Thursday, May 27, 2010
When the peeling paint or dirt or mould comes off the wall, the fresh paint goes with it.
This is why it's essential to prepare your surface completely before you begin painting.
First, wash the surface thoroughly and rinse it completely. Allow the surface to dry completely, too.
Then examine the clean surface for any problems, including failure (blistering, peeling, cracking) of the paint you've just cleaned. If the surface doesn't show any problems of this kind, then you can probably get by with painting over the old paint.
If the paint is glossy, then sand it down till the shine is gone.
If you're painting not over previous paint, but onto metal or masonry, go ahead and clean the surface and make sure any holes or cracks are filled or smoothed.
Now, paint with primer. Don't be tempted to skip this step; it helps to provide a surfact the new paint can hold onto well.
Oil-based primers perform very well. They're good with woods that are inclined to leak tannins, such as cedar. They prep unfinished wood well, and they help fill in if the existing paint is not in the best condition, or if there are many layers of old paint -- especially oil-based paint.
However, modern latex primers can be a greener choice, with fewer emissions. They dry faster, too. Latex primers are a good solution for painting bare surfaces. It used to be an inflexible rules that latex primers couldn't be used with oil paints and vice versa, but nowadays this isn't always true. A painting and decorating professional can help you make a decision on this point.
There are also pigmented shellac primers, but they are generally too difficult for DIY painters to use successfully.
Primers also help when you want to put a pale colour over a darker colour. Don't think of priming as an extra expense; it's really an essential step that saves you time and money in the long run.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sometimes that's not the effect you're after. Dornob has a collection of Crazy Painted Houses with every look from pixels to plaid. One's in Sydney -- do you recognise it?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The question, then, is whether we should all have licensing regulations, or whether none of us should.
People discussing this question will doubtless challenge licensing by saying that there are good, honest painters and decorators in Tasmania where no licensing is required, so there's no reason to require it. And certainly Courtney & Wise meet and exceed all safety and quality standards by choice, and would do so even if it weren't required of us.
That's not the point.
The point is that licensure gives consumers and workmen a chance to see that a painting contractor is meeting those standards. It gives a company which hasn't been meeting standards the information it needs to clean up its act and improve in areas it might not have been conscious of. And it gives reputable companies a fair playing field: after all, it costs more to do a job safely and well, so we shouldn't be compared with slapdash workers.
Painters and decorators encounter a number of serious health and safety issues:
- hazardous and potentially hazardous materials, especially on old surfaces
- heights and hard to reach areas
- lead paint, asbestos, mould, and other environmental dangers
Monday, May 17, 2010
Foil insulation was installed in roof cavities and stapled down through electrical conduit, which in some cases electrocuted the installer and in other cases left the house “live” and dangerous. Other types of insulation (fibre glass batts) were placed over the top of light fittings which heated up and caused house fires. The program was recently discounted as a result. Now the government is sending assessors to check all houses that have been insulated.
We haven't seen such widespread tragedy among painters. Our licensing and accreditation practices are part of the reason for that. But the overall point applies just as much to painters and decorators as to other workmen: failing to follow safety precautions can result in dangers not just to the careless workmen, but to the householder as well.
If you do your own work, or have it done by nonprofessionals, are you quite sure that you can tell whether the job is safe when it's finished?
Saturday, May 1, 2010
An old ladder leaning against the weathered paint of an old building... looks sort of romantic, doesn't it?
You wouldn't want your house painting to turn out that way, though. And you won't want to use a ladder like this one when you paint.
Ladders -- strong, stable ladders -- are fine for some types of painting. If you can get the ladder into a safe position where you need it, and you can reach as high as you need to without climbing higher than the second step from the top, a ladder can be a good choice.
Choose an aluminum ladder with a shelf for the paint, make sure it's steady, and keep people out from under it while you're working. If you prefer wooden ladders, that's fine, but be sure not to paint your ladder -- you won't be able to see any possible damage under the paint.
If you find yourself hanging onto the ladder and swinging out from it to reach the last spot, then a ladder isn't what you need. Scaffolding is the thing for jobs of this kind.
Again, if you're not painting very high, ladders with scaffolding jacks and scaffolding-grade boards will suffice.
For strata painting, commercial scaffolding is essential.