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FAQ's
MOULD
I have a problem with mould on a small patch of wall in my bathroom.  I have tried to paint over it but the mould just re appears after a very short time. My question to you is, can I do anything to prevent this, or is there a specific paint I need to paint the walls, where the mould appears?
Mrs A Bridgestock

Mould will grow almost anywhere - particularly in damp and warm conditions and if left untreated it can damage your home and your health
Black mould on the walls, window frames and other areas of your home is the most common problem
since you are dealing with living microscopic organisms.
Apply a mixture of 1 cup chlorine bleach per 1 gallon water to the moldy area. Making sure not to over saturate the drywall, gently rub the mold with a sponge.
Allow the area to dry thoroughly. Apply a coat of Kilz primer, or similar product, over the area where the mold was removed. The Kilz will ensure that the remaining mold stain does not seep through the paint. Let the  primer dry overnight. Repeat Kilz application until no stain can be seen.
One can purchase a biocide as an alternative to the bleach and water mixture. A biocide is a strong mold killer and is registered through the Environmental Protection Agency

Almost every homeowner contends with mold and mildew. In particular, mold can build up in bathrooms, where air tends to be humid and walls become damp. If you paint over the mold without removing it first, the mold eventually will seep through the paint. If not properly removed, mold can induce asthma, allergic reactions and other respiratory problems


WOOD KNOTTING
 
 I have 10 bare wood, pine panel doors to finish in a satin white finish.
They are quite knotty, do I have to prime them first or do the knots have to be done with some sort of treatment? Also I have a piece of skirting board, a stain has come through on it and I would say that was a couple of knots
Ray Brown

 

Wood knots are visible as dark spots on light paint and light spots on dark paint.
Bleeding: Yellowish droplets form on paint surfaces, especially on south-facing walls
On new wood that has not dried out , knotting solution is used to treat knots so they don't seep and spoil a finished paint effect. A treated area will not accept a colour wash as well as bare wood, so apply the solution to the knot alone. A fine artist's paintbrush is ideal for this
White knotting solution, which is transparent when dry, is ideal for use on pale woods. Dab a little of the knotting solution onto a clean dry rag then rub it well into the knot. The solution will dry very quickly, leaving little or no visible marks underneath any subsequent finish.

With all new pine, unless they have been pre-knotted you must apply a knotting solution to all the knots. Use a primer, when dry prior to undercoating, at least 2 coats, and if painting in eggshell finish which is non shiny, then at least 1 coat, or if you want a nice finish 2 coats. 

Dont forget there is different grades of pine doors, some are as rough as anything, so you must sand before you do any knotting or paintwork. 
Not only sand them but fill any nicks, knotting holes etc. 

Give doors a good rub down, knot all the knots, then use an oilbase primer. 
This is normally a greyish colour, when dry, then fill any bits that need filling. 
When filler dry, sand down the filler, plus sand the whole door again prior to painting 


 

BLISTERING AND FLAKING OF EXTERNAL PAINT
Hi, can you please give any advice on flaking paint to my external wood framed windows. I have just purchased an old place. This is a problem I have with all the windows, especially the front elevation. Many thanks
Ian Metcalf

This may be due to any of the following factors: 
Moisture trapped beneath the surface of the paint film.
If the paint is applied over a powdery or friable surface.
Surface contamination such as dirt, oil, and grease.
Polish residues on the surface, which impair the adhesion of the paint.
Excessive movement of the substrate, such as joints, imposing stress on the paint film which can result in cracking which in turn lets in moisture, ultimately resulting in a flaking paint film.

Resin bleed and flaking is a common problem where dark colours are used on south facing elevations. This is because dark colours absorb more heat than light colours.

Remove all loose material back to a firm edge. It will need to be spot primed with the appropriate primer.  If large areas are involved it will be best to totally strip the surface back to a bare surface and start again.

Wood knots are visible as bleeding yellowish droplets. They form on paint surfaces, especially on

south-facing walls
With regards to any raw woodwork that is to be painted, if it has knots in it, will have to be treated with a knotting solution. This will seal the knot as it is usually shellac based and will stop knots from bleeding through. 
Once that has been done, the raw wood will need to be primed. This will raise the grain in places and will bind the surface of the wood enough to be able to sand down. When dry apply a coat of oil based undercoat, dry rub down again, possibly another undercoat if the first has not covered properly, then sand again, getting more gentle and use a finer grade of paper, then finish off with the satinwood. Oil based paint will not seal knots in wood as the sap will tend to bleed through. These cannot be knotted afterwardsTip – if you have bleed through just pop a little washing-up liquid on the edge of a scraper and lightly scrape off the resin, microporous paints are designed to let resin escape instead of flaking. 

How to avoid bleeding from wood knots:
Treat wood knots with Knotting Lacquer
Prime surfaces properly
Don’t use very knotty wood 
Don’t use very resinous wood.


How can I keep my wallpaper border from falling down?
We put up a wallpaper border in the babies room last week. I went in the room today and it is falling down in all sorts of places. There are some parts where it is sticking but most of it fell off. What can we do? Is there some kind of paste I can use? Do I have to completly start over? We followed the directions of back rolling the paper and soaking it in lukewarm water for 10sec then applying it and rubbing all the bubbles out with a damp sponge. It seemed to be holding up good the first 2 days I'm not sure why it's not sticking!!! 
Mrs Sheila Braintree

It is recommended that you 'book' the border   That means, after you take it out of the water, you softly 'fold' it (zig zags with the glued sides together) and wait several minutes. That activates the glue completely. It should be slimy, not just slick. Also, it is very easy to over-wipe the wet border, which squeezes the glue out from under, and keeps it from adhering well.
The painted walls should have been fine - I don't think you need to go back and prime. Since there's no way to know how much paste is still on the paper, re-wetting it probably won't help, though. 

Carefully pull down the paper, cleaning any backing paper residue from the wall. Purchase a border adhesive (in a tub) and a small sponge roller. Don't bother re-wetting the paper, the adhesive will do enough of that. Apply the paste, let it 'set up' for a few minutes, and smooth it back up. Careful not to rub all the fresh glue out! The remaining glue on the paper in addition to the new border glue should do just fine. 
If large chunks of the backing stayed on the walls, you'll have lumps or dips when you try to re-use that section, so simply cut that length out of the border, and bring two 'good' ends/edges together. Like when you started, a clean wall with no scraps of old paper will give you the best finished look
I hope this has helped.
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