PAINT TIPS – Handy Things To Know


Before a new paint hits our shelves, we always put it to the test either around the house or at the shop.  Often, some of the best tips are not found on the back of the label (though it’s always a good idea to read the back of the can).

Painting can sometimes get frustrating.  That’s why we love sharing any advice we’ve picked up over the years with our customers.  Check out some great basic tips and don’t forget to stop by the store or email us with any questions you may have.  We’re happy to help!

  • A clean sound surface is the best place to start a project.  Metal should be rust free, woodwork/furniture clean of grease or dirt, and walls scraped of any loose paint, clean from mold and dry.  One of the most common reasons for paint failure is a contaminated surface.
  • These days most paint are self priming.  However, that means applying at least two coats.  The first coat serves the “primer” and the second as the finish.  Remember that paint-and-primer-in-one formulas are not cure alls and if you have specific (or recurring) problems like moisture, staining or peeling, a specialty primer may be necessary.
  • How much paint will you need?  One gallon covers around 400 square feet or an average 12×12 room.  Remember that darker or accent colours may require more than one coat and plan accordingly.
  • Figuring out your budget?  Premium paints may be more expensive but they cover better so you won’t need as much and they last longer so you won’t have to paint as often.  TIP:  If you’re not fussy about colour ask the paint store if they have any mistints.  It’s a great way to get an expensive paint for a fraction of the cost.
  • Watching paint dry may not be exciting but don’t rush!  A latex paint will generally take 2 hours to dry and can be recoated in about 3-4 hours.  Recoating too soon can pull the first coat off the walls.  Dry time can be longer if the humidity is high – especially if you’re painting in the evening when it’s damp. Oil paints can take up to 24 hours to be dry enough for a second coat.
  • Sunshine is great but you should never paint in direct sunlight or on a hot surface.  The paint will blister and smear.  If you’re painting outside try to follow the shade and be finished with your project 3-4 hours before sundown to give your paint a chance to set up before evening dampness hits.
  • Between coats of paint, wrap your brushes or rollers tightly in plastic to keep them from drying out.  Your tools will stay ready to use for several hours.  When you’re done with your project, however, clean your brushes or roller well so they’re ready for next time.  A quality brush will last you for years if you take care of it.
  • Speaking of paint brushes, use synthetic bristles (nylon or polyester) for latex paints and save natural bristles for oil. For rollers, the rougher the wall the fluffier your roller cover should be.  Use foam or velour rollers for woodwork or really smooth surfaces and ¾” nap for most stone walls or masonry.  For ceilings, I love a microfiber roller cover because it doesn’t splatter.
  • Done with your project?  If you are throwing paint out, make sure you dispose of it properly.  You should never flush paint down the drain.  If you’re not sure what to do, bring your left overs to the paint store and they will help you discard it safely.  We always encourage our customers to drop off old paint in our special yellow bin behind the shop.
  • Saving your left over paints? Most paints will keep around 5 years.  Store in a cool dry place and keep metal cans off the ground to prevent rusting.  It can contaminate the paint.  Make sure the rim is clean and the lid has a clean tight seal.  Otherwise, your paint may dry out over time.

Just like the technology around us, paint is always evolving and improving.  We can’t wait to see what exciting new products will be developed in the years to come so stayed tuned for more!

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