Category: Painting


How To: Paint Tile

If you're unhappy with your ceramic tile, ripping it out isn't your only option. Did you ever consider painting it?

How to Paint Tile - Supplies

Photo: shutterstock.com

You are itching to redesign your kitchen or bathroom, but the color of your existing tile limits your options. Certainly, one possibility is to remove or replace the tile, but that’s an involved process, not to mention an expensive one. Another option—by comparison, a much easier and cheaper one—would be to paint the tile. Yes, it’s possible to paint ceramic tile! Follow the steps below to paint tile like a pro, and proceed with your kitchen or bathroom redesign, confident that any style is within reach.

Here’s the catch: It’s not a good idea to paint tile in the immediate area of the sink or bathtub/shower, because the moisture may cause the paint to peel. Focus your painting efforts on walls, floors, countertops—indeed, any tiled area that isn’t likely to come into contact with a great deal of water on a frequent basis. Also note that because painting tile requires the use of epoxy and other compounds that contain harmful chemicals, it’s essential to ventilate the room well and to wear proper protective gear.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Sandpaper
- Two-part epoxy
- Bonding primer
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth (or plastic sheeting)
- High-gloss or semi-gloss latex paint
- Paint thinner
- Urethane sealer
- Paintbrushes (or rollers)

How to Paint Tile - Supplies Detail

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 1
Before you begin in earnest, thoroughly clean the tile. First, sand it. Next, wash the tile with a store-bought cleaner formulated to kill mold, or with a mixture of one cup bleach and about a gallon of warm water. Allow the tiles to dry completely before you proceed any further in the project.

STEP 2
Examine the tile. In order to look its best once painted, the tile should be free of imperfections. If you encounter any chips or cracks that you would like to repair, do so with a two-part epoxy. Mix the product according to manufacturer’s directions, then apply it carefully to the affected area, being careful to make your repair level with the surrounding tile.

STEP 3
Having successfully readied the tile, move on to coat it with an application of epoxy bonding primer. You can use either a brush or roller, depending on the size of the area you are planning to paint. Resist the temptation to skip the primer; you really need it for the paint to adhere in a lasting way.

STEP 4
Use painter’s tape in combination with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting to protect nearby surfaces from errant paint. Next, with a brush or roller, apply high-gloss or semi-gloss latex paint to the primed tile. If you find the paint isn’t spreading evenly, add a bit of paint thinner to the formulation. Once you’ve finished painting, wait for the tile to dry completely. In some cases, drying can take as long as several days.

STEP 5
Finally, apply two or three thin coats of clear, water-based urethane sealer to the newly painted tile. During the process, let each coat dry before you apply the succeeding one. This, too, isn’t a step to skip, because the sealer can be expected to safeguard the tile against threats like scuffs, scratches, and moisture.


Bob Vila Radio: Painting Pressure-Treated Wood

The process of painting pressure-treated wood isn't wildly different from painting other types of lumber. But there are special requirements here—most of all, the job calls for patience.

Thinking of putting some paint on that deck you just built? If you used pressure-treated lumber, you’ll need to approach the job a bit differently than you ordinarily would.

Painting Pressure-Treated Wood

Photo: the-lumber-outlet.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON PAINTING PRESSURE-TREATED WOODor read the text below:

First, put a coat of preservative on the wood. And not just any preservative. Home stores carry preservatives especially formulated for pressure-treated wood.

The next thing you’ll need to apply is a bit of patience. That means waiting about three months before you paint. That’ll give the chemicals in the wood time to dry properly.

Once the wood has finished curing, it’s time to head to the paint store. Choose a paint that’s specially formulated for covering pressure-treated wood. Although you can use either oil- or latex-based, latex is probably the better choice, since it expands and contracts with the wood and is less prone to cracking and peeling.

Avoid the temptation to apply all the paint in one thick coat. You’re better off applying several thinner coats, using a brush and—if practical—a roller with medium-to-long nap. Make sure that between coats, you allow plenty of time for drying.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

How To: Paint Metal

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to revitalize and protect your household metals. You'll just need a few tools and as always in DIY painting projects, a focus on prep work.

How to Paint Metal

Photo: shutterstock.com

A fresh coat of paint can brighten the look and prolong the life of metal surfaces in and around your home. Painting metal is no more or less difficult than painting other surfaces. And, as with other paint jobs, whether you’re painting a vintage desk or an aging fence in the yard, your success will largely depend on how much effort you put into the prep work. Sorry, no shortcuts. But here’s the good news: Follow the steps below, and the paint job can be expected to last and look great for years.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Stiff-bristled wire brush
- Sanding block or fine-grit sandpaper
- Drop cloth
- Clean cotton cloths
- Spray primer
- Spray paint
- Protective gear (safety glasses and dust mask)
- Clear spray lacquer (optional)

STEP 1
Start by inspecting the metal surface you intend to paint. Assuming that it’s portable, move the item to a well-ventilated space where you have prepared a drop cloth-covered work area. Inspect the metal for cracks and peeling or chipped paint. You will probably find no shortage of surface imperfections, but don’t worry—these can be removed by means of a wire brush (if the rust doesn’t budge, consult these instructions). To be on the safe side, wear a dust mask as you work.

How to Paint Metal - Corrugated Detail

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 2
Having removed all rust and old paint—or as much as it was humanly possible to remove—proceed to sanding the metal. Use either a sanding block or a square of fine-grit sandpaper. (Here, too, it’s wise to wear not only a dust mask, but also protective glasses.) After sanding the metal, wipe it down with a moistened cotton cloth, using it to clean all the sanding dust off the surface. Before continuing onto the next step, wait for the metal to dry out completely.

STEP 3
Apply a specially formulated metal primer. If the object you are painting doesn’t have a smooth surface—if it features lots of nooks, crannies, and crevices—opt for spray primer. Otherwise, use a brush or roller to apply traditional primer, choosing one or the other tool based on the surface area. Check the instructions on the product you’ve chosen, but generally speaking, primer needs about 24 hours to dry.

STEP 4
Now it’s finally time for paint. Use a brush or roller, or use a spray paint formulated for application on metal. Apply several light coats, letting the paint dry for a few hours between coats. Once you are happy with the coverage, let the paint dry for about eight hours (or overnight). After that, you’re basically all done!

STEP 5
Last but not least is the optional step of finishing the paint job with a sealer intended for use on materials including metal. Not only does sealer protect the paint, but it also imparts a nice shine.

Now that you know how to paint metal and you’ve witnessed how easy the process can be, you may find yourself studying your home and garden with renewed attention, looking for other things to revitalize with a fresh coat of color. Yes, one successful DIY project inevitably leads to another!


What Would Bob Do? Painting a Deck

Perhaps the simplest part of finishing a deck is actually applying the paint or stain. Choosing a finish, on the other hand—well, that can get tricky. These tips can help you make sense of it all.

How to Paint a Deck

Photo: shutterstock.com

First-time deck painter here. I have prepared my deck as well as possible, scraping away old paint and sanding the wood. I am just wondering what is the best and most efficient way to tackle the job. Is it better to go with a brush, a roller, or another option that I haven’t considered? Is there anything else I should keep in mind?

Deck painting is a classic summertime project. For any homeowner, no matter his experience level, the key to success lies in the prep work. It sounds as if you’ve given due attention to this important early yet critical phase; others would be wise to follow your example. Once existing paint has been scraped away and rough patches have been sanded, the deck must be thoroughly cleaned. Only then is it ready to accept paint.

On all but the most compact decks, the best tool for the job is a paint roller. Yes, keep a paintbrush within reach, and use it to work paint between boards and to cut in around posts. But the roller makes quick work of covering the flat, easily accessed portions of the structure.

Many homeowners stumble over the question of whether to apply paint or solid-color stain. To an extent, it’s a matter of taste. But I’d opt for paint because it’s thicker and more durable; stain must be renewed more frequently. Also, paint does a better job of disguising imperfections. If, say, you weren’t able to remove all the paint from a previous paint job, stain would reveal the transitions between bare wood and areas of the deck that have residual paint. That’s the case even if you apply primer—and you should, whether you choose paint or stain.

That said, if your deck runs close to the ground, particularly if it’s suffered from peeling paint in the past, then go for stain. A lofted deck with air circulation from below is less likely to harbor the trapped moisture that compromises the performance of a paint job over time. In other words, the choice between stain and paint isn’t only a matter of aesthetics; different finishes are better suited for different types of decks.

How to Paint a Deck - Deckover

Photo: behr.com

If your deck has splintered wood and gaps between the boards—if, in short, it’s seen better days—then you may want to consider a new crop of outdoor finishes that not only add color and protection, but also correct minor flaws. Offered by a handful of manufacturers, these thick stains have a consistency reminiscent of cake frosting.

For instance, Behr makes a product called DeckOver, which the company claims can fill cracks up to a quarter inch wide. Unlike earlier incarnations of similar deck stains, DeckOver and its competitors can go right over old paint and stain, so there’s no need to spend hours laboring with a scraper. (Giving the deck a thorough cleaning, however, remains absolutely necessary.) Other selling points: DeckOver can be used on composite decks and concrete patios or walkways, and it comes in 50 colors; custom mixes are available too.

That level of convenience comes at a price. A gallon of DeckOver covers 75 square feet, and you’ll need two coats. At $37 per gallon, the job is going to cost roughly $1 per square foot. Meanwhile, a gallon of regular deck paint or stain would cost less and would typically cover about 350 square feet. If your deck is truly in rough shape and you have little time to put toward revitalizing it, DeckOver and similar products are probably worth the money. On the other hand, if your deck is in good condition, a regular paint or stain would do just fine.


How To: Transform a Cabinet with Spray Paint

You can revitalize almost any piece of furniture with a few coats of spray paint. And once you've got the technique down, you'll be surprised at how easy—and addictive—spray-painting can be!

How to Spray Paint Furniture - Detail Before

Photo: Jennifer Noonan

Is there a dated, shabby, worn-out cabinet hogging space somewhere in your home? If so, you may feel tempted to get rid of the old eyesore. But if the only thing you don’t like about the furniture is the way that it looks—if it’s unlovely but perfectly functional—bear in mind that you can completely transform the cabinet quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Yes! The key: spray paint. Invest in one or two cans of spray paint; spend an hour or two on the makeover, depending on the size of your cabinet; and you’ll be amazed (I certainly was) by the difference. Best of all, the project costs a mere fraction of what it would to purchase a brand-new cabinet.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Rust-Oleum Universal spray paint
- Drop cloth
- Wood filler (optional)
- Sandpaper
- Tack cloth or cotton rag
- Protective gear
- Screwdriver or drill (optional)

STEP 1
Whenever you’re spray-painting furniture, it’s recommended that you work in a well-ventilated area. On a nice day, you might even choose to work outside, provided there’s little to no wind. (You don’t want gusts to blow yard debris onto your project during the drying stage.) Another benefit of painting in the driveway or backyard is that you don’t need to worry about overspray. Working indoors? Open the windows and use drop cloths to cover anything you wish to protect from the spray paint.

How to Spray Paint Furniture - Detail Spraying

Photo: JNoonan

STEP 2
Now that you’ve readied your work area, the next step is to prepare the piece of furniture you’re going to spray-paint. First things first, remove all hardware (for example, hinges or handles) and set it safely aside. Next—this is optional—fill any scratches or holes with wood filler, closely following the directions from the product manufacturer. Finally, sand down the furniture, not only to even out nicked edges, but also to give the spray paint an accommodating surface to which it can adhere easily. Once you’ve finished sanding, wipe the furniture with either a tack cloth or a damp cotton rag. Wait for the piece to dry completely before proceeding to paint.

STEP 3
Don the appropriate protective gear—in this case, a dust mask (spray-paint particulates are very fine and can be accidentally inhaled) and safety gloves (well, these kinds of projects are known to get a little messy on occasion).

I used Rust-Oleum’s Universal spray paint. Because it works on any surface, I was able to use it on both the wood and the metal cabinet hinges. Another plus: It can be sprayed from any angle—handy if you need to reach into corners.

Whenever I spray-paint furniture, I apply several thin coats instead of a single heavy coat. That strategy has seemed to yield the best results. Holding the can 8 to 12 inches from the surface, pull the trigger on the spray-paint can, applying the paint with a sweeping motion. As you go along, let the spray fall a few inches past the left and right edges of the furniture. Remember that spray paint dries quickly; subsequent coats can be added within two hours. For further details about application, be sure to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

STEP 4
Give the paint at least 24 hours to cure fully before reinstalling hardware or placing any objects on or inside of the furniture. That may seem like a long time to wait, but personally I’d wait five times as long if it meant revitalizing a cabinet that I would have otherwise hauled to the Dumpster. Spray paint really is an amazing thing. With a little practice, you’ll be able to spray-paint like a pro. And then if you’re anything like me, you’ll look at the world in a new way, always finding things around the house to revamp and totally renew.

How to Spray Paint Furniture - Cabinet Makeover After

Photo: Jennifer Noonan

This post has been brought to you by Rust-Oleum. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Bob Vila Radio: Painting Over Wallpaper

Wallpaper is even harder to remove than it is to apply. The good news is that if you've grown tired of your wallpaper, you can probably paint right over it. Here's how.

Getting tired of the floral wallpaper in your dining room or the Stewart plaid in the den? If you’re daunted by the prospect of removing wallpaper, don’t despair—you may be able to paint right over it.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON PAINTING OVER WALLPAPER or read the text below:

Painting Over Wallpaper

Photo: featheringnest.blogspot.com

First, a few caveats: You’re more likely to achieve satisfactory, long-lasting results if you just bite the bullet and remove the wallpaper first. If, however, you have cause to be concerned about the integrity of the drywall or plaster under your wallpaper, painting over it may be your best bet (so long as the paper is in good condition).

Before you begin, make sure that the wallpaper is securely adhered to the wall; repair any loose or damaged paper. Run a thin bead of caulk along the line where the paper meets the walls, at the ceiling and the base. If the paper is textured, lightly spackle and sand to get a smooth surface, and gently sand the wallpaper seams so they won’t show through the paint.

Once the wall has been prepped, apply a coat of oil-based primer to seal the adhesive and to protect the paper from the paint’s moisture. After the primer has dried, paint the walls the color of your choice, sticking with an oil-based product.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.


Bob Vila Radio: Removing Paint From Concrete

Getting paint off concrete or other masonry is tough, but can be done. Here's how to do the job.

If you’ve ever dripped paint on your sidewalk or changed your mind about that coat of paint you put on a concrete planter, you know how tough it can be to remove paint from concrete. Here’s what you need to know about getting paint off concrete or other masonry.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON REMOVING PAINT FROM CONCRETE or read the text below:

Paint Removal

Photo: shutterstock.com

Start by sweeping or vacuuming thoroughly to remove any loose particles. Then clean the surface with soapy water or a solution of TSP, scrubbing with a long-handled brush. Be sure to wear gloves. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Next, if the painted area is small, you may be able to get it off with an orbital sander. For bigger surfaces, you’re probably going to have to resort to a chemical paint remover. Wear heavy-duty gloves for this, and be sure the area is very well ventilated. Apply the chemical and allow it to do its work—this stage could take several hours, so follow the instructions on the can. If you’re working outdoors near plants, be sure to cover them to protect them from the chemical.

When the chemical has done its job, scrape the area clean with a wire brush or a paint scraper and wrap up the residue for disposal. Rinse the area thoroughly. Very large painted surfaces or stubborn stains may need to be blasted with a pressure washer.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.


How To: Paint Over Wallpaper

Are you sick and tired of your old wallpaper? Before you go to the trouble of stripping it off, consider covering it with a few coats of paint. Read on to find out how to do it and to figure out whether painting is the right solution for your walls.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

Photo: shutterstock.com

Any number of imperfections, from nail holes to degraded plaster, may lurk underneath wallpaper. Another ugly truth: The wallpaper you see may in fact be only the top layer of several applications. It’s hard enough to remove one layer of wallpaper, let alone multiple layers. If you have no plans to move, it may be worth the effort to strip away the paper entirely. But if you need a quick fix, you can actually get good results painting over wallpaper! You can achieve a brand-new look with a minimum of hassle.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- Sponge
- Bucket
- Oil-based primer/sealer
- Paintbrush and roller
- Oil-based paint

How to Paint Over Wallpaper - Detail Red

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 1
To paint over wallpaper successfully, take the time to properly prepare the papered wall. This may involve the counterintuitive task of repairing or replacing loose or missing sections of the wallpaper. At the very least, prep work here requires cleaning the walls with trisodium phosphate, a chemical better known as TSP.

TSP is such strong stuff that it must be diluted. Mix it with water in a bucket, aiming for a ratio of one half-cup for every two gallons of water. Closely follow the manufacturer’s usage directions, including the labeled safety warnings. Adequately ventilate the room in which you are working, and don’t forget to wear protective gear.

TSP can be applied with a sponge or even an extra paintbrush. Once the TSP has dried, use a damp (but not dripping wet) rag to remove the chemical from the wall. Tread carefully. Too little water, and you may not get the chemical off, thereby compromising the paint’s ability to adhere. Too much water, and you run the risk of damaging the wall.

STEP 2
If after you’ve gone to the trouble to paint over the wallpaper it ultimately starts to peel, you’re not going to like how it looks. One way to prevent subsequent peeling is to apply an adhesive compound where the wallpaper is most vulnerable—at the seams where it meets the ceiling and floor. An even better approach is to coat the wall with a combination primer-sealer. Not only does primer-sealer minimize the chances of peeling, but it also provides a surface to which the paint can readily adhere. Use an oil-based primer-sealer, not a water-based product; after all, water and wallpaper don’t mix. Whether or not you choose to seal and prime, be sure to opt for an oil-based paint when you’re ready to coat the walls.

STEP 3
Once the walls are clean and you’ve applied the primer-sealer (if you’re going that route), give the walls enough time to dry. You are now ready to begin painting. Approach the job as you would any other painting project: Use a paintbrush to cut in at the corners and along edges, then let the roller do the rest. You’re probably going to need a couple of coats.

Let the first coat dry completely before you proceed to the next one. During the interim, consider sanding the wall. It’s tedious, yes—less so if you own a power sander—but sanding minimizes imperfections and could greatly improve the finished appearance of your work. Either way, the very last step is to paint the top coat. When you’re finally finished, stand back and admire the difference. Where once there had been wallpaper you had tired of, you’ll now see gleaming, freshly painted surfaces!


What Would Bob Do? Deciding Whether to Prime

Is priming necessary? It depends on what you're painting. Read on to find out when it is—and isn't—important to prime.

Paint Primer Tips

Photo: shutterstock.com

Is it more effective to do one coat of primer and one of paint, or skip the primer and use two coats of paint? The walls have already been painted in the past.

Many would-be do-it-yourselfers don’t know quite what to make of primer. Is it always necessary, or is it completely optional? Is priming ever actually a critical step in the painting process? Is the strongest argument in favor of primer simply that it’s a smart thing to do? In other words, when is priming required?

Here’s the first thing to know about primer: It should be used only on unpainted surfaces. So if you want to give a new color to something in your home—crown molding, let’s say—there’s no need to prime if that something has been painted previously. Simply clean it with a solution of TSP and water, then proceed to paint.

In the case of raw wood, however, the best practice is to apply an initial coat of primer/sealer. Doing so prevents wood sap from discoloring the job. Along the way, the primer conveniently fills minor dings and depressions in the surface. But the main thing primer does is serve as an even substrate beneath the top coat finish.

Many products today combine primer, sealer, and top coat into a single formulation. These self-priming paints are surprisingly effective, given that they enable you to complete jobs in less time and with less hassle. You save money, too, by not having to purchase primer and paint in quantities sufficient for multiple coats.

Even so, primer remains a valuable resource in the do-it-yourselfer’s arsenal. Most useful are those primers specially designed for a specific application. For instance, there’s no substitute for drywall primer, which works great on—you guessed it—drywall. Likewise, metal primers are essential when you’re painting bare metal. And when you wish to achieve a perfectly smooth, glossy finish, don’t take any chances: Go with the primer recommended for the enamel paint of your choice.


How To: Paint Concrete

You can brighten up a dull gray concrete surface with a bright coat of paint. All it takes is time—and some very careful preparation.

How to Paint Concrete

Photo: shutterstock.com

To paint concrete successfully—so that it looks good and lasts a long time—proper preparation is of paramount importance. If you follow the steps below, you can achieve satisfying results no matter what concrete you choose to paint, be it the garage floor, basement wall, outdoor patio, or any other part of your property.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Concrete filler
- Power sander with fine-grit disks
- Pole sander
- Trisodium phosphate or other alkaline cleaner
- Metal-bristled brush
- Paving paint or porch-and-floor enamel
- Paintbrush or roller
- Putty knife
- Protective gear (rubber gloves, dust mask, glasses)

STEP 1
When you set out to paint concrete, the process begins rather unglamorously with concrete filler. Use the patch compound to fill in all holes, scratches, and gouges in the concrete. After allowing sufficient dry time, sand the repaired areas until they are smooth.

STEP 2
Using a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water, clean the surface thoroughly, removing all the oil and grease that would otherwise discolor the paint job. Work the solution into the concrete with a metal-bristled brush. To determine the proper ratio of TSP to water, read the package instructions, but figure on about one-quarter cup TSP to one gallon warm water. TSP can harm skin and eyes if it makes contact, so be sure to wear full protective gear.

STEP 3
As the TSP reacts with the concrete, you are likely to notice a slight bubbling across the surface. Let that bubbling continue for about 20 minutes, then hose off the concrete, completely washing away the TSP. Let the surface dry for two days. Afterward, run your hand over the concrete; it should feel like 120-grit sandpaper.

How to Paint Concrete - Roller

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 4
Sweep the area or wipe it down with a dry cloth, depending on the orientation of the surface. Now you’re ready to start painting. Use a paintbrush to apply an initial coat of paving paint (or porch-and-floor enamel) over the perimeter of the area. A regular medium-size paintbrush enables you to achieve good coverage in the corners and along the edges.

STEP 5
Next, use a paint roller to fill in the sections that you didn’t coat with the brush. If you’re painting a floor, remember to start on the far side of the room, so you end up finishing near a doorway or another convenient stepping-off point. In other words, don’t paint yourself into a corner! Let that first coat dry for at least 16 hours or so.

STEP 6
Putty knife in hand, scrape away any protruding lumps or bumps that appeared after the first coat dried. Sand any areas where the paint failed to adhere; if you do end up sanding again, don’t forget to sweep again too.

STEP 7
Apply the second coat in the same way that you applied the first. This time around, however, press down firmly with the roller, mashing the paint into the holes the first coat didn’t penetrate. Before considering the project complete, let the second coat dry for about five days, particularly if the painted surface is a heavily trafficked floor.