Inside job:

by Brian Sodoma

iStock_000035455352_LargeJeremy Rhett, owner of CertaPro Painters of Atlanta, GA, doesn’t like to be patronizing to his staff, but he knows as more jobs shift indoors this fall, some of his crews—particularly those who haven’t done an interior job in months—will need a few basic reminders about interior prep dos and don’ts.

“Some stuff seems very common sense, but people don’t bring it up. Then you get in the habit of working a certain way outside, and inside it doesn’t always work,” he said.

Slowing down, courtesy

After a summer of walking through dirt, grass and other surfaces that don’t require careful attention, moving indoors and being conscientious of a home- or business-owner’s floors and carpets takes a new attention to detail, Rhett explained.

“We have to remind exterior painters to be careful and considerate and to take their shoes off at the front door,” he added. “The clean-up practices are different on interiors and you need to keep that in mind too. … Even knowing which bathroom you can and can’t use is important to know.”

Cleaning strategy

Rick Watson, director of product information and technical services for Sherwin-Williams, can’t emphasize enough that walls need a thorough wipe down before painting.

Dust generated inside the home/building goes in and out of the ducts, he explains, and combines with dirt, debris, and spent solvents from a furnace, and it all collects on walls and baseboards over the course of years. “Those contaminants on the walls could prevent a coating from adhering,” he added.

For interior prep, Watson advises pros on a certain order. Clean first, he says, then dry, then sand, if required. But after sanding, be sure to remove dust with a vacuum or another cleaning measure.

Older homes

Heading indoors also means paying attention to the age of a home/building. Jeff Spillane, senior manager of training and implementation with Benjamin Moore, says lead can be a problem, particularly in situations where some extensive wall repair may be required. “It can be a particular problem if you have plaster pulling away from lath in places,” he said.

1-800-424-LEAD is the EPA’s National Lead Information Hotline. It can give paint pros guidance on how to best proceed if an older home is suspected of having high levels of lead-based paint and is also in need of extensive repair.

For more insights on shifting strategies for interior prep work, read the expanded feature article in the August/September issue of inPAINT magazine:

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