How to Prepare Different Surfaces For PaintingEasily the least inexpensive home decorating option is paint. Anyone can buy himself a can or two of paint, and, following simple instructions, proceed to transform his dingy space into a bright celebration of joie de vivre. Unknown to some, painting a wall is only one of the many uses of paint. Paint can be used to jazz-up fabric, wood, ceramics, metal, and clay. The design can be painted freehand, swirled, stamped, stenciled, combed, ragged-on, sponged, color washed, decoupaged, and glazed.
And, using paint, one can come up with an incredible variety of faux finishes: faux granite, faux mosaic, faux wood grain, and faux wood parquet. You might want something ancient-looking to go well with your wrought iron musical notes wall art, in which case a wooden stand can have that instant onyx look using only a feather and a lot of ingenuity. For good measure, you can also have faux alabaster, faux verdigris, faux marble, faux serpentine, faux moire, and even faux rust, each going well with your iron wall art.
Painting, however, is not merely about opening the paint can and firing away with the paintbrush, one has to prepare first the surface for painting. Here's how different surfaces are prepared for painting:
Sand the surface to a smooth perfection. Using a tack cloth, wipe off the grit. Apply a latex enamel undercoat.
Previously Painted Wood
Clean the surface to remove any dirt. Get into cracks using an old toothbrush. Rinse with water. Dry. Remove any loose paint chips. Sand the surface enough to remove the gloss of the old paint. Using a tack cloth, wipe off the grit. Apply a latex enamel undercoat, but only to areas of bare wood.
Previously Varnished Wood
Clean the surface to remove any residual grease or dirt. Rinse with water. Dry. Sand the surface to remove any gloss. Wipe off the grit using a tack cloth. Apply a latex enamel undercoat.
Remove any dirt or grease on the surface. Sand if necessary. Using a tack cloth, wipe off the dust or grit. Apply a polyvinyl acrylic primer.
Previously Painted Plaster
Make sure the surface is free of dirt. Rinse with water. Allow to dry completely. Using Spackle paste, fill any cracks. Sand the surface to remove any gloss. Apply a polyvinyl acrylic primer if old paint was of dark or bold color.
Using a dry piece of cloth, remove all dust. Apply a flat latex primer.
Previously Painted Wallboard
Clean the surface to remove any dirt. Rinse with water. Dry. Apply flat latex primer if old paint was of dark or bold color.
Un painted Fabric
Wash fabric. Don't use fabric softener. Dry. Iron. The fabric is ready. There's no need for any primer.
Un painted Metal
Using vinegar or lacquer thinner, clean the surface to remove any dirt. Dry. Sand the surface to remove any gloss or rust. Using a tack cloth, wipe off the grit. Apply rust-inhibiting latex metal primer.
Remove all dust with brush or vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Apply polyvinyl acrylic primer.
Glazed Pottery, Ceramic, and Glass
Remove all dirt from the surface. This is important as the paint will not cling to any surface which has dirt. Rinse with water. Dry. Apply stain-killing primer.
Now your canvas is ready. With your paint, paint mediums, finishes, tapes, paint rollers, paintbrushes, and applicators, you are ready to transform ordinary wood, clay, metal, or fabric into a masterpiece.
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