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What About TSP?

Old 08-04-2009, 09:25 PM
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Default What About TSP?

I am using TSP to clean the wood trim as I paint my house, but maybe I shouldn't. The warning says don't get it on glass, so how to wash the window frames; and it may darken aluminum and dull paint, so can it get it on my painted aluminum siding? It also says don't get it on your skin - I did, and didn't notice any burning or redness.

Do you use TSP for cleaning wood trim before painting? Is the TSP substitute any better? Should I just use the spray on house cleaners and skip the TSP? I want the paint job to last as long as possible (5-10 years).
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank007 View Post
I am using TSP to clean the wood trim as I paint my house, but maybe I shouldn't. The warning says don't get it on glass, so how to wash the window frames; and it may darken aluminum and dull paint, so can it get it on my painted aluminum siding? It also says don't get it on your skin - I did, and didn't notice any burning or redness.

Do you use TSP for cleaning wood trim before painting? Is the TSP substitute any better? Should I just use the spray on house cleaners and skip the TSP? I want the paint job to last as long as possible (5-10 years).
Well, as tired as I am sleep eludes me...so, maybe I can offer some advice.
How dirty is the trim? How much gloss does the old paint have? Depending on these issues, will dictate how strong to mix the TSP solution. If it's not super glossy and not super dirty you can use a milder solution.

A mild solution should not hurt glass or anything...but you can be safe by using the milder version NO RINSE TSP. If you want, you can even sponge the TSP on the trim around the windows to avoid getting it onto the glass. Once you rise it off the water will wash it away and dilute it before it ever has a chance to do any harm. You can even use those foam paint applicators for more precise control. Do wear rubber gloves. Even if you don't feel it burning your skin, and it may not depending on how strong you mix it, it's not good for you to keep in contact with.

Is the old paint acrylic? Whether or not it is, may I assume you will be using acrylic paint? Be sure to use a very high quality acrylic. Whatever paint you use, go with a 100% acrylic. I would recommend WEATHER SHIELD, by DURON. If you prepare the surface properly and apply the paint according to spec, it WILL last five years, possibly more. Allot depends on how well you take care of the finished product. Yearly cleaning is a must.

Mold, algee, pollution, etc., all take a toll on any paint. Cleaning it off once a year, even twice, will greatly prolong the life of the paint. Whatever you do, be sure to remove as much gloss from the old paint. If it happens to be oil based paint, after you clean it with TSP here is what I would do, if it were my house. I would prime the trim with one solid coat of ZINSZER BULLSEYE ACRYLIC PRIMER. That stuff is AWESOME. You can paint it over any glossy surface, oil OR acrylic and it will bond like no other primer in its class. For an acrylic primer/sealer it will block out marker, ink, a whole host of tough to block stuff that most other acrylic primers will not block.

After you prime (even if you don't prime all the trim, you MUST prime any raw wood) apply two even coats of your finish paint. Be sure to allow plenty of dry time between coats. Acrylic will dry to the touch very fast. I would recommend a day of dry/cure time even though it's dry to the touch between coats. You don't have to, but that's my personal preference. The paint will take some time to cure out and obtain maximum "hardness".Be aware of the weather also. Avoid painting in high humidity, near evening/night fall. Pick a couple of days when no rain is forecast.

Good luck. be sure to take before & after photos. Get some friends to come over and help you...ha! Good luck with THAT!
Hope I was somewhat of a help. Have fun.

Oh, BTW,
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:45 AM
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I htink the above advice is right on.

Personally I have never found tsp to do anyhting. But I can't imagine it could hurt much. Have no idea about the aluminum though.

There are other chemical products to clean wood. I just sand as needed and spray clorox/water mix to get rid of mildew/mold and paint when very dry.

Have fun
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:05 AM
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I have painted many houses and used it to prep when painting over ann oil based paint. If the paint is chalky it will get the chalk off before you apply new paint. If the paint is real chalky I would TSP twice. It also etches the surface. Also, good to get rid of mold etc. I never had it hurt glass although I am sure if you applied it directly to glass and scrubbed it would etch the glass. A pressure washer is also good at blasting off chalk and cleaning. Sometimes I would rent one from the paint store.

I would worry about getting it on the aluminum siding though. It could discolor it.

Last edited by KJS; 08-05-2009 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:26 PM
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Thanks for all the answers. I was using a fairly dilute solution of TSP and rinsing the aluminum siding and windows first.

[quote=AGENT86;2446439]
How dirty is the trim? How much gloss does the old paint have? -- Fairly dirty (which is why I used the spray on, rinse off house wash first), medium gloss.

Sponge the TSP on the trim around the windows to avoid getting it onto the glass. -- I may do this in some areas.

Do wear rubber gloves. Even if you don't feel it burning your skin, and it may not depending on how strong you mix it, it's not good for you to keep in contact with.

Is the old paint acrylic? -- I think so. I am using Ben Moore Aura, which seems to be their comparable paint to Weather Shield. It has been excellent so far. I am applying two coats.

A lot depends on how well you take care of the finished product. Yearly cleaning is a must. Mold, algee, pollution, etc., all take a toll on any paint. Cleaning it off once a year, even twice, will greatly prolong the life of the paint. -- How do you clean it? Is one of the the spray on, rinse off products enough? It would be hard to wash with a brush as much of the trim is second story windows, trim and eaves.

I would prime the trim with one solid coat of ZINSZER BULLSEYE ACRYLIC PRIMER. That stuff is AWESOME. You can paint it over any glossy surface, oil OR acrylic and it will bond like no other primer in its class. After you prime (even if you don't prime all the trim, you MUST prime any raw wood). -- I have been priming only bare wood. I am using the Zissner Bullseye KILZ Premium.

Avoid painting in high humidity, near evening/night fall. -- This can be hard to do if you are painting after work.

Thanks for the advice!!!
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:30 AM
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[quote=Frank007;2447960]

Originally Posted by AGENT86 View Post
How do you clean it? Is one of the the spray on, rinse off products enough? It would be hard to wash with a brush as much of the trim is second story windows, trim and eaves.


To clean the trim, and I should mention it is best to do the whole exterior not just the trim, do the following;
You will need a powerwasher. If you do not own one you can rent one fairly cheap. It may pay to purchase a small unit, there are so many home powerwashers on the market, even electric ones, although I think those are not very good.

You can get a really decent home unit for under $350.00. If you have to rent one every time you clean your house it will eventually add up. Then all the hassle of going to pick it up & return it, etc. Just buy one.

So, to wash the trim & siding. Purchase OUTDOOR bleach. It's stronger than regular bleach. Since your house is now clean, if you maintain it by washing once (good) or twice (best) a year you won't have any problem keeping it that way with minimal effort (no scrubbing by hand, etc)

Follow the dilution instructions on the back of the bleach container. Go with the most dilute & mild solution that will get the job done. Remember this, with a milder solution you need to allow the solution extra time to do its job before you rinse it off.

It's a good idea to try and avoid cleaning in direst sunlight & high heat. I realize this is unavoidable most of the time, depending on where you live & time of season. Just do the best you can. If you do have to apply the cleaning solution in the direct hot sun, make sure the surface being cleaned is kept wet. Don't let it dry. Do smaller sectios if you need to. Re-apply the cleaning solution however many times you must to keep it wet.

Application is easy. The powerwasher should have a chemical injector with a pick up tube. On the end of the tube (usually a thin clear rubber hose) is a filtered pick up you just stick into the bleach solution. There should be a small valve that you turn on/off. You must use the chemical tip on the wand (usually the black tip) in order for the chemical injector to work properly. You'll know if it's working. You shouls be able to see the bleach travel through the clear tube, and you'll smell it as well when it starts to flow out of the wand.

Wet the trim and be sure to soak it well. You can get extensions for the wand to reach high areas. There are also telescopic wands that will extend as long as 10, 16, 18 and 20 feet. You'll know when it's time to wash the cleaning solution off by how the trim/surface looks. It will be clean when ready, if there is any mildew/algee growth the bleach will kill it and it will disappear. That is when it's time to switch from the chemical tip to a cleaning tip.

Do not use the red zero degree tip. It is not for this application. It's more of a high pressure blast/strip tip. Use a green or yellow or white tip. These are for cleaning. I believe one is 15 degrees, another is 45 degrees ...I forget exactly wich is which. Just use one with a fairly wide spray pattern.

Now, just wash/rinse the trim/siding where you previously applied the bleach. Don't get too close. The chemical did the hard work, your just rinsing the contaminate residue & chemical residue away. You want to be sure to rinse really well.

It sounds more complicated than it is. After you do it once or twice you'll get faster & better at it. You'll figure out what works for you & what doesn't. Remember, by keeping the house clean you'll extend the life of the paint and you'll make it easier to keep it that way by staying on top of the situation. Heck, if you own a powerwasher, you can even break it out several times a year and just give the whole exterior a good pressure wash with no chemical.

This will remove the dirt & contaminates BEFORE it has a chance to really adhere to your home. Then, use the bleach once or twice a year. You can also keep your drive way & walk ways nice and clean. they even make special attachments for doing these type jobs. It's well worht it to purchase your own powerwasher.

Good luck. Let me know if I can be of any help to you, any time. Chow
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to make such complete replies.

How do you get the loose, old latex paint off? The stuff that is cracking and/or peeling, most often on window sills and frames and the piece of trim just under the edge of the shingles. Enough of the paint is still good so I don't want to sand it all down to bare wood (plus the old latex paint really loads up the sandpaper).

A wire brush and scraper don't really seem to do the trick. I used my Fein Multimaster - first the rasp blade and then some sanding. It works pretty well but the rasp roughens the surface too much. Are the paint removal disks for a grinder any good, or the wire brushed that fit a drill or the grinder? How about using my power washer with a medium tip? This might be the easiest solution if it works without destroying the wood.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:33 PM
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To clean the outside of the house use 12% bleach from a pool supply house 1 gallon a dash of Dawn Liquid Detergent (BE SURE IT DOES NOT SAY WITH OXYCLEAN) bleach and oxyclean releases clorine gas(deadly) and a dash of fabric softener adn fill rest of 5 gallon bucket with water. Spray on from bottom up and rinse from top down.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:07 PM
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TSP the main ing in Tide, After you clean with tsp, take a steep back.
Hey that looks great, I don't need to paint. Great stuff, i still have a cartoon
here at the house. Use as said, or as close as you feel, It may make your skin
tingle, best of luck, can't beat it for the coins
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