Frequently Asked Questions – Paint Queries

FAQs – Paint Queries

Is there a product that I can use to apply to a wooden bookcase before painting instead of sanding?

You could apply stripper and remove the varnish. However, you do not need to remove the varnish before painting the bookcase. You need only give it a light sanding, just to literally scratch the surface and give it what is called a key to which the finish you are applying, can adhere.

Just bear in mind that if the varnish is oil-based, then the paint you use should also be oil-based.

How do I stop a skin forming on top of paint in its container?

There are two ways: you can store the container upside-down, but probably better still is to spray a fine mist of mineral turpentine on the surface of an oil-base paint, or fine spray of water on to the surface of a water-base paint. Carefully close and seal the container and then move it, equally carefully – to avoid disturbing the film – to the storage position.

I want to know how to fix a wall with paint peeling off it.

Paint often peels because there is moisture getting in under the paint film, and you can recognise this by the fact that large areas of the paint peel off. If adhesion is the problem then peeling may be spotty… in small areas here and there.

So… potential causes of peeling include:

  • Moisture getting behind paint film from roof leaks in roof or through an insufficiently sealed wall that meets an earth bank.
  • Faulty guttering.
  • A leaking water pipe in the wall itself.
  • Painting when the surface being painted is wet from condensation or rain.
  • Keeping windows and doors closed in bathrooms and so on, so that steam cannot escape.


  • Fix the roof leak or the faulty guttering.
  • Dig back from the wall, if it holds back earth, clean it and seal it properly with a good sealant your local Mica will be able to advise you.
  • Eliminate the cause of the steaming up by leaving doors and windows open to allow dry air in and steamy air out.
  • Scrape away old peeling paint and sand affected areas.
  • Spot prime bare areas.
  • Repaint with a high quality acrylic latex house paint.