the painted surface
These are some general painting questions that are often asked. We hope the answers will help you during your home painting projects. You may ask us a paint related question by contacting us.
The color of my aluminum or vinyl siding is out of style, can siding be painted?
Yes. Generally speaking, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Use an oil-based primer on aluminum siding if it is weathered. And do not use a paint color darker than the original vinyl siding color. Doing so may cause the vinyl siding to warp or buckle. More details and information is found in the article “How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding”.
The paint on the galvanized gutters and downspouts of my house is peeling. Help!
Traditionally there have always been problems with paint adhering to galvanized metal and especially gutters. Lack of adhesion may be caused by painting the metal without cleaning it first of a possible oily residue from the manufacturing of the gutter, or the use of oil-based paint which over time will peel due to water vapor coming through the metal and lifting the paint. It is now recommended to use acrylic paint on galvanized gutters and downspouts because it will “breathe” with the metal allowing the water vapor to pass. Short of stripping the gutters and starting fresh the best thing to do is scrape away (a carbide scraper will do a superior job but scrape safely and wear eye protection) the peeling paint, wipe with a degreaser if needed, prime with an acrylic bonding primer and paint with 100% acrylic paint. Thankfully, gutters are now mostly aluminum and copper which do not have the adhesion problems associated with galvanized metal.
Is a primer really needed before painting, what does a primer do?
There are several reasons to use primers. They are most useful on new surfaces like wood, drywall or metal. On wood and drywall a primer will seal and prepare the surface for caulking, patching and painting. On metal a primer provides an additional layer of protection against rust. All primers even out imperfections to some degree resulting in a smoother finish. Sometimes a primer is used to seal water, sap, and tannin stains to prevent them from bleeding through the finish coat. In the case of the typical interior wall built of drywall there are two surfaces, the paper layer of the gypsum board and the drywall compound or mud used to cover the seams and nail or screw heads. A good drywall primer will seal and even out these materials to provide a uniform base coat for paint. New drywall needs two coats of primer before hanging wallpaper. If the walls are not primed they will likely be damaged when the wallpaper is removed. The joint between molding and the drywall should be caulked after priming. The primer seals the wood and drywall improving the adhesion of the caulk. Exterior wood trim should always be primed first then caulked for the same reason. An acrylic bonding primer is used as an intermediate coat between two incompatible paints, such a when a water-based paint is used over an oil-based paint. During repaints some colors, mostly reds and yellows, will not cover or hide the previous color well. If the red paint you are using seems transparent and is not covering well a prime coat of medium gray or tan will help. A prime coat of white under yellow will improve the covering ability of the yellow. In these cases of color hiding you do not have to use a dedicated primer, you can use the same kind of paint as the finish coat.
This simple image illustrates some of the properties of a primer. The primer will fill the tiny voids in the surface of wood, metal and drywall much better than paint formulated to be a topcoat or finish coat. The primer forms a smooth even surface to provide a base for the finish coat. The solvents in the finish coat will meld with the primer coat to form a bond much stronger than a finish paint applied to a bare surface.
The paint is peeling on my exterior windows, can peeling paint be prevented?
Peeling paint is usually caused by either moisture penetrating the surface and lifting the paint or the surface is exposed to direct sunlight and the paint is baked to the point it loses adhesion. To correct the moisture problem first determine the source of the moisture and see if it can be avoided. Probably the source is rainfall but it could be coming from a sprinkler system, gutter overflow or a leak in the soffit or overhang above. Scrape or sand away loose paint to expose the wood allowing it to dry before proceeding. You may have to tape plastic over the area for a couple of days to protect it from getting wet. When the wood is dry sand again to make sure all loose paint is removed. Vacuum or brush away the dust and prime this area with a good quality exterior primer. When the primer is dry caulk all cracks or seams and repair with exterior spackling any voids where water may penetrate. Let the caulk and spackling dry, this may take several hours or overnight and check to see if any of the cracks need to be recaulked. Caulk will shrink as it dries. Sand the dried spackling and spot prime. Finish the project with two coats of 100% acrylic paint. The repair for peeling paint caused by excessive sunlight would be the same but I would try to do it when that area is in the shade or on a cool day. Doing so will give the primer and paint sufficient time to soak into and bond with the wood. Be sure to prime new or weathered wood before caulking, it will adhere much better.
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links:
Pantone 2016 Color of the Year ◊ Sherwin-Williams 2016 Color of the Year ◊ How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors
More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, painting tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles: