Answers to your toughest paint questions, plus 5 painting mistakes you should never make.

Where do you turn when you have a painting question? The experts at your neighborhood Sherwin-Williams store are an excellent resource. Another is Rick Watson.

Watson works in the company’s Product Information department. Since 2004, he has also served as the answer man of the Ask Your ProPartner column in Professional Painting Contractor magazine. In each issue of the quarterly publication, he fields contractor questions on everything from stucco patching to spring deck care to cleaning nicotine from a smoker’s ceiling.

Here’s a reprint of one of Rick’s recent columns, “Five Painting Mistakes You Should Never Make”.

Mistake No. 1: Applying oil over latex paint

Never use oil paints on a surface previously painted with latex. Oil-based paints tend to get brittle as they age. Latex paints are typically soft and flexible. The movement of the latex underneath can cause premature failure of the oil topcoat. Cracking is the most common.

Mistake No. 2: Skimping on surface prep

Never skimp on surface prep. Eighty-plus percent of most complaints are due to poor prep, or lack of surface prep. Paints are made to go over clean, dry, dull and sound substrates.

Mistake No. 3: Not using primers when needed

Primers are not always needed, but it is important to not skip this step when a primer is specified. Primers in most cases promote adhesion, or block stains, fill porous surfaces like concrete block, or resist alkali and efflorescence…and on and on.

Mistake No. 4: Using the wrong application tools

OK, so you bought the most expensive paint, but you are going to use the dollar special roller cover to put it on. Bad idea. Cheap covers or brushes will cause top quality finishes to not hide as well. They show tracking, fuzz, streaks and brush marks. Match high quality finishes with quality tools. Using the recommended brush and roller from the manufacturer will give you the ideal finish. You will see a difference.

Mistake No. 5: Over applying the product

Over brushing or rolling in most cases will cause poor hiding or stippling of the finish. Over applying the product can also cause severe stippling, dry time issues and even cracking of the paint film.

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