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Paint Doesn't Stick To Dirt!
By: Suzie

The most important thing you can learn about painting is this: paint doesnít stick to dirt!

We can't say it
                      enough: Paint Doesn't Stick To Dirt!
You can always use the Hand-Test to see if there is dust or dirt on the wall. Run your hand all over the wall and a clean hand = paint time!

Proper cleaning is more necessary for painting than it is for your home. If you want your paint to stick well and last for awhile, you have to clean the surface properly. It even says it on the back of the paint cans: "Remove all loose, peeling paint, dirt, grease and any other surface contaminants." Paint also doesnít stick to grease, soot or smoke.  Which means areas like kitchens, rooms with fireplaces and rooms where candles have been burned require not only proper cleaning, but definitely a primer coat as well to seal in any left-over residue.  Iím sure you donít really want to do your painting all over again because of technical difficulties (trust me, itís always harder trying to fix the Ďshort cutí than just doing things right in the first place).

Proper preparation is always crucial to a good paint job- not just once, but every time. If the first layer isnít done properly, then it wonít stick well. Then every additional layer adds weight to the first layer that didnít stick. All the additional weight increases your chances of having the paint come off all the way down to the first dusty layer that didnít stick. One of our clients learned about this the hard way.

This is
                    what happens when you don't clean your surface
                    before you paint!
This is what can happen when you don't clean your surface before you paint-
a little hole turns into a whole room nightmare!

A couple of years ago we were called in to fix some ceiling texture and repaint the ceiling. Some of the original texture had come off when their handy-man changed a light fixture- not a large job or a big problem. But it became a large job and more than quadrupled our original time-frame when we found the only place the texture was sticking to the ceiling was on the drywall tape joints.

Everywhere else we could just pick the paint off with our fingers or drywall knives and it came away in long sheets- all the way back to the raw drywall. Nobody had cleaned off the sanding dust from the original taping and whoever painted the ceiling just painted right over the dust.

Remember: paint doesnít stick to dirt!

Now, we had to strip the whole ceiling back to where the paint & texture were actually stuck, clean the surface, prime the raw drywall, re-mud the whole ceiling so it was all the same level, sand it, clean it, re-texture, prime and paint it. A one-day job for two people turned into four long days for three people because somebody cut some corners. Just imagine if this happened to you when all you wanted to do was re-texture a spot and paint a ceiling. One person cutting corners caused a huge expensive problem later on and one big headache for the home-owner.

Iím sure you know the saying ďdo it right the first time so you donít have to do it again.Ē This applies to painting in general and especially to the Do-It-Yourself-ers who might not know all the ins and outs of the painting biz.

In short:

* always clean your surface before you paint-
(whether itís from dust you made or just dust in general.)
* always clean the surface after sanding for any reason-
(no matter how small of an area.)
* always clean the surface if there are animals in the house-
(they tend to lay on walls and leave grease spots, plus nobody wants pet hair stuck to their paint.)
* always clean the surface if someone smokes in the house-
(paint really doesnít like to stick to cigarette smoke.)

It all boils down to words to live by: Paint Doesnít Stick To Dirt!


©August 2010-2015. Suzie Enterprises. All images, text and sub-pages unless otherwise noted.