Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

1. How do you prep an exterior concrete surface or area for painting?

First, the area should be sprayed with an etching/neutralizing solution, recommended muristic acid. Then, scrub the surface with a stiff brush, and rinse thoroughly. Also, a concentrated solution of TSP (Trisodium phosphate) can be used to remove the calcium or lime deposits. Be sure to patch the area with a concrete resurfacer, or its equivalent.

2. What types of exterior concrete paint adhere better, and hold up longer in high traffic areas – also extreme environmental conditions?

Concrete is very porous. So any recommended coating will work. It is always better to prime the surface with a high viscosity primer, then topcoat with an exterior acrylic latex. To keep the surface cleaner and more washable, you can apply a clear coat, if desired.

3. What paint products work best in offices or work areas of staff with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma and allergies?

There are products available with low odor and reduced residual solvent evaporation, that will absorb into the carpet, or other porous or absorbent surfaces. In general, latex paint offers the least negative effects for those with breathing difficulties.

4. Which wallcoverings, if any, are childproof – eg. crayolas, markers, paint?

To my knowledge, there are no wallcoverings that a person can buy, that are resistant to all stains or writing objects. That said, I’d check out some of the newer products made especially for children’s areas.

5. In meeting rooms, how can wallcovering be used to both recharge and soothe attendees?

Where people gather, walls that have textured, patterned, or bright or earthtone colors – or a combination – are the most uplifting. Wallcovering installation options vary, and depend on budget, layout, time, etc.

A. Install wallcovering on every wall in the room, to create uniform and monochromatic effect.

B. Install wallcovering on only one wall/area in each room, to create accent wall.

C. Install wallcovering on the top or bottom half of one-to-all walls, to create wainscoting effect.

D. Cut wallcovering into narrower vertical panels. Hang in alternating vertical covering-to-paint-to wall-covering-to-paint and so on one wall only, or on all walls. Effect: subtle stripes.

E. Install wallcovering border near the top of all walls. Effect: Stylish and eclectic. Option: Stencil border.

F. Install wallcovering on one, opposite or all soffit areas in each room. Effect: Futuristic, relaxing.

6. How can hotel fences be repainted/resurfaced without breaking the budget?

Look at the available paint in your paint shop/department. Especially, look for paint which has set for a while. Next buy the best, most inexpensive paint that you can find.

7. To maximize fence paint adherence and durability, how should the metal surface be prepped?

On unpainted fence, if it’s galvanized, an acid wash primer or galvanized primer is the best choice. On previously painted fence, all of the surfaces should be pressure cleaned. Then, apply an acrylic or oil-based primer.

8. The wallcovering in large public areas – eg. meeting room – looks shabby and faded, and there’s no time to redo the room right. What can be done at reasonable expense?

Wash the entire surface(s) with soap and water. Let each area dry. Repair any damage to the wallcovering. Then, paint over the wallcovering using an appropriate paint. Added tip: Acrylic latex can be applied directly to wallpapers. Vinyl wallcovering should be primed first with oil or latex based primer.

9. Say that a few panels of wallcovering in a lot of guest rooms need to be repaired and/or replaced – and you can’t find any extra rolls in storage? What do you do?

The damaged areas should be patched. Then you have two options. One: You can paint the entire room to create uniformity. Or, two: Paint over the wallcovering only. I recommend using an accent color, complementary to the room’s or suite’s overall color scheme.

10. What paint products, if any, can be used in guest rooms, when turn around time is very tight and environmental contaminants – eg. fumes – must be strictly limited?

A low odor interior flat or low sheen latex paint is recommended. Select a product that will create, or leave behind, the desired finish.

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READ ON: “Hotel Painting and Decorating: 10 More Questions and Answers”


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