The Ultimate Painting Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Painting is one of those household tasks that can be tempting to rush. But if you're painting your brown den an airy light blue and think you can get away with using the old roller you used for the outside of the house -- or if you want to skip the primer -- you might want to think again. And what about those VOC fumes you keep hearing about? What kinds of paints have those? Take this quiz and find out for yourself.

About how many square feet does a gallon of paint cover?

Count on about 250 to 300 square feet per gallon of paint for a typical interior paint job.

For an exterior house paint job, what's the rule of thumb for amounts of trim paint to wall paint?

You should figure in a gallon of trim paint for every six gallons of wall paint.

You're painting your bedroom and notice that the paint is drying into little islands. What's the pros' nickname for this problem?

Alligatoring happens when you're painting with incompatible paints or you've put a second coat over still-wet paint.

When you're looking for a new paintbrush, you should select one that has exactly even bristles -- or as close as you can get. True or false?

You should look for one that has bristles of various lengths that are tapered along the edges. This makes for a more even coat and prevents striping.

What's the best type of paintbrush for putting acrylic paint in an interior room?

Polyester is best because it's soft and produces a smooth finish.

What's the best type of brush for outdoor use?

Nylon is tough, so it works well on rough or outdoor surfaces.

What's the best brush to use with oil paints?

Because of their superior ability to hold their shape and stay stiff, natural brushes are best used when applying oil-based paints and lacquers.

What's the best size roller for painting walls and ceilings?

Go for 9 inches for any basic wall or ceiling paint job.

What should the nap be on your 9-inch roller for that wall-and-ceiling job?

A quarter- to a half-inch nap will work best.

For what kind of surface would you need an inch-thick nap?

A very uneven surface like stucco would require an inch-thick nap.

What's the most versatile kind of paint sprayer?

Piston-pump sprayers can handle thicker paint as well as thinner paints and lacquers.

What's the most environmentally friendly kind of drop cloth?

Washable, reusable canvas is best if you're trying to be nice to the planet.

What's cheaper -- oil- or water-based primer?

Water-based primers are less expensive, but oil-based products are often more versatile and effective.

What's the most effective way to prep smoke-damaged walls?

Shellac primer is really the only way to seal in smoke odors.

About how many known toxins are lurking in a typical container of household paint?

There are about 10,000 chemicals in your run-of-the-mill household paint, 300 of which are known to be toxic. The worst ones are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

What percentage of these toxins have been linked to cancer?

About 150, or half, have been connected to cancer.

VOC levels are dangerous for a few days post-painting, but after that, your indoor air will be totally safe. True or false?

VOCs continue seeping out for several years. Studies have shown that only half are released within a year of painting.

If there's dried paint all over your door hardware, stick the parts in a pot of water and this kind of cleaner.

Simmering the hardware in water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner should do the trick.

If you need to remove old paint that's been there since before ______, you should take precautions against lead exposure.

Lead-based paint was common before the '70s, so be extra careful (ideally, get a professional to do the job) if you're dealing with paint that old.

If you're looking to spruce up your kitchen but don't want to spring for new countertops, you can just paint them. True or false?

Yes, it's true -- if they're laminate, that is. Just make sure you use an acrylic primer that's made to cover glossy surfaces, and then seal your paint with clear acrylic.

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