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  • FAQ

    Interior Painting Frequently Asked Questions (scroll down for exterior and deck questions)

    Q: Why do I need to use a primer instead of just using two coats of the finish paint?

    A: A primer is beneficial because it helps provide a uniform surface that promotes good adhesion of the topcoat. A primer can also serve a special purpose by sealing a porous surface, blocking out stains, preventing rust formation on iron and steel, and preventing tannin bleed on wood. Most finish paints are designed to provide a decorative or protective finish for a substrate. In most situations, they do not provide the features of a primer, so it is always important to follow the manufacturer's recommended coating system.

    Q: What is hatbanding and what causes it?

    A: Hatbanding is a phenomenon that appears as a stripe at the edges or top of a wall. It occurs when the brushed "cut-in" area is dry when the wall is rolled. By not rolling onto a wet edge, the difference in the texture of the brushed paint and rolled paint becomes very visible. Hatbanding is corrected by applying another coat of paint, keeping a wet edge of cut-in areas.

    Q: What causes fisheyes?

    A: Fisheyes are caused by some type of surface contamination that was not removed in preparation for painting. This contamination can be from body oils, silicone from furniture polish, or any greasy or oil substance. The slippery deposit on the surface does not allow the paint to adhere, causing it to shrink away from the contamination and form a dimple-like void in the paint film.

    Q: What types of cleaners can I use to remove mildew?

    A: Try using a solution of one quart household beach in three quarts of water. Apply the solution to the area with mildew and then rinse off with water. Never add detergents or ammonia to the bleach/water solution. Always protect your skin and eyes against splashes.

    Q: I need to paint a residential ceiling that has been stained from a previous water leak. What is the best approach to sealing the stain before applying flat ceiling paint?

    A: I suggest you take care of all the repair work first, then apply an alkyd primer-sealer, such as ProBlock, to seal out the water stains.

    Q: Can I apply latex paint over a surface finished with an oil-based product?

    A: Yes you can. You have two choices to do this. First would be to wash the surface, sand and then clean the sanding dust off. You may then apply your latex paint over the oil base paint. That process works for both interior and exterior applications. Your other option is to wash the surface and then apply a coat of a adhesion primer and then topcoat.

    Q: Can acrylic latex house paint be applied over gloss alkyd paint? Is special prep work necessary to ensure good adhesion?

    A: Yes, to both questions. But, to ensure good adhesion, glossy surfaces must first be washed clean and then sanded to allow the paint to "grip" the surface. Gloss alkyd paints that are exposed to harsh weather conditions have a tendency to "chalk" - that is, the old paint film develops a faded, powdery substance on the surface. So it's best to wash off any excessive chalk prior to applying an acrylic topcoat. When painting bare surfaces, use an appropriate primer before applying the topcoat. This will ensure the best adhesion and long-term durability.

    Exterior Painting Frequently Asked Questions


    Q: When painting outside, how long does the temperature need to stay in the suggested range? Some people say it's okay to paint all day, even if the temperature is above the minimum recommendation for only an hour or so.

    A: Ideally, the temperature should be in the suggested range and above the dew point for at least 48 hours after application. Colder temperatures and moisture on the surface will not allow a paint film to form properly. This will shorten the life expectancy of the paint and could cause surfactant leaching, mildew growth, frosting, and adhesion problems. When the forecasters predict changing temperatures that may drop below the normal recommendation of 50° F for latex paint, consider using a house paint that can be applied and will cure at temperatures as low as 35° F. This will give you the opportunity to extend your painting season by as much as two months in most areas of the country.

    Q: When daytime and nighttime temperatures differ significantly, should I be concerned about when to stop painting?

    A: Yes. You want to follow the label directions for the product you are using. Most products require at least 4 hours of dry time before moisture can settle on the surface. The cooler the temperature the sooner you should stop painting.

    Q: What is the optimal temperature to paint outside?

    A: Until a few years ago you needed to paint above 50° F. Sherwin-Williams now has products like Duration, Resilience, SuperPaint and A-100 Exterior that will allow you to paint down to 35° F.

    Q: When using an oil-based product, how much time is needed for the product to set up sufficiently to withstand rain or precipitation?

    A: A minimum of eight hours is recommended when the temperature is above 70° F. The cooler the temperature the longer the wait.

    Q: In cold weather, why will dark colors turn white or frosted looking?

    A: When latex paint is applied in temperatures below the manufacturer's recommendation or when the paint is exposed to low temperatures and/or high humidity too soon in its curing process, it doesn't form a proper film. To get rid of the "frosting," rinse the surface thoroughly with warm water. A garden hose works best because you need a lot of water, not a lot of pressure.

    Q: There seems to be a lot of discussion about the best method to paint the exterior of a house. Some say use a brush, some claim it is best to spray on the paint and then back-brush it, and others say just using an airless sprayer is best. What do you think?

    A: Painting with an airless will usually get more paint on the surface than with a brush. If applied properly - keeping the gun 12" away from the surface at a 90° angle and applying the recommended mil thickness of paint - airless spraying is the most efficient way to paint most large exterior surfaces. Brushing, while you are able to work the paint into the surface, takes considerably longer. For windows and intricate trim work, you almost have to brush the paint on the surface.

    Deck Questions:

    Q: If a deck is already stained, does the stain I put on it have to be the same kind — in other words, is a water-based stain compatible with an oil-based formula?

    A: Normally there are a lot of reasons for re-staining a deck. It may be worn-out, discolored, peeling and flaking. Or, a customer might just want to freshen up what was on the deck previously.  Since some stains and sealers do not adhere well to others, it’s best to start by removing any old stain or sealer with a Deck Stain & Sealer Remover. This will remove stains and sealers that could prevent a new sealer or stain from adhering. The next step would be to neutralize the stain remover. When the deck is dry, sprinkle some water on it. If the water soaks in, you are good to go.  If it beads up, that indicates there is still a sealer present and you’ll need to do the process over again until the stain or sealer is completely removed. If not completely removed, your new stain, sealer or coating will likely not adhere. If the wood is badly damaged, the best solution is to use a solid color stain.

    Q: Can I just use bleach to clean a deck?

    A: We do not recommend bleach for cleaning decks, as it tends to be too harsh on the wood substrate and vegetation typically found around decks.   Sherwin-Williams carries a number of products including:  Deckscapes® Stain & Sealer Remover, Deckscapes® Deck Wash, and Deckscapes® Revive™.

    Q: How long should I wait before I use my deck after staining?

    A: If conditions are mild — the weather is dry and the temperatures are in the 70s — you could probably walk on it in a half day to overnight. I would wait at least a day or two before moving patio furniture back on the deck and returning it to active use.


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CertaPro Painters of Minnetonka, MN
4737 County Road 101 #176
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Ph: 952-994-4443