ROSIE ON THE HOUSE

Tips on reviving and repairing interior paint starting with prep work

Nov 4, 2021, 3:00 PM

(Shutterstock Photo)...

(Shutterstock Photo)

(Shutterstock Photo)

Have the kids moved out? Is it time to paint their rooms the colors you want? Are the empty walls full of pinholes from their Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and Vans posters?

Before covering their questionable paint colors with your more refined choices, you may need to do some repair work.

Clean the walls. The quality of any paint job depends on how well you prep the walls. Start by pulling on a pair of big, thick rubber gloves and eye protection, and then wash your walls with the cleaner TSP (trisodium phosphate) and rinse them with clean water. This will be the start of the best paint job your house has ever seen.

Inspect for flaws. Once walls are sparkling clean, take an inch-by-inch survey of their surfaces. Check for scratches in the drywall texture (maybe from moving furniture) or ink stains left by a super-creative child. Move a light across the surface. When you find a hole or chip, stick a piece of tape next to it so you will easily find it when it comes time to repair. Use tape. A pencil or pen can bleed through the paint.

Repairing damaged walls

Ink stains: Seal the ink stains in by spray-painting a primer called KILZ, just on those spots. Cover imperfections in the drywall texture with a simple application of drywall mud.

Pinholes: Paint alone will not cover pin or nail holes. Fill pinholes with spackling compound. Apply it with a putty knife, spreading it thinly on the wall. Allow it to dry before lightly sanding using fine-grit sandpaper.

Torn drywall

To fix torn drywall cut away any loose paper. Seal the exposed drywall with a stain-blocking primer. This keeps the drywall from absorbing moisture from the soon-to-be-applied joint compound. Wait for the primer to dry, then sand the exposed drywall edges to remove paper nubs. Cover the gouge with a thin layer of joint compound, feathering it out along the wall. If necessary, apply a second coat, feathering it as well. Wait for it to dry and sand it smooth.

Tip: When using joint compound, cover it with primer before painting to prevent “flashing” which occurs when joint compound absorbs the paint, dulling the finish.

Scuffs: Use a duster or microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris that has dulled the paint’s appearance. Dusting will make cleaning more effective.

Joe Campbell, Arizona Painting Company, a Rosie-Certified Partner, suggests removing scuffs with a wet cloth or wipe. Depending on the paint finish, some marks will come off easily. If not, use mild dish soap. For stubborn stains, ammonia, vinegar, or baking soda diluted with water will work in most cases.

Never mix ammonia with bleach. The fumes are toxic and the mixture will destroy the paintwork. Avoid using bleach or coarse scrubbing brushes. Open the windows during and after cleaning for ventilation.

If you encounter mold, don’t mess with it. Hire a professional mold remediator to remove it.

Priming

Apply a colored primer. If the walls already have paint, spray the primer over the holes and scratches you repair. If you’re painting never-painted walls, though, you’ll need to prime them.

Most paint primer is white, so ask your paint store to add a little bit of umber (a clay pigment) until the primer takes on a slightly gray color.

Once the gray-tinged primer is on the wall, it will accentuate any imperfections. This will give you another chance to make it perfectly smooth before applying the paint. And once you paint over the primer, you’ll be able to clearly see any areas where the paint has rolled on too thin.

Painting

Before you apply the paint, hold a large spotlight a foot or so from the wall. Put your nose that same distance away from the wall and allow the light to show you any last little imperfections in the texture. Rub a thinned-down mixture of drywall joint compound over the flaws, using an eight or 10-inch drywall knife. Let it dry. Then reprime just those spots before painting.

Touching up paint: “One of the biggest and most common mistakes when it comes to retouching paint is selecting a different shade than the original paint,” said Campbell. “This could make the situation worse by painting over an imperfection with mismatched paint.”

Campbell recommends using the original paint color and tool used to put down the original paint coat. If a roller was used, then use that for the touch-up. The same goes for paintbrushes, sprayers, and so on. This will help the paint blend.

Another trick is to dilute the paint slightly with water for a seamless blend. This will make the touch-up less noticeable since thinner paint looks nicer than a patch of thick paint.

Stir the paint thoroughly, especially if it has been sitting in the garage or other non-conditioned storage closet for a long time. You want the paint to be as smooth as possible for a nice, clean look once it dries.

Applying a new coat: Select a flat paint for repaired walls. It hides imperfections like puttied-over nail holes, better than glossy.

Use high-quality painter’s tape to protect the ceiling when painting the edge of the walls, and vice-versa. It’ll also help to keep paint off of windows, woodwork, trim, and anything you don’t want the paint to get on.

Don’t paint straight, vertical lines. You will wind up with visible lines that show where one stroke left off and the other began, and the sheen on the wall won’t be consistent.

Instead, using a roller, paint a big “W” on the blank wall, and then paint a couple of big “X”’s over top. Fill the gaps by rolling paint on in vertical lines.

Use a cheap roller, get cheap results. Invest in a good roller that will apply the paint evenly and last beyond this job.

If the kids move back and in tow with their kids, let them fix any new damage.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email mailto:info@rosieonthehouse.com. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

Rosie On The House

Living in Arizona is unlike living anywhere else, so here are a few important things every new resi...

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of RosieontheHouse.com

Essential comprehensive guide that every new Arizonan should read

Living in Arizona is unlike living anywhere else, so here are a few important things every new resident needs to know.

6 days ago

Decorated wall....

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of RosieontheHouse.com

Revitalizing your walls: Modern alternatives to traditional art messages

Spruce up your walls effortlessly with decorative decals! Whether it's coordinating colors or seasonal themes, there's something for everyone.

13 days ago

women on the job....

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of RosieontheHouse.com

Women break barriers in construction: Surge in numbers and leadership roles

This week, Rosie talks about the rise of women in construction, including increasing participation and leadership roles.

20 days ago

Image shows empty cans and bottles....

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of RosieontheHouse.com

Navigating the when and where of recycling across the US

Recycling in the United States as we know it today, started with the ragman. The ragman went from house to house to buy old cloth for international trade in rags to make into paper.

27 days ago

Here's your comprehensive estate planning guide....

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of RosieontheHouse.com

Securing tomorrow: Here’s a guide to documenting your estate – how and why

Ensure a smooth transition for your loved ones with this comprehensive estate planning guide. Don't leave your legacy to chance.

1 month ago

Items that might be included in home owner's insurance inventory....

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of RosieontheHouse.com

Ever wonder how you can take insurance inventory of your home? Here’s how

When was the last time you reviewed your homeowner’s insurance policy? If you can’t remember, then it’s way past time to do it.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

...

FanDuel

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Tips on reviving and repairing interior paint starting with prep work