Posts Tagged ‘Paint’

Spring Checklist

Take advantage of the moderate temperatures to get a head start on what should be an annual spring home maintenance routine. EXTERIOR INSPECTION “It’s good to do a walk-around of your property, especially after a storm,” says Curtis S. Niles, Sr., owner of Armored Home Inspections, Upper Darby, PA, and president of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). “Winter is tough on roofs and chimneys.” It can also take its toll on windows, walls, foundations, gutters and decks. Roof. You don’t need to climb up there yourself; with binoculars and a keen eye, you can probably spot trouble. Do you see any shingle-shift, suggesting that some fasteners may have failed and need replacing? Any cracked or missing shingles? What about nail-pops? “We call them eyebrows,” Niles explains. “It’s when nails push the tabs of the shingles up, allowing water to get in where those nails are coming through.” All will need to be addressed to keep your roof at peak performance. Chimneys. If you have a masonry chimney, check the joints between bricks or stones. Have any fallen out? Is there vegetation growing out of them? Each signals water infiltration. Also, look for efflorescence—”a white calcium-like deposit that indicates your masonry joints are no longer repelling water but absorbing it,” says Niles. Consider re-sealing masonry with a clear, impermeable or water-resistant barrier material (like Thoroseal products). Brush it on, small areas at a time; let it absorb for 15 minutes, then reapply—it may need a couple of applications. Exterior Walls. Whether you have wood siding, stucco or brick, look for trouble spots, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains normally indicate that your gutters are not adequately containing roof runoff. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, making way for carpenter ants, woodpeckers and other critters that may nest in or burrow through. Foundations. When inspecting the exterior of your home, be sure to examine the foundation from top to bottom for masonry cracks. “Routine caulking by homeowners won’t do the job,” says Niles. “Hire a foundation specialist who can employ a two-part epoxy injection system that will bond cracks chemically,” he adds. Windows. Leakage around windows will admit warm summer air and let cooled indoor air escape, so be sure to check that any caulking and weather stripping you have in place has remained intact. “A tight seal is the first line of defense against air and water,” says Marty Davis, marketing manager, Simonton Windows, Columbus, OH. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced. Spring-clean your windows—inside and out—with a store-bought or homemade window cleaner (one cup rubbing alcohol, one cup water and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar will work just fine) and either a squeegee or a soft cloth. Never use abrasive cleaners or a high-pressure spray washer. You don’t want to scratch the glass or crack the caulking around each unit. If screens were on all winter, remove and clean them with mild detergent. Lay them on a dry surface, like a driveway to air-dry before putting them back on. “Never power-wash screens,” urges Davis, “it could damage the mesh.”

General Cleaning. Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets and ceiling fans. Launder or dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses and consider renting a carpet cleaner—anything you can do to remove settled dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.

If you detect grease residue in the kitchen, consider washing cabinets, backsplashes and walls with warm water and mild detergent. The same is true in the bathroom, where soap residue and fluctuations in heat and humidity combine to create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. While you’re cleaning tile, look for areas of worn or missing grout, as these may lead to more serious water damage if not repaired.

Air Conditioning. Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. In addition, vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit and connections; over time it can impact the air conditioner’s effectiveness. If you suspected problems with the efficiency or performance of the unit last summer, now is the time to call in a professional to check it out.

Attics. Search for signs that indicate insects and critters have colonized. Also, search aggressively for mold, which often takes the form of “gray or black blotches that look like staining,” according to Tim Gentry, vice president of technical services, DaVinci Roofscapes, Kansas City, KS. Proper insulation and good ventilation will deter mold growth in the attic, so take action now to prevent the problem from developing in the warmer months ahead.

Basements. The basement—prone to dampness and insects—must be part of any thorough seasonal maintenance effort. Dampness suggests higher than normal relative humidity, inadequate ventilation and the need for a dehumidifier. Check the base of poured-concrete walls. “Cracks start from the bottom up, not the top down,” Niles points out. “If there’s water penetration, it’ll show at the bottom of those cracks.” And be sure to use a flashlight to examine exposed framing. “If you see even a quarter-inch or so of tunneling on the wood,” says Niles, “call a pest control company immediately.”

Leaks. Spring is a good time to check for leaky faucets, clogged drains and sweaty pipes. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sink to make sure connections on pipes and hoses are properly sealed, and look for any wetness around the dishwasher that could signal an existing or potential problem. The same is true of your laundry room; check washer machine hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness. The same is true for hot water heaters, which may show sign of corrosion and leaks.

Lawns. Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris and leaves that you might have missed in the fall; if left, they can suffocate the grass beneath. During the winter, soil compaction, along with chemical changes altering your soil’s PH, may have left your lawn vulnerable to weed growth and other issues. Even if you can’t see weeds, they are more than likely waiting for optimum conditions to propagate. If you want to prevent them from germinating, consider an organic herbicide; fertilizers are better suited to the fall.

Make sure outdoor water systems—pipes, faucets, and in-ground sprinkler systems—are in working order. Once the ground thaws completely, start preparing new garden beds for summer plants. And take stock of your garden tools and lawn-maintenance equipment, including lawn mowers, trimmers and hoses.

Decks and Patios. Look for warped, loose or splintered boards, and do a good sweep to remove any leaves and debris accumulated in the space between boards. “Whether it’s wood, plastic or composite, a deck should be cleaned every year to extend its life,” says Chuck Harris, owner, Custom Lumber Manufacturing Co., Dothan, AL. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, now is the time to clean, stain, and reseal it. If you have composite decking, follow manufacturers’ recommendations on seasonal care. The same is true for wood and composite fences, pergolas, trellises and other structures. If you have a stone patio, a simple hose down provide be all the maintenance required (unless you detect moss or staining, in which case a more serious cleaning may be necessary).

Outdoor Furniture. If you stored your lawn furniture for the winter, bring it outdoors and give it a hose rinse, or wash it with a mild detergent. For metal furniture, check for signs of rust or paint erosion; a simple remedy of spray enamel will prevent further damage from sun, rain and humidity in the months ahead.

Grills. If your gas grill has remained idle over the winter months, check burner jets for clogs and obstructions, and be sure that gas hoses and connections are sound and secure. You’ll also want to check for propane. For charcoal grill owners, make certain your grill is clean of ash and free of grease residue. It’s a good habit to adopt throughout the grilling season, not just in the spring.

Painting Mistakes




Skipping the Tape
Do you have the skills to get straight lines around the woodwork, windowsills and doorframes? Grab the painter’s tape and get the nice, clean edges you want.

Painting Without Primer
Primer gives paint a good surface to adhere to and brings out the true color of the shade you’ve chosen. Going without it can lead to poor results.

You took the time to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Wait. Make sure it’s completely dry before you sand and prime. Otherwise, all that patching was a waste of time.

Paint Buildup on Pad Edge
When using edge pads around ceiling edges and corners, make sure to wipe off excess paint frequently to avoid marking the surface.

Brushing When You Should be Rolling
For a large interior area, a roller will do a better job in less time. Select the right nap roller for your sheen of paint and try to avoid pushing the roller into the wall when you paint.

Underestimating How Much Paint Needed
The pros say you need one gallon for every 400 square feet. Plan ahead and you can avoid running back and forth to the store with a paint swatch in your hand.

Assuming Walls are Clean
Paint looks much better when it has a good, clean surface to stick to. Wash your walls before painting and get professional results you can be proud of.

Painting When the Humidity is High
When the air is full of moisture, water-based paint takes longer to dry. If the weather winds up more humid than expected, take the day off and wait for a dry day.

Skipping the Surface Prep
Your new paint won’t stick to glossy, dirty walls that are in bad condition. Take the time to prep, or you’re bound to have problems down the road.

Paintbrush Abuse
When using latex paint, wet your brush bristles with water and shake the brush dry before you dip it in the paint. The brush will hold more paint and deliver better results.

Buying any Paintbrush
When you’re choosing paintbrushes to use with latex-based paint, nylon/polyester blends produce the best results. Turns out polyester is good for something besides sport shirts.

Painting with Furniture in the Room
Getting paint off your furniture is a lot of work. If you can’t move it out of the room, at least make sure it’s completely covered with a drop cloth.

Failure to Protect the Floor
Paint has the amazing ability to go all the places you’d least expect it to. Before you pop the can open, make sure you have a drop cloth over everything and the edges are taped.

Polka-Dot Doorknobs
Unless you like the look of splattered paint, we recommend that you slip plastic bags over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid unsightly paint splatter.

Painting the Wall Plates
Want professional-looking results? Take five minutes to remove the wall plates and tape around your light switches and electrical outlets.

Spring Painting DO’s



Primer comes before paint.
Tempted to skip the primer? Primer not only provides a good surface for the paint, but it also brings out the paint’s true color.

Paint like a pro.
Painting is your chance to show off your skills. Use an edge pad for clean lines around doorframes, ceiling edges and corners so your walls look great — down to every last detail.

Create a sticky situation.
Paint won’t stick to the wall if you haven’t taken the time to prep. The surface must be clean, non-glossy and in good condition.

One gallon at a time.
How much paint will it take to cover your walls? The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.

Dry days make good painting days.
Moisture in the air keeps water-based paint from drying. Skip the humid afternoon paint project and slow drying walls won’t wreck the rest of your day.

Put your sandwich bags to work.
Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go. You’re so resourceful.

Out with the old.
If the old paint on your wall is flaking off, it’s a good idea to buy a paint scraper and get it out of the way. Once all the old paint is gone, sand the surface smooth, prime and your new paint will look great.

Clean finish.
If you’re looking for paint in high-traffic areas, semi-gloss is the way to go. Shiny and durable, semi-gloss is a parent’s best friend.

Give the walls a sponge bath.
Washing your walls from top to bottom is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.

Don’t look back.
Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and color streaks in the paint’s surface.

Polka dots look good on fabric—not floors.
Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a drop cloth. It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation.

Take away the shine.
Paint doesn’t always adhere to glossy surfaces. We recommend using a light grade sandpaper to take the gloss off the surface so your new paint sticks like it should.

Turn in the brush.
Small rooms can feel gigantic when it comes to painting. A roller will do a better job than a paint brush in less time.

Spare the wall plates.
Before you start, remove all wall plates and tape off light switches and electrical outlets. You’ll get high marks for professional-looking results.

Patience is a virtue.
You’ve completed your mission to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Now, make sure it’s dry. Then sand smooth, prime, and you’ll have a surface good enough for any pro.

Coorecting Paint Problems

Correcting Common Paint Problems

Here are tips and suggestions on how to correct common paint problems. Homeowners all over the country experience these types of problems. Take the time to read the instructions carefully and follow them and you can correct many of the paint problems around your home.


  • Nail heads can rust and create spots on painted surfaces in your home. This problem is caused by using uncoated steel nails where excessive moisture exists under the paint (see image). The uncoated steel nails obviously cannot be removed, but you can correct the moisture problem.
  • Try to locate the source of excessive moisture. Check for leakage from the eaves, evaporation from nearby plumbing pipes or sweating caused by heat from a bathroom or kitchen. If you can locate the source of moisture, try eliminating the problem by shutting off the condensation that causes the moisture.
  • Remove any stained paint around all nail heads by sanding the area or using a wire brush. Sand clear down to the nail head, then sand the nail head itself to remove the built-up rust.
  • Use a nail punch to countersink all nail heads approximately 1/8″ below the wood surface.
  • Apply one even layer of undercoat over the countersunk nail and the area around it.
  • After the area is primed, fill the countersunk hole with a good grade of caulking compound. Allow the compound to dry, then apply one coat of a good grade of outside house paint. After adequate drying time, apply a second coat. Use these steps to correct the problem.


  • Paint sometimes peels under the overhang of a roof or in other areas of your home that are protected from weather. Such peeling is usually caused by a build-up of “salt” deposits, which are normally washed away by rain in exposed areas.
  • Your first step is to remove the peeling paint by sanding the surface thoroughly.
  • After sanding, prepare a solution using a cleaner that leaves no film such as trisodium phosphate and water. Wash the sanded surface with this solution. Rinse the area with clear water and allow it to dry.
  • After the surface has dried completely, apply two coats of a good grade of undercoating paint.
  • When the undercoat has thoroughly dried, apply a coat of a top-quality house paint. Under some conditions, two finish coats may be required. This treatment should correct the peeling problem.


  • Paint flaking is caused by moisture that collects behind the painted surface (see image). Moisture enters the wood siding from the unpainted side. The absorbing and drying of the moisture causes repeated swelling and shrinking, thus breaking the paint film and causing it to pull away from the wood surface.
  • The first step is locating the source of the moisture. Check the area for leakage from the gutters or eaves of the house. If the flaking paint is near a bathroom or kitchen, the pipes may be sweating or leaking, or excess heat may be causing condensation.
  • You may need to install attic louvers, moisture vents or exhaust fans to correct the build-up of moisture.
  • Scrape and sand away all flaking paint. Remove the paint as far as 12″ in all directions beyond the flaking area.
  • Sand the surface down to the unpainted wood, and spot prime the area with a good grade of undercoat.
  • Protect the area against moisture by caulking all seams, holes and cracks that appear in the freshly sanded area.
  • After the caulking compound has thoroughly dried, apply at least one coat of a top-quality house paint according to the manufacturer’s directions. You may need to apply two coats. These steps should completely resolve the problem.


  • Spot peeling sometimes occurs on the siding of a house in areas exposed to the sun’s heat (see image). Peeling is usually caused by moisture trapped in the siding that is drawn to the surface by the sun’s rays. The moisture lifts the paint away from the surface.
  • The first step is locating the source of the trapped moisture. Check carefully for leaks in the gutters or eaves of the house. If the peeling area is near a kitchen or bathroom, you may need to install an exhaust fan to remove the moisture and sweat buildup.
  • Louvers placed in the overhang of the root-or wedges and vents placed in the siding-sometimes allow the trapped moisture to escape.
  • Remove all the old paint in the peeling area. Scrape off the paint approximately 12″ beyond the peeling area.
  • Sand the surface down to the original wood and prime it with a good grade of wood undercoat.
  • Caulk all holes, cracks and seams with a good grade of caulking compound to avoid a repeat of the problem.
  • After the caulking compound has had time to dry thoroughly, apply at least one coat of a good grade of house paint. This should completely correct the problem.


  • Gutters and downspouts normally peel because they were not properly treated and primed when originally painted. Galvanized metal usually has a thin, invisible film that causes many paint problems.
  • Remove the loose paint from the downspouts and gutters with a wire brush, scraper or some other stiff tool. Use a power brush or power sander for big projects.
  • Be sure that all loose paint is removed. Otherwise, the problem will occur again after another painting. Don’t take shortcuts-correct the problem now by doing the job right.
  • If you are using latex-based paint, clean the sanded area with a good grade of solvent. Apply a heavy coat of the solvent and allow it to evaporate. Special solvents are available for treating galvanized metal.
  • After the solvent has evaporated, apply the latex paint directly to the bare galvanized area. For large areas, finish the job with two top coats.
  • If you are using an oil-based paint, prime the sanded areas with a good grade of metal primer. After the primer has dried, apply one coat of a good grade of metal paint.
  • Finish the job with at least one coat of a good-quality house paint. Use two coats in extreme cases.


  • Extreme cracking, sometimes known as alligatoring, is caused when a second or third coat of paint is applied before the previous coat dries completely (see image).
  • In some cases, cracking or alligatoring is caused when the undercoat is incompatible with the type of finish coat applied to the surface.
  • The only solution is to completely sand away the cracked or alligatored surface. Use power sanding or brushing equipment for large areas.
  • After the cracked or alligatored paint is completely removed from the surface, brush the area thoroughly to remove dust and loose paint particles. Apply one coat of a good quality undercoat paint.
  • Allow the undercoat paint to dry thoroughly, then apply a second coat of a top-quality house paint of the desired color. This completely corrects the problem.


  • Checking usually occurs on a painted plywood surface. As the plywood veneer ages, it cracks from repeated expansion and contraction. This weathering and aging causes the painted surface to check.
  • When checking occurs, the entire checked area must be sanded smooth. The job will be easier with a power sander.
  • After the sanding is complete, prime the bare wood with one coat of good grade undercoat.
  • Fill all holes, cracks and seams with a good grade of caulking compound.
  • After the caulking compound and undercoat paint have dried thoroughly, apply one layer of a good grade of outside house paint.
  • In cases where the plywood is extremely aged, you may need to replace the wood completely.
  • If new plywood is mounted, you can prevent it from checking by sanding the surface of the new plywood smooth.
  • After sanding, apply one coat of a good grade of latex wood primer.
  • After the primer has thoroughly dried, apply one or two coats of a top-quality outside house paint.


  • Mildew is caused by a combination of high humidity and high temperature that creates a growth of fungus on the paint film (see image).
  • Completely remove mildew from the surface. If you simply paint over it, the mildew will grow right through the new coat of paint.
  • Make a solution of 1/3 cup of powdered detergent and 1/2 cup of household bleach mixed in one gallon of warm water.
  • Scrub the entire mildewed surface thoroughly using this solution. Scrub the area vigorously, then rinse lightly with clean water.
  • Apply one coat of a good grade of undercoat paint, and allow it to dry.
  • After the undercoat layer has thoroughly dried, apply a finish coat of mildew-resistant outside paint or a top-grade of latex outside house paint. This procedure will remove the mildew problem.


  • Blistering is caused by moisture trapped in the wood that is drawn to the surface by the sun’s rays. As the moisture rises, it pulls the paint away from the surface and causes blistering (see image).
  • Locate the source of the excess moisture and eliminate it. Check first for leakage from the gutters or eaves of the house.
  • If the area is near a bathroom or kitchen, you may need to install an exhaust fan to remove the excess heat, steam and moisture.
  • You can also install moisture vents or wedges in the siding to permit the moisture to escape.
  • Scrape or sand away all the old paint in the blistered area down to the wood. Scrape the unblistered paint out about 12″ beyond the blistered area.
  • Next, sand this area thoroughly, right down to the fresh wood. Then prime it with a good grade of undercoat paint.
  • Block future moisture problems by sealing all cracks, holes and seams with a good grade of caulking compound.
  • After the caulking compound and undercoat have dried thoroughly, apply a second coat of a good grade of outside house paint. This eliminates the problem.


  • Chalking and flaking on masonry surfaces are usually caused by inadequate preparation of the surface prior to painting. This causes the paint to flake off or powder (see image).
  • First, remove the chalking or flaking with a wire brush or by sandblasting. If the job is big, use power sanders or wire brushes.
  • Next, seal all cracks with a good grade of concrete patch or caulk. After sealing the cracks, apply masonry conditioner following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • After the masonry conditioner has thoroughly dried, apply one or two coats of a good grade of latex house paint or an exterior masonry paint. Your flaking problem is corrected!

Common Paint Problems

Paint Problems

Cracking and Alligatoring

Old layers of paint may be so brittle from age that the paint cannot expand with temperature fluctuations. Instead, hairline cracks form. When this happens, small openings in the paint film allow rainwater to seep in, ultimately resulting in flaking. The flaking paint should be scraped off, and the surface sanded.

Alligatoring is a cracking pattern that is visible in the top layers of a multi-layered paint film (most often oil-based). It often resembles the hide of an alligator. If the surface is not peeling, it is probably sound and does not require removal of the cracked paint. Smooth surface by sanding. In cases of either cracking or alligatoring, the surface should be reprimed with Ace Royal Shield Exterior Oil-Based Primer. In those cases where some peeling has occurred, it may be advisable to completely remove the paint.


To avoid paint peeling, prepare the surface properly and eliminate sources of moisture before painting. Note the temperature restrictions on the label. Cold weather prevents the paint film from forming properly. Very hot temperatures or strong winds dry the paint too quickly.

Another source of peeling is moisture build-up inside the house. If inadequate ventilation is present, the trapped moisture will migrate to the outside of the structure and, in many cases, cause blistering and peeling down to bare wood. To help prevent moisture caused peeling, be sure exhaust fans and an adequate number of attic louvers and roof vents are installed in your home.

Be sure that roof overhangs, gutters, downspouts and flashing are in good working order and that the carry the rain away from the building.

The surface to be painted must be clean, sound, dull (sand existing satin, semi-gloss or gloss paint) and dry.

Peeling on gutters and downspouts can be a result of the substrate not having been properly cleaned or primed prior to topcoating. If peeling occurs, scrape to bare metal. Be sure to feather or smooth out the edges of remaining paint. Make sure no trace of oil, grease, detergent film or moisture is present before priming non-ferrous metals with Ace Galvanized and Aluminum Primer. For ferrous metal use Ace Rust Stop Primer.


Rusty Nail Stains- sand nail head to remove rust down to clean metal surface. The nails must be inset properly so they are not protruding from the surface. A nailset and hammer can be used for this purpose. Fill indentations with patching compound. Then spot prime with Ace Royal Shield Oil-Based Primer.

Tannin Stains (bleeding)- some woods like cedar and redwood tend to cause a brownish discoloration to occur on the paint film. Keep stain from bleeding through the paint film by priming first with Ace Stain Halt Primer and Sealer or Ace Royal Shield Exterior Oil-Based Primer. Severe stains should be sealed with Ace Royal Shield Exterior Oil-Based Primer.

Chalking- Wash stained areas with a solution of Ace Siding Cleaner, TSP or similar detergent and water, rinse and allow to dry. Prime with Ace Royal Shield Oil-Based Primer. Chalk washdown on porous brick or cement surfaces is difficult to entirely remove by washing. Some stain will remain. Allow to dry before applying Ace Royal Shield Paint.

Poor Coverage

Use a top quality paint, like Ace Royal Shield, and follow the recommended spreading rate. Equally important is the quality of the applicator and the technique used. If the painted surface has the appearance of muted stripes, be careful to apply a uniform amount of paint to the surface each time you load the paint brush, pad or roller.

Use Ace Brand One Coat or professional applicators for optimal results. A second coat of paint may be desired, depending on surface condition and depth of the color being applied.


Mildew looks like dirt. Test it by dropping or dabbing a few drops of bleach onto the area; if the discoloration disappears or is minimized after 30 seconds, it is mildew. Mix a solution of one part bleach to three parts water. Apply mixture to mildew and allow to stand 30 minutes. Scrub area with scrub brush and rinse well. Allow to dry before painting.

Make Painting Easier

The following tips and ideas will help to make your painting projects easier. These instructions and suggestions can save you time and effort while helping you end up with a better-looking paint job.


  • Take time to caulk all joints, cracks and seams in the surface before painting (see image). This is easy and quick with a caulking gun and caulking cartridges. Don’t start painting until the caulking is finished and thoroughly dried.
  • Before painting windows, check around the window panes for loose or missing putty (see image below). Replace the putty in these areas before starting the painting job. Use a good grade of putty and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always clean the surface to be painted. Use a wire brush, sanding block or power sander to remove loose paint and grime before applying the primer coat. If you try to cut corners and save time by failing to clean the surface, you’ll likely end up with trouble later.

  • Fill in any cracks or large holes appearing on the surface with wood putty before starting the painting job. The putty should have the texture of paste, as illustrated. Allow time for the wood putty to dry before applying the primer coat.
  • Use a special V-shaped putty knife for puttying along a window sash (see first image below). This special tool is inexpensive and helps you do a professional-looking job much faster and easier.
  • If you need to remove a heavy build-up of old paint, use a propane torch to help make the job faster and easier. A wide-mouth burner tip is available to spread the flame over large areas. Use a long-handled scraper to keep your fingers away from the heat as you work (see second image below).
  • Use your power drill for smoothing rough spots before painting (see third image below). Purchase a sanding wheel drill attachment to make sanding much easier. A wire brush attachment for your power drill is an excellent tool for removing rust and scale from metal.
  • Use plastic or paper drop cloths to cover sidewalks, shrubbery or other areas needing protection before you start the painting. Use drop cloths to cover floors, furniture, etc., for indoor painting. These cloths are inexpensive and save you a lot of clean-up time.


  • Thoroughly mix the paint by following the steps outlined in this image. Pour off, into another container, any thin portion of the paint that is floating on top (A). Use a paddle to stir the paste settled in the bottom of the can (B). Stir in a small amount of the thin portion of the paint and use the paint paddle to stir with a figure eight motion. As you stir, gradually mix the thin portion back into the main paint can (C). Finally, pour the paint back and forth from one container to another (D). This will thoroughly mix the paint and bring it to the proper thickness for application.
  • Save a lot of clean-up time by lining your roller tray with a plastic tray liner. If you do not have a plastic liner, use aluminum foil (see first image below). Press a large piece of aluminum foil tightly against the sides of the tray. When you’re finished painting, you can simply remove the aluminum foil and throw it away. This leaves little or no clean up.
  • Use masking tape where two paint colors come together for a much neater job. Apply the masking tape at the point where the two colors join. Then remove it when the paint is dry for a much smoother joint between the two colors than what you would get by free-hand painting (see second image below).
  • When you’re painting corners, always use the flat side of the brush (see third image below). Painting with the side of the brush causes “fingering.” Your paint job will be neater and your brush will last a lot longer when you use the flat side of the brush, as illustrated.
  • The first image below shows how to use a paintbrush for best results when painting exterior surfaces. First, dip the paintbrush into the can to load the bristles about half-way with paint. Never dip more than half of the brush into the paint. After loading half the bristles with paint, touch the brush lightly to the surface at several points to apply spots of paint (A). After applying the spots of paint, use long leveling brush strokes to smooth out the spots (B). Finish each area with back and forth motions and zig-zag strokes (C). A little practice with a brush will enable you to complete a professional-looking painting job with minimal effort.
  • If you’ve had the paint for a long period of time, it may contain impurities such as dirt or lumps. There is no need to throw this paint away. Instead, cut a disk of window screen to fit just inside the paint can (see second image below). The screen will sink down into the paint and carry the lumps to the bottom of the can as the level of the paint is lowered.
  • You can avoid paint rings and drips on the floor by sticking a paper plate to the bottom of the paint can before you start the job. Just apply a little paint to the bottom of the can and press the paper plate against it. The paper plate will stick to the bottom of the can and prevent the paint from dripping onto the floor.
  • Avoid paint ridges and lap marks on a flat surface by always stroking into the wet paint area, never away from it (see third image below). Blend each stroke of the brush toward the wet paint area, bringing the layer you’re applying into the wet paint previously applied.
  • If you are planning a small outside painting job, you may be bothered by insects flying into the newly applied paint. To avoid this problem, add a small amount of insect repellent to the paint when it is mixed. Do not use too much-a small amount will do the trick without damaging the color or quality of the paint.
  • Paint wire fences with special, long nap rollers (see first image below). As this type of roller is pushed across the face of the wire fence, paint is applied to the front and sides of the wire. Repeat on the opposite side and the job is done. The fence can be painted in almost a single stroke if the correct roller is used.
  • When you’re painting with a roller, start the job by making several criss-cross strokes on the area to be painted (see second image below). After you’ve made these strokes, continue to work up and down to spread the newly applied paint evenly over the area. For painting trim work, use a special trim roller or a brush.
  • You can purchase special rollers for painting beveled or weather-boarded areas (see third image below). Use a special “doughnut-shaped” roller to paint the underedges of weather board. Use a wider type roller for painting the main surface area. By using rollers of these special types, you can paint the entire exterior of the house without touching a brush.


  • Special waterless hand cleaners remove both latex-base and oil-base paints easily and quickly. These waterless hand cleaners will not irritate your skin like many solvents. Wipe the paste-type cleaner on your hands, wipe it off and the paint will come off with it.
  • Take care of your brushes by cleaning them carefully after each painting job is done and then wrapping and storing them for future use. Fold wax paper around the brush and seal it with a rubber band.
  • Wash latex paints out of a brush with clear warm water.
  • Clean brushes used with oil-base paints with regular paint cleaner or some type of solvent. Clean the brush thoroughly, then wrap it in wax paper and store it for future use.
  • Clean rollers in the same basic way as paintbrushes. Take time to clean them thoroughly.

Other Paint Application Tools


The major advantages of paint rollers include speed of application and versatility. Since most wall paints are formulated for roller application, you will do a quicker, smoother job with a roller.

Standard wall rollers, used in large open areas, are 7″ to 12″ wide. Specialized rollers can be any length from 2″ to 18″, depending on the job to be done. Special rollers are designed for painting round surfaces or into corners.

The best roller frames are expandable, made from heavy-gauge wire, have end bearings for smooth operation and a threaded handle to accommodate extenders.

A critical element in any roller is the type of fiber used in the cover and length of the nap. Mohair covers are especially good for applying enamel; lambswool covers are excellent for alkyd paints, but not latex; synthetic fibers make all-purpose covers but cannot be used with specialty coatings, such as epoxies and polyurethane.

Smooth surfaces such as plaster, hardboard, etc., require 1/4″ and shorter nap. Very short nap is used with enamels and gloss finishes, and longer naps with latex or flat paints.

Naps of 3/8″ to 1/2″ are used on semi-rough surfaces such as light stucco, sandblasted metal, etc.

Rough surfaces such as concrete block, heavy stucco, etc., require longer naps of 3/4″ to 1-1/4″.

Quality aspects of any roller are the type and density of the fibers used. Some fibers become matted and lose resiliency when they absorb water.

Core construction is also important. In a quality roller, the core is round, has no conspicuous seams, shows no indication that the fabric will separate from the core at the ends and does not deform when squeezed gently. Some cores are made of untreated cardboard, which will soften and collapse from excess moisture; phenolic core (treated cardboard) and plastic will hold up in heavy service. Other roller cores, made of polypropylene, are thermally fused to the fabric cover, unlike others in which the fabric and core are glued.

Regardless of the material, be sure the core will hold up with both oil and latex paints. It is wise to use a separate cover for each kind of paint.

The density of the fiber determines the roller’s ability to hold paint and spread it evenly. Inexpensive rollers that become matted or fail to spread the paint will produce a mottled finish, regardless of the quality of paint used. They may also leave lint on the painted surface.

Shields are available to combat spatter and drizzle. Some roller shields are incorporated into the structure of the tool.

Select the Right Roller Cover
The most important factor in selecting a paint roller cover is the surface that is going to be painted.
– short nap (1/8″ to 1/4″) cover. Longer nap can leave a pronounced “orange peel” effect. Use on smooth plaster, sheet rock, wallboard, smooth wood, Masonite and Celotex.
– (slightly rough) – medium nap (3/8″ to 1/2″); longer fibers push the paint into rough surfaces without causing “orange peel.” Use on sand finish plaster, texture plaster, acoustical tile, poured concrete, rough wood and shakes.
– long nap (3/4″ to 1-1/4″); longer fibers push paint into the deep valleys of rough surfaces. Use on concrete block, stucco, brick, Spanish plaster, cinder block, corrugated metal and asphalt or wood shingles.
The rule for using almost all roller covers – “The smoother the surface, the shorter the nap; the rougher the surface, the longer the nap.”
1) The application of catalyzed (two-part) fiberglass or epoxy coatings. These coatings have strong solvents that destroy normal covers. Special high-solvent covers are available for these coatings.
2) The application of paint to extremely rough surfaces occasionally requires an extra long nap roller cover (1-1/4″ or 1-1/2″).
3) The application of texture paint to a smooth surface requires a special cover to pull or peak the paint on the surface for the desired texture. This is often referred to as a stipple roller cover.


A paint pad applies paint quickly, as well as offering several advantages not possible with rollers.

Rollers, because of their circular motion, tend to spatter paint, especially if rolled too fast. Since pad applicators lie flat on the surface, spattering is avoided.

A second advantage is that a pad can be used in corners. If a ceiling and wall are being painted separate colors, a roller cannot be used at the point where the two surfaces meet, because the roller will mark the other surface.

Paint pads have guide wheels or trim tabs that guarantee a straight line at the point of intersection. This same device allows for painting around trim and molding without marring the second surface.

Pads hold a great deal of paint and spread it quickly. For even faster application, manufacturers offer pad trays, some of which are equipped with a revolving wheel to speed the proper loading of the pad. When a pad is wiped on the revolving wheel, the proper amount of paint is picked up on the surface of the pad.

Pad refills are available for most pad applicators. Although cleanup is relatively easy, some users prefer the disposable feature.

There are also a variety of special paint pads; these include pads for painting in corners, for applying stains, for rough surfaces and for edging. There are also pressure-fed pads with a trigger-controlled paint supply.


Foam brushes are so inexpensive that they are often considered disposable; but most are substantial enough to be cleaned and reused. Foam brushes have handles like regular brushes, but a foam pad replaces the bristles.

Foam brushes are ideal for clear finishes. Most brands are not recommended for use with lacquer or shellac. The chemical formulas of these finishes attack the foam.


There are many products specifically designed for applying texture paints. Among them are special stippling roller covers. Some of these are foam with various patterns etched into the surface; some have deep, looped material.

Special large-diameter texture painting rollers are available for the heavier consistency of texture paints. Texture edgers can also be used to texture where rollers cannot reach.


Spray painting is far more efficient than other methods in certain instances, such as covering large areas with the same color or painting intricate surfaces such as furniture or grillwork, where other tools won’t reach all surfaces. It requires some practice in order to handle the equipment and get an even paint covering.

Spray equipment has been available to homeowners for many years, but airless sprayers offer an easier way for do-it-yourselfers to spray paint. Airless sprayers eject paint at high pressure and must be handled carefully to avoid possible injury. An electric airless paint system consists of a paint container, high-pressure pump, motor, handle, and housing and pressure regulator. Extension nozzles, longer suction tubes, extra nozzles and viscosity measuring cup are optional accessories.

Important points to remember in using an airless sprayer, as with other types of sprayers, are proper paint consistency, pressure and tip selection.

Choice of spraying tip depends on paint consistency, but generally the thinner the paint, the smaller the tip needed.

Paint consistency also governs pump pressure. Thinner materials such as stains, lacquers, enamels and sealers require less pressure than heavier materials such as house and wall paint.

Paints formulated for brush or roller application may be too thick for spraying. They should be tested and thinned if necessary.

Other types of spraying equipment have several operational differences.

A suction gun has a vent hole in the cover of the paint cap. A stream of compressed air creates a vacuum, allowing atmospheric pressure to force material from the container to the spray-head. These guns usually are limited to quart-sized containers or smaller and are used where many color changes are necessary.

In a pressure-fed system, the material is force fed to the gun when large amounts of the same color are being used, when materials are too heavy to be siphoned from a cap or container by suction, or when fast application is required.

Non-bleeder sprayers cannot release air until the trigger is pulled. These are used when air is supplied from a tank or from a compressor having pressure control.

A bleeder gun releases air at all times, thus preventing the pressure from building up to a point of popping the safety valve.

Some paint sprayers can be adapted to other uses with proper accessories. For example, an air-gun attachment blows dust from objects to prepare the surface for painting; an adjustable pressure-relief valve regulates maximum air pressure on air guns; an inflater attachment converts the sprayer into a pump to inflate toys, tires, etc.

Another type of applicator in this category is a rotary-disc airless paint sprayer. An auger pump pulls paint from a container mounted under the electrically powered spraying head into a high-speed spinning disc. Centrifugal force from the spinning disc causes the paint to flow through a variable gate opening.

The gate control regulates size of paint swath and eliminates nozzles and high-pressure injection hazards.

High-volume, low-pressure paint sprayers reduce the amount of over-spray typically caused by airless sprayers and conventional, air-powered spray guns. More paint reaches the surface and painters save time and money on paint, drop cloths and masking.

Paint Application Tips

Application tips- top to bottom
Application tips- top to bottom

Whether you’re a pro or novice, starting at the top gives you a chance to fix those little goofs and other mishaps as you work your way down.

Paint the ceiling Paint the walls Paint windows, doors and trim Cleanup

Edges should be cut around doors and windows, above baseboards and at the line where the ceiling meets the wall. Cutting the edges involves outlining the area to be painted with a 2 1/2″ angled-bristle brush and is a crucial step in “framing the canvas.” From there, a roller can be used for most of the rest of the job.

When painting with a roller, it’s important to work in three- to four-foot square sections to make the job more manageable. This also works as a guide for “roller loading” – a roller should not be reloaded until the section has been finished.

Work in a zig-zag pattern: A “W” should be painted on the surface from top to bottom and left to right. From there, the section should be filled with horizontal strokes. To finish off, the section should be smoothed with all-vertical strokes – this will maintain the same “pattern” and help to fuse the smaller sections into one finished surface when the paint is dry. For complete coverage, two coats are almost always recommended.

Faux Finishing
These step-by-step instructions will help you turn plain, dull walls into dramatic backdrops that coordinate a whole room.

Decorating Techniques

Decorating is easy with Ace Paint and the Helpful Hardware Folks there to guide you. In this section, our experts will give you step-by-step instructions on how to turn plain, dull walls into dramatic backdrops that coordinate a whole room. You’ll enhance the visual effect of furnishings, floor and window treatments.

Learn more about these exciting techniques:

Here you simply apply one or more transparent glazes over a dry base coat. Then you use almost any household tool or material to remove some of the glaze while it’s still wet. The result is an almost unlimited range of depth of color, pattern and texture. Glazing truly brings out the artist in you, because you can produce virtually any visual effect you can imagine.

Tools Needed:

Base Coat

Ace Royal Touch Semi-Gloss or Satin Latex Wall Paint

Roll Coat(s):

  • 1 part Ace Royal Touch Satin Latex Wall Paint (tinted to desired color);
  • 3 parts Ace Great Finishes Latex Acrylic Satin Polyurethane (thin with polyurethane as needed)

Just follow these simple directions:

  1. Mask off areas not to be rolled.
  2. Roll or brush on base coat. Allow to dry overnight.
  3. Roll rag into sausage shape.
  4. Pour first rolling color into tray.
  5. Dip rag into tray, wring out slightly.
  6. Starting at the bottom, and with very little pressure, roll the rag up the entire wall without stopping.
  7. To avoid repetitive pattern, turn rag frequently.
  8. If paint builds up on rag, either turn it inside out or switch to a fresh rag.
  9. Avoid lap marks by rolling wall corner to corner without stopping.
  10. Let dry to the touch. Apply additional colors one at a time, repeating steps 3 through 9. Allow to dry between each coat.

Helpful Hints and Tips:

Practice rolling on a sample board until you get a feel for the pressure needed for the effect you want.

For corners, use the tip of the rag.

Cut the rags to a width that’s comfortable to work with. And don’t change rag textures in the middle of your work.

Protect your work with a coat of clear Ace Great Finishes Acrylic Polyurethane Satin Finish.


Here you simply apply one or more transparent glazes over a dry base coat. Then you use almost any household tool or material to remove some of the glaze while it’s still wet. The result is an almost unlimited range of depth of color, pattern and texture. Glazing truly brings out the artist in you, because you can produce virtually any visual effect you can imagine.

Tools Needed:

  • 3/8″ short nap roller
  • 3″ – 8″ brush
  • Gloves
  • Painter’s masking tape
  • Ace Painter’s rags
  • Drop cloths
  • Various glazing tools

Just follow these simple directions:

  1. Mask off areas not to be glazed
  2. Roll or brush on base coat. Allow to dry overnight.
  3. Pour first glazing color into tray.
  4. Starting in a corner, apply a thin, even coat of glaze with a brush or roller to a width of 3-4 feet on wall. Remember, the more you apply, the more you’ll have to remove
  5. Using your technique of choice (such as the brush show here), remove glaze to create a pattern or texture.
  6. Avoid lap marks by glazing wall from corner to corner without stopping.

Helpful Hints and Tips:

Practice your technique on a sample board.

Because the glaze must be removed before it becomes too tacky to work with, glazing is easier with two people. One applies the glaze, the other removes it. To maintain a uniform look, the same person should always remove the glaze.

To blend one section of glaze into the next, leave a “wet” edge-a small strip of unworked glaze at the end of each section.

If it looks like you will run out of glaze, stop in a corner or other natural break. Do NOT stop in the middle of the wall.

Let your imagination be your guide. Glazing lets you give a wall a subtle richness of a delicate pattern. By carefully choosing color combinations, you can define the mood of a room and decorate with one-of-a-kind effect. Remember – the final appearance of the glaze depends on (a) the thickness of the glaze, (b) what material or tool you use to remove the glaze and (c) how you hold the tool and the amount of pressure you apply.


Here are just a few of the many possibilities. Try one. Or make one up… that’s the fun of it!

  • Stippling technique with sponge
  • Rag-rolling technique with 100% cotton cloth

  • Stippling technique with scrub brush
  • Striating technique with wallpaper brush
  • Striating technique with steel wool
  • Dragging technique with whisk broom

  • Dragging technique with decorator comb
  • “Crinkling” technique with plastic drop cloth (lightly apply sheet of plastic to wet glaze and carefully peel off)
  • Dragging/basket-weave technique with cardboard cut-out


Here you simply apply one or more transparent glazes over a dry base coat. Then you use almost any household tool or material to remove some of the glaze while it’s still wet. The result is an almost unlimited range of depth of color, pattern and texture. Glazing truly brings out the artist in you, because you can produce virtually any visual effect you can imagine.

Tools Needed:

Sponge Coat(s):

  • 1 part Ace Royal Touch Semi-Gloss or Satin Latex Wall Paint;
  • 8 parts Ace Artistic Finishes Latex Glazing Liquid
  • 3/8″ short nap roller
  • 2″ brush
  • Gloves
  • Paint trays
  • Natural sea sponge
  • “Corner” sponge (cut on side to give flat edge)
  • Gloves
  • Painter’s masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Drop cloths
  • Various glazing tools

Base Coat: Ace Royal Touch Semi-Gloss or Satin Latex Wall Paint

Just follow these simple directions:

  • Mask off areas not to be glazed.
  • Roll or brush on base coat. Allow to dry overnight.
  • Wet sponge with water, wring out until damp.
  • Pour first sponging color into tray.
  • Lightly dip sponge into tray; remove excess paint by dabbing on newspaper.
  • Practice your sponging technique on a sample board until you’re satisfied with the results.
  • Starting anywhere on the wall, gently dab with sponge in a broad even pattern. Keep dabs equally spaced in 3’x3′ area for best results. Then fill in the detail of the pattern for that area.
  • Reload sponges and dab in an adjacent area. Continue until wall is covered.
  • Sponge corners with corner sponge.
  • With a dry 2″ brush and a straight-up-and-down motion, soften and fill in corners.
  • Let dry to the touch. Apply additional colors one at a time, repeating steps 3 through 10.

Helpful Hints and Tips:

Practice your technique on a sample board.

Because the glaze must be removed before it becomes too tacky to work with, glazing is easier with two people. One applies the glaze, the other removes it. To maintain a uniform look, the same person should always remove the glaze.

To blend one section of glaze into the next, leave a “wet” edge-a small strip of unworked glaze at the end of each section.

If it looks like you will run out of glaze, stop in a corner or other natural break. Do NOT stop in the middle of the wall.

Best of all, these wonderful techniques don’t require any special skills or high-priced tools. You’ll give your home an expensive, custom look for far less cost than high-priced wall-coverings. So you’ll not only get good results, you’ll get a great value!

Removing Paint & Varnish

Removing Paint and Varnish

Read the following suggestions carefully on how to remove old paint or varnish. They can help you do a better job with considerably less effort.


  • Many home repair jobs require you to remove a coat of old paint or varnish before applying new finish.
  • You can remove old paint or varnish using one of three different methods. The first involves using a chemical paint or varnish remover to soften the painted surface. Then, the old paint can be scraped off or washed away with water.
  • Paint can also be sanded away or removed with heat. In most cases, chemical paint removers are the easiest and fastest means for removing old paint or varnish.

  • Chemical paint and varnish removers are available in a variety of semi-paste and liquid forms. Almost all chemical removers are referred to as “paint removers” or “paint strippers.” There are several basic types of paint removers:
  • Liquids are primarily for clean coatings and removing one or two layers of paint. This formula dries too quickly to remove multiple layers of paint. Good for detail areas or irregular surfaces. Also good for the stubborn spots after a washable has been used.
  • Brushables are a thick, paste-like formula that allows the paint remover to be applied in heavy layers so that it stays wet in order to strip multiple layers (up to 10 or more) in one application. Allows remover to cling to vertical or even overhead surfaces. Some paint removers are the “wash away” or “water wash” types. These terms simply indicate that the paint remover formula includes an emulsifier that permits the chemicals to mix with water and be rinsed away with a hose.

  • Use care when using this type of remover on fine furniture. Too much water can cause damage to the grain in the wood.
  • Read the labels on all paint remover cans and follow manufacturers’ instructions carefully.
  • When removing paint, pour part of the paint remover into a small, wide mouth metal can. A can with a plastic resealable lid works especially well.
  • Using a good quality brush, spread the remover thickly and evenly over the surface. Brush in one direction (see image above). Try not to brush over areas that are already covered with paint remover.

  • Sprayables are for easy application. Some removers come with a spray bottle or sprayer. These removers are thin enough to spray yet thick enought to cling. Most of these removers are “water washable.”
  • Aerosols are the most convenient and fastest way to apply paint remover. These removers are sprayed on and create a foamy, clinging layer thick enough to remove several layers of paint. If needed, reapplication is much easier, too! These removers are perfect for smaller jobs and detail work where brush application is difficult. Aerosol paint removers are available almost everywhere conventional removers are sold.
  • Some newer removers contain chemicals that are more “environmentally friendly.” These removers generally work slower than more conventional types, but some allow use indoors with good ventilation. These are more expensive, but for people who are sensitive toward harsh chemicals, may offer an excellent choice.

  • In addition, several types of specialty removers are sold to remove certain coatings or using on a specific surface. These include stain removers for surfaces such as fiberglass.
  • After scraping, use a suitable solvent such as ethanol or mineral spirits (or water if a “water washable” paint remover was used.)
  • For difficult to remove coatings, removal can be speeded up by scratching the coating with coarse sandpaper, but be careful not to deeply scratch the underlying surface. Then apply the remover and cover with plastic film to keep the remover wet.
  • Check the label of the paint remover to see how long you should leave the remover on the surface, usually about 20 to 30 minutes. Test the condition of the surface by rubbing the blade of a chemical-resistant scraper in a circular motion to see if the paint has been loosened.

  • If the scraper cuts through to the surface of the wood, the paint remover has done its job. Always wear chemical-resistant gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Apply paint remover to a manageable area. Only cover an area that allows you to scrape or wash away the paint remover before it dries.
  • Lay the paint remover on thick, and do not stir it after applying it to the surface. Give the chemicals time to act.
  • To help keep the area clean and make clean-up easier, use a cardboard box with a heavy layer of newspaper to catch the paint and remover.
  • When the paint remover has done its job and the surface is softened, you are ready to remove the loose paint. It is usually best to remove as much remover and paint as possible the first time. A scraper works well for this.
  • Follow this with a medium grade of steel wool, old rags or an abrasive scouring pad (see image above).

  • For hard-to-remove spots, you may need to apply a second coat of paint remover. Wetting the steel wool with paint remover will also work in some cases.
  • With a better grade of paint remover, you can wash away the old paint with a garden hose. Remember, on fine furniture don’t use too much water. After removing the paint, rinse the surface clean with water. Treat any rough spots with steel wool or a scouring pad (see image above).
  • After cleaning and allowing to dry, most surfaces will need to be lightly sanded to prepare the surface. With a better grade of remover, no sanding or swabbing is necessary. Some types of paint can be especially hard to remove. This usually requires a second coat of paint remover after you have removed the first coat of enamel (see image). If the surface has several layers of paint, it may be necessary to apply paint remover a third time.


  • Paint or varnish can be sanded away with any type of power or hand sander (see image). For bigger sanding jobs, you’ll want to use a power sander. Belt, disk or drum sanders can be used.
  • Although sanding removes a painted surface quickly and easily, it has one basic disadvantage-it also removes some of the wood surface underneath the paint. If you are working on a fine piece of furniture, sanding is not recommended.
  • When sanding old paint or varnish from the surface, use open coat, coarse sandpaper. Fine sandpaper clogs up quickly, making it ineffective as a paint remover.
  • As a rule, sanding is recommended only on extremely rough jobs. Chemical paint removers are much more effective and easier to use.



  • Unfortunately, all painted surfaces are not smooth and even. For curved surfaces, cut-out areas and other hard-to-reach places, use chemical paint removers.
  • Paint around the spindles of a chair is especially hard to remove. Run a heavy layer of paint remover into the crack around the spindles (see image). Let it set for about 20 minutes, then scrape away the old paint and apply more remover as needed.

  • Apply paint remover to the legs of chairs, tables and other such round surfaces with a regular paint brush (see image).
  • Set the legs of the chair in a small metal can or container to catch the surplus paint remover as it runs down the leg of the chair. Brush upward on the legs to reuse the surplus remover.
  • Use plenty of paint remover on rounded surfaces.
  • Apply a heavy layer, let it set and remove and reapply as necessary until all the old paint or varnish is removed.

  • A scouring pad is excellent for removing paint or varnish from carved areas on furniture (see image). Copper scouring pads or plastic cleaning pads can be forced into the carved areas to remove the old paint or varnish after it has been softened by paint remover. You can also use steel wool to remove old paint from such areas.
  • Always rinse the surface of carved areas after the old paint or varnish has been removed with a scouring pad.

  • When a scouring pad or steel wool cannot be forced into narrow slits or grooves, try using a brass wire brush (see image). Be careful not to press too hard when using the brush. Wood softened by paint remover can be marred if you apply too much pressure.
  • If a wire brush cannot reach into extremely small grooves, try scraping the paint out of the grooves with a small stick of wood (see first image below). A splintered piece of wood from a small board can often be used as a handy tool for removing old paint from grooves.
  • Removing paint from turned legs on tables can be difficult (see second image below). Rub a twisted piece of burlap like a shoeshine cloth over the paint remover after it has set for about 20 minutes. This will usually remove the old paint quickly and easily.
  • Some surfaces cannot tolerate paint remover. For example, key holes or holes where cabinet hardware has been removed should be plugged with paper before you apply the paint remover (see third image below).
  • You will probably replace your cabinet hardware with new hardware after the surface is repainted. However, if you want to reuse the old hardware, dip it into paint remover for complete cleaning (see fourth image below).
  • Wash the hardware thoroughly after it is dipped into the remover, then spray each piece with a clear lacquer to rebrighten the surface.


  • You can also remove paint with heat, which destroys the film in the old paint. This makes it easy to scrape the old paint away (see image). Special electric paint removers or heat guns use heat for paint or varnish removal.
  • Scrape away the paint immediately after it is heated. Use a broad paint scraper for removing the heated paint right behind the electric softener.
  • Remember that you should never allow the heat gun to stay in one spot long enough to burn the wood. Keep moving often to avoid browned or darkened spots on the surface from excessive heat.

Painting Aids / Repair tools & materials



A clean, well-prepared surface is essential for good paint results.

The best way to clean a surface before painting or repainting is to use a tack cloth – a varnish-impregnated, open-mesh cloth that picks up and holds loose dirt, sand and other foreign particles adhering to wood, metal, plastered and other surfaces.

Use a tack cloth on a surface immediately before applying each coat and between sandings. Even though the surface is cleaned with a chemical, lint and dust can accumulate rapidly, leaving a less-than-perfect finish if not removed.


Drop cloths can be made of a variety of materials, but usually they are plastic. You should use these to protect furniture, fixtures and floors against common paint splatters and spills.



Wall scrapers are used to scrape old wallpaper off walls and peeling paint from work surfaces, to tape joints, and to patch plaster.

Most do-it-yourselfers prefer 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″ sizes, but 10″ and 12″ taping knives are used by professional painters.

Quality wall scrapers have mirror-finished, flexible, high-carbon steel blades that are hardened, tempered and individually ground. One piece of steel from tip of blade to the end of handle is another quality feature. Handles are made of shatterproof plastic or wood.

Drywall joint knives, used in the same manner as wall scrapers, come in larger sizes, ranging from 5″ to 16″. The most popular size is 6″, followed by 10″ and 12″.

Quality features are similar to those of high-quality wall scrapers. Less-expensive wall scrapers or joint knives are manufactured from high-carbon steel with blades securely fastened into a seamless, shatterproof handle, frequently wood.

A corner tool is used to apply tape and joint compounds when a perfect corner job is desired. It is available in 3″ or 4″ sizes.

The installation of drywall and gypsum wallboard is pretty straightforward, but finishing out the project requires more skill and a set of drywall-finishing tools.

To achieve a smooth-looking surface, the taping process covers the joints between the wallboard panels. Then joint cement is applied in thin layers and sanded to create an even wall surface.

The basic tools used in this project are a corner-roughing knife, a corner-finishing knife, a broad knife (usually about 10″ wide) and a utility knife. The corner knife embeds the tape on both sides of a corner. A point on the knife pushes the tape into the corner joint.

The corner-finishing knife feathers the joint compound over the edges of the tape and leaves a smooth, sharp corner.

The broad knife feathers and smoothes joint compound over flat joints. The utility knife is used to smooth spackling compound over nail holes, cracks and other rough areas.

Sponge rollers are also available for both corners and flat areas to pick up and roll out joint compound.


A paint and varnish scraper, often called a wood scraper, is used to remove old paint and smooth the surface with a sharp cutting blade.

Scraper sizes range from a 1″ blade, used for scraping small, hard-to-reach areas, to a 5″ blade. Most blades are made from tempered, high-carbon steel and can be sharpened with a file.

Razor-blade scrapers are tools that hold either single-edged or double-edged razor blades. The most popular type has a retractable blade that slides in or out of the handle. They are used to scrape excess paint off windows.


Putty knives range from 1″ to 2 1/2″, with greatest demand for 1 1/4″ and 1 1/2″.

Finest-quality putty knife blades are made from mirror-finished, high-carbon steel and are hardened, tempered and individually ground.

The way the blade is attached to the handle is a means of determining quality. Top-quality models have blades running from the tip of the blades through to the end of the handle.

Putty knives are used for scraping paint, chipping out old putty, scraping off accumulated grease and scraping old finishes off furniture.


Manufacturers are marketing items that make sanding easier and more efficient for do-it-yourselfers.

Examples: sandpaper cut and packaged with complete use information; lightweight tools with aluminum, plastic or rubber-like composition, sanding surfaces, and sanding attachments for electric drills that strip off paint and rough the surface for new finish with wire tines.

Five general types of sandpaper are used by do-it-yourselfers: garnet, emery, aluminum oxide, silicone carbide and zirconia alumina. Of these, the first two are natural minerals or abrasives; the others are synthetic materials that are tougher and longer-wearing than the natural abrasives.

Each of these types may be manufactured on a variety of backings, including paper, cloth and fiber.

Garnet is a reddish-brown natural abrasive. By special heat treatment, a tougher, sturdier grain is produced. Garnet is used almost exclusively in the woodworking field.

Emery is a black natural abrasive used extensively to polish metal surfaces.

Aluminum oxide is a brown synthetic abrasive, exceptionally hard and long wearing. It is used on wood, metal or painted surfaces, and is well suited to finishing high-tensile materials such as alloy steel, high-carbon steel, tough bronzes and some hardwoods.

Silicone carbide is the hardest and sharpest manufactured abrasive, bluish-black in color. It is effective in sanding low-tensile materials such as cast iron, aluminum, copper, plastic, etc.

Zirconia alumina is another type of manmade abrasive. It is harder than silicone carbide and tougher than aluminum oxide for heavy-duty material removal.

All U.S.-manufactured sandpapers conform to the same numerical system for grading coarseness. The smaller the number, the coarser the grit. Coarseness runs from 12, extra coarse, to 1,500, ultra-fine. Grit finer than 600 is usually measured on the European FEPA scale identified with a prefix of P.

Sandpapers for wet sanding have a flexible, waterproof backing that permits them to be dipped into water or light lubricating oil for finer cutting action. Usually coated with silicone carbide, this type of sandpaper comes in several grits (from 60 to P1200) and is used for fine finishing and polishing.

Sandpaper comes in two styles: open coat and closed coat, which refers to how densely the grain is adhered to the surface. Closed coat means 100 percent of the surface is covered with grain.

Open-coat sandpaper has greater spacing between the grains so it does not clog (fill up) with sanding residue as quickly, thus extending life. Closed coat sandpaper, however, fills more rapidly with the substance being sanded and must be discarded.

Nearly all sandpapers for dry sanding sold through do-it-yourself stores are open coat and resist filling to some degree. The best paper for dry sanding when filling is a problem has a special antistatic surface treatment that resists clogging.

A special sandpaper is available for drywall and plaster sanding. This abrasive screen cloth is durable and resists fill from drywall compound and plaster.


Steel wool is a must accessory item. Its uses include removing grime and sludge prior to refinishing; preparing new surfaces; removing old coating to raw wood; and for application in between coats of enamel, paint, shellac or varnish. It removes paint from glass, furniture, tile and other surfaces.

More water-based strippers and finishes have led to a manmade synthetic steel-wool product. This product will not cause spotting in wood, as standard steel wool can when used with water-based finishes.


Although a relatively safe method of paint removal, an electric paint remover must be handled carefully. This tool, which contains a heating element similar to an electric appliance, is placed on the coated surface and pulled along slowly, following with a scraper to remove the softened paint (not recommended on latex). Tool should be kept in motion to prevent burning or scorching of wood.


Hot-air guns, similar to blow dryers for hair drying, produce heat up to 1,000 degrees F to melt paint for easy removal. Some guns have variable heat settings. Unlike electric strippers, the guns are held above the painted surface (usually 2″-4″) and a putty knife or scraper is used to remove the paint after it is melted.

Hot-air guns can be used to remove varnish and all types of paint, soften and remove putty, laminate or dry paint and wood finishes. Never sand or use a torch or heat gun on a surface you know contains old, lead-based paint.


Caulking and sealing is an inexpensive way to seal air and water leaks in homes.

Sealants are used to close the crack or joint between sills and foundations; where siding joins window and door trim; openings around external electrical outlets, electrical and telephone cables; dryer vents; kitchen, attic, and bathroom vents; flashings; skylights; other cracks and openings that leak water into homes or leak heated air-and energy-out.

The following important factors can help you choose the right caulk for job success:

  1. Where is the sealant going to be applied?
  2. What substrates or surfaces are going to be caulked or bonded?
  3. How much movement or stress will the joint that is going to be sealed undergo?
  4. What type of performance requirements does the caulk need to meet?

Caulks come in formulations that can withstand movement and temperature changes. Most caulks are available in bulk form and in caulking-gun cartridges.

Oil-and-pigment caulks – effective for one to three years. Should be used only in cracks and joints that have no movement and that are accessible for re-caulking. Oil-based caulks become hard and brittle and are characterized by low movement capabilities.

Vinyl-latex caulks – economical caulk effective for five years. Interior use for baseboards and windows. Water cleanup, easy to apply, nonflammable and paintable. Least flexible of latex caulks. Becomes hard over time. Very low movement capabilities.

Asphaltic caulks – asphalt based. Exterior use for roofing and driveways. Poor flexibility and low-movement capabilities. Best used in areas that do not get too warm or too cold and in joints accessible for re-caulking.

Acrylic-latex caulk – good general-purpose caulk. Water based, easy to apply, nonflammable, water cleanup. More flexible than vinyl-latex caulks. Adheres to most surfaces, can be painted shortly after application. Effective 10-15 years. Not recommended for area subject to excessive water collection.

Butyl-rubber sealants – solvent-based sealant with life expectancy of two to 10 years. May be difficult to apply and slow curing. Most efficient when applied to openings between similar surfaces. Not recommended for openings wider or deeper than 1/4″ or in 90¾ corners. Good for sealing out water in lap joints. Exterior use for chimneys and gutters. Low to moderate movement capabilities.

Siliconized acrylic latex caulk – medium performance water-based caulk withstanding greater joint movement than acrylic latex. Moderate movement capability. Interior or exterior. Good adhesion. Applies easily, nonflammable, water cleanup, paintable, mildew resistant. Endures moderate temperature changes with a life expectancy of about 25-35 years. Available in a variety of colors.

Tub and tile caulk – specialty performance caulk with added mildewcide to protect against ugly mildew growth in areas of high humidity such as the kitchen and bathroom. Soap and water cleanup caulks have low odor and are easy to apply. Silicone tub and tile caulks may give off a strong odor and are more difficult to apply. Some tub and tile caulks are more flexible and crack resistant than others. Adhesive formulas available to reset loose bathroom tiles and repair grout as well as caulk around tubs.

Adhesive caulks – specialty all-purpose caulk that combines a sealant and adhesive in one. Interior and exterior. Water based, applies easily, nonflammable, water cleanup, paintable and mildew resistant. Available in a variety of colors.

Solvent-based acrylics – good performance exterior caulk with life expectancy of about 25 years. Has a longer cure time. Some types must be heated prior to application. Difficult to apply. Moderate movement capability. Poor low-temperature flexibility.

Hypalon – type of elastomeric sealant with 15- to 20-year life span, good adhesion and excellent color stability.

Neoprene and nitrile – characterized by resistance to oil, heat and chemicals. Neoprene is used for driveway sealing; nitrile is used for small cracks and joints in metal frames and gutters. Long life expectancy.

Polysulfides – exterior high-performance sealant available in one- and two-part formulations with a life expectancy of 25-50 years. The one part is easier to use but is not recommended for joints greater than 3/4″ wide or 3/8″ deep. Can be used in high-movement joints. Objectionable odor, poor low-temperature applicability, remains tacky. Use on building joints, highway and runway joints. Low shrinkage, good adhesion. Usually requires a primer.

Polyurethanes – exterior high-performance sealant available in one- and two-part formulations with life expectancy of 25-50 years. The one-part formulations are easier to use but slower to cure. Polyurethane sealants are tough and abrasion resistant. Use on windows, building joints and driveways. Low shrinkage, good adhesion. High-movement capabilities.

Silicones – most weather resistant and elastic of all sealants. Silicones accommodate greater joint movement over a wider temperature span (-65 degrees F to 400 degrees F) than any other class of materials. Lifetime warranties of durability are available from some manufacturers.

Silicone sealants have excellent adhesion properties and will bond to nonoily woods, metal, ceramic tiles and glass.

However, most are not paintable and many surfaces must be primed before use. Also, there is the possibility of the silicone’s offensive odor; it should disperse in 24 hours.

Many silicones may be used for both interior and exterior applications and do not crack or become brittle with aging. Most silicones are moisture resistant and can be used in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and basements. Bathroom silicones have a mildew-resistant additive. Check labels and manufacturer literature for proper usage of the silicone sealants you sell.

Water-base sealant – new technology that provides almost the same properties as silicone at a lower price, with a better adhesion to wood and porous materials. Easily painted and cleaned up with water, this type of sealant should last up to 50 years.

These sealants take longer to cure because the water needs to evaporate. They should not be applied during wet weather, because they may wash away, and they should not be applied during cold weather, because they will freeze.

Solvent-based rubber – is a sealant with extreme clarity and excellent adhesion to most surfaces, including plastics, woods, metal, concrete and masonry, ceramic tiles and glass. Can withstand moderate movement and is abrasion resistant, mildew resistant and is paintable. Tends to have relatively high shrinkage. Sealant can be used indoors or out with a long life expectancy.

Specialty caulks – formulated for consumers who don’t want to deal with caulking guns or for specialty applications. Rope caulk comes in a roll and can be pressed into place with the index finger. New roll caulks have a liner to prevent the caulk from sticking to itself or your fingers during installation.

Foam caulks are actually an insulation material more than a caulk or sealant. They come in pressurized cans with plastic tubes so foam can be squirted into small gaps and tight areas that don’t require adhesion. This type is recommended for areas to be covered by a different material later because it can be messy and hard to apply. Works well in fairly large gaps but should be covered by a caulk for sealing.

Peel-away caulks are normally transparent, for use in high-visibility areas. They can be peeled off the caulked surface without marking.


Masking tape is a general-purpose, pressure-sensitive tape. A quality masking tape unwinds easily without splitting. It has excellent ability to stick immediately and securely to nearly all surfaces, yet pulls away without damaging surface.

Pressure-sensitive tape is also available for securing carpeting, underlay and rugs. This is a double-faced tape that adheres securely to both fabric and flooring, forming a bond that prevents creeping, bulging and overlapping.

A pressure-sensitive tape is also available for padding and absorbing shock. It is suggested for covering bottoms of lamps, ashtrays and bookends and is more durable than felt.

A multipurpose tape consisting of asphalt adhesive with aluminum facing makes general repairs in roofing, guttering, leaking pipes and hoses, in addition to sealing cracks.


Manufacturers have developed nonflammable adhesives that will do the same job as older formulations. Latex-based and chlorinated solvent-based adhesives have taken the place of some petroleum-based products.

White glue (also known as a PVA adhesive since it is made from polyvinyl resins) is used mostly for interior woodworking jobs where a waterproof joint is not required. Usually packaged in plastic squeeze bottles, these inexpensive, milky-white glues dry clear and are fast setting.

Ready for use from the bottle, they are widely used for bonding paper, fabric, cardboard, cork and leather, as well as wood. They can withstand a moderate amount of strain, often exceeding 2,800 psi.

Woodworkers’ glue has a faster grab than white glue. It is usually tinted an off-white or yellow. Woodworkers’ glue is used in applications where better water resistance and heat resistance and ease of sanding are desired.

Instant-setting glues, technically known as cyanoacrylates, create a strong instant bond with a small amount of glue. Regular cyanoacrylates will bond almost all nonporous materials such as ceramic, some plastic, rubber, metal or synthetics. Most manufacturers recommend that consumers do not use cyanoacrylates on glass although these glues will perform acceptably on Teflon and polyethylene surfaces.

Instant-setting glues have also been developed for use on porous materials such as wood, leather or paper; the exception is foam which cannot be bonded with cyanoacrylates. These instant-setting glues are in a gel form.

Instant-setting glues are not poisonous, but because they do form such a strong bond so quickly, these glues should be handled carefully. Keep glue off hands.

Epoxy glues are one of the strongest adhesives known. They are designed primarily for the bonding of nonporous surfaces, but can be used effectively on wood.

Available in clear, white or metallic finish, all true epoxies come in two parts-a resin and a hardener or catalyst. These must be mixed together before the adhesive is used.

Once mixed, the material will set permanently in a specified length of time-most will permanently bond even under water. The bond will withstand practically all common solvents when curing is complete. Epoxies are used on pipes, radiators, wood, metal, ceramic tile, china, marble, glass and masonry, since they are excellent for sealing gaps and will withstand vibration and shock.

Urethane adhesive is a one-part adhesive offering the strength of an epoxy without mixing. It requires clamping and 24 hours to fully cure but bonds most materials. Its strong bond will endure stress and strain such as that required to mend furniture, tool handles and children’s toys.

Contact cement can be used on many surfaces, but the joints it makes may come apart under a heavy load. Good to bond laminates to counter- tops and cabinets or to glue plastic foam, hardboard or metal to wood.

Contact cement is most effective when one or both surfaces are porous or semiporous. Contact cement contains solvents that should be allowed to flash off before assembly. Nonflammable versions are available.

Instant adhesion makes contact cement extremely difficult to use. It bonds immediately without clamping and resists water, temperature extremes and fungi.

Clear cement works best on porous materials. With non-porous materials, clear cement makes a good bond when applied only around the edges. Clear cements are familiar to youngsters as model-airplane glue. Glue is clear and colorless; it resists water and is suitable for use on flexible as well as rigid joints.

Plastic-resin glue is a powdered urea-formaldehyde glue. When mixed with water, it makes highly water-resistant bonds.

When used for furniture repair, it is applied to clean, close-fitting surfaces and cured under pressure for at least 10 hours at 70 degrees F. The finished glue is nontoxic and impervious to most materials.

Waterproof glue (also called resorcinol glue) is a two-component adhesive of liquid resin and powdered catalyst. Used in wood joints, it cures under pressure in 10 hours at 7 degrees F.

Casein glue is powdered casein that mixes with water. Is less expensive than plastic resin and waterproof glue; has good filling qualities for heavy wood gluing. Sets in three hours at 70 degrees F.

Acrylic adhesives are nonflammable, waterproof, two-part adhesives that hold well under stress. Applied without mixing, acrylic adhesives bond most surfaces including oily or porous surfaces. Bond forms in 30-60 seconds, with permanent strength reached in 45 minutes. It is not recommended for use on polyethylene or polypropylene.

Anaerobic adhesives are nonflammable, waterproof, two-part adhesives that hold well under stress. Applied without mixing, acrylic adhesives bond most surfaces including oily or porous surfaces. Bond forms in 30-60 seconds, with permanent strength reached in 45 minutes. It is not recommended for use on polyethylene or polypropylene.

Hot-melt adhesives come in several types, including clear hot-melt glue sticks for general-purpose use, white caulk sticks and sticks formulated for wood repair. Hot-melt glue sticks are used only in hot-melt glue guns.

Heavy-duty adhesive is solid adhesive for flat surfaces indoors and outdoors. The adhesive permanently attaches rigid plastics, ceramic, metal, finished woods and glass. It has an industrial strength bond and resists temperatures, water, oil, gas, detergents and vibrations.


This is a fine-ground, slow-setting powder. It remains workable for three to four hours; excellent for repairing small hairline cracks and filling cracks between trim and plaster.

To save mixing, most companies make spackling compound in paste form. However, this is difficult to work with, especially in larger holes. Lightweight spackling is the easiest to use, since it won’t shrink, crack or sag. The compound can be painted almost immediately. Patches with lightweight spackling, however, are not as sturdy as those made with powder-mix compounds.

The best tool to use for all crack repairs is a flexible putty knife at least 3″ wide.


Tile grout is a white powder (also available in paste form) which, when mixed with water, becomes a strong patching agent for areas subject to moisture and strain. Frequently used to fill cracks between bathtubs and walls, it is also used to repair cracks around kitchen sinks, towel racks, soap dishes and wash basins and for filling breaks between floor and wall tile. Unless tinted with dry color, it dries white.


Glazing compound is a long-lasting material used for glazing wood or metal sash. It remains semielastic under a smooth, firm, wrinkle-free film that forms when the material sets. It does not dry rock hard and so is easier to remove when re-glazing. It resists cold, heat and moisture and is used for patching or sealing small openings or cracks. Glazing can be tinted with oil color.


Joint cement is used in drywall construction as a bedding compound for the joint tape and as a filler for nail holes. It is available in powder or ready-mixed form. Some ready-mixed types may also be used as texture paint. One pound is sufficient for four lineal yards of joint surfaces.


Patching plaster is a white, fast-setting powder ready to use by adding water. It repairs large holes in plaster walls and ceilings.


Plaster pencils are used for repairing fine-line cracks and small holes in plaster. They require no mixing, have good adhesion and dry quickly.

Putty pencils serve a similar purpose and are colored to fill holes in wood.


Plaster of Paris is a quick-setting white powder used to set bathroom wall fixtures-towel racks, soap dishes, etc. It sets in five minutes. No more water than necessary should be added; when water evaporates, plaster shrinks.


Available in either dry or pliable form, putty repairs cracks, dents, breaks and holes in furniture, wood and concrete floors, woodwork, metal and other interior surfaces.

In dry form (known as water putty because water must be added), it dries to the shade of new wood but can be tinted with dry color. It sets rapidly, cannot be reworked, dries hard and can be sanded, tooled and finished like wood.

Pliable putty (also known as wood putty because it is made from hardwood) is rubbed on wood surfaces before painting to close pores in certain woods-usually oak, mahogany, walnut, chestnut, elm, butternut, hickory, ash, rosewood and satinwood. It is not synonymous with patching materials, which fill up holes or cracks in finished or unfinished surfaces.

Most wood putties come in paste form and must be thinned-the container label tells which thinner to use. Putty is brushed on, rubbed, sanded and sealed before finishing.

Wood putties are available in water-based form, allowing greater safety, rapid drying and less shrinkage.

All wood putty patches must be sanded flush with the old surface. Patches can be stained, painted or varnished.


Epoxy menders have excellent adhesive qualities and are effective in repairing auto bodies, appliances, plumbing, rain gutters, playground equipment and garden tools.

Epoxy is a two-part resin and hardener. These menders usually are white or metallic color. Surfaces must be free of all foreign materials, including paint, for epoxy menders to work effectively.

The two must be mixed together before the adhesive is effective. Once mixed, the material will set permanently in a specific length of time – from a few minutes to 24 hours, depending on the room temperature.

The bond formed is completely waterproof and permanent and will withstand attack by practically all common solvents when final curing is complete.

Because epoxy adhesives harden into solid mass when mixed, they can also be used as a patching or filling material for repair jobs. They can be used to make permanent repairs on cracked pipes or radiators, or on rotted wooden or metal gutters.


Vinyl patching kits contain a patching material that forms a permanent patch over holes, tears, etc., in vinyl. Some kits require heat, while other patching material cures in air and requires no heat. Also included in these kits is an assortment of “graining paper,” used to reproduce any design in the vinyl.

With a backing behind the hole in the vinyl, patching material is brushed over the hole and proper graining paper is laid over the patch.

With material that requires heat, an iron is then pressed over the graining paper to apply the proper heat to the patching material, causing it to take on the pattern of the vinyl and to properly set.

An assortment of touchup colors is available to blend the patch into the color of the vinyl.


Laminate countertop repair kits provide adhesive and filler to patch chips, burns and scars in laminate surfaces.

Assorted decorator colors and wood tones are available. Mixing time for color compounds is usually unlimited to provide time for a perfect match before hardener is added.

After adding hardener and mixing, filler cures in about five minutes. Filler stands up to shock and is heat resistant up to about 200 degrees F.


Fiberglass fabric for patching and waterproofing is popular because of its continued flexibility after application, preventing reappearance of the same crack.

Sold in kits, it includes fiberglass tape and an oil-based mastic. After the tape is applied over the crack, the mastic is brushed over the tape and the edges feathered to blend with the surface being repaired.

Kits can be used for repairing rain gutters, roofing, interior walls, wood surfaces, etc.

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