Ensuring a lasting finish on metal can be difficult especially if the metal has been damaged by rust. Here are some pointers on how to properly prep a rusted surface for painting.
Here is an example of someone using the kind of advice provided in our blog and making something great!
In this case it was one of our customers who wanted to restore a picnic table using the touch up paints we provide at the end of every project. We provided the step by step instructions found in our blog, they did the work and you can see how nice the results were...
See how it was done here: How to Finish a New Picnic Table
Disposing of paint may seem like a simple process but it may be more complex than you first thought. It may be tempting to throw out old paint in the garbage but first you will need to know if the paint is oil based or water based.
If the paint you want to be rid of is oil based the law says it is hazardous material and it must be recycled by a firm the is qualified to handle these products. This can vary widely by state and locality. The easiest way to figure this out is to google “where can I recycle old paint near me”? In California this includes many paint stores funded by a tax on every gallon of paint sold. Also local recycling centers usually will take up to ten gallons.
Water based paint can be thrown away if they are fully dry. If you have some water based paints you would like to get rid of without going to a recycling center we have quick way to dry out the paint so that it is suitable to throw away. Buy some of the cheapest cat litter you can get and stir that into the paint. Let it stand a while and once it is good and firm it can be thrown out in the trash. If you are looking at a full gallon of paint you will need to use a five gallon bucket to give yourself room to add enough cat litter.
Summer is here and you need a new picnic table for your backyard. The good news is you saw one at the local home-improvement store for a very reasonable price. The bad news is it's not finished, it's raw wood. What do you do? Here are three basic options: clear sealer, staining with a clear sealer topcoat, or painting. With any of these options you will have a weatherproof service that will allow you to wash off any cute child size fingerprints as well as the last vestiges of your evening picnic.
The best place to start your project is by finishing the table before you assemble it. If your table is already put together you can still finish it in the assembled condition. However, the places where one piece of wood meets another will not get thoroughly finished, therefore they are not protected.
Clear Finish Option
If you like the look of the wood the picnic bench is made out of you may want to take the simplest of all options which is to apply three nice coats of a water-based or oil-based clear sealer. We are talking about varnish or polyurethane here. The oil based products are a little smelly, but they're incredibly durable. If you want the most bulletproof of all clear finishes, they can be found at your local Marine supply store. I personally like Epifanes oil based full gloss varnish for this type of project. Oil base can be smelly and take a long time to dry, so as an alternative you can use a high quality, water-based finish from Rust-Oleum.
- Pre-sand all the wood
- Use a very short nap roller and a good paint brush
- Thin the first coat just a little bit with some water, this helps it soak into the wood better.
- Sand in between each coat using a fine sandpaper after the second coat. This should give you a smooth finish.
- Strain the clear coat after the second coat to be sure there are no particles from earlier coats contaminating that last glorious coat of finish.
The paint option offers you a wide variety of colors. Some folks like to two-tone paint the bench and support members to give a fun and colorful finish to the picnic table. When choosing your paint it is important to note that you will get a little more wear and protection out of semi-gloss but if that's just too shiny for you the satin should work just fine for many years.
- Pre-sand the wood before you get started.
- Apply a full coat of primer to all surfaces with a good oil-based or water-based exterior primer.
- Allow that coat of primer to dry thoroughly
- Apply two finish coats of satin or semi-gloss exterior enamel.
- Follow the sanding and straining instructions in the first option.
Our last option is to stain the bench with some nice semi-transparent stain. I strongly recommend on oil based semi-transparent stain. The water-based semi-transparent stain doesn't seem to provide as nice a finish as the old oil base products. After you select your stain color and apply it, you are going to want to put at least three coats of the clear finish we discussed earlier over that stain to protect it from the weather.
Stain and clear finish steps
- Pre-sand the wood
- Apply your stain using roller, brush and then wipe off excess with a rag.
- If you are using the oil based stain do not stack up those rags as they can spontaneously combust… no kidding!
- Hang them to dry for a day or two or soak them in a bucket of water.
- Apply three coats of the clear sealer as we discussed above.
Like any surface if you live in a place where you get a lot of rain or snow you may want to cover the table to increase the longevity of your finished product. With the clear coat option you will want to keep an eye on any deterioration and recoat the weathered surfaces about every 12 to 18 months. A light sanding and a quick coat of varnish will extend the life of your new table by many years. Enjoy your summer fun!
So you just got a great deal on a new home but the bad news is, the last people to live there were heavy smokers and the walls look as though they are dripping nicotine. Now what do you do? Well I am glad you asked because we have the answers that will get those walls looking like new. It is also helpful to note that this process will also work for damage from small fires. So let's get started.
The very first thing you're going to need to do is wash those walls thoroughly. Be sure to mask the electrical outlets as you'll be using a good deal of water and we don't want you to have a shocking experience. The walls will need to be washed at least twice with a big sponge and a product we recommend called Krud Kutter. This is a very strong product so be sure to use rubber gloves. Depending on how bad the smoke damage is you may want to mix it a little more strongly than it recommends but no more than a one to one solution. As we said wash the walls at least twice and then rinse them to be sure you've gotten all that nasty nicotine and cleaner off the walls.
Now you need to prime all of the surfaces in the home. We recommend you use BIN alcohol based primer. This has a very strong smell but it dries very quickly and that is key to locking down that nicotine smell. You may want to invest in a disposable respirator for the priming process. They are not that expensive and it will save you that nasty headache you get working around a strong smelling primer. Using water-based primer is not a great option. Even though they promise to block out the stains, the smell may not get locked in as well. Once you have primed everything one time let it dry thoroughly and repeat the process of priming. This ensures that smell and stains are locked down completely. This may not be necessary when using the alcohol based primer but it is critical if you have chosen to use the less smelly water-based primer. At this point you are ready to proceed like a normal paint job.
Some other things you will want to keep in mind that aren't necessarily related to the painting but will help you in this recovery from the smoke damage are…
- having the ductwork cleaned
- changing out all vents in bathrooms
- removing the carpet and
- replacing window coverings
Materials and Tools
Painting a home can be a large project to tackle. Maxson Painting is here to help, today we are going to cover the crucial first step of any painting project, preparation. The type and amount of preparation needed before beginning your exterior paint job varies according to architecture and the condition of the substrata (the surface that you will be covering). That said, here are some basic first steps to a great exterior painting project.
- First pull back any dirt or plants from the base of the house to allow 2 to 3 inches for painting below ground level.
- Next identify any areas of mildew and treat them with a one to one solution of household bleach and water. If there is extensive mildew you may want to use a garden sprayer to apply the solution. If you choose this route be sure to keep surrounding hardscape and plants wet as a way to avoid damaging them.
- You will want to pressure wash the exterior of the house. A high-pressure nozzle on your hose could be used but I would strongly recommend renting a pressure washer from your local Home Depot or Lowe's. This will ensure you get a good quality washing before you start painting.
- Use a paint scraper, wire brush, or power sander to remove any loose and failing paint. Ensuring that all loose and failing material is removed from the substrata is critical before moving on in the project.
- Apply a coat of primer to all raw wood. Priming raw wood is very important even with paints that claim to be paint and primer in one. It is best to use a product designed for priming specifically as opposed to a paint that's trying to do the job of both the paint and primer.
- Next identify any cracks and uneven areas in the substrata and address those using elastomeric caulking and flexible patching products such as Flexall. Using flexible products is a little more difficult when patching because it shrinks and can take more than one coat. However, traditional spackle is very hard when it dries and tends to fail sooner than the flexible products.
- Once you have patched all the uneven areas and cracks you will need to re-sand them and prime them to ensure adhesion of top coats.
Now you're ready to begin applying your finish coats of paint. In our next blog we will discuss how to select the right paints for every surface on your exterior painting project and provide tips on applying them.
Materials and tools
- Garden Sprayer
- Pressure washer (recommended)
- Paint Scraper, Wire Brush, or Power Sander
- Primer (avoid paint+primer)
- Elastomeric Caulking
- Flexible Patching (i.e. Flexall, DAP)
- Putty Knife
- Sand Paper
The term VOC gets tossed around a lot these days. Let’s start with what VOC stands for. The term refers to volatile organic compounds. Sounds bad right? I hear you asking, "but what does that mean?" Simply stated VOC's are the solvents that get released into the air as paint dries. There are other kinds of VOC’s but we are dealing strictly with what is a emitted from paints in the drying process.
In oil based paints the solvent is paint thinner. As the thinner in the paint evaporates it releases high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds; this is one reason they smell so strong. In water-based paints the solvent is, well, water so when it evaporates there is less smell.
Now you're thinking, "I've got it" so let me throw you a bit of a curve. There are a lot of other compounds in paint, some that help it flow out evenly (we will talk about that in another post), some that allow it to cover better, others that help with washability and the list goes on and on. Even the tinting colors used to make that perfect color for your bedroom contain VOC’s. And you guessed it, as they dry they escape into your home.
This brings us to why you should care about VOC’s. These low VOC pants are designed for painting the interior of your home and the byproduct of them releasing low or no VOC's is low or no odor as you paint your home. This is bad news for those of you who like the smell of fresh paint but good news for those of you who are concerned about the level of toxins being released into your home. Your paint store or, better yet, your local painting professional can give you more information on these great products. As with selecting any paint choose the best quality you can afford and the results will speak for themselves.
In our Pro Tip Series we attempt to answer frequent questions that homeowners have.
In today's post we tackle the question: Why is the paint peeling off my doors and trim?
There could be any number of reasons for this surface condition, the most common cause tends to be water-based paint having been applied over oil based paint. Water-based paints have a lot of great qualities, sticking well over oil based paint just isn't one of them. This can be a real challenge to repair, but it can be fixed if you take the right steps.
What are those right steps you ask? Well that’s a great question and I’m glad you asked.
The first step is to check and see how well the paint is sticking. Meaning, it is not coming off easily when scratched with your fingernail. In the best case scenario the paint is still sticking fairly well.
If this is the case follow these steps:
- Lightly sand the failing paint
- Apply a coat of oil based primer on top of the water based paint.
- Next lightly sand the primer to get a smooth surface
- Finally apply two coats of quality semi-gloss enamel and you're done
If the paint scratches off easily with your fingernail, you will need to follow these steps:
- First remove all loose and failing paint using a stiff putty knife, paint scraper and sandpaper.
- Once this has been accomplished sand the surfaces thoroughly
- Apply a coat of oil based primer
- Next lightly sand the primer to get a smooth surface
- Lastly apply two finish coats of quality semi-gloss enamel.
If you just hate the idea of using oil based primer, check with your local paint store and explain the situation. Depending on where you live they may have a water-based primer that will do the job for you. Good luck with your painting project!
Your friendly professionals at Maxson Painting