How to Paint Special Surfaces

painting exteriors

There once was a time when using paint to change the color of some objects was simply out of the question. Technology kept inventing materials faster than paint could be made that would stick to them. And paint may have also suffered from the prevalent but false notion that it simply wasn't appropriate for certain surfaces. The color of concrete or ceramic yard ornaments, for example, was frequently perceived as simply immutable -- it was made in the color it was supposed to be.

Projects in Special Surfaces

Whatever real or imagined limitations may have applied to paint in the past are today fairly well put to rest. Whether you want to paint an old cast-iron toy, a plastic lawn chair, a solid concrete yard ornament, a wicker rocking chair, an ornate iron fence, old vinyl shutters on your house, or even your child's half-worn sneakers, there's a modern paint that will do the job.

The conditions for paint to stick to a surface are pretty much the same no matter what the material. It must be free of mildew, dirt, and grease; it must provide some "traction" or a "tooth," (something a little rougher than bright and shiny) for the paint to stick; and it must be primed with a solution that minimizes the chance of interfering elements (like rust) occurring or reoccurring. That means that no matter what you're painting, preparation steps will be about the same. Paints and application techniques, however, will vary.

For example, metals are best painted with paints formulated for metals, plastics with "plastic" paints, fabrics with "fabric" paints, and so on. Different surfaces will also require different painting techniques. Painting stucco, for example, will mean spraying paint from several directions so all parts of the surface and all the small recesses get covered. The same is true for other rough textures, such as wicker furniture and anything woven, as well as complicated pieces like chairs and toys.

Painting an object in multiple colors can produce attractive results, but multicolor paint schemes take patience in order to look professional. Mask off sections around the area you want to paint using masking tape and paper. Then paint the section. To paint another color, remove the tape and repeat the process, masking off the first color only when it is fully dry.

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