We asked Donovan Bezuidenhout (Training Practitioner / QA & Development SA, East Africa and Nigeria at Plascon) for some tips on painting like a professional.
What is the best roller to use for a smooth finish on interior walls?
Short nap rollers (short hair) are used on smooth interior surfaces when painting with water-based products. A mohair or mock mohair roller is used when painting with solvent-based products.
Can I just paint over old paint?
No, never! The condition of the paint on the surface must be taken into consideration. If the coating is dirty and contaminated but is stable, then you need to clean the surface with Polycell Sugar Soap powder or liquid as per the product instruction. Rinse off the sugar soap with clean water and allow the surface to dry. Apply Plascon universal undercoat if necessary and then your selected Plascon topcoat.
Should I paint my walls first or start with my ceilings and skirting boards?
The ceiling should always be painted first, thus if there are any drips or runs the walls will not be affected as they will be painted next. The walls are second to be painted and lastly, the skirtings.
Is there a failsafe way to paint interior doors while they are still hanging in the frames or do they need to be removed and laid flat?
Doors can be painted while still hanging. Ensure that the door is secured with a doorstopper so that it does not move. Remove the handles and lock mechanism. Clean the door with Polycell Sugar Soap powder or liquid as per the product instruction. Rinse off the sugar soap with clean water and allow the surface to dry. Apply the chosen Plascon topcoat by brush or roller and paint from top to bottom. Plascon Velvaglo is ideal for interior doors.
Is it true that painting is best left to the hot months?
It depends on your geographical location. Summer months in certain areas have extremely high humidity and are not ideal for painting. If the temperature is too high then paint dries too quickly and little or no adhesion takes place. In the cooler months there is a high moisture content in the air that retards drying times and could lead to coating failures. Temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius are normally ideal, with low to moderate humidity.
What essential preparation is needed before I paint my home?
This depends on the nature and type of surface and the existing paint coating. All surfaces need to be clean, dry and stable. They should be sanded to improve adhesion, cleaned with Polycell Sugar soap and allowed to dry properly. Cracks should be filled and spot primed. Rust should be removed from metal. Wood needs to be sanded and filled if necessary. All damp and waterproofing should be taken care of.
What tips can you give for painting a light colour over a dark colour?
The best product to use is Plascon Universal undercoat, which will obliterate the darker colour.
Do I really need to use a paint primer?
A primer is always necessary on unpainted surface. Primers need to be used on cementitious surfaces, various metals, wood, plastic and roofing items. A primer protects surfaces and at the same time improves the lifespan of topcoats. For example, many customers don’t use a plaster primer on a plastered surface. If they don’t and moisture rises or penetrates through the surface via cracks for example, the natural salts found in the surface soften the binders of the paint coating which can lead to alkali burn, bleaching, peeling and various other paint problems
What are some of the biggest mistakes made by amateur home painters?
Not doing enough research on paint, paint systems and applications. Many shortcuts are taken in respect of following a system. Just like electrical and plumbing, there are steps and procedures. Big mistakes also include insufficient or non-existent surface preparation, cleaning surfaces with chemical cleaners, incorrect products or application and not adhering to over coating times. Plan carefully. Even if you are hiring a painter ensure that he or she follows the correct procedure
How should I store my paint and brushes if I have finished for the day but need to paint again tomorrow or the next weekend?
If you are going to paint the following day, wrap your brushes and rollers in cling wrap. Always close the lids of your paint can tightly or securely. If you are going to paint the following weekend, clean your rollers and brushes thoroughly with water if using water-based products and Polycell Brush Cleaner if using solvent-based products. Allow to dry. Never leave them in a container.