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Painting Tough Surfaces

Now that spring is here, you may want to give your home a fresh coat of paint.

You probably know how to properly paint a wall, but there are many other surfaces you're going to encounter around the house that may not be so easy to cover with paint.

Danny Lipford, The Early Show contributor and host of "Today's Homeowner," has some tips to make the process easy.


You can change the look of concrete in your patio, garage floor or sidewalk very easily with concrete stain, Lipford says, "the first step is cleaning anything off of the concrete with a brush or broom or any kind of detergent and then applying two coats of concrete stain."

  • Staining Concrete - Stain is different from paint because it seeps into the concrete and permanently changes the color. It doesn't peel or crack the way paint does over the years. And it also has more of a transparent feel than paint because it is completely opaque. You can use concrete stain for either new concrete or concrete that has not previously been painted.

    H&C Shield Plus Concrete Stain
    Price: $23.00 per gallon
    Widely Available
    Web site:

  • Painting Concrete – By using masonry sealant, you can get a more solid appearance. Lipford recommends using as well a mildew-fighting product.

    "First, use the masonry sealant that will seal the pores of the block or brick. After applying that, you can use a traditional latex wall paint," Lipford says.

    Zinsser's WaterTite Mold & Mildew Proof Water Proofing Paint
    Price: $24.00
    Widely Available
    For more information visit:

Whether you choose to stain or paint your concrete, make sure the surface is free from dirt and grease and is completely dry.


  • Painting Metal - The biggest problem with any kind of metal is rust. "The first step is to try to remove as much rust as you can," Lipford says. You can save time by putting a wire brush onto a drill. "When painting metal, use oil-based paint because it's better at combating the rust than latex is," he says.

    After scrubbing the rust off, simply wipe the metal down with mineral spirits and then paint immediately. Use a paint sprayer, first a primer and then a topcoat. The primer is used to create a good foundation to prevent the rust from returning. Spray painting is recommended because it helps you to work faster. You also can use a regular paintbrush.

    Krylon "Rust Tough" Primer
    Priced: $6.50 per 12 oz can
    Widely Available

    Krylon "Rust Tough" Rust Preventative Enamel Paint
    Price: $6.50 per 12 oz can
    Widely Available
    Web site:

  • Painting Aluminum Siding - "To change the color, the main thing with aluminum siding is that it will have chalky residue over the surface because of the factory finish," Lipford says.

    "The paint that was put on originally just breaks down over the years. The first step is to wash all of the siding first, clean thoroughly and allow it to dry. Then, the trick is to use 100 percent acrylic latex paint. Aluminum siding will expand and contract according to the temperature and humidity." Lipford recommends using acrylic latex paint for aluminum because it is a more flexible finish than an oil-based paint.

    Sherwin Williams "SuperPaint" Exterior Latex Paint - Satin Finish
    Price: $30.00 per gallon
    Available at Sherwin Williams Stores
    Web site:

  • Painting Plastic - "In the past, there hasn't been any paint specifically formulated to paint plastic until now," says Lipford. "Fusion" by Krylon company, soon will be available at home improvement centers.

    Lipford says, "Plastic vinyl shutters that are nailed on either side of a window are limited in the colors they come in and they tend to fade after a few years." So to prepare the surface, use an ammonia cleaner to clean it and once it is dry, spray two coats of "Fusion" paint, Lipford says.

    Krylon "Fusion"
    Price: $4.50 per 12 oz can
    Widely Available
    Web site:

Here are some spray painting tips that apply to all surfaces:
  • Keep the sprayer 10-12 inches away from the surface.
  • Constantly shake the can to keep the paint stirred up well.
  • When using a can with a spray tip, the tips help create a finer layer of paint when it comes out of the tip. To prevent any drips, spray lightly over the surface. Lipford says that it's better to spray four thin coats rather two heavy ones.
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