Rowe Spurling Paint Company is the oldest paint company in Bermuda. It was founded by Rowe Spurling in the 1940s and is now owned by Justin and Karolina De Costa, who took over the business in 2007.
Rowe Spurling Paint Co sells house, automotive and marine and craft paints, plus varnishes and stains.
This month the company starts a monthly series of tips in ‘Bermuda Living’, to help people make the most of their home renovations.
In this month’s issue, Mrs De Costa also gives her tips for painting wooden furniture and covering ceiling cracks and stains.
Furniture needs to be cleaned, sanded down and primed before any paintwork starts, in order to get the best effect.
“The most important part of any project is always the preparation, and some things require more preparation than others,” said Mrs De Costa.
“If you’re finishing your furniture or painting woodwork, any time you start with bare wood you need to prime it with a wood primer, especially if it has knots in it.
“Knots contain tannin which will over time bleed through your paint.
“First of all you need to give the wood a light sanding to get rid of any rough spots.
“Then follow the instructions on the can as to how long you should let the primer dry before you paint on top.”
In terms of paint used, Mrs De Costa recommends water-based enamels.
“When it comes to painting, traditionally people have used oil-based paints on their furniture, and other paints, but the water-based enamels on the market today are just as durable.
“They don’t have a strong smell and dry very quickly.
“They clean up with soap and water so are also a lot more environmentally-friendly than traditional oil-based paints.
“If you are painting a white colour, then a water-based paint will stay white, but an oil-based paint will yellow with time.
“If your furniture or woodwork has a finish on it already, usually it’s enough to clean any grease or contaminants from it and then sand down the furniture, then paint.”
She also has advice for dealing with one of the downsides of our humid climate.
“If you have mould on it, you need to clean this off first before you do anything,” said Mrs De Costa.
“Mix bleach and water 50/50 and clean the mould from those areas.
“Then, go back with fresh water and get rid of any bleach residue.
“Let it dry, preferably overnight, and then go ahead with the sanding.
“Then, if there’s a finish on there already, you can go ahead with the painting.”
Although water-based enamel dries quickly, paint on wood also needs to harden.
“If you use a water-based enamel the paint will be dry between an hour and an hour-and-a-half,” said Mrs De Costa.
“But you will need to leave it a couple of days for the paint to cure.
“Before you start using the chair or putting things on the piece of furniture you must wait for this paint to harden.”
She said another disadvantage of oil-based paints was that they took 24-hours to dry.
When it comes to the number of coats of paint needed, this depends on the colour you are using.
“A lighter colour will need one to two coats for full coverage,” said Mrs De Costa.
“A darker colour will need two to four coats because the paint base will be weaker to accept all the colour.
“With lighter colours the base is darker so it covers much better.”
Ceiling cracks and stains
Before painting a ceiling, you need to ensure that any cracks or stains are not part of a bigger problem on the floor or roof above you.
“The first thing you need to look at is repairing your ceiling if there is a bigger issue,” said Mrs De Costa.
“If you have a water stain you may have a crack in your roof. So this will keep on happening until you fix it.
“Once you have fixed any problems, look at whether the ceiling is smooth or textured, because that will dictate what kind of product you are going to use.
“If your ceiling is smooth you can touch up the cracks with a product called Spackle.
“This is a putty manufactured by Muralo, the company which invented it.
“If it’s textured, you can use a product called Montana, by Muralo, which has grit in it and will blend in better with a textured ceiling.
‘It will take about six to eight hours to dry, depending on the humidity.
“Then you should follow up on any stains with a stain ceiling primer, and then paint your ceiling.
“What we recommend for a ceiling is a flat, non-reflective paint.
“Not only does it help to hide your surface imperfections but it also doesn’t glare when you turn on the lights.
“Another important thing about painting ceilings is that a lot of people paint their ceilings white but don’t take the opportunity to think of it as a fifth wall.
“You can really add a lot of style to your room by painting your ceiling a different colour.”
Rowe Spurling Paint Company is at 67 St John’s Road, Pembroke. Contact 292-7770 or e-mail email@example.com. The company’s Facebook page also offers design ideas and helpful tips.