Tuesday, 07 October 2008 09:00

Which Primer Should I Use?



With so many primers to choose from, which one should you use for your job?  The easiest way to find out which primer you need is to know exactly what you expect the primer to do for you.  Too often people use the wrong primer for the wrong project and end up watching their hours of preparation and work peel off like a bad sunburn. 


Simply click on what you are priming and our site will direct you to which primer you should be using.


What are you painting?


                       New drywall     Oil-base Paint     Pet Stains     Water Stains     Tile     Glass     Floor     Nicotine Stains


                       Peeling Paint     Formica     Steel     Copper     Masonite     Stucco     Aluminum     Vinyl     Wood Knots


                      Cedar Wood     Pressure Treated Wood     PVC     T 1-11     Fiberglass            




PVA Primer (poly-vinyl acetate)


     Product:  Many manufacturers make PVA primers, you won't notice a difference unless you use it everyday.


     Uses:  PVA primer is for priming over newly textured surfaces and bare drywall.


     Clean-up:  Soap and water can be used to clean out your equipment.


Shellac-based primer


     Product:  Bin made by Zinsser



                    •  Interior & exterior spot priming to seal stains (grease, mildew, marker, gasoline) before painting.

                    •  Bin primer will also seal in the odor casued by fire damage.

                    •  Can be applied to floors prior to painting or carpeting to seal in smells from pet accidents

                    •  Shellac-based primers can technically be used on almost any interior surface.  For exterior stains it is only 

                             recommended to spot prime problem areas.


     Clean-up:  Use denatured alcohol to clean your brushes, rollers and tools.



Water-based Primer


     Product: 1-2-3 Primer by Zinsser



                   •  New drywall, plaster, over oil-based paint, new or old wood, concrete, tile.

                   •  1-2-3 primer has excellent adhesion and does not require sanding prior to priming.  If you have a similiar 

                           interior/exterior primer check the label to see if any prep work is required before priming.   


     Clean-up:  Clean brushes and tools with warm soapy water



Oil-based Primer


Product:  Cover Stain by Zinsser

Published in Painting
Tuesday, 24 February 2009 12:53

How To Paint Glass



Glass, with the right preparation and products, can be painted just like any other surface.  Being very smooth and slick, glass can be a challenge to paint if you are not sure how to tackle it. 


Materials needed


Paint brush & roller, drop cloth, paint tray, cleaning solution, bonding primer, tape




As with any paint job, the surface you are painting should be cleaned before priming.  This is especially true with glass.  Even though you may not see a residue or dirt on a glass surface you should still wash it down with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) or an ammoniated cleaner.  Once the glass is dry you are ready to follow the steps below.




  1. Apply a coat of bonding primer, we recommend Stix by Insl-x.  This primer is specifically formulated to stick to glass, pvc pipe, and other smooth and slick surfaces that normal primers will not bond to.  Stix is a thin translucent primer so don't be afraid if it does not look like it provides good hiding qualities.  The primer is meant to seal the glass so it can be painted, not to provide a finished looking product.
  2. Wait until the primer is dry and apply whatever topcoat of paint you wish.  Make sure it is a durable finish, either satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish.  The type of product you apply will depend on where this glass will be located.  Obvious, use exterior grade products for things outdoors and a durable finish for indoor projects.
  3. Once the glass has been primed and painted you may wish to apply a second coat of paint.  




Be sure you wait long enough between the primer and the finish coat.  If the primer does not have enough time to dry before another coat is applied, the primer will stay softer longer and may loosen.

Published in Painting
Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:16

How To Paint Aluminum Siding



Aluminum siding can be painted easily if you have the right tools and knowledge. A house can be transformed in as little as one weekend by following the instructions below.


Type Of Paint To Purchase For Aluminum Siding


Always use a high quality acrylic paint for aluminum siding.  Most acrylic exterior paints do not require a primer.  The only time you may need a primer on your siding is if it had been painted previously with oil-based paint.  Depending on where you live, there are a variety of good exterior paints available to you.  We recommend talking to a locally owned paint store and finding out what would be best for your project.  Many paint manufacturers produce paints with a lifetime guarantee for exterior paint.


Preparation for painting aluminum siding


Cleaning is the key.  Aluminum siding seems to attract mold, mildew, dirt, insects, spider webs, etc.  To achieve the best paint job you should thoroughly clean down the whole house.  Usually we recommend TSP (tri sodium phosphate) as a cleaner for paint jobs.  However, since you are working on the outside of the house where mold and mildew is typically present, we recommend using Jomax as a cleaner.  Jomax is an exterior house wash that will kill mold.  It is a concentrate that is mixed with soap and water and can be applied with a pump up garden type sprayer.  Simply spray it on and rinse it off with water.  There is no pressure washing equipment required.


Things to do before you paint your house


Caulking around doors and windows should always be replaced either before or after you paint your house, do not forget this step.  Caulk is made to keep water and moisture out of window trim, door moldings, etc.  Old caulk that has either shrank or fallen out needs to be replaced.  Failing to do this will result in your paint peeling off.  Without caulk to stop it, moisture will get into the wood trim of your house.  The heat from the sun will draw the moisture out of the wood, popping your newly painted trim or siding.  You can choose to caulk either before or after painting.  If you want your caulk to be the same color as your trim paint, buy paintable caulk and simply paint over it when you are painting the trim.  If you choose to caulk afterwards, there are a variety of different colors of caulk you can buy.


How To Paint Aluminum Siding


  1. Clean and prepare the surface as mentioned above.
  2. Whenever possible, it is best to paint two or three siding boards horizontally all the way across the house.  This prevents lap marks from the paint drying too quickly if you are trying to paint the side of your house like you would paint a room (from top left to bottom right).
  3. Paint window trim last, if you get any on the siding it can easily be wiped off or touched up later.


Other Tips


  • Always paint in the shade.  The paint will dry on contact if you attempt to paint hot siding.  You should be able to work around the house so you can follow the shade and stay out of the sun.
  • Use a good quality house paint.  There is no sense in going to the trouble of painting your whole house and trying to save ten dollars a gallon on paint.
  • There is no primer needed on aluminum siding as long as you are using a high quality acrylic paint.  Check the label or ask your local paint professional for a paint that can be applied directly on aluminum.
Published in Painting
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 20:18

How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling Texture



Ready to remove that old-fashioned textured ceiling?  It is easy if you follow the steps listed below.


Warning: If you did not install the textured ceiling, make sure you test the surface for abestos and lead paint.  Scraping lead paint and abestos is very harmful to your health and could result in brain damage or lead posioning. 


Materials Needed


Drop cloth, garden sprayer, painters hat, safety glasses, scraper or putty knife


Steps To Remove A Textured Ceiling


  1. Mask off walls and flooring with rosin paper or visqueen
  2. Fill a pump-up garden sprayer with water and lightly mist the ceiling with water.  This will loosen the texture and make it easier to remove.
  3. Wait about 10 minutes then start to remove the texture with a scraper or putty knfe.  Becareful not to gouge into the ceiling, as it will result in more repairs later.
  4. Wash down the ceiling with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) after you have removed all of the texture.  This will prepare the surface to be repaired with spackling or painted. 
Published in Painting
Saturday, 09 January 2010 21:48

How To Pick The Right Paint Roller



I'm sure you have spent at least a few minutes standing in front of the racks and racks of rollers at your home improvement store wondering which one you should be buying.  Paint rollers are made in different lengths, naps and materials.  This article will tell you which paint roller you should use for the specific job you are doing.  Since there are so many different brands/styles of roller, I will tell you which nap should be used and you can make your own determination of quality by the price of the roller.


When you find the correct nap roller and choose a length that will work for you, the next step is to pick out which quality you want to use.  Most of the time you should use the best quality cover that you can buy.  It will provide the smoothest finish and your job will end up looking better because of it.  Certain jobs, like painting a basement wall or floor, may not require the best cover.  However, remember that less expensive covers can possibly shed so you may end up picking lint off of your walls.


In general, a high quality 9 inch paint roller will cost anywhere between four to six dollars.  Inexpensive covers could range from one to three dollars.  Make sure to look for the words "shed resistant" when purchasing the covers.


Roller Naps


1/4" -  This roller is typically used when you want a very smooth finish.  (doors, counters, flat trim work)


3/16"  - This has just a little more nap than a 1/4" cover.  It will also provide a very smooth finish.  (doors, counters, flat trim work)


3/8"  -  A standard size roller.  This roller can be used on 80% of paint projects.  It is great for smooth ceilings and walls.  It can also be used on floors, tile and smooth exterior surfaces such as decks, vinyl and aluminum siding.


1/2"  -  This roller can also be used on all surfaces that a 3/8" cover can be used on.  However, this roller will hold more paint and apply it in a heavier fashion.  This can result in a little orange peel texture on smooth surfaces.  1/2" nap covers work great on medium textured surfaces, such as textured ceilings, masonry walls, and floors.


3/4"  -  A specialty cover for very textured surfaces.  This roller is generally used when painting a very pourous surface.  Sometimes paint manufacturers will recommend this nap cover when waterproofing a basement wall.  It is also recommened when painting rough-sawn cedar wood on exterior surfaces.  It can also be used for heavy stucco finish and textured ceilings.


1" & 1 1/4"  -  These rollers are used when you want to apply paint in a very heavy fashion.  Typically these rollers are not recommened by paint manufacturers but can be used anywhere a 3/4" cover is called for.   


Published in Painting
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 15:36

How To Paint Over Rust



Question:  Can I paint over rust?


Answer:  Yes you can, however there are several steps to take in order to make painting over rust easier.  


  1. You should remove all of the rust that you can using a steel or nylon wire brush.
  2. Clean the surface using a Tri Sodium Phosphate/water mixture.
  3. Paint the surface with a liquid product called Rust Arrestor by Insl X or a product called Rust Destroyer.  Both of these products will chemically convert the rust to a paintable surface.  The rust will then not bleed back through whatever paint you end up using.
  4. After the product above has dried,  you can apply one or two coats of paint to the surface.
Published in Painting