Shingles offer natural breaking points, paint in a vertical direction.

How do I care for freshly painted surfaces?
We suggest not washing your newly painted surface for at least 30 days. After that time, dirt and stains may be removed using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and water.

I have never painted the exterior of my home before….?
When painting the exterior of your home always start with a clean surface; paint one side of the house at a time, starting with the highest point; apply a full even coat to one side of the house at a time and always paint the trim last.

What conditions are best for painting my house?
Generally you should only paint when the surface is between 50F and 85F. High temperatures cause the water in the paint to evaporate too quickly, while low temperatures prevent latex from covering properly. Always avoid painting in direct sunlight, strong winds, or when rain is expected within 8 hours.

What tools do I need?
Depending on your project and the type of structure you are painting, paints may be applied with a nylon/polyester brush, a paint pad or spray unit.

What is the proper way to use spray equipment?
It is always safe to operate spray equipment with safety cautions. Use respiratory and eye protection. All spray units are different and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Handy Person Tips

1. Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easy.
2. To keep white paint from yellowing, add 10 drops of black paint to each quart of white.
3. When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.
4. An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.
5. When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.
6. Before starting to paint with enamel paint, lightly coat your hands and underneath your fingernails with any name brand hand cleaner. After the painting is finished, your hands will be easy to clean.
7. Line your paint tray with aluminum foil. When its time to clean up, just roll up the foil and throw away.
8. To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.
9. To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.
10. When painting trim around windows, doorways etc. try using stiff paper to cover the area you don’t want painted. (An old phone book cover works well.) Slide paper along as you paint. It’s much faster and more economical than using masking tape. Works well with either a roller or brush.
11. When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact color with you and can match accessories in stores.
12. When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more evenly.
13. Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.
14. When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.
15. When painting old woodwork, fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.
16. When painting stairs, paint every other step first. When these are dry, paint the rest.
17. To avoid cleaning paint brushes and rollers if you intend to use the same color later, or if you do not have time to clean immediately, place the brushes and rollers in a plastic bag, tie shut and place in the freezer. They will keep for several days without drying up.
18. Protect hands from paint solvent by putting the brush and solvent into a strong plastic bag. With hands outside the bag, work the solvent into the brush through the plastic.
19. After cleaning your paint brush, a few drops of oil worked into the bristles will leave the brush soft and ready to use.
20. To clean paint rollers, fill an empty one-quart milk carton with solvent, put the roller inside and crimp the ends shut. Give the carton a few shakes, then let sit for a couple of hours.
21. Simmer hardened paint brushes in full-strength vinegar. Re move the softened paint with a wire comb or brush.
22. To remove oil or enamel paint from your hands, rub on paste floor wax and then wash with plenty of soap and warm water. There is no odor and it’s easier on the skin than paint remover.
23. In time, a partly used can of paint will develop a skin on top. To prevent this, cut wax paper the size of the can and drop it in.
24. To save partial cans of leftover paint, fill the airspace with a lightly inflated balloon before pressing on the lid.
25. A coat of penetrating stain applied to a smooth wood surface may last only three or four years, but a second application after the wood has weathered will last as long as 10.
26. To give bathroom fixtures a new look, paint with an epoxy paint, sold especially for that purpose.
27. Never stir varnish. It has no color pigments which need blending and stirring will create air bubbles which can ruin a smooth finish.
28. To frost a bathroom or garage window, make a solution of one cup of beer to four tbsp. Epsom salts and paint on the window. It washes off when you want a clear pane again.
29. If you have a small hole in your wall (after moving pictures etc.) take a wax crayon as near the color of your wall as possible. Rub the hole with the crayon, polish with a dry cloth and the hole is invisible.
30. Clean out old nail polish bottles and fill with ‘touch-up’ paint for scuffs and scratches that may occur on your walls.
31. When hanging pictures on plaster walls, put a small piece of adhesive tape where the nail is to go in. Drive the nail through the tape. This helps prevent the plaster from cracking.
32. When drilling a hole in any kind of wall, take an envelope, crease the edges to hold it open, then fasten it to the wall just under where you are drilling. It keeps a great deal of mess from hitting the floor and makes clean-up easier.
33. After wallpaper or painting, write the amount under a light-switch plate and you’ll always know how much wallpaper or paint you need for that room.
34. To remove old wallpaper, first pull off as much as you can, then soak the remaining with Fleecy. It will peel off easily.
35. Before wallpapering a wall, apply a coat of clear varnish to any grease spots. This will prevent the grease from soaking through the new paper.
36. Instead of applying wallpaper with a sponge, dip a paint roller in the solution, squeeze slightly to prevent dripping and roll it over 20-30 sq. feet at a time.
37. Buy stair carpeting a little longer than needed. When it shows signs of wear it can be shifted downward to delay replacement.
38. To avoid wearing out spots on heavy traffic areas, use extra pieces of material cut out of the same material as the rug or linoleum.
39. If your kitchen cupboards have worn out or if there are scuff marks around the handles, remove handles and glue on tiles to cover the scuffs. Replace handles over the tiles. This adds an interesting color accent and saves replacing or re finishing the doors.
40. When a drain is clogged with grease, pour a cup of salt and a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a kettle of boiling water.
41. If your water taps have a tendency to freeze during a cold spell, leave your taps on slightly: Running water will not freeze.
42. Frozen water pipes can safely and easily be thawed out by using an ordinary hair dryer nozzle directed at the frozen pipe.
43. To tighten cane-bottomed chairs, turn them upside down and liberally apply hot water to the underside. Dry the chairs in the sun.
44. When sanding or refinishing, cover your hand with an old nylon stocking. Glide your hand over the surface to be re done. Any rough areas will snag the stocking where more sanding needs to be done.
45. To restore odor to an old cedar chest or closet, sandpaper lightly. This reopens pores in the wood to restore breathing.
46. Spring-type clothespins are useful as clamps to hold light weight glued materials together.
47. To find a wall stud, hold a pocket compass level with the floor and at a right angle to the wall. Slowly move it along the surface of the wall. Movement of the compass will indicate the presence of nails and reveal stud location.
48. You always have a measuring tape in your pocket — a dollar bill is exactly six inches long and just short of three inches wide.
49. Use non-stick vegetable spray to lubricate squeaky hinges and sticky locks.
50. Loosen rusted nuts or bolts with a few drops of ammonia or peroxide.
51. To help remove stubborn nuts and bolts, pour on some cola soft drink.
52. You can retrieve a broken key by putting some strong metal adhesive on the handle and holding it to the part stuck in the lock. Hold it there until the glue has set. When it holds, pull out the key. Don’t use the key again.
53. Four or five mothballs in your toolbox will keep the tools from rusting.
54. A piece of chalk or charcoal in your toolbox will attract moisture and keep your tools from rusting.
55. Save your old nuts, bolts and washers. They make excellent sinkers for your fishing line.
56. Use discarded milk cartons, with the tops cut off, to store items in the workshop. Great for nails, screws etc.
57. If one of your saucepan lids is missing a knob, put a screw through the hole with the point upwards and push a cork down onto it.
58. To store a handsaw safely, cover the teeth with a split length of old garden hose.
59. Stop drawers from sticking by running a candle along the tops.
60. To sharpen scissors, fold a piece of aluminum foil three times, then cut through it several times with your scissors.
61. Electrical cords from kitchen appliances are easy to find when stored in cardboard tubes from disposable towels. Color codes the end of the tube if you have more than one in a drawer.
62. Tuck electric appliance cords and extension cords into toilet tissue tubes, labelling each by length and by which cord fits which appliance.
63. To keep cords of curling irons and blow dryers together in a drawer, use ponytail holders.
64. To remove broken light bulbs with ease, put switch into off position, then push a raw potato into the base and twist the broken bulb out.
65. To get a broken light bulb out of the socket, turn the switch off, then stick a soft bar of soap into the jagged edges of glass and use the soap as a handle to unscrew it easily and safely.
66. If your flashlight batteries are getting weak while on a camping trip and you cannot replace them immediately, set them in the bright sunlight during the day and they will be temporarily rejuvenated.
67. The charcoal in a range hood filter can be recharged by placing it in a 450-degree oven for 30 minutes after cleaning the metal frame.
68. When mailing fragile items, pack the excess space in the box with popped popcorn to insulate the package against damage/breakage.
69. To allow sliding windows or drawers to move easier, use a bar of soap to grease tracks or runners.
70. When a pin or needle won’t penetrate an article, rub pin or needle in your hair and try again.
71. Why climb a ladder? Use binoculars to get a closer look.
72. Your ladder won’t sink into soft earth if you place each leg into an empty coffee can or paint can.
73. A discarded fan belt from the car makes an ideal gutter- cleaning tool. Being flexible, yet firm, this belt is easily formed to shape the bottom of the gutter which enables muck and leaves to be scraped out without scratching the paint inside the gutter.
74. Use old or leftover linoleum to cover seats and tops of picnic tables.
75. Small holes in window screens can be repaired by dabbing the hole with successive layers of clear nail polish.
76. Put an extra house key in a water-tight container or plastic bag and store outside the house in the flower bed, under a rock etc. so you will never be locked out.
77. Use extra-large plastic garbage bags as inexpensive protective covers for folding lawn furniture. This allows furniture to be stored outdoors without damage.
78. Snow will slide off a shovel which has been sprayed with furniture polish or vegetable oil.
79. Rub your snow shovel with parawax or candle wax before using. Even wet snow will slide off without build-up, keeping the shovel light and easy to manoeuvre.
80. Use your fertilizer spreader to scatter sand on icy walkways.
81. To remove dangerous ice off your steps, sprinkle with salt.
82. Kitty litter can be used to de-ice your sidewalks and steps.
83. Fireplace Starters or Lighters: Save the lint from your dryer and paper egg cartons (not Styrofoam). Cut egg cartons into individual cups and fill cups with lint. Melt wax (from old candle stubs) and pour some over the lint. When lighting the fireplace use these, place them under the kindling in the fireplace. They are slow burning and do a great job in lighting the lire.
84. Dried orange and grapefruit peels and rind make good fuel in a fireplace and give off a lovely aroma as they burn.
85. Throw salt on fireplace logs once a month to prevent soot in the fireplace.
86. To prevent your fireplace from smoking, raise the fire grate by placing bricks under the legs.
87. Save your Nabob coffee bags to burn in the fireplace. Roll up tightly and then watch the varicolored flames when the bags are burned.
88. To add a little color to your campfire, soak pinecones in a solution of 1/2 gallon water and ½ pound Borax. When dry, they burn a vivid green.
89. To make your Christmas tree last longer, add sugar to the water.
90. To preserve your Christmas tree longer, add Pine sol to the water.
91. To fireproof the Christmas tree, mix eight oz. boracic acid in one gallon of water. Spray mixture over tree and let dry.
92. To clean automobile chrome, rub with dampened aluminum toil.
93. Add one cup of kerosene to the wash water when washing the car. Wipe well with a soft cloth — no rinsing is necessary. This will prevent rust and water will actually bead on the car during a rainfall.
94. Wash your car with liquid dishwashing detergent. It won’t scratch the surface.
95. Use dry baking soda on a damp cloth to clean the bugs off the car windshield.
96. Windshield wipers smearing? Clean the windshield and wiper blade with rubbing alcohol.
97. Make your own windshield washer fluid by combining one quart rubbing alcohol, one cup water and two Tblsp. liquid detergents.
98. Use steel wool pads on your tire white side walls to keep them new looking.
99. Keep open cans of motor oil clean by sealing them with the plastic lids from one-pound tins of coffee.
100. A sheet of fabric softener under your car seat will keep the car smelling fresh.
101. To clean corrosion from battery posts, make a paste of baking soda and water (paste should be thickness of cream). Brush on posts, leave for 10 minutes and brush off with water. Wipe dry with a rag. This leaves the posts and battery clean.
102. Before leaving on holidays or a weekend trip in the summer, spray the front of your car with cooking oil (such as Pam). This will keep the bugs from sticking to the grill. Those that do will wash off with ease.
103. Place moth balls in car trunk and interior if you’re going to park your vehicle for several months. Mice will not take up occupancy.
104. Run your car air-conditioner five minutes weekly during the winter months to keep it in good condition.
105. Prevent car doors from freezing by wiping the rubber gaskets with vegetable oil to seal out water.
106. If your car door locks freeze, use your hairdryer to thaw them out.
107. If door locks are frozen and a hairdryer is not available, heat the key with a lighter or match.
108. To avoid having your car extension cord stolen, buy a somewhat longer cord, plug it in and, with the extra length, loop it and put it inside the door and close it. An alternative is to drive the front wheel over the cord.
109. Your car block heater may be plugged in but the current may not be getting through. To make certain it is, wire in an inexpensive circuit test into the receptacle end of the heater cord. When you see the glow, you know the current is getting through.
110. Be prepared for winter driving by purchasing a strip of expanded metal about eight inches wide and 24 inches long. (This is a diamond-patterned screen that can be purchased at most tin smith shops.) When placed under the wheels of your vehicle, it can get you out of most spots.
111. If your car is stuck in snow, your floor mats or an old carpet, stored in the trunk, can be placed under the rear wheels for traction.
112. Save old milk cartons and fill with sand to carry in your car in case you get stuck in the snow.
113. Fill old milk cartons with old melted candles and/or parawax, insert a wick and keep in the trunk of your car in case of winter emergency.
114. When travelling in the winter is prepared. Carry in your trunk a couple of plastic pails of dry sand, one small shovel, sleeping bags, a well-charged flashlight, outdoor extension cord and a couple of pairs of heavy wool socks (you can always use socks on your hands but it is difficult to put gloves on your feet). Always make certain that your gas tank is above the half-full mark.
115. Preserve your garage floor, particularly in the winter, by placing carpet remnants on the area where the tires come in contact with the floor.
116. To remove grease and oil stains from concrete, first scrape off as much of the stain as possible with a putty knife. Wet down the stains and sprinkle on TSP crystals (Trisodium Phosphate Crystals which can be purchased from most hardware stores). As the crystals dissolve, use a bristle brush and work on the stain for 15-20 minutes. Add a little more TSP and brush the spot vigorously. Mop up stain with clean water.
117. Here are ways to remove oil stains on your driveway. For fresh stains, sprinkle kitty lifter, grind in with your foot, let it absorb the oil, then sweep up. For older stains, use Spray N Wash, let stand approximately five minutes, and then sprinkle on laundry detergent, scrub with stiff broom, then hose down. For really tough stains, use oven spray, let set and rinse with clear water.

Handy Energy Tips

1. Make certain that everyone turns off the lights when leaving the room. For extra incentive, charge 25 cents when a person leaves a room without shutting off the lights.
2. If your children have the bad habit of leaving the basement lights on, unscrew half the light bulbs in the basement. Now, if they leave them on it’s not so wasteful or costly. The light bulbs left should provide plenty of light for playing.
3. A dimmer switch will save on light bills.
4. To save money, reduce the wattage of the bulbs you use.
5. It is more economical to use one large bulb rather than several small ones. A 100-watt bulb gives as much light as six 25-watt bulbs, but uses less than 2/3 the power.
6. When your night light bulb needs replacing, use a Christmas tree light bulb — it’s the same size.
7. Don’t forget the light bulbs when dusting. A dusty bulb will give off up to 50 per cent less light.
8. Use electric tea kettles, electric skillets and electric woks. They use less energy than stove top kettles, skillets and woks.
9. To save energy, do not preheat the oven before cooking casseroles or meat dishes.
10. For foods which require a long cooking time, it is more economical to use the oven than a burner on top of the stove.
11. Conserve energy by cooking the entire meal in the oven.
12. When cooking dinner in the oven, cook your canned vegetables by removing the label, taking off the lid and cooking in the tin can in the oven for about 15 minutes.
13. When baking, oven heat can be lowered 25 degrees if you use glass or ceramic baking dishes, which retain heat better than other materials.
14. Do not fill the kettle to the brim before boiling if only a few cups of water are needed. Boil only what you need.
15. Operating the dishwasher only once a day will consume less water and electricity.
16. To save on power, wash bath towels in cold water.
17. Partially dry bath towels in the dryer, then hang on chair backs or a clotheshorse to finish the job. This will save energy and will add humidity to the house.
18. Throw a dry bath towel into the dryer when drying a load. Laundry will dry a lot quicker, therefore saving power and wear on the dryer.
19. Instead of using the dryer, hang clothes outside to dry. In the winter, set up a clothes line in your basement.
20. Clean the dryer vent after every load to reduce energy use.
21. By purchasing a simple dryer vent control device, you can use the heat from the dryer for your basement or garage.
22. Use a 24-hour timer for your car block heater and interior warmer.
23. Installing a transient voltage surge suppressor at the electrical panel could save money when using household appliances.
24. Use your bathroom fans sparingly in the winter. The fans remove warm air.
25. Run the furnace fan constantly during cold weather to reduce your heating bill.
26. Keep your furnace well tuned. A slipping belt can reduce the efficiency of your furnace by as much as 50 per cent.
27. Be certain your furnace has the proper amount of oxygen for maximum heat from your fuel.
28. Place aluminum foil behind each of your radiators. It will reflect heat back into the room instead of allowing the wall to absorb it.
29. Turn down the thermostat Mien you go out for the day.
30. Spray the furnace filter with furniture polish to increase the amount of dust it picks up.
31. Before retiring for the night turn down your thermostat to 16-17° C (60-65° F).
32. To save fuel costs, install a set-back thermostat so that the temperature is maintained at a lower level while sleeping or when no one is home during the day. The initial investment is paid back in a short time through lower heating bills.
33. Close off heat and doors to unused rooms.
34. Keep your closet doors closed. There is no need to heat or cool them.
35. Cover your basement windows with some inexpensive material for the winter so heat is not lost through the glass and frame.
36. Draw your drapes closed and open only during sunny periods to conserve heat in the winter.
37. In the winter, block off radiators and open drapes on the sunny side of the house. This will keep the rooms on that side of the house warm.
38. On older homes use plastic inside or outside to cover windows and frames to help cut drafts and cold.
39. Seal your windows in the winter to conserve heat.
40. If you have a milk chute which is not in use, pack it with fibreglass insulation to prevent drafts and frost buildup.
41. White foam meat trays can be washed, cut to size and fitted under wall switches etc. to prevent drafts.
42. Remove baseboards and caulk crack between wall and floor to prevent drafts along outside walls.
43. Make certain that your house is properly insulated and all air drafts plugged to prevent heat loss in the winter.
44. To help stop heat loss from the foundation of your house during the winter, shovel three or four feet of snow up against the side of the house to act as insulation.
45. Insulating the outside walls of your basement will pay for itself after three winters.
46. Keep blinds pulled down and drapes closed in the summer to keep the house cool and cut down on air conditioner use.
47. Keep your hot water heater in the mid range.
48. Turning down your hot water heater several degrees can save you a great deal of money over a year and it could also save you from scalds.
49. If you have to run the water forever until it gets hot, wrap your hot water pipes in an easy-to-apply foam blanket, available at hardware or building supply stores. Not only will you save on the water bill, but your hot water heating costs will be reduced too.
50. Adjust the float on your toilet so that you use less water when flushing.
51. Set a liner inside your toilet tank to conserve water.
52. Take a five minute shower (50 liters) instead of a bath (150 liters). Remember that less than 1% of Earth’s water is available for our use.
53. Turn your water valves on and off every six months to keep them in working order. A stuck valve can cause a flood.
54. Have a timer near the telephone in order to limit long-distance phone bills. Set the timer for a predetermined length and stick to it.

Decorating Tips

Decorating Tips

Make a room plan

Make a rough sketch of your room, and photocopy the sketch. Use coloured pencils to experiment.

Choose a scheme to suit the room

Pick warm colours for walls with northern light, cool colours for southern and neutrals for all other exposures

Bright Accessories

Use accessories to balance strong colours on walls.

Use strong shades in moderation

Too much strong colour can overwhelm a room, but by emphasizing individual walls you can create an optical illusion and alter a room’s proportions.

Keep a steady hand

Strong colours hide imperfections – a good idea for rough or uneven walls. Apply paint carefully as uneven strokes will show.

Painting tips & tricks

Dip and Smack vs Wiping

As an amateur painter you probably are in the habit of “wiping” the brush on the lip of the can after every dip. This creates two problems: the lip of the can will fill with paint and drip down the sides, and the bristles can be damaged. There is a dip and smack technique that is easy to perform and will help you to get the job done right. Dip the brush into the paint, and as you pull the brush up, smack it on the sides of the paint can from one side to the other instead of wiping. This “wakes up” the bristles, allows more paint to stay in the brush and eliminates paint from accumulating in the lip of the paint can.

Paint – Dry stripping

This entails the use of a scraper, with a very sharp blade, to remove the paint. It is recommended that you wear safety goggles to prevent flakes of paint from shooting into your eyes. If the paint being removed is very old, wear a mask to prevent your inhaling the dust. Angle the blade until it hooks into the surface, and pull it towards you with even pressure.

Drywall Primer

Primer is an important part of any painting job. Picking the right primer can be a particularly confusing task. You can use the following basic requirements to help you choose the right product for your drywall job.

New drywall needs at least one coat of latex primer. Keep in mind that a good primer coat will still show brush and roller marks. You may need two coats over water-resistant (green colored) dry wall, or areas that have a lot of drywall mud. Generally, one coat of primer is sufficient. You are better off to apply a second coat of the finish paint. Remember that the primer color should be a lighter match but close to the finish color. In other words, don´t use a white primer under a dark blue finish coat; a blue tinted primer will work much better.

Easily Touch-Up Woodwork

To easily touch-up woodwork (if using white finish only), here’s what to do:

Clean trimwork of all dirt and grime

Lay a protective barrier over flooring (next to base), such as cardboard or blue masking tape.

Lightly (and gently – no drips or runs) spray paint onto base or other trimwork. You’ll want to “feather” it, so the finish will appear consistent.

Let dry before moving on to painting other surface(s).

It’s important to note here, that you are touching up the base, and other trimwork, before you paint anything else. Then, after the woodwork is fully dried, you can apply finish paint. If you get wall paint on the trim, simply wipe off with a wet rag (keeping one handy at all times).

Also, make sure the trimwork throughout the room has a good, solid base coat of paint on it prior to doing any kind of touch-up work. Touch-up only when the existing coat looks good and fresh, or nearly freshly painted.

Again, this is a great tip to save you a fair amount of time and money, but not at the expense of the room’s appearance, and overall condition. (this is really handy for rental property owners)


Enamel is a varnish with pigments added. Enamel has the same basic durability and toughness of a good varnish. It produces an easy-to-clean surface, and in the proper formulation, can be used for interior and exterior applications. For the highest quality interior work, an undercoat is required.

Here’s a trick well-known to old-time painters

Here´s a trick well-known to old-time painters. The stucco coating on the exterior wall surfaces of nineteenth-century masonry houses was marked out to look like blocks of stone. Narrow horizontal and vertical grooves were impressed into the surface of the stucco coating to give the walls the appearance of the regular blocks of stone known as ashlar. After repainting the outside of your house run a carpenter´s pencil along the grooves. This sharpens up the appearance of the building and reinforces the impression of ´stone´ blocks. The impression works best if the paint chosen is in a stone colour.

Drywall Repair Tips

To fix small holes in your drywall, clean the holes and dampen them with a sponge. Fill the holes with the professional’s formula for success. “Henry” Patch & Go, Multipurpose repair patch, using a narrow putty knife. You can also use patching plaster to fill the holes. Let the spackling compound dry, prime, and paint to match the rest of the wall.

Some large holes in wallboard can be patched with precut, adhesive wallboard patches. You may need to widen the hole so that the patch can fit. After you have popped it in, cover the seams and the patch with joint compound, according to label directions, then prime with a wallboard primer and paint the surface.

To fix nails that have popped from drywall, make sure the panel is secured to the studs above and below the nail. Hammer the nail in and dimple the nail; drive in and dimple a nail of the same size right next to it to hold it in. Use joint compound to cover the nails. When that has dried, sand the area, prime, and paint.

Painting tips & tricks

Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easily.

To keep white paint from yellowing, add 2 drops of black paint to each Gallon of white.

When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.

An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.

When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.

To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.

Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.

To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.

When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact colour with you and can match accessories in store.

When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more easily.

When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.

When painting old woodwork fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.

Painting Tips – Cleaning Up

Painting tips & tricks

Painting Tips – Cleaning Up

If you are planning to continue the work the next day, just keep the paint and roller in the paint tray and cover with a tray lid or cellophane. The next morning run the brush or roller over a newspaper a few times and it will be ready to use.
After the job is completed wash the rollers and brushes and paint tray with water. Do not use a spinning tool to clean brushes as this will make your brush flare. Wrap the clean brushes and rollers with newspaper and secure with a rubber band. Store the brushes flat or hang them on hooks.
Excess paint can be stored in the can. If you have no further use for the paint donate it to a charitable institute or in the case of water based paint pour over shredded newspaper or cat litter and throw the paper or cat litter in the trash. If it is oil based paint it cannot be thrown as it is considered a hazardous substance. Make enquiries with you local council as to the best way to dispose of it.

Cleaning Wood Window Frames

If painted, use a solution of mild detergent and water, or a mild commercial cleaner whose label says it is safe for painted surfaces. Always rinse off solution.
Wipe off excess water with a dry cloth. Do not use strong cleaners or scouring powder as these will damage the paint. If you plan to clean window frames, do it before cleaning window glass so solution does not spot glass panes. If natural-finished, vacuum or dust regularly. Clean infrequently, only when really needed. Use a commercial wood cleaning product or cleaning wax whose label recommends use on natural wood finishes.

Color choices for faux finishes

Color tips for techniques:

When using colorwashing, sponging or dragging techniques

A pastel cover of an off-white background will produce a fresh, cheery effect.

A dark color over a light background will give a bold, dramatic look.

Slight variations of the same color will give the surface a feeling of depth.

Common Exterior Uses of Caulk

Filling in the gap between a window and the molding (brick mold) around it.

Filling in gaps where different surfaces meet (such as a foundation and siding).

Filling in holes in the concrete block of a foundation (use masonry caulk).

Use a putty knife to make sure the caulk bonds to the surfaces around it.

Filling in the gap between a sidewalk and foundation.

Common Interior Uses for caulk

Some Common Interior Uses of Caulk

Prevent moisture from getting into gaps between walls, bathtubs, countertops and sinks.

Filling in gaps where different surfaces meet, such as ceramic tile and baseboard.

Concrete crack repair

First determine if the crack is severe enough to repair.

If only a hairline crack, my recommendation is to leave it as is, since patching will only make it look worse.

If the crack is 1/8” or greater, the following would be the best remedy.

Note: If the crack has been caused by unstable substrate under the slab from poor compaction, my recommendation would be to have a slab jacking service (if available) come to your rescue and stabilize the slab before repair-

Clean entire surface using T.S.P General Household Cleaner, or a suitable exterior cleaning solution.

Tuck into crevice a foam backing rod (available in 1/8, 1/4” – 3” diameters) setting it down into the crack ½” from the surface.

Apply Weldbond or concrete adhesive over foam backing rod. Allow to cure for 1-2 hours.

Apply polyurethane caulking (gray or concrete colour) into crack crevice.

Sprinkle dry sand over caulking and brush excess off using a paintbrush.

Allow to cure for 12 hours before using area.

Choices for Wood Siding

Exterior wood siding can be painted or stained. There is a wide array of products available in both mediums. I prefer an alkyd (oil base) primer for bare wood, the top coat would vary depending on the look desired.

Primer is not required under stain except solid color stain that is white or another light color.

For repainting, primer is only required for areas where the preparation steps brought you down to bare wood, or where stain killer is needed due to mildew or water damage.

Stains for wood come in several degrees of transparency. Semi-transparent stains are useful for letting the wood grain show through, that can be a very nice look over cedar shingles.