Monday, July 16, 2007


We are getting ready to paint inside the house again. I last painted 2 years ago, and it's time to do it again. Partly I want to cover up James's scribbles, but I also want to fix the colour. The living room is fine - a bright gold, and so I'm just going to repaint in the same colour. Of course, they've discontinued the colour I used last time (Burmese Gold), so I have to find the closest match available and go for that. It won't be too difficult, though.

The big change is going to be the front hall and the upstairs hall. Last time, I'd visualized a lovely soft green, like leaves on a warm, rainy summer day. What I ended up with was disappointing. Too much solid green everywhere; it was like walking into a giant peapod. This time I'm going to go for a sort of pale peach, with a slightly darker shade on the wall going up the stairs to the second floor. It just seemed that all that green, on all four sides, was too much of the same thing. You can do it with something really neutral, like white or beige, because then you don't really see the walls at all. But when you use a colour, it sort of closes in the space, and then you realize just how overpowering a colour can be. Live and learn; this time it should be lighter and less overpowering.

So today will be TSP day, when we wash the walls. I've got a problem here and there - in a few spots there is some residue from tape - Thomas loves to post pictures on the walls. It's really difficult to get it off. I've even tried sanding it, but paradoxically, that makes it worse, because the friction HEATS the sticky residue, and makes it soft enough to smear a bit; it doesn't lift it off. I wonder if it's possible to paint over it with a primer/sealer, or if it will peel off and create more problems. So far, I've had some success softening it with Goo Gone, then basically scraping it off with my fingernails, but that's a slow job, and I could end up doing this for days, and getting no closer to actually painting. And I want to get the painting done by the end of the month, because in August the boys will be home all the time, and you can't have cans of paint sitting around when they're present - it's just asking for trouble.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Mabuse,

My husband is sales rep for a paint manufacturer, and before that, was manager of a retail paint store for 15 years.

You are very smart to be working so hard on cleaning and prepping your surface before you paint. My husband said you can prime over the adhesive & paint over it and that would be OK, but it will unfortunately not hide the texture of the adhesive underneath. He suggested trying Goof Off on the adhesive to see if that works better for you (if you have access to that product where you live).

Have you already purchased the paint that you will be using? If not, some of the ceramic/water-bourne finishes, though more expensive, probably provide the best durability/washability (and we have a special needs child at our house, so believe me, I understand what that means!) He sells a line of this kind of paint, but the brand that he sells is not sold in Canada. However, he thought that Benjamin Moore "Aura" might be; this is the same type of paint. He can also check at work tomorrow to see if there are other water-bourne lines sold in your area.

Let me know if you have any other paint questions.

Karen in Wisconsin

9:57 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Oh, thank you, karen! I'll keep trying to get as much of the adhesive off as I can. And no, I haven't bought the paint yet, just picked out colours, so I'll go look for that variety your husband mentioned. If you can think of any more advice, please pass it on - painting is a frequent activity in my house!

6:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Mabuse,

My husband reminded me to tell you that when you use the Goof Off (or whatever), let it sit on the tape residue for a few minutes before you start trying to scrape it. You should give the product a chance to work into the residue first. Something else to try is blasting the residue with a hair dryer, but not when you're using the Goof Off - just the heat alone. Sometimes this works for people.

He said that he'd check today on those paint brands.

Good luck,

8:11 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I found some Goof Off, and have been using it. I can see why you warned me not to use heat on it - this stuff is like lighter fluid! It is working, though. Pulls the paint off along with the glue, but that doesn't matter since I'm going to paint over it anyway. But this means another round with the TSP...sigh.

11:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pulls the paint off along with the glue, but that doesn't matter since I'm going to paint over it anyway.

Yeah, it's pretty strong. If there are really large ridges left behind where the paint came off, you can sand it to smooth it out (if you feel like it), but my husband says that isn't necessary - only if it really bothers you. Then, after you clean it with the TSP (I know, kinda strong stuff; I've used it too), make sure to at least spot prime those areas before you paint - unless you plan to prime the entire wall.

Being married to a paint guy, I've learned that preparing to paint is more work than the actual painting itself!

Back to the brands. My husband talked to the president of his company (he is a chemist and is the guy who actually discovered & helped develop ceramic paint technology)... he doesn't know if Benjamin Moore is selling Aura (water-bourne) in Canada yet, but said their Regal line is also a very good choice. He also recommended Cico's top line product (didn't know the name). Most paint mfrs generally have products ranging from low-end to top-of-the-line. With paint, the phrase, "you get what you pay for" is literally true; the more expensive the paint, the better the quality.

Hang in there & hope it turns out

12:34 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Thanks for all the help! I will post updates as the job progresses.

1:11 pm  
Blogger Kasia said...

Now I'm curious. Karen, I've been hearing ads on our local radio claiming that Behr paint is best for scrubbability. Do they sell a water-bourne paint and that's what they're advertising, or what? Any ideas?

2:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, Kasia... had to get my husband to answer your question. He writes, "Behr Paint is acrylic, not waterborne. They have a great marketing program and an okay paint, but to get the best quality paint, you would be better off going to an independent paint store. You may pay a little more but you will get the right products and good advice. Waterborne coatings have better adhesion, better flow and leveling and much more durability. It goes on easier, looks better and lasts longer."
- Karen

8:08 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I'm learning something all the time. The LAST time I painted, I bought acrylic paint from Canadian Tire, and although for the most part it's worn fine in the two years since, I discovered one disturbing thing when prepping for this go-around. There was a spot where the paint had flaked for some reason - I think the kids might have bumped the wall with the edge of a chair. I wanted to pull off the loose paint around the damage, and then smooth the area for the new painting. To my shock, I was able to PEEL the paint right off with a spatula-type tool! I could slip it right underneath, and it would just come off in a sheet - I was afraid that the entire wall could have been peeled off like that if I'd continued. Now I think I'll take your husband's advice, and go to a proper paint store for better quality paint, AND they should know exactly what will go better on top of what's already there.

8:15 am  
Blogger Kasia said...

Oooh, I remember when I was about ten and we moved into a house that had been very poorly maintained (it was one of those "get into a good school district" things). The upstairs bathroom had paint like that; I don't recall how I discovered it, but eventually my father noticed that a large portion of the white paint on the doorjamb had mysteriously vanished, to reveal bright Pepto-Bismol pink underneath. (He wasn't thrilled with me.) It peeled off in such lovely long strips - it was better than peeling a sunburn!

Thanks very much for the information, Karen - my parents were generous enough to paint my condo for me as a housewarming gift (they're retired, I work a lot of hours, and the colors that were in there were atrocious) - my stepmom insisted on using Benjamin Moore paint. I never knew paint brand made a difference, frankly, and was mystified why she would spend so much on painting my home. Good to know!

4:34 pm  
Blogger Nicholodeon said...


You guys are too energetic for me!

I was thinking of repainting the bathroom, and even though I would probably just slap the paint on over what is now there, I am decided to hire interior painters and let them have their way with my bathroom.

I just do not have the patience, time or skill to try this kind of home improvement project.

Great stuff!

5:14 pm  

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