HOME With Dean Sharp: What You Need To Know Before You Paint


America LOVES to paint.

Painting is America's #1 home improvement project, we just love to add color to our world!

BUT, before you pick up that brush and start painting, there's a few things you should know.

  • There are 4 main ingredients in every can of paint you buy:
    • Pigments - color
    • Resins - binders, adhesion & thickness
    • Solvent - liquid which evaporates, water, vegetable oil or alkyd (synthetic)
    • Additives - for special performance
  • Paint will ALWAYS look different on a wall then it does on those paint sample cards you get in the store. So always get a sample and apply it to your wall and let it dry before you make a final decision on color.
  • Adding color -- Universal Color Tints (UCT) to paint will WEAKEN it.
  • White is the strongest paint color because the pigments are made from various substances. The most high quality white paint is made from one of the hardest substances- Titanium Dioxide.
  • Know the difference between 'paint' and 'primer' - Primer is paint without pigments and other additives. The goal of primer is to penetrate, bond and seal a surface, thus providing a stable surface for paint.
  • Price makes a difference - the higher the price the better the quality. For example:
    • Pigments- titanium dioxide (high quality) / clay, silica, talc (cheaper)
    • Resins - acrylic (high quality) / vinyl acrylic (cheaper) -- look for 100% acrylic


Look for a high solids to liquids ratio - below 30% cheap, above 40% quality and this is not info you'll find on the can, check the TDS (Technical Data Sheet)

When you've got all that done and you're ready to paint, make sure to tape off areas you don't want to paint, and even here it makes a difference in what you use.

  • Blue tape -- weaker adhesive than traditional off-white, removes cleaner
  • Orange or Old off-white -- has more adhesive and will overstick or leave a residue when you pull it off
  • Frog tape -- a super absorbant polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape to prevent paint bleed
  • Rough surface Frog Tape (Yellow) for heavy textures

In ALL cases, wait as long as possible to remove tape to give the paint a chance to dry completely.

DEAN'S PAINTING TIPS

  1. To avoid lap marks, roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edge
  2. Mix several cans of paint in a large bucket for a consistent color throughout the room
  3. Let the paint dry, then cut the tape loose for a perfect edge
  4. Paint the trim first, then the ceiling and walls
  5. Clean dirty surfaces so the paint can form a strong bond
  6. Use cotton drop cloths rather than plastic
  7. Feather out paint where you can't keep a wet edge
  8. Sand trim between coats for an ultra-smooth finish
  9. Use paint at times instead of moldings
  10. Consider going dark with your doors
  11. Staining trick - seal … then stain

When it comes to the proper tools for your projects:

  • Use good brushes
  • Match bristles to paint chemistry
  • Match roller knapp to texture

For multi-day paint projects - wrap the roller or paintbrush in plastic wrap and then in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge. The roller or brush will stay fresh until you’re ready to paint again! Good for up to 4 days.

And finally.... some Paint Trivia …

  • The oldest house paint was made of lime mixed with milk and sometimes natural pigments. King Tut’s tomb was painted with milk paint! Even the White House was originally painted with a lime-based whitewash.
  • The first painters’ union was formed in London in 1502 and was called the Worshipful Company of Painters-Stainers.
  • There tend to be more shades of green than any other in commercially available paint colors because the human eye can distinguish more variations of green than of any other color.
  • In 1940 Canadian Norman Breakey invented the first paint roller. He didn’t profit from it because he never patented it. During World War II, an inventor working for Sherwin-Williams also created a roller brush because the hogs’ hair used for paintbrushes was unavailable thanks to the war.
  • The color purple became associated with royalty because at one time only aristocrats could afford the expensive pigment. During Roman times, it took 4 million crushed mollusk shells to create one pound of purple pigment.
  • Various paint colors can help the body heal itself. For example, red can often help depressed people regain vigor, while green has been shown to relieve stress.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted the same color since it was completed in 1937. The name of the color is International Orange.

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