Identifying paint failures, and understanding surfaces and surface
preparation are crucial in the prevention of future paint
failures. When the homeowner makes a decision to go ahead with a
particular paint project, an inspection of the project is required
to determine the surface, and the surface conditions. Is the
surface wood, hardboard siding, drywall (sheet-rock), vinyl or
aluminum siding, steel or galvanized steel, or masonry, including,
brick, concrete block, and stucco?
Equally important is the condition of the exterior surface. Is the
surface peeling or chalking, rusty or mildewed, rotten or stained?
Has the surface been previously painted? Perform the same
inspection on interior surfaces. What are the conditions of the
walls, trim, windows, doors, and ceilings? Do holes and gouges
need repairing? Are there any water stains, finger prints, dirt,
or dust? Are there any cracks?
Once an inspection of the surface is complete and the surface and
paint failures have been identified, preparation of the surface is
ready to begin. Preparation begins with a thorough washing of the
surfaces. Interior surfaces can be washed by hand with household
or commercial cleaners. Washing exterior surfaces by hand can be
time consuming. A more conventional way
to wash exterior surfaces would be with a power or pressure
washer. Pressure washing may cost a little more financially, but
the trade off comes with having the surface washed in a fraction
of the time it would take to do it by hand.
Interior walls need to have cracks, gouges, and holes repaired and
sanded to a smooth finish, after the surfaces have been washed or
wiped. Nails or screws used to secure the sheet-rock that have
"popped" need to be reset, repaired and sanded to a smooth finish.
or sanding of loose paint needs to be completed on exterior
surfaces. Loose nails need to be replace with galvanized nails and
exposed rusty nail heads need to be reset, primed with a rust
inhibited primer, and caulked. Replace rotten wood and siding, and
gutters or other metal objects that have deteriorated beyond
repair. Sometimes a wood door may have rotted and needs replacing.
Windows will need reglazing if broken glass has to be replaced or
the old glaze is cracked, loose, and falling out. A homeowner may
find similar problems on both interior and exterior surfaces.
Whatever the problem, it needs to be addressed to ensure a
properly prepared surface.
Caulk is primarily used for interior and exterior painting to
prevent moisture from entering surfaces and causing decay, sealing
drafts to help enhance insulation, sealing rusty nail heads that
have been reset, and to help provide an excellent looking finish.
It is recommended that new and repainted surfaces be primed before
caulk is applied to enhance adhesion, however this can be optional
on cleaned and properly prepared repainted surfaces only.
Surface preparation is the most important part of any paint
project, and is probably the single greatest cause in paint
failures. Whether interior or exterior, all surfaces need to be
cleaned and in good repair to allow the paint to have good
adhesion. A properly prepared surface is essential to a longer
lasting paint job.
Priming a cleaned and properly prepared surface is important in
providing longevity for any paint project. It enhances adhesion,
can prevent stains and bleeding, and will assist the finish coat
in achieving a uniform and even finish. It is highly recommended
that primers be used
on all new and repainted interior and exterior surfaces. Interior
repainted surfaces can be adequately finished with the standard
primer and finish paint combination.
Top quality primers and paints are the only primers and paints
recommended for use on any paint project, because they provide
better durability and coverage, and are easy to apply. Top quality
paints are also excellent at resisting mildew, offer better colour
retention and a longer lasting sheen, offer better resistance to
paint failures and weathering conditions, and provide great value
in the form of lower long term maintenance costs. Cheap or low
quality paints are less durable than top quality paints and fail
prematurely due to changing weather conditions. Low grade paints
do not adhere well to well-prepared surfaces causing early
"bargain" paint, thinned paint, improper surface preparation, and
moisture problems are commonly associated with poor construction.
Money that can be saved on "bargain" paints does not justify the
shorter paint life that these paints provide.
The reasons stated for the use of top quality paints can also be
stated for stains. Although stains can provide a different finish
to a particular surface, top quality stains will perform as well
as paints. Stains may out perform paints when the time comes for
and recoating. Stains are guaranteed to never peel or crack like
paints, so there is never any sanding or scraping to do during the
preparation of a previously stained surface. Adequate washing of
the surface and caulking, with the occasional spot priming of
surface area's to prevent bleeding, is all that is needed during
the preparation of the surface. One coat is
usually adequate to stain previously stained surfaces. Two coats
may be required for colour changes and are highly recommended for
new wood surfaces. Staining is highly recommended if the homeowner
has the option of staining exterior surfaces instead of painting.
One dissadvantage to all stains is they are very difficult, if not
impossible, to touch up. If a stained surface has been sealed it
can not be touched up.
Keeping up with home maintenance is a key in extending the life of
any paint project. Annual checkups will alert homeowners to
coating breakdowns. Immediate repair of future decay or coating
breakdowns is essential to a longer lasting paint life. Surfaces
are always expanding and contracting with changing weather
temperatures causing cracks. When cracks are left
unattended, moisture is allowed to enter these surfaces causing
excessive paint problems. Mildew should be cleaned when
applicable. There is no such thing as maintenance free.