Frequently Asked Questions

Find Answers To Your Questions.


What paints are safe for the environment?

We use Low-VOC or Zero-VOC paints because they are less hazardous to the environment. Other benefits include easier disposal and less fumes. Water-based paints are generally lower VOC than oil-based. When it comes to VOC (volatile organic compound) ratings, lower is better.

Why is primer important?

Primers or sealers help prepare the wall or surface for paint by:

  • Creating a better surface for finishing paint to adhere to.
  • Covering and eliminating stains from rusty nails, water and fire damage, etc.
  • Covering imperfections on the wall or surface.
  • Helping to cover old paint, especially dark colors, so that less coats of paint are needed.
  • Ensuring a uniform topcoat that will last.
How many coats will I need?

In order to get a good, smooth surface, with even color, a minimum of two coats should be applied. More may be needed, depending on the color, the color you are covering, and the type of surface.

Why isn't one coat enough?

One coat may look OK, when you first look at it. But there will be blotches and imperfections that will show through, more and more with time. For a lasting paint job, with a deep, rich color, be sure to use at least two coats.

Why is good prep work necessary?

Without proper prep work you’re just covering up problems. Covering problems such as water damage, flaky paint, or even dirty walls can cause the new paint to flake or peal. For a paint job that will last, be sure prep work includes:

  • First of all, have any water or other damage repaired, making sure the cause is repaired first, then any damaged drywall or other structural problems.
  • Proper caulking of all windows and openings is important.
  • Removal of wallpaper and any pealed or chipped paint.
  • Thorough cleaning of all surfaces to be painted.
  • Mildew needs to be treated before painting.
  • All areas to be painted must be thoroughly dry.
What's the difference in paint?

There’s a whole science to what makes up a good paint, but basically a good paint has more paint pigment and solids, giving a better coat that will last longer. Cheaper paints are watered down, causing them to crack and flake sooner. You may also need more coats of a cheap paint to get a similar result. Good paints are also easier to clean, and don’t wash off as easily. In the long run, they higher quality paint is always the better bet.

Every manufacturer has a line of cheap paint. You can’t buy a paint based solely on the manufacturer. A $10 gallon of paint is cheap, regardless of who makes it.

When to use latex paints?

Latex (water-based) paints are excellent for most surfaces, both interior and exterior. They have quicker dry times, are less likely to show brush strokes, and are much easier to clean up than oil-based paint. Latex paint also expands and contracts with climate changes, allowing it to “breathe”.

However, there are some times when oil-based paint is needed or preferred (see below).

When to use oil-based paints?

Oil-based paints or stains are more durable and should be used in the following areas:

  • Kitchen or bathroom cabinetry.
  • Floors and stairs.
  • Best to use when painting over oil paints to avoid pealing.
  • Anywhere you need good penetration and high durability.
  • When a high sheen is desired.
Should I be concerned about lead-based paint?

Lead hasn’t been used in paints since the 70’s, due to it’s harmful effects on infants and young children. However, older homes may still have lead in the older coats of paint that are still on the house. Here are some things you should be aware of:

  • If old paint is chipped, peeling or cracking, it can still be a hazard.
  • There are home-test kits that can be used to find out if your home has lead-based paints.
  • If your paint is in good condition, painting over it will help reduce exposure.
  • If there are large areas of the lead-based paint, and if they are in bad condition, abatement may be necessary. This must be done by a contractor licensed and trained in proper removal and disposal of the lead.
  • Lead-contaminated dust or soil can be more common than chewing on paint chips. You can have the surface dust in your home analyzed by an accredited laboratory.
  • Lead poisoning can also affect animals and pets.
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