Painting FAQ

Q: What do I need to do to prepare to paint?

A: Preparation is the most important aspect of every great paint job, and different kinds of projects require different levels of prep. Having a clean surface is absolutely essential, and some substrates (surfaces) require sanding and/or de-glossing as well. It is important to determine if a primer coat is required. Caulking, filling holes and repairing damage prior to applying paint will assure a beautiful finished product.

Q: How long does it take for paint to dry?

A: Latex Paint - Since latex paint is water based, making cleanup a cinch after a painting project is complete, it is the most commonly used type of interior paint. Latex paint dries to the touch quickly, typically within one hour of application. It is ready to accept the second coat of paint after 4 hours, according to Williams Professional Painting.

Oil-based Paint - The durability of oil-based paint makes it an appealing option for some homeowners, but it requires a more complicated cleanup method and additional dry time. Oil-based paint takes eight hours to dry to the touch. Additional coats can be applied after it has dried for 24 hours.

Outside Factors - The amount of humidity in the air can drastically affect the dry time of any paint. Close windows, turn on the air conditioner and run a fan in the room to speed up dry time.

Q: How many coats of paint do I need?

A: Two coats are always recommended. In some cases, ultra-deep based colors will require three coats. In rare cases, one coat will suffice.

Q: How can I tell if the paint on my walls is latex or oil based?

A: You can take some denatured alcohol or fingernail polish on a cloth and lightly rub it on an inconspicuous test area. If the paint softens and is easily removed, then it is a latex paint. If the paint does not really seem to be affected by the test, it is typically an alkyd (oil) coating.

Q: Can I paint over an alkyd painted surface with latex paint?

A: In most cases and with the latex technology used today, this should not be an issue. The surface to be painted needs extra attention in preparation to be repainted. If the alkyd paint is lead-based, contact the EPA or “Lead Abatement” removal company. If the alkyd paint is not lead-based, you can lightly scuff sand to remove the glossy surface and provide a profile for the latex to stick to. Make sure to clean the surface as well to remove any dirt, debris, etc. Prime with an appropriate primer before applying the final coat.