Is there an accurate way to find out whether my walls and trim are painted with latex or oil-based paint?

There is a very easy way to check the type of paint used in your home. First, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a rag − preferably a different colour than your wall. Next, select a non-noticeable part of your wall or trim for the test and rub the rag in a small circular motion on one spot. If the paint comes off easily, it is latex (water-based). If there is no transfer to your rag, your wall is painted in oil-based paint.

Can I apply latex (water-based) paint directly over an existing alkyd (oil-based) paint?

Yes, you can, provided you use a 100 per cent acrylic coating or one of our new waterborne hybrid coatings. Before you begin, the surface must be thoroughly washed with TSP and rinsed with clear water. When dry, rub down with 120-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the existing coating prior to painting. For maximum adhesion, we recommend using a bonding primer before you paint.

Is it necessary to prime my walls before painting?

When deciding whether or not to prime, the surface condition, product being applied and colour must all be taken into consideration. Primer is usually recommended for new or previously unpainted surfaces. Unpainted surfaces, such as new drywall or wood, will always benefit from a coat of primer to seal and even out the surface porosity, as well as assisting with the adhesion of the finish paint. Surfaces with patch repairs or coated with a dark or strong colour will yield more satisfactory results if a primer is applied first. Some deep or rich colours require a colour foundation or tinted primer to achieve the colour desired. Glossy surfaces require a super-adherent bonding primer before painting. We carry a number of top quality self-priming paints that in some instances can eliminate the need of a primer.

I’m installing new hardwood flooring in my home and I want my oak staircase to match. Can you help me match my stairs to the new flooring?

We absolutely can! Bring a sample of your new hardwood flooring into the store with a sample of the material your matching it on and leave it with us. We’ll match the colour and walk you through the steps on how to stain and protect your staircase.

The ceilings in our home are stucco and they seem to have discoloured over the years. I know they need painting but I have no idea what paint to use.

Stucco ceilings, or popcorn ceilings as they are sometimes called, are spray applied and a specific roller and paint are required to paint them. Because the texture is water-based and contains very little binder, using a latex paint for a first coating can re-activate the stucco and cause it to release and fall from the ceiling. It is recommended that an oil-based or alkyd flat paint be applied the first time the ceiling is painted. This will solidify and seal the stucco, leaving a clean solid surface. The paint is best applied using a high pile roller (20-30mm) to cushion the texture and hold an adequate amount of paint to cover the surface. Latex or acrylic paints may be used for subsequent coats.