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November 3, 2005

Painting it Over

Your Mid-Term Home Improvement Exam

2005-10-15 dumbo1.jpg

Please answer the following questions. Support your answers with examples from the internets, if possible, and don't forget to cite your sources.

1. If you had to paint the interior of a house whose walls contained 20 years worth of nicotine stains, how would you do it?

a) Wash the walls with soapy water
b) Use that special primer that smells bad-- stain killer(?)
c) Both
d) Something completely different. Explain your answer.

2. If you had to paint the interior of a house whose ceilings were about 12' high, how would you access them?

a) Very tall ladder & extended roller
b) Scaffolding
c) Dip cats in paint & throw them in the air to create, you know, that mottled, marbled effect.

Posted by callalillie at November 3, 2005 3:18 AM | Home Improvement , Inquiry


Question one, answer C
Question two, answer B

Bring in cleaning crew and witch doctor, as well.

Rid the place of any reminder of the smoker, who lived there before you.
That is the reason I say good old soap and water for purity and cleaning and a strong, smelly, primer to renew the walls for your new life.

Posted by: PER at November 3, 2005 10:40 AM

1. TSP is special pre-painting soap that should do the job. It smells and you will need gloves but, if you focus on the catharsis of cleaning, you will overcome the temporary misery.

2. I would go with ladder for pre-taping and edging and then extended handle roller for actual rolling.

Posted by: sare at November 3, 2005 10:49 AM

OK, I have no Internet references for you, but my dad is a life-long house painter and smoker. He recommended washing down the walls because even a primer can have bleed through if you aren't careful. (Hot soapy water, you choose the soap.)

He did suggest a primer just as a good base coat. However, his trick is simply two to three coats of paint, primer is nothing more than paint according to Dad, so might as well get a truer color with two coats.

A ladder is easier to move around, extended rollers are difficult for novice painters to use, according to my resident expert.

Posted by: Ragged Around the Edges at November 3, 2005 11:58 AM

1 - Soap and primer, and I would also burn vanilla sented candles or oil before and after painting (vanilla neutralize odours).

2 - The cats would add quite an artistic effect to the ceiling and walls, but I'm worried about the fact that Mr Irving and Mrs Olga might be a little heavy to throw that high in the air...

Posted by: SuperCath at November 3, 2005 1:38 PM

Use KILZ first--don't know if it comes in colors but it's good advice to use the same tones as your final coat. It costs a lot and is thick. Use the blue tape for edges first, and use an eight foot ladder that folds out of the way. You don't need scaffolding. The biggest part of a job is the prep, put down tarps and apply the blue tape, filling in holes with spackle. If there's an open edge along the door frame and the wall, fill this in with spackle. Use your fingeer to smooth it. Look into beading or the plastic corners for run down walls. The painting is the fun part. Don't you DARE use kitties for painting.

Posted by: Jane at November 3, 2005 2:10 PM

I'm a big fan of bleach and water in a bucket and a sponge mop. Replace the bleach and water for each room or more often if it looks dirty inside the bucket. I do this every time I move. It cleans the walls and makes me feel at home. It also only takes about 20-30 minutes per room, including the ceiling. A feng shui master recommended it to me.

Posted by: anika at November 3, 2005 2:54 PM

hmm. we've got a lot of cleaning/painting to do...

Posted by: corie at November 3, 2005 3:56 PM

i stumbled upon your blog looking for glomits

C and B
C because im a perfectionist
B because its the safest way, unless you have a REALLY long roller pole thingy

Posted by: Ben at November 3, 2005 5:24 PM

If you're going to take Jane's advice, I know of a place where you can get a whole bunch of blue tape, slightly used, for free...

Posted by: dave at November 3, 2005 5:25 PM

I vote for KILLZ too - you can use water based which doesn't stink as bad as the oil but the oil works better (but I think that's just for water stuff). I think it works awesomely and we use it to prime lots of things that need priming/cleaning in our pad.

Definitely get the cats all painty and throw them up there....I think that would work quite....interestingly...

Posted by: carrster at November 3, 2005 5:48 PM

um, by "water stuff" I meant water stains. Sheesh.

Posted by: carrster at November 3, 2005 5:49 PM

1- wash with soapy water and then prime.
2- tall stepladder and cats in a swooshing motion like you were using cheesecloth. Dipping the cats in a glaze will give a more subtle effect.

Posted by: Kris at November 3, 2005 6:33 PM

Yep, I think the best answer to number one is to clean the walls and prime them - the water-based KILZ should be enough, unless you do have water, mildew or other stains, like carrster noted. Paint stores should be able to tint the KILZ to your paint color (a good idea).

Scaffolding seems a bit extreme, and I assume you'll have a ladder there anyways (cutting in, removing light fixtures, tossing cats). I think a nice, sturdy extension pole would be best for the ceiling (and walls too) - moving a ladder around can be annoying. Plus, one of you could start cutting in on the ladder with a brush while the other uses the extension pole to roll.

Posted by: matt at November 3, 2005 9:42 PM

Well, my husband and I bough a 'fix-me-upper' almost 3 years ago with similar challenges.

We painted the WHOLE house as well. As for question 1

I would simply wash with soap and water and use a good quality primer that is tinted the color of your paint. No need for any toxic primer, etc.. If you wash and then use a good quality product, the smell will disappear.

Question 2...no easy answer, any which way, in our experience is a pain in the ass. Worthwhile in the end, but still a pain. We pre-taped with a ladder and used extensions on our rollers (and painted from the ground) but again, we bought good solid extensions that were made to extend that far.

My 4cents!

Good luck and happy Friday!

Posted by: wn at November 4, 2005 8:36 AM

Does this mean you found a house? Cool!
1. C. The cleaner the walls, the less primer you may need. A Febreeze ScentStories [a machine that plays perfume discs] will help disperce nice smells.

2. B. Scaffolds are safe. And the cats can climb up them when you're not painting.

Posted by: Divaah46 at November 4, 2005 6:28 PM

And for heaven's sake, don't forget to tie an old scarf around your hair!

Posted by: Jane at November 6, 2005 4:29 PM

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