Q & A

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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