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Choosing the right type of paint

June 24, 2014

Choosing the right type of paint.

Raw or new Wood:

Coat entire surface with an oil or alcohol based stain-blocking primer. Finish with high-quality latex or oil-based paint. Sand between coats with 320-grit sandpaper.

Painted Wood or Paneling:

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 alcohol based primer. Finish with topcoats of latex paint.


Use a top-quality acrylic latex primer. For previously painted drywall, use a stain-blocking primer to cover any marks or blotches. Finish with a good-quality acrylic latex paint.

Fiber Cement Siding:

Use a primer specifically formulated for cement and masonry products. Apply top-quality exterior paint according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Here’s another tip:  Don't use oil-based paint directly to fiber-cement without priming — you may void the manufacturer's warranty.

Fiberglass Exterior Doors:

Prime with an acrylic latex primer. When dry, apply two coats of top-quality, exterior-grade latex paint, using a brush. Sand lightly between coats.

Vinyl Siding:

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.

Concrete Block and Brick:

To prime block use a good masonry sealer. To prime brick use a quality latex primer. When the primer is dry, apply top-quality latex paint that's formulated for use on masonry. Use a long-nap roller to cover most of the surface, and a brush to get into grout lines and crevices. Watch for drips – there's a lot of texture to a brick surface, so keep an eye out for runs. A second coat may be required. Think about this, it can’t be undone.

And never paint interior brick or stone walls in a basement. Unless you live in the desert, moisture will taunt you and make you nuts. You may become the crazy basement dweller. It happened to me. Tragic.

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