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Monday, September 27, 2010

Advice from the Pros:

Tips for Seamless Touch-ups


Sooner or later, freshly painted walls, trim, and cabinetry will need some touching up. This should be an easy job, especially if there's some paint left over from the original project, but too often the results are disappointing: The dings and scratches are gone, but now the walls have blotchy patches that are slightly different in color and texture. Here are some techniques that the pros use to avoid this problem.

Prepwork. Sometimes, a quick washdown is all that is needed to remove marks on walls and painted woodwork, particularly on durable, high-sheen finishes. Try a non-abrasive, mild detergent and a soft, cellulose sponge. Make sure that the sponge is wet to avoid damaging the surface. Avoid using paper towels or dry rags, as this will have a tendency to cause a burnishing effect, which is actual removal of the pigment from the painted surface. Even if you end up having to repaint, this is a good first step that will remove contaminants and improve adhesion. If there are holes or scratches, now’s the time to fill them with a quick-drying patching compound. Use a putty knife to fill the ding, allow the compound to dry completely, then sand it smooth with 220-grit sandpaper. To keep the patches from telegraphing through the new finish, prime them with a quality primer, giving the surface a uniform texture and porosity.

Limit the variables. Temperature and humidity affect how paint cures, and therefore its final color and sheen. So whenever possible, to try to simulate atmospheric conditions when you recoat--if your walls were painted in hot, humid summer conditions, those are the conditions that you want when you touch them up. If your trim was painted in the winter with the heating system operating and low relative humidity, repaint when the room is warm and very dry. If the paint was rolled on, try using a roller--or mini-roller--to reapply the paint. If the paint was originally brushed on, use a brush. Either way, you should always feather out the area. Start in the center of the damages area with a loaded brush or roller working outwards applying less and less paint. This will reduce the transition form newly touch up area and the old paint.

Darker colors (which require more pigment to produce) tend to have more sheen variance--and are therefore more difficult to touch up--than lighter colors. That's one of the advantages of Benjamin Moore's new waterborne Gennex pigments, which don't affect sheen. So touch-ups using a product like Aura are more seamless in any sheen.

Old vs. New Paint. The best choice for touch-up is paint left over from the original job. Don't keep leftover paint in its original can; instead, pour it into a smaller clear plastic container that it mostly fills, with a small amount of added water on top to prevent the paint from skinning (this is for latex paint only). Paint won't keep indefinitely, so if you're unsure about its quality--if it smells bad, for example, or has chunks in it--bring it to your paint store and ask them to check it out before use.

If you don't have any leftover paint, new paint is always an option, but because of batch-to-batch variation, even the best paint can still be within specifications and have slight differences in color and sheen that will become noticeable on a touch-up job. In difficult situations, where the touch-up isn't matching well, it may just be easier to recoat the entire wall from floor to ceiling and from corner to corner.


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Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Shop for Ace Hardware Paint Supplies like Paint Rollers, Paint Brushes, Interior Paints, Glues, Lubricants, Glass Cutting Tools etc..

Could you provide us with which Benjamin Moore product(s) you are using as well as the square footage? Also, how much paint you have used for this project. with that information, we could be provide some information to you.

I'm having major difficulties with my painting project. I'm painting my hallway walls, steps and floors. I used the same color I previously painted a few yrs ago. Before getting started, I cleaned the walls w/water and mild soap. Didnt prime since its the same color plus the type of paint used already has some in it. Was VERY DISAPPOINTED cause alot of spots look like I didnt paint it at all. I put at least 3 or 4 coats on now thinking it would look better and cover better but didnt work out. Even tried different type of rollers. Any suggestions on how to fix it? Thanks

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