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Interior Painting Q's & A's

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Painting Cabinets 

I have very old dark kitchen cabinets(early 1970's).I would like to paint them White to make the Kitchen look larger and brighter.   Is there a special procedure that needs to be followed?    I would like a glossy look when finished.   Would a high gloss paint work with a coat of urithayne over that?   What type of paint would you recomend for the inside of a cabinet?

Use a high quality name brand paint (my favorite is Benjamin Moore) prime them and paint them. Use latex inside and out. If you use a high gloss enamal you may get all the shine and durability you are looking for without the polyurethane.

Painting old metal cabinets 

What is the best way to paint old metal kitchen cabinets? I am concerned I will get a lot of brush marks. What kind of paint is best?

The best way would be with spray paint for metal. It comes in cans and an abundance of colors.


Laminate cabinets

My laminate kitchen cabinets, which were originally white, have yellowed. Can I paint them or would they have to be replaced?

I believe you can paint almost anything.. besides it is worth the try before you buy all new ones.
Use premium quality paints. You would probably want to go with a gloss or semigloss to make them easy to clean. Benjamin Moore is a favorite of mine. They sell several excellent enamels which I believe would work well. Give it a try.

Painting it again will help for a while, but I think eventually the mold will return unless you keep the wall dry.

Prepping and painting kitchen cabinets

I would like to find out the steps necessary too properly prep and paint my kitchen cabinets. What type paint is best for this application?

Wash with TSP to remove any grease and grime, rinse well. Sand lightly to remove any sheen. Remove all dust with a tack cloth. Prime with a good quality primer like Benjamin Moore Fresh Start, Sherwin Williams Anchor Bond, Zinssers Bin or Bin 1-2-3. Kilz will also work but Kilz is a stain hiding primer whereas the others are adhesion primers. Apply a few coats of a semi-gloss latex or oil based paint. If wanting white you may want to use a latex paint as oil based paints can mellow slightly over time. I prefer to use oil based paint for durability but that is a personal preference. I use Gliddens Melamine paint for that extra tough surface.


Painting a ceiling

We have a 9-year-old home and need to paint the accoustic ceiling. How do we prepare it for painting? Just vacuum it? or are there specific products to clean it?

Unless it is very dirty and greasy, just vacuuming it will be fine.



Smoke damage 

We had a grease fire in our kitchen and were left with a smoke tinted ceiling and walls. What do I hve to do to repair this damage. I know I will probably have to paint but is there anything that needs to be done before that?

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You should clean it up good before painting it. You can use a heavy duty cleaner something like TSP. But I recall there is a special cleaner for removing the smell and effects of smoke. I am not sure what it is, try asking at the hardware store, or even try asking your local fire dept. they may know.


Painting a Popcorn Ceiling

Can I paint a "popcorn" textured ceiling with a large Knapp roller? I would like to give the ceiling a fresh coat of paint and a sprayer would be too messy. Also, there is glitter in the current coat. How can I achieve the same effect?

If the popcorn is the small kind, then yes, it should be relatively easy to paint. As for the glitter, ask where you get your paint mixed...

Another idea:
While remodeling a fixer upper house that has the acoustic ceiling (Popcorn look) I tried to paint it with a big Knapp roller and things were going well until I overlapped some wet paint. The next thing I knew I had a roll of ceiling around my roller. I was half way finished painting when this happened. Next time I will go through the hassle of masking off everything to use an airless sprayer. Since the ceiling was wet with paint I was able to scrap it off like cutting through butter with a hot knife, and re-did the ceiling smooth.

I have a dry wall ceiling with the popcorn texturing applied. Your experience sounded like you were painting an acoustic tile type ceiling. Did the fiber glass tile break apart and end up on your roller? What do you think my chances are trying to paint the dry wall?

I also have a drywall ceiling that had the acoustic sprayed over it. The drywall was fine after removing the old acoustic material. I then re-mudded the ceiling smooth .


Painting Brick Fireplaces

I want to paint the brick fireplace in my living room and want to know what kind of paint will work the best? And are there any special steps to take?

I painted mine a year ago and I just used a basic primer recommended by the hardware store and latex paint. It still looks great with no signs of peeling.


Painting wood & brick

What preparation do I need to do to paint a room that is very soft (dark) wood and to change to color of a brick fireplace? I would like to paint it all white.

To prep, just make sure everything is clean. Cleaning with a good cleaner like TSP is always a good way to start. That is for already painted surfaces. If the brick is unpainted right now, just vacuum it off.

Then Use the best paints.. it always pays to. I like Benjamin Moore.. and I wish I make something each time I say that!... But use a very high quality brand like that.... Prime first. Paint away.




Painting Paneling 

Can you paint wood paneling? I have seen some homes with the paneling painted, but someone mentioned that it requires a special technique. what is the best way. I live in a house built in 1942 and the previous owners put paneling in the living and dining rooms. These rooms are just too dark for me and I would like to paint.  The only other option I have is to replace the paneling, and the sheetrock underneath (cracked by age). Any suggestions?

There are no necessary special techniques that are required. If the panelling is real wood, you can paint it anyway you want, any color you want.


Painting Paneling 

My wife and I are thinking about painting the "fake" wood paneling in the family room of the house we recently purchased. Does this have to be primed or will a couple coats of good interior latex paint do the trick. It is currently brown and we want to make it "egg shell" white to brighten the room. If it needs to primed, any suggestions??

Primers are generally cheaper than top coats and have better adhesion, something you would be worried about painting a non-porous surface like the fake panelling. I would go with the primer. Buy quality (always with paint!) I would also use liquid siezing preparation to help the paint stick. You wipe it on and then paint... helps it adhere.


Painting over panneling 

My husband and I just Purchased our first home. The person we bought the house from went wall paper crasy. She wallpapered every room. Some romes don't even match. Under this paper is panneling and under that we are not sure.   We were going to take down the paper and paint. Is this a good idea or what other  tips may someone have for us?

Well.. it all depends on what you find as you dig down. You can paint panneling, but you will want to fill all the seams and grooves first. It may be MUCH easier to remove the panneling and fill all the nail holes and paint the sheetrock wall. But if the panneling was glued on forget that idea. Then you could decide to cover everything with 3/8 inch wall board and start fresh.. trouble there will be extending all the moulding etc.

So.. see what you have.. and if you can.. go back to original wall.


Painting over panneling

We just purchased a new home as well and the family room is panneling and is very dark. I was reading your other info. and one lady you told her you didnt have to do anything special and the next lady you told her to seal up the seams and grooves. I have seen in Better Homes and Gardens Mags. where they have painted the panneling and it looks beautiful and you can still see the grooves in it. Im now very confused and wanting to paint very soon. Could you please help me.?

You should fill the grooves if you want the smooth look of sheetrock. If you don't mind the grooves, just prime, then paint the paneling. The grooves don't show up as much after everything is painted the same color. I did this in my den and it looks very good.

You can also get a nice "wallpaper-like" effect if you leave the grooves and paint each panel with one of two alternating colors. For example paint the first vertical panel with an off white, then the next with a shade darker color; alternate light, dark, light, dark. It's a bit time consuming. But the effect is like having bold striped wallpaper. Obviously it won't work with every decor, but it looks better than one might imagine.


Painting paneling 

In a previous question about painting fake paneling your attack was priming and/or sizing then paint.just to be clear what order? and are siezing and priming interchangable??

Sorry about that. No siezing and priming are different. If you have a glossy surface, paint may not adhere well. A siezing solution makes is sort of sticky for the paint and gives you good adhesion. Primer paints have better adhesion than top coats, so I would recomment using a primer typically also.

SO the order would be, sieze, paint the first coat with a primer, then paint with your top coat.

By the way, you can get your primer tinted the same color as your topcoat.


Painting over a wood varnished surface - interior house 

Anyone know of a surface prep for varnish that will eliminate the process of stripping or sanding the varnished surface befor application of paint?

If the varnish is in good shape, lightly buff it with fine sandpaper and prime and paint it.


Cleaning paneling before you paint

Wash with TSP to dull it some. Sand it all down if needed to rough it up to accept paint then prime first.
Just painting it will not last very long. Primer is the key to painting paneling. Visit this link to Zinsser for some great help on which primer would be best.

Painting over paneling

On the subject of painting over paneling Can you do some type of painting technique on the paneling such as ragging or sponging? I think this may work better for me to help hide the imperfections and dings on the paneling. Does anyone have any experience or advice to share?

Try using one of those multi-rollers that have patterns on the rollers. They come with duel paint trays and you use two different colors at the same time and it creates a awesome affect on the walls. Hides most of the imperfections in the paneling. This works great on smooth walls also. Get creative with the color choices and you can create some great looking rooms.


You can usually just prime and paint.


Do not fill in the grooves. If you do, then the wall will look bad - like you were to cheap to do it right. However, many people like the painted grooves - gives the wall some character. Use a good primer from zinsser or Ben Moore. Kilz are good primers, but I'd lean toward zinsser or Moore for this.


You need to wash the walls with TSP OR sand lightly to remove any sheen that is on the walls.
This will increase adhesion and do a better job. You can if you wish fill in the grooves but doing it properly is the key.
Fill with a mixture of 4 parts premixed drywall compound to one part paintable latex/acrylic caulking. Fill in the cracks as smooth as possible and sand smooth after dry.
Apply a good primer. I would suggest Sherwin Williams Anchor Bond, Benjamin Moores Fresh Start or Zinsser Bin or Bin 1-2-3.
Then paint with a good quality latex paint in your favourite finish.


I wouldn't fill in the grooves either. I've seen several rooms with painted paneling including one I completed myself and it looks great with the vertical grooves. However, I would suggest that you use caulk to fill in the gaps where the sheets come together vertically as well as where the top crown molding meets the wall paneling and where the vertical corner moldings meet the wall (i.e., around all the trim work). Remember, when you paint paneling a light color all the imperfections (gaps and cracks) will be easily seen. That's the reason for caulking and painting over them because it ties everything together neatly.

I've done this twice in two homes. In my opinion, start with a good cleaning (TSP will work fine), fill and sand any holes in the walls, lightly caulk along all of the joints and corners and along any trim (to minimize gaps once painted) and then use a good primer and oil based paint. An oil based paint will provide a much stronger, more durable finish on your wood paneling (instead of latex).


Our house is finished inside with wood paneling. It is a small house and dark brown paneling makes it look even smaller. I don't want to re-paint it. I have tried it and it looks like painted paneling. I have heard about a special wall paper. Will it work??? One construction guy told me that he usually takes the paneling out and puts the new dry wall. It seem like a lot of work. Do you have any ideas? Have you tried the wall paper?

First you need to fill in the gaps of the paneling.
Use a mixture of 4 parts drywall compound to 1 part acrylic latex caulking to fill the gapping.
Apply thin layers to build it up. Sand smooth, prime then paint. You will not see the paneling lines and you can have a nice painted wall.
There is lining paper that can be used but then you have to deal with the look of wallpaper seams if painted.
So again filling the gaps on the paneling is your best bet.
This will give you more options for treatment of these walls.

Ugly blue paneling

Help! I have ugly blue paneling and wish to fill in grooves (with what?) and paint over. What are the most effective products? Also how to possibly wallpaper over paneling/ how to prepare surfaces. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

You can just prime and paint it. I did this and it worked fine. I did not, however, fill the grooves. I guess you can do that with some spackling compound.

Grooves in paneling

What caulking material do I use to fill the lines in wood paneling so that when I apply BIN primer and then paint the lines will not show?

You could try using joint compound.
Then more drywall compound on top and smooth like new drywall so that the compound does not crack over time. ALSO you can try painters caulking to fill which is a bit more flexible for filler.
Mix some drywall compound with some latex acrylic paintable. caulking so that you add more flexibility to the compound.

Covering wood paneling

Bought a home with 70s-era, real-wood paneling. I would like to end up with a flat surface for painting. I have heard that liner paper is the way to go, or else mudding over the grooves, or even spackle. Of course, I'm looking for the easiest route with the best results, and suggestions?

You can fill in the grooves with joint compound,sand them and paint (should prime first though).I'm assuming you just want to lighten the paneling. This is your easiest route.


Painting over wall paper 

I was wondering if you can paint over wall paper.   I have a cottage that I need to paint and it has wall paper now. The paper is stuck on the wall VERY well and I would like to just paint over it. Can I do that?

If the paper is stuck on TOO good, yes you could paint over it. This isn't really recomended though. It is always better to remove the wall paper, clean up and smooth out the wall and paint the wall so you know the whole thing doesn't start peeling on you.


Painting grass cloth wall paper

The major portion of my house is papered in an expensive grasscloth. We splurged when we bought it because we loved it but it has not aged well. The coloring (celery green) has faded in different places and due to a storm has some watermarks. Has anyone painted or spray painted grasscloth? What method did you use and how do you like the results?

Yes, we did it. I believe the professional painters first used a primer with stain blocker, then good quality (Kelly Moore) paint over that. I would go to a paint store you trust (Kelly Moore, Benjamin Moore, etc.) and tell them what you want to do. Ours was also water stained in places and it held up for the 25 years we lived in that house. Good luck to you. Sorry no one responded earlier; I just now found this good site.


Roughing up a glossy wall...

We're going to be repainting our new baby's room and I need to know the best way to rough up the current walls (they're painted with a satin or gloss paint). I've had problems getting flat paint to stick to this type of surface in the past. I've tried TSP (deglosser) with no luck.

Any ideas short of getting out the sander???

I have used a deglosser called Wil-Bond Liquid Surface Preparation with exellent results. To my knowledge TSP is not a deglosser unless you referred to a particular brand that I am unaware of. Otherwise TSP is an all purpose cleaner (TriSodium Phosphate)

When using the deglosser, only degloss and area that you can paint in 30 minutes. The "Tack" will only last about that long.

If you have used a similar deglosser with no luck, make sure you are using a high quality paint (you truly get what you pay for with paint). The deglosser should work.


Painting over semi-gloss paint 

Is it true that I have to rough up a surface which as semi-gloss paint on it before I paint over it?  What other options are there for me?

No, there are other options.. a preferrable to me way is to use a sizing solution. Wil-Bond is one I have used with excellent adhesion. It is a liquid, you wipe on the wall, then paint that area. I believe you need to paint it in 30 min to an hour... the can does say... so you would do only as much wall as you can cover in that time.

This is an easy method.. it just wipes on and makes the paint tacky enough for the new coat to adhere.


Painting garage drywall 

I want to prime and paint the drywall inside my attached garage and would like to know if interior oil or latex will be ok or should I use an exterior paint? I live in South East Michigan and the garage is not insulated or heated.

As long as it isn't being rained on and the sun isn't beating on it, interior paint is just fine. Latex primer and top coat would work just fine.


Painting over a god-awful mural

I want to paint over a paint-by-number mural that the former owner of my house painted on the wall. Its awful - purple, black and metallic solver painting of the NYC skyline. Anyway, I was thining to feather the edges with a palm sander, sand the surface so that it will more readily accept paint, use one of those stain-hiding primers and paint over it with Benjamin Moore good old flat paint. Sound OK to you guys?

Sounds good to me. You'll probably have to top coat it twice over those dark colors. See how the first coat turns out.

I started to(and almost finished) burning and sanding off the numerous layers of paint from the windows and molding in our baby-on-the-way's room. I have recently come to understand that, because our home was built in 1912, that it is probably lead based paint and I am committing a serious health no-no. Ok, what do I do? The molding in here looks horrible. Is there a goop that will do the job?

Try a paint remover specially designed for lead paint removal PR-40/LEADX by EnviroBest is great it is non hazardous and user friendly. They have a web site

Painting Prep

I have a bathroom that was covered with a thin wood veneer strip. It had been attached with glue directly on the sheet rock. The sheet rock has never been taped or plastered. Do I spackle the large cracks and then skim-coat it or canvas it before painting. Or is there another product that might work? Textured tape?

Prep the wall the way you would a new wall. Tape and spackle the wall. You can use either the paper tape or the mesh plastic tape on the seams. I like the mesh, but the paper is stronger.

Repainting a pealing wall

I just bought a home built in 1957. It has several layers of paint on the interior walls and is pealing in some areas. The surface is textured, such as plaster over drywall. How do I prep these walls for new paint without damaging the wall. Do we sand down the entire walls?

Rarely would you ever need to sand down the whole wall. Sand and scrape away any loose paint. Use a skim coat of drywall compound to even out the wall where the paint came off. By applying a nice light coat and sanding it, you can then paint over a nice flat surface. Or if there is a texture to the rest of the wall, you can copy it in those areas...


Painting floors 

I would like to paint my kitchen floor and stencil on it. What type of paint should I use, latex or oil based, flat or satin?

I posed it to the folks at Benjamin Moore which is my favorite paint and they recommend the easiest one to work with is their Latex Floor & Patio Enamel (122). You can use this by itself, or as a base coat for other products such as Regal Wall Satin (215) or IronClad Latex Low Lustre Metal & Wood Enamel, covered with 2 or 3 coats of Stays Clear Acrylic Polyurethane (422/423).



Painting nail holes

Help!!! Before painting my hallway entrance, I touched up all the nail holes.  Should I have primed these surfaces before I applied my paint.  What is the correct procedure to ensure these areas don't show through the paint?

If your nails are exposed, then a primer/stain-blocker should be used first. But if no part of the nail is exposed, then you could paint over the space. Hope that works for you.




Plastered Drywall Seams

The plastered drywall seams in my recreation room show quite a lot, I think from lack of the proper amount of putty (forgive me I am a woman and not into this kind of stuff ... lol). Is there any way of repairing this easily ? or am I going to be buying shares in all the Wallpaper Companies ?? All the walls have already been painted and I am told that I should not have used semi-gloss paint because it shows mistakes more than anything else .. can I use flat paint over semi-gloss once I repaint the room ?? (which in my estimation will be 10 years from now .. lol) ..ok seriously .. it really looks horrible .. and it's driving me nuts .. HELP me Mr. Handyman !! )

Yes, semi-gloss shows more imperfections, it reflects the light differently off of every bump. Flat paints don'treflect it so directly but diffuse it, hiding the imperfections (somewhat) Yes you can use flat over the semi--gloss. Just make sure you scuff it up lightly with sandpaper first.. and/or use a sizing solution to make it tacky. (do that even to recoat with semi-gloss)
As for living with it now? It is possible to correct it.. but you drywall finisher will have to redo the joints adding more compound and spreading it so it doesn't show as much. When you say they are noticeable.. how so? Bumped out or in. Of course you will have to repaint then...


Paint/Prep bathroom #2

Need advice on prep and paint methods for a bathroom. Currently bathroom has an old coat of oil base alkylyd enamel. It has some mold on ceiling (easy to wipe off) and slight paint peeling on ceiling in shower. How should this be cleaned/prepped ? What types of primer and paint could then be used ?
Would like to prevent mold. How well does Kilz product work or mold prevention additives to paint ?

Both Kilz (shellac formula) and mildewcide work well. Add an adequate ventilation fan and you should have no trouble at all. How should prep/cleaning work be done ? Sanding? Bleach? Note previous comments about peeling and mold. Should primer be painted on existing oil base alklyd enamel or just prep the surface and paint over with oil base alkylyd enamel again ? Is Kilz painted on existing surface as the primer, then painted over ? Is Mildewcide added to coats of paint ?

Bathroom wall mold

My wife and I bought a house last fall. there is about 6-8" of wallboard (painted sheetrock) around the top of the shower, and there is quit a bit of mold spotting going on on the back wall. my wife used some bleach over the winter, and it helped for a little while, but the mold spots are back and worse now. I think the problem is simply a large amount of moisture from the shower, as opposed to any kind of seepage behind the wall. should I bleach again, scrape off the existing paint, and re-paint with some kind of moisture-repellent paint?

You are most likely right. You can clean it with bleach again, and try wiping it dry after each use of the shower and you can keep the mold from returning. Painting it again will help for a while, but I think eventually the mold will return unless you keep the wall dry.


Damaged window sill

I have a window seat where I keep plants and the surface has become damaged due to water spills from plants. I sanded it and got to bare wood on places and need to know how to fix the area that was damaged and taken to bare wood so I can paint and what can I seal it with so my plants won't damage the paint. I have purchased plastic plant trays to catch any water spills. Is there something I should "seal" it with after I paint and what type paint should I use. Glossy enamel, or latex? I would appreciate any help and information you can give me on this as I am ready to begin fixing it up.

Since you want to use paint. You need only prime it and paint it. Use either latex or oil, (so go ahead and use latex) but use a gloss enamel. That will hold up to the water the best. (Enamels will come in latex or oil). Oh.. and go with a high quality paint. There is a big difference.

Paint Drips

Removing paint drips

We have latex and enamel paint drips on our hardwood floors. Do you have any suggestions on how to remove without damaging?

This will work especially if you had a good finish on the floor to start, but even if you didn't you can try..... Use a razor blade to shave the drip off. It may take a small amount of the floors finish with it... and that may have to be touched up. And in case you catch some wood grains, always scrape with the grain.

Other Problems

Painting prime twice? uneven paint

I have primed once and painted twice my ceiling. However, the edges which were primed/painted using a brush are darker than the rest which was done with a power roller. I'm hoping if I use a roller to go over a third time just near the edges, I can blend it in. Will this work? I don't want to do the whole ceiling again as we just installed a ceiling fan.
Now the walls. I primed it once but its not completely solid white. Should it be before I put on paint?
Underneath was an off-white something (paint? primer?) which was under wallpaper.
Note that the ceiling was recently stripped of acoustic texture which may have affected it's absorbability of the primer. Should I prime the walls again?
Also, when scuff-sanding the doors and door trim, another layer of paint came through in spots. I tried to blend the 2 layers by sanding using a finer grade. Is that enough or am I screwed into stripping using paint stripper?
There are parts that I have not yet scuff-sanded and I'm getting impatient. Do I REALLY need to scuff-sand the rest? The existing paint looks like a semi-gloss and the primer I'm using is Behr's enamel primer.

For the problem with the darkened areas at the edges.. it is called hatbanding.. the following I cut and pasted from the Benjamin Moore site. CAUSE Hatbanding is caused by excessive cutting-in of the walls, corners, trim and ceiling areas with a brush or by rolling walls with an excessively long nap roller cover, thereby producing a heavy textured application when compared to brush applied cut-in areas. It may also be caused when applying a wet finish coat onto are as that are already dry.
SOLUTION Feather-edge brushing of the finish coat when cutting- in of the areas to be painted produces a coat of paint that is approximately the same thickness as the coat applied later with a roller. The brush should leave a thin, feathered edge of paint that will merge into a smooth layer of new paint. By doing this, problems of the finish coat (i.e., hatbanding) are reduced. When rolling on smooth surfaces (i.e., drywall), use roller covers ranging from 1/4" to 1/2" nap, depending on the sheen of the finish coat to be applied. When rolling into surfaces that have been previously cut-in with a brush, turn roller sideways (rotate 90 degrees on the wall) and apply a thin coat of finish, rolling into the previously cut-in areas. Make sure to roll the finished coat back into the drying paint. Properly primed drywall reduces the occurrence of hatbanding.

For your other questions.. no.. don't prime twice. That never helps.. the primer helps with adhesion. The topcoat will do a better job of covering then a primer will.
When scuffing up the surface to paint it.. you don't need to sand too hard or deeply.. you are just trying toremove the sheen from the surface to give the paint a hold. If you want you can scuff it ever so lightly and use a liquid surface product for adhesion (like wil-bond)

How can you test paint to see
if it is oil or latex?

I recently painted the inside of a house. I painted latex enamel on all the trim. Carpet cleaners came in 4 weeks later and bumped up against the baseboard stripping paint off in many places. Does this sound like latex over oil...if so what can I do to fix the problem and satisfy the home owner? Please respond soon!

Take a cotton swab and dip into nail polish remover that has ACETONE in it. IF the paint comes off on the swab it is latex if not it is oil. If the trim is white and so is the swab dab the swab onto a piece of dark paper if white comes off then you know it is latex based paint. You can also buy tester swabs at the paint store.

To fix your problem. Sand down all the trim to remove any loose paint. PRIME with the proper primer. I recommend Bin or Bin 1-2-3.
I have linked you to Zinsser for more help.

Another thing to think about. IF the house is old you should not paint trim with latex if the trim has many many layers of oil based paint on it already as the movement of the paint will be different then the new latex other words if old trim with many good coats of paint, Paint AGAIN with oil based paints to prevent any problems from occurring. Hope this has helped

Paint shelf Life

Is there a shelf life to interior paints? I have some of the Zinser Perma-White bathroom paint unopened. Don't know the age of it. Do you think I should use it?

The only way to find out for sure is to open it and try it out first. Stir it well with a stir stick. Smell it, if it smells bad then it probably is. Paint can go bad depending on how it was stored. Try a sample to see if it is okay. Just paint up some scrape plywood or a piece of poster board and then once dry scrub it with a damp cloth to see if it is still good. This is about the only way to see if it has deteriorated or gone bad.

Painting laminate

I have a plastic laminate covering on all that walls of my bathroom- on the bottom half. The too was wallpaper--both from the mid 1960s. Can you effectively paint over the laminate with out tearing it off?? How? I pulled the paper off already- it was a mess underneath.

Since you are dealing with a non-porous base you need to apply a primer coat. A moisture barrier such as "KILZ" works well.
Be prepared it is oil based, does not clean up easily so cover everything! Plus be sure to have good ventilation, that stuff can mess with your head.


Plaster/paint cracking

I am still looking for an answer to this one. Old house, plaster/paint is cracking, like microfractures. Now in living room and dining room I first sanded the old paint, then washed/treated the old paint with that wall washing chemical, name escapes me, then put on a good primer, then put on a quality top coat finish/two coats. Now in some areas seeing microfracturing again. Is wall drying and cracking? Will I need to do replacement? Or should I just live with it, repaint every couple years to fill in microcracks???? Help?? Anyone ever see this???

I have seen this on my REAL plaster walls. It seems that the plaster absorbs moisture and the latex paints just do not seem to move at the same rate as the plaster to prevent this from happening. And like you I primed also.

I can tell you however that the areas I painted with oil based paints seem to be fine....mmmmmmmmm Maybe because it moves more with the moisture. You may want to try a test on this theory I now have. LOL!!!!!!

Antique Brass Finish

We have a chandelier that has an antique brass finish. Is there anything I can put on this brass to make it look more like a pewter or some type of brushed brass or steel.

Paint it is your best method. Using automotive spray paint or Tremclad or Rustoleum paint are also good as they are metal paints. IF you can not find a burnished chrome, silver paint go with a silver or grey and RUB on some black model paint or small liquid can of black oil based enamel ...rub on to give the burnished look of pewter.

Oil base paint

I painted my front bathroom with an oil base paint and the smell is now through out the entire house...Any ideas how I can get rid of the smell?

Ventilate. Crack a window. Burn a candle. Ok, here is an idea, just in. From a magazine... place a bucket of water in the center of the room and replace it every two hours. Let me know it that works!

Storing Paint

We've got a small house that we've just renovated, and have leftover paint of just the right colors that we'd like to keep for repairs. Because of the size of the house and our limited storage, we've rather keep the paint in the attic rather than in the living area. Our concern is the warnings not to let it freeze. Can we safely store it in the attic -- or in the attic in cooler lined with insulation ?

Which you can buy at most paint stores...fill with left over paint...seal upside down in a cool area. Once you transfer them to smaller cans, you will maybe fill one box. DO NOT store it in the attic it will freeze. Also, you can use canning jars instead of cans but you have to make sure the sun does not get at it so pack again in a box.

Another idea : If your attic is well ventilated, as it should be, and the "floor" of the attic is well insulated, as it should be, it will get very nearly as cold there as outdoors so that is a bad place to store your paint even in a camping cooler. If you must store it up there you could perhaps cut the bottom out of a cardboard box, place the box directly over your bedroom closet having previously removed the insulation there and installed a louver in the ceiling. Place paint cans in the box and covers the box completely with lots of insulation. Install a few strips of wood to support the cans.


Ok here is my situation. I am a college student, and loyal brother of Zeta Beta Xi fraternity. Down at the frat house, we have a bit of a problem. Our bar gets painted over and over again, but the paint never sticks. The surface is 1/2-inch plywood. It takes a LOT of abuse. Most often from people dancing on it. The bar is constantly soaking wet, and gets very cold during the is in an unheated party shed. So that's the situation.

My question is..what kind of paint and or sealer should we put on this thing to protect it? We need something rock hard that will last for a while. The price is not really important, as long as the bar gets protected and looks good. Any help you could give us would be most appreciated.

Go to Sherwin William's and coat that bugger with an industrial epoxy enamel.


Will the fumes from an oil based stain cause health problems if they are breathed when applied to basement wood as a sealant?

If you are doing a large area, I don't think you would want to be breathing the fumes, not that they would cause any long term effects, but the smell is certainly enough to make you sick to your stomach for a short time. If you are in a cold climate, you have a choice of a well ventilated, cold celler, or you can put it off until spring.

I'm a mechanic and am immune to most smells but my wife gets a very upset stomach from stains and certain paints, so I know your concern.


Interior doors & trim

I was just wondering if anyone can suggest the best way to paint interior Drs & Mldg. Is it best to remove them or just paint while hanging.

Painting it in place is certainly easier than removing them, especially the molding which can split on you when you are trying to remove it.
Take a look at the article on painting interiors on our site.. the link is below..

Interior Painting

Staining interior Masonite doors

Does anyone know how to stain Masonite doors? I hear they are tricky to do. May end up just painting them.

I stained my masonite door with 2 coats of Minwax GelStain. I applied the stain with the artificial grain using a rag. The GelStain holds to the Masonite good, although after the first coat you still can tell it's not real wood. Make sure you finish one panel section at a time. (If you apply stain over top of stain that is midway to being dried you can have an ugly, sticky mess.)I really like the result.

Another answer:
A faux wood if you want the wood look as Masonite does not take a stain because it doesn't absorb anything. NOW if you are talking about 800 series doors, the ones with panels and a faux wood grain ,YES those can be stained but it is an acrylic stain that is made specially for these type of doors.

Lead Paint

Lead-based paint

I am in the process of buying a home that has interior lead-based paint. Our kids are old enough so that there is no worry about them eating the paint. Other than that, does its presence constitute a hazard? What precautions should I take in making improvements like repainting?

If the paint is not chipping or peeling and the kids won't be chewing on any wall or windowsills, the paint does not cause a significant hazard. However, never sand any of the painted surfaces. Special sealing paints can be used over the lead-based paint to seal it in.

Water Stains

Water stains

I recently had a bad leak from an upstairs tub that left large water stains on the downstairs ceiling. Is there any way to get rid of these stains without repainting the whole downstairs? How could I check to see that there is no water still sitting between the tub and ceiling?

First, you need it to dry out. FEEL the ceiling if cold to the touch around the leak area it is not dry. Running a dehumidifier will speed up the drying process. NO there is no other way but repainting to get rid of the stains. BUT you need to prime first to seal the stain in.

Otherwise, it will come back through the paint. Apply two coats of a stain blocking primer like KILZ, then repaint. You may want to try feathering out the repainted area into the already painted area BUT depending on the age of the old paint it may end up being a different color so you may as well paint the whole ceiling.

Paint Sprayers

Wagner Paint Sprayers

Does anyone have any information about a defect that causes the Prime/Spray Valve to explode out of the sprayer?

After prolonged use of the sprayer (sever minutes), the valve becomes loose due to vibrations. I have to stop every few minutes and hand tighten the valve.

Click here for our Interior Painting Article
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