Follow these tips for surface prep through top coat.
To avoid most of the headaches that can come with painting new interior walls, follow these basic guidelines for surface preparation, primer application and top-coat application:
Wall and ceiling surfaces should be completely dry before primer or paint is applied. Use a damp cloth to remove loose dust and dirt created during the drywall installation. If the drywall surface is wet, dusty or dirty, the paint may not coalesce, bond and flatten as it should.
Make sure the ambient temperature isn't too low for painting. Cold temperatures interfere with paint's ability to coalesce and bond; when it's too cold, the polymer particles don't have sufficient energy to move together. The air, the surface and the paint should all be at the manufacturer's recommended temperature, which is usually above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, confirm that the temperature won't drop below recommended levels after painting for the time frame specified by the manufacturer.
Primer is the first coat of paint applied to the surface. It functions as an intermediary between the drywall and the top coat. A good primer seals the drywall to provide a more uniform surface for painting. Primer also helps prevent brush and roller marks in the top coat. When primer is used, the top coat is applied not to the drywall surface but to the primer. Think of primer as the foundation for a smooth, attractive interior paint job.
When priming drywall, the goal is to create a surface with uniform suction (absorption). The areas where joint compound has been applied don't absorb primer as quickly as the papered surfaces, and the result is a flatter finish in paper areas than in areas of joint compound. To solve this problem, primer has a lower solid content, which makes it less sensitive to the varying suction rates of different surfaces. In primer, the polymer particles coalesce and bond more easily than they do in paint, regardless of the surface they're applied to. Keep in mind that drywall primer doesn't hide flaws and isn't nearly as durable as paint. Its function is to create an even surface for paint by leveling out suction rates across the drywall surface.
The top coat is the last coat of paint applied to the surface. You may need to run the paint through a filter to remove dust and dirt from site work. Stir the paint and apply the manufacturer's recommended thickness of wet top coat, back-roll the paint and measure the mil thickness to ensure the correct dry-paint thickness. Back-rolling can enhance the uniformity of the paint coating. Depending on the paint system selected, applying two lighter top coats can provide a higher-quality and more durable finish than applying one heavy topcoat, which can run.
Basics of the Encaustic Monoprint Technique
Create a one-of-a-kind print using the encaustic technique, which involves painting with hot wax.
Paint Color and Decorating Tips
Quick changes with paint make your home sparkle during the holidays and every day.
Decorative Paint Techniques: Wall Preparation Instructions
From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash. These simple wall-preparation tips will help ensure professional results.
Paint Glossary: All About Paint, Color and Tools
Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking color schemes.
10 Tips for Picking Paint Colors
Take your interior from drab to fab with help from an expert.
Painting 101: Oil or Latex?
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of using oil-based and latex paint.
You Ask, Vern Answers
Celebrity designer Vern Yip answers your decorating questions.
A four-step guide for organizing any room, plus 13 strategies to prevent procrastination.
Interior Details for Top Design Styles
From farmhouse to modern, transform your interiors with thoughtful details that offer a big impact for a small investment.
Roofing Component Basics
Roofing terminology can be a bit overwhelming. These basic roofing definitions will help get your project off on the right foot.
Copy This Room: 7 Stylish Dorm Room Decorating Ideas
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 27, 2015 by Shannon Petrie
The Votes Are In! Tour This Tiny + Charming Cottage
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 23, 2015 by Farima Alavi
What’s Your Yard Art Spirit Animal? Take the Quiz!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 22, 2015 by Kayla Kitts