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Interior Painting

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I recently painted my cabinets. I lightly sanded them, applied a primer then paint. They are peeling rather easily. What can I do?

I am so sorry to hear this.  Unfortunately, it happens too often. I am not sure exactly what you did, but I can tell you what you did not do. You used the wrong bonding primer under your finish coat of paint. Depending on where you got advice and where you bought your primer and paint, but I think you were misguided.

It is important when painting cabinets to use the right bonding primer.  There are a lot of different primers on the market, some are oil-based bonding primers, some are latex bonding primers. Some primers are used as a base coat under paint.  The right bonding primer for any cabinet painting job I always use XIM bonding primer, no matter what. It is a quick dry oil-based primer.  When you want to paint over an oil-based finish, such as cabinets that have originally been stain and varnished, both the stain and the varnish is oil based.  Therefore, I recommend using an oil-based bonding primer like XIM. Another oil-based bonding primer is Cover Stain.  It has great adhesion; however, I prefer to use XIM on kitchen and bathroom cabinets when I paint them.

You basically have two options at this point for your cabinets.  You can sand them down to remove all the old primer and paint and hopefully it will come off rather easily. You could also try a paint stripper, but this can be messy and dangerous for anyone that is not experienced in using paint strippers.

 Unfortunately, the last choice is replacing your cabinets.

I have paint peeling off of my interior doors and door casings on our Captiva home.  Everytime I touch the surface the paint seems to peel off more.  What is causing this? - KR-Captiva Island

The last time your doors and door casings were painted, on your Captiva home,  they were not properly prepared. You probably have this same problem on your baseboards. They probably had oil based paint on them when they were originally painted and someone recently painted them with a latex paint.  What should have happened was to lightly sand, prime with bonding primer tinted to match your finish coat of paint, then paint surfaces with the latex paint.    You will either have to live with the peeling paint, or strip all the paint off and start over.  In some cases on some of my Sanibel and Captiva clients don't want the paint stripped due to the cost factor, I just paint over the surfaces with a premium oil based paint. This is not a cure all for the problem, but it seems to help hold back the peeling paint a little. 

Ron, we are in the process of getting painting estimates for interior painting in our Fort Myers home.  We would like to have this done while we are on vacation.  Several interior painters have told me that they do not move furniture when they do interior house painting. One house painter wanted me to sign a waiver before he would move furniture.  What is the procedures of your painting company for interior painting and moving furniture.  M H.-Fort Myers, Florida 


When we do interior painting for our Southwest Florida clients, it is standard procedure for Ron's Painting-Fort Myers to move all furniture.  I ask the homeowers to move the small things, like knick-knacks, light pictures, fine china and things like that.  We prefer to move the large pieces of furniture. DCP_3058_butler_int.jpgMy employees are trained in moving furniture and we have the right equipment necessary to move interior home furnishings.  If the homeower is up north for the summer and they want us to do the interior painting while they are gone, we can do this too.  We take pictures of each room on the interior of their home or condo, move what ever is necessary, cover all furnishings with drop clothes, and then check the our pictures that we took with the camera to make sure we put all interior furnishings are put back in the right place. The drop clothes we use for interior painting we only use on the interior of homes, and we wash them regularly to keep them clean. The picture to the left was taken when we did the interior painting of this home on Sanibel.  As you can see how we have everything covered up completely.  The homeowners were up north during the painting.  I have been doing interior painting for over 30 years and we have a system when it comes to interior painting.  I always tell my clients we make painting the interior of their home as painless as possible.  We even have our own vacuum cleaner.

I recently purchased a condo in Naples, Florida and I want to paint the interior using a no VOC Paint.  I have spoke with people and they tell me there is a No VOC paint and a Low VOC paint.  Can you tell me the difference, and also who locally sells these paint products.  Donna O-Naples, Florida

The term VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds.  These are low level toxic emissions that are released into the air for years after application of the paint.  According to the EPA any paint with VOC's in the range of 5grams/litre or less is considered No Voc.  Paints that range contain 50 grams/litre or less are considered Low VOC paints.  To give you a better explanation of these terms I have added a link "Non Toxic Paints and Voc's".  This will explain in detail the difference between the two. As far as purchasing the paints, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Glidden all carry No VOC paints, and Sherwin Williams carries low VOC paint.  Home Depot used to carry a product from Glidden with No VOC's.  Click on the link and it will tell you what paint manufacturers carry these products.  I hope this has helped.

Ron, I am trying to get a price for painting the interior of my home. I have no idea how much it costs to paint a home.  If I send you the total square footage of the home via e-mail can you give me a accurate painting estimate. Mike H. Bonita Springs, Fl

Mike unfortunately I can not give you an accurate cost for painting your home without meeting with you and seeing the interior of your home.  There is a lot of information that I need besides the total square footage of a home.  I will need to see the lay out of the home, height of ceilings, condition of all surfaces of the interior of your home, existing colors, and new colors schemes. Do you have any wallpaper that has to be removed.? Would you like the interior of the closets painted? Do you want ceilings and walls painted or just walls? This is just some of the information that I need when I come to your home and  give you and your wife an accurate cost for house painting. Please give me a call at 239-275-0425 and I will be happy to arrange a time that is convenient for you to come to your home and give you an accurate painting estimate in writing.

Ron, I am in the process of getting painting estimates to paint the interior of my home.  I live in Columbus, Ohio.  The estimates that I have from the different painting contractors vary quite a bit.  Can you help me in my process in hiring a painter and give me a little insight as to how the bid can vary so differently.  Mitch W.-Columbus, Ohio

Mitch please visit my web page on Hiring a Painter and print my check list.  Compare all your estimates to this check list and this should eliminate some of the painting contractors that you have received estimates from.  Unless things have changed since I moved my business from Toledo, Ohio, I do not believe you have to have a special license in Ohio to be a painting contractor.  One of the biggest reasons the prices can vary is prep.  What I mean by that is how thorough is the painting contractor when it comes to paint prep.  Usually your more expensive painting contractors are more thorough when it comes to paint preparation. Paint preparation is not only properly preparing the surfaces that are going to be painted, but also the room. When painting a room, if the room is not properly prepared for painting you will get paint where it does not belong and the painter will have a very unhappy customer. Is moving of furniture done my the painting contractor or homeowner.  Many painters are also cutting corners on the quality of the paint being used.  They are telling the homeowner that they are using a quality paint, when in reality they are using a cheaper grade of paint.  Always ask your contractor what grade of paint they are using by Sherwin Williams, Glidden, Benjamin Moore, or Behr. I recommend to call your local paint store and ask to speak to the store manager to see how the grade of paint your painter wants to use will hold up for your particular situation. The most important step in painting a house is paint prep. Prep, prep, prep. I can not emphasize this enough for both interior and exterior painting. I am sure you have heard of the old saying, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Good Luck, let me know how you make out.

We are in the process of buying a home in Bonita Springs and the previous owner was a heavy cigarette smoker.  The ceiling, walls, interior trim, even the a/c vents are all a brownish yellow color.  We are planning on replacing the carpeting and window treatments. What can be done to get rid of the cigarette smell on the interior of the home.  Beverly F.- Bonita Springs

Beverly this is something I run across very often.  Depending on the texture of the ceiling we can usually wash down the ceiling, walls, trim and a/c vents with a mixture of TSP and water, then rinse with clean water.  If this removes enough of the nicotine then we will be able to just paint everything.  However this is not always the case.  Many times I have had to spray an oil based bonding/sealing primer to the interior of the house to seal in the nicotine smell.  I have used Cover Stain an oil based primer in the past, one time I had to use BIN a shellac based primer because we were dealing with popcorn ceilings and we could not wash down the ceilings. ( When these primers are applied good ventilation is required, as one primer is combustible, and the other is flammable.) After the primer is dry, it will seal in the smell completely then we will  completely repaint the interior of the home using Sherwin Williams Harmony on the ceiling and walls, and Pro-Classic on the trim.  We even will paint the a/c vents to match the ceiling or wall color. I especially like using the Harmony brand from Sherwin Williams because it has patented odor eliminating technology to reduce common household room odors, it is Zero-VOC and it contains anti-microbial properties to reduce mildew. I hope this will help you in your decision making regarding your new home.

I recently purchased a home in Fort Myers that has popcorn ceilings. How do you go about painting popcorn ceilings?  If I wanted to remove the popcorn what is the procedure for removing the popcorn, and once it is removed what can be done to the ceiling? Joe E-Fort Myers

Joe the best way to paint a popcorn ceiling is to have it spray painted, if you try and roll paint on the popcorn it makes a real mess and the popcorn usually comes off in your roller.  In the past we have completed spray painted all the popcorn ceilings in a home, while the homeowner was living in the home and did not get any paint on the walls.  

If you would like to remove the popcorn ceiling you need to know the year your home was built.  Many homes that were built before 1980 may have asbestos in the popcorn.  You would need to chip off a small portion of the popcorn and take it to AMRC- Environmental at 5230 Clayton Ct. in Fort Myers and they can test it to see if it has asbestos in it.  If there is asbestos in it you would need to have it removed professionally.  If there is no asbestos in the popcorn then it can be scraped off, ceiling should be smooth coated with joint compound then textured in any type of texture you prefer.

Sherwin Williams interior paint, what should I use?

Since I have a lot of time on my hands right now, I would like to paint some rooms in my home.  I stopped by Sherwin Williams today and was not able to get into the store to see what grades of paint are available for interior.  I saw you “Ask the Experts” page on your website, so I thought I would reach out to you to see if you can help.

I would like to use a good interior paint, that I can wash up, however my wife does not like a shiny finish.

Can you please give me some advice?


I would be happy to help you out.  When it comes to Sherwin Williams interior paint, they have so many grades of paint it can become very confusing. When it comes to their premium grades of paint, all their interior paints have a very little sheen to them.  The reason for this is their durability and wash ability.

 If your wife is expecting, or if someone has allergies and does not like smelly paint, I always use Sherwin Williams Harmony.  The Harmony line is a low VOC paint with very little paint odor. It washes up very nicely.

The next best is Sherwin Williams Super Paint.  This is a good line and cleans up decently in a flat finish also.

However, if you have kids or pets, I always use Sherwin Williams Cashmere in a flat finish.

The Cashmere flat paint is an interior enamel.  It very washable and scrub able, that why it is an enamel.  It dries to a hard finish.  Sherwin Williams Cashmere is the interior paint that we can been using for our clients for years.

Their top of the line is Sherwin Williams Emerald.  This I a heavier bodied paint but is quite expensive.

Another good interior paint is Sherwin Williams Duration.  It is more expensive then the others and cleans up nicely.  The biggest factor is price.  I would recommend calling your local Sherwin Williams paint store to give a price per gallon on Harmony, Super Paint, Cashmere and Duration to see what grade matches your budget the best.

I have attached an information sheet that I give to all my clients of the different grades of paint that Sherwin Williams has.  If the paint is no pictured on this sheet, then it is not a premium grade of paint.