October 2009 Edition 

How To Tell Oil Paint From Latex 

When there is an existing painted surface that you want to paint over, how do you determine whether the previous paint is oil or latex? We've had some problems in our house in the past painting latex over oil with no primer. We'd like to use latex but we don't want to prime unnecessarily (don't want too many coats of paint on a surface). Is there a quick and easy technique to identify oil vs. latex?  
Water-based (also called "latex") paints offer the easiest application and soap-and-water cleanup, are the fastest drying and have less odor than solvent paints. Latex performs well on interior walls and ceilings; its quick drying time prevents the kinds of ripples and sags that can occur with slower-drying alkyd finishes. For brick, concrete and cinder block, only latex should be used.
Alkyd (commonly called "oil-based") paints generally cost more than latex. (Though interchangeably referred to as "oil-based", they're not the same thing as the traditional oil-based paints that they have largely come to replace.) Application requires patience. Thin coats are generally necessary to avoid problems like sagging and streaking, and the drying time is usually longer than latex.
The up side is a paint job that stands up beautifully to long-term wear and tear. Scrubbing off dirt and scuff marks won't harm the paint. Alkyd paints are the superior choice for painting floors and metal surfaces.
Tip: Remember, oil and water don't mix. For best results, you should consider applying the same type of paint that's already there. (Not sure what's there? See below) Consider the following rules when choosing the type of paint you'll use. 
For interiors: You can safely apply latex over oil, or oil over latex, but only if the previous finish is flat or if it has been sanded. If in doubt about what's there, you may want to cover first with a primer of the same composition (alkyd or latex) as the paint you choose to use. 
For exteriors: Oil should not be applied over latex. The best exterior combination is latex paint over alkyd primer. 
Is it latex or oil-based paint? If you're ready to do some painting over old paint and wondering whether you need a latex or oil-based paint to cover it, here's how you can easily find out.
First scrub a small area with a solution of household detergent and warm water. Rinse well and towel-dry it, then soak a cotton ball, Q-Tip or soft rag in alcohol and rub it back and forth over the cleaned area. If paint comes off, it's latex paint and another coat of the same is in order. If the paint doesn't come off, it's oil-based, and a pre-coat of oil-based primer is a must. Then you have the option for the finish coat since different types of latex or oil-based paint can be used.  
Courtesy of "On the House" with the Carey Bros.

Automatic Closing Toilet Seat 

Create 'harmony' in your home with these convenient, self closing toilet seats. Put an end to the frustration of the seat being left up and keep your pets safe, too! Once you have one of these handy seats, there will be no more surprises in the middle of the night.
Silently & gently ("soft") closes after every flush
Easy installation instructions and hardware included with every toilet seat
"Who left the toilet seat up?" will be a thing of the past
Keeps pets from drinking water out of the toilet
Flush activated - no electrical connections or batteries needed
Long lasting, stain resistant solid plastic
Designed to work with most round and elongated toilets  
How It Works 
When the toilet seat cover is placed in the upright position, the Push Rod in the Latch Bolt (1) is "latched" and ready to close the cover (and ring if up). When the toilet is flushed, the Float (2) pulls on the Cord (3) utilizing the Release Barrel (4) to "unlatch" the Push Rod. Once unlatched, the Seat Cover is pushed forward. The slow close modules (5) in the hinges provide a soft, quiet closing action for the seat cover and ring. Once the toilet tank refills with water, the system is ready to be used again. Purchase from www.plumbingsupply.com. 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length. 

Home Tips Available By Email

Due To The Increase In Distribution Cost, We Will Be Discontinuing The Delivery Of Home Tips To Your Office At The End Of This Year.

To Receive Them By Email, Just Drop Us A Note At: RodHarrison@ChristianBuildingInspectors.com.

Quote Of The Month

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

Chinese proverb 

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Raul Agard

Solid Source Realty

10900 Crabapple Road

Roswell, Georgia 30075

**** Thank You****