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Avoid "Flashing" with Latex and Acrylic Paint

Posted March 15th, 2009 under renovations and repairs.

Over the past few months, while showing homes to my clients, I have noticed many instances where the walls of a home had an uneven sheen to them. When looking along the wall, with light reflecting, one could see an uneven amount of shine, along with roller marks. This condition is called "flashing", and it occurs with latex and acrylic paint when a new coat is applied without first sealing the wall with a primer sealer.

This happens because the paint is water-based, and allows water to be absorbed into the drywall at different rates in different places on the wall. The rate of absorption determines the surface sheen, and as the years pass, the differences become more pronounced.

The primer sealer helps keep the absorption uniform so flashing does not occur. In addition, besides being inexpensive, primer sealer can be slightly tinted with the colour of the finish, which gives the top coat a more solid look. So, when applying a new coat of latex or acrylic paint, consider using a primer sealer first to ensure an even sheen.

Want to know more about preparing your home for a sale? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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