Interior Painting FAQs

What is interior painting?

Interior painting usually describes the painting of the interior of a house such as walls, ceilings, doors, trim, molding, and anything else inside of a home which may be painted.

Can interior paint be used outdoors?

Interior paint can be used outdoors, however it should not be used outdoors because it is not suited for extreme weather and temperatures, and is not resistant to mildew and fading which exterior paint is specifically formulated to withstand.

Can interior paint freeze?

Interior and exterior latex paint freezes at 32°F, however, interior and exterior latex paint can withstand 1-3 freezing-thawing cycles before it is unusable. If interior paint freezes, allow the latex paint to thaw slowly and completely before stirring and checking the texture. If the consistency has not changed then you can still use the paint however if once it is thawed and stirred the consistency is different from other latex paint you must discard the paint. Oil interior and exterior paint freezes at a much lower temperature than latex paint, however, it should also be kept indoors to prevent temperature fluctuations.

Can interior paint be stored outside?

Interior and exterior latex paint should not be stored outdoors because temperature fluctuation can cause a chemical reaction which can be detrimental to the paint quality and may render it unusable. Interior and exterior paint should be stored indoors.

Why does interior paint bubble?

Interior and exterior paint bubbles occur because the paint has detached from the substrate. The interior paint may detach from the underlying layer for a few reasons:

  • Paint is applied over a dirty, moist, or hot surface
  • Oil paint has been applied over the latex paint
  • Flat paint is applied over a gloss paint.
  • Paint is applied over a primer which has not had time to cure
  • Paint and primer are chemically incompatible
  • Temperature has changed drastically while painting
  • Paint was not mixed properly

Why does interior paint crack and peel?

Interior paint will crack and peel for a few reasons:

  • Paint was overly thinned or spread
  • Primer was not applied before the paint
  • Paint has lost its flexibility and become brittle over time
  • Rigid coating has been applied over a flexible coating
  • Base coat has not been allowed to dry before topcoat is applied
  • Matte or flat paint has been applied over a gloss paint
  • High moisture inside the home

What temperature does interior paint need to dry best?

The optimal temperature range to paint with latex paint is 50-85°F and for oil paint it is 40-90°F

How long does interior paint take to dry?

Interior oil paint usually takes 6-8 hours to dry and can be recoated in 24 hours and interior latex paint usually takes 2 hours to dry and can be recoated in 4 hours. However, if the room that you are painting has poor airflow, high humidity, or has been coated with a thick application of paint, it will take longer for the paint to dry. Although latex paint dries faster than oil paint, oil paint takes a shorter amount of time, 7 days, to fully cure and latex paint takes 30 days to fully cure.

How should I prep my room for the painting project?

Before beginning a new paint project there are a few steps which should be taken to prepare:

  • Search for and repair any blemishes such as dents, cracks, or holes on the walls.
  • If any holes or dents were filled in with spackle, allow it to dry, scrape off any excess, and sand it down with fine sandpaper.
  • Wipe the walls down and allow them to dry.
  • Use a duster to remove any dust or spiderwebs.
  • Remove electrical face plates from the walls.
  • Use painters tape to mask around the ceiling, molding, and other fixtures.
  • Lay down drop cloths, plastic or cloth should be used on the floor, paper may be used on furniture if necessary.
  • Remove all of the furniture, or if you are in a large room you may push the furniture to the center of the room

Exterior paint FAQs

Can exterior paint be used for interior?

Although it is possible to use exterior paint indoors, it is not advisable for the following reasons:

  • Exterior latex paint commonly contains mildewcides which may pose a health hazard if the room which is being painted is not well ventilated.
  • Exterior paint gives off stronger VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are commonly referred to as paint fumes.
  • Exterior paint is not formulated to withstand the cleaning efforts which indoor walls usually endure.
  • Exterior paint typically costs more than interior paint so purchasing exterior paint to use indoors would waste money as well.

Can exterior paint be used on concrete?

Concrete has specific acrylic paint which protects the surface which it is painted on, resists chipping peeling and blistering, as well as provides a non-slip surface. Basic exterior paint is not meant for concrete specifically unless it states that it is. Also, concrete paint will only properly adhere to concrete which has been properly prepared.

Can exterior paint be used on metal?

Exterior latex paint should be used on exterior metal after it has been sanded, so that the surface is matte, and primed with a latex primer. Interior latex paint should be used on interior metal once the surface has been sanded, so that the surface is textured enough that the paint adheres, and has been primed with a late primer.

Can exterior paint be done in cold weather?

Temperature is important to consider when painting outside. There are some exterior latex paints which are specifically designed to allow exterior painting in temperatures down to 35°F, although most will need to be applied at temperatures between 50°-85°F. Also, not only does the outdoor temperature need to be 35°F or above but the substrate, the surface which will be painted, needs to be 35°F or above as well. The way to check this is with an infrared temperature measurement tool which can be purchased at a local hardware store.

Why does exterior paint bubble, crack, and peel?

Heat, moisture, surface contamination, dark colored paint, incompatibility between paint layers and poor substrate preparation can all contribute to latex exterior paint bubbling. After bubbling, exterior latex paint may crack and then peel. Although paint does not need to bubble in order for it to crack and peel, the paint must first separate from the substrate or layer beneath it for one or more of the reasons above then it will crack and peel.

How long does exterior paint take to dry?

Although the temperature and humidity affect drying time for any type of paint, the following are drying times under optimal conditions. Exterior latex paint takes between one and three hours to dry, can be recoated within three to five hours, and takes at least fourteen days to fully cure. Exterior acrylic paint takes approximately thirty minuets to dry, can be recoated after four hours, and will take approximately thirty days to fully cure. Exterior oil-based paint will take eight hours to dry, can be recoated in twenty-four hours, and will fully cure in seven days.

How long does exterior paint last until a paint touch up is due?

Touch ups are usually made when a small blemish has appeared on a wall or on a yearly basis in order to prevent unnecessary damage from occurring. Typically a painter will stand behind their work if they were the one who painted the house initially and provide touch ups free of charge if the paint job has been done recently.

Popcorn ceiling FAQs

How hard is it to remove popcorn ceiling?

Removing a popcorn ceiling is a process which begins with determining if the popcorn ceiling texture has been painted over and testing a sample of the popcorn ceiling texture for asbestos if it was applied before the year 1980. The presence or absence of asbestos and/or paint on top of the popcorn ceiling texture will determine the difficulty of the popcorn ceiling removal.

Does popcorn ceiling serve a purpose?

Popcorn ceilings were applied as a cheaper, easier, and quicker alternative to painting a ceiling correctly. Aside from the benefit of low cost and easy application, popcorn ceilings help to conceal dirt and imperfections such as cracks in the ceiling as well as absorb noise.

What does mold look like on popcorn ceilings?

Because the texture of a popcorn ceiling is rough and porous, mold spores have many places to easily attach to. When mold begins to form on a popcorn ceiling it will look like small dark dots. The dots may appear around the edges of the ceiling first and spread inwards or on top of a consistently moist part of the ceiling and spread from that point. If you see a brown ring or sagging texture on the ceiling, or moisture collecting routinely in certain areas of the ceiling you should consider this a warning sign that mold may follow shortly. Bathrooms and other wet areas of a house should never have popcorn ceiling texture applied for this reason.

Can you paint over popcorn ceiling?

Yes, you can paint over popcorn ceiling. However, painting a popcorn ceiling will make the removal process far more difficult than if it had not been painted.

How do you know if your popcorn ceiling is painted?

To determine if your popcorn ceiling has been painted over, lightly spray a small portion of the ceiling in an out of sight area with warm water with a teaspoon of dish soap added. Wait a few minuets to let the ceiling absorb the water. If after 5-10 minuets the ceiling has not absorbed the water the popcorn ceiling has been painted over. If the water has been absorbed, the texture has not been painted over and will come off easily.

How do you scrape a popcorn ceiling?

To scrape a popcorn ceiling which has not been painted over, first spray a 4 square foot area the ceiling with a solution of warm water and 4-5 teaspoons of dish soap. Then you spray the area, be sure not to saturate the ceiling to the point of damaging the drywall beneath the texture. After waiting 20 minuets or the solution to soak in, you will begin to scrape the area in a pushing motion with a paint scraper, using caution so that you do not tear the tape which joins the drywall or damage the drywall.

What steps are included in the popcorn ceiling removal process?

The steps for removing popcorn ceiling texture which has not been painted over and has tested negative for asbestos are as follows:

  • Remove all furniture from the room from which the popcorn ceiling texture will be removed.
  • Cover the floor and walls with plastic sheeting so that all of the droppings from scraping the ceiling are contained.
  • Spray a 4 square foot area of the ceiling at a time with a solution of warm water and 4-5 teaspoons of dish soap.
  • Wait 20 minuets for the area to absorb the solution.
  • Put a proper mask on to prevent inhalation of the particles which will fall from he ceiling.
  • Scrape the 4 square foot area in a pushing motion with a paint scraper in most areas and a putty knife for the corners and leftover texture.
  • Repeat steps 2-4 until the entire ceiling is free from the popcorn ceiling texture, respraying the ceiling as necessary if the texture remains difficult to repair.
  • Once the removal process is completed, any screws or nails that protrude, damaged drywall and joint tape must be repaired or replaced and smoothed with joint compound.
  • The ceiling must be sanded and painted after the joint compound has dried as the final step.

What is the best way to remove a popcorn ceiling?

Our advice is to seek professional help in removing a popcorn ceiling because it is an intensive and tedious process and has the potential to be dangerous, especially if the texture has asbestos in it.

Does all popcorn ceilings have asbestos in them?

Popcorn ceiling texture applied before the year 1980 may have asbestos in it, this is why a small sample of the popcorn ceiling texture should be collected and tested for asbestos as the first step of the removal process.

Why should I remove my popcorn ceiling?

Here are some of the top reasons to remove a popcorn ceiling:

  • Popcorn ceiling removal has the potential to raise the value of your house by improving its appearance drastically.
  • Popcorn ceiling may contain asbestos which poses a health hazard if the texture is ever disturbed, removal by a professional company removes the possible risk.
  • Popcorn ceilings trap dust and dirt and are difficult to clean, when removed and replaced by a smooth ceiling it will be much easier to clean the ceiling and less dirt will be trapped.
  • Popcorn ceiling texture is difficult to repair if it is damaged and when patched it does not always look like the rest of the ceiling, a smooth painted ceiling will be much easier to repair if it is ever damaged and will be hardly noticeable after it has been repaired.

How long does the popcorn ceiling removal process take?

Popcorn ceiling removal in a single room may take between 4-11 hours, possibly longer if the popcorn ceiling has been painted over