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To Do a Proper Paint Job, Take Your Time

June 25, 1989|ANDY LANG | Associated Press

After reading this article and assimilating as much as you can, clip it and put it away. Then reread it before you begin your next paint job, inside or out.

Here are some things that have been learned over the years about painting the interior and the exterior of your house:

Important and secondary only to the proper preparation of the surface is the admonition to take your time. More amateur paint chores are ruined by the urge to get the task over with than anything except the desire to skip the boring but vital preparation chores. What's your hurry? If ever a task demanded a methodical approach, it is painting.

That includes the time required to decide the kind of paint you are going to use, what effect you are trying to achieve, how you are going to handle the trim or woodwork, how much paint you will need and which applicators you will use on which surfaces.

On the inside, you generally will be choosing semi-gloss, flat or satin-finish paints. Semi-gloss reflects light and makes a room or hallway seem larger. It usually can be washed successfully with soap and water. Flat paints have a soft, less reflective appearance. Satin finishes combine the virtues of glosses and flats. They have a quiet luster, hide defects and can be wiped clean.

An Oil-Based Primer

Outside, latex paints can be used for a variety of materials, but for metal and extremely porous surfaces, an oil-based primer should be used under either latex or oil-based paint.

Outside, you probably will use a latex paint, but oil-based, alkyds and modified alkyds are excellent for wood siding. Brick or other masonry should be painted with an exterior paint formulated for use on such surfaces.

Exterior wood shakes or shingles are usually stained, although they can be painted. Once stained, they should again be stained when a second treatment is necessary.

Be sure to use a primer on unpainted surfaces such as wallboard or bare wood. It seals the surface, provides a color base and gives the second coat a clean and uniform look.

On ceilings, a bright white makes the room seem larger, but sometimes you may want to "soften" the room, in which case use a soft white. Textured paints have a heavier consistency than regular paints and make an excellent base for the creation of patterns. They also can hide surface defects.

For large flat surfaces, nothing beats a roller, but brushes are better for smaller or irregular surfaces and jobs with trim. There are other kinds of applicators, including pads, for special tasks. A paint pad also works well on large surfaces or more precise areas, since they are lightweight and easy to use. Good pads usually have beveled edges and a rounded bottom.

All aspects of painting are discussed in Andy Lang's booklet, "Paint Your House Inside and Out," which can be obtained by sending $1 and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Know-How, P.O. Box 477, Huntington, N.Y. 11743.

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