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Thursday, February 25, 2010

PAINTS | PAINTING GUIDE FOR YOUR HOUSE

House Painting is a very important stage in the Construction of a House, as it is one of the 'finishing' stages. A good painting job will give a neat and finished look to the house and at the same time protect for a long time. It is better to plan beforehand, for the House Painting, as it can save time and money and produce results that are lasting and rewarding.

Normally in a House, you require paint to protect the three basic elements - walls, metal and wooden surfaces, because wall surfaces chip and crack, metals rust and corrode, while wooden furniture and doors get warped and scratched. Paints have specific properties that prevent, or at least delay this as they form a protective layer around the substrate, keeping it relatively safe.
 Each of these elements will need painting every few years, because with time, their beauty and strength decreases. Naturally, since walls are different from metals, which in turn are different from wood, each surface requires a different type of paint. Today, different paints have been developed, specific to each category.


The important thing is to organise and prepare before starting the work. Here are some guidelines that will help you:
PLANNING:
  • Identify the areas to be painted- (exterior and interior walls, ceilings, doors, windows), including, metal grills, wooden furniture etc. Evaluate and take stock of all the requirements.
  • Learn about paints, primers, thinners- Painting involves a system comprising of at least two components, a paint and a primer, and sometimes a third, a thinner. Primers are available in both water and solvent based versions.To get the desired results, you must use the recommended primer and the appropriate Thinner. With water-based paints, water is the thinning agent. For solvent-based paints, you need to use the recommended thinner.
  • Get to know the right procedure - To prepare surfaces for painting  and to get the best, most durable finish.
  • Plan the disposal of your house for painting - So that there is enough free space at a time to cycle the three stages of Painting namely-Surface preparation, priming, painting and intervening drying time.
  • Avoid painting in humid climate or rainy season- because in these conditions paint takes longer time to dry and the film does not cure properly. 
  • So when planning for painting, you should know something about paints. You can learn about all this in my other post, Architect Explains Paints.
REPAIR WORK
  • See if any repair is needed before painting- For e.g. If there is any leakage in any of the walls then the leakage should be treated at the source. Any Plastering, repairing and waterproofing should be done before painting. Read more in the post, Common painting defects and remedies.
SELECTING THE RIGHT PAINT: After you have carefully planned your painting process, it is very important to select the right brand and right shade.
  • Selecting the right paint brand and the right shade- Today most paint companies have tools to help you choose the right colour, shade and visualise your house with the shades that you have selected. You can also refer the post on Architect helps in choosing the right Colour.
  • Estimate the quantity of paint - that you will require with the help of the tools available at the Paint store.
  • Locate a store nearest to you - You can then confirm the availability of the brand and shade that you have decided to use, because you may have to rush to get more paint as usually you will need more than the estimated amount of paint.
SELECTING THE RIGHT PAINTER: Selecting a right painter is very important for the final look of your home. A good painter can add that extra edge to the look of your home.
  • Consult friends for references - Friends who have carried out painting exercise recently can give you reference of good painters. Otherwise you can also ask the dealer nearest to you to suggest some painters.
  • Finalize a painter only after looking at his work - Visit 2-3 places where he has painted, ask the house owners about the painter's credibility.
  • Discuss the rates with the painter - Don't be too tempted to go with painters who quote a price that is much lower than the average market price. They may be tempted to use inferior/duplicate paints and you will never know until later.

    BUYING FOR PAINTING: If you are buying the paint and appointing a painter only for the labour, then it will work out cheaper for you and you can be assured of using good quality paint. However, it is quite a headache to run around in search of the right paint but if you have the patience then go for it. Here are some tips for buying:
    • Test a small swatch of paint on the wall - Once you have made up your mind on a product and shade, go to the selected dealer and before buying the product, insist on testing for finish and shade.
    • Avoid mixing paints yourself - This may cause a patchy and an inconsistent finish. If, at all you mix paints, add a stainer before diluting.
    • Buy paint from an authorized paint store - and one which can supply additional quantity of the shade that you have selected, if required.
    • Buy only good quality primers, thinners - for a neat finish.
    • Buy economical bulk packs - For e.g. If you need 5Lt of Paint, buy a 4 Lt pack and a 1Lt pack, instead of five 1 Lt packs.
    SELECTING THE RIGHT BRUSH AND ROLLERS: In case you are planning on doing the painting yourself, then you need to choose the right brushes and rollers. Choosing a right brush is always very important to get the kind of finish one is expecting.
    •  Brushes - Brushing is the oldest method of application having versatility under unlimited variable conditions and situations. It is still the best method to paint large complex objects. Brushing helps to assist in the penetration of the paint.
    • Look at the bristles of the brush - Best quality brushes are made of hog bristles. The important features of these bristles are that they taper from the roof to the tip where it is split into two or more fine strands known as flag, which enables a high degree of finish. (In cheaper brushes a proportion of other animal hair or vegetable fibers are used).
    • Brushes made of nylon bristles -These are superior to pure bristles in their resistance to wear, but are smooth and non-absorbent. Hence they carry less paint which has a tendency to run off from the brush.
    • Select a brush of suitable size- Using a small brush on a large area makes it difficult to apply an even coating and slows down the rate of working; while using a large brush on a narrow area makes accurate "cutting in" impossible.
    • Rollers - Hand rolling is done mainly for decorative and maintenance painting and of particular value on broad plain surfaces. The covering material for the roller may be a plastic sponge. When equipped with a long handle extension, roller may be used for painting  areas which are otherwise inaccessible.
    PAINTING PROCESS: A paint job is basically a 3-stage process, punctuated by drying time after each stage :
    • Surface Preparation -  which is different for new and unpainted surfaces and previously painted surfaces.
    • Priming - this stage is mainly protective in nature and critical for the enduring performance of paint systems.
    • Paint Application - the final stage when the finishing coats are applied.
    1. SURFACE PREPARATION: The surface preparation is different for different surfaces as explained below:
    • Interior wall painted for the first time - Allow it to mature for a period of at least 3 months (preferably 6 months) after application of a coat of lime-wash to ensure thorough drying of plaster. Then remove loose particles or flakes and ensure that the surface is free from dust, dirt, grease etc., by using appropriate sandpaper.
    • Repainting of wall -If the previous coating was of lime-wash or powdered distemper, scrape it off thoroughly. If it was oil-based paint and is in good condition, remove the gloss by sanding.
    • Painting of wood- Ensure that the surface is free from all loose dust and sand it along the grains with Emery Paper.
    • Painting metal - Metal surfaces must be dry and free from rust, grease, oil, etc before painting.
    2.  PRIMING:
    • First primer coat - It is applied to provide adhesion between the paint film and the surface. It smoothens the surface, makes it less absorbent and increases the spreading capacity of the paint. Different primers are available for walls, wood, metals, etc.
    • Application of putty - This is done to fill minor cracks and surface imperfections. But major cracks and dents must be first repaired with a cement-sand mix or Plaster of Paris. Drying time for putty is 5-6 hours.
    • Second primer coat - This is applied to sandwich putty between two primer coats, since painting directly on putty leads to a patchy appearance.
    3.  FINISHED COAT:
    • Two coats are generally recommended- Generally 2 coats must be applied to get the desired finish and colour. Each coat must be completely dry before the next one is applied. Drying times for different paints vary due to their composition. For some of the paints, it is recommended to sand down the first coat before applying the second one.
    PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN DURING PAINTING:
    • Stir and strain the paints - thoroughly before application. The paint should also be thinned properly (as per instructions given on paint container) to ensure adequate application viscosity.
    • When spraying paint, mask the surfaces around the area to be painted- Mask the surfaces with sheets of paper or plastic to protect them.
    • Ensure the painting area is well ventilated - and free from foreign particles and dust.
    • Cover all your furniture and valuables with cloth - To guard against any possible damage due to spillage of paint.
    • Keep children away from paints - as they are highly inflammable and volatile.
    • Avoid smoking- while painting is going on.
    • Protect skin from paint and solvents - In case of any spillage on the skin, wash with warm soap water. If the paint still does not go then remove it with the solvent used for thinning the paint. After this apply a good body lotion in the affected area.
    • Do not hurry up the painting process - because the first paint coat should be dried properly before applying the 2nd coat. Allow enough drying time before applying a new coat.
    • Protect the window glass - To guarantee a neat edge around window panes, protect the glass with a paint-sheild or apply masking tape before painting. Remove it before the final coat is dry to avoid peeling a layer of paint. Always allow the paint to overlap slightly on the glass to prevent moisture from seeping into the joint between putty and glass.