Painting Tips and Hints

Common Painting Problems to Avoid

These are listed in no particular order but steps should always be taken to avoid these issues as many can cause paint problems.

1. – Surfaces should be suitable

Flaky, rusty, damp, or dusty/oily substrates of many types can cause problems. Mould - get rid of mould, including spores, by applying diluted bleach solution (about 50/50 in water) - allow it to dry, repeat, allow to dry thoroughly & then paint. Provide ventilation to avoid future excessive condensation. LBP will key to most surfaces except silicone sealers & caulk, but a test area is always advisable.

2. – Coverage is normally 10-12m2/L /coat on a non-porous surface. 

Over-spreading or thinning of paint means an insufficient film build and this can lead to premature failure with all brands of Interior paint & can lead to poor adhesion.

3. – Preparation

Poor preparation can lead to many problems and a light sanding of woodwork is always a good idea; do not wipe with a White Spirit cloth – as many painters like to do.

4. – Impossible surfaces

Some surfaces cannot normally be painted, or may be difficult - such as - Distemper, Limewash, Silthane, Teak Oil, Danish Oil, Linseed Oil, Wax, polish residues, Beeswax, French Polish, new putty, silicone sealants, low-cost Fillers & Decorators Caulk, economy texture finish (ie imitation "Artex") wallpaper paste/size residues, copper pipes, galvanized surfaces, glass, tiles = all of these are virtually impossible to treat with any brands of water-based paint.

5. - How to remove wallpaper paste & size residues

Strip off the wallpaper as normal. Wet the wall very thoroughly with warm water and a little detergent. Leave to soak for 20 mins, then re-wet as before & scrub off any paste & size with a nylon bristle brush & plenty of water. Old newspaper can be used on the floor to soak up the washings. Allow to dry thoroughly before painting.

6. - LimePlaster & Cob

Use Matte paint - with care.

7. - Sunshine & Heat 

Painting in full sunshine leads to ultra-fast drying & possibly patchiness & dullness with most brands of paint.

8. - Storing Cold

Using or storing any water-based paint at near-frost temperatures will cause many problems including solidification, separation & a dusty film if the product is used.

9 - Storing Hot

Storing any paint at high temperatures (eg boiler cupboard) can cause many problems including ; gellation, bacterial spoilage (bad odour etc), accelerated can rusting/staining, separation etc.

9. - Equipment

Poor quality or inappropriate brushes & rollers = always use the right tool for the job. If the equipment is old, worn out, incorrect, you must buy new - to do otherwise is a false economy.

10. - Wet Edge

Always keep a wet edge as far as is practicable - you cannot leave a job part-finished, even for a few minutes. Always finish a run of paint at a natural divide ie - in a corner, or door - do not stop painting in the middle of a wall or surface as the join may be visible. For the same reason, "touching-in" or "touching-up" a previously finished area, even with the same tin of paint, requires a degree of patience and skill with any brand unless the applicator is very skilled at "feathering-in" as there is no "wet-edge" to work to – practice in an unobtrusive area first.

11. - Buy enough

Always buy enough product to finish the job, as no two batches are ever exactly the same - be it paint, fabric, wallpaper etc, from any supplier.

12. - Thinners

Wash equipment with water only - do not use any thinners or white spirit for washing, thinning, or wiping.

13. – Use the Correct Product

Use the appropriate product for the job in hand - interior wall-paints, for example, will not work well out of doors.

Mar, burnish & washability etc - please be aware that with any brand of paint, the characteristics of each type of paint are quite different. Eggshell, for example, can even be used inside a shower enclosure, as it is formulated to be super- washable, whereas matte is much less water-resistant.

Mar & Burnish - in areas of high traffic, eg corridor, office, etc - dark colours in Matte paints can be susceptible to marking if rubbed/knocked/scraped. This is called Mar (scraped) or Burnish (rubbed) & can easily be avoided by the use of a different type of paint, such as Eggshell, which is much more resistant to mar & burnish & well-suited to high-traffic areas. Pale/mid colours & white are generally unaffected or barely affected.

14. - Contamination
do not rest soap or oil on a painted surface; these will soften & remove any brand of paint. Use only mild cleansers - do not use bleach, soap, caustic soda, harsh, scouring or abrasive cleansers. Hardening - although all Linda Barker Paints appear to be fully hard within a few hour of application, they do continue to cure & further harden for approx 10 days & it is advised not to wet, clean or scuff during this period.

15. - Boards

Floorboards and T & G = apply along the length of the boards, not crossways, as the latter will leave a crossways mark with any brand of paint. If bleed-through of tannins causes patchy discolouration (rarely), obliteration is best achieved with 2 very thin coats rather than one thicker coat.

16. - Primers & Putty

Pink primers in particular are notorious for allowing bleed-through with many brands of paint; tannelized or pressure-treated wood cannot be reliably painted with any brand of paint until the carrier solvent has fully evaporated. Likewise, Putty must be through-hard before painting.

17. - Mixing

Do not mix brands of paint on a job in hand - each manufacturer has different formulas & colours & some may be incompatible with each other.

18. - Stains

When painting onto previously stained wood, be aware that water-based stains can sometimes strike through, which can normally be avoided with the use of thin coats or a blocking primer like Zinsser.

19. - Knots

Seal with two coats of proprietary Knotting eg Zinsser.

20. - Fillers

We recommend the brand Polyfilla; all fillers should ideally be sealed with a proprietary sealer such as zinsser. Omitting this step can cause visual surface effects & flaking under severe circumstances. We cannot recommend the use of Tetrion or Own-Brand Fillers, or Economy or Low Cost Fillers as all of these can cause problems of flaking & bubbling with many types & brands of water-based paints.

21. - Bare Plaster

Should be dry & dust-free, then sealed with one coat of matte paint diluted with 15% water then allowed to dry thoroughly before painting with undiluted paint.
Lime Plaster & Cob - see above.
Ready-mixed plasters: a test area is advisable (as these are proprietary mixtures & not conventional gypsum plasters).

22. - Colour consistency

All coloured testers are sent in Matte paint – the other types of paint can appear slightly different under different lighting and this is due to metamerism – which affects all brands equally. This is why all of our paints are checked under D65 artificial daylight.