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Blistering Paint

By Maznah Fahmy On August 1, 2014 1,467 views | No Comments

The sight can be distracting, blistering paint and bubbles in a newly completed paint job can be very disheartening. Take heart, this can be repaired and avoided by understanding what causes them. The problem can happen with any type of paint, both in interior or exterior painting, but typically happens to latex or acrylic paints.


The condition called blistering can occur in newly applied paint or even after a year after the paint job has been completed. It is most common to wood siding and trim. This condition occurs when the adhesion between layers loosen causing the top layer to separate from the underlying layer.

What are the probable causes of blistering paint? The most common cause is painting when the surface is still damp or not completely dried out. This will cause the moisture to be trapped between layers.

Completely dry the surface before applying the primer and final coating. Allow each coat or layer to dry before applying the next coat of painting for maximum adhesion. However, if there are other sources of the moisture build-up, fix the problem first before continuing with the painting.

It is also important to do the painting in the right weather – avoid painting right before a storm if it can be avoided. Exposing the paint to wet condition before it has dried out may cause blister to appear. Listen to the weather station.

On the other hand, applying paint over dirty or greasy surface can also cause blistering. Clean out the surface as part of the paint preparation making sure that no dust is retained on the surface.

Try to stick with one type of paint. Avoid applying oil-based coating over a latex base. Use oil-based products for the primer and paint if the surface has been treated with linseed oil.


Bubbles in a paint job are a result of chemical reaction when paint is applied to a very hot surface or substrate usually against direct sunlight. Since the paint dries too quickly, solvent vapors are trapped. When the solvent vaporizes, the expanding gases put pressure on the top layer causing bubbles to form.

Try to avoid painting in direct sunlight or when it is very hot, or use a paint conditioner like Flotrol or Penitrol to slow down the drying of the paint.

Whatever the case maybe, it is best to plan and prepare properly before undertaking any painting job. Although blistering and bubbles can be repaired, avoiding these problems in the first place can help you avoid a lot of headaches in doing the repair.

Paint Warranty: How Does it Work?

By Maznah Fahmy On July 18, 2014 884 views | No Comments

Before closing the deal, you should check the written warranty certificate from a painting contractor thoroughly. Contractors may give you different kinds of warranty which limits their responsibility post-paint job.

Some things to consider in a contractor’s warranty are; the limit of the warranty, for how long will it be valid and would it only include the manufacturer’s liability or the contractor’s him/herself.

Thoroughly check and identify the limits and coverage of the warranty provided by the contractor. Normally, damages caused by natural disasters are not included within the contractor’s liability. Normal wear and tear should also be considered when checking the warranty as some may specify the extent of damages caused and by what measures can they provide you with a touch up.

The length of the warranty’s validity should also be put into mind as this proves how much the contractor is willing to stand behind his finished work. Warranties that last for more years give you an idea of more confident contractors, while ones that are valid for short periods of time may mean that the contractors are not that willing to take responsibility for the job that they are about t do.

A contractor can show you a warranty that only covers the paint or product used. Clients should be cautious when being faced with this kind of warranty as this only limits the liability to the paint used and not with the damage done by improper pre-painting techniques or preparation of the surface or furniture pre-painting.

A written warranty that covers the contractor’s whole paint job is a better way to go as this shows the quality of work he/she is about to provide. Damages caused by improper preparation done by the contractor is covered, which leaves you more confident with the contractor that you are about to hire.

After carefully checking the warranty that the contractor will provide, it’s key to make sure that everything is stated clearly. Discuss parts that don’t suit your needs or you’re not comfortable with and try to have a common ground with the contractor. It is always better to discuss and clear the air before the deal is sealed rather than having problems arise due to lack of proper communication.

Spice Up your Kids’ Bedrooms!

By Maznah Fahmy On July 4, 2014 809 views | No Comments

Lively and energetic kids would most likely enjoy their rooms having warm and vibrant colors. Spice up their rooms and let them have that comfort to play, read and sleep in them.

What should I choose for them?

Have your child help you out in choosing colors for his or her room if possible.

You can let them choose from a limited number of colors if you don’t want too dramatic preferences of your kids be seen in their room. Although if that’s not a problem for you, you can let them choose freely any color from the color wheel! Just make sure that their color choice won’t make them too tardy to study and finish up assignments or prevent their much needed sleep.

Room for your boys

Providing accents for a boy’s room can be fun and less demanding than other parts of the house. Painting them with nice pictures or pairing some vibrant colors you wouldn’t consider for your living room is acceptable as long as you choose subdued versions of them (like green and red, or else it will be Christmas all year round in your kid’s room).

If brighter colors are not acceptable for you, then you could consider the classic red, blue and white combination which your kid is not that likely to outgrow. Grayish purple and black would be nice and edgy for a teenager.

Room for your girls

You can achieve a garden-like feel for your girl’s bedroom with pink, yellow and lilac. Adding green with lavender is also a good choice. White, being a neutral, is a perfect accent color and always looks fresh and feminine. Pink goes well with purple and orange, exuding its versatility in blending with other colors. A grown-up feminine look can be achieved with a combo of red, dark and light pink.

Blue should also be considered for a girl’s room. Teal suggests much of personality and is a good alternative to true blues. Pastel colors go well with yellow or white.

Room for boys and girls

A citrus look would be great for a room shared by boys and girls, achieved by blending yellow and green. Red and green are also good gender-neutral choices.

Specialty Paints

Let your kids have a touch of their own to their rooms with some chalkboard paint, which can let them draw and write straight at the wall; maybe some magnetic paint, which allows artwork to be posted with just some fridge magnets.

Safety of your kids

Kids are susceptible to chemicals and low or no VOC paints would reduce or eliminate the risk of them getting affected.

Decorating your kids’ rooms can be quite a task. If this task is not much of a problem for you, then go on with some bold choices that your kids would like a lot. Otherwise, subdued versions of them would do well for at most a decade.

Lasting Exteriors That Last Themselves

By Maznah Fahmy On June 20, 2014 795 views | No Comments

There is more than there is to choosing paints than just the colors alone. You should also take into consideration how they would last over the next few years. Although proper preparation and new and improved paint formulas may help make your paint job last longer, it is still inevitable that fading and oxidation would still be happening to them.

A good way to prevent or at least slow down this process is by using colors that are naturally seen in our earthen surroundings. In general, these hues and tones do better in lasting than those which are not seen naturally. This doesn’t mean that your choice is very limited if you want your exterior paint job last longer. Actually Mother Nature offers quite a wide array of colors that you can choose from, which ranges from the reds and browns of rocks to the greens of trees.

Light colors reflect light, making these colors perfect choices for hot climates which would be a lot better when surfaces reflect heat rather than absorb it. The only problem is that they are susceptible to getting dirty from dirt, mold, mildew and other discolorations, making washing quite imperative to maintain cleanliness of surfaces.

Darker colors hide more of imperfections, but needs to be repainted more frequently since they are more susceptible to fading. This is brought about by the UV rays that they absorb. In addition to this, painting areas that are exposed to light and also those that are not that exposed to light would show difference in hue in just a matter of few years.

Efflorescence and chalking is also pretty evident in dark colored surfaces. Besides, dark colors make a home look drab and dreary and is not inviting at all.

Shades of red are affected the most by fading and does get discolored way faster than other hues you can think about. Blues and greens are also affected and fade fast due to oxidation than the earthly tones that were mentioned earlier. These colors are better used for accents rather than in large areas.

If you aim to cover a large area with the want to conserve some of your budget, bright pastel yellow and gold are horrible choices. These colors require 4 or more coats and don’t appear to cover up themselves. Achieving that country look would need some yellow, but adding some shade with a little brown and beige would do the trick.

Apparently, the hues that last longer are also those that please the neighbors and the HOA the most. But if you can afford it, you can always go to any other color that you might like. Just keep in mind that earthly colors last longer than others.

Keep Disasters Away from your Family – Lead Paint Safety

By Maznah Fahmy On June 6, 2014 787 views | No Comments

A few decades ago the use of lead paints has been widespread. If your house was painted at around these times then there is likelihood that the paint or primer used in coloring your house has lead. Having the paint checked for the presence of lead would be essential in keeping disasters away from your family.

Lead poisoning can cause abdominal pain, anemia, muscle weakness, reproductive problems and cataracts. It can also cause severe or fatal damage to kidneys and the nervous system. Children and unborn fetuses are especially vulnerable because of their smaller body mass and rapid neurological development. Untreated, lead poisoning can contribute to mental retardation and undeveloped motor skills.

You can have paint tested for lead by a certified inspector or risk aggressor. The National Lead Information Center can help you get a better understanding of what these titles mean, contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD or visit The information Centre is under the auspices of the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There’s more to consider than just lead

Older paints also have been found to possess volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although these chemicals are harmful to you and your family, following the same precautions that you would do for checking for lead in paint is also applicable to them.

Several guidelines have been mentioned by the EPA’s website for a safe home renovation. Some of the main tips that must be observed are mentioned as follows:


  • Plastic can be used to isolate work areas and have them blocked off against dust.
  • Having an alternative arrangement for some places in your house (bedroom, bathroom and kitchen arrangements) might be necessary.
  • Have your pets secured and safe in other places, too.

During the Work

  • Renovation methods that generate a heavy amount of dust should be avoided. There are certain measures that contractors are prohibited to do, since these methods stir up too much contamination. They cannot: Use an open flame to burn or torch the paint. They also can’t sand, grind, plane, needle-gun or blast without using a shroud and a HEPA vacuum attachment. Heat guns cannot be hotter than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A thorough cleanup must be done.

Contractors that you plan to hire should be EPA certified.

Prepare Your Room and Have It Look Like Done Professionally

By Maznah Fahmy On May 23, 2014 684 views | No Comments

Preparation before painting is very important that it is considered the most in order for your paint job to look professional and can actually take up to 75% of project time.

6 Preparation Steps Every Room Needs before Painting

  1. Clear up Space

Having the room as empty as possible greatly reduces the risk of accidents and creating too much mess, and also helps you save money by avoiding damages to items like carpets.

Large furniture that can’t be removed from a room should be moved to the center to prevent the likelihood of tripping over and leaving walls accessible.

  1. Put down drop cloths.

Use drop cloths and plastics to avoid paint from smearing surfaces that you don’t want to get paint onto. Furniture must be covered with light plastic and butyl-backed drop clothes are best for floors.

Plastic isn’t recommended for floors as it slides quite easily and putting it back to place would cause paint to create a mess. Canvas drop cloths absorb paint spatters but isn’t adequate protection for interior painting. The paint can still soak through the cloth, damaging the carpet, fabric or hard surface below.

  1. Clear up walls of anything hung on it

You can leave nails in place if you plan to put everything back in the same place. Otherwise, remove the nails and fill the holes with spackling paste.

  1. Clean all wall surfaces.

Paint is likely to not adhere to a dirty wall. Remove light soil with mild soil and a damp cloth. Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) quickly takes care of heavily soiled and greasy areas like the kitchen.

Replace water when it gets too dirty from cleaning. Any residue left from soap, TSP or any other cleaning product, could react with the paint or prevent adhesion and could produce undesirable results.

Then let the walls dry completely so that paint won’t thin out resulting in more paint required to achieve full coverage.

  1. Remove electrical covers.

One reason why paint jobs look unprofessional is due to switch plates and outlet covers. Have them removed temporarily and put back the screws so as not to lose them, would be best before applying paint.

  1. Mask, mask, mask.

The rest of items such as trim, windows, doors and some light fixtures that cannot be removed from the room must be masked. Green or blue painter’s tape must be used and NOT masking tape since these tapes possess higher water resistance.

These basic preparation steps are the same, no matter what condition a room is in. If you pay attention to these six details, you will find it easier to achieve professional painting results.

What Kind of Paint Do I Have?

By Maznah Fahmy On May 9, 2014 756 views | No Comments

Identifying what kind of paint is present of your walls and trim

You have decided to change how your home looks, but you realize that you are facing one problem. Having a new paint job for your home seems to be a good idea, but the kind of paint that you must be buying and the kind of paint that has been used to paint your walls is yet a mystery for you to solve.

The mystery of knowing what kind of paint have been used on your walls isn’t that hard – have a clean white cloth, a painter’s rag (or an old white T-shirt) and a can of denatured alcohol ready for this.

Pour a small amount of the alcohol onto the cloth and gently rub an area of the paint you want to identify. If the paint softens and comes off on the cloth, you have just identified that the paint is acrylic or latex paint.

If the finish is oil-based (alkyd), the color will not transfer to the rag and the finish won’t be affected.

You Should Know What Kind of Paint was used for Your Home

Alkyd/oil-based finishes require being primed when you want to overlay acrylic/latex paints on it. The wall must be applied with a primer that contains a binder resin that adheres well to alkyd paint and at the same time creates a surface that acrylic/latex paint can adhere to.

However, no additional preparation is needed when you are doing the job the other way around, or simply put – applying alkyd/oil based paints over acrylic/latex paints. Therefore using oil-based paint requires no preparation if you choose to use it over any kind of paint, after of course that you have made sure that minor repairs have been done and walls have been cleaned.

Now you have an idea of how to test your walls for the paint that has been used on them, as well as knowing when priming your walls before painting must or must not be done.

Interior Paint Preparation Tips – Repair and Prime

By Maznah Fahmy On April 25, 2014 691 views | No Comments

There are times that before painting, repairs and primes must first be done on your room. Here are some tips for professionals that you can follow.

Examine Walls and Ceilings.

Identifying problems like stains, holes, cracks, and peeling paint is important before applying new paint into walls and ceilings.

Some Stains Are a Warning.

The presence of water, rust or mildew stains indicate that problems like leaks in a room, plumbing problems and poor ventilation. Sources of stains must be known; else your paint job will be ruined all the same.

If there is mold or mildew, you will need to clean it off. Then prime the area with stain-killing primer. Learn more about dealing with mold or mildew.

Once you have resolved the cause of the stain, you can move forward with covering the evidence hiding that the problem existed.

Elbow Grease and Primer can Cover Up other Difficult Stains

Remove stains such as nicotine stains, smoke damage, permanent marker or makeup stains as much as possible. Flat paint absorbs these materials, so you may not be able to wash much away. In this case, you are expected to apply two or three coats of stain-killing primer. Not dealing with stains could have them reappear onto your new paint job.

Deal With Any Peeling Paint.

Old homes must be peeled off paint with extra caution for lead paints.

Next, after removing loose paint, smoothing out surfaces with drywall compounds should be done with the use of a drywall sanding block. Vacuum up the dust; then wipe the wall to remove remaining dust. Apply primer to seal the drywall compound.

Remember that paint only makes flaws worse in surfaces.

Patch Any Holes.

Small holes can be patched with spackling paste or drywall compound. Larger ones should be reworked with a drywall patch. Cracks can be filled with paintable caulking, just smooth it out.

Caulk All Painted Base and Casing.

Gaps between painted baseboards and casings attract pest sand looks better if filled with some paintable caulking.

Prime All Repairs.

After repairs, have them primed well before painting the finish with the help of high-quality materials. Careful work could produce results that you will surely be proud of, so avoid being too hasty and follow these tips as much as you can, to have your home get a better look.

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