Monday, 05 February 2007 18:00

How To Paint A Garage Floor

So you want your garage to look like a showroom floor?  If this is what you expect simply by painting your garage floor, think again.  Showroom floors at car dealers, specialty shops and garages are applied by professionals who use professional products.  Painting your garage floor will give your garage a face lift and may make your floor easier to clean but it will not make it look like a glossy showroom floor.  Remember to be careful, because painting your floor with a full gloss paint will make it slippery when wet.   



Newly poured garage floors should be allowed to cure at least 60 days before any coating is applied.  Unpainted concrete should be acid etched using muriatic acid.  If the surface has been previously painted, the coating should be sanded down to the bare concrete.  After etching or sanding make sure the floor is thoroughly rinsed with water and allowed to dry.


Materials Needed


Garage floor epoxy or paint, rollers & brushes, extension handle, painter's tape, paint tray, decorative flecks or silica sand (optional).




  1. Apply the first coat of your garage floor epoxy/paint using a roller.  Let the coating dry according to the manufacturer's directions.
  2. Apply a second coat using the same application technique.
  3. If you chose, you can sprinkle paint flecks into the second coat of product while it is still wet.
  4. Silica sand may also be applied to the areas of the garage that you want to make less slippery.  However, sand should not be placed where vehicles will drive. The grains of sand are abrasive to even the toughest coatings and will increase the chances of peeling.  Only spread sand in walkways where tires will not be driven.
  5. Most garage floor paints do not require a topcoat.  Simply let your paint dry and do not drive on it for at least 72 hours, sometimes longer depending on which product is used.
Published in Painting
Monday, 05 February 2007 18:00

How To Paint Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile can be primed and painted, which is a great alternative to having to re-tile your bathroom just because you don't like the color. However, the following instructions are for ceramic tile that is not in your shower.  Constant water hitting a painted surface will result in paint failure.  If you need to paint ceramic tile that is in your shower area you will need to consult a paint store in order to get the correct epoxy that will stand up to water flow.

Published in Painting
Monday, 05 February 2007 18:00

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

With a little cleaning, prep work and painting you can transform your kitchen in a few days and give your home a completely different look.  The average cost for painting kitchen cabinets is around $150.  This includes the materials listed below and new handles.  The average cost for new kitchen cabinets is between $5,000 and $6,000.

Published in Painting
Monday, 05 February 2007 18:00

How To Stain A Deck

There are a wide variety of deck stains to choose from.  Companies offer both oil and latex stains in opaque and semi-transparent finishes, as well as clear sealers.  The most important step in preparing to stain your deck is choosing the correct product and making sure your deck is clean.

Product Selection

   Benefits of latex products:

  • Expand and contract with warm and cool temperatures
  • Quick dry time
  • Can be coated twice the same day
  • Easy soap and water clean-up


     Benefits of oil-base products:

  • Creates a harder finish than latex when dry
  • Penetrates the wood deeper than water-based products
  • May last longer than latex-base products

Is latex better than oil?  That is still up for debate, both products have their advantages and disadvantages.  The old adage "you get what you pay for" can be used.  If you pay $10 dollars per gallon for a stain it won't protect your deck or look as nice as the $30 dollar gallon of stain.

Semi-Transparent stain

  • Allows the wood grain to show through
  • Depending on the product you chose, most will dry to a flat sheen.  Deck stains are penetrating stains and do not leave any shine when they have cured
  • Does not provide much protection against UV rays

Opaque (solid) stain

  • Provides excellent UV protection
  • Hides imperfections on decks and covers up weathered, faded semi-transparent stains
  • Lasts up to 2 times longer than semi-transparent stains

Clear Sealer

  • Provides a crystal clear protective coating
  • Does not provide much protection against UV rays



I know your time is valuable, but preparation is almost more important than what deck stain you choose to use.  If you do not read and abide by what I'm about to say, your deck stain will fail up to 50% faster than if you do the following steps.  I guarantee it will happen because I have been selling deck coatings for years and have heard success stories and horror stories.


This section is so important, I've made a separate article for it as to not make this tutorial too long.  Check it out:  How To Prepare A Deck For Staining


Materials needed

Deck stain, brush & roller, deck cleaner, drop cloth, pressure washer (optional), garden sprayer (optional).



  1. Start by staining the railings first.  Place a drop cloth underneath to collect any drips.
  2. Apply the stain to the deck by roller, brush or garden sprayer.  If you roll or spray the stain on, be sure to back-brush the stain so it is spread evenly and pushed into the wood.
  3. Apply a second coat if necessary.
  4. Clean up tools.
Published in Painting
Tuesday, 17 April 2007 19:46

How To Stop Peeling Paint



Peeling paint normally occurs when an exterior substrate is damp or wet for a long length of time.  When the surface is warmed by the heat of the sun, the water tries to evaporate by coming through the paint surface, which cracks the paint.  It is then just a matter of time before the paint starts to peel.  In order to fix this problem, follow these steps.


Materials Needed


Wire brush scraper, Peel Stop primer, TSP or other cleaner, sandpaper 




  1. Remove as much of the peeling paint as possible by scraping or using a wire brush.
  2. Thoroughly clean the surface to remove dirt, oil, grease, and other material that may interfere with adhesion.  Wash the surface with a strong detergent, such as ammonia and water.  Then Rinse the surface.
  3. Sand the edges of the remaining paint to create a smooth surface.
  4. Use a primer/sealer called Peel Stop manufactured by Zinsser.  Apply when the air temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees.  Apply by brush, roll or sprayer.  Back brush or roll to work the products into the cracks of the old paint. 
  5. If the peel stop dries to a dull sheen, apply a second coat.
  6. After the surface has been sealed, prime the entire surface with a primer such as 1-2-3 before applying your finish coat.


 Another Tip


Replace all of the caulking on the area that you are working on.  Caulk will shrink over time and can lead to rain and moisture getting into places where it shouldn't be.  If you do not replace the caulk, the priming and painting you did will not last for very long. 

Published in Painting
Saturday, 21 April 2007 19:44

How To Fix Cracking Paint

Cracking paint can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from the expansion and contraction of a substrate, moisture seepage problems or to something as simple as someone having applied a water-base paint over an oil-base paint. 


First, try to determine what caused the cracking.  If, for instance, the problem is caused by the expanding and contracting of the painted material that is beyond your control, the problem will happen again and you should look for an alternative fix.  If the cracking occured because old caulk failed and allowed water into the substrate, you can simply re-caulk after your paint job is complete to eliminate future problems.  Knowing why something happened can prevent having to re-do a job several times.


Materials Needed


Scraper, sandpaper, primer, paint, putty knife, spackling compound




  1. Scrape the substrate with a scraper to remove all loose or flaking paint.
  2. Lightly feather sand the edges of the paint you scraped off to make the surface smooth.
  3. Using a putty knife, apply a skim coat of spackling to fill in cracks and level out the surface.
  4. Prime the area that was patched with a primer.
  5. Apply two coats of finish coat paint.
Published in Painting
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 19:57

What Sheen Level of Paint Should I Use?

There are many different types of paint sheen levels: Matte, Flat, Eggshell (Velvet), Satin, Semi-gloss and Gloss


Some manufacturers may use different sheen level names but these are the most popular.  Typically the more sheen a paint has, the more washable it will be.   However, there are washable and scrub-able flat paints so you need to figure out which sheen you prefer for your project and then find a suitable paint to purchase.


Explanation of paint sheen levels


Flat -- A matte finish that provides a dead flat sheen. 


    • Excellent touch-up ability
    • Provides a dull, soft look
    • Hides imperfections



    •  Usually not washable


Eggshell (Velvet)  --  A very dull finish with a slight angular sheen. 



    • Low sheen, yet washable
    • Good touch-up qualities



    • Not as washable as some people like


Satin --  An enamel finish with a medium amount of shine.



    • Very washable
    • Great for trim work and doors



    • Poor touch-up
    • Magnifies imperfections on walls
Semi-gloss -- A glossy finish used for high-traffic areas.



    • Great wash-ability



    • Poor touch-up
    • Magnifies imperfections more than satin on walls



Full Gloss --  The shinest paint sheen available.  Used on products that need superior protection.



    • Great for high-traffic areas
    • For use in schools, doctors offices
    • Can be used on floors and counter tops



    • Very shiny, not intended for walls


Sheen by room (walls)


Kitchen --  Satin or semi-gloss


Dining Room -- Flat or eggshell


Bathroom --  Satin or semi-gloss


Bedrooms --  Flat or eggshell


Hallway  -- Flat


Basement  --  Flat or waterproofing paint


Ceilings --  Flat


Trim work & doors -- Satin

Published in Painting
Monday, 22 October 2007 17:30

How To Waterproof A Basement Wall



Waterproofing your basement may seem like a lot of work but it can save you time and money down the road if you run into mold, mildew or a water leak.  Usually it is as simple as applying two coats of a waterproofing paint to your cement block wall. 




  • Remove any efflorescence (white powdery substance usually found on lower blocks) with a muriatic acid or etching solution.   
  • Rinse the surface thoroughly with water twice to remove any residue left from the etching solution.
  • Remove any mold or mildew using a 1:1 mixture of bleach and water.
  • Fill cracks and holes with a concrete patch.


Materials Needed


Brush, 3/4" or 1" nap roller, paint tray, drop cloth, waterproofing paint, concrete patch, putty knife, etching solution.




  1. Apply the first coat of the waterproofer using a thick nap roller cover or brush. 
  2. Allow the product to dry.  Inspect the job to make sure that there are holes where the product has soaked into the block.  If you do find any make sure to note where they are so you can cover them during your second coat
  3. Apply a second coat of the waterproofer.  It is not necessary to top coat this product with paint, however you can paint the surface after it has dried.
Published in Walls
Sunday, 30 December 2007 10:11

How To Paint Over Oil Based Paint

So you have some oil-based paint that you need to paint over?  This article will help you make what seems like a daunting task extremely easy. 


Sometimes people think that just because their trim hasn't been painted for twenty years that they are dealing with an oil-based paint.  This may not be the case, which is why you should test the area you are painting to see if it is oil or latex based.  


How to test to see if your paint is oil-based 

Pour some denatured or rubbing alcohol on a rag and wipe the surface to be painted.  If you can see the paint on the rag, the paint is latex base.  If you rub and rub and nothing comes off, the paint is oil-based.  If your paint is white and your rag is also white, get some sort of cloth or old t-shirt that is a different color than white so you can see if the paint comes off.


If the paint is latex you can simply paint over it with another latex paint.  If it is oil-based you will need to either repaint with an oil-based paint or prime the surface first.


Which primer to use? 


You can use a latex-based primer to go over an oil-based paint. So which one should you chose? Generally a primer such as 1-2-3 from Zinsser will do the trick.  This primer can be used inside and outside, has superior adhesion to almost any surface and is a stain killer. After the surface is primed you can top coat it with the finish coat of your choice.

Published in Painting
Saturday, 12 January 2008 09:50

How To Paint Paneling

Want to brighten up a room by painting your old paneling?  Make sure to follow all of the steps below to make sure you have a trouble-free project.  Painting paneling requires more prep work than a normal painting job and skipping even one step may cause unsatisfactory results.


Materials Needed

Bonding primer, 100% acrylic paint, sandpaper, household cleaner, brush & roller




  1. Wash the paneling with a cleaner such as Formula 409.  Oil, grease and dust cling to paneling, so it is crucial to clean thoroughly.  If the paneling is in a kitchen near a stove or where food is prepared, clean the surface twice.  Rinse the paneling with water when you are finished in order to remove any residue left by the cleaner.
  2. If your paneling is glossy it will need to be sanded for proper adhesion of the primer.  Sandpaper should be used for de-glossing as steel wool may leave fibers on the surface which can rust when subjected to a water-base primer and finish coat.  Use a damp rag to remove the sanding dust.  DO NOT use a tack rag, they contain an oil that will prohibit water-based coatings from sticking to the paneling. 
  3. Apply a bonding primer using a brush and roller.  We suggest using a block-out primer which will cover dark paneling in one coat and will also prevent the color of your paneling from bleeding through your paint. 
  4. Apply an eggshell of satin sheen paint as a topcoat.  Brush or roll on two coats for the most protection against stains and scratches.
Published in Painting
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