Painting in damp weather

The sometimes damp Edinburgh weather can make it difficult when you are doing internal painting. Below are some tips to help you out in this situation.

  • Close all the windows and doors in your home or place of business and keep them closed as much as possible.
  • Try setting up a dehumidifier in the room or rooms where walls will be painted.
  • If you have any exhaust fans in the home (Kitchen or Bathroom) switch them on to remove the humid air from the interior.
  • Turn on all ceiling fans and set up floor fans to circulate and dry out the air throughout the house.
  • Check all the walls so see if there is any moisture. Wipe the walls with kitchen towels to remove excess moisture and then wait until the walls are completely dry before painting.
  • Ensure the fans and dehumidifying devices stay on until the paint has dried for at least 48 hours; longer if need be.

Painting a Panel Door

Below you will see a video on how to paint a panel door from Crown Paints. We have a few more tips to expand on the excellent video and make it easier for you at the end of the video.

  • Remember to wedge door open. You can use a wooden or rubber wedge or you can even use a rolled up newspaper. If using a wooden wedge be careful not to kick it out afterwards as this can split the bottom edge of the door.
  • Put cardboard, newspapers or even some lining paper under the door to protect floor or carpet.
  • If possible remove all handles, locks and other fittings (obviously, except hinges) from the door as this will make painting easier. When you remove handles and locks dust behind thoroughly and blow out the dust from the lock cavity as this can easily end up in your paint. Also watch for new doors having sawdust in the lock cavity.
  • Recomended brushes are 1 x 1″ (25mm) and 1 x 2″(50mm), optionally you can also have a 3″(75mm).
  • Keep checking back for runs, especially with gloss paint. The most likely places for runs to develop are the bottom corners of panels and across the top moulding of panels.
  • Check build-up of paint in the corners of panels by dabbing with the tips of the brush bristles (like the action of vey gently throwing a dart, but obviously much gentler.
  • Always try and remove runs by using an upward motion of the brush but where there is a marked cross grain, leave off in the direction of the grain.

If you require any profession help, please feel free to contact Stockbridge Decorators on 0131-312-6910 or Mobile: 0793-913-6561 or follow us on twitter @StockbridgeDeco. You can also contact us by email by clicking here and completing our contact form.

Surface preparation before painting.

Before you start painting, it is advisable to do all the required prepartion. The preparation that is required varies according to the surface to be painted but you must be aware that preparation is the key to a successful outcome of any decorating task and it may well take longer than the painting itself.

If you are going to paint on top of new plaster, this should always be allowed to dry thoroughly before it is decorated, however, there are specific emulsion paints for new plaster which you may want to check out. As the plaster dries it will change colour from dark to pale pink, and when it is dry any solids which appear on the plaster should be removed with a hessian or similar cloth.

Before applying the first coat of emulsion, a primer is required and usually the emulsion can be diluted (check the manufacturers instructions) to act as a primer.

If old plaster is clean, dry and sound, no special preparation is required. However if the surface shows evidence of old distemper residue or is powdery, it should be sealed with a stabilising solution which can be bought from most paint suppliers.

When renovating or removing paintwork, it is worthwhile reading the British Coatings Federation’s leaflet entitled “Old Lead Painted Surfaces – a guide on repainting and removal for DIY and professional painters and decorators” which is in our Resources section. Surfaces previously finished in matt, silk or satin emulsion paint and in sound condition merely require washing with a sugar soap solution which is thoroughly rinsed off. Gloss and traditional eggshell finishes, in addition, will require wet rubbing down to provide a key for the new paint.

With any of the above surfaces, any loose or flaking paint should be removed and sanded and noticeable cracks should be made good and the area primed before painting.

When painting over existing wallpaper, a successful finish will only be obtained if the paper is sound and adhering firmly to the wall, especially at the edges and joins. If painting over a coloured wallpaper, the colours (particularly reds) are liable to bleed and should be treated with a thin coating of stain sealer first. Metallic inks will eventually cause a discolouration of the paint film due to dirt retention on the colder metallic area.

To prepare wood, lightly abrade the surface using a dry sandpaper, rubbing in the direction of the grain. Dust off with a damp rag and allow to dry.

Remember to take adequate precautions when preparing surfaces, especially in relation to dust inhalation.

Inspiration for painting your home

Deciding on what color or colors to paint a room may be the most difficult task in the entire makeover process. Here are some tips from Home and Gardens Television ( that may just inspire the artist in you:

  • Start by choosing a favorite colour from a piece of art, a rug, a dish or an accessory in the room as the main or accent colour.
  • Think about the mood you want to create in the room — calm or dramatic? Social or formal? Energising or relaxing? Soft cool neutrals will create a quieter mood, stronger colours will create drama, and warm, contrasting colours are sociable.
  • Pay attention to the lighting in the room when choosing a colour — natural daylight shows the truest colour, incandescent lighting brings out warm tones, and fluorescent lighting casts a blue tone.
  • Test your colour choice on a large area of a wall without being afraid to use colours or combinations of colours that are out of your comfort zone. Most stores now sell small paint samples that are reasonably priced.
  • Use decorative finishes to transform dull walls with texture and broken colour, metallic finishes, flecks of gold, pewter or bronze, or glazes that add depth.
  • Walk into another room to see how the walls interact, keeping that interaction in mind as you choose colours.
  • Play with the colour wheel to find complementary colours that work together or whole new combinations that appeal to your senses.
  • Create a monochromatic scheme by using closely related colours. Use a warm or cool colour as an accent, or white or off-white for a more striking look.
  • Choose different paint finishes for the same colour to add contrast, using an eggshell finish for a wall and a semigloss finish for the trim.

The Science behind Colours

They say there is a science behind colours, so we find out what a colour consultant can say to unravel the mystery.

If you’ve had to choose paint colours for your home and found it to be a real pain – you’re not alone.

Choosing from a tiny swatch of colour from a paint brochure is like trying to decide if a dress suits you by just looking through a peephole in a door!

Serene Pang says that colour trends are a great reference but shouldn’t be followed blindly.

That is why there are colour consultants, who specialise in developing colour schemes by understanding colour and how it affects humans in their day-to-day environments.

“A colour consultant assists people in choosing the right colours either for their business, products, interior or exterior walls or any other materials to achieve the desired result for their project. A trained colour consultant can help in areas where colour decisions need to be made,” says Serene Pang, Sales and Marketing director of The Duha Group and colour consultant to Nippon Paint Malaysia, in an email interview from Singapore.

Pang – who was trained at the School of Architecture at the National University of Singapore – has 18 years of experience working for the architectural, building and colour industry in the Asia Pacific region.

So, do women or men make better colour consultants?

Pang says over the years, she has met more female colour consultants than males, but diplomatically adds “that doesn’t point to the fact that a male may not perform better!”

She noticed that many survey and focus groups have indicated that females tend to be more sensitive and inclined towards colours, and have a flair for colour in decorating.

“This is also the reason why a lot of colour marketing – be it in advertising or consumer products like cosmetics, magazines and paint – is targeted towards the female population,” she says.

According to her, one of the most popular groups that forecast colour trends is the International Color Marketing Group (CMG), an international not-for-profit Association of Color Designers.

“Colour forecasts used to be done 24 to 36 months in advance, but with the current fast changing lifestyle likes and dislikes, coupled with shorter product lifespan, colour palettes are usually now done 12 to 18 months in advance,” says Pang who is a member of the CMG and actively involved in colour forecasting conferences.

CMG’s main focus is to identify the key drivers of colour trends and how that is translated into a colour palette.

The Colour Directions forecasts are developed annually through the collaborative efforts of the members who attend the CMG’s Conference.

Each member prepares his or her own individual Colour Directions and usually after rounds of group discussion, a general consensus is reached to develop a forecast palette, for the consumer and contract industry.

“The influence on the forecasting could run from social issues to politics, the environment, economy or cultural shifts. It is an understanding of the influences that provides the most useful information that would help develop a colour direction. Usually, a colour from each colour family may be represented, instead of one single colour for the year,” she explains.

Pang says that the Colour Trends 2011 Asia Pacific palette projects high energy and reflects joy, radiance, purity, playfulness and trendiness. It is a lively palette which aims to inspire and create positive energy in living spaces.

“Home owners are more adventurous nowadays, and willing to experiment with bolder colour schemes versus using just one colour, most likely a pastel, for the whole house,” she notices.

Paint companies are very much aligned with the trends, according to Pang. Most of them are already part of the colour forecasters.

“They draw and share information based on their interaction with the homeowners, interior designers and architects, to find out what industry and society looks at and what would be the latest trends in home decoration,” she explains.

Paint companies have come up with new colours these days that include a feature such as odourless, spotless, easy wash or anti-bacterial. Why don’t they put all these goodies in one paint or is it simply a marketing ploy?

“Generally, paint companies are developing products specifically suited to the local conditions and market needs. With the current paint technology, they offer solutions that would work beautifully in every part of the house,” she explains.

She cites an example that most, if not all, of Nippon Paint’s decorative paints are water-based products which are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) and have less odour, which is, less damaging to people and the environment.

“The reason for the different features is to cater to the different surfaces and needs of the home. The different paint product features allow home owners to have a choice on the different finishing and gloss to their walls,” she adds.

When it comes to choosing colours, Pang stresses that “colour trends are a great reference, but don’t try to follow them blindly.”

She advises that: “It should be a colour you would feel comfortable with, and suitable for the specific activity in the space, for example, a soft yellow would be more suitable for a baby’s room, rather than a chromatic yellow, as exposure of this tone for long periods of time causes agitation and fatigue.”

The great thing about painting, Pang says, is that it is one of the least expensive component of decorating and can be easily rectified, unlike expensive furnishings and fittings.

Masonry paint and preparation

Masonry paint, unlike emulsion paint, is especially formulated to give a long-lasting, external all weather protection. Its flexible, resists flaking and is suitable for exterior application on roughcast, concrete, stock, facing bricks, and/cement rendering, pebbledash – so don’t be tempted to save money and use anything else, it’ll end up costing you time and money, sooner than you think. By doing the job properly and using the best paint you can afford, you’ll probably not have to repaint the outside of your house for the next 15 to 20 years (this assumes normal conditions).

Before you paint, ensure the surface is clean, sound and free from mould. What you use to achieve this state is dependent on the present wall surface. A stiff brush or an anti-fungal wash, should do the job but if its bad, you may have to use a light power wash – but be careful and let the wall dry out fully, before applying paint.

Once you have a good, clean, dry surface, you should patch test the wall (see below). If you are painting more than one wall or the whole house and garage, patch test each wall separately – don’t assume they’ll be all the same.

New surfaces: All surfaces should be clean, sound, clean and dry. Free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion of the paint. Patch test and stabilise the surface as required.

Uncoated surfaces: As with ‘new surfaces’, all surfaces must be sound, dry and free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion of the paint. You must remove all organic growth by scraping or brushing with a stiff, none wire, brush. Established growth may need to be removed by pressure washing but be careful not to damage the underlying surface or force water through joins. If it is really bad, you may have to consider wet or dry grit blasting. When this is done, treat the surface with a fungicidal wash. Allow to dry and fill any cracks. Patch test and stabilise the surface as required.

Previously decorated surfaces: As with ‘new surfaces’, all surfaces must be sound, dry and free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion of the paint. Loose or failing paint must be removed. Washing the surface with a liquid detergent or a sugar soap solution will remove contaminants and improve paint adhesion. Any glossy or eggshell paint surfaces must be abraded to provide a key. Any organic growth must be removed by scraping or brushing with a stiff, none wire, brush.

Established growth may need to be removed by pressure washing but be careful not to damage the underlying surface or force water through joins. When this is done, treat the surface with a fungicidal wash. Allow to dry and fill any cracks. Patch test and stabilise the surface as required.

Some access equipment advice

For most interior painting you will seldom need more than a good set of stepladders with a platform at the top and a handle to hold. The platform is intended as somewhere to put your paint pot rather than a place on which to stand.

You may need longer ladders when working in a stairwell and the extension ladders or access tower, mentioned shortly, may be required. ALWAYS use stepladders fully opened and with all four feet firmly on the floor. Never lean unopened ladders against a wall or other prop.

For outside work, you will need longer ladders to reach up to eaves level and extension ladders will serve the purpose. Make sure that they are always set on firm ground, cannot slip or slide on wet ground, and are ideally secured at the
top to an eave hooks, for added security.

Scaffold or access towers allow far greater freedom of movement and are safer than ladders, since you stand on a platform some 1200mm wide and have space to move and lay out working materials. Safety precautions must still be taken to ensure the stability of the tower but in practice, they are safer and more adaptable than ladders. Towers with base dimensions of about 1200 x 600mm can also be used very conveniently indoors when decorating stairwells for example. Wickes stock

An access accessory is a length of rope! When working up a ladder or scaffold tower, it is far easier to haul up your working tools and even the paint in a bucket on the end of a rope rather than trying to carry it all up in one hand whilst
the other hand holds the ladder.

Paint Drying and drying times

Paint Drying Machine

Paint Drying Machine - The REVO 180

A manufacturers’ quoted drying time is just a guide. It assumes the paint is applied correctly onto a well prepared surface, in normal temperature and humidity, subject to good ventilation. Only you know how the paint has been applied and in what conditions, so times will vary.

Try not to apply paint in extremes of temperature but if you do, you must except that you may not get a perfect finish, no matter how good the paint. Too cold or humid, it will take an age to dry, and if allowed to become wet or freeze, it
will ruin the finish.

Too hot, and you will quickly loose your wet edge, the paint surface will dry very quickly (possibly, in the time it takes to reload your roller or brush) and will look patchy. This can be a particular problem with modern high opacity emulsion paints, especially when painting a ceiling in the middle of a summer heat wave but it will also affect solvent and water-based trim (used on wood and metal) paints. In the case of a water-based paint, about 5% of water can be added to help extend the wet edge in such conditions.

Paint, when applied onto a nonporous surface, dries from the outside, in. The first drying stage is ‘Touch Dry’; this is when the paint appears not sticky to the lightest touch but still soft underneath. Paint will continue to harden as the carrier medium (this is either the solvent or water, which holds the paint in suspension) evaporates into the atmosphere. When the paint appears to be fully dry to the touch, this is known as the ‘Dry Time’ and the point at which the paint becomes ‘Recoatable’ (i.e. time quoted on the tin). This is the earliest point when a further coat can be applied without damaging the previous one. Whilst the paint appears to be dry, it is not hard and will continue to harden over a period of time. This is why we ask you not to wipe clean paint for at least 7 days after application. Some solvent based paints, depending on applied thickness, can take over a month to become fully dry, so don’t rub too hard.

Selecting and understanding Paint

Understanding PaintTraditionally, water-based paints were used on walls and ceilings, and solvent-based paints for wood and metal but times have changed. This article and others on this site should dispel that myth and give you an idea of the many paint varieties available, their preparation and uses.

Another thing to consider is that legislation is changing the way paints are formulated, so, the paint you are about to use may have subtly changed from that of a year ago. An example of this is the reduction in VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) in solvent based paints. This has the effect of increasing the drying time, no matter which brand you use, and because of this, it is very important you read the product instructions before use.

Coverage and drying times are only a guide, in real life, how the paint is applied, the porosity of the surface, ambient temperature, humidity and amount of ventilation will all have an effect.

The top ten Golden Rules of painting

The Top Ten Golden Rules of Painting

  1. Always read instructions on the paint can carefully and follow them
  2. Use access equipment properly. Don’t take short cuts
  3. Wear sensible clothing and, especially, masks or other items designed to protect you
  4. Use the right tools for the job.
  5. Select the correct paint for the purpose. An interior paint will not last long outside
  6. Only paint when conditions are suitable
  7. Two thin coats of paint are always better than one thick coat
  8. Clean utensils immediately after use. Do not allow paint to dry on brushes or rollers
  9. Plan the work carefully with your current project.
  10. Prepare surfaces properly. Bad preparation means a poor finish that will not last.