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Questions & Answers

Welcome to Paint Direct’s Question and Answer page.

Below you will find many of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our clientele on Paint & Stain issues.

If you do not see the answer to your specific question,

please call us at 403-243-1274.

Paint Questions

Q: How many sqare feet does a gallon of paint cover?

A: It depends on the surface to be painted and the type of paint being used.  For instance, a dry stucco exterior wall being painted with thick elastomeric type paint will use about a gallon every 150 square feet.  Alternately, a flat interior drywall surface using an eggshell finish will use about 1 gallon every 400 square feet.  Talk with a customer service representative about your project to determine what paint will work best and give the best coverage.

Q: Can you paint over OIL paint with Latex?

A: Yes, but…

 The wall surface must be prepared properly in order for the paint to stick.  The surface must be cleaned and rinsed and then sanded to remove any shine.  The sanding is not meant to be silky smooth, but should create a “tooth” for the new paint to adhere to.

Q: Do you keep records of the paint I have bought?

A: Customers who set up accounts with us will have their purchases on file in the computer, up to a certain date.  We are unable to track cash purchases.  Customers who have had color matches done will have their color records retained in our color match formula books

Q: Do you do color matching & How long does it take?

A: Yes, we do color matching in paint, wood working stains and lacquers.  We generally request 24 hours for a paint match and 2-3 days for a wood working stain or lacquer match.  In the event that we have an extreme volume of matches ahead of your request, we would advise you of the extended time required to complete the order.

Q: At what temperature can exterior paint be applied?

A: Depending on the paint, product and ambient air, it should be a minimum of 10° C for a period of 24 hours.  However, we now have “cold weather paints”.  Check with our paint consultant for details.

Q: What happens if my latex paint freezes?

A: Most top quality latex paints can withstand being frozen once.  If you are not sure, bring them in and have our paint consultant check for you.

Q: Can I paint the tiles in my bathroom? Can I paint tiles?

A: Ceramic tile can be painted.  However, because there are so many different types, we suggest discussing your project with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

Q: Do you sell fan decks?

A: Yes. Fan decks, when available, are $15 each.

Q: Do you sell large format paint chip samples?

A: Yes.  Our staff will paint out 12” x 18” cards of our color for $8 per card.  Please call ahead for more details.

Q: What product(s) can I use to refinish my hardwood floors?

A: Paint Direct has both Oil Based and Waterborne floor finishes available.

Q: Can you use an exterior paint on the inside of your house?

A: Yes and no.  Exterior paints dry slow and remain flexible.  This usually renders them not as durable as interior paints.  Also, yellowing can be a problem.

Q: Can you use regular floor paint on a Garage Floor?

A: We suggest not as hot tires pick up paint that is not designed to be driven on.  We have 3 or 4 special floor paints for garage floors.

Q: How do I set up an account with Paint Direct?

A: Talk to one of our paint specialists.

Q: Are there different kinds of primers?

A: Many, as they all have different uses.   Call us and we can give you specific details on which one to use and where.

Wood Stain Questions

Q: How do I apply Interior Wood Stain?

A:  Keep your stain well stirred the whole time.  Keep a stick in your can and every time you want to dip your brush, sponge or rag, give the stain a swirl. Wipe on across the grain and wipe off with the grain; Leave the stain on until the required result is met.  While the stain is “wet” for 10-15 seconds, you can see the finished color.  Once dry, your stain will appear dull and off color.  However, this will remedy when you apply your clear coat.  Drying time for stain will vary with the type of wood species, temperature and ventilation.  Choice of clear coat is also important so as to avoid solvent entrapment.

Q: What do I need to do for a custom stain match?

A:  Bring us a sample of the target wood sample as well as a piece of wood to be stained.  Wood samples each need to be at least 12” x 12”.

Q: What is the minimum purchase for a custom wood stain?

A: We now do matches into quarts starting at $49.99.

Q: What is the cost of a custom stain & What is the Turnaround Time?

A:  Minimum cost is $49.99 per gallon for light colors.  Mahogany and deep cherry color can be as high as $100.00 per gallon.  Depending on customer demand and peak periods, we can usually turn around a stain match in 5 to 8 days.

Q: I am ready to stain, what should I do?

A:  The wood should be clean and dry.  Moisture content should be approximately 8-12%.  Sand to approximately 120-150 grit.  For further details, check with our store personnel.

Q: Do I need a clear coat on top of my stain?

A:  Generally speaking, most wood stain projects require a clear coat for protection and to enhance the appearance of the wood stain.  (Clear is said to bring out the color and grain of the wood)  Clear coats become specific to the project and the individual.  We would be glad to advise you on products available.

Q: After I stain, how long do I have to wait before I apply a clear coat?

A:  We suggest you check the dry time on the label of your stain, however, we suggest you wait at least 24 hours

Q: How many clear coats do I need?

A:  Again, this depends on the product you are finishing.  Generally speaking, a top quality job will need 2 to 3 coats with light sanding using 200 grit sandpaper between coats.

Q: How do I putty over brad nails?

Putty comes in several formats.  The two most commonly used are soft putty and fill sticks.  They should be used between the seal coat and finish coat.  At Paint Direct we have an excellent selection of colors to match your stain.


Q: Is there a Waterbased Lacquer Alternative?

A: Yes, eco-friendly technology is advancing all the time and more and more products are becoming available and increasingly user friendly.  Ask us about Valspar Zenith!