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Tips

You will learn some helpful information on this page for your own home projects.

Preparation Work

Prep work makes a job come together. You might have a job in mind, an interior room, for example, and you wonder, “Where do I start?”

  1. Remove any furniture necessary to achieve an acceptable working area. I am a big man so I like to have a minimum of four feet between the furniture and walls. If I cannot do this, then I remove furniture from the room until I have plenty of space to work.
  2. Remove any pictures, switch plates, outlet plates, and apply 2” tape over the switches and outlets.
  3. Cover the floor with drop cloths or old bed sheets if you have them. Consider taping them down to the edge of the carpet or hardwood where it meets the baseboard.
  4. Remove any nails and hooks that you desire and apply a small amount of spackle to that area. Let the spackle dry and either apply a second coat or sand it smooth.
  5. Caulk all of the cracks that you can by following the directions on the caulk tube.
  6. Mud and tape the stress cracks by applying several coats of mud between drying stages. This process might take several days to complete. Sand smooth and then apply a texture if desired to match the surrounding area.
  7. Prime any water, smoke, grease, or crayon stains using Kilz Original. You may use aerosol or apply with a brush. Also, consider priming any areas that have mud/texture applied.


You should be ready to paint after all of this is dry.

Temporary Solution for Slightly Water Damaged Exterior Wood

If you have some slightly water damaged wood that you would like to protect from further damage until it can be repaired correctly, you can use exterior caulking. To use exterior caulking, I recommend waiting until the wood is as dry as possible. Then if the area will be repaired and painted in a timely fashion, you can use a closely matching colored caulk. Apply the latex caulk with silicon to the cracked or split area and wipe it smooth with a rag or putty knife. Let the area dry - anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending upon the temperature and humidly levels - before touching up with paint. You do not have to paint this area if you are planning on replacing the rotten boards within a couple of months. Paint Tech does not recommend using a pure silicon caulking because it is very hard to remove, and it does not accept paint.

Choosing a Type of “Finish” for Interior Walls or Trim

Here are the basics we follow. If we are painting walls on the interior of a home we like to use Eggshell finish. The reason for this is that a shiny paint washes easier than a flat paint. So, you may wonder why we do not use semi-gloss, which is shinier, for the walls. We find that semi-gloss is too shiny and gaudy for walls, but your personal preference outweighs any of our opinions.


Here is another rule we use to help determine what sheen to use. What is the condition of the walls? The rougher the wall, the more defects will show with higher sheen paint. So, if you are painting walls that are in bad shape and want them to look good with the least amount of effort, then paint them using a flat paint. These same rules apply to ceilings and woodwork. Woodwork seems to get more abuse than the walls, so we usually use oil-based semi-gloss paint. Ceilings are so broad that a flat paint is almost always warranted because of nail pops and butt joints that show much more on a shiny surface. The proper finish can make a much more enjoyable living space for years to come.

Oil Based (Alkyd) or Water Based (Latex) Paint

You have to make a choice between Oil Based paint or Water Based paint when you start a project.


Interior Painting:


When painting sheetrock it is very common to use a Water Based paint. When painting woodwork, it is common to use Oil Based paints. However, I have seen a change in the last few years to Water Based paint for the woodwork. TIP: Never knowingly put Water Based paint over the top of Oil Based paint because it does not stick very well. Test the paint in question by applying fingernail polish remover to a rag, and then rub the painted surface for 10 seconds. If the paint comes off on the rag, then the paint is most likely Water Based. You can use Oil Based or Water Based paints over the surface you just tested. If the test paint does not come off on the rag, then most likely it is Oil Based paint and you should use Oil Based paint over the surface you just tested.


Exterior Painting:


It is almost unheard of to use an Oil Based paint outside anymore. Exterior oil paints do not hold up like they did in the past. If the exterior was painted using Oil Based paint, and you want to paint it using Water Based paint, then you need to prime the exterior using a high-quality exterior Oil Based or Water Based primer. Follow the instrucitons on the primer can to ensure a quality job. Check with the clerk at the paint store to ensure that you have the right product for the job.

Interior Caulking

Caulking cracks on woodwork is very common and recommended for interior living spaces.  A gap exists where the woodwork meets the sheetrock between the two. Caulking is not usually necessary for the longevity of the woodwork, but for its esthetic appearance. Paint Tech uses a 40-year latex caulk with silicon, and it seems to last the longest and is easy to use. Follow the instructions on the tube, and let the area dry overnight before priming or painting. Do not let the caulk dry before attempting to wipe it smooth.