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