Your DIY Help Guide

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Paint and primer in one

Paint companies have made these claims for years. However, the truth is that using a paint and primer in one simply doesn’t work! These instances include new, and especially freshly-patched, drywall, raw wood, permanent marker, and for providing an under coating before wallpaper installation, just to name a few. The results: peeling and flaking paint, wood that prematurely starts rotting, a marker that bleeds through, and, our favorite, wallpaper that never comes off.

Hybrid paints

Hybrid paints – Latex over oil and does it work

If you have ever seen peeling paint coming off doors and trim, then you know you cannot use latex interior trim paint over an interior oil-based finish. Hybrid paints now claim you can paint over oil-based finishes. This hybrid paints technique is a very controversial subject. We have asked several different paint contractors about this subject, and some swear by it while others, like ourselves, would either convert back to oil or continue using oil on the existing trim. There are several advantages to using an oil-based finish. You can sand it before and after prep work, and it is extremely durable in high traffic areas. The only downfalls are the odor it leaves behind and the solvents required to clean it up. We have seen oil-based applications still looking new a decade later. Working with oil-based paints is much different than latex and requires a more experienced painter. For this reason, most paint companies steer clear of using it and try to convert to using hybrid paints. Inexperienced painters don’t know they are painting over oil, and thus, peeling paint usually takes place as a result. We test all trim with denatured alcohol before deciding on the proper paint application. You can apply a small amount of denatured alcohol to a rag and rub on the trim. If paint comes off onto your rag, then it is latex paint. If no paint comes off, then it is oil-based paint and you will have to use oil-based paint for all existing trim or convert to a hybrid latex paint.


The myth around wallpaper removers has always been that you need a wallpaper remover to eat through the glue for the wallpaper to fall off. This could not be farther from the truth. We recommend using hot water with dish detergent. If you are using a pump-up sprayer, then add the dish detergent after filling the jug so as to not to be overwhelmed by soap suds. Next, apply three generous coats of a medium soaking, waiting five to ten minutes between each coat. The longer you wait, the better. If you see the paper drying, re-apply water. After thirty minutes, you should be able to start removing the wallpaper backing from the wall. If the wallpaper does not come off after several soaks and only comes off in small pieces, then the wall was not primed before the wallpaper was installed, and you will have to call a paint professional for help.

Patching small holes fast

The trick to patching small holes quickly is to apply a very thin coat of patch over the hole. We recommend using a lightweight spackle, something that can easily be found in most Big Box stores. A popular brand is DAP PATCH -N- PAINT. This is a white, lightweight spackle you can apply with just your index finger. Apply a small amount of patch to the hole with your finger, wiping it clean and leaving no excess except inside the hole. When you’re done, wait thirty minutes before lightly sanding the patch with 220 grit sandpaper. Afterward, wipe down the area with a damp rag, and you’re ready to paint!

Caulking cracks and small gaps.

We use White Lightning Siliconized latex caulk. It has a smooth, professional application and dries in 30 minutes. The trick to caulking a smooth line is to apply a small amount in a horizontal or vertical straight line. It’s better to apply it more than once than to apply it in excessive amounts. Using a damp rag, place your index finger over the rag and wipe down your horizontal or vertical line, removing any excess. If you still end up with excess, wipe down again with the damp rag using your finger. Repeat this process for larger gaps and problem areas.

Is painting worth the money before I sell?

Painting is by far the most cost-effective way to increase the value of your home. Compared to renovating kitchens and bathrooms, it is a fraction of the cost and doesn’t require multiple trades working in your home. If you are planning on selling your home, the first step your realtor will suggest is to research “painter near me” on the web. However, you will end up finding several strangers, different prices, and a lot of confusion. House painting, whether you are doing interior painting or exterior painting, requires high-quality paint products for a durable and long-lasting finish. High-quality products should be on your list of questions when you receiving an estimate. You should also ask for recommendations on neutral colors and what’s in right now. Finding a paint contractor with superior craftsmanship and great customer service that will really listen to your needs can be difficult. In Charlotte, things are really busy, but it is worth the wait if you can find that special company that will treat you like family.