Q & A

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. Can you help me?

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It would be our pleasure to help you! 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 with a split-foam roller 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.

I’m installing new hardwood flooring in my home and my staircase is pre-finished in natural oak. Can you help me match my stairs to the new flooring?

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We certainly can! Bring a sample of your new hardwood flooring into the store and leave it with us for a couple of days. We’ll match the colour and walk you through the steps on how to strip, stain and protect your staircase. We have a huge inventory of stains with a wide array of products that our technicians will custom-blend to produce the perfect stain colour that will personalize your home.

Is it necessary to prime my walls before painting?

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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 promote the adhesion of the finish paint. Surfaces with repairs or coated with a dark or strong colour will yield more satisfactory results if a quality primer is applied first. Some deep or rich colours require a colour foundation or tinted primer to achieve the colour desired. Hard, smooth or glossy surfaces require a super-adherent bonding primer before painting. Steeles Paint carries a number of top quality self-priming paints, such as Benjamin Moore’s Aura & Regal Select, that in some instances can eliminate the need of a primer. Talk to our paint experts to get the product that’s right for your project.

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

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There is a very easy way to check the type of paint used in your home. First, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol 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?

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Yes, you can, provided you use a 100 per cent acrylic coating like Benjamin Moore’s Aura or Regal Select, or one of our new waterborne hybrid coatings from Benjamin Moore or Para Paints. 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 like Stix by Insl-x before you paint.

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