Application Guidelines

Pre-painting considerations from our Hallman/Lindsay paint experts

No matter what type of surface you are preparing to paint, proper preparation includes a few things.

Good paint performance depends on good paint adhesion, and paint adheres best to surfaces that are clean and sound.

Accumulated dirt, dust and grime should be removed from walls, ceilings and trim with a detergent-water solution. After washing, the surfaces should be thoroughly rinsed with water and allowed to dry completely.

Next, a putty knife should be used to fill cracks, holes and other surface imperfections with either spackling compound or a quality acrylic caulk. If spackling is used, once dry it should be sanded smooth and flush with the surface; caulk should be smoothed and feathered as it is applied.

Finally, if walls or ceilings have water stains or other serious discoloration, it may be necessary to coat them with a latex or oil-based stain-blocking primer to prevent the stains from bleeding through the new paint.



This can cause an extreme health hazard. Lead paint was common until 1950, but was not outlawed in the U.S.A. until 1978. If you think you may have lead paint, contact the EPA hotline for information: 1-800-424-LEAD or visit the EPA website.

If you are preparing to paint an exterior surface, we recommend one extra consideration.

Before application, cover outdoor plants and other surfaces not to be painted with tarps. If you are painting the body of a house, dig a small trench around the house so you are able to paint to ground level.

First ‘cut in’ a 2 inch wide strip with a brush around the edges of the ceiling. Then, switch to a roller with an extension pole. Staring at a corner, paint a section about 3 feet square. Use a zigzag pattern, paint a W” pattern on the ceiling, which will disperse the paint on the roller evenly. Fill in this 3 ft section without reloading the roller until you have complete coverage of this section. Continue to cover the ceiling, working across its shortest dimension in 3 foot square sections, overlapping while paint is wet to minimize lap marks.

Starting at the ceiling, ‘cut in’ 2 inch strip with a brush. Continue with the brush to cut in 2 inch strips in corners, around windows, doors, cabinets and baseboards. Note – there are tools available at your paint retail outlets that help make this “edging” job easier. Other “tricks” include sliding the roller cover off the holder slightly so the rollers edge gets closer to ceiling, window or door.

Switch to a roller and paint in a vertical direction using a zigzag pattern. Push the roller upward on the first stroke, and then form an “M” pattern to evenly distribute the paint on the roller. Fill in the “M” pattern without reloading the roller until you have complete coverage of the area. Continue with this approach until the wall is finished. Touching up spots you missed when the paint is wet will help minimize potential sheen differences.

We recommend that when you finish one wall, make sure you have enough paint to complete the next entire wall. Starting with another can of paint in the middle of a wall can result in slightly different colors, which will be perceptible side by side, but not wall to wall.

Open door wide enough to reach all parts to be painted. Protect hinges and other metal with masking tape. Always start at the top. If the door is paneled, paint the panels first, the horizontal sections next and finally the vertical sections. If the door opens into the room you are painting, use the same color on the latch edge that you have used for the rest of the door. If it opens into the next room, do not paint the hinged edge. It should be the same color as the other room 

Of all woodwork in the home, windows suffer the most stress. Constant exposure to temperature changes and condensation means that windows often need to be painted more frequently than doors, moldings and trim

Start by removing locks, curtain hooks and other hardware from windows, this will speed your work and produce a better-looking paint job.

1. Raise the bottom sash and lower the top sash most of the way, so that there is a 6″ overlap. Paint the bottom horizontal section of the top sash, then the accessible vertical members. Use care to keep paint from getting in between sash and frame which can “glue” the window in place.

2. Nearly close the upper and lower sashes and finish painting the rest of the top sash.

3. Paint the entire bottom sash.

4. After allowing the sashes to dry, paint window frame.

5. Close the windows and paint exposed parts of the runners. If your windows have sash cords, avoid getting paint on them.

6. Paint the window sill and apron.

If your home has any casement windows (windows that open out or in, rather than up or down), use a different technique:

1. Open the windows and paint the top, side and bottom edges.

2. Paint the crossbars and frame casings.

3. Complete the job by painting the sill and apron.

Regardless of the type of windows you are painting, to keep paint on the frame and off the glass but don’t rely on having a steady hand, either hold up a paint shield as you work or apply masking tape to the glass. If a few stray specks of paint still get onto the glass, simply remove them with a razor blade. Finally, paint windows early in the day so they have enough time to dry before you close them in the evening.

Before using any type of deck finish, begin by cleaning and power washing your wood to remove dirt, mildew and old coatings. If using a clear, penetrating coating, deck brightening products help restore a “new wood” look to the wood. Both sides of any railings should also be power washed.

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