Painting Over Old Paint

When repainting an older home you may find that you are painting over a lot of old paint. Old paint presents a series of different challenges ranging from adhesion to lead. Painting over old paint is a common problem in historic homes as well. Historic homes have so much character but can come with their own headaches like layers and layers of paint. The same challenges of painting over old paint exist for interior and exterior paint. 

Preparing for painting is very important when it comes to painting over old paint. The preparations go beyond just taping and masking but also include cleaning, priming and patching to ensure the walls are ready for a new coat of paint. Popcorn ceilings may also need to be removed when painting if you are looking for a more updated look. Older homes can be full of surprises and you may discover hidden damage when preparing to paint. Mildew, rot and mold are some of the hidden damage you may discover when preparing to paint an older home. Depending on the construction of your home there may be different preparation processes needed. Plaster walls will need different prep than brick or sheetrock. Professionals are a great resource if you are unsure how to paint the type of walls you have. 

When working with oil paint you may need to test for lead. Lead paint is often on the walls in older homes and does not impact the residents health but if it is sanded it can be inhaled which can cause health concerns. Older paint should be tested for the presence of lead before it is cut into, sanded or drilled into. The paint may also be oil based, it is recommended that oil based paint is used over oil based paint to ensure the best results. Luckily there are great primers on the market to help water-based paint work with existing oil paint. 

The correct tools make all the difference in paint projects, especially when layers of existing paint come into play. Typically painting tools include tarps, rollers, tape, brushes and paint, when painting over layers of paint you often need more tools to help prepare the surface like sanding blocks. Older homes often have a variety of materials as well like paneling, block, brick and plaster. These different materials all need to be prepared and painted with different tools and techniques. Different sheens can pose different issues and many older homes have glossier paint. Glossy paint shows imperfections so many homeowners have moved away from the glossy paint trend.   Flat or satin paint finishes are best over paneling and plaster but gloss is still commonly used for trim. 

If you are painting your historic home there may be some extra elbow grease needed to really tap into your home’s charm. Color choices may also take extra work with a historic home. Researching your homes. Time period and style can help with color selection that leads itself to your home’s architecture. Historic home color pallets are often displayed on Pinterest or houzz and these sites are a great resource for color inspiration.Paint brands may have historic paint lines as well that can help you choose the perfect colors for your interior and exterior. While you can choose to paint your home whatever color you want matching the architectural style of your home will make it look more cohesive

When painting an older home or home with layers of paint a professional may be the best choice. Interior and exterior paint has its own unique challenges and oftentimes the craftsmanship you get from a professional painter makes all the difference. Painters have all the necessary tools, materials and skills to get the job done right. Roe paint is a trusted resource for painting all types of homes, including homes with layers of paint to deal with.


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