Quality products, professional service, and competitive prices since 1956

How do I tell if paint is a latex or alkyd (oil) based?

You can take some denatured alcohol on a cloth and rub it on a inconspicuous test area.  If the paint softens, gets sticky, and is easily removed, then it is a latex paint. If the paint does not really seem to be affected, it is typically an alkyd (oil) base coating

Do paint products that are considered a “Paint and Primer” in one product actually have primer mixed in?

No, these types of products generally use quality resins that allow for good adhesion. This helps to eliminate the use of primers in some circumstances. However, read the technical data sheets to determine if you still need a primer. For example, if painting over water stains you will almost always have to use a special primer.

Why does my flat or low sheen paint show handprints, marks, and shows the areas where I tried to scrub them off?

In general, flat and low sheen paints do not have a high amount of scrub ability.  Areas that are of higher traffic, or that are washed should be painted with a higher sheen product.

Can I put a latex paint over a surface that was previously painted with a alkyd (oil) product?

If the alkyd paint is lead based, contact a “Lead Abatement’” removal company.

If the alkyd paint is not lead based, you can lightly scuff sand to remove the glossy surface, and provide a profile for the new paint to stick to.

The surface should also be thoroughly cleaned.

With some of the newer technology latex products, you can use a latex paint. However, this is only with products designed for this application.

How long does it take for paint to “cure”?

There are several factors that determine this. First, cure does not mean dry.  A coating can dry in a couple of hours, but may take a couple of weeks to be fully cured. It will not reach its full durability level until it is cured.  This is especially important when considering moisture resistance and adhesion.  Refer to product data specs for more information.

Do I need to prime every time that I want to freshen my walls with another coat of latex paint?

No, Primers are not always needed when repainting.  Please note switching sheens or drastic color changes may require a primer to minimize the amount of topcoats required.

Why does the paint on my freshly painted wall peel off when I remove the masking tape from the trimmed areas?

Masking tape or even “Painter’s Tape” may tend to stick to fresh coatings if not removed shortly after painting, or if it is improperly pulled off.  When the paint is applied to the walls, it will inevitably cover over the tape as well.  As the paint starts to dry, it will start to adhere to the wall as well as the tape. This “bridge” of paint from the walls to the tape will lift as the tape is removed.  To help minimize this issue, you can lightly “score” the edge of the tape with a sharp razor or utility knife.  This will help break the “bridge” or “film” between the painted wall and tape.  Also, try to pull the tape staying close to the wall but pull away from the painted edge.

Why is my paint not covering after one coat has been applied?

There are several reasons why paint may not cover in one coat.  Some of the main reasons include drastic color change, thinning the product, stretching the product near or beyond its coverage rate (putting on too thin a coat),  improper roller cover used, or surface may be vary porous.

Why do the square footage rates on the container not match what I am actually getting on my surface?

The coverage rates on the specification are based of theoretical calculations.

This calculation does not account for any loss due to product left in the container, roller covers, brushes, or variations in the surface that it is applied to.

Depending on the aforementioned variables as well as overall surface porosity, you may see a lesser spread rate than what the “theoretical” coverage rate is stated.

What causes lap marks in the dried paint?

Lap marks are created when a wet edge is not maintained while painting.  It can also be caused when the paint is applied in a vertical motion only.

Make sure to keep a wet edge as well as spread the paint in a “W” or “M” pattern on the wall. This will help spread the coating and create an even film on the surface.  Once this is done, you can go right back over that area and roll from top to bottom to minimize a “shadowing” effect in the dried film.

How long should I allow my wood to “weather” prior to putting a stain on it?

Many of today’s products do not require that you allow the wood to “dry out” like you would have in the past. Once the structure is in place you can begin your staining project however, the wood should be dry.

How do I know if I need to sand my deck prior to staining?

If the wood has never been coated previously it is always good practice to sand the surface. This ensures that the stain will properly soak into the wood and have a nice uniform finish.

If you have previously stained your deck, you can place a piece of tape on the deck and see if wood fibers pull off onto the tape. If that happens, then it is time to sand again.

Do I need to clean my deck prior to staining?

Yes. Cleaning the deck prior to staining you confirm that you are staining over a nice clean surface, and this will ensure that you have a beautiful finish. In addition, it also removes all mold or mildew spores, and will keep the deck looking newer longer.

How do I know it is time to restain my deck if it is stained with a clear, toner, or semi-transparent finish?

Over time the stain will break down, and allow new stain to soak into the wood.

The way to test this is to do a water test by putting a small amount of water in a few areas of the deck. If after a couple minutes the water soaks in, the wood is ready to be stained. If the water is repelled and just lays on the surface, your sealer is still working and you would need to strip and sand prior to restaining.

How long do I have to wait to restain my deck if it is stained with a solid color stain?

Solid stain is much easier to recoat, as there is not a minimum recoat time as there is with the clear, toners, and semi-transparent stains.

You can at any time recoat to freshen up, or change the color of your solid stain with a simple cleaning and recoating of the same product.

If I want to ensure that I have the best long-lasting finish what steps should I take?

To ensure that you have the best looking project, it is recommended to do the following steps:

- Strip off any old stain that may be there.

- Clean and sand the surface to ensure that you have removed any contamination, and ensure that the new coating soaks in evenly.

- Pick the finish that you want and apply accordingly.

How many coats of stain should I apply?

How many coats depends upon which stain you are using.

Clears, toners, and semi-transparent stains only require one thin coat applied. Solid color stains require two coats for optimum durability.

What is the best method to apply stain?

The best method to apply stain is by brush, as this ensures that the stain is applied evenly, and has a nice uniform finish.

If you want to spray, please always make sure you back brush.

What is one tip I can use to ensure my project turns out the way I want it?

One tip to ensure that your project always turns out well is to do a test patch. This allows you to look at a small area to see how the finish will look. Any changes in color, or additional prep work that is needed can then be determined with minimal effort.

How do I know what type of stain to use?

Understand that pigment equals protection. However, many homeowners prefer the look of natural wood grain, so it’s a personal preference. Use this chart to find the best fit for you and your outdoor project.

How To Prepare for Painting

Preparation is key to a successful paint job. Before you begin, make sure your room’s interior surface is properly prepared.

Remove draperies, pictures, switch and outlet cover plates.

Arrange drop cloths to protect carpeting, furniture, and any areas not to be painted.

Fill holes, imperfections, and cracks with caulk or spackle.

Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust on walls and baseboards. For high-use areas, you may need to use a mild detergent to remove contaminants, such as grease or problem stains.

Tape off woodwork and other areas not to be painted at the time.

Be sure to prime any new or bare surfaces and problem areas. If you have chosen a color that is substantially lighter, you may also need to prime.

How to Choose the Right Product & Sheen

There are two basic types of paint – latex and oil.

Latex paints are water-based and offer excellent durability, flexibility, with easy soap and water clean up.

Oil-based paints also provide excellent durability, and are known for their smooth application properties. Paint thinner is required for cleanup.


Wall sheens can vary depending upon the room: Ceilings are usually a flat sheen, and molding is often a satin or semi-gloss. The lower the sheen, the less light that will reflect off the surface. Generally, lower sheens offer a warm, designer look and help hide surface imperfections.

Conversely, the higher the sheen, the more light that will reflect off the surface. Higher sheens also offer enhanced durability and wash ability, and tend to be used in high-traffic areas. Use this chart to help decide which paint sheens are right for your project.

Painting Supplies Checklist

Items you may need before you begin:

Putty knife

Caulking gun


Masking tape

Drop cloths

Wipe up cloths

Step ladders

Extension pole

How To Choose the Right Tools

Brushes-Polyester blend for latex paints; natural bristle for oil-based paints. 4″ brush for large surface areas; 2″ angled brush for trim and detail areas.

Roller and Roller Tray–Nap sizes vary depending on surface type. Generally, the smoother the surface the shorter the nap.

Power Roller or Airless Sprayer-Used mostly by professionals. Please read instructions completely before use.

Estimating Paint, Weather, and Primer Help

Estimating = How Much Paint Will I Need

To determine the square footage of the interior of a room, multiply the width of the walls by the height of the room. Next, divide this number by 400. This will give you the number of gallons you need to purchase.

Remember, darker colors generally require more than one coat of paint.

Using a Brush

For best results with a brush, dip half the length of the bristles into your paint. Tap the brush gently against the side of the can but do not wipe it across the lip. Hold the handle near the base, applying light pressure with your fingertips to make the bristles flex slightly.

Using a Roller

For best results with a roller, slowly roll it back and forth in the lower end of your roller tray until it is well covered. Then use the ridges in the upper portion of the tray to remove excess paint. Roll on the paint using even strokes to ensure a uniform look and coverage.

What Order To Paint Walls?

Painting Ceilings

Start with ceilings first. Using a brush, paint a two-inch-wide strip on the ceiling where it meets the wall. Then, start in a corner and begin rolling across the short length of the ceiling continuing to where it ends.

Painting WallsTape off any woodwork, window frames, and door trim first. Paint a two-inch-wide strip along the areas near the trim with a brush. Then, using a roller, create the letter “M” on your wall. Fill in the area, rolling from left to right until the surface is completely painted.

Remember to roll on the paint with even strokes to ensure a uniform coverage.

How To paint Exteriors

How to prepare for painting

Preparation is key to a successful paint job. Before you begin, make sure your home’s exterior surface is properly prepared.

Arrange drop cloths to shield plants and other landscaped areas or surfaces that won’t be painted.

Scrape or sand chipped or peeling paint with a wire brush or scraper. Remove or replace loose or dry putty with a high quality paintable caulking compound.

Fill cracks of stucco, brick, and masonry homes with an exterior patching compound. WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust or fumes. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST OR FUMES CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE.

Wear a properly fitted NIOSH-approved respirator and prevent skin contact to control your lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop.

Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the USEPA National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to www.epa.gov/lead. Follow these instructions to control exposure to other hazardous substances that may be released during surface preparation.

Use a mild detergent to clean the surfaces and to wipe down all metal and aluminum surfaces.

Be sure to prime any new, or bare (exposed) surfaces.

How To Get The Perfect Look

Painting can renew and refresh the exterior of your home as well as showcase its character. While selecting the right color is critical, choosing the right paint and using good application techniques are also key steps to a beautiful, lasting finish.

From siding to shutters, front doors to trim, paint gives you the opportunity to completely change the look, or simply restore the original beauty of your home. Take a moment to walk around the outside of your house; look at it from the street. Make sure the colors you select complement your home’s permanent features, such as brick or stone accents, walkways, roof color, and landscaping.

Generally these colors are combined to create an exterior color scheme for a house: one for the body, one for the trim, and one for the front door and other accents. While neutral tones are more often used on the body of the house, distinguishing colors find opportunity on trim and accent colors.

Estimating Paint, Weather, and Primer Help

Estimating = How Much Paint Will I Need?

To determine the square footage of your home’s exterior, add the widths of the four sides, and multiply by the height below the roofline.

For gables, multiply the peak height x ½ the length of the roof base line. Subtract 21 square feet per door and 15 square feet per single window. Then, divide your number by 400 to arrive at the final number of gallons you need to purchase.


The temperature should be between 50°F–90°F with low humidity and no rain expected for 24 hours. However, most exterior paints can be applied down to 35°F.

Start on the shaded side of the house. Direct sun causes the paint to dry too quickly and may create lap marks. If you’re using oil-based paints, be sure all dew has evaporated.


Primers provide a strong foundation for the topcoat and create a more uniform appearance overall.

Oil primers are excellent for both new and existing wood, as well as chalky and glossy surfaces. Acrylic latex primers are ideal for aluminum, brick, masonry, wood, and vinyl siding. Specialty primers are formulated to tackle problem areas such as wood stains and have excellent adhesion qualities.

Be careful to choose a primer that best fits your project needs.

Application Tips & Techniques

Using a Brush

For best results with a brush, dip half the length of the bristles into your paint. Tap the brush gently against the side of the can, but do not wide it across the lip. Hold the handle near the base, applying light pressure with your fingertips to make the bristles flex slightly.

Using a Roller

Work from the top down from unpainted areas into wet, painted areas. Oil paints take longer to dry and allow you to brush across the surface several times for a smooth, even finish. Latex paints dry faster and only one or two strokes are needed.

Paint the Body of the House

Work from the top down from unpainted areas into wet, painted areas. Oil paints take longer to dry, and allow you to brush across the surface several times for a smooth, even finish: latex paints dry faster and only one or two strokes are needed.

How To Paint Exterior Doors

To Start

Remove hinges, knobs, and latches or cover them with masking tape.

Panel Doors

Begin by painting the top panels, moulding, and edging first. Then paint the remaining panel area by brushing across the surface, and then up and down. Finish by painting the remaining area and the door edges.

Flush Doors

Paint the edges first and then fill in the large area. Complete your job by the painting the frame and jamb last.

How To Paint Exterior Windows

Double Hung Windows

Raise the inside sash and lower the outside. Paint the inside sash, crossbars, and frame. DO NOT paint the top edge of the inside sash.

Next, paint the outside sash cross bars, then the frame. Do not paint the bottom edge. When the paint is dry, lower both sashes completely and paint the upper part of the rails.

Once these are thoroughly dry, raise both sashes and paint the lower part of the rails. After the lower rails have dried, move sashes back to nearly a closed position, and paint the part of the outside sash that was obscured. Lastly, paint the top edge of inside sash.

Finally, paint the window casing and the sill.

Casement Windows

Make sure the windows are wide open (either in or out).

Paint the top, side, and bottom edges first, then finish with the cross bars, frames, casing, and sills.

Cleaning Up

Latex, Water-Based Paints

Wipe excess paint from brushes and rollers, then rinse them thoroughly with soap and warm water. Allow them to air dry.

Oil-based paints

Use paint thinner to clean brushes and rollers. Be sure to dispose of all water properly. Rags, steel wool, or waste soaked with these products may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after each use, place rags, steel wool, or waste in a sealed, water-filled metal container.


Contact your local environmental regulatory agency for guidance on disposal of unused product. Do not pour down a drain or storm sewer.

Need A Painter?

Remember the following tips when selecting a painter:

Are they licensed and insured?

Do they perform the work or contract it out to another person?

Do they use the best grade materials?

What arrangements and time frame do they expect for payment.

Do they have local references?

Have a written price quote and a list of specific work to be done.

Don’t pre-pay for work to be preformed.

If you want additional information or even the names of some local contractors, reach out to our sales team.

Can I return paint?

We custom mix every color specifically for you. Therefor we are unable to accept returns. We are happy to make adjustments to the color by adding additional colorant to your paint within the physical limits of the product.