Surface Preperation...

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

Surface preparation is the single most important part of any paint project because it promotes better adhesion of coatings. Inadequate surface preparation and moisture are the major reasons paints fail to perform. Homeowners should thoroughly clean any surface before applying paint products. Exterior surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned of dirt, sap, mildew, and any other substances that might inhibit adhesion or take away from the overall appearance and durability of the finish. Surfaces can be cleaned by hand with household or commercial cleaners, but this method of cleaning can be time consuming. A more conventional way to clean exterior surfaces would be to use a pressure washer ( power washer ). It is much less time consuming and will achieve the desired result. Different surfaces require a different type of pressure washing and the amount of pressure that is used may very from surface to surface. If used improperly, pressure washers can cause a lot of damage to surfaces. Whoever is pressure washing should be sure they understand what they are cleaning and how far they can go on a particular surface before it becomes damaged. If a homeowner is mixing bleach and other detergents to remove dirt and mildew, NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH detergents that contain AMONIA. The fumes released from the combination of the two have the same affect as mustard gas, and can be fatal.
Interior surfaces should be free of dust, dirt and grime. Scrubbing may or may not be necessary. Use of general household cleaners should be adequate. Repair all gouges, cracks, stains, holes, etc., and sand area’s smooth where applicable before applying primers and paints. The conditions will dictate how much a homeowner or contractor will have to do.

After the surface is thoroughly washed, remove all loose and peeling paint where applicable and sand those area’s to provide a smooth surface. The degree of sanding will be determined by the thickness of the paint. All damaged area’s need to be repaired. If broken glass needs replacing or window glazing becomes loose and brittle, the windows will need reglazing once the surface is cleaned. A coat of a top quality alkyd primer before and after new glazing is applied will provide maximum adhesion. All rust should be wire brushed and treated with a hardening chemical and a top quality rust inhibited primer to prevent future rusting. Rusty nail heads need to be reset, primed with a top quality rust inhibited primer and caulked. If rust is not properly treated it will reemerge through the new paint within days. Finally, caulk cracks where applicable and then apply a top quality primer and a top quality finish coat.