The Guide | Introduction | Paint Failures | Surface Preparation | Surfaces | Caulk
Primers and Paints | Stains | Maintenance | Colour | Painting Pointers

To estimate the amount of materials needed for a particular paint project, all that is needed is the square footage of the surface that is going to be painted. Do not worry about deducting for windows, doors, etc., so there will be paint left over for touchup. If the surface is less than one foot wide it is usually figured in linear feet and converted to square feet.

Testing Painted Surfaces
Anyone who is repainting a surface and wants to see what kind of paint was previously used on that surface, should rub the surface with rubbing alcohol. Latex base paints will dissolve. Alkyd base paints will not.

Textured Ceilings
In the Ontario Region, many homes have textured ceilings that are very difficult to paint. The biggest reason is because the texture is applied over surfaces that have no primer. Because the texture is a water based mixture, painting it with a latex paint will reactivate it, and if not painted correctly will cause it to fall off. And when that happens, it is a nightmare. However, textured ceilings can be painted, using a brush, roller, or sprayer when applying acrylic latex or alkyd base paints.

Shawn Letcher has had excellent results using a 1 1/2” roller cover and rolling an alkyd base flat paint. The theory is that when you apply the alkyd base flat paint, it will soak through the texture and into the underlying surface, bonding the two together and not reactivating it like a latex base paint will. When rolling the paint on the ceiling, roll from one end of the ceiling to the other without stopping. Rolling back over wet texture (with a latex based paint) will pull it off. Wait 24 hours if a second coat is necessary.

The only exception Shawn has found are places where leaks have occurred. For some reason, leaks can create a barrier around them as far as eight feet, between the back side of the texture and the surface. This barrier prevents even the alkyd base paint from penetrating into the surface, and in return weighing the texture down enough to cause it to fall off, as much as three months after the paint has been applied. So be careful. However, if you can get through it without any problems you're home free, because touch up from there on out is a snap.

Water Stains on Textured Ceilings
Try this the next time a leak causes a brown stain on a textured ceiling that has never been painted. Take some straight bleach and put it in a spray bottle (like the kind you might use for plant food.) Then spray the stained area with the bleach and let, this now wet area, dry over night. Depending on the severity of the stain, more than one application may be required. Many times this will take a water stain out of a textured ceiling. If not, be sure to prime the stain with a stain blocking primer before painting.

When using brushes, use china bristle for alkyd paints and a combination nylon/polyester for latex paints The combination nylon/polyester last longer than 100% nylon and give a good finish. Never use china or natural bristle brush for latex or it will never be used again for anything other than a dust brush. A good quality brush won’t have bristles falling out while it is in use. Give the bristles of the brush a good tug before using it to see if they fall out. If they do it is probably a poorly constructed brush. Also, the paint project will dictate what size brush to use. Brushes generally come in sizes 1" to 4". Smaller brushes are ideal for trim, windows, doors, and shutters, while a large 4" brush would be ideal for exterior siding. As a final thought on brushes, if there is a paint product that makes for extremely hard cleanup (i.e. rust inhibitor), a cheap brush might be an option. It can be thrown away when the job is finished.

There are different naps to a roller sleeve (i.e. 1/2", 3/4", 1 1/2" etc.). A good size to use on flat surfaces is 1/4" to 3/4" nap, and 3/4" to 1 1/2 " nap on rougher surfaces. Check with a local paint dealer for the roller sleeve needed for a particular project.

Other tools to consider for use on any paint project are scrapers, wire brushes, putty knives, sanding blocks or sand paper, caulking gun, oversized roller tray, and a brush comb.