Paint Questions and Answers
Q: Should I choose oil or latex paint to paint my house?A: Oil-based paints used to be the standard for surfaces that may mold or mildew such as exteriors and bathrooms. Oil-based paints should only be applied in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, R.C. Painting recommends considering latex paint for your next project. Recent advances in latex paint and primer combinations are as durable as oil paint and can be applied in temperatures above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Many manufacturers are discontinuing the production of oil-based paint. Homeowners who choose oil-based paint may find it difficult to update in the future.
Q: Is there a difference between hand-brushed and sprayed paint?A: R.C. Painting most often uses spraying to create a "no brush stroke," flawless satin finish that looks very nice on surfaces such as new cabinets. Hand brushing a new color may not give you the complete, even coverage you are looking for on high end surfaces. A spray gun will give you full coverage and a more even coating for your new paint color. Save hand brushing for updating trim and molding. Spraying paint is impractical for interior walls and using a roller brush is more appropriate.
Q: What does VOC mean?A: VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. High VOC are found in some paints. At R.C. Painting we don't recommend the use of high VOC paints on interior surfaces. They have a strong and unpleasant chemical smell. Volatile organic compounds in paints, varnishes, adhesives and other products are still common but no longer necessary due to advances in the production of house paint. Walls and other surfaces coated in high VOC paint will give off gas chemicals into the air that can cause indoor air quality and health problems. Most interior paint manufacturers strive to produce low VOC paint. Low VOC paints are high quality and provide excellent coverage.
Q: Are more expensive paints better?A: Yes. High quality paint colors are richer and more vivid. At R.C. Painting we recommend high quality paint because it is less likely to fade from UV light exposure. Premium quality paint produces better results and requires fewer coats.
Q: Does all the existing old paint on my house need to be removed before it can be repainted?A: No, if the existing paint is in good condition, with small spots, stains, and limited damage, you can repaint the walls without removing all of the existing paint. However priming first is always recommended to make sure the old color does not bleed through to the new color. Paint that is pealing and cracking should be scraped away. Holes and imperfections in the wall surface should be patched and sanded.
Q: Does my whole house need to be primed before being painted?A: For better results, prime your home's walls before painting. That is especially true if the old paint color is remarkably different than the new paint color. Areas of the wall that have been patched and sanded should be primed first before painting.
Q: What is elastomeric paint?A: Elastomeric paint is designed to protect masonry surfaces. These coatings help protect your stucco or brick from wind driven rain to create a waterproof system.
Q: How long does it take for new paint to dry?A: Latex paint dries in about 4 hours. Oil-based paint dries in 6 to 8 hours. You should allow paint to completely dry before applying a second coat. Paint that is sticky to the touch after 24 hours is defective and requires priming or removal before you paint over it.
Epoxy Flooring Questions and Answers
Q: What are the benefits and problems with epoxy floor coating?A: On the plus side, epoxy floor coatings are economical, resist damage and are easy to maintain. Epoxy is also chemical resistant, which is why it is popular for garage floors. Some people see the following as the negatives:
- Epoxy floors do not muffle walking and contact noise.
- The epoxy coating feels cold like a tile floor under foot.
- Epoxy floors do not offer any non-fatiguing benefits.
- Imperfections in the underlying floor may look like ripples once epoxy paint has been applied.
Q: When should you not epoxy a garage floor?A: Epoxy can have adhesion problems. The epoxy coating doesn't adhere well in very cold temperatures or in humid and high moisture areas like a basement or bathroom. If adhesion is poor the epoxy coating will crack and peel.
Q: How long does an epoxy garage floor last vs. painted concrete?A: An epoxy floor painted to the correct thickness will last between 10 and 20 years and require minimal maintenance. A painted concrete floor may chip and peel quickly especially in high traffic areas. That can often result in the need for yearly touch ups.
Cabinet Painting Questions and Answers
Q: Do you paint the inside of cabinets when refinishing?A: Painting the inside of your cabinets helps protect them from wear and tear. A good paint job can seal the wood and protect your cabinets from damage. At R.C. Painting we recommend allowing the interior of cabinets to dry completely with the cabinet doors off between coats. Allow at least 48 hrs. before placing items back into the cabinet. Painting the interior of your cabinets can add an extra pop of color to your kitchen.
Q: What is the difference between cabinet painting and cabinet refinishing?A: Cabinet refinishing and repainting are the same thing. Cabinet refinishing includes sanding and all the prep work needed before painting. Cabinet painting should include the same prep work, but it is best to clarify this point with your painting contractor. Cabinet refinishing is often confused with cabinet resurfacing which includes replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones.
Q: How do you get the smoothest finish when painting cabinets?A: Sand, prep, and prime cabinets before spraying paint to remove any imperfections from the cabinet. In between each coat of paint, gently sand your cabinets using 300-400 grit sandpaper. Sandpaper will knock down any marks to give you a super smooth surface to work with. Allow 48 hours to dry before lightly buffing the cabinet doors with 0000 steel wool.
Q: Is it better to spray or roll brush cabinets?A: For kitchen cabinets, spray painting cabinets create a more flawless finish than painting with a roller brush. However, spray painting cabinets is more expensive. A roller brush made specifically for cabinet painting will always leave a slight texture on your cabinets but is a more affordable process.
Concrete Staining Questions and Answers
Q: What must be done before applying any concrete stain?A: Here are the main steps that need to be taken before applying concrete stain:
- Strip and remove all previous sealers, paints, adhesives and coatings.
- Clean the surface thoroughly.
- For acid concrete stain, use a concrete etch and cleaner to prepare the surface and rinse well. Do not use muriatic acid to clean. It will destroy minerals which produce the color range of the stain selected.
- For water-based stain use dish soap and water to clean the surface. Degreaser and neutralizer diluted in a 4 to 1 ratio is ideal for removing oil spots.
- Finally rinse the concrete well.
- If the concrete surfaces are so smooth or dense that it does not allow water to soak in it will require mechanical sanding to rough up the surface so it can receive the stain.
Q: Which lasts longer concrete stain or paint?A: One of the greatest advantages of choosing stain over paint is that the stain penetrates concrete unlike paint that only covers the surface. As a result, concrete stain last longer than concrete paint.
Trim and Molding Painting
Q: What type of paint should be used on trim and molding?A: Semi-gloss paint is usually the best choice for trim and molding. Semi-gloss has a higher gloss level than a satin finish but isn't as shiny as high gloss. High gloss paint can be a good choice for trim areas that are washed often or in a high moisture environment like a bathroom.
Q: How do the pros paint trim? Should trim be sanded before repainting?A: If the trim is new or already smooth, lightly sand it using 120 grit sandpaper before painting. If the trim is pitted or rough, start by sanding the trim with coarse, 80-grit sandpaper and graduate to a finer 120 grit sandpaper. You do not need to remove all the old paint before applying new paint.
Q: What's the best approach for patching small holes in drywall?A: First, sand or scrape the edges of the hole so patching material will stick correctly and create a smooth surface. Use a drywall patch kit to repair small holes. Cut the provided mesh adhesive strip so that it is slightly larger than the hole and press it over the hole with even pressure. Smooth the joint compound with the putty knife, feathering the edges so it blends with the wall. Let the spackle dry about 24 hours. Finally, you can sand that area smooth and paint the wall.
Q: What do you do before painting drywall?A: First, patch and repair any holes. Next, prime the dry wall before painting. It is not a good idea to put paint directly on unprimed drywall. Finally, wipe away any dust. Now it is ready for paint.
Q: How many layers of paint do you need for new drywall?A: After the seams are taped and finished, we recommend applying two coats of premium paint to create an even finish.
Q: What happens if you don't prime new drywall before painting?A: Failing to prime your drywall before painting can create the look of a patchy and uneven finish. The paint may also peel when exposed to humidity.
Textured Wall Spraying
Q: What types of spray texture are there?A: A spray texture application adds visual interest and physical texture to a wall. There are three categories of spray texture.
- Orange Peel
Q: When should canned spray texture be used?A: You can use a canned spray texture to repair small areas of drywall surfaces. Spray cans make it easy to blend the repair area with the surrounding texture.
Q: How much pressure is required to properly spray texture a wall?A: For small patches use a spray texture can. For larger jobs use a system that provides a consistent, high continuous air supply at a lower pressure below 50 psi throughout the entire job.
Q: How long after you spray texture should you wait to knock it down?A: Wait 10 to 15 minutes after spraying. As soon as the sheen is gone from the first area you sprayed immediately begin dragging the knockdown knife in fluid overlapping movements over the surface.
Metal Awning Painting
Q: What kind of paint do you use on metal awnings?A: Use an oil-based paint over a premium primer. We suggest using two coats of paint. You'll want to wait until the first coat of paint is completely dry to the touch before applying the second coat of paint.
Q: What is the best primer for an outdoor metal awning?A: A premium primer designed for painting metal such as Rust-Oleum is the best choice for an outdoor metal awning. After gently sanding the metal surface with a 180-grit sandpaper apply the primer with a few thin coats. Allow each primer coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.
Q: How do you prepare a metal awning for painting?A: After detaching, use a wire brush to remove stubborn dirt and areas where the metal has corroded. Patch any small holes with a metal patching compound such as Alvin metal repair putty. Allow the putty to fully cure before proceeding. Once the putty is dry, lightly sand the entire surface with 180 grit sandpaper. Use a rust treatment or other metal cleaner made to treat rust to thoroughly clean the surface. Then your metal awning is ready for painting.
Q: What is the best way to waterproof brick?A: First, thoroughly pressure wash the entire brick area you want to seal. Allow the brick to dry completely before sealing it.
Select the type of sealant you would like to use. Sealants come in three categories - paint, surface sealers and penetrating sealers. Paint is the least expensive. However, because it covers the brick completely in an opaque layer of paint it does not allow the natural brick to show through. Paint does not last as long as a surface sealant or penetrating sealant and will require regular maintenance like any exterior house paint.
A surface sealant is more expensive than paint but dries clear, lasts longer and requires less updating. Surface sealants do not soak into the porous brick surface. A penetrating sealant is the most expensive option. These sealants are specifically formulated to soak deep into the porous surface of your brick home. Penetrating sealants can dry clear. Penetrating sealants require less maintenance and can last up to 30 years. If you choose a penetrating sealant or surface sealant, be sure to select a brand that allows the brick to "breathe" or moisture can become trapped and cause damage to your home.
Q: Why should I get my roof coated with a reflective coating?A: Reflective roof coatings are most commonly used on commercial roofs. Reflective coatings for roofs save money on heating and cooling costs. They also create a protective barrier that makes your roof last longer. Reflective coatings shield the roof from UV rays (which cause chemical breakdowns) and help minimize erosion caused by the weather. The most common types of roof coatings are silicone, elastomeric and aluminum.
Q: What kind of roofs can be coated?A: Roof coating should only be done by a professional. There are four types of roofs that benefit from coating.
- TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) is the most common roof material installed on commercial buildings today. A single-ply primer should be used first before coating the roof.
- Modified Bitumen is found on many commercial low slope roofs. It is an asphalt-based rolled-roofing material that performs great with a coating.
- EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a completely synthetic rubber-based single-ply material found on many commercial buildings. EPDM roofs must be primed before coating.
- Both commercial and residential metal roofs may be coated. Extra coating must be applied to the seams, screws and penetrations to ensure moisture does not get trapped.
Q: What questions should I ask an apartment painting company?A: If you are planning to paint your apartments make sure to ask your painting contractor these important questions.
- Do you have references from other apartment complexes you have painted?
- Can you provide an itemized estimate?
- What is the schedule for my job?
- Do you carry insurance?
- Are you a licensed contractor in my state?
- What prep work will you do?
- What quality of paint will you use?
- Do you offer a warranty in writing?
Q: What factors affect the estimate for painting an apartment?A: Many things can affect a painting estimate but consider these factors when discussing your project with your painting contractor.
- Surfaces and finishes
- Prep work, repairs or patching needed
- Quality of the paint
- The number of coats needed for proper coverage
- Specialty equipment or processes needed
- Timeline to complete your painting project
- Size of your painting project