Atlanta House Painting Tips

See also: Picking a Painter

Knowing when it's time to paint is important. Knowing what type of paint to use is vital. Prepping the work area is critical. Knowledge is power: some helpful tips to consider before you paint:

Glove Test.

Rub your finger, gloved or naked, on your home’s siding. If you see chalky dust the muted color of your paint, it’s time to paint: the pigment and binders are coming apart. Ouch!

Choosing colors for your home is not an easy task. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a color turn out less than expected. Take time in selecting your colors. Also be aware that using quarts to sample colors can sometimes be misleading. Paint colors are formulated in gallons. When a quart is needed, the formula is divided by four. If there is not an even divide, the formula is rounded. This difference in the blend can result in a slightly different hue. For interior color testing, use painted poster boards and tacks. If you are having difficulty choosing colors, try using a designer.

Bad Water.

Water loves to destroy houses, with rot, engraved invitations to termites and paint degradation (peeling or bubbling). Check your roof and check your plumbing. If necessary then call the roofer, the plumber and us.

Stifle Stains.

Water, knot (tannin), mold, and smoke stains must be primed with oil-based primer to seal them away.

Old White Ladies.

Most Victorian homes in Atlanta were originally painted white. Don’t let someone tell you that your house needs to be “restored” to its original mauve or pumpkin hue.


Mildew finds white oil-based paint particularly hospitable. Darker colors dry faster. Mildew killing additives can be used to minimize future growth.

Measure Up.

Wall square footage is calculated by (wall length x ceiling height) + (wall length x ceiling height) + (wall length x ceiling height) + (wall length x ceiling height)= square foot wall space.

Clean Up.

Oil paint can be removed from floors and furniture using tung oil furniture polish and a soft rag. Latex paint can be removed from floors and furniture using a cleaner such as Krud Kutter.

Check Up.

To test to see if you have oil-based or latex paint, dampen a rag with denatured alcohol and rub a test area. If paint comes off, it’s latex; if it hardly comes off, it’s oil-based paint.

Oil Slick: Watch Out.

Never put a latex paint over oil-based paint without first using oil-based primer or you’ll be very, very unhappy when the paint peels and cracks in a short period of time. There is no easy way to undo this mistake once it is made.

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