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Interior FAQs

Preparation for your interior painting project...

While it is true that there are lots of different types of paintable surface the “Three Musts” always apply.                                                 

  1. The surface must be dry,
  2. The surface must be clean
  3. The surface must be sound.

A good start is half the work!  Obeying the “Three Musts” is the only way to ensure a good paint job and while the first two are self-explanatory the third “Must” means that ALL loose or flaking material must be removed before you begin painting.

Questions asked by you, answered by us…

From time to time we have all run into a household problem that can lead to a DIY disaster! We have answered some of our customers’ most frequently asked questions below that will hopefully help prevent, or cure, any interior decorating problem you may have. If you cannot find the answer to your question please contact us.

INTERIORS – getting it right!

  1. Blocking
  2. Adhesion failure
  3. Bare wood painting and staining
  4. Bathroom walls
  5. Caulk and its uses
  6. Ceiling paint
  7. Ceramic tiles
  8. Edging tools
  9. Linoleum Floors
  10. Garage floors
  11. Frozen paint
  12. Priming walls
  13. Radiators
  14. Removing old paint
  15. Spraying/Brushing/Rolling
  16. Storing paint

Question: My doors are sticking – what can I do?

Answer: To help prevent this sticking together of painted surfaces (called "blocking") apply some baby powder (talcum powder) to each surface.   As for minimising the problem when planning and doing the paint job, putting the surfaces back into service too soon can be problematic. Darker tints are more prone to stick than white or lighter colours. The lower the sheen or gloss of the paint, the less chance of blocking, all else being equal, because of the higher proportion of pigment to binder with lower sheen paints. Thus an eggshell would be less likely to stick than a satin or a gloss, for example.

Adhesion failure

Question: Last week I completed a paint job which I did myself. I painted my pine kitchen table and 4 chairs using Colourtrend Satinwood in French White. However the paint does not seem to have stuck properly to the wood and has left a bad finish. Why?

Answer: Some possible reasons:

1) The surface was not cleaned properly using the appropriate cleaning agent such as sugar soap before sanding. Otherwise if sugar soap was used perhaps it was not rinsed off properly. 

2) The surface was glossy (including semi-gloss) and was not sanded enough prior to painting.  A light sand with the appropriate grade paper, gives the surface a ‘key’ making for an appropriately porous surface that is ready for priming.

3) After sanding a tack cloth or damp cloth must be used to wipe down furniture ensuring that your furniture is not left with a “gritty” finish.

4) An appropriate primer/undercoat was not used before applying the satinwood.

5) The correct drying time, in appropriate drying conditions, of 6-8 hours between coats was not adhered to. Colourtrend Satinwood must be allowed this time to dry so it can cure properly making it tougher and more durable when completed.

One or more than one of these factors could be contributing to the problem.

Bare wood staining

Question: As a contractor, I do a lot of interior bare wood staining and painting from doors and trim to even fine furniture. Whenever I use a water based product like a primer or stain, I see fibres sticking up from the wood. These sometimes ruin the finished appearance, making it very rough. It is particularly bad with some cabinet woods like walnut or mahogany (whether in an old chair or in new high-priced trim). What causes this and what can be done about it?

Answer: This is called "grain raising".  The water in the coating swells the fibres and lifts them.  The best thing to do is to "pre-empt" this by wetting the surface with a wet rag before applying the first primer, stain or clear coating. The water will raise the grain. Then come back in 30 minutes and sand off the raised "whiskers" using fine sandpaper.  Be sure to sand only in the direction of the grain of the wood, never diagonally or across it at right angles. Then dust off the surface and proceed with the primer or stain, etc.  Now, because of the procedure, very little grain will be raised by the application of the coating.

Bathroom walls

Question: I am almost ready to repaint a small, tired bathroom that I have just recently renovated... I have installed better ventilation but unfortunately I can see some dreaded mildew reappearing in places on the walls. How can I treat this and is there a certain type of paint I can use to prevent it?

Answer: Firstly, you will have to remove all mildew on the walls. When treating mildew, you need to allow the bleach to stay on the surface for at least 20 minutes, or the mildew will not be killed (even though the colour disappears), and it can grow back before long. To treat the area, use a 3:1 mixture of water to household bleach and leave on for at least 20 minutes, reapplying as it dries.  Be sure to protect your eyes, breathing and skin during application and rinsing.  Rinse off the area thoroughly; then thoroughly wash the area and rinse again and allow to dry fully.  For best results, apply an epoxy primer available from all your Colourtrend expert. Then apply two coats of Colourtrend Soft Sheen in your chosen colour for the perfect finish for your bathroom.

Caulk for Cracks

Question: I live in an old apartment block on the beachfront in Sandymount and have stress cracks in my interior walls and bathroom ceiling. How can these stress cracks be repaired?

Answer: The cracks can be repaired by first scraping them out to widen them out to between a ¼" and ½". This can be done with a pointed can opener; then clean out the dust with a vacuum cleaner. There are two options to filling the cracks:

1. Fill with ready mixed spackling compound available in various sizes from our Colourtrend experts, using a 1"-2" putty knife. Work the paste into the crack and apply a slight excess, and let dry overnight. Then sand with a medium grit sandpaper until it is smooth. Dust off the area and make a second application to fill areas that have contracted during the drying. Allow to dry again and then sand smooth with fine sandpaper.  Remove any dust and your surface is then ready for priming and painting.

Ceiling paint

Question: How does a ceiling paint differ from wall paint? Can a ceiling paint be tinted to match a wall paint colour?

Answer: Ceiling paints are designed to diffuse light evenly, that is, minimize shiny reflection from windows, lamps, doors, etc. You should normally not notice the light these reflect and a ceiling paint is formulated to provide a help give a soft, uniform appearance.  Colourtrend Ceiling Paint is formulated to minimize spattering when applied by roller. Ceiling paints are not designed for use on wall areas – they do not have the durability that emulsions formulated for walls such as Colourtrend Interior Matt, Ceramic Matt or Soft Sheen finishes can offer you.

Colourtrend Ceiling Paint is available in pure brilliant white and is not suitable for tinting.  If you would like to compliment your interior scheme with a colour on your ceiling we recommend using Colourtrend Interior Matt in your chosen colour.

Ceramic tiles

Question: Can I paint over ceramic tiles?  They are around the opening of my fireplace, 8” square, beige with a slight shine - help!

Answer: First, clean the surface using detergent and hot water, and rinse the surface. Next, lightly sand the tiles with fine aluminium oxide sandpaper. Wipe down with a damp cloth and allow to dry. Then apply a high adhesion alcohol-based shellac stain blocking primer available from your Colourtrend expert. Use lots of ventilation, with as many windows and doors open as possible in the room. Allow it to dry overnight. Then apply two coats of your chosen top coat: Colourtrend Satinwood or Colourtrend Gloss, in your chosen shade – remembering to leave enough time between coats, usually 6-8 hours depending on drying conditions, before overcoating.

Edging Tools

Question: I'm painting the interior of my home and I'm having a very difficult time with the edges: wall to ceiling especially and above the skirting boards. I just can't seem to get straight lines even with one of the 15" edging tools. Are there any "inside tips" that would help?

Answer: You might want to try using masking tape or "painters’ tape\" to mask off one area while applying the paint to the neighbouring area, to get a straight line. Be sure to apply the tape carefully, and press it down thoroughly. Masking tape should be removed promptly once the paint has dried otherwise it may be difficult to remove, stick too much and pull up the paint underneath. Low tack masking tape is more forgiving in this regard, and can be left on longer, usually for at least a day. Low tack masking tape is available at Colourtrend experts.

Linoleum Floors

Question: Can you paint over linoleum tiles?

Answer: In general, no. "Resilient" flooring materials like linoleum and vinyl tiles are too flexible. If you paint them, the pressure of shoes, particularly spike heels, will push in and crack the paint. Try using a water-based floor polish; they can do a lot to revitalize linoleum or why not revitalise the wooden floor underneath the lino with some paint!

Garage Floors

Question: What can I use to paint my concrete garage floor? Is regular floor paint OK for this? The floor has never been painted, and is in good condition.

Answer: For your garage floor the ideal product to use is our two pack high performance waterborne epoxy protective finish product Colourtrend Epigen. It is extremely durable and resistant to abrasion, impact loading and chemical spillage. This epoxy polyamide binder will produce a waterproof barrier coating on most surfaces including concrete, render, plaster, brickwork, etc. Colourtrend Epigen will resist the growth of mould, algae and bacteria and will withstand repeated cleaning by high pressure washing and steam-cleaning.  Click here to download a product information sheet.

Frozen Paint

Question: I have a question about rejuvenating paint. My dad bought 50 litres last year and stored it in a shed all winter. I think the paint froze and is now separated. Is this paint still ok to use?

Answer: Unfortunately, no, the paint is not ok.  In this instance, prevention is the only cure.  Never let stored paint get too cold – keep in a safe dry place out of direct sunlight and protect from frost and freezing.

Priming Walls

Question: Can you tell me what I should do in order to paint my bedroom light blue. My room now is a very dark pink. Should I put some kind of base colour on first?

Answer: Firstly be sure that the surface to be painted in clean, dry and free from dirt or grease.  To help the colour change from dark to light we recommend using a base coat of either Colourtrend Primer Sealer Undercoat or Colourtrend Interior Matt tinted a light grey – ask your Colourtrend expert for Foundation Coat 1. 

Apply this base coat with a quality roller with a 3/8" synthetic nap. Be sure to apply a heavy coat of the base coat, because the beneficial properties of the priming coat depend on having the full film thickness. Allow the prime coat to dry overnight, before applying two coats of your chosen Colourtrend finish. Try our new shade Elfin from our Interior Collection.


Question: I have a home which was built around 1930. We have water-heated radiators that are painted white - I think they are enamel. Can I paint the radiators with regular interior wall paint or do I need a special one?

Answer: It is not a good idea to put regular wall paint on radiators. The best product for this task is Colourtrend Satinwood – it will give you a superb finish in any colour of your choice from our range of over 1500!  Start by cleaning the radiator with a household cleaner, rinse with clean water and allow to dry fully.  Apply the paint when the radiators are just warm, not hot or stone cold. Do not turn on your heating for 2-3 hours immediately following application of the paint. Where possible avoid dark coloured paint. Normally, you would want to first sand the old enamel lightly, to dull the gloss and enhance adhesion of the new paint, but with a house of this age, odds are at least some of the paint on the radiators contains lead, so you do not want to sand it, because this may put lead-containing paint into the air.

Removing old paint

Question: I bought a bungalow built in 1924. I want to use a paint remover to get through all the years, and who knows how many coats, of all kinds of paint!  Is there a technique or are there products and tools to take paint off before preparing to paint again?  The windows and some 'built-ins' are painted shut and if I scrape I will gouge and damage the wood underneath.

Answer: The usual way of removing old paint like this is to use a chemical stripper, or "Paint Remover".  Basically, you apply a strong solvent in a heavy coat, allow it to sit for 30 minutes, and then carefully remove the softened, lifted paint. Here are some tips and steps:

1. Purchase a bottle or two of paint remover from a Colourtrend expert.  The gel type is a good option – it tends to stay put when applied to vertical surfaces.

2. Also purchase some inexpensive flat natural bristle brushes with bare wood handles, and while they are not much good for applying paint, they are great for applying paint remover. Get a lots, in assorted widths.

3. Also be sure to have protective gear: safety glasses or goggles with side shields and rubber gloves. Wear a long sleeved shirt. Put down a heavy cotton fabric drop cloth, or plenty of newspaper. Have ample ventilation while using the paint remover.  For maximum protection, wear a respirator rated for chemical fumes but having good ventilation is key.

4. Apply the paint remover in a heavy coat to a workable area like half of a window unit. Allow it to remain in place for 15-20 minutes in order to soften the paint, then carefully remove the paint with a putty knife. You may find it easier to pull the knife, rather than push it, either way with the handle tilted toward your arm. Put the removed paint into a double paper shopping bag for disposal. With paint this heavy, you may need to repeat the process a second or even third time.

5. After nearly all of the paint has been removed, go over the area with steel wool and paint thinner to remove all residual paint remover and softened paint, then wipe the area with paper towels. Use fine steel wool and unroll the steel wool to get maximum usable area, and turn the piece often to expose fresh working surface.

6. Allow the stripped wood to dry overnight. Use the steel wool dry to smooth the wood. Wear a dust mask and eye protection. Remove all residual bits of steel wool using a vacuum cleaner. Then apply a primer and when dry apply your top coat as normal.

Do not attempt to remove the paint with a heat gun, as this may put harmful fumes into the air if any of the old paint contains lead.


Question: What is the industry opinion on the difference in application with regard to spraying versus brushing and rolling?

Answer: All three are widely accepted within the industry by professional painters, builders, architects and designers. Each has its advantages:

Brushing is a low capital investment that gives great ease of use. It is best for control of application on narrow surfaces, tight spots and edging. Minimal paint is wasted upon clean-up. Brushing gives great ease of applying a heavy coat when needed.

Rolling has many of the advantages that brushing has. It is a low capital investment and rollers are very easy to use. They are efficient while keeping control of the paint and can be used for large areas while not putting paint where it shouldn't be!  However, unlike brushes they do waste quite a bit more paint in the clean-up.

Spraying is the most efficient application. Ease of applying a heavy coat when needed. Concern has been expressed about the possibility that spraying may not provide the best adhesion where the surface is at all chalky, whereas brushing would seem to "mix up" the chalk and facilitate better paint adhesion.  However, testing and field experience has not borne this out. In general, spraying works well. Spraying provides an exceptionally smooth finish, which can actually be problematic because being so smooth, it can be impossible to touch up unnoticeably later on. To overcome this, some painters spray, and then immediately back-roll the area in order to make the surface less uniform and thus easier to touch-up, say with a brush or small roller. Spraying has the disadvantages of time the needed for clean-up. There could also be the need for use of a respirator to deal with overspray and safety precautions such as protective clothing and masking would have to be used.

Most new construction painting is sprayed, though rolling and brushing are used, particularly on smaller jobs. Residential exterior re-painting is split between brushing and spraying while most interior residential repaint is done by brushing and rolling. Spraying is used a lot for skirting boards, doors and furniture where control and a very smooth finish are required.

Storing paint

Question: I am using colours from the Colourtrend Historic range at the moment to redecorate my house. What can I do to prevent my paint from going off after the tin has been re-closed? I have at least a litre left in many of my 5 litre tins for various rooms and I wish to keep them for touch-ups in the future. How do you suggest I store them?

Answer: The first thing to do is make sure that the rim of the lid is clean. Then, press the lid down as tight on the tin as you can – ideally as tight as it was when you got it.  Tape the rim with heavy duty tape and store the tin upside down in a cool dry place – and protect from frost and freezing.