Monday, August 3, 2009

Paint paneling.........don't do it!

I do not recommend to "paint paneling" (I'm talking about the interior veneer wall paneling that used to be considered an "upgrade" in the 80's). Some people think painting paneling would now be considered an upgrade. Sounds easy, right? It would look good, right? Umm.........not exactly. Here's why:

Most wall paneling has vertical indented grooves/lines that will become visible after you paint the paneling. Sometimes these lines are rough so once you paint the paneling, the lines take on a textured look to your wall. These "lines" are magnified once you paint the paneling so stand back & look at your paneling & "visualize" a painted wall with visible vertical lines in it all the way across your wall. If you like that look.....great......but if you don't..................

Also, take a look at the vertical seams between each wall panel. Are they tight up against the wall? Are there any waves in the lines? Are there any gaps between the vertical edges? Look closely as you may have never noticed any problems at these vertical seam areas since the lines are generally a dark brown or black so as to "hide" any imperfections that may have been caused at the time of installing the wall paneling. Take note since you will clearly see these imperfections once you paint the paneling.

You could caulk these vertical lines (at the seam areas) but you will have to do a very good job of this as you do not want any caulking excess to be left on the smooth surface of the adjoining wall paneling. If all of the remaining vertical lines are "rough sawn", you will now have to caulk these lines as well since the paint will pick up differently at these areas than your caulked "seamed lines between each wall paneling sheet". Lots of things to consider when painting paneling.

Look at the overall wall area you are thinking about painting the paneling. Are there any bubbled or loose areas within the wall panel sheet (above & beyond the vertical seam areas)? These areas will be magnified once you paint your paneling.....something else to think about.

How much trim do you have on the wall paneling ie: corner trim,top trim,baseboard trim,etc.. Keep in mind that any "edge" you see will be "picked up" by the paint & you will see every small dark line in your wall once you have painted your wall paneling, so don't forget to caulk all of your edges of trim. Prep work is the name of the game when it comes to painting paneling.

Most wall paneling is "finished" in a glossy appearance. If you want to paint paneling such as this, you will need to make sure to "etch" the surface (sand) prior to installing a coat of primer. Priming your paneling is a must before you paint the paneling. If your paneling has the dark visible vertical lines, you may want to consider installing a "kilz" primer in these areas (prior to installing the caulking &/or if you decide not to caulk these lines) as regular primer on these lines may have a possibility of not covering 100% especially if the original installer used a black felt tip marker pen for any touch up work that may have been completed when the wall paneling was originally installed (especially at the vertical seams).

Painting the paneling will now require two coats of finish paint over the one coat of primer. If you still think you want to paint your paneling, try painting a "test" area first, before your tackle the entire project.......(behind a door,in the closet,in a storage area,behind the headboard to your bed,etc..).....just in case you decide against it.

Painting paneling can be a nightmare but you now have the knowledge to make an intelligent decision on whether or not to paint your paneling, or leave it alone. I still vote to not paint paneling but of course "you have to do what you have to do". Now you have the "tools" to help you make that decision.

Click here to "view" some other "free" painting tips for your next project.........these additional tips are in "video format"........check it out.

Paint On!


Paint wall covering......should I do it?

Paint "wall covering" (I'm talking wall paper here) in lieu of removing the wall covering could be a good thing, but then again, you might be opening up a can of worms. It depends on what type of wall covering you will be painting over. Here's what you need to know:

Paint wall covering that is paper-based is not generally recommended. This type of wall covering has a tendency to lift & bubble once your paint "hits the wall". The moisture in the paint is like putting water on your wall covering & you know what happens when you leave water saturated on your paper-based wall coverings don't you? So you may have a problem here, depending on how long it takes for your paint to dry.

"I don't know if my wall covering is made out of paper. How do I check this?"

Look at see if you have any remnants of your wall covering. If you don't, check & see if your wall covering, on the wall, is lifted in a corner or seam. Look at the wall covering closely. If the wall covering is really thin & looks like paper, & has a whitish/yellowish back, it's probably paper.

"OK, I've checked the wall covering & I think it's paper but I really don't want to spend the time it takes to remove the wall covering before I paint the wall, plus I might damage the actual sheetrock wall from the removal of the wall covering. Can't I just paint the wall covering?"

I feel your pain here. You can always make the attempt to paint your wall covering but just paint a little wall section first, to see if the wall covering stays "tight" to the wall (check this after your paint is dry). Look at your wall covering that you want to paint over. Check & see if the wall covering looks nice & tight to the wall & seams are looking good before you decide that you want to paint your wall covering since whatever you see now (flaws in wall covering,open seams,tears,lifted corners) will be magnified once your wall has been painted.

"The wall covering I want to paint over looks like vinyl & not paper. Will I have a problem painting over my wall covering?"

You should not have a problem to paint wall covering, if you know it's vinyl, as the paint will not soak through the wall covering to the back like paper wall covering. Try a "test" spot though, so you'll know what the vinyl wall covering will look like once it's painted. If your vinyl wall covering has a raised pattern or design, please realize that some of these little nooks & crannies will fill up with paint, so when the paint is dry, you may see that the wall finish looks different in some spots more so than in other areas, so keep that in mind.

When painting vinyl wall covering, do the usual "look see" to make sure the seams are tight together & perimeter edges are down. Identify any "problem areas" & make minor repairs prior to applying your paint.

Click here to enjoy some "free" video painting tips....oh yeah!

Good luck with your project!


Smelly paint could "wreck" your next paint project

Did you know that smelly paint could (& probably will) play havoc on your next painting project? Yes, that's a fact. Smelly paint should be avoided at all costs. I don't think you want to invest alot of time on your paint project only to find out that the paint you used was more smelly than you thought. "All paint smells doesn't it?" Well, some paints smell worse than others. "What can I do next time then?" I'm glad you asked that. Here's what you're going to do:

If you are going to use the old pan can you have in the back of the shed, make sure you mix it up good then "smell" the paint. Does it smell like old musty smelly paint? (I'm talking really smelly here). If it does, don't use it. Go to the store & get some new paint. I know it will cost you a few dollars but it's well worth it as you don't want this smelly old paint to outlast its welcome. Oh yeah, take your old paint can to the paint store with you so they can match up the paint. If you decide to use the paint in the old paint can, make sure you strain the paint before you use it.

If you are repainting the interior sheetrock walls of your home, it's always a good idea to purchase a low/no VOC paint. This is a low smelling paint that will get the job done for you. Talk to the paint store & they will show you what types of low smelling paint they have which will work for your project.

"I just purchased the paint for my interior sheetrock walls but I didn't even think to purchase a low smelling paint. What do I do now?" Here's a trick I learned many years ago. Put some vanilla extract in it & stir it in. You know....the cooking variety that you make cookies with. Believe it or not, it works pretty good.

It's important to realize, you'll still have a paint smell when you complete your project......"no matter what you do", but the above ways can minimize the smelly paint smell you hate. Try out the above tips & you'll be.........smelling like a rose!

Click here to get some other cool "video" painting tips

Paint on.