Preparation Of Surfaces For Painting

One of the key ingredients to a lasting paint job is proper preparation on the surface. A clean well prepared surface allows for easier paint application and a longer lasting, trouble free paint job.Interior surfaces should be washed with a mild soapy solution or TSP. Exterior surfaces may require scrubbing with a soft bristle brush or power washed.

Power washers are available at most paint stores and rental centers for a small rental fee. Use with caution as the high pressures can do a lot of damage to both you and your home. Make sure you understand the safety instructions and use of the machine before operating.

Use a mild bleach solution to kill mold and mildew growing on the surface or better yet, Oxygen Bleach If you do use bleach, a mixture of 25% chlorine beach to 75% water should be sufficient. A pump up type garden sprayer woks great for applying the bleach mixture. Be sure to rinse well, protect surrounding shrubbery and yourself! Bleach is very caustic, protect your eyes, skin and wear old clothing.

There are excellent products for preparation for exterior cleaning available at your local paint stores. Environmentally friendly all purpose cleaning powders included. After the surface is cleaned any imperfections should be corrected as outlined below.


Remove any furniture or obstructions from the area where possible. Anything that remains in area should be covered with plastic, paper drop cloths or a painter’s canvas.

Next remove hardware such as door knobs, electrical switch and outlet covers. Thermostats should be covered and masked with masking tape.

Scrape off flaking paint and sand edges with medium grit sand paper. Patch holes and cracks with spackle.

Re-caulk cracks in corners, baseboards and moldings if needed.

Fill nail holes with spackling compound and sand lightly when dry with medium grit sand paper.

Inspect trim work and repair damaged areas by digging out rot and filling depression with wood filler. Allow to dry and sand with fine grit sandpaper if needed. Spot prime all patched areas.


Remove gutters, downspouts, window shutters, light fixtures, window screens and storm doors. If you plan to repaint these items you’ll produce better results if you paint them before re-installing.

Inspect wood surfaces thoroughly. Caulk any seams and joints where needed. A good rule of thumb is to re-caulk any crack that exists. Remove old caulk with a utility knife if it is pulled away or dry and brittle.

Exposed nail heads should be countersunk. Look for signs of rust where nail heads have worked out. Rusty nails should be replaced or countersink them, spot prime with a rust inhibiting primer and when dry fill the indentations with painters putty or spackling compound. When dry, all patched areas should be lightly sanded and spot primed to seal them off. Scrape away peeling paint. Replace all rotted wood or repair with exterior wood filler.


If you’re painting a water based paint over a water based paint, you probably don’t need a primer. The same goes for an (alkyd)oil based paint over an oil based paint.

So when is a primer needed?

Introduction To Priming Certificate 2013 03 22 09.45.23 300x225 - Preparation Of Surfaces For Painting

Primers are fairly specific in their purpose, and that is why there are so many different kinds of primers. Generally any raw surface or substrate needs a primer, and check with the paint supply store for their specific line of primers, but here are the general guidelines:

Porous surfaces like raw wood or drywall need primer. Soaking into the surface will draw out some of the binders and solvents, changing the final composition of the dry coating.

Water soluble stains that are activated with water based paints, and bleed through, need sealers.
Slick surfaces need adhesion primers to really grip the surface.
Ferrous metal needs rust inhibitive primers to prevent corrosion.
Galvanized metal needs primer to grip to the metal.
Fresh stucco if not properly aged needs a primer to neutralize the alkalinity of the concrete and prevent alkaline burns.
Existing oil based coatings need a primer to be painted over with a water based coating, and in this case an oil based primer is preferred. The water based coatings stick great to oil based undercoats

This makes caulking one of your best choices while painting. Weatherizing to limit  drafts and noise and dust, making your house more comfortable. Even better it’s something that you can easily do!

  • Caulking seals cracks and joints in your house. Weatherstripping reduces air infiltration around parts of the house, like doors and windows.Weatherizing Your Home —


    • Window and door frames.
    • Between the sill and foundation.
    • Along exterior walls.
    • Pipes and wiring, outlets, or vents in exterior walls.
    • Ceiling fixtures.
    • Water pipes, drains, bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures.
    • Joints between wallboard or paneling and the floor or ceiling, on exterior walls.
    • Around the frame of an attic door or entry.


      • Around window and door frames.
      • Between two different siding materials.
      • The joint between foundation and siding.
      • Corners and angles where siding materials meet.
    • Around skylights, vents and chimney flashing in the roof.
    • Around faucets, pipes, wiring, outlets, or vents in exterior walls.

    The purpose of caulk is to seal cracks in your home. This is also true of divisions between heated (or cooled) and unheated spaces, such as an attic.

    Choosing Caulking Compounds

    Always choose the appropriate caulking compounds for your job. You may need several different types for different systems

    It is usually best to choose quality caulk. Expensive caulk that’s durable could be more economical than cheap caulking. It’s important to use good caulking products for spots exposed to severe weather or are difficult to reach.

    The caulking compound must adhere to the materials to be caulked, if it is to work properly. In particular, porous materials like masonry or cement and metal require special types of caulking. Some caulking compounds require a primer when used on certain materials. Check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

    When caulking two different materials, such as wood and metal, choose a compound that will remain flexible. Different materials expand and contract at different rates, and the caulking compound must withstand this stress.

    Types of Caulk

    Caulk compounds come in different forms. Disposable tubes that fit in half barrel caulk guns are most common. Pressurized cartridges do not require caulking guns. Some types are available in aerosol cans.



Rust Mitigation

Rust removal

Phosphoric acid may be used as a “rust converter”, by direct application to rusted iron, steel tools, or surfaces. The phosphoric acid converts reddish-brown iron(III) oxide, Fe2O3 (rust) to black ferric phosphate, FePO4.

It is sometimes sold under other names, such as “rust remover” or “rust killer”. As a thick gel, it may be applied to sloping, vertical, or even overhead surfaces.
A Bad Choice of Paint System
What Went Wrong

Flaking Paint This is a good example of where the choice of a coating system for a specific use would save a lot of time and unnecessary cost and labor.

wood stairs leading up to a wood deck. The coatings were applied to the ends, edges and backs, as well as the top treads. The peeling appeared shortly after application and exposure to a week of rain.There is inter-coat adhesion failure and substrate adhesion failure — indicating that the primer’s bond to the surface is marginal as is the top-coat’s adhesion to the primer.

The primer is a water-based material originally designed for application to previously painted siding (vertical). The finish coating is an alkyd porch and deck coating applied in two coats. Moisture readings averaged 13% at the time of the inspection and there was no visible evidence of blistering due to moisture trapping under the film.

What is most noticable is the lack of penetration into the wood by the latex primer that likely could be attributed to the type of use for which it was intended. On new dimensional stair treads, a reduced coat of the alkyd porch enamel to improve penetration then two full coats applied would have served the purpose much better.

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If you’re looking for a Professional House Painter or Professional House Painting Contractor in the Port Orange or Daytona Beach FL area, look no further. Licensed and Insured: Florida State, LLC # L07000061421 Contact Jeffrey Whitmer by email or phone (386) 214-5329