Today Is A Great Day To Paint !

How to prep for painting?

Clear the room and protect surfaces. Cover anything that stays like floors or furniture, with plastic or canvas drop sheets to protect surfaces from spills or roller spray. Clear your work area and make sure all drop sheets are securely placed.

Wipe or wash the walls and trim. If there is heavy grease or dirt, like in a kitchen or bathroom, wash the walls using hot water and T.S.P.  (trisodium phosphate) or an equivalent degreaser and then rinse with water, dry before painting. You can also use 1 Tbsp of dish soap for every 8 liters of hot water (or 2 Tbsp of vinegar). Do not use a general purpose cleaner since they may contain oils that will prevent the paint from adhering properly.

Sanding. Shiny surfaces should be deglossed with a light sanding (120 or medium grit) and all dust removed using a tack cloth or damp rag. Walls with a low sheen don’t require sanding but it will provise an even surface and smooth any imperfecions.

Patch all cracks and holes with a filler or spackling compound
using a putty knife, sand smooth when dry. Some lightweight spackles dry almost immediately. Patched holes should be primed so that paint will absorb evenly.

Remove all switch and outlet covers. Either remove door hardware or carefully tape around handles and hinges. Nothing looks worse than paint on door hardware or electrical plates.

Mask door and window trim. This will save time if you are not good at cutting a straight line. Use a good quality painters tape, not masking tape. Painter’s tape will remove easily and leave no residue.

Make sure you have plenty of light. And use a step ladder so that you can easily and safely reach high or awkward places like ceilings, to “cut in’ the edges.

When do I need to prime?

There are several specific situations where primer is a must. Primer is used to seal and prepare a bare surface for the top coat.  This includes bare drywall, raw wood (like baseboards) or old painted surfaces where the coating has peeled or worn off. Primer is also recommended when there is a drastic color change, either from a light color to a dark one or from dark to light. In this case primer may save you a more expensive coat of finish paint, meaning you will prime once and put 2 finish coats on top. Some deep accent colors like red, require a specific tinted primer that will save you many unnecessary extra coats. Primer rarely replaces a finish coat. Primer is also required for better adhesion when painting a difficult surface like paneling, tiles or urethaned wood. Glossy surfaces should always be sanded first, and then painted with a high adhesion acrylic primer. There are specialty latex primers like UMA now available for tricky surfaces. Primers with a shellac base, like BIN, are used over knotty pine or surfaces with heavy staining to stop bleed through.


What order do I paint a room?

There are varying opinions on this one but we generally recommend this order:

  • Prime the surface to be painted
  • Ceiling
  • Walls
  • Doors
  • Doors & window trims
  • Baseboard and Molding

What Sheen Should I Use?

The gloss of a surface can be described as the reflection of light from the surface that is independent of color. To measure gloss reflectance, a single beam of light is deflected off the surface, at a prescribed angle, into a receptor. There are many standardized scientific tests to determine the light reflective value of paints and its sheen but all you really need to know about sheen is listed below.

Matte or Flat Finishes

Flat or matte finish paint has the lowest light reflection and is especially good if you want to camouflage wall imperfections. Some of the newer premium quality, 100% acrylic flat paints are much more washable than the chalky flats of the past. Generally they are still less washable than eggshell or higher sheen finishes but are ideal for lower traffic areas like living and dining rooms or bedrooms, and large wall expanses with a lot of light exposure.

Eggshell Finish
Eggshell finish, not to be confused with the color “eggshell,” has a smooth low sheen or gloss level just above flat. It is the most common finish and is good for most rooms in the house, including halls, bedrooms and powder rooms. It is generally more washable than flat finish paint and does not show off imperfections.

Satin or Pearl Finish
Satin or pearl finish paint has a sheen level in between eggshell and semi-gloss. It is most often used for windows, doors, trim, or ceilings, but can also be used as wall paint. This is particularly suitable for kid’s rooms, kitchens, bathrooms (with high moisture and lots of splashing) and high traffic areas. Paint with a satin finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing. It will also reflect more light and show surface imperfections more easily.

Semi-gloss paint is most often used on doors, trim, and cabinets and is easy to clean. In general, the shinier the paint, the better it will stand up to washing and cleaning. Surfaces should be well prepared and carefully applied as semi-gloss will highlight flaws.

High Gloss
High gloss paints have an almost reflective quality, as their shiny finish mimics the look of enamel or plastic. High gloss is sometimes used to achieve a dramatic look on cabinets, trim, and furniture in very formal and very contemporary settings. This finish will magnify any surface imperfections, so careful preparation and sanding is essential before painting with high gloss paints.

Ceiling Finishes
Ceilings in most rooms are painted with a pre-mixed white flat finish paint. You may want a higher sheen on bathroom ceilings for durability and moisture resistance. Stucco or “popcorn” ceilings are also painted with a flat finish, but if painting for the first time, use an odorless oil primer as a finish coat. This will not dissolve the crumbly plaster sprayed plaster.

What causes sheen and gloss variations?
A good quality wall board primer is essential to a smooth even topcoat. There is a big difference in the porosity of drywall paper and joint compound used on the seams. A good wallboard primer should equalize this difference in porosity as well as provide good hold-out for subsequent top coats. The top-coat will absorb in to primers with poor hold-out. If the primer fails to equalize porosity, the sheen will vary erratically right through to the final coat. This is called picture-framing and is a common complaint on new work. 

Gloss and sheen variations are also caused by uneven thickness of the paint. Gloss and sheen increase slightly as paint thickness increases. Try to maintain an even coat between rolled and cut-in areas.

How to Paint a Room?


You are now ready to paint wall, ceiling and trim edges and corners (basically all areas your roller won't cover).

  • Be patient and take your time, painting takes practice.
  • Use an angled brush to paint a border about a brush width or wide enough that you can overlap with your roller.
  • Hold the brush near the base of the bristles for a more comfortable, stronger grip.
  • Paint with the tips of the brush and not the side.
  • Dip the brush in the paint no more than halfway up the bristles. Lightly slap the inside edge of the can or bucket with both flat sides of the brush. Many people wipe too much paint off the brush.
  • Use steady, even strokes, and lift the brush up gradually at the end of each stroke.
  • Always carry a wet cloth when brushing to clean up spills or drips.


  • Once you have done all edges you are ready to start the main walls or ceiling using a roller. 
  • Don't be afraid to try using an extension pole! One that extends from about 18 in. to 30 or 36 in. offers plenty of reach for painting rooms with ceilings that are 9 ft or lower. It may take a little getting used to but it'is much easier and safer to paint with a pole. No more awkward clinging to a ladder while rolling a ceiling, and you can load your roller without bending over. Paint is applied with more even pressure and less effort. Most standard roller handles have a threaded hole which easily screws onto a pole.
  • Fill your tray with paint. Do not cover the ribbed part with paint.
  • Insert your roller in the tray, push and pull the roller up and down over the ribs until the whole roller is covered with paint.
  • Only paint sections of 3 to 4 feet at a time.  Start in a corner you have edged and work out from there.
  • Roll on the paint in a large “w” pattern, overlapping the painted border; continually rotate the “w” shape until the entire section of wall is a uniform color.
  • Let the roller flow softly with even pressure, too much pressure creates uneven paint marks on your surface. To avoid splattering, do not spin your roller at the end of a roll.
  • Finally make sure to stop painting in a corner or completed area, avoid leaving an unfinished wall.
  • Follow manufacturers dry times before recoating.
  • Usually a second coat is required to achieve the desired depth of color and even coverage. Try to use one batch of paint to complete a coat top to bottom, corner to corner.
  • Note: the newer 100% acrylic paints, especially those with waterborne colorants dry very quickly. It is important not to over roll once you have finished painting an area, you may actually pull the paint off the wall!

Remove the tape after your final coat of paint.

Gently pull the tape off at a 90° angle. If tape is left in place too long a film will form over top and it may pull up the edges of your new paint job. To remove tape where paint has dried over the edge, use a sharp utility knife to gently score along the edge. Use a small paintbrush if touch-ups are needed

When to call in the pros:

Safety always comes first. If it’s an awkward space that you don’t feel comfortable painting, like a stair well or tall foyer, then call in the pros. They have the knowledge and equipment to do the job safely.

Is Paint and Primer All in One better?

Most high quality, 100% acrylic paints will serve both as a primer and a finish in many instances. Traditionally, primers were used to seal porous surfaces, adhere to difficult substrates and provide a stable base and color foundation for finish paint. Although Paint & Primer All In One has often negated the use of a separate primer, there are limitations. In addition, primer technologies have also evolved and specialty undercoats are being used more than ever.

So, the question(s) remain… Do I need to prime? Should I use a Primer or a Paint + Primer All In One? Here are a few guidelines to help with the decision…

Paint + Primer All In One perform best on properly prepared, uniform (in texture and color) surfaces. Provide adequate sealing, adhesion, sandability and durability. Do not always save time and/or money because they are higher in price than most primers and often require the same number of total coats. Can be tinted to any color. Are convenient and ideally suited for repaints on surfaces with minimal repairs and/or imperfections

High performance on virtually any surface
Provide exceptional sealing, stain blocking, adhesion and sandability
Are available in a variety of options to suit any job and/or budget
Can be tinted to most colors and are often part of a color foundation system for low hiding, transparent colors
Are versatile and still the most secure option to prepare any surface for painting

Finish Paints
Perform best on properly prepared, uniform, primed or previously painted surfaces
Provide adequate sealing, adhesion and sandability, but unsurpassed color and sheen retention and long term durability
Can be used to spot prime repairs and/or cover exisiting colors
Create unmatched depth and richness of color and smoothness of finish

Note: Despite all the advancements in primers, paints, primer + paint, one rule of thumb remains… “When in doubt, PRIME”

When do I tint the primer?

Tinted primers are extremely useful when there is a huge contrasting color change or when painting with a deep color like red, or a clear accent color like bright yellow. In these cases a tinted primer can save you from 5 or 6 coats of finish paint. A tinted primer does not really “save a coat.” It is always best to do 2 finish coats to get even coverage and a rich color, even over a tinted primer. If you are recoating over the same color and sheen, one coat is probably sufficient. We are always happy to advise you about primers and when to tint them.

Our expert tinters will custom tint your primer to ensure that the end result is rich color with depth. Some of our deep colors have specific formulas for the primers, which means less coats and richer color.

How do I tell if it’s oil or latex?

Here’s a simple test to check if your wall is painted with latex or oil-based paint. Use a small amount of denatured alcohol or acetone on a rag and rub a test area. If the paint comes off and you are breaking down the film surface, it’s latex, if not or hardly, it’s oil-based. You can also use acetone based nail polish remover. Just make sure you are testing on a clean surface. Be aware the old oil paint may have “oxidized” leaving a dusty film that may be mistaken for latex rub-off.

Record the Color

After painting a room, it's important to keep track of the brand name and color of the paint used, so you can buy more when it comes time to touch-up or repaint the room. One idea is to keep a paint covered stir stick from the project. Label the stick with the paint company, color name and number and hang or store in your paint supply cupboard.

Another idea is to write the brand name, paint color and number onto a piece of masking tape and stick it to the back of a switch plate before replacing the outlet covers in a newly painted room. The information will be there next time you repaint. At Color Town we also keep records of purchases for all of our customers. This can be an invaluable tool when it comes time for a re-do!

Can I Paint Latex Paint Over Oil?

You can definitely use a latex paint over an oil-based paint but you must prime the oil base paint with a high adhesion 100% acrylic primer like C1000 to ensure proper adhesion.

How do I store paint and how long will it last?

Paint can last for years and in a well sealed can. When you are finished painting make sure the rim is clean before hammering the lid on. Try to use a proper paint opener, not a screwdriver or your car keys to open the lid. This will help to maintain a tight seal and will make opening the can much easier next time. Never store latex or acrylic paints in an unheated area like a garage. Paint that freezes and thaws several times will be ruined.  Keep in mind that a partial can of paint that has been stored for some time will probably not look too good when you open the can. Usually a good stir is all that is required, if dried paint has fallen into the paint you can simply strain it. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the can before replacing the lid and hammer that lid in place.

What do I do with my old paint cans?

Empty paint cans may go into your blue recycling box with lids off.  Partially full cans or any alkyd paints or solvents should be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Depot in your area. For drop-off hours and locations in York Region visit

How much paint do I need?

In general, a gallon of paint will cover about 400 to 450 square feet of wall with a single coat. Add up the length of all your walls, multiply by their height and then divide by 400 to get the number of gallons you’ll need for one coat. If you do not paint doors and windows, then subtract 20 sq.ft for each door and 15 sq.ft for each window before dividing by 400.

What is the best way to do Touch-ups?

By definition, in painting terms “touch-up” is a mistake or deficiency. It is literally a band-aid solution and relatively quick and easy compared to repainting an entire wall or walls. Touch-ups are commonplace in the painting industry, but there are a few things to consider.

Touch-ups work best using the same material and similar type of tool used to paint originally. A different batch of paint may have slight variations in both color and sheen and tools apply paint differently.  Brushes leave a smoother finish with subtle strokes, while rollers provide a slightly textured finish. Touch-ups are also best performed shortly after the original paint has been applied. As a paint ages, slight changes occur in color and sheen, in addition to accumulation of surface contaminants; all affecting the ability to touch-up. Flat paints in light, neutral colors are best for touching up. This is why they are used in new construction, although they are not practical in most cases.   

Here are a few guidelines for touching up…

  • Use the exact same material, or at least the same type of material.
  • Use a similar type of tool (brush or roller). Mini rollers work best for rolled areas. If you are not confident to roll your touch-up, use a brush, but create a slight texture by gently stippling or dabbing the brush.
  • Use a minimal amount of paint and thin it slightly to help it blend better.
  • Apply the paint in the middle of the area and gently work it to the outside in all directions, feathering it at the edges.
  • Confine your touch up to the smallest possible area.
  • Consider the visibility and lighting of the touched up area.
  • Factor in the type of paint: the flatter the finish, the easier the touch-up and vice versa.
  • If you have several touch-ups, it might be best to paint the entire wall “corner-to-corner”.
  • Tip: Try to save a small amount of the original paint for future touch-ups.