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Some Questions And Answers

" I have a number of chips and holes in my living room walls and I'm unsure whether I need to get the whole thing re-plastered to smooth it off or whether I can just get them filled. I'm hoping to just have neutral painted walls at the end but because there was previously wallpaper in place they look a bit damaged so I'm not sure if this is possible? "  From Alice Rutman 05/04/2010

It really depends on the extent of the imperfections. There are 3 options here. Firstly, you could replaster the whole wall which will give you a completely smooth finish and brand new looking wall. However, this is the most expensive option and will still need decorating afterwards. Secondly, you could line the walls with lining paper to smooth over(in effect hide) impefections and then paint over the lining paper. The disadvantages of this are that you still need to do some filling prior to lining and you will have joins between the strips. You can of course fill these joins afterwards but then you are really defeating the purpose of lining in the first place.  Personally I would not recommend this option as there is really no need to paper over a wall unless you wish to have a pattern or flock finish. The third option is to skim the entire wall which is bascially smoothing over the entire wall with filler and then sanding this down. The result can be a wall as smooth as a newly plastered one. However, you need to be aware that this will create dust but it is usually cheaper and quicker than replastering.

 

" What's the best finish on woodwork; Satin, Eggshell or Gloss and why is it necessary to sand first? " From Teymour Gaskin 26/07/2010

In terms of durability Gloss is the best, especially outdoors. However, it is very shiny which is not to everyone's taste. Really it depends on what kind of look you want; shiny and reflective(Gloss) or a flatter, matt finish(Eggshell). If you want something in the middle then go for a Satin finish. I would recommend always using an oil based paint here as it is much tougher and as a general rule the shinier it is the longer the finish will last.

Sanding prior to painting is particuarly important on woodwork because it provides a key for the paint to adhere to. Basically the more thorough the sanding, the better the key and the thicker the coat of paint will be. Also, the grain on wood tends to raise on wood after painting(particuarly new wood) so you need to sand between each coat to achieve that smooth finish.