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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2

    Question Help - Painting Over Semi-Gloss

    Help! My husband and I just purchased a new home and we want to paint it before we move in. The problem is the whole house was painted in white semi-gloss paint... walls, ceilings, you name it. Our original plan was to sand the surfaces with sandpaper, but that is quickly becoming a very labor-intensive and tiring job (especially in a 2400 square foot house with 13 foot ceilings in the great room).

    We are wondering what the best, fastest option would be for us to prep the walls for painting. Should we wash all the surfaces with TSP? Or would liquid sandpaper be a better option... or both? And what about priming? Will we need to buy a seperate primer, or is buying the paint pre-primed going to work?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Help - Painting Over Semi-Gloss

    Good painters will often sand a higher-sheened wall, using a pole-sander. It usually goes pretty fast with one of these!

    This is the IDEAL scenario, because creating ACTUAL SURFACE PROFILE by sanding enables a better physical grip for the paint.
    * Once sanded to an even dullness, remove all dust.
    * A larger floor-dusting mop usually works good.
    * Do a couple passes per room. Buy a few replacement bonnets too.
    * DO NOT USE liquid-sandpaper!!!! It's only of temporary benefit, and dumps a whole lot of needless fumes/VOC's into the air.

    In a perfect world, I'd prime too.
    Here's why:
    * Because you're in a NEW home, all future paintjobs depend on the adhesion of the lowest layer; i.e., what you're doing NOW!
    * You'll be creating the IDEAL BASE for all future jobs.
    * I would use a separate primer, for LOTS of reasons. The primers in 2-in-1 products aren't as good as the stand-alones.
    * I'd choose Zinsser's 123 Latex, or C2-One. VERY good primers.

    Also...use the appropriate sheens for each rooms purpose!
    S/Gloss in a bath isn't a dumb idea....
    THANK G*D we have S/G in our baths!

    Faron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: Help - Painting Over Semi-Gloss

    azbelle,

    I am assuming that you are going over semi-gloss latex paint. Adhesion to latex paint is not so involved as going over hard, slick oil paint.

    If you are staying with light colors that will cover in one coat, I would consider one of the new self-priming paints such as Behr's Ultra. I personally use Ultra eggshell in my home.

    There is now an Ultra Ceiling White also. Behr's Ultra Ceiling White is dead flat,bright white and self-priming.

    If you are going to strong colors which will need two coats, I would consider priming the walls with dedicated primers such as Behr's No.75 Undercoater or Zinsers' 123, tinted toward the finish color. These primers are much less expensive than the self-priming paint itself. You could also go to the normal grade of Behr's or other top line finish coat paints to save money, although, I do believe the Ultra is a really superior paint. Ultra was top rated in Consumer's Report Magazine in all sheen categories.

    I would use a high quality, dense nap roller and give an extra roll or two. Going over high gloss paint with a lesser sheen, it is very easy to leave little "holidays" of shiny paint peeking through the finish coat. Use a 3/8ths or 1/2 inch nap roller cover according to texture on the wall and sheen of the new paint. Higher sheen paints generally require a shorter nap.

    Sanding of old latex paint is almost futile since it rapidly clogs up your sandpaper. I would content myself with only trying to knock down outright lumps or debris stuck in the old paint. If you wash the area down with TSP, be sure to rinse it down with clean water. I would concentrate on washing those areas that get oily dirt such as handprints around light switches,doors,door frames,etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: Help - Painting Over Semi-Gloss

    azbelle,

    When you wrote that you bought a "new" home, my assumption is that it was new to you. The fact that there is semi-gloss everywhere would be highly unusual in a brand new home.

    Were you going over the usual flat contractors' paint, which is notoriously bad, I would definitely have recommended priming everything!

    My position on priming is that it is NEVER wrong to prime, but often it is overkill. If you are going over quality paint of a low sheen and the walls are in good shape, paint alone is adequate. Also, two coats of paint often cover better than a coat of primer and coat of paint. This is because paint generally contains more white pigment than primer and the white pigment content is what gives the best blocking ability.

    In your case, you are concerned about getting good adhesion to the slick semi-gloss. This is one of the "prime" reasons for priming.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Help - Painting Over Semi-Gloss

    Yes-
    A subtle BUT HUGE misconception about primers...

    Primers AREN'T meant to visually completely HIDE a previous color.
    >>> THAT aspect is only a side-effect of priming.

    Primers ARE for:
    * Sealing-off porous areas (like drywall, or crappy builders'-flats).
    * Stabilizing chalky/looser substrates. These are specialized primers like Gardz.
    * INCREASING ADHESION to a "slicker" surface, like a S/Gloss.
    * Blocking stains, and smoke-damage. Some specialized primers like BIN excel at this.

    Priming helps the PAINT do ITS primary job better...Hiding previous colors, providing a color-layer, and providing a wear-layer.

    Faron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Help - Painting Over Semi-Gloss

    Thanks so much everyone for your responses. Ordjen, you are right, the home is actually new to us, not a "new" home. My husband decided to prime first (rather than keep sanding, or use TSP) and then we are using the Behr Ultra paint with primer already in it too. So far it is looking pretty good, and the paint seems to be adhering well.

    Thanks again for all your help.

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