Commonly Asked Questions

Question: Is it important to wash the current painted surface before l repaint the room?

Answer: it is very important to wash rooms such as kitchens, laundries and bathroom before painting. Steam from cooking, showering and washing causes a film of soap and oils to form on the surface. Painting over this without washing and rinsing will cause the new paint to flake and fail. Most painting complaints for peeling paint is found to be kitchens, laundries and bathroom.

Question: What is better, acrylic or enamel paint?

Answer: Most people buy acrylic paint because painting projects using acrylic omit less odour and clean-up with soap and water, but acrylic has many other positive characteristics. In some areas acrylic is preferred because it can be painted over a damp surface.

Oil is a non-breathable surface sealer while acrylic breathes allowing moisture to escape. The peeling and cracking that occurs when moisture is trying to escape from a surface coated with oil-based paint is eliminated with acrylic paint.

Acrylic paint, especially acrylic, is less prone to fading or yellowing than oil-based paint. Chalking is a characteristic of oil-based paint. This self-cleaning process causes oil-based paint to lose much of its colour intensity.

Question: Why is the colour slightly different from the paint l bought last time I painted?

Answer: The raw materials used in most paint products are normally natural based (mineral based). As no two batches of minerals or pigments are exactly the same in colour, the finished product should be expected to display a slight shading difference. While every effort is made by the raw material supplier, and indeed by Omega Paints, to blend the material to arrive are an exact colour/shade match, this is not always possible.

As with any finishing building product, Bricks, Tiles, Carpets, Fabrics, Laminates, etc, all of these, and paints, must be colour blended on site to avoid colour variations. After the application of the first coat, the same amount of paint should be made available for the final and finish coat. This can be done by intermixing all the paint needed in a single container to complete a room or section of the painting project.

Question: How do l make sure all the paint is the same colour?

Answer: When using more than one can of paint for a particular job, “boxing” paint ensures colour consistency. Boxing paint is the process of combining all the paint you will be using into one large container. This is especially important when painting a large surface area, such as a building exteriors, ceilings, floors, and board wall areas. This is where even a slight colour variation from one can of paint to another can be markedly visible.

For most interior jobs, an empty 20 litre container works fine. To use the paint boxing technique, simply pour all cans of the same colour paint into the large container, and stir to combine. Whether you are mixing 4 or 20 litres of paint together, the key is to make sure all the paint is combined to ensure a single, uniform colour. Once the paint is combined, you can pour it into a smaller can to retain for touch ups.

Question: Why are ceiling paints mostly flat?

Answer: Ceiling paints are often white and have flat sheens. They scatter the reflected light in all directions, camouflaging any imperfections. This is why new homes are painted with flat paint on the walls and ceilings. Another reason why only white ceiling paint is sold is because it can be tinted to any colour.

Light bulbs and windows that come within a few inches of the ceiling tend to cast light at a sharp angle to the ceiling. This makes any defects on the ceiling stand out like a mountain range by causing the light to reflect differently in those areas.

Question: How do I work out how much paint I will need to paint my house?

Answer: First check the paint label or product data sheet, for the spread rate of the paint product you have purchased. Medium to top quality matt finish acrylics generally have spread rates of 8 – 10 m² / L. Medium to top quality sheen finish acrylics generally have spread rates of 10 – 12 m² / L. Enamel paints usually have spread rates of 10 – 12 m² / L.

For interior rooms: add the lengths (measured in metres) of each wall in the room and multiply the sum by the wall height, (For slanted ceilings, that follow the pitch of the roof, use “average wall height”) this will give you the “gross surface area”. Multiply the height and width of any doorways, windows, built-in cupboards, etc in the room and subtract these products from the “gross surface area”. This will give you the “nett surface area”. Divide the “nett surface area” by the average spread rate of the paint product, you are painting with. This will give you the number of litres of paint required to apply one coat of paint. For general maintenance painting, one coat is sufficient. For a change in colour / change in paint type or when painting aged or neglected paintwork, two coats are recommended.

For exterior walls: add the lengths (measured in metres) of each wall and multiply the sum by the average wall height (do not include any face brick or stone cladding areas). This will give you the “gross surface area”. Multiply the height and width of any doorways and windows in the walls and subtract these products from the “gross surface area”. This will give you the “nett surface area”. Divide the “nett surface area” by the average spread rate of the paint product, you are painting with. This will give you the number of litres of paint required to apply one coat of paint. For general maintenance painting, one coat is sufficient. For a change in colour / change in paint type or when painting aged or neglected paintwork, two coats is recommended.

Question: I have a room that has been painted with a Gloss Enamel. Can I paint an Acrylic (water-based) paint over it, or must I keep using an oil paint?

Answer: It is possible, with a minimal amount of surface preparation, to paint a water-based paint over an oil-based enamel. Lightly sand the enamel surface with a #220 grit sandpaper. Wash down the sanded surface with a sugar soap solution, rinse off and leave to dry. Sanding will “matt” down the enamel surface to provide a better “key” for the solvent-based universal undercoat / general purpose undercoat, you need to apply to the oil paint. Leave the undercoat to dry and then apply 2 coats of the new water-based paint.

Because of the extra paint, time and labour required to change over from an oil to a water-based paint system, we often recommend re-painting an enamel coated surface with another oil-based coating. If you don’t like the look of gloss enamel paints, these days you get “eggshell” (low-gloss) and even” flat” (matt) finish enamels that have the same look and feel as acrylic emulsions.

Question: How do I know if the paint on my walls is oil based or water based?

Answer: The “Methos Test” is the best method of determining if a paint film is water-based or solvent-based. Wash the paint surface with a sugar soap solution, to remove dirt, grime, soap scum residue, etc. Rinse off and leave to dry. Dampen some cotton wool with Methylated Spirits and wipe the paint surface. If some of the paint comes off, on the cotton wool, it is a water-based paint. If no paint is removed, by the Methos-soaked cotton wool, then the paint is solvent-based.

Question: Is it true that you can use roof paint to paint walls?

Answer: Acrylic (water-based) Roof Paints are no different from acrylic wall paints, except that they usually contain additives that provide additional UV protection, acid rain protection and mould protection, which most wall paints do not contain. Roof acrylics are usually tougher and will therefore outlast most wall coatings. Traditionally, roof acrylics only come in dark colours, such as: Black, Charcoal, Terracotta, Red Oxide, Dark Green, etc. so if you are intending to paint an interior “feature wall” or want to paint an exterior house wall, boundary wall or retaining wall, a dark colour, then an acrylic roof paint is an economical option.

Question: How can I get rid of the odour after painting?

Answer: Besides the obvious answer of keeping doors and windows open to improve cross ventilation, there are a number of “home remedies” that work quite effectively:

  • Onions are natural odour absorbers. Cut up several onions and place the chopped pieces in bowls, add water and set them around the room during the painting process. The onions will continue to absorb the fumes as the paint dries.
  • Vinegar is a strong, natural, odour remover. Set bowls of diluted vinegar around the room during and after painting.
  • Lemons are natural odour absorbers and air deodorizers. Place lemon slices or lemon juice into bowls of water and set them around the room to absorb the paint odours and deodorize the air.

Question: There are colour shade marks on the wall l just painted, what is it?

Answer: “Lapping” is the appearance of denser colour, or increased gloss, where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application and is caused by failure to maintain a “wet edge”.

Maintain a “wet edge” by not allowing the edge of freshly applied paint to stand and dry out. Apply paint towards unpainted areas and then back into the just painted section. This technique of brushing or rolling from “wet” to “dry” and back into the“wet” will produce a smooth uniform finish.

Question: How to l get rid of mould on my painted surface.

Answer: Organic growths, such as moulds, algae, lichens and moss, originate from spores distributed in the atmosphere. They settle on surfaces and germinate; further growth depends on nutrients and moisture being present. Mould is usually dark brown or black, but is sometimes white or grey. Algae and lichens may be grey, black, green, yellow, orange or red. The growth may appear as a surface infection, or may be present under a painted surface and liable to grow in and through the paint coating. On interior surfaces, growth forms on areas that tend to be damp, poorly ventilated and/or receive little or no direct sunlight. Many kitchens and bathrooms have a condensation problem due to high humidity, if ventilation is poor, mould infection can occur. Condensation and the resultant fungal problems can often be brought under control by improving ventilation. (e.g. keeping windows open). On exterior surfaces, excessive shade, caused by trees, is the main reason for moss or lichen growth on roofs, retaining walls, etc. This can be aggravated by dampness, often caused by poor drainage around the problem areas. Accumulated dirt, on a paint surface, can provide nutrients for organic growth. “Flat” / “Matt” finish paints are more susceptible to mould growth due to their porous, absorbent nature. i.e. they get wet and stay wet, for protracted periods of time.

Question: What is the best treatment for mould?

Answer: Before painting, every effort must be made to remove at least one of the conditions favourable to fungal growth, e.g. improve natural lighting, drainage or ventilation.

It is vital to treat infected surfaces and adjacent areas prior to any other preparation work, because normal methods of preparation (scraping and sanding) will spread the infection. i.e. do not remove mould or other organic growths until the surface has been treated with a fungicidal wash and left for 30 minutes, keeping it wet as it sits, prior to rinsing off.

Afterwards scrape or sand off the organic growth, before giving the surface a second application of fungicidal wash. (Protect eyes by wearing goggles and wash off any splashes, or other skin contact, immediately, using soap and warm water.) The use of sheen finish, emulsion based paints or gloss finish, enamel paints, in problematic areas, is recommended.

These paints’ non-porous finishes prevents them from absorbing and retaining moisture.

Question: Can l phone or e-mail and get in contact with a Coating Specialist to give advice?

Answer: APCO Coating Specialist are happy to assist in any questions you may have. Call
(02) 9832 0000 or e-mail info@apcocoatings.com.au. Office hours are 8am to 5pm weekdays.

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