Don’t paint yourself into a corner

June 28, 2015 Posted by admin

The easiest and least expensive way to change the look and feel of a room is to paint it, right? Well, true — and false.

Painting may be easier than wallpapering or tearing down a wall, but to get good results, both work and expense are involved.

In fact, painting is much more specialized than most people think it is, said John Glanz, owner of John’s Color Concepts on West Central Avenue.

“People think anybody can be a painter,” he said. However, he added, “That whole profession isn’t given the kudos that it should [receive].”

Kathy Butcher, who describes herself as a “veteran of the paint department” at the Anderson’s in Maumee, said that the key to a great-looking, long-lasting, and “better appearance over all” paint job is “prep, prep, prep.”

If old paint is peeling from the wall — whether inside or outside, where you want to be sure to use exterior paint, it must first be scraped, she said. And if there are bare spots, prime it, then use a good quality exterior paint for outside jobs, she added.

Be careful before scraping and sanding, though.

“If a house is built before 1977, before you scrap and sand, make sure there is no lead. If it’s there, you don’t want to disrupt it. You can buy test kits and the tester will turn red if there is lead,” Mr. Glanz said. Then, if lead-based paint has been previously used, use a primer that “will encapsulate and lock it down.”

If the walls are dirty, they must be cleaned, using a good cleaner. Don’t try the seemingly easy route and put an everyday product such dish washing detergent in your water, she said. If you do, that detergent will leave a film to which the paint won’t adhere.

“And if you have shiny walls, you need to degloss those walls,” she said, adding that there are liquid deglossers on the market.

Once walls are scraped, sanded, and, or washed, it’s not quite time to paint yet. First, smart do-it-yourself painters will protect woodwork, floors, and other areas that they do not want paint to drip or splatter on by accident. Don’t forget the drop cloth to cover floors and furniture. Also, the tape these days to protect woodwork goes on and comes off easier than the old masking tape folks once used and that hardly ever came off easily.

And for DIY painters who dismiss protecting their woodwork before they start painting and who wind up getting paint all over their woodwork, there is still help for them. Ms. Butcher said products are available that take old, dried latex paint off wood.

Meanwhile, different types of paint require different types of brushes, so just picking up cheap brushes at the local discount store probably won’t bring the desirable good-looking results. Mr. Glanz said, for example, that it’s a good idea to use a bristle brush when covering walls with oil-based paints.

“And with that in mind, there are different roller covers and different brushes. One brush doesn’t fit all,” he added.

Moreover, while most paints now are acrylics, some of the better ones will perform as well as oil-based paints, he added. Additionally, Ms. Butcher said a good roller and brush go hand-in-hand with quality paint.

“You can use the most expensive paint and use dollar roller covers, then you won’t get a good job. Sometimes you can use a lesser grade paint and a better roller cover, and it will do a good job,” she added.

And now for the part that’s supposed to be fun: selecting colors.

“People think they can choose color first, but the hardest part of painting is picking the colors,” said Mr. Glanz. “I tell people that the best dressed rooms are the ones that give you the oohs and the ahhs, and have five elements: light, medium, and dark tones, and warm and cool colors. A combination of warm and cool colors balances everything together.”

Ms. Butcher suggests when shopping for a paint color to take with you a sofa pillow, blanket, or other item that may have in it the color you want to paint your walls. Color charts and retail personnel can help customers who need guidance for choosing accent colors to coordinate with the dominate color of a room.

“Some people definitely want grays and whites and blacks and others want warmer colors, like browns and gold tones,” Ms. Butcher said. “Sometimes you get a pop of other colors to make it bright and cheery. People still want an accent wall of a different color, or they may do an accent wall with wallpaper.”

Anyone can labor for hours trying to select just the right color from the hundreds of paint chips in stores. Once near a decision, people sometimes buy a sample to paint on a wall.

However, Mr. Glanz suggests painting a poster board and looking at the painted board while holding it against floors, cabinets, or other areas where the color will be.

And though it’s more work, don’t rule out using primer because in the end, you might be happy you did, especially if the wall to be painted over is already red, or a dark color such as navy. Maybe not everyone will use a product containing both paint and primer, lots of people choose to use the two-in-one product.

Ms. Butcher also said that among the newer paint products is a ceiling paint that goes on pink and then turns white.

“Several companies are coming out with that, so if you’re painting white over white, you can see where you missed spots,” she said.

And missing a spot is not what anyone wants to do.

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