Painting and Decorating Made Easier!


A paint job continues to look good, as long as there are no failures in the surface or in the paint or coating material. The causes of such failures boil down to two main areas: moisture and sun related exposure.


A substrate – eg. drywall, masonry, wood, or steel – has limiting factors related to the type of environment it is able to resist. Typically, they are based on the substrates ability to repel the thing which can effect it the most.


Example: An improperly prepared drywall surface will absorb water and its gypsum construction will lose its strength.


Another example: A steel surface, etched and primed incorrectly, will start to rust more quickly and lose its structural integrity. Of course, with steel, prepped properly, it takes much longer.


To prevent this from happening, a specific coating can be applied. Also, this ensures a long life to the surface. Basically, it’s called the “prime and top coat system”.


If the surface hasn’t been prepared as best as it could have, negative results can occur. If there has been an environmental exposure of some kind, negative results can occur.




1. Rusting metal – peeling paint.

A. Invasive correction: Sandblasting, fiber glassing, metal replacement.

B. Superficial repair: Auto Body filler, wire brushing, sandpapering, naval jelly application. Priming surface with alkyd, epoxy, urethane or zinc coating.

2. Peeling Paint – wood.

A. invasive correction: Removal of loose, flaky dry paint by sandpapering, abrasive wheel cleaning, chemical paint stripper.

B. Superficial yet effective repair: Pressure clean surface. Prime surface with acrylic latex, oil based coating, alcohol based specific to interior/ exterior.

3. Bubbles – Usually localized, not invasive or widespread.

A. General repair method: Removal by sandpapering to feather edge, scraping, wipe surface with adhesion promoter.

B. TIP: Prime with oil based or fast dry acrylic latex.

4. Alligatoring – Paint applied too thick, surface overheated/overexposed to sun, problem with solvent evaporation.

A. Invasive correction: Sandpapering and smoothing out, or stripping entire surface. Then, if necessary, spackling of smoothing compound.

B. TIP: Use body filler for metals, joint-type compounds for drywall or plastered surfaces.


The final results of your project are dependent, inherently, on surface preparation. The time and method you take to properly prepare a surface will ultimately produce a beautiful and lasting finish. And, doing it the right way can ensure that the money spent is done wisely.


Remember: Follow your surface preparation procedures to guarantee the best quality job imaginable. And when you think you’ve sanded enough? Sand some more.



Every smooth, durable finish coat has a surface prep story to tell.


Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.



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