Frequently asked wall painting questions

Wall painting tips and advice

Frequently asked wall painting questions

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting advice and tips for your project

Painting can seem complicated. There are tons of things to consider before, during and after painting. Typically, lots of planning that goes into a well-done paint job, but even great painters have questions. We're here with painting advice and to answer your questions.

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Q: Why does my flat or low sheen paint show handprints and marks, and mar the wall when I try to scrub them off?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: Why does my flat or low sheen paint show handprints and marks, and mar the wall when I try to scrub them off?

A: In general, flat and low sheen paints do not have a high scrubbabilty factor. Areas that are of higher traffic or that are frequently washed should be painted with a higher sheen paint. 

At minimum, a Satin sheen type or higher is recommended in those areas, for their overall durability. This will allow you to clean more often and lengthen the time before you will need to paint again.

Learn Where to Use Paint Sheens
 

Q: How long does it take for latex paint to "cure"?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: How long does it take for latex paint to "cure"?


A: Even after a paint dries, it takes time to fully cure. Depending on color choice, atmospheric conditions, and other variables, latex paint may take up to 60 days for a “full cure”. Latex paint can be put to normal use after a day or two, but should be allowed to cure for at least 14 days before attempting to wipe or wash the walls.

Latex paints can be sensitive to water or chemicals during the curing process. Also, lower paint sheens will be more susceptible to moisture and chemicals even after they are fully cured.

Learn More About Latex Paints
 

Q: What causes lap marks in dried paint?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: What causes lap marks in dried paint?


A: Lap marks are created when a wet edge is not maintained while painting. It can also be caused when the paint is applied in a vertical motion only. 

Make sure to keep a wet edge and spread the paint in a “W” or “M” pattern on the wall. This will help spread the coating and create an even film on the surface. Once this is done, you can go right back over that area and lightly roll from top to bottom to minimize a “shadowing” effect in the dried film.

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Q: Why don't the square footage rates on the container match what I am getting on my surface?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: Why don't the square footage rates on the container match what I am getting on my surface?


A: The coverage rates on the container are based on a theoretical calculation. This calculation does not account for any loss due to product left in the container, on roller covers or brushes, or variations in the painting surface. 

Depending on these variables as well as overall surface porosity, you may see a lesser spread rate than what the “theoretical” coverage rate is on the container.

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Q: Why does the paint on my freshly-painted wall peel off when I remove the masking tape from the trim?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: Why does the paint on my freshly-painted wall peel off when I remove the masking tape from the trim?


A: Masking tape or “painter's tape” tends to stick to fresh paint if not removed shortly after painting, or if it is pulled improperly from the surface. When the paint is applied to the walls, it will inevitably cover over the tape as well. As the paint starts to dry, it will start to adhere to both and the tape. This “bridge” of paint from the walls to the tape will lift as the tape is removed.

Before removing tape, gently “score” the edge of the tape with a sharp razor or utility knife. This will help break the “bridge” or “film” between the painted wall and tape. Also, as you pull the tape, stay close to the wall but gently pull away from the painted edge, to help minimize the problem.

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Q: Why is my paint not covering after one coat has been applied?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: Why is my paint not covering after one coat has been applied?

A: There are several reasons why paint will not cover in one coat. 

Some of the main reasons include:

  • Drastic color changes, i.e., light to dark color or dark to light color

  • Over thinning the product

  • Stretching the product near or beyond its coverage rate

  • Used the wrong roller cover for the surface


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Q: How do I tell if the paint on my walls is latex or oil-based?

How To Paint : Frequently Asked Questions

Painting Advice

Q: How do I tell if the paint on my walls is latex or oil-based?

A: Put a small amount of denatured alcohol or finger nail polish remover on a cloth and lightly rub it on an inconspicuous test area.

If the paint softens and is easily removed, then it is a latex paint. If the paint does not really seem to be affected by the test, it is typically an alkyd, or oil-based, coating.

Learn About Latex v. Oil-Based Paints