Helpful Hints

For the Application and Disposal of Paints and Coatings. 

Preparation required varies according to the surface to be painted but note that preparation is the key to a successful outcome of any decorating task and it may well take longer than the painting of the area itself.

 Preparation is Key
Preparation is key and it’s your reputation that’s at stake if you do not take the time and care to prepare properly. No matter how skilled you are at your trade, if you don’t use the right tools or the right quality product, don’t clean the surface that you want to paint sufficiently, you won’t get the best finish despite your best efforts. The actual preparation required varies according to the surface to be painted, its age, type and condition but note that preparation is the key to a successful outcome of any decorating task and it may well take longer than the painting of the area itself. 

 Before You Start
 Ensure you have selected the correct paint or coating for your chosen project.

 Make sure you understand how the paint system needs to work (twin pack paints etc).

 Work out the area to be covered and the number of coats to be applied.

 Ensure you wear recommended protective clothing, spray mask and goggles. 

 Ensure there is plenty of ventilation adequate for the application.

 On metal work ensure you choose the right abrasive when shot blasting is not an option.

 All surfaces, whatever the type need to be free from dirt, grease and other surface contamination. Always use the correct degreaser or panel wipe.

 Always read the Technical Data Sheets and Health & Safety Sheets before using any product.

 Ensure all surfaces are properly prepared before painting, free of dirt, dust, wax, polish or grease.

 Stir paint cans thoroughly and shake spray cans vigorously for about one minute after the ball is heard.

 Spray the object at about 30cm (12”).  Move the spray can parallel with the surface, back and forth to ensure a smooth and even coverage.

 Check the room temperature for spraying is not below 50°F (10°C).

 Apply thin coats, if paints sags or runs you are too close or applying the paint too heavily.

 Ensure the appropriate drying time is allowed before applying subsequent coats or using the application.


 In the middle of a painting project and want to keep your brushes fresh overnight? In this case, there’s no need to give them a thorough clean. Simply wrap the head of your paint brushes and roller in cling film or secure in an airtight plastic bag. Seal around the handle with masking tape and store in a dry place for up to two days.

 Once you’ve finished painting, it’s now time to give your brushes and rollers a proper clean. First, scrape off as much paint as you can.

 If you’ve been using water-based paint, simply soak your brush or roller in warm water for about 2 hours. Dry with a clean cloth and store in a dry place for future use.

 Using solvent-based paints? Pour a small amount of
solvent-based cleaner (this can be found at your local hardware store) into a small jar or container and work the brush against the sides to get the cleaner into the base of the bristles.
Soak for about 2 hours, dry with a clean clothand store in a dry place for future use.

 You shouldn’t pour solvents down the sink, after you’ve finished cleaning your brushes, place a lid on your jar or container and leave for 24 hours. Once the paint has sunk to the bottom, you can tip the remaining solvent cleaner into the bottle for future use. Leave the paint to fully dry in the jar before disposing in the bin. Try to use as small a jar or container as possible to keep the solvent use to a minimum.

 Cleaning and Disposal of Paint 

Remember - Clean up responsibly!
If you do end up with leftover paint, can you re-use it? Storing leftover paint is easy as long as you keep the tins away from direct sunlight and in a frost-free environment. If you only have a small amount remaining, pour the leftover paint into old jam jars and store in a safe, dry place. 

Leftover whites? Mix them together and use a base coat next time you decorate.

Can someone else use it? 
You could pass it on to neighbours or friends, or perhaps a local theatre group, school or community centre could use it. Community repaint projects, such as Community Repaint, is also a great option. Coordinated by the not-for-profit  environmental consultancy Resource Futures, Community Repaint collects ‘half-tins’ of leftover paint from donation points at numerous Local Authorities’ Household Waste Recycling Centres and Civic Amenity sites. To donate paint, simply visit: find your nearest Paint Donation Facility.

Do not pour leftover paint or varnish in to drains or  watercourses.

Remove excess material from brushes and rollers by wiping off onto newspaper or rag and spread out to dry before disposal. Use an inert, absorbent material (such as cat litter) to soak up small amounts of water based coatings – then dispose of in a dustbin.

If leftover product is stored carefully it can often be re-used. Keep the lid firmly on the can to ensure a good seal. Protect water based coatings from freezing and all coatings from temperatures above 35°C.

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