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Surface Preparation

How to properly prepare surfaces for painting...The key to a lasting paint Job
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Surface Cleaning & Preparation

One of the key ingredients to a lasting paint job is proper preparation on the surface. A clean well prepared surface allows for easier paint application and a longer lasting, trouble free paint job.

Interior surfaces should be washed with a mild soapy solution or TSP.
Exterior surfaces may require scrubbing with a soft bristle brush or power washed. Power washers are available at most paint stores and rental centers for a small rental fee. Use with caution as the high pressures can do a lot of damage to both you and your home. Make sure you understand the safety instructions and use of the machine before operating.

Use a mild bleach solution to kill mold and mildew growing on the surface or better yet, Oxygen Bleach ( new window)
If you do use bleach, a mixture of 25% chlorine beach to 75% water should be sufficient.  A pump up type garden sprayer woks great for applying the bleach mixture. Be sure to rinse well, protect surrounding shrubbery and Yourself!
Bleach is very caustic, protect your eyes, skin and wear old clothing.

An excellent preparation for exterior cleaning is Hy-Tech House Wash Environmentally friendly all purpose cleaning powder.

After the surface is cleaned any imperfections should be corrected as outlined below.

Remove any furniture or obstructions from the area where possible. Anything that remains in area should be covered with plastic, paper drop cloths or a painter's canvas.
Next remove hardware such as door knobs, electrical switch and outlet covers.   Thermostats should be covered and masked with masking tape.
Scrape off flaking paint and sand edges with medium grit sand paper. Patch holes and cracks with spackle.
Re-caulk cracks in corners, baseboards and moldings if needed.
Fill nail holes with spackling compound and sand lightly when dry with medium grit sand paper.
Inspect trim work and repair damaged areas by digging out rot and filling depression with wood filler. Allow to dry and sand with fine grit sandpaper if needed.
Spot prime all patched areas.
Painting new Drywall? Read this
Holes in the Wall? Take a look at our complete Drywall repair Kit.

Remove gutters, downspouts, window shutters, light fixtures, window screens and storm doors. If you plan to repaint these items you'll produce better results if you paint them before re-installing.

Inspect wood surfaces thoroughly. Caulk any seams and joints where needed. A good rule of thumb is to re-caulk any crack that exists. Remove old caulk with a utility knife if it is pulled away or dry and brittle.

Exposed nail heads shoud be countersunk. Look for signs of rust where nail heads have worked out. Rusty nails should be replaced or countersink them,spot prime with a rust inhibiting primer and when dry fill the indentations with painters putty or spackling compound.
When dry, all patched areas should be lightly sanded and spotprimed to seal them off.
Scrape away flaking and peeling paint. Replace all rotted wood or repair with exterior wood filler.

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Where to Next?
Use the painting menu in the right column or choose another department below.

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