Frequently Asked Questions

When painting a room,

  • the ceiling should be painted first,
  • followed by the walls,
  • then the trim (including doors and windows)
  • and finally the baseboards.

This depends on the condition of the surface you are painting. As a general rule, walls should be clean, dry and dull.

Walls that have never been painted should have a primer applied before painting; or, if you are using a paint that is self-priming or a paint & primer in one, your first coat of paint can act as the priming coat. For previously painted walls, thoroughly wash them with a mild soap and water solution, then rinse with clean water. If your existing surface was painted previously with semi-gloss or gloss paint, the surface should be lightly sanded* to a duller finish, and all sanding dust removed.

If there is loose or peeling paint scraping and sanding* of the affected area is needed. Scrub all surfaces to remove all dirt, grease, oil, etc. Rinse surface well and allow to dry. Apply appropriate patching material to cracks, nail holes, or other surface imperfections, sand* smooth, and remove sanding dust.

If the walls have not been painted in five years or longer, or if they are stained, a primer or two coats of a paint & primer should be used.

Visit our Painting Advice section for more tips on preparing to paint.

Room and surface temperature should be between 50 and 85 degrees. Paint dries best between 65F and 85F.

Allow at least 4 hours of drying time before recoating.

To achieve one-coat coverage, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 125-300 square feet per gallon. Do not thin.

Visit our Paint Calculator to determine how much paint you need for your project.

Depending on your project and the type of structure you are painting, paints may be applied with a nylon/polyester brush, a paint pad or spray unit.

Visit our Paint Checklist for a complete list of painting supplies.

Dutch Boy™ primers are specifically formulated to seal porous surfaces, block stains, as well as to insure the proper adhesion of the topcoat and produce the best possible coverage. Most projects you can use a paint & primer in one instead of a primer; however, for surfaces with rust, water, or smoke damage we recommend using a primer.

Learn more about Primers.

Painting over wallpaper is not recommended.

However, if you need to paint over a wall covering it is very important to properly prepare the surface. Be sure to remove any loose wallpaper, scuff sand* the surface. Once you have prepared the surface, please find the suitable Dutch Boy paint & primer in one or self-priming product that approves the use over wallpaper.


Be sure to prepare the surface properly before painting. Oil-based paints should be sanded to a flat finish before painting. Thoroughly rinse to surface to remove sanding dust and dirt, then apply Dutch Boy oil-based primer and the desired Dutch Boy latex paint.

Our No Prep No Prime formula in Dutch Boy Platinum allows you to paint over glossy surfaces without the need to sand or prime. So if you use Platinum you will not need to do any extra steps.

If you do not use Dutch Boy Platinum all glossy surfaces should be dulled to a flat finish by sanding before the paint is applied.


Exterior paints are formulated to be more flexible to withstand temperature and climate changes.

A second coat of latex paint may be applied 4 hours after the first coat.

Freshly painted surfaces may be washed after 30 days. Avoid touching, wiping, or wetting any freshly painted surface for 30 days. After that time dirt and stains may be removed with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and water.

Do not place objects on windowsills and shelves until paint is thoroughly dry.

The longevity will depend on odor concentration, frequency of exposure and the amount of surface area painted. Some field tests have been in process for well over one year and the technology is still reducing odor.

Odors are gases or vapors that we breath in. Refresh paint contains proven odor reducing technologies that remove these vapors from the air. Through natural airflow, the odor vapors come in contact with the walls and are locked within the paint film.

The odor vapors are captured in the paint film and locked away. Testing has been done to show that washing or damaging the paint will not release the odors.

Testing has been done to show that washing or damaging the paint will not release the odors. Your walls will not smell.

The more surface area you cover with Refresh paint, the better the technology works to reduce odors. Odor vapors circulate through natural airflow and are captured in the paint film when they come in contact with the painted surface. Painting the ceiling helps increase the amount of surface area available to capture and lock away odor vapors.

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Removal of old finishes by sanding, scraping, or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.