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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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Guidelines : Painting  your house

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Painting is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to add real value to your home. A good paint job does more than just add color. It can affect your mood and productivity. Quality painting is the most cost effective way to boost the real estate value of your home. Painting your house can even lower your utility bills!

Quality materials and proper technique are critical to achieving a durable, cleanable, and easy-to-maintain finish. As you explore this site, you will find all the information you need to paint your home yourself like a professional.

Many painting techniques are easy to achieve, while others are more difficult and challenging. Whether it's stain and finish work or interior and exterior painting of your home, this site will show you how to paint like a pro and do it right from the start. See some frequently asked questions

Painting a room in the correct order will save time and cost . Begin with the ceilings (1), walls (2) (1 & 2 usually being water-based paints only), doors & windows (3)

For walls & ceilings, water based paints called Emulsions ( usually referred to as Latex or Plastic Paints by painters) are recommended. You can choose the type of paint depending on the final finish ( matt, mid-sheen, high sheen) and other functional benefits ( washability, fungus resistance, high reflectance )desired. 
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For metal surfaces, solvent based paints called enamels ( usually referred to as gloss) are recommended. Within enamels, there are choice of paints with varying sheen level & functional benefits. 
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For wood surfaces, you have a choice of ‘transparent’ finish and ‘opaque finish’. The former is recommended, if you are keen on retaining the natural look of wood. 
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Follow the instructions given by the paint manufacturer at the back of the can. 

For water based paint application on walls & ceilings : Usually, brush application is done followed by roller for a smooth and even finish. 

For solvent based paints being applied on metal & wood surfaces, brush or spray application is done as recommended by the manufacturer. 

For pattern finishes like Dulux Duette, special rollers need to be used for specific effect, as recommended by the manufacturer.

A great way to begin is to see different combinations of paint colors of your choice. 

When choosing interior color schemes you will need to take into account all aspects of your current and future decorating styles. From the flooring materials to your furnishings all colors and textures will affect the possible choices and the final outcome of your interior design. 
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For exteriors the good time to paint is when the weather is pleasant, without risk of high humidity and rain on the horizon. It is best to avoid painting, in extreme temperatures & humid conditions. 

For interiors, although there are no such restrictions – an ambient temperature in-home and outside is preferable. It is best to have some ventilation during and immediately after painting in order to dissipate fumes and it also helps with drying.

There is no fixed recommended time to wait before painting on fresh plastered walls. As long as the walls are dry and fully cured one can paint it. To reconfirm get professional help.

The development of small cracks on inside plaster walls and ceilings is not unusual and is normally the result of movement of the building. However large cracks that appear to be getting wider should be investigated by a professional.

Mouse painter: Play with colours and see for yourself how different colours can make your living spaces look different! Click here


General Problems - During painting

Possible Causes

  • Too much thinning of paint than desired
  • Previous paint-coating very dark and topcoat applied without primer-putty primer
  • Recommended number of coats of paint not applied

Possible Causes

  • Less thinning than recommended
  • Surface being painted is rough or not prepared as recommended
  • Applied more coats than needed
  • Poor quality of application tools

Possible Causes

  • Dust or dirt in the atmosphere settling on the surface during or after application.
  • During surface preparation, the surface is not cleaned properly after sanding. Therefore loose particles may get mixed with the paint while application.
  • Use of a dirty application tool.

Possible Causes

  • Painting in cold and damp condition, that causes condensation on the newly painted surface.
  • Use of incorrect solvent, contaminated solvent or solvent with traces of water
  • Application of paint in a poorly ventilated room
  • Lack of adherence to manufacturers recommendation for necessary gap between subsequent coats

Possible Causes

  • Application of too thick paint coating at a time
  • Over dilution of paint
  • Application of paint on a very smooth surface( without sanding)

Possible Causes

  • Too thick application
  • High humidity and/or low temperature during paint application
  • Improper ventilation, Application being done in confined area
  • Use of contaminated/ improper thinner and not the recommended thinner
  • Lack of adherence to recommended dilution ratio
  • Recommended system usage not adhered to. For instance, not adding adequate hardener in a two pack system like Melamine, PU.

Possible Causes

  • Paint not thoroughly mixed prior to application
  • Application of very thin or thick coat over the surface
  • Use of light top coats over very deep undercoats.
  • Use of colored or dirty thinner for thinning paint sample

General Problems - After painting

Possible Causes

  • Over thinned paint applied on the surface
  • Highly porous and absorbent surface making film under bound.
  • Paint film deteriorating due to action of sunlight , oxygen or salt in air in marine areas

Possible Causes

  • Too thin application
  • Improper undercoat application
  • Incorrect primer usage

Possible Causes

  • Substrate not dry -moisture beneath the paint film.
  • Painting over rust results in little or no adhesion
  • Painting on an inadequately prepared surface.

Possible Causes

  • Broken or defective plumbing or some other general building defect.
  • Paint should not be applied until the source of dampness is addressed.

Possible Causes

  • Moisture beneath the paint film can cause crystallisation of salt from building material such as bricks.
  • Paint should not be applied until the efflorescence has ceased to appear and has been removed.

Possible Causes

  • Algal/Fungal growths are most likely to occur in damp conditions or on surfaces with a high moisture content.
  • Algae growth on exterior masonry can be a problem in sheltered environments that are in close proximity to trees and bushes.

Possible Causes

  • Too thick application - paint not thinned as per recommendation.
  • Application done on very rough surface or highly absorbing surface
  • Poor brush condition
  • Poor painter skill

Possible Causes

  • Use of interior paint for exterior applications
  • Direct prolonged exposure of an interior surface to sunlight
  • Use of inappropriate colorants for creating shades

( Courtesy:  AkzoNobel India (previously known as ICI India) manufactures and markets paints, specialty chemicals and starch.)

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