For more indepth articles, subscribe online to The Home Handyman magazine
Preparing interior surfaces for painting
Important steps necessary to achieving the best possible home painting results include good surface preparation, purchasing quality paints, and using high quality brushes and tools. As with exterior paint projects, it is critical to take time to properly prepare any interior surface that needs to be painted. This ensures that the finished paint job will look smooth and uniform and that it will last a long time.
Cleaning interior surfaces
It is a great temptation for the DIY-er to start painting without properly preparing the surface. But this would be a big mistake, since short cuts on surface preparation can cause even the highest quality paints to fail. Whether it is the walls, ceilings, or trims that are to be painted, the starting point for any interior painting project is to thoroughly clean these surfaces. Accumulated dust, dirt and grime must be removed by scrubbing the surfaces with a sponge and a mild household detergent solution, or Sugar Soap for any areas that are visibly dirty, such as kitchens and children's rooms. If stubborn stains are present - for example, oil, grease or mildew - the surface should be cleaned using a scrubbing brush and a stronger cleaning solution containing ammonia or household bleach. When using either of these cleaning solutions, it is important to wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. Do not mix ammonia and bleach together - as doing so will produce noxious fumes and could result in serious injury. After cleaning, the interior surfaces must be rinsed off and allowed to dry completely before the application of any type of primer or paint.
Filling cracks and seams
Cracks or seams in plaster and drywall can be quickly remedied with a water-based sealer, drywall compound, spackling paste, or paintable silicone. If the crack or seam was previously filled, remove as much of the old sealant as possible. If loose paint is present, scrape it off, then sand the area and dust it off afterwards. Surfaces adjacent to cracks and joints should be clean, dry and dust-free when a sealant is applied. The sealer should be applied with a sealer gun, working the trigger to keep constant, but not excessive, pressure on the material.
Most interior primers are designed for very specific applications. Often, they serve a practical purpose by warding off potential problems that might arise due to the nature of the surface being painted or the environment of the room. They also have an aesthetic role of improving the appearance of an interior paint job. So, it is wise to use a quality primer to achieve the best interior painting results.
For advice on installing ceramic tile purchase the April 2009 issue of The Home Handyman.