Your Heritage Paint Project
General Painting Guide
Identify any existing or potential problems as outlined
in this article. Remedies provided are guidelines and should not
replace a manufacturer's specification or guarantee.
Ensure all surfaces have been cleaned with a solution
of TSP, household bleach and water. This provides a clean surface
for painting and helps to kill the mildew spores that may remain
after washing. (See Mildew - Remedies for recommended procedures)
Ensure that pressure washers are set no greater than
500 pounds per square inch (psi). Use of higher pressure could result
in damage to wood fibres or create moisture problems. Both may affect
the performance of a new coat of paint.
Remove all loose paint by scraping and sanding or
by using organic strippers. Consult your local paint store expert
The restoration of heritage homes at times involves removal of materials
that may be hazardous to your health. Before sanding or removing
old paint, it is best to ensure that proper safety equipment is
being used. I recommend reading Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's
pamphlet "Lead in Your Home'. A copy can be obtained by calling
their Victoria office at (250) 363-8040 or by calling your local
Fill any holes in wood smaller than ¼" with a flexible
filler such as linseed oil putty. For larger imperfections, it is
advisable to use a non-shrinking two-part epoxy-based filler.
Use exterior primers to prime bare wood prior to applying a topcoat.
Most exterior oil-based primers contain resins that allow some penetration
and breathability. They are more flexible than interior types and
may also contain stronger mildew-cides and fungicides. They are
a good choice for blocking out stains such as cedar tannins that
may leach through water-based coating.
Apply a topcoat of either a high quality acrylic or
oil-based paint. The 100 percent acrylic paints are considered to
have more flexibility, are able to breathe and have a longer life
when exposed to direct sunlight. On the downside, they tend to be
less abrasive than oil-based paints and are not recommended for
areas where pooling water may accumulate (e.g. window sills).
Follow the coating manufacturer's recommendations
for regular maintenance.
While these general guidelines apply to most paint
projects, you may be faced with problems that require more attention.
The following are the challenges faced at the beginning of many
paint projects, plus the recommended remedies.