Unless you like textured walls, don't paint over dust. Wash the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a mild cleaner, like Jasco's TSP No-Rinse Substitute. For smoke-stained walls, Toto uses a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. To clean a wall, use two buckets. Load up your rag or sponge from your cleaning-solution bucket, and scrub. Before redipping, rinse the sponge in a second bucket filled with clean water.
A can of paint is generally labeled "low-VOC" if it has less than 100 grams of VOCs per liter for flat sheens and 150 grams for nonflat. Cans that meet standards set by Green Seal, an independent tester and certifier of paints, have even less—no more than 50 grams per liter for flat finishes and 100 grams for nonflat. A "zero-VOC" paint can't have more than 5 grams per liter, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Painting kitchen cabinets provides the customer great value. Refinishing them can be about 30% of replacement. The majority of cabinets that we paint are made of varnished wood and need a good quality bonding primer. Before we apply the primer the cabinets get washed and degreased as necessary. Depending on the customer’s situation, the doors and drawers can be removed or they can be painted in place. Professionals prefer to remove them, along with the knobs, hinges and all hardware. If possible the doors are transported to a shop where they get spray painted under a controlled environment. They are brought back to be reinstalled after the paint is cured. We recommend two finish coats of cabinet grade enamel paint.
Prep. For new work the painter accepts the finish done by the drywall or plaster and once he accepts the work and starts painting he owns any wall repairs. Existing work is a different thing. I take a high intensity light and circle the kinds of defects with chalk so we are all in agreement before they start. Sometimes this results in a higher price and we have to compromise on how much to do...
You may not have heard this since your days in elementary school, but bust out the color wheels here folks (just in case you misplaced yours, we provided one for you). It’s one of the easiest ways to pick out what colors go with each other. Complementary hues (ones that go well with one another) are opposite each other on the color wheel. This isn’t by accident. It’s one of nature’s subtle ways of telling us it’s still in charge.
Spills and spatters happen, regardless of how careful you are. It’s a lot easier to pre- pare for them than to wipe them out of your carpeting or off your wood floor later. All it takes is canvas drop cloths in your work area (a 4-ft. x 15-ft. cloth costs $15). The thick canvas stays in place, so you don’t need to tape it, and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are slippery to walk on or set a ladder on and don’t stay in place. Even worse, paint spills on plastic stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house. Canvas is slippery on hard ﬂoors, so rosin paper ($10 for 400 sq. ft. at home centers) is better over vinyl, tile and hard- wood. Tape the sheets together and to the ﬂoor to provide a nonslip surface.
Before your painter arrives, remove furniture, belongings, wall hangings and window treatments to make it easier for them to get right to work. Once they arrive, your pro will start preparing the inside of your house. Depending on the condition of your walls and the scope of your project, prep work could range from a simple dusting and washing to spackling, sanding, and minor drywall repairs. Your pro may also fill nail holes, caulk cracks around trim, scrape loose paint, skim coat uneven surfaces, mask trim or other surfaces, and apply a coat or two of primer that is suited to both existing and new paints.
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used in its construction. Scraping, sanding, or removing old paint can release toxic lead dust which can cause serious illness in children and pregnant women. Special handling is required when working with lead-based paints. If lead paint is present in your home, you will need to hire a lead-certified painting contractor or lead abatement contractor. Before getting started with your interior painting project, consult your local building authority or visit www.epa.gov for more information.