Complete Guide to Painting Plaster Walls

Your Guide to Painting Old Plaster Walls

For well over a century, plaster interior walls were the preferred construction in American homes. From antique mansions to old country cottages, these beautiful walls can still be found in many homes today. Modern homeowners are probably familiar with drywall or sheetrock, but not plaster. This guide will answer all your questions about painting your plaster walls.

Can you paint plaster walls?

Many classic homes may come with perfectly intact plaster walls hidden behind dated wallpaper or layers of peeling paint. The good news is you can paint these walls with the same equipment you would use on sheetrock! From a classic restoration to modern restyle, you can make plaster walls look great with a fresh coat of paint.

Paint on plaster will only look as good as the prep work underneath it though, so make sure not to skip any steps.

Preparing Plastered Walls for Painting

Safety Tip: Most older house paints contain lead. Always wear eye protection and a respirator when sanding or stripping old paints.

Remove Old Paint

The first step to painting old plaster walls is to remove whatever is covering them. Old paint can be removed in two ways:

  • Paint scrapers and sandpaper – For chipped and peeling old paint.
  • Chemical Strippers – For paint that’s relatively intact.

Patch and Repair Plaster

Once you have the walls stripped down to bare plaster, you’ll need to repair and patch any cracks or old damage. This process can be tedious, but it’s one of the most important steps. Plaster walls are unforgiving, and any cracks that are left alone will likely spread.

Paintable caulk can be used to fill minor cracks. It remains flexible, so the crack will be less likely to reappear. Larger holes from old bolts or longer cracks should be patched just like drywall and sanded. The goal is to create a smooth, even surface with no visible cracks or holes.

To do that, start by blending any patches or new plaster into the old plaster with rough grit sandpapers. Once the surface is roughly level, smooth the surface with high grit sandpapers to create a smooth surface for the primer coat.

What’s the best primer for plaster walls?

Plaster walls are more vulnerable to moisture than drywall, and require high-quality primers. Oil-based primers are the best option for old walls. They have superior stain blocking abilities, and will keep any old stains from bleeding through to new paint. Oil-based primers are also great at sealing out moisture, which can be a major problem for old plaster walls. Perhaps most useful are oil primer’s ability to fill and seal the surface of the plaster.

Kilz brand primers are known for their stain-blocking capabilities and are available at many home improvement centers. For a premium option, Sherwin Williams offers durable primers specifically for plaster.

Some bright colors, especially reds and yellows, will usually look better with a tinted primer. The paint shop or home improvement store should know if your paint requires this, and can mix the appropriate primer.

What is the best paint finish for plaster walls?

Plaster walls can be finished in any luster, from high-gloss to ultra-matte. The most versatile finish for most home applications is a satin finish that combines the soft warmth of a matte or flat finish with the ease of cleaning that comes with semi-gloss or gloss finishes. If your home has traditional Victorian styling, a softer finish will finely complement lacquered or glossy enameled trim around doors and around ceilings.

Flat or matte finish paint will not be as easy to clean and will show scuffs much easier than satin paint, but the lightly textured finish can be very useful for hiding minor imperfections in the underlying plaster.

What kind of paint should I use on plaster walls?

The best kind of paint for plaster walls is whatever color appeals to you!

Once plaster walls are properly patched and primed, they can easily take any color or finish. Satin and eggshell finishes are very popular, and lighter, neutral shades of cream and white are ideal if resale value is a concern.

There is one kind of paint you shouldn’t use: all-in-one paint and primer. The label is misleading, as these paints do not actually have a primer in them. Instead, they are blended to create a thicker, more durable coat.

While durable paint is not a bad thing, these products won’t help with the two largest problems that primer solves on old plaster: making paint stick to the wall better and blocking decades of potential stains from bleeding through to the fresh paint.

Painting Plaster Walls

So your plaster has been patched and the surface is smooth and primed. Now it is time to paint!

Plaster can be easily painted with the same techniques as drywall. Even with a good coat of primer, plaster walls are notoriously thirsty for paint. Using a roller for open spaces and brushes around trim and borders, spread an even coat of your choice paint. Don’t try to completely cover the wall in one go. Two or three thinner coats will create a much prettier finish than one thick coat, which is likely to end up running and looking uneven.

Plaster walls also lend themselves to creative painting schemes, like sponged paint and rustic, antiqued finishes.

Need Help Painting Plaster Walls?

Find a professional painter near you.  If you need a home painter in South Jersey, including Marlton, Cherry Hill, and Moorestown, give Pizzazz Painting a call today! Call 609-702-8200 today.

Ultimate Guide to Painting Vinyl, Wood, or Plastic Shutters

Looking to raise the curb appeal of your house without spending thousands on remodeling or a major home-improvement project? Painting your shutters can give them a new lease on life.

This guide will show you how to repaint your wood, plastic, or vinyl shutters.

Why You Should Paint Your Shutters

If your shutters are old and faded, just bringing them back to their original color can make your house look newer and more valuable.

And there’s no reason to stick with the old color—you can repaint them as subtle accents or bold highlights to revitalize your home’s facade.

You could buy all new shutters in a special color, but that’s an expensive solution and most home stores only carry limited selections in plain colors. For a custom color you’ll need to paint the new shutters anyway, so only buy new shutters if the old ones are actually cracked or broken.

Call the pros or DIY?

Painting the shutters is a project most homeowners can tackle themselves. If you have a lot of windows or don’t want to risk climbing a ladder, a local housepainter would happily take the job.

Professional painters have tools like airless paint sprayers that can produce a fine finish much quicker than brushwork can.

Trendy Shutter Ideas

For an elegant design upgrade, consider painting your shutters black. Black provides a sharp contrast against the lighter colored siding, and works well with both colorful doors and trim or earth tones. Black shutters can look especially striking on a brick or brownstone house.

For a classic look, Oxford Blues and Hunter Greens evoke Colonial American styles. This is a great look for an antique house or newer construction with  a colonial flair.

Want to make a bolder statement? Vivid reds and oranges are a bold design choice that can set your home apart.

Wood Shutters

Can you paint wood shutters on the house?

Yes, you can paint wood shutters without taking them off of the house. But be warned: this may seem like an easy way to save time and effort, but it might take more work to do right than bringing the shutters down to paint.

If you decide not to take the shutters off, you will have to carefully cover any areas where the shutters meet the house and any metal hardware.

This could be fairly easy on working shutters, but decorative shutters flush with the wall would need careful masking to keep paint from running between slats or dripping at corners onto the siding.

Even if your painting technique is perfect, paint can run and drip from the shutter as you work. This can easily ruin the siding or brick behind the shutter. And a slip or a trip when painting second floor shutters could send a bucket of paint tumbing down the side of your house.

It is much easier to unscrew the shutters and take them down to paint over a drop cloth

How to Prep Wood Shutters for Paint

Ask any pro house painter and he or she will tell you that paint prep is the most important part of a project. How well you prepare your shutters to be painted will make the difference between an ugly, peeling finish and a flawless, appealing finish.

  • Remove old layers of paint. Using a chemical stripper or a paint scraper, remove the bulk of the old paint.
  • Lightly sand the shutters with medium sandpaper.
  • Spray or brush an exterior primer on the wood, and allow it to dry.

After this, your shutters should look like an even grey or white. Once the primer is dry (check your chosen product for recoat times) it’s time to start painting!

How to Paint Wood Shutters

Painting wood shutters is easy as long as you don’t try to rush the process. Handling the shutters before the paint has cured or recoating too soon can quickly turn your paint job into a sticky, fingerprinted disaster.

  • Thoroughly stir paint to an even consistency.
  • Pour some paint into a paint tray.
  • Using a wide, flat brush, paint with the grain of the wood. For solid shutters, start with the center panel details and work outwards. For slatted shutters, paint the slats first, careful not to let paint build up in the corners.
  • Work in thin layers. This process is going to take a day or two, and trying to rush it will only make the job longer when you have to strip tacky, uncured paint that built up after aggressive coats.
  • Once the shutters are fully dry, you can put them back up.
  • If you want extra protection for the new paint job, you could also add a varnish or acrylic clear coat to protect better against sun and weather.

What kind of paint is best for wood shutters?

Oil-based paints are the most durable for exterior use. They dry to a more durable finish, adhere better to wood surfaces, and are less vulnerable to being stained by the wood underneath. Oil-based paints should be used with oil-based primers.

Water based paints, also know as latex paints, are easier to work with and most brands carry formulas designed for exterior use. They dry faster than oil paints and form a flexible finish that is less likely to crack or peel if it gets damaged.

Most home improvement stores will carry a full selection of latex and oil paints, and custom colors can easily be mixed.

Can you spray paint wood shutters?

If spray paint is all you have, you can use it to paint wood shutters, but the finish will not be as even or as durable as a dedicated exterior paint.

Most spray paint is not made for exterior use. Sunlight and weather will quickly degrade the finish.

Spray paint doesn’t cover large pieces of wood very well. Untreated wood will soak up spray paints, resulting in a blotchy appearance.

If the wood is finished with lacquer or acrylic, the solvents in spray paint can react badly with the wood finish used to seal the shutter. This could result in bubbling or peeling paint.

Spray paint is also temperamental with weather and humidity. Common paints like Rustoleum’s UltraCover line are only designed to adhere properly between 50*F and 90*F and below 65% humidity. This means a large part of the year is not suitable for outdoor work with spray paint.

Vinyl Shutters

Can you paint vinyl shutters on the house?

Yes, you can. You will need to use brush paints. You will also need to tape and cover the area around the shutter so that paint won’t get on your siding or brickwork.

Spray paints often cause problems with overspray, where finely misted paint sticking to everything for a few inches around the thing you are spraying. Trying to spray vinyl shutters in place is an easy way to ruin your siding or window frame.

Preparing Vinyl Shutters for Paint

Before you can paint vinyl, it needs to be cleaned and primed for paint. The easiest way is to clean with any household bleach or degreaser.

Lacquer Thinner can be used to remove old paint or stubborn stains from vinyl. Apply the thinner to a rag or paper towel then scrub the spot. A soft bristle brush can also be used to scrub stains without damaging the finish of your shutter.

If you are keeping the same or a similar color as the original vinyl, most latex exterior paints can be brushed or sprayed directly onto the shutters. If you want a lighter shade of color or a color that contrasts with the original color, you should prime with a light grey or white before laying down the final color.

How to Paint Vinyl Shutters

Vinyl shutters can be painted much the same as wood shutters.Painting vinyl shutters with a wide, flat brush is easy, as long as you follow lay down thinner coats.

Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before adding another. Don’t try to cover the entire shutter with one coat of paint.

Paint rollers are great for wide, flat surfaces, but may not work as well on shutters. You will still need to use a flat brush to paint between shutter slats after using a roller.

Can you spray paint vinyl shutters?

Yes! In fact, Krylon and Rustoleum both make paints and primers that bond well to vinyl and other plastics. Just be careful not to spray too thickly.

Think about spray paint the same way as brushed-on paint—work in thin, even layers, and follow the recoat times printed on your can of spray paint. Don’t try to cover the entire shutter in one go.

The solvents in commercial spray paints are extremely toxic. Krylon recommends wearing a respirator if using their products in an unventilated space.

Best Paints for Vinyl Shutters?

Latex paints work best with vinyl shutters. Oil paints won’t bond well to the shutter’s surface and easily peel or crack when the plastic shrinks or expands with the seasons.

Spray paints are a great choice for vinyl too, as long as you use formulas like Krylon Fusion that are made to bond with plastic. Generic enamel spray paints will have the same problems as oil paints on vinyl.

Plastic Shutters

Can plastic shutters be painted? Yes!

With plastic, you have to be careful to use plastic safe paints. Otherwise, plastic shutters can be painted just like vinyl or wood.

Can you paint plastic shutters on the house?

Many people want to know how to paint shutters without removing them from the house. The best solution is to carefully tape around the shutter with wide blue painter’s tape and be careful when painting the edges that sit against the siding.

Unless your shutter is in an extremely hard to reach spot, taking a plastic shutter down is going to be less stressful and take less work than trying to work around the shutter in place.

Preparing Plastic Shutters for Paint

Before painting, plastic shutters should be cleaned and primed. Any plastic-safe household cleaner can be used to scrub any dirt or mildew from the plastic. If the shutters are newer and unpainted, a wipe-down with lacquer thinner can help to totally clean the surface.

Since latex paint won’t bond well to bare plastic, you should put down a layer of primer first. Not all primers are meant for plastic surfaces. If you’re buying spray cans, be careful not to buy the metal-etching primer sold for cars and appliances. It could eat through the plastic.

Most home improvement stores will carry several options for spray paint and cans of liquid paint that can be used on plastic. Make sure any product is rated for exterior use.

How to Paint Plastic Shutters

If you have plastic shutters, you’re in luck! As long as you follow a few easy steps, you can get a clean, professional finish on your shutters.

  • Clean the plastic with a mild degreaser.
  • For brush painting, spray a plastic primer first before applying the new color.
  • Brush several thin coats of color, allowing each coat time to level out and dry before adding another.
  • For spray-painting, many brands make a paint-and-primer that will bond directly to clean plastic.
  • Spray in short, sweeping bursts. Don’t spray thick, heavy layers. Most paints can be recoated within twenty minutes to fill in uneven spots.
  • Once the paint is cured, seal the shutters with a clear coat. Acrylic spray cans are an easy way to protect your shutters against water and sun damage.

Can you spray paint plastic shutters?

Spray paints made for plastic can produce a great finish for a DIY project. Proper spray technique will make the difference between a smooth, durable paint job and an uneven mess.

When using spray paints, sticking to one company’s product line is usually the best idea. Whether you use Krylon, Rustoleum, Sherwin-Williams or another brand, just be sure that the paint is designed for plastics.

Best Paint for Plastic Shutters

With plastic, you have a lot of options for paints. Any latex exterior house paint will cover plastic shutters well. Spray paints made for plastic will also provide durable and finishes.

If you find a color you love but that line of paint isn’t made to be plastic compatible, plastic-compatible paint can be used like a primer, then the color you want can be painted on top of it. This strategy can also be used to paint oil or enamels over plastic.

Looking for help with your shutter project?

Pizzazz Painting has been serving the South Jersey area for more than twenty years. From xmall projects to whole houses, Pizzazz is dedicated to helping their customers get their space looking its best. If you need a team to do exterior paintwork, call (609)-702-8200 for a consultation.


Matte vs. Satin vs. Gloss Paint? Which is the Best for You?

Confused about your paint finish options?

The most exciting, and often the most difficult choice in all of interior design is picking out the paint. Picking a color is hard enough, but the choosing the right texture can be even more challenging.

You know it when you see it: the perfect color to make a bland space really pop to life. Then the time comes to pick a sheen. Satin, matte, flat, gloss, eggshell—with all the options out there, how are you supposed to choose? This guide is meant to explain the style and practical differences between the common paint finishes for interior use.

Matte and Flat Paints


A matte paint gives walls a luxurious, velvety finish. Walls finished in matte have almost no shine to them. The softer appearance of a matte paint lends itself well to accenting natural wood trim or rooms with antique lacquered furniture.


  • Warm, luxurious appearance
  • Hides imperfections in the painted surface
  • Works well in rooms with direct sunlight
  • Easy to touch-up, blend repairs into the finish


  • Not durable. Wear near handrails/switchplates can leave shiny spots.
  • Soft texture catches and holds more dirt than other finishes.
  • Not easy to clean. Spills and stains are difficult to remove without damaging the finish.

Where to use matte paints

Matte finishes are perfect for studies, home libraries, formal dining rooms, or other spaces where a luxury appearance is important and there is low traffic. Matte can be used on ceilings for a subtle contrast with satin walls. Because they are so easy to touch up, matte paints are also ideal for rental properties or that Airbnb suite you are converting your attic into. 

Satin, Pearl, and Eggshell Paints

Satin and eggshell refer to a variety of sheens that reflect some light, but are still soft enough to avoid a reflective wet-gloss look. The finish is more vibrant than flat paint.


  • Easy to maintain. Most satins are washable with normal household cleaner.
  • Durable. Satin will hold up to high traffic areas like entranceways and staircase walls.
  • Slight shine can make color more vibrant.


  • Requires a lot more painting preparation. Any imperfections, like nail pops or dings in the drywall, will be very noticeable.
  • Touch-ups are hard to blend into the existing finish.
  • Off-white eggshell is the stereotypical contractor’s paintwork. Not ugly, but bland and lacking character or style.

Where to use satin paints:

Satin paint works best in living rooms, bedrooms, or other high traffic areas where a durable but softer finish is desired.

High-Gloss and Semi-Gloss Paint

These paints provide the most durable and shiniest finish. Semi-gloss is bright and vibrant. High-gloss leaves a surface with a deep reflective shine. Both stand up to spills, wear, and traffic extremely well.


  • Makes a bold statement.
  • Most vibrant colors possible
  • Stand up to spills and stains
  • Extreme durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Sleek, modern appearance.


  • Requires obsessive detail during surface prep. When used on a wall, the surface must be mirror smooth, as every imperfection will be glaringly obvious.
  • Almost impossible to match repairs without repainting whole section of wall.
  • High-gloss can be overpowering in smaller spaces or under direct lighting.

When to use gloss paint:

Gloss paint is traditionally applied to trim around doors and windows. Special gloss enamels exist specifically for these applications. Heavy-use areas like kitchens and bathrooms can benefit from high gloss paint as an alternative to more traditional tile splashes. Infant playrooms will also hold up much longer if finished in semi-gloss.

Combining Paint Finishes

Don’t limit yourself to a single finish. Many rooms can benefit from a combination of finishes on different parts of a room.

As a general rule, paint should be one finish away from the surface it borders. This is done so paint there is a clean visual transition from one finish to the other. Flat-finished walls with high-gloss trim create a visually jarring effect and draw attention away from furnishing or wall art.

To bring visual interest to a room, a ceiling could be finished in matte, the walls in satin, and the trim in semi-gloss to create contrast with harmony between the different surfaces.

Choosing the Right Home Painters

Whether it’s one room or an entire home, refinishing a space takes a painter who understands your vision and how to bring that our in the final product. A professional painter can recommend finishes for your space, and perhaps even suggest a great new look you never knew was an option. For painting needs in South Jersey, contact Pizzazz Painters at 609-702-8200. With over twenty years of experience, they can find the finish to make your painting project look its best.

Paint-and-Primer-in-One: Does it Work?

Let’s face the facts: priming all of your surfaces before painting can be a pain, especially when you’re working on larger projects. Often, homeowners wanting to repaint their property(ies) want to skip priming to avoid extra work, cost, and energy. Despite the pain of the process, it is a crucial step that will ensure your paint job lasts a long time and helps to avoid peeling, bubbling, and cracking in the paint. In some cases, you can get away with using a paint-and-primer-in-one product which consolidates the two steps of priming and painting into one. However, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it is often not a good idea to use these paint and primer products. Let’s take a look at when it is appropriate and effective to use a paint and primer in one.

What is the Difference Between Paint and Primer?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of whether self-priming paint works, and where it works, let’s first establish what exactly primer is used for, and how it helps a painting job. Primer is essentially a type of paint that preps a surface for a paint job. Primer helps to seal pores on a surface such as wood or drywall, and create a layer of adhesion that your paint will be able to last on longer.

Do You Have to Prime Before Painting?

As mentioned before, the purpose of priming a surface is to seal the pores in the material and create an even, adhesive surface for

 your paint. When you have a new, unpainted surface such as wood, brick/stone, metal, or drywall, it is best to use separate primer and paint products because the surface will be very porous and will not absorb a

layer of paint evenly. This inevitably leads to requiring more coats of paint to accomplish an even finish, wasting time and money. That’s why for a surface that has not been painted before, it is not a good idea to use the two in one product, because truthfully the paint-and-primer works more as a paint than a primer. These paints do not even include any type of primer. Needless to say, painting a new surface without priming is a big no-no.

Also, if your previous paint job is stained or damaged, you will not be able to effectively work around the issues with a self-priming paint because the paint will struggle over time to properly adhere to the surface, due to the contaminants in between the paint and the primer. The bottom line is that if the surface you are painting is previously primed/painted, or clean, then you can go ahead with a paint-and-primer-in-one, which can save you money considering the level of thickness to the paint can cover walls in fewer coats.

When Can You Use Paint-and-Primer-in-One?

There are seldom occasions where paint and primer is the best option for a painting job.  Self-priming paint works best for interior surfaces since the paint will not be exposed to varying conditions (i.e. rain, snow, sun rays, etc). Also, it will be most effective if your new paint job will be similar in color to the old paint. Otherwise, you may see the old color coat bleed through your new paint. The consistency of the self-priming paint is very thick, so it can cover most walls in just two coats when it would usually take three or four with a cheaper paint. Since these paints are often premium grade, it is easier to clean the finished coats if they ever get stained, and the finish looks much nicer than your standard cheaper paints. Keep in mind that if you are changing the color of a room drastically, it would be more efficient to use a cheaper primer on the walls beforehand, and then do two coats with the self-priming paint.

How to Prep and Paint Your Deck

When it comes to any painting job, the key is to properly prep all surfaces prior to painting. With deck painting, it is imperative that you properly prep your decks wooden boards, and painting in between the deck boards. To prepare your deck for painting, you will need to take several measures to ensure you do the job the best way possible to guarantee the paint will last a long time. The process we will discuss includes how to prepare and paint an old deck, how to paint a new deck, how to paint pressure treated wood, and how to decide between painting or staining your deck.

Preparing Your Deck For Paint

Before you can paint your boards, you need to make sure you prep them properly. The preparation stage has several steps, which we will now go over.

Clean the Surface

The first step is to clean and wash your decks boards to remove any debris – this must be done even if your deck is new. Remove any and all furniture, grills, planets, etc., and thoroughly sweep your deck. After you have swept everywhere, you are ready to sand. It would also be worth your while to make sure you cover all sides of every board, and yes, that means underneath as well. Since your boards are exposed to a lot of moisture and temperature changes, if the underside of your boards aren’t painted, these changes can force your boards to expand and contract, wearing down the paint faster. To ensure a long lasting paint job, make sure to prep, prime, and paint all 6 sides of every board. Does this mean you can’t paint your deck if you can’t get underneath the boards? No, but understand that the paint will wear faster if the wood is not protected on all sides.

Sanding Your Boards

Sanding is one of the most important steps in the preparation process. During the sanding process, you need to remove all of the old paint, stains, and other residue from the wooden boards. You want to expose almost all bare wood and get rid of anything in the way. Make sure to also sand out any grooves, and imperfections. Only sand in the direction of the grain, and not against it. Almost always, the grain on wooden boards extends lengthwise.

How to Prep and Paint an Old Deck

There are some things to consider when working with older wooden decks. The deck painting process is still the same for an old deck, but there are a couple extra steps you need to address. For one, there may be a lot more imperfections in the aged wood, such as chips, splits, dents, and so forth. You may need to use a wood filler to fill out imperfections before priming. Any imperfections that you can see on the bare surface will show up in your paint or stain. In general, you want to make all surfaces smooth and flat to ensure the best paint job possible. Painting on top of old, cracked, unsanded, and chipped wood will not last a long time. If you don’t mind having imperfections show in your paint job, you can skip the wood filler, but you still need to sand, especially when dealing with older wood.

Cleaning Your Boards

After sanding, you want to go over your deck again and remove any debris, dust, and wood shavings to make sure your primer sticks onto the surface well. Start off with sweeping all over your deck again, and then start cleaning your deck. The most effective way to wash and clean your deck before painting is to get a deck washing solution, work it onto your boards, and use a pressure washer to remove everything. Once the surface has fully dried, you are ready to prime.

Priming the Deck

As with any painting job, it is also very important to prime the surface before applying paint or stain. Your deck boards need to be properly primed because they are constantly exposed to varying temperatures, moisture, humidity, and lots of foot traffic. Priming is especially important with wooden surfaces, since wood is very porous and absorbent of liquids that get on the surface. Although wood is porous, it is not consistently porous throughout all of the grain, and therefore may absorb the paint differently in areas, leading to an uneven paint job. Primer will close off small pores in the wood, allowing the paint or stain to hold better once applied. The primer will also ensure that the paint sticks properly, and will help you avoid any peeling, bubbling, or blistering in your finished paint job.

Painting Your Deck

Ok, so, you sanded, cleaned, and primed your boards. Now you’re ready to apply your paint or stain. The best way to go about this is to get a paint roller, and liberally apply the paint to your boards. Don’t use too much at a time though! You don’t want to waste the paint you paid for by spilling it all between your boards. Use a painting tray to remove excess paint from your roller. Once you go over the boards with a roller, grab a paint brush and get in the nooks and crannies, and paint in between the boards to spread the paint all over. Again, if possible, paint on all sides of the boards. It will extend the life of your paint job. Once you do two coats, you should now have a brand new deck! Softwoods absorb paint like a sponge, so a third coat might be needed for an even finish.

Staining vs. Painting

Frequently, people are torn between painting or staining a wooden deck, and aren’t sure which path they should go down. Here, we will briefly go over the pros and cons to deck painting vs. staining.

Painting a Wooden Deck

Deck paint has a lot of pros, and is a common choice for anyone repainting their wooden deck. For one, it is thicker, which helps protect the wood better, and can even hide imperfections in the wood if you couldn’t get everything out during the sanding stage. Paint is often the better choice for older decks, because of the thickness that can cover the old boards. Another advantage to painting versus staining is that there are a lot of color options in paint, and you can get just about any color you can imagine on your deck. Yet another advantage is that paint will last longer because of the thickness to it, and it is more durable. The only big drawback on deck paint is that it hides the natural look and beauty of the wood. Again, if you’re working with an older deck, this is generally not a concern and is the better way to go. A smaller setback is that dried deck paint can be a little slippery when wet, after raining for example.

Staining a Wooden Deck

Staining also has its advantages over paint. If you’re painting a new deck, or a pressure treated deck, staining may be the better option because it brings out the natural grain look of the wood. Stain is also easier to work with, since you don’t need to do two or three thick coats. Since stain is thinner, however, this leads to stain having a shorter life span than paint. Ultimately, there is no huge advantage to either, but it comes down to taste and what you’re working with. A newer deck is generally better with a stain, and an older deck is generally better with paint.

Tools and Cost

Whether you choose to stain or paint your deck, you will need certain tools and materials to get the job done. Everyone wants a ballpark estimate before starting, but it depends on what tools you have available to you prior to your project. Ultimately, you will need paint rollers, brushes, pans, paint/stain, primer, sandpaper, and a deck washing product. Prices vary on the brands, quantity, and types of paint/primer/stain that you end up purchasing.


If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of this project yourself, contact a local residential painter to get a free quote and have everything done for you, avoiding the stress of going through the process yourself.

How to Paint Doors and Walls

How to paint your door and walls

When it comes to painting a house, a “good job” is not enough. Homeowners are looking for a “great” painting job, the finishing touch that will give their house a beautiful interior – quality windows, doors, and trim painting.

Before embarking on a painting job, there are some preparations that are needed to ensure that you get, not just a good, but a great, paint job, one that satisfies the customer and also goes a long way in showcasing the skills of the painter.

Surface preparations

We all know that surface preparation takes time. In fact, given the choice a painter would skip it but that would be disastrous as the results would be undesirable. The attractiveness and durability of any paint coat largely depends on the kind of preparation that was done to the surface. It requires being even and smoothing cracks and holes or any imperfection. If this is not done, the paint will not stick well and the final results will be disappointing. It is not just enough to do surface preparation, it should be done well and to satisfaction.

Wall cleaning

Wall cleaning is important as it helps remove dirt and other particles that may affect the quality of the painting. Exterior walls, due to exposure, may at times appear clean but there are dust and spots which may affect the quality of the finishing. Sometimes fungi grow on the wall due to moisture or poor maintenance, so failure to clean when painting will yield disastrous results. It is worth noting that some of the impurities we are talking about may not be clearly visible, but they are actually present, and through cleaning they will be removed and the journey to a quality painting, one that will please the customer, will have just started. It is an essential step because it also allows the coat to stick properly meaning that what the painter will have done will not need to be repeated any time soon. A painter may be getting himself out of a future job but would have saved greatly for the client. Actually, somebody said that any good professional should work himself out of the jobthrough good quality work. Due to the durability aspect of your work, the client may not hire you anytime soon but will refer you to others who need the service – that is how a business grows.

Fixing the dampness

It is important to check the walls for dampness, wet and discolored spots on the wall are clear indications of humidity. Fixing the walls helps in removing the bacteria as well as ensuring that the room is not contaminated. This not only helps get a good painting job but also takes care of the health concerns related to dampness.


There are a number of benefits that comes with priming as a surface preparation step. One, it hides ugly marks and also helps the surface appear uniform. Priming also adds to the durability of the paint, since it helps it in increasing its adhesion to the surface.

A proper surface preparation process should also include activities such as repairs, patching, sanding, and masking. Following these steps will give you a well-prepared surface and eventually add onto improving the quality of the paint job. This preparation should be done on all the surfaces which are to be painted, whether it’s the walls, doors or windows.

For doors and windows, surface preparation will include filling dents, holes or dings followed by sand smoothing. Previously painted doors should get a quick scuff using 220 grit sand paper. This process will help the newly applied coat to stick properly. The sand smoothed surface should be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that any dust is removed; this can be done using a piece of cloth or dust brush.

The hardware on the windows and door such as hinges, latch and lockset should be removed or well covered to ensure that they are not painted in the process.


The painting process should start by straining the paint using a strainer. Also ensure that the working area is protected. For the doors and windows, ensure paint is applied on all the surfaces even at the top and bottom edges. If the edges have not been painted before, it is necessary to remove the hinge pins in order to reach all the areas. One might argue that this would not be necessary but leaving it unpainted will affect the closing and opening of the door, especially when it contracts and expands due to temperature changes. You do not want a customer to blame you for the changes that may occur on the newly painted door, it would not auger well. Two coats will need to be applied in each surface to ensure completeness and uniformity.

Aim at doing a quality job, it not only makes the house, both interior and exterior, attractive but also increases the life of the paint coat.

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