Paint is the ultimate designer's medium. For only a few dollars, paint transforms nearly anything into something fresh, dazzling and new. Discover the materials that accept paint and those that you should avoid.
By John RihaMore in Painting
Set up and Prep: New shutters should be wiped with mineral spirits to remove any factory-applied mold-release agents, then washed with a mild detergent. If your shutters have been outside for more than two years, you can skip the mineral spirits wipe.
Painting: Prime the shutters, using a primer specifically made for plastic and vinyl. Finish with a top-quality latex paint.
Heads up: Vinyl products are tricky to paint. Once painted, you'll want to keep your shutters undisturbed for five days in a protected location — a garage is great — to let the paint cure thoroughly. Avoid dark paint colors that absorb heat and make the vinyl expand and warp.
Painting: The debate rages here, but the best advice is: Don't do it. A big surface area and a tricky material add up to lots of opportunities for paint failure. A lot of work for a result that could deteriorate in a year or two.
Set up and Prep: With all its cracks and crevices, the important prep for wicker furniture is to make sure it's clean. On a warm day, give the wicker piece a hard spritz with a garden hose and wipe it dry immediately. If previously painted, sand lightly to remove any gloss.
Painting: Prime with a top quality primer. Paint with exterior-grade acrylic latex paint; a brush helps get into the crevices.
Heads up: Make any repairs prior to painting.
Set up and Prep: Sand with progressively fine sandpaper until the surface is smooth. Remove dust with a tack rag.
Painting: Coat entire surface with a stain-blocking primer. Finish with high-quality latex or oil-based paint. Sand between coats with 320-grit sandpaper.
Heads up: After priming, check to make sure any knots aren't showing through. If they are, spot prime.
Set up and Prep: Clean surfaces with TSP or other non-residue cleaner. Roughen the surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper; clean off the dust with a damp rag.
Painting: Coat surfaces with stain-blocking primer. Finish with topcoats of latex paint.
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