It is all about the base: Fail to pre­pare, pre­pare to fail

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

When it comes to paint­ing, the key is the base. “It drills down to the sur­face,” stresses Glenn Bethune, sell­ing branch man­ager at the Du­lux Paints store in Corn­wall.

Re­gard­less of the prod­uct used, proper sur­face prepa­ra­tion is vi­tal, he re­it­er­ates. “When cus­tomers come in, the first thing we do is ask them ques­tions about what kind of sur­face they in­tend to cover. One of the big­gest mis­takes peo­ple make is that they do not pre­pare the sur­face prop­erly,” says Mr. Bethune, who af­ter 44 years in the busi­ness is re­tir­ing at the end of May.

“There are a lot of mis­con­cep­tions,” he notes, re­fer­ring to con­sumers’ un­founded be­lief that new paints can guar­an­tee per­fect re­sults un­der all con­di­tions. “Peo­ple ex­pect mir­a­cles.”

Even self-seal­ing or self-prim­ing prod­ucts have lim­i­ta­tions. “Ev­ery sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent,” ob­serves Mr. Bethune. For in­stance, re­cov­er­ing kitchen cab­i­nets may re­quire a spe­cial­ized primer be­fore paint can be ap­plied. “You need good prepa­ra­tion to as­sure good ad­he­sion.”

Although peo­ple are anx­ious to crack open the can and start putting on paint, they should spend time read­ing the notes on sur­face prepa­ra­tion. Sand­ing, taping and scrub­bing all take time and el­bow grease, but in the end, they pay off.

New colours

In the more than four decades he has been sell­ing paint, Mr. Bethune has wit­nessed trends come and go.

“The in­dus­try has gone from no-lead to no-oil, to all acrylic la­tex to wa­ter sol­u­ble la­tex, to paint and prime all in one.”

Favourite colours have cov­ered the en­tire spec­trum. The cur­rent move­ment is to­wards “nau­ti­cal” hues, sub­dued tones.

“Some of the more pop­u­lar colours are egg shell and off-white.”

Lu­cid Dreams

Con­sumers can also check out sug­ges­tions from com­pa­nies. Du­lux of­fers “Lu­cid Dreams.” The com­pany says: “The over­ar­ch­ing qual­i­ties of the theme of our 2016 paint col­lec­tion, Lu­cid Dreams, are sub­tle but not nec­es­sar­ily typ­i­cal. The fo­cus is on flu­id­ity, del­i­cacy and grace­ful de­sign in pro­mot­ing bal­anced well­ness, pu­rity and aware­ness through the soft rich­ness of these new pas­tels.”

Then there is the Du­lux 2016 Colour of the Year: Bear Run, “an ethe­real blue that ex­udes calm and peace­ful­ness, re­flect­ing our in­creas­ing mind­ful­ness about the im­por­tance of pro­mot­ing life bal­ance, and re­duc­ing men­tal and phys­i­cal clut­ter.”


Mean­while, a hue sym­bolic of new be­gin­nings, Alabaster is Sher­win-Wil­liams 2016 Colour of the Year.

“At a time of in­ter­con­nected com­mo­tion and over­stim­u­la­tion, Alabaster of­fers a sense of per- sonal so­lace and re­vival to weary minds. It is the true neu­tral to set the tone for 2016,” ac­cord­ing to the firm.

The colour also “rep­re­sents a straight­for­ward and nec­es­sary shift to mind­ful­ness. It pro­vides an oa­sis of calm­ness, spir­i­tu­al­ity and ‘less is more’ vis­ual re­lief. Alabaster is nei­ther stark nor overly warm, but rather an un­der­stated and al­lur­ing white.”

Keep it clean

The longer you al­low a stain to stay on your walls, the longer it has to pen­e­trate into your paint and stub­bornly stay there.

When the prep­ping and paint­ing are com­plete, main­te­nance is the task many home­own­ers ne­glect.

Hang ob­jects with nails, not tape. The tape will tear off your hard work.

Avoid fur­ni­ture place­ment that can re­sult in scraped walls.

If you need to touch-up pre­vi­ously painted walls, try to use paint left over from the job and ap­ply it with the same tech­nique, brush or roller.

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