Help! A tenant's apartment in the house we purchased hasn't been painted in over 20 years. The walls are dry, cracked, and have foot-long portions that have seperated from the plaster walls. I'm guessing that these walls will absorb tons of paint before we can get a good solid cover on them. What's the best way to proceed? Is there a mega-primer out there that will help? What about the peeling sections - will spackle and scrapping be enough to bring these walls back? The tenant (a senior citizen) is still living in this apartment and will be there through the painting process, so I'd like to be as gentle with fumes as possible.


12:09AM | 02/06/03
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
I am sure you can repair the walls, but you may have to use durabond to repair large areas. If the person living in this apartment smoked or was the place is very dirty from 20 years of living and cooking you should prime with Zinsser BIN primer. This primer has a pretty strong odor but it does go away fairly fast and it is great at sealing in stains and priming the walls for paint.
Good luck.


03:29PM | 02/07/03
Member Since: 02/03/03
196 lifetime posts
Hi........make sure everything is sound - all surfaces are tight and bonded well - paint won't "glue" anything back together.

I would suggest staying away from B-I-N. It is a wonderful primer - but is really overkill for what you have. Plus which - the smell will knock your tenant on her behind!

Glidden Ultra-Hide Gripper seals great - hides better than B-I-N - and is latex - so the odor isn't too bad.

A coat of Gripper - after your repairs are done - two coats of Glidden Evermore Satin finish - and you are good to go!

Both Glidden products are available at The Home Depot

Mr. Paint

Thanks so much for your suggestions. I am going to Home Depot this weekend and, with any luck, I'll get all that I need. It just all rather overwhelming. I've never seen an apartment in such a neglected state. But I think we're up to the challenge. And it will save us the $3,000 the pros wanted!! EEK!


12:47AM | 02/08/03
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
The reason I suggested to use BIN was if it had been smoked in or was badly stained. The gripper product being latex is not going to be all that great of a stain killer it will work if the walls are just dry and pourus.
Yeah the BIN may smell but if gripper goes not work what have you gained.
Also if you want good paint advice stay away from the big box home centers as the guy working in the paint department was most likely in plumbing yesterday. You should go to a paint store to get the right product for the job and the best advice as that is all they sell is paint.


04:32AM | 02/08/03
Member Since: 02/03/03
196 lifetime posts
Actually......Gripper is a great sealer! Like most water based sealers, it doesn't do well on heavy water - but smoke, crayon, marker, etc. It works very well. I would think that even if two coats were needed - it would be preferable to the smell of B-I-N. In any case - make sure everything is clean (TSP or TSP substitute wash) and you should have no problem with the Gripper.

As for the advice at the big boxes - I can't disagree that sometimes they aren't the best as far as advice - compared to paint stores. But to say they are all bad - and paint stores are all good is a generalization I wouldn't want to make. I have seen plently of clueless people at "Paint Stores" too.

I have been in the paint business for 18 years - I have used Gripper since it was introduced almost 10 years ago. It is a great product.

Mr. Paint

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