How many coats of paint do I need?
Q. One coat of paint or two?
A. Often it’s 3 (counting the primer).
Have you ever thought that only paint one coat of paint on interior walls would do? In the words of Mary Ellen from A Walk in The Woods, “Big Mistake.” This thought is usually an attempt to save money. But only applying one coat of paint will unfortunately cost you money I the long run.
The top coat that you see (and wipe crayons marks off) is not sticking to your walls. Wait. What?
Nope! Top coats stick to primer (or old wall paint which is itself sticking to primer). They never actually stick to new plaster, timber, whatever. Or if you try it doesn’t stick for very long.
The primer’s job is like a house foundation. Its not meant to be seen. It’s meant to hang on – tight. And to hang on it has to sink into the microscopic nooks and crannies that make up the substrate. When primer dries it’s a bit rough, or a bit shiny, or whatever. It’s not meant to be seen.
Then the first coat of top coat goes on. And it’s a still bit rough. AND it’s a bit thin; you can see through some parts. Where it goes over (primed) plaster repairs the first coat may be shinier or duller than the rest of the wall. And there’s always a few tiny missed spots.
So the second top coat goes on. It smooths the overall finish making the job look better. It creates a uniform solid colour. It doubles the thickness making the skin able to be wiped and cleaned without coming off. And any micro-misses are covered up the second time through.
And the biggest bonus of all is the this fresh, colourful, easy-clean painted wall or door now has a TOUGH skin that can move and take a few knocks. So it LASTS. Much longer. And doesn’t need to be repainted for a long time.
AND you don’t even save much money doing one coat. Its not like half the price of two coats. Because most of the work of painting a wall is in the protection (masking, covering) and preparation (washing, scraping, filling, priming). The painter is there all set up with a roller wet with the right colour ready to go. Its nuts to say, “Ah, just skip that second coat. I want to save 3% on this job.”
So, it’s either two coats or don’t even bother.
GOOGLE REVIEWS PAINTERS
One of the best ways to help select a high quality house painter is with Google reviews. Google reviews for painters are probably the best because they are the hardest to cheat on.
Facebook is another good place to see what previous clients have experienced. There’s also Product Review and Yelp.
To see The Tidy Painter’s reviews click here.
Its important to take Google reviews for painters with a grain of salt but they are very good for getting an overall impression. Here’s my very un-scientific review of review rankings:
All 5 star reviews
Obviously pretty good. But be sure to read the actual comments. Past clients might talk a lot about cleanliness or speed or accuracy. This helps you narrow down the KIND of painter YOU want. We are not all the same.
5 and 4 star reviews
Still very good and an indication that these reviews are real. Cheaters only ever give themselves 5 stars and their competition 1 stars.
5 stars (and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 star) reviews TOGETHER
This might indicate inconsistency. It might also mean that within the same company one painter is great and another is very average. Which one will you get?
3 star reviews
A very ‘just OK’ review. Most clients are either delighted or disappointed with their painting job. 3 stars says, “They came, they saw, they put paint on the walls.” Nothing good. Nothing bad. Fine if you just don’t care.
2 star reviews
Very unhappy. But not quite furious.
1 star reviews
These poor folks are fuming! There are three kinds of 1 star reviewers: First - clients who were very badly let down. Second – clients who never became clients because no one called them back (or one poor guy who was hung up when he revealed he was gay). Third – people who didn’t have painting done but are just mad at the company. Bad driving, a poster for the painting company they don’t like, a neighbour’s painters who poured old paint on the grass etc.
Not professional. Not trying. A total gamble on your part. Why would you let someone into your home who was totally unknown to you? Unless you Mum recommends this painter I wouldn't go near them.
If a painting company has all 5 star reviews and one 1 star review (from a neighbour who didn’t like the music the painters listened to) I’d let that one slide past.
How many reviews?
Just to the right of the Google star rating is a grey number in brackets. This shows HOW MANY people have given reviews. If only one person has given 5 star review, we can be pretty sure that it’s the guys sister in Perth who gave it, and it may not be 100% unbiased.
So don’t just choose your painter based on price. Meet the painter, look at the website, call a few past clients and dig through his/her online reviews. Soon you’ll have a very good picture of who’s right for YOU and YOUR situation.
House painting - expectations vs reality
Most people have never painted a full house interior themselves. So there is always a bit of a difference between expectations and what really happens. Nothing wrong with that at all but if you’d like to know what surprises people the most read on ...
“This should only take a few days right?”
Realty: An older style home will on average, take 1 painter about 1 week to paint 1 room. This includes repairing, preparing and painting, ceiling, walls, door, windows, picture rail and skirting boards.
“You’ll be painting the top coats the day you arrive right?”
Reality: ALL of my clients are surprised at how much work is done before the ‘painting’ starts. Most people realise some sanding and cleaning will be required. But in addition there is a huge amount of ‘protection’ to be done. This includes moving furniture, pictures etc, taping the perimeter of the room, putting down drop sheets and protective plastic film. I estimated once that about 30% of my time on your paint job is used in protection and preparation.
“You’ll treat my home like your home right?”
Reality: I do. But not all tradesmen do. Some painters see your home as a building site and others see it as your home. In fact this split applies to all tradesmen. For example a newly constructed house is a building site until it’s finished. A new house painter can spill as much paint on the floors as he likes if they are going to be sanded or carpeted. He can chuck his empty cans on the junk pile that will become the front yard. And that’s all fine.
But if the same painting or plastering work is to be carried out in your immaculate lounge room ... a very different approach is required. That’s why I keep harping on about finding a painter who has lots of experience working on YOUR type of situation.
“The guy I met at the quote will be doing the work right?”
Reality: I DO. But most bigger painting companies have a sales person/owner/estimator whose job is to sell you that companies services but NOT actually do the work. Thats fine as long as you know thats the deal AND your initial discussions make it to the team doing the work. There are basically 3 company structures when it comes to WHO does WHAT.
1. You meet the owner. He does the work (sometimes with help). Communication should be at its highest.
2. You meet the salesperson/owner/estimator and they pass your agreement on to their 'regular team'.
Communication can get a bit lost, and you have to hope you like the team you are given.
3. You meet the salesperson/owner/estimator and they pass your agreement on to .... whoever they can find to do the work. Some guys are really just brokers finding work for other companies and taking a slice of your money. This is a great way to make a lot of money but I don't think you the consumer get very good value at all.
“The quote is fixed right.”
Reality: Painters that give super cheap 'quotes' often have a nasty habit of finding unexpected problems a few days into the job. Funny that. Your home is in disarray, the guys are standing around doing nothing and you get the news that the price has jumped. Its blackmail and it works. Be very careful that your QUOTE is not just a dodgy GUESS. Make sure it is a fixed quote.
And theres probably a dozens more expectations!
The main thing is to find a painter who you feel you can TALK TO. Then you can ask dumb questions and not feel dumb. And they can explain whats going on at the beginning and throughout the job.
Google reviews are THE BEST WAY TO CHOOSE A PAINTER!
Choosing a painter (or any tradesman for that matter) is hard work.
You want a quality job, a person you can trust around your home, someone that you can communicate with, and a fair price.
Asking friends isn’t a bad way to find a good painter. But what your friends needed and what you need could be very, very different.
That’s why Reviews are so helpful.
It’s possible to find a person who had similar painting needs to you, who found a really great painting specialist for their needs. If, say, you have an interior full of cracks and peeling paint you will be looking for a 5 star rating and positive review for an expert in those problems.
But beware! Some reviews are fake.
Google probably has the most trustworthy reviews. It’s very hard to ‘game’ Google
Reviews. And if you get caught ... that’s the end of you, on Google anyway.
Other reviews can be found on Facebook, Product Review, Amazon, and many others.
You can find genuine reviews (and ignore fake reviews) by looking out for the following warning ‘suss’ signs.
So check out Google Reviews and any others, but watch out for fakes.
And after you meet a prospective painter the very best review you can get is a list of happy customers you can actually phone and talk to.
Interior house painting can really improve you home. BUT it's harder than it looks. Many of my clients have started their interior painting project and discovered it takes much more time and effort than they thought. Don't believe 'The Block' or 'House Rules' with their overnight paint jobs.
Most people can do a pretty good job themselves ... if you don't skimp on the quality of materials and tools, or try to rush the process,.
You just need to remember that:
House painting takes a LONG TIME.
House painting requires a LOT OF PREPARATION and set up.
House painting requires a LOT OF EQUIPMENT.
House painting requires QUALITY materials and tools.
Here's how ...
1. PLANNING - 1 PAINTER = 1 ROOM = 1 WEEK
Allow plenty of time. A good painter can paint a room in about a week. That includes prep., crack repair, scraping loose paint, and 2 coats of top coat paint on all walls, ceiling, doors, windows, skirting boards, and picture rails.
So if you have 10 rooms (eg. Hall, 4 x bedrooms, 1 x kitchen that adjoins 1 family room, 1 x lounge room, 1 x dining room, 2 x bathrooms) it will take one good painter 10 weeks, or 2 painters 5 weeks, or 5 painters 2 weeks.
2. TOOLS - QUALITY TOOLS = QUALITY RESULTS. CHEAP JUNK TOOLS = CRAP RESULTS
You will need:
A step ladder - 5 or 6 steps
Rollers and trays - sheepskin roller covers are best
6cm angled cutting brushes - 3 or 4
Plastic drops for furniture - NOT the floor
Canvas or fabric floor drops
Masking Tape - 3M
Plastic buckets - 2
Foam sanding block
Selleys No More Gaps - for long corner cracks and gaps along skirting boards
Selleys spacfiller for small holes
3. PAINT - DULUX FOR WALLS & OIL BASED TRIM - TAUBMANS FOR CEILINGS AND WATER BASED TRIM
WALLS - Dulux Wash and Wear low sheen. (I've tried them all. Dulux W&W is the best for walls) Allow 1 litre for every 16 square metres of wall. Times 2 for 2 coats. Do NOT try to get away with only one coat. Just don't.
CEILINGS - Taubmans Tradex White Flat Interior ceilings (better and cheaper than Dulux ceiling paint) 1 litre for every 16 square metres again. And 2 coats again.
TRIM - (Doors, Windows, Skirting, Picture rails) - EITHER Dulux Super Enamel Semi Gloss (if you want oil based enamel) OR Taubmans Ultimate Enamel Alkyd Based Semi Gloss (if you want water based enamel).
More info on oil and water based paint here.
4. EMPTY THE ROOM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Clear your work area. Remove blinds and move as much furniture as possible. Large furniture such as beds or chests of drawers can be walked (move one end a little bit at a time) to the centre of the room. You will need at least 80 cm clear space around all walls.
5. WRAP OR COVER EVERYTHING LEFT IN THE ROOM
Protect, protect, protect. Wrap large furniture in plastic sheeting. Use high quality masking tape on your floors (carpet OR floor boards) where they meet the skirting boards. THEN use a strip of painters paper about 20 cm wide. THEN put fabric drop sheets on all floors. The floor and furniture should be completely covered.
6. REMOVE DUST
Remove dust. Sweep or vacuum dust from the room edges, above doors and cupboards, along picture rails.
7. WET SAND
Scrub all trim (doors, wooden windows, skirting, picture rails). The best way to clean AND sand is to use a good quality foam sanding block rinsed regularly in a mixture of water and sugar soap. This cleans any dirt AND sands the glossy surfaces. BUT the added advantage is that all paint dust sticks to the wet sanding sponge rather than turning into airborne dust. it is then rinsed out into a bucket. This is a great way to protect yourself from any residual lead paint in all old houses.
8. SCHEDULE - 2 ROOMS AT A TIME
Try to work two rooms at a time. This allows you to always have something to do as a surface dries.
9. PAINTING ORDER
The correct order of room painting is as follows:
1 - Cut (paint edges with a brush) the ceiling.
2 - Roll the ceiling.
3 - Cut Trim
4 - Cut the ceiling a second time.
5 - Roll the ceiling a second time.
6 - Cut the trim a second time.
7 - Cut walls.
8 - Rolls walls
9 - Cut walls a second time.
10 - Roll walls a second time.
10. VENTILATE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Fresh moving air helps painted surfaces dry faster and is good for your lungs. Some people are sensitive to paint fumes especially oil based paints, so ventilation is important.
And thats it!
House painting is really an exercise in patient, step by step, time consuming, application. If thats you, then go for it. If not I'd be glad to supply a quote.
THE AD – Hi, I’m Tony Richardson, The Tidy Painter. I paint home interiors in Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore. If this article has made you think of hiring a SPECIALIST interior painter instead of doing it yourself, lets talk. CLICK HERE
Recently on Facebook a Mosman man complained about a painter wanting to use (and charge for) scaffolding. The complainer thought a ladder would be just as good for painting, and not cost him nearly as much. He was being very brave with the painter’s life!
As a Mosman painter myself I’ve made the decision not to paint exteriors because of the dangers of height.
But I still use a step-ladder inside and when I do I often think of Molly Meldrum.
In 2011 Molly had climbed a ladder to put up Christmas decorations. He fell 3 metres onto concrete stairs, fractured his skull and nearly died. He had metal plates put in his skull, was in a coma and suffered months of amnesia. And it would appear that he has long-term problems resulting from the fall too.
Every year nearly 5000 people in Australia are hospitalised from injuries resulting in ladder falls. Around 20 die. And the vast majority are men over 60.
Only 20% of these falls are work related, meaning of course that 80% of falls are in the home.
So men over 60, who get out the ladder at home to change a lightbulb do some painting need to be very, very careful.
Most of my Mosman Painting clients fit this age profile so I’m very glad to help. But if you are going to use a ladder here are the 10 key ladder safety rules.
1.Make sure the ladder is not damaged.
2.Make sure the ladder base is on firm level surface. No slopes, no soft soil.
3.Make sure your step-ladder is secured into the ‘A’ shape it was designed for.
4.Make sure your extension ladder is secured at the top or bottom or is held firm by another person.
5.Extension ladders should be angled at 1:4. That means the base is 1 metre from the wall for every 4 metres of height.
6.Maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder. 2 hands one foot, 2 feet one hand.
7.Your maximum sideways lean should be as far as your belt buckle.
8.Do not climb higher than the second top rung or step.
9.Face the ladder as you climb down. Don’t climb down as though you were on a set of stairs.
10. Don’t multi-task, rush or carry too much up and down a ladder.
And finally don’t let your pride get the better of you. I’m not as young as I used to be and my balance is not as good. So I use my ladder more slowly and carefully than ever.
There’s no shame in paying an expert who uses a ladder every day to do your repairs or painting. It could save your life.
THE AD – Hi, I’m Tony Richardson, The Tidy Painter. I paint home interiors in Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore. AND I’m very careful with ladders. If this article has made you think of hiring a ‘ladder aware’ interior painter instead of doing it yourself, lets talk. CLICK HERE
Painting a ceiling is harder than it looks. For starters, everything in the whole room underneath has to be covered or moved. Small nick-nacks and paintings need to be moved to another room. Fabric groundsheets are good for covering floors and disposible plastic sheets can be wrapped around large bits of furniture that are too hard to move.
Then there’s the choice of paint. I used to used Dulux Ceiling White for most ceilings. Its good for going over a ceiling that is fairly white already, but its quite thin/watery. So, if you have a stained ceiling or one that has had a lot of plaster repairs, a more opaque paint is needed. For this I’d use Taubmans Tradex Flat White.
It is quite good at covering most ceilings.
But when my friend Bahaa, who runs a local coffee shop, asked me to paint his ceiling I knew I needed the big guns. Imagine 20 years of commercial kitchen grease and gunk, lifted skywards and deposited on a white ceiling.
I used the usual suspects but they didn’t cover very well at all. So then I tried my standard undercoat/blockout paint – Taubmans 3 in 1. It worked a treat – blocking out the mess and leaving a nice solid semi-flat white finish.
So I guess it goes to show that sometimes the ‘standard’ solutions are not always the best and that a little creativity in thought can give great results.
By Tony Richardson - The Tidy Painter - Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore's favourite painter.
Which brand of paint is the best? People ask me this all the time.
The answer is 'Horses for Courses'. I use Dulux ... and Taubmans .... and Zinsser depending on what's needed.
Each brand has some real champions and a few ‘family members’ that let the side down quite a bit. (And not surprisingly, most cheap sub-brands, even with the Dulux or Taubmans name on them, are rubbish)
That’s why it’s a bit unfortunate that so many painting companies (usually the large ones) only use one brand of paint for everything. Bulk discounts are all very well, but shouldn’t the very best kind of paint be chosen for each particular job?
The Tidy Painter (AKA Me) is locked into no such agreement and can pick and choose the best type of paint for every application.
With that in mind I’ve developed a best in class list of paints that I use for my lucky, lucky clients.
Dulux Wash and Wear Low Sheen. The best known for a reason. In two coats it covers most existing wall colours. Marks and spills can be easily wiped off without leaving any marks. (Cheap paints will either leave a mark or rub off altogether!)
Personally I don’t like Dulux’s ceiling paint. I find it surprisingly thin, transparent and watery. I much prefer Taubmans Tradex Flat Ceiling paint. It is thick and opaque and two coats cover most problems.
Trim is the wooden stuff in your home – doors, windows, skirting and picture rails. When painting trim it’s very important to find out whether the existing surface has been painted in oil or acrylic based paint. Usually new oil goes over old oil and new acrylic goes over old acrylic.
Oil based paint (AKA Enamel) is the toughest option but can ‘yellow’ over time. It smells strongly! And it takes a long time to dry (16hours)
Water based trim paint (often confusingly called Enamel too) is softer, often needs more coats but does not ‘yellow’. It has a smell, but is a lot less strong. Its other disadvantage is that when painted directly over oil based surfaces without proper preparation, it peels right off!
(Also many water based enamels are just bad.)
So … I use both oil and acrylic ‘Trim’ paint as needed. These are the ones I’ve found work best:
OIL BASED TRIM PAINT – Dulux Super Enamel
WATER BASED TRIM PAINT – Taubmans Ultimate Enamel Alkyd Based
(Don’t ask me what Alkyd is. All I know is that its water based and has many of the advantages of oil)
Undercoat is a colour blockout. Usually I’m going over previous paint work so undercoat is not needed. But sometimes a light top coat over a dark or strong existing colour needs a base of undercoat. Also undercoat is needed over new Gyproc plaster board, in renovations etc.
I use Taubmans Tradex Ultra Prep Undercoat
Primer is different to undercoat. While it too is a colour blockout, it’s primary functions are to GRIP and SEAL. Primer is painted over bare timber (to seal up the pores), over repairs and fillers again to seal, and before acrylic is painted over old oil based trim.
Here I use a product from an American Primer/Undercoat specialist manufacturer, called Zinsser. It’s a bit smelly but that evaporates within a few hours.
I use Zinsser CoverStain Primer Sealer Stain Killer
And finally, even though I hardly do any exterior painting at all, its good for you to know that there are specialist paints for outdoors. In Australia because of the extremes of weather and temperature, outdoor paints need to have quite different properties to indoor paints.
They need to be able to stretch and contract as the substrate (brick, concrete, timber) expands and contracts. As a result good outdoor paint is very ‘rubbery’ even when fully cured. The best I’ve found is Dulux Weathershield.
So now you can see why there is no ‘best brand’ of paint. In my professional opinion eight kinds of paint from 3 manufacturers will cover 99% of situations. Some are harder to apply than others, but whether you get me or another pro to apply them, I’m sure you’ll be happy with the results.
By Tony Richardson - The Tidy Painter - Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore's favourite painter.
Here's a system for choosing a wall colour that is radically different to the usual approach. It's especially useful when many rooms are to be painted and you don't want to stuff it up. And best of all you get a very accurate idea of how the colour will work. Read on ...
FORGET SMALL SAMPLES
When choosing a wall colour it’s standard practice to paint a patch ranging in size from an a4 page to a square metre.
Most people have a shortlist of colours (and sometimes a long list) on the wall. And they look at the patches then choose.
I’ve been doing it myself for years and guess what? It doesn’t work!
Too many clients who were happy with the small test patch HATE the finished room.
Because the effect of a finished painted room bears NO resemblance to a colour patch on a wall.
Here’s why …
1. The new colour patch floats in a sea of your old wall colour. It is dominated by your existing wall colour. Colours are highly influenced by the surrounding colour. So a wee patch of cool grey on a wall painted yellowy cream will look uber-cold … by comparison. And the old colour doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t be there influencing the new one. Thanks old colour, its been great but, sorry. Its time to scram.
2. A fully painted room is like swimming in that new colour. It surrounds you, so the effect is completely different to looking at a little a4 sized patch on the wall.
3. A newly painted room with brilliant, sharp, clean, white trim and ceiling FRAMES the new colour differently to your old, faded, chipped, existing, trim and ceiling.
4. Sunlight. That’s right, light behaves differently on different walls. So the wee patch in full sunlight will look different in a dark corner.
Whats to be done?
PAINT ONE ROOM
1. Collect a selection of those the tiny postage stamp sized colour samples from Bunnings or another paint supplier and gradually winnow them down to no more than 3 that are probably going to be OK.
2. Get sample pots and put an a4 patch on the wall.
Pardon? Didn’t you just say don’t do that?
Yes I did. But this is just a disaster check. The tiny weeny postage stamp chips look much stronger and darker when painted a bit bigger. This process is aimed at eliminating any crazy ones now.
3. Ok so maybe you are now down to two colours. Choose one. I’m guessing they will be so close your friends wont be able to tell the difference. So choose one.
4. Get your friendly, local, painter (who you have met, received a fixed written quote from and who you have awarded the job) to paint ONE ROOM in the chosen wall colour with the chosen trim colour (usually semi gloss white). A 4 litre can will usually do one bedroom in two coats.
5. This is how your chosen colour works in real life, on 4 walls, with sunlight. Stand in the room and decide … if it is the colour you expected …if it makes you feel the way you wanted it to make you feel … if you like it!
NOW IS THE TIME TO DECIDE.
Is this the colour you want through the whole house?
6. If you do like it, ask the painter to order what he needs and get cracking!
If you do not like it, ask yourself why. Is it a grey that looks too blue? Is it an off white that looks too bland? Is it a colour that is far darker than you pictured?
Find some little chips that are less blue/less bland/less dark and start the whole process again. The trim and ceiling have already been done so the painter only needs another 4 litre can of wall paint (and of course the extra labour – maybe an extra day?) And you don’t have 20 litres of the wrong paint sitting around.
Give it a try. I think you’ll find this system works better.
By Tony Richardson - The Tidy Painter - Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore's favourite painter.
How to fix cracks in walls and ceilings before they are painted.
Old builders say that you should only worry about cracks you can fit your hand into. But old PAINTERS have a different point of view. We HATE cracks. And a huge part of our job is filling them.
I see a lot of wall and ceiling cracks in the older Victorian and Federation homes so popular in Mosman and the Lower North Shore. But perhaps surprisingly I see a lot of cracks in quite modern homes too. Its very important to fix these cracks before you paint your home.
Ceilings - plaster and lath - Wet plaster was originally squeezed over and between thin timber slats creating a smooth but strong surface. Over time age or movement cracks the plaster.
Falling Chunks - If the damage is very bad and the plaster is unstable and falling off then a specialist trade plasterer will be needed. He will remove all unstable plaster and re apply new wet plaster. This is a complex, messy and expensive process but done properly will last another 100 years. Oh, and it will still need to be painted.
Stable but cracked – Usually plaster and lath ceilings hold on pretty well but over time begin to crack into separate but stable sections. These cracks should be repaired as they look bad and gradually get worse.
Wall Cracks – The internal walls of old Sydney homes are nearly always masonry (brick, concrete, stone, rubble!) covered in a cement render, which is in turn covered in wet plaster. Wall cracks occur when your home moves slightly on its foundations. Sometimes the soil under your home shrinks and expands with natural water and weather. Sometimes there is a problem that needs to be fixed such as a broken pipe. Cracks also often appear after renovations, jack hammering, and adjacent tile removal.
Ceiling and Wall cracks – The ceiling AND walls of modern homes are nearly all lined in drywall or Gyprock sheeting. This material is very smooth, cheap and fast to install. It is used in the cheapest and most expensive homes. Almost anyone can attach the sheets but ‘setting’ or plastering the joins is a specialised trade.
The cracks that appear in drywall are usually above doors and anywhere where small sections are butt joined together. Foundation movement can also create cracks.
For old and new homes and ceiling and wall repair, the crack repair process is the same. It takes a few days but is very effective.
1. First any loose plaster in the crack should be scraped out.
2. Then all loose paint must be removed. Often a small peel or crack will give way to huge sheets of old paint that easily peel of.
3. Usually after the loose paint is removed a layer of fine dust remains. This must be vacuumed or washed off.
4. Once done I like to paint the damaged area with a sealer such as Peel Stop. This sealer binds any remaining dust, seeps under the sound paint edge, and also seeps into the crack to start the repair.
5. Next if the crack is wider than 1mm it should be filled with No More Gaps, which acts as a filler and additional adhesive.
6. Then a strip of Drywall Tape and plaster compound is applied. There are 3 kinds of tape – paper, fibreglass mesh and fibreglass mat (I prefer fibreglass mat). These tapes are designed to join and smooth modern Gyprock or Drywall sheets but make perfect ‘bandages’ for crack repair. The Tape + Compound patch must be left 24 hours to completely dry and cure.
7/8. The Tape will still be visible so 2 more coats of compound have to be applied, again waiting 12 hours between each coat. If the crack is part of a ‘crater’ left by removing old paint this crater should be skimmed and smoothed with compound at the same time.
9. Getting a perfect smooth finish can be quite hard. The best way is to gradually build up 3 thin layers waiting 12 hours each time. When the final layer is cured it can be smoothed by a. a quick scrape of flat edged tool, b. sanding, or c. wiping with a slightly dampened cloth.
10. The whole smooth repair is painted with another coat of Peel Bond. It is very important to seal the plaster. If regular paint is applied over raw plaster compound the paint will fail within a few months.
11/12/13. At least two coats of good quality paint should be applied over the repair. Sometimes a third coat is necessary because repair shows through.
Cornice is the plaster moulding that covers and decorates where the wall joins the ceiling. With the movements discussed above, the join can often crack.
Cornice cracks are nearly always between cornice and ceiling or between cornice and wall and are therefore concave or internal, rather than the flat surfaces of walls or ceilings.
Concave repairs are best done with a product called No More Gaps. No More Gaps (or its equivalent made by other manufacturers) is squeezed out of a tube or caulking gun, a bit like toothpaste. It is then smoothed with a wet rag. It has the benefits of being fast drying, flexible, paintable and a pretty decent adhesive. BUT it shrinks! So its fine for concave repairs but on any smooth surface it sinks as it dries.
So that’s how you repair a cracked ceiling or wall. Just remember that a small crack or paint peel may reveal a much larger crack under the loose paint.
With the right materials, process and patience, an ugly crack can be banished for many years to come.
You are welcome to use my blog posts - in their entirety or as "quotes".