Now I am really nervous!

Old 10-05-00, 08:08 AM
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Just went through the archives and saw so many posts about peeling paint that I am now really nervous.

I am about to buy a 60 yr old home with the high probablity of lead paint throughout. My understanding is that the best way to deal with it is to paint over it. There is some peeling paint on outside windows (house has vinyl covering, thankfully) But nothing peeling inside. So I have two areas of concern:

1. RE: peeling paint on windows. I must do something to stablize the peeling right? But what is the best way to deal with the stuff (lead)? I thought about just vacumning the flakes as I gingerly "flake off" the chips so the paint particles just don't get into the air. Am I making a difficult situation out of this project? Any ideas?

2. RE: covering up the old paint inside the home. Obviously I need to prep the surfaces. And there is some very minor termite damage to a few spots that are a few inches long and at most a pencil thickness in size.(this is single wall constructed tongue & groove wood)
The building inspection report specifically recommends the damaged spots be filled-in with a wood filler. Any tips or recommended products?

THE WORRY: As the inside surfaces are all solid, clean, and chip/peeling-free, I do not want to put a bad paint on the surfaces that might begin to peel in the future. So any advice to minimize that possiblity is gratefully welcomed!

We plan to be in this home for many years, so we will spend as needed to do this all right the first time. We are frugal-minded folks, but cutting corners is not a hallmark of frugality as it usually leads to extra expenses down the road. We want to do the longest lasting job and know that value comes with professional action.

Look forward to some professional advice!

Old 10-05-00, 01:42 PM
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My understanding is that both lead and asbestos are only a health concern if you do something which will create dust out of the paint or flooring which you can subsequently breathe in. When you sand lead paint or pull up linoleum you can create dust that will contain asbestos and lead.

If the paint comes off in large chips and you scrape it off and vaccuum up, I don't think it would be much of a problem (but I'm not an expert on removing lead paint).

So far as painting the windows goes, you have to know the reason why the paint is peeling in the first place to correct the problem. If the peeling paint is predominantly on the window sills, then almost certainly the reason is because previous owners painted these with oil based paint thinking it would stand up better and keep the water out of the wood better than latex paint. The problem is that if the water gets in some other way, such as seeping in through a corner joint or whatever, when the water evaporates out of that wood, it'll push oil based paint off the wood, leaving the wood completely exposed to the elements.

A better choice for window sills would be to prime and paint with latex. Latex will prevent liquid water from entering the wood, but will allow individual water molecules to pass through the paint easily. Thus, the paint keeps the wood from getting wet, but allows the wood to dry out if it does get wet. This quality in latex paints is called "breathing", and all latex paints breathe better than any oil based paints which don't breathe at all. The flat latexes breathe much better than the glossy latexes.

So far as interior painting goes, you pretty well get what you pay for when it comes to paint. For a brief education on paint, scroll down to the post sarcastically entitled "Nestor Kelebay show us thy way" (smirk). Every company's top of the line paint is good, but you often don't really need a top of the line paint. That's why it's important to go to visit some reputable paint stores and get suggestions on what you use from each of them.

If you're going to be painting, then it's always a good idea to clean the walls prior to painting. Lots of the horror stories you hear about paint peeling off the walls is because people thought they could paint INSTEAD of cleaning.

If you don't know who to trust, and you just want to make sure you use a really good quality paint that's going to stick well to the wall, be easy to clean and hide the underlying colour in as few coats as possible, try a gallon of Pratt & Lambert Accolade Satin in the F4790 base. The fairly high gloss in this paint will mean the walls will be easy to clean, the high titanium dioxide content will give you excellent hide, and this paint DOESN'T SPATTER. If you want to paint the wall the same colour so you don't need high hide, or you want a duller finish, you need a different base. The high hide base in the Accolade Velvet (which is one step duller) is F4090.

I'm sure that the top of the line paints from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams are equally good. However, I've been told that "every paint spatters" by people who are supposedly using top of the line paints, and that I should roll slower to prevent spatter. I paint a two bedroom suite in two days, and Pratt&Lambert F4790 or F4090 don't spatter. What can I say?
Old 10-05-00, 07:30 PM
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First you need to find out if you have lead paint, I have included some websites that will inform you of how to test and what to do if it is. Do this first.

To paint over paint that is peeling you must first scrape the paint to remove any loose or peeling paint, I would buy a paint scraper for this, prime any bare spots with a quality exterior primer and paint. If you are wanting to paint latex over oil (interior or exterior) you must first prime with an oil based primer.

For your repairs in the wood, any hardware store carries carpenters wood filler, be sure to prime after it dries before painting.

Be sure everything you will paint is clean and free of dirt, oil or grease, to clean surfaces to be painted I recomend a product called TSP, made for just this. For the longest lasting paint job be sure to go to a pro paint store for your paint.

Old 10-05-00, 10:42 PM
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It cannot be emphsized enough, find out if you have lead paint. If you do, do not sand it or create dust. A vacume, unless it is a HEPA vac, will not make matters better it will only make things worse. Lead sucks.

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