When Is the Best Time to Update My Paint?
Has it been a while since your last visit from the painting company? Have your painting tools been lost to the ages? Most design pros recommend updating your home's interior paint every five to ten years, depending on the style. There are many reasons to update your home’s paint scheme, including life events, new technology, and reaping the most from your investment dollar when you sell. Sometimes the best time to repaint is when life presents us with an unexpected opportunity. If we can do a little research and advanced planning, we can often be ready when life provides the time and resources. Today, we will discuss some great times to update the paint in your home and why. __Technology Is Constantly Improving__ New paints, textures, and techniques tend to emerge every few years in modern residential construction. As trends and designs evolve, paint manufacturers seek to take advantage by offering paints with new technology, like color changing primer. Paints are now available that sanitize walls, include unique textures, and glow in the dark. If the home is more than a decade old, these paints may have not been available when the home was last painted. For example, today there are paints that include special textures that when applied with a special technique, looks much like leather. Today we have paint and primer formulations that cut the project time in half. Not to mention the availability of inexpensive paint sprayers that can provide the artistic homeowner with hours of fun and creativity. __New Life Event__ Perhaps no time is better to update your home than when a new family member is on the way, or an in-law is moving in. Often, there is no better time to paint than when a room is empty and ready for a new occupant. Maybe the new occupant prefers other colors, or you simply want to make the room seem new. Either way, the new occupant will feel more welcome and at home. Changing the paint is often the least expensive, but most effective change a homeowner can make. If you are expecting a new one or anyone sensitive to paint fumes, you might want to use low or zero-VOC paints. These formulas reduce or eliminate the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be a lung and eye irritant. Normally identifiable as the fumes the paint emits, these VOCs can cause sickness without proper ventilation. __Your Home Is Going On the Market__ Homeowners interested in selling their home are looking for inexpensive and fast ways to give the home a facelift. Updating paint is usually the first choice, because it not only changes the look of a room, but can also cover up minor scrapes and scratches, not to mention offensive odors. Repainting can deemphasize some areas while making others more prominent, so real estate pros are great sources for advice. Stale odors are also routinely reduced or eliminated by new paint, especially if the old paint is sealed with sealer or primer before applying the new. Be careful using bold colors though, because the perfect buyer may not share your love of periwinkle. A better option is a neutral tan or beige, because in many cases the new owner will be personalizing the home with their own paint anyway.
June 28th, 2022
What Common Mistakes Do Commercial Office Painters Make?
Professional painters are very good at what they do, but even the pros make mistakes occasionally. Sometimes in an attempt to improve a situation, commercial painters inadvertently make it worse. Today, we will discuss a few common office painting mistakes commercial painters make and how to avoid making them. __Moving Obstacles In the Way__ Professional painters often are placed in situations where time constraints make performing a great job very difficult. As a result, sometimes they must make on the spot decisions due to new information, like discovering the customer placed an obstacle in their way. Commercial painting is frequently done over a weekend when the customer is unavailable. Generally speaking, it is the client’s responsibility to make sure the painters have unfettered access to anything they are hired to paint. However, this isn’t always done correctly and the painter may be faced with either finishing the project, or moving furniture. In an effort to complete the project, sometimes the painter will move items that are later found to be missing or damaged, resulting in liability. This imparts unnecessary responsibility on the painter, so the solution is often to inspect the area before the employees leave to ensure there are no issues accessing the required areas. This method protects not only the items, but the painter as well. Some painting companies take before and after photos, just in case any issues pop up in the future. __Spraying Paint That Should Be Rolled__ Occasionally, commercial office painters will try to complete a project as fast as possible by spraying paint that really requires more brush or roller work. Spraying is much faster than brushing and rolling paint, but spraying paint can be difficult to control, especially in tight areas. The resulting overspray can be more time consuming to remove than brushing or rolling the paint originally. Paint sprayers can allow for small paint particles to dry quickly and become airborne, which often appear as dust. The effect is similar to an orange peel texture, which dulls the sheen of the paint. Errant airborne paint dust can be harmful for sensitive electronics, not to mention the cleaning that will be required before the space can be used. On a factory floor the dust may be less of a concern, but in an office setting, once the dust becomes airborne the HVAC system can disburse it into a wider area. Plenum spaces (the area above a drop ceiling used for air circulation) can also distribute the particles, dropping them in an area unrelated to the project. The air in these spaces is eventually filtered, but many are not effective against tiny airborne particles. The solution is for these painters to use more controlled application of the paint, such as with brushes and rollers. This may be slower, but it usually produces the best overall results and tends to reduce problems later on. This practice is especially useful for smaller, hard to reach areas that might take longer to access than they do to paint __Disconnecting Electronics Without Permission__ Professional painters are dedicated professionals and want to do the best job possible. Just like with moving furniture, sometimes workers forget to shut down their electronics before they leave, or leave processes running. In an effort to complete the project, sometimes professionals will personally disconnect and move technology preventing them from completing their work. This can be problematic if a future problem arises, like missing data or mechanical failure. The professional just trying to do a great job, and correct someone else’s mistake can be held liable. Established painting companies will be insured against liability, but a much better practice is to simply avoid the problem. The solution is often to have an agreement between the client and the painting company that clearly states that inaccessible areas will not be painted. Doing so, the painter is insulated either way and can’t be held responsible. In many cases, only a gentle reminder will ensure that a space is adequately prepared before the painters arrive.
June 24th, 2022
Useful Hints for Painting a Child's Bedroom
Have you ever found yourself needing to paint a child’s bedroom, but have no idea how to start? Painting a child’s bedroom can be a challenge, or unusually easy, depending on your design goal. Today, we will briefly discuss three common approaches to painting a child’s bedroom, and offer tips to help do it. __What Type of Paint Do I Use to Paint a Child’s Bedroom?__ A child’s bedroom tends to represent the child. For example, a small boy might want racing stripes on the walls, while a young lady may prefer green walls covered with horses, or vice versa. So, the question we need to answer is which type of paint will we need? It’s a good idea to have a good handle on the goal before starting the project. The myriad of options can be overwhelming and cause us to lose sight of the goal. There are so many available paint options in today’s modern construction world, we can easily get confused and make mistakes. For example, some colors are much easier to apply than others, especially if the color will be changing from dark to light. Deep reds and greens are notoriously difficult to cover over, so for these colors you’ll want to completely seal and prime the walls first even if the new color is already dark. This creates a blank canvas and may prevent multiple coats of paint being needed, or bleed through. You may also want to consider a specialty paint, such as blackboard paint or glow in the dark paint. Kids love anything cool, especially if they get to participate. Consider letting them help decorate their spaces using these fun, interactive paints. Creative parents use these and other novelty kid’s room paints to great effect, such as painting the alphabet on the ceiling using glow in the dark paint. __Kids Have Short Attention Spans__ Children’s imaginations change over time, so it may be advantageous to start with a lighter color for a kid’s room at first. A child interested in astronomy may ask for a totally black ceiling with stars that glow in the dark on Tuesday, but prefer white, puffy clouds on Friday. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with customizing your home, but if you plan to sell the home in the future, it's important to know that an odd feature will likely need to be covered up later. This is not to say being creative with paint is a bad thing. It just may be helpful to know what you’re getting into, because it may be a lot of work needed to change it. Since dark colors cover up light colors, it might be smart to leave the night sky effect for a later time. __Paint Light Colors First__ Speaking of dark over light, a very common color scheme in a child’s bedroom involves applying more than one color, or a light and dark version of the same color. If you are planning a two tone paint scheme, a smart idea is to paint the lighter color first, using painter’s tape or a paint guard as a guide. The painter’s tape or paint guard will ensure a straight line, and if the lighter color drips, the darker color will often cover it. This method also reduces detail work between the colors, because the lighter color will not require as much precision since the darker one will cover where the two colors meet.
June 23rd, 2022
Quick Tips for Painting a Storage Shed
Fall is a great time for outdoor projects like repainting your storage building or shed. If you have a shed or storage building looking the worse for wear, read on. Sheds can sometimes be a challenge to paint due to the condition, time constraints, and skill level. Today we will offer a few professional tips to make painting your shed easy, inexpensive, and satisfying. __Getting Ready to Paint Is Important__ Professional painters have learned that time spent preparing a surface for paint is just as important as the painting. Sheds tend to be built with a siding material called T1-11, which is plywood with a built-in lap joint. This lap joint aids T1-11 in creating a watertight seal from sheet to sheet. Over time if the T1-11 is not maintained, it will begin to absorb moisture and decay. Any wood based siding material, including T1-11, must be properly prepared for a repaint to achieve maximum effectiveness. Many DIYers pressure wash their storage sheds, while others use simple soap and water and a brush. The goal is to remove any oils or loose debris that might contaminate your paint and weaken the adhesion. Professionals will use materials such as sealers and primers to prepare a surface to be painted. These products essentially seal a surface and prevent other colors from bleeding through. This usually means the project will need less paint, which is more expensive than primer or sealer. __Use the Appropriate Tools and Paint__ Outdoor structures need the most protection you can give them, especially when they are protecting expensive machines like lawn mowers and power tools. Would the paint look better sprayed, rolled, or brushed? Sheds tend to take a beating, so the pros will usually use the most durable paint at their disposal. However, some of the most durable paints cannot be thinned for spraying, so the pros choose carefully. Because sheds are often small structures, professional painters will typically roll the paint on because it is faster. Normally, a professional painter will use a sprayer whenever they can, but sprayers take a while to set up, use, and clean. Rolling small projects like sheds allow the painter to apply a couple of thick coats faster than just setting up a sprayer and cleaning it. __Don’t Get In a Hurry__ Do-it-yourselfers tend to apply too much paint in an attempt to completely cover a surface. Professionals however, tend to apply paint in multiple thin coats, versus one or two thick ones. Paint needs to dry before another coat is applied, because otherwise the roller will remove as much of the prior coat as it adds with the second. Pros tend to work in teams, making the process very efficient. On a shed, professional painters will often start in one corner and work their way around the perimeter, staying two walls ahead of their helper. They simply follow each other, maintaining the pace. This usually allows about enough time for the first coat to dry enough to adhere to the second coat. By the time both painters have returned to the starting point, the first coat is dry, reducing wait time.
June 22nd, 2022
5 Bathroom Painting Tips Everyone Can Use
Bathrooms can be a challenge to paint because there are so many objects to paint around. Bathrooms tend to have immobile appliances and cramped spaces which tend to frustrate do-it-yourself painters, while remaining one of the most humid rooms in a home. However, that does not mean you can’t change your bathroom for the better. Here are five bathroom painting tips from professional painters. __Make Sure the Surfaces Are Dry__ In a room with high humidity and dampness, how do you get the paint to stick? The first thing is to ensure the surfaces are as dry as you can make them. Paint can’t stick to wet surfaces, so you’ll need to wipe down everything first. Remove as much moisture as possible, and if the weather is nice, open a window (if the bathroom has one) and circulate some outside air into the room. If the bathroom has no window, utilize the vent fan. Most vent fans will replace the air in a bathroom in less than fifteen minutes, and some will do it even faster. If the vent fan also has a heater, turn it on as well to help with evaporation. __Clean Up and Avoid Making a Mess__ It is also important that the space is as clean as possible, especially if you are using latex paints. Ironically, bathrooms tend to be one of the dirtiest places in a home, so a good wipe down with soap and water goes a long way. Be sure and wipe everything down lastly with just water to remove any soap residue. For the floor, most pros just install a drop cloth just above the baseboards, all around the bathroom. Covering the baseboards as well as the floor prevents drips from contacting them, since they are usually a different color than the walls. Wet paint can be a real pain to remove from surfaces like unsealed grout, so when painting bathrooms, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. __Remove the Toilet Tank and Other Obstacles__ Painting some spaces in a bathroom can be challenging, like behind a toilet bowl, or around a light fixture. If you are handy with a few tools, try removing the toilet tank instead of trying to paint around it. The process is not difficult and doing so will result in a much more professional looking job. When painting around obstructions like the vanity and tub, use a paint guard or painter’s tape to make your brushstrokes as straight as possible. Straight lines tend to blend into the landscape, allowing visitors to focus on a beautiful tile job or expensive light fixture you invested in. __Specialized Paints Are In__ Special paint has been marketed in recent years to alleviate some of the common issues when painting a bathroom. For example, some modern paints have additives like mildewcides that prevent the growth of spores, while others include a polymer that makes the walls easier to clean. These paints may cost a bit more, but you also get to congratulate yourself everytime you don’t waste time cleaning. __Paint Finishes Make a Big Difference__ Paint finishes make a big difference in durability and cleanability. Paint comes in flat, eggshell, matte, semi-gloss, and high gloss sheens, which all deal with moisture differently. Generally speaking, the shinier the finish, the easier the surface is to clean and keep dry. That’s why the trim and doors of most homes have semi-gloss or high gloss paint, while the walls have a flat or eggshell sheen. Most pro painters recommend either a specialty paint made just for humid areas, or using a glossy paint in the bathroom. Often marketed as bathroom paint, these paints often have elastomeric properties that prevent moisture from penetrating the surface. These paints form a water-resistant barrier that will not absorb moisture. This makes preventing mold and mildew much easier, while increasing the durability of the paint as well.
June 21st, 2022
How Do Painting Companies Choose the Paint They Use?
Why do painting companies use some paint brands more than others? Is the paint better, less expensive, or available in different colors? The answer to this question is often, yes. Most painting companies are affiliated with or are subsidized by certain paint brands. Some brands are chosen for their quality, some for their price, and others for their brand name. For example, you might see a paint company whose sign includes the logo of a paint brand. These paint companies have determined which paint brand(s) works the best for them and have developed a relationship with a manufacturer. This arrangement works well for both paint retailers and manufacturers, but customers are usually presented with a smaller selection. Big box retailers try to fill this gap by offering national brands that are not as dependent on local painting companies. Still others may specialize in price sensitive painting projects and may use lesser known materials. A lower price doesn’t necessarily mean the paint isn’t as good, but check anyway. Some paints are considered builder grade, which builders use assuming you’ll be changing the color anyway. Other homeowners may prefer paints that have special additives, like texture and special application techniques. Today, we will discuss a few reasons why some companies use some paint brands exclusively, while others may have a bigger selection. __They Offer a Range of Prices__ Some painting companies market themselves to price conscious consumers, because even medium quality paint can be expensive. Where using specialty name branded paints is not feasible, these companies may offer a brand you aren’t familiar with, but is often backed by a large manufacturer. For example, landlords giving a rental home a paint job every year when tenants move may see little value in using sophisticated paints. Children like to change their minds, so some parents expect to paint their home again in a year. Those paint companies serving this type of client will usually use a good, less expensive paint brand as a way of keeping costs low. Other paint clients may want the latest designer paint in the latest color, so many paint retailers offer a good selection. Of course, they will back up whatever they sell, so don’t feel pressured to spend more money just for a name brand. Many will offer the same warranty to entice new customers to give a new product a try __Sometimes Special Training Is Required to Apply the Paint__ Conversely, some painting companies prefer to work in upscale, luxury homes where intricate detail work, or special techniques may be required. These companies may deal exclusively in “designer” paints that require special training to use effectively. Other companies may choose a particular brand of paint for its quality, ease of application, and available mixtures. These companies tend to serve larger markets, so they usually use a paint brand that will work the greatest number of applications. __Selecting the Right Paint is Important For Good Results__ Painting companies know a lot about paint. For this reason, they may select a particular paint brand for a specific purpose based on the market they serve. For example, if a paint company works primarily in regions with long winters and harsh weather, they probably won’t sell much paint designed to be applied in warm weather. These companies may select paint brands that can be applied in a colder climate than standard paint. Or, these companies may select a paint that can be thinned to be used in a sprayer, as not all are designed to be modified. Professional painting companies will usually have the experience and training to select the correct paint for the job the first time, without wasting money and materials. This approach often results in the best overall performance of the paint, the application, and the look.
June 20th, 2022
Why Is Repainting My Commercial Business In 2022 a Great Idea?
If your brick and mortar commercial business is in need of an update, read on. Whether your business is retail, manufacturing, or somewhere in between, you want your business to look as inviting as it can, especially in today’s economy. First impressions are important, and often the most cost-effective way to achieve a good one is to repaint your business. Commercial businesses tend to take more of a beating than our homes, so maintenance is vitally important to maintain a safe, attractive space. Maintenance projects are more important than ever, given the current high cost of real estate. Keeping your business looking attractive and preventing damage is a great way to boost your return on investment. Both can be improved almost instantly with a fresh coat of paint. __Paint Keeps Customers Coming Through the Door__ Consumers tend to patronize businesses that are clean, bright, and inviting. When they have a choice of doing business with a shabby, dilapidated business or one that looks and smells great, most customers will go with the latter. Fresh paint is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to improve the look of any structure, while adding a layer of protection. In today’s economy, business seems to move at light speed. Consumers are more educated than ever, so many times they are just looking for the most pleasant buying experience. Color is well known to affect mood, so most business owners want to create a space that invites customers to relax and enjoy themselves. When customers are visually invited to enjoy the fun, they tend to be more apt to do business. Happy consumers tend to remember a great experience and tell at least one other about it. Disappointed customers try to forget the experience and often tell ten others about the experience. If you are not the best color coordinator, consider hiring a professional interior designer. These folks can use psychology and paint to adapt a space that directs customers where you want them to go and see what you want them to see. __Paint Makes a Space Look Refreshed__ As business owners, we don’t always have the capital to refresh our retail spaces and offices, but we can’t expect customers to invest in our business if we won’t. Repainting both the interior and exterior (if appropriate) of our businesses is usually tax deductible, so if business is particularly good, investing in a new paint refresh might be a smart move. Many painting companies are also comfortable working at night or over a weekend to avoid impacting business activities as much as possible. __Fresh Paint Does More Than Look Good__ Paint can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a structure, but it also has other benefits, like intentionally drawing a customer’s gaze. For example, a fresh paint project can be used to launch a new product or service by drawing attention to a storefront, addition, or service. New paint schemes can be used to establish mergers and branding, particularly when businesses are up for sale. Paint is one of the few improvements that does not require a substantial capital investment to be immediately effective. For example, painting can be done as capital becomes available, providing the business owner with additional flexibility. The ability to reduce one large painting project into smaller segments often allows the business owner to perform maintenance projects when they will be the least impactful to business operations.
June 17th, 2022
Three Reasons to Repaint Your Home In 2022
For those whose home needs a facelift, paint is often the easiest way to add beauty and function without a major expense. Painting is sometimes considered a challenging project, but it can make a world of difference in the visual appeal of a home. Homeowners often find that a fresh coat of paint makes the home more inviting, better protected, and visually interesting. Today we will discuss three reasons why painting your home can make it more valuable, comfortable, and more protected from the elements. __Paint Covers Scratches, Dents, and Scuffs__ The walls of a home can take a beating from kids, pets, and moving furniture. Fresh paint can solve many of these problems easily and quickly. By filling in nail holes, covering drywall repairs, and adding complimentary colors to a space, paint can make the space both look and smell better as well. Paint is available in a vast array of styles, colors, and textures to help mask defects that might otherwise draw attention. For example, if you have a less than perfect drywall repair in a conspicuous place, consider using a textured paint over the repair. Textured paints can contain sand, styrofoam, or any number of additives to create unique effects. Since these paints are more dense they tend to do a great job of hiding imperfections in drywall. __Paint Makes a Home More Useful__ Obviously, paint can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a room, but it can also add other benefits, like masking smoke and other offensive odors. Adding a splash of design to an otherwise boring room can define a theme, making the room more interesting. For example, you can use subtle blues and greens to imply water if the room has a nautical theme. As we know, when a home goes up for sale, it usually gets a fresh paint job. Any real estate professional will tell you that curb appeal is extremely important. If the buyer never stops long enough to look, they won’t be making any offers, so curb appeal is the first step to any home sale. Because paint is relatively inexpensive compared to the benefits it provides, it is a great way to add equity. Painting can also give potential buyers the comfort of knowing the home is protected from the elements, providing a sense of security. Most savvy buyers want a home they can live in, not repair, so updates like a new roof and a fresh coat of paint can make the difference in the offers you’ll receive. __Paint Protects and Preserves Your Investment__ For most of us, our home represents our largest financial investment, and painting your home protects it. Generally, most builders will agree that maintaining the exterior of your home is more important than maintaining the interior. Keeping exterior surfaces like fascia, rakes, and cornices protected will save you thousands in repairs over time. Exterior materials such as fiber cement siding must be painted every 10-15 years to maintain its durable surface. Using a good quality paint on fiber cement siding as directed by the manufacturer will maintain your warranty in most cases, putting even more money in your pocket. Combine a good quality paint with good quality caulk and flashing and your home’s exterior should last for decades.
June 16th, 2022
Pro Tips to Modernize Your Home Using Textures
Are you thinking of selling your home? Maybe getting ready to take advantage of the seller’s market we find ourselves in? Many real estate agents recommend doing some light updating before listing a home for sale to not only increase the chances of selling, but also increase the asking price. Some homeowners have skills that they can sell in the form of updates to their homes, or, perhaps you are just bored with your decor and need a change. Today, we will discuss three ways to update and modernize your home’s look by changing paint colors and adding or removing textures. __Refreshing and Updating Colors Adds Visual Interest__ In most cases, changing wall colors will have the most dramatic visual effect on the appearance of the room. Imagine a nursery painted in deep, dark colors and you’ll get the idea. Depending on when the home was built, it may have outdated, drab colors, or even wallpaper. Some homes will have a product called wallboard, which is a sheet of luan (a very thin plywood material) covered in wallpaper from the factory. In many cases, lightening the color will also make the home seem larger and more open, which is very inviting. Light colors make spaces appear larger, so the pros use them to lighten dark hallways, closets, and other narrow spaces. Refreshing wall colors to complement the home’s interior has never been easier with all of the designer and specialty paints available. In fact, many consumers are frustrated by the abundance of choices, leading to analysis paralysis. The pros suggest using your local paint pro to help point you in the right direction. __Use Specialty Paint or Add Wall Textures __ One of the most popular updates is to integrate textures and features into your paint theme you may not have imagined. For example, kid’s love blackboard paint that lets them scribble on the wall all they want. The surfaces are easily washable, so they can start a new masterpiece every day. Another popular kids paint includes a fluorescent that works just like glow in the dark toys. Want the kids to have a little light without a nightlight? These fluorescent paints absorb light just like the models we played with as a kid, only now the kid is in control. Paint their room in glow-in the-dark paint and suddenly maybe the dark isn’t so scary.
June 15th, 2022
How Do I Choose the Best Interior Paint for My Home?
There are so many paint options in modern construction, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Should you start a new color scheme or match the carpet? Do you want a bright, lively space or a cozy, warm den? You can create a mood within a space simply by painting it, so where do you start? Today we will offer a few tips from the pros to get your creativity flowing. __Select the Sheen For the Purpose of the Room__ When we talk about the sheen of a paint, we’re talking about how well the paint reflects or absorbs light entering the room. For example, you can use a window’s natural light, an overhead fixture, or a lamp to exploit the room’s ability to bounce light. Most interior paints are available in a variety of sheens, all the way from a totally dull flat sheen to a highly reflective high gloss. Depending on the space, selecting the wrong sheen can result in a repaint.. Southward facing rooms with lots of windows and high gloss paint will reflect the most sunlight, so be careful using them for nurseries. These paints can make a room too bright and prevent comfortable sleep. Since most rooms are designed to be brightly colored, the effect can actually make the room so uncomfortable on a sunny day. These rooms tend to benefit from heavy window dressings and flatter sheens like flat, or eggshell. Conversely, a small den with a north facing window might benefit from a light shade semi-gloss paint, as bright, reflective colors tend to make spaces feel larger. Even darker shades will seem lighter when light reflects more intensely. You can use a lamp to accent additional spaces, like over a reading nook or an easy chair. __Use Specialty Paints For Effect__ Some paint experts suggest using effects to augment the intended use of the space. Specialty paints, such as blackboard, glow-in-the-dark, and paints with texture can add visual effects to a space by drawing attention. By selecting a color complimentary to the texture, or vice-versa, these paints can be used to create very unique spaces. For example, themed rooms, such as a bathroom decorated in shells, might benefit from an off-white sanded paint that can be integrated into the design as beach sand. Modern specialty paints do more than just color a wall. Advances in paint technology have led to paints that have certain characteristics. For example, bathroom paints are now available to reduce or prevent the growth of mold and mildew. These paints contain antifungal properties that reduce the potential for mold and mildew growth by preventing spores from developing. Others contain polymers and other additives that create a water-resistant coating, preventing the buildup of moisture in wet locations. __Choose a Neutral Color__ We’ve all been told to use neutral colors when possible if we plan to eventually sell a home. It’s perfectly fine to express your creativity, but be aware you may eventually have to cover up your artwork. Most buyers want to envision themselves in the home before purchasing, and deep colors can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on the buyer. A much safer strategy to prevent a repaint before selling is to use subtle colors for the paint and provide visual interest with window treatments and furniture. Doing so means you’ll be taking the color with you when you leave. For this purpose, the pros suggest going easy on wall tints that might clash with a different decor.
June 14th, 2022
How Can I Make a Space Seem Bigger with Interior Painting?
If you are among the many looking for innovative ways to make a small space seem visually larger, this information is for you. For some reason, windows always seem to be in the wrong spot, or light seems to just disappear into a room. These spaces can be a challenge to personalize because their size offers fewer design options. Many modern floor plans place windows in an inconvenient spot, or create unusual ceiling shapes in a bonus room. These areas can be frustrating to decorate, because of the asymmetry. Since we probably don’t want to go to the expense and effort of solving these issues mechanically, today we will offer three tips for making a space seem bigger than it is, using paint. __Sheen Makes the Difference__ How a room scatters light makes the difference in a dark room and a light one. Even medium to large rooms can appear small when the walls are painted with flat paint, especially geens, blues, and browns. If a window is mis-located, or the floor coverings darken the room, using a flat sheen paint can make it seem even darker. Sometimes, however, flat sheen paint can be used for effect, like making a room seem cozier. The opposite is also true, so using eggshell and semi-gloss sheens will usually make the room seem bigger. Light is reflected much easier with eggshell and semi-gloss sheens, because they allow light to bounce around the room. __Draw the Viewer’s Eye__ Some home designs place windows in a corner, often making it less effective at illuminating the room. At times this renders the corner useless as furniture and other objects placed in front of it make the problem worse. Worse still, often our eyes are drawn to these areas because they stand out as weird. Interior designers often use accent colors to redirect attention away from these areas to make the room appear larger than it is. These designers will often use light wall paint colors in combination with deep, rich colors to draw visually attention to an object like a painting. This method often uses window treatments and large mirrors to create the illusion of space. __Use Light Shades for Visual Ambiguity__ Light colors seem larger than they are, often because light is reflected more easily. Just as flat sheens reflect almost no light, dark colors make rooms seem smaller than they are. This is often for the same reason, because dark colors absorb light. Dark colors are more effective at defining boundaries, so it is easier to access size. Conversely, light colors often make boundaries more difficult to notice, so our brains fill in the space as large. Using light colors expands the room, especially since most ceilings are already a light color. Whites and off-whites tend to draw the eye away due to lack of visually stimulating color, which is why most homes have light colored ceilings. Designers suggest adding deep, contrasting colors to these rooms to define boundaries and establish focal points in the room, like a vase. We can use paint to make the room seem bigger in this situation two ways, depending on the room. For example, if we want to draw attention away from the corner, we can use a wall paint that coordinates with a dense window covering, like drapes or blinds. The eye then tends to blend them together, drawing attention away from both.
June 13th, 2022
Painting 101: Tips for Painting Perfect Edges
Many of us love to paint, right up until we are presented with a perfectly straight line we must follow. Even professionals can struggle to keep a perfectly straight border against a floor or ceiling. Today, we will suggest a handful of tricks the pros use to paint straight borders quickly and efficiently. __Use an Edger Where You Can__ Edgers are small rectangular tools with very fine bristles on one side and a handle on the other. These tools function as both paint brushes and paint guards by using its rigid edge to define the line. Infact, it is difficult to paint anything but straight lines with these tools due to this design. Edgers are designed to ride against another straight edge, like window and door casing while applying the paint, functioning as a paint guard. Edgers are often made from plastic and contain short bristles, which means they will not hold much paint. This is intentional, because extra paint is the enemy of straight lines. You’ll want to load an edger with enough paint for 6”-12” at a time to avoid accumulating paint forming a drip. To use an edger, paint is applied to the bristles and it is simply pulled across the surface while maintaining contact with the casing. Very little to no pressure is applied, as this would force extra paint from the bristles and might result in a drip. __Use Painter’s Tape Or Masking Tape__ Most of us are familiar with the method of using regular masking tape to define straight edges and prevent overpainting. The issue is that regular masking tape can contain too much adhesive making it difficult to remove the tape without damaging the surface. Painter’s tape is very similar to masking tape, but the release point is much lower, so it is less likely to damage the surface. __Use Paint Guards When Possible__ Paint guards are usually long, narrow strips of thin metal or plastic used as a barrier to control paint edges. Paint guards must remain flat on the surface, because otherwise paint can get between the paint guard and the surface, ruining the effect. For this reason, care should be taken not to bend paint guards, as this would make them unusable. Most pro painters that use paint guards treat them extremely well, just as they do their brushes. __Using Specialty Brushes__ A specialty brush is used for a specific purpose, like painting both sides of a right angle simultaneously or painting straight lines. For example, some specialty brushes include a built in straight edge that serves the same function as an edger, but with long bristles that can hold more paint. Some specialty brushes are designed for specific effects, like painting borders. Other versions, like tapered trim brushes, often have very fine bristles smaller than a human hair. These brushes form a crisp edge near the tip, which allows for much greater control of the leading edge. The wider the tapered trim brush is, the easier painting a straight line becomes. More artistic painters will use these brushes for other effects as well, like flower petals. __Work From a Cup or Pail, Not the Paint Bucket__ The last hint for painting straight lines is to keep your paint clean. When painting perfect edges the last thing we want is debris on your brush, because it will displace the paint. Even the smallest fleck of dried paint for dirt can be virtually invisible until it ruins a perfect edge. The pros prevent this by using a paint pail or cup. Doing so prevents debris from the surface being transferred to the bucket via the brush, contaminating the entire bucket of paint. If your paint does become contaminated, most paint and big box stores sell one gallon and five strainers that can be used as a filter. However, the process is tedious and easily avoided with careful attention.
June 10th, 2022
How Do I Tell an Average House Painter From a Great One In Park City, Utah?
Most people have the ability to paint to some degree of success. House painting can be accomplished by an amatuer with patience, research, and lots of practice. Many of us have just accepted that when we hire a house painter, we should set our expectations accordingly. In Park City, we have both average house painters and great ones to choose from, but how do we tell the difference? We shouldn’t stereotype house painters into one group, because some are average at best, while others can paint your house, fix your drywall, and pressure wash your driveway. Today, we will offer some professional insight into what to look for when you hire a house painter in Park City, Utah. __Professionalism __ One of the first indicators you are dealing with an average house painter is how they present themselves and their work. There are exceptions of course, but generally you will know a great house painter in the first meeting. Great house painters are respectful, courteous, and professional, even if they are covered in paint. Average house painters don’t understand the value of customer service, so they tend to be disrespectful, rude, and demanding. Average house painters are usually more interested in getting paid than they are in doing a great job. Average house painters will often find convenient reasons why they can’t work, often after just receiving a draw from the customer. __Being Prompt__ When great house painters make an appointment with you, they show up on time. Of course, life still happens, but a great house painter will let you know if they cannot make an appointment. A great house painter’s end goal is usually to develop a loyal customer base. You can’t do that if you are disrespectful of a client’s time. An average house painter might make a half dozen appointments for a day, but once he gets hired, he may not bother with the rest. Average house painters think in the short term, so gaining customer loyalty is not usually very important to them. They usually don’t expect to get invited back anyway, so there’s no downside from their viewpoint. __Skill__ Great house painters become great because they get lots of practice from the customers that hire them. These professionals spend many years becoming great at their art, and continue to train in various techniques and paint formulations. Great house painters want to be the smartest painter in the room, so they spend the time learning their craft. Average house painters want to start making money as soon as someone will paint something. Most are not overly concerned about using the correct paint for the job, or having the appropriate tools. For average house painters, close is good enough. Professional tools are expensive, so average house painters usually use whatever they can get cheap. __Quality__ Not in every case of course, but generally speaking when you hire a great house painter, they look the part. Great house painters are very fast, but they are also very efficient. Great house painters use whatever tool they need to do a great job, not whatever is handy. You won’t often find a defect in the work of a great house painter, because they found it first and fixed it. Average house painters will wait for you to complain about something they did, and then argue with you. In most cases, they will also cut corners wherever they can (remember, they think it the short term) in an effort to save a few pennies. As a result, you are inclined to look at every detail, because you can’t trust that the work was done as it should be.
June 8th, 2022
What Do I Look For In a Full Service Painting Contractor In Park City, Utah?
Here in Park City, Utah, we love our homes and we’re proud to keep them looking great. Our weather can be a bit tricky, so in most situations, if we need the services of a local painting contractor, we need someone with experience. While we’re at it, we should look for a local painting contractor that also offers other services as well, like drywall repair, concrete repair and pressure washing. You may have just moved to Park City, Utah or you may just no longer have a good relationship with a contractor you have used in the past. Ideally, if you can find a trusted contractor that can help you with more than painting, you will benefit in the long run. Today, we will offer a few suggestions for locating, researching, and hiring a full service painting contractor in Park City, Utah. ### Why Would I Hire a Local Painting Contractor In Park City, Utah? If you ask most successful homeowners which professionals they needed to trust the most, many would include their contractor on the list. When we have work done on our homes, we are literally risking our most valuable asset. Would you prefer a doctor that flew in last week, or a doctor that knows your history by heart? A local painting contractor depends on the work available in Park City for survival. As such, they work extra hard to not only get your business, but keep it. Local painting contractors depend on referrals from happy customers to keep their business running. This is why in Park City, you’ll want to hire a reputable, dependable painting contractor, like this one. ### How Do I Find a Full Service Painting Contractor In Park City, Utah? Most established painting contractors do a great job promoting word of mouth advertising and social media. You can search for several keywords when you are looking for a full service painting contractor in Park City. Ideally, you will want a local painting contractor that offers free estimates, because you might have questions you need answered. You’ll likely also need other minor repairs as well, like drywall repair, wallpaper removal, or maybe even wallpaper installation. Finding a local painting contractor that can offer these services as well saves you money and makes your life easier because you can avoid juggling multiple contractors. Plus, you can develop a lifelong relationship over time, because a local painting contractor will stick around. You’ll want to find a local painting contractor that has decades in the business because they understand the Park City environment. A local contractor will know what type of paint to use, and can offer valuable advice for keeping your Park City home well maintained. ### If You Are Diligent, You Might Find a Local Painting Contractor That Also Refinishes Cabinets Chances are good that if you are considering giving your home a refresh, you plan to start with the kitchen. If you consider that kitchen cabinetry(or any cabinetry, for that matter) is one of the costliest projects you can undertake, you might think about refinishing yours. It is not uncommon for a full kitchen cabinetry installation to represent 5% of the total cost to build a new home. However, many cabinets that are replaced are actually in good shape, but they get discarded because the finish is worn, or a hinge broke. Some of the better local painting contractors branch out and offer special services to their clients. If you happen to live in the Park City area, this local painting contractor may be able to help. They offer all sorts of staining solutions and wood finishes that can save you thousands of dollars and give your cabinets a brand new look for a fraction of the cost of replacing them.
June 7th, 2022
Sealing A Wooden Fence
Wooden fences do a great job of protecting our privacy, controlling our pets, and defining our yard. However, wooden fences can fall into disrepair fairly quickly if regular maintenance is not performed, like sealing the wood. Almost all wooden fences are built from moisture and insect resistant wood, like pressured treated, cedar, and poplar. To maximize the life of a wooden fence, it is important to seal the grain to prevent splitting and cracking of the pickets. Today we will discuss the subject of sealing a wooden fence and how to get started. ### Why Would I Seal My Wooden Fence? The vast majority of wooden fences are built with pressure treated lumber, although cedar, farm grown redwood and poplar are also commonly used. Pressure treated pickets (the vertical boards between the posts) are usually made from rough hewn 5/8” x 6” lumber, and can have any number of profiles on the top. Some are dog-eared, some are 45 degree angles, while others are rounded over. These boards are prone to splitting and warping because they are cut from a single log and are wider than they are thick. Sealing these boards greatly reduces this effect by preventing the wood from remaining porous. Sealers do a great job of sealing the pores within the wood grain, preventing it from soaking up moisture. Wood that is protected from this constant expansion and contraction is much less likely to crack. The posts and rails that hold the pickets are also usually pressure treated. This chemical treatment is very useful to prevent water and insects from damaging the fence over time. Posts are not as prone to warping and splitting as the pickets, but they are prone to twisting. Sealing the posts deter this twisting, preventing the rails from bowing as well. ### How Do I Seal My Wooden Fence? __1. Pressure Wash First__ Pressure washing a wooden fence before sealing it is strongly recommended as this will remove and loose debris and raise the grain of the wood. Allow the fence to dry completely, as this will allow the fence to soak up the most sealer. Be careful using a pressure washer however, as the pickets are quite thin. Especially if the pickets are bone dry, the force created by a pressure washer can damage the pickets. Most pros use either a white or yellow tip to prevent blasting a hole through a picket. __2. Allow the Fence to Dry Completely__ Drying is critical, so allow plenty of drying time. Often the smartest strategy is to wait until the warmest, driest time of the year, as this ensures the fence is as dry as possible before applying sealer. This step is important, because as the wood dries it makes space within the grain for the sealer. __3. Apply the Sealer__ Applying the sealer with a sprayer is the easiest, fastest method, but it can be applied with a brush or roller as well. The first coat will often require as much as 50% more sealer than the subsequent coats, because the first coat does most of the sealing. The additional sealer will be absorbed into the wood, protecting it from the inside out. After the first coat has dried, additional thin coats are applied, and so on until the desired thickness is reached. In most situations, two or three coats are recommended. ### Seal Your Wooden Fence For Years Of Use If you use pressure treated lumber for your fence, you’ll want to wait about a year or so before sealing it unless your lumber has been kiln dried. This is because the chemicals used during pressure treating will leach out as the lumber slowly dries. Usually a couple of warm summers is long enough to dry out the pressure treated lumber enough to allow it to accept a sealer. If your fence is built from naturally rot resistant lumber, you’ll probably want to seal it immediately. Consult your lumber dealer for specifics, but most natural lumber will not be treated prior, so it’s a good idea to seal your fence before it gets wet. It’s not the end of the world if you wait, but your fence will likely have fewer checks, cracks, and twists if your natural lumber is sealed sooner rather than later.
June 7th, 2022
When Is the Best Time to Paint In Park City, Utah?
Many of us get the itch to do some home repairs in the spring and summer months. Here in Park City, Utah, we get about three and a half more weeks of sunny days than the rest of the country, on average. The weather is warm and the days are long, so we usually start with refreshing the paint in and on our homes. So the real question is, when is the best time to paint in Park City? Should you only do exterior painting in the spring? Is wintertime best for indoor painting? Today we will discuss the best times for a painting project in Park City, Utah. __Can I Only Paint Outdoors In Park City When the Weather Is Warm?__ You might be surprised to learn that when using modern paints, you can paint outdoors even when the temperature is nearly freezing. These special paint mixtures add polymers and acrylics to latex paint, allowing it to cure even when the temperature is as low as 35 degrees fahrenheit. Normally, the paint would simply dry on the surface and not bond chemically with it when the ambient air is that cold. These paints generally are brush or roll-on paints only, however. Typically these paints are not applied with a sprayer because these paints should not be thinned. A gallon of regular house paint is usually thinned with a pint of water to allow it to pass more easily through the spray tip, so spraying the paint is a breeze. You don’t generally want to thin these paints, however, as it dilutes the additives in the paint. Obviously, you shouldn’t add water to paint designed not to freeze, so these paints are often applied with a brush, roller, or edger. Many of these paints will recommend two coats with appropriate drying time in between. __Is It Bad to Paint Indoors In Winter?__ In winter, Park City gets about one day in four where the temperature never climbs above freezing, while Salt Lake City gets about three weeks worth of these days every year. You'll want to avoid painting outside when it is below freezing, but what about indoor painting?
June 6th, 2022
Is New Paint Toxic?
Are you among the many homeowners ready to get some painting done? This is the time of year to take advantage of the weather and get a few outdoor projects done, like painting. If you haven’t shopped for paint in a while, you may be unaware of a modernized paint called low VOC or no VOC paints. Normal paints can have irritating fumes (VOCs), but low and no VOC paints emit no harmful fumes, or in very low concentrations __What Are VOCs? (Volatile Organic Compounds)__ Volatile organic compounds are contained within the fumes of drying paint. Many times latex paint has a strong ammonia odor, which is an example of a VOC. Enamels and other oil based paints emit even more VOCs, due to their composition. VOCs have long been a problem, which is why all paint cans require adequate ventilation as part of the directions __Should I Wait to Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?__ It is a good practice to wait a day or so after a room has been painted before sleeping in it. This is because unless very good ventilation has been provided, regular paints will continue to emit VOCs for several hours. These VOCs are a common lung and eye irritant, especially in small children. In most situations, these VOCs will dissipate in about 24 hours, but the drying time will vary with the conditions. When the weather is pleasant and windows can be opened to allow the VOCs to escape, the drying time will be shortened. Conversely, in winter, opening windows can be an uncomfortable task, so some homeowners turn to low-VOC or even zero VOC paint to avoid the problem of trapping VOCs. Low VOC paint includes a large number of latex paints that emit lower levels of VOCs as they dry, as compared to regular paint. Zero VOC paints completely remove VOCs, or reduce them to very small amounts, essentially removing them in any quantity that could be harmful to humans. By removing the VOCs, these paints are very popular with growing families. __Is Zero VOC Paint Safe to Use in a Guest Bedroom?__ Zero VOC paint is completely odorless and completely safe to use in any bedroom, even a nursery. However, this does not necessarily mean the paint contains no VOCs at all. Even zero VOC paint may still contain trace amounts of these compounds, but at such low levels as to be inconsequential to humans.
June 3rd, 2022
4 Myths About Painting
Have heard you can’t paint in winter, paint is better than primer, or that oil based paint is more durable than latex?. If you have, join the club. Grandad had a lot of good ideas, but he might have also passed along a few common beliefs that are no longer endorsed. Many of these beliefs are based in truth, so today we will debunk four common painting myths and why you shouldn’t believe them. __You Shouldn’t Paint In Winter Because It Is Cold__ In truth, paint often dries just as fast in winter as it does in the summer. Ambient air temperature and moisture content greatly affect the drying time of most paints. In summer, the air tends to be both warm and humid, where in winter, the opposite is true. As condensation and evaporation come and go with the weather, modern paints are designed to work in less than optimal conditions. In winter, the outdoor air is generally drier, so as long as air temperature remains above 35 degrees or so, many paints will dry just fine. Many manufacturers offer low temperature paint, which contains polymers and other additives to allow the paint to cure at lower temperatures. Most paint will work if the temperature is above 50 degrees, which in many parts of the world is the average temperature in winter. __Old Paint Is As Good As New Paint__ Generally speaking, using old paint is not recommended except to create a sample for new paint matching. Paint a few years old can actually cause more problems than it solves unless it has been very carefully stored, which is uncommon. Just grabbing a can of paint, giving it a quick shake, and using it is precarious at best and a disaster at worst. Old paint gets dirty (from rust) while in the can, so we often think the paint is fine to use. Even if it is perfectly stored, the air inside the can causes the paint to harden. When we stir or shake the paint, we are actually mixing good paint with bad, ruining it all. A better way is to just turn the can upside down over a pan and leave it for a while. Any usable paint will drip out and then you can stir it. __More Paint Is Better Than Primer__ Have you ever found gallons of paint in the garage and decided to just paint multiple coats instead of using primer? Some believe that using more paint (because of its higher quality) is better than using primer. The reality is that the bond between the surface and the paint is more important than the thickness. Primers establish a chemical bond with paint that essentially glues them together, while doing the same thing with the surface. Primer also roughens the surface, as if you had used very fine sandpaper. In turn, this gives the paint slightly more surface area to bond to, resulting in a better job. One exception to this however, would be the use of a primer/paint. These formulas are designed for one coat application, so the primer dries with the paint simultaneously. Designed as a time saver, these special paints often also include useful features, like color changing additives that change color as the primer/paint dries. __Doing Your Own Painting Is Cheaper__ This might not always be a myth if you are a hard core do-it-yourselfer with a toolbox any professional would kill for. But if you are like most of us, you will need to make a significant investment in tools, and more importantly, time. If we consider the time, tools, and effort required to complete some painting projects, we can quickly realize that our time may be better spent elsewhere. Hiring a painting company can not only mean faster completion, but even lower cost. Professionals already have the tools and know how to complete the project the right way, do it safely, and hit the ground running. Hiring a pro eliminates all the little hassles DIYers often encounter, so they can do more in less time. They will have pro tricks to get jobs done well, safely, and on time.
June 2nd, 2022
What Questions Should I Ask a Painting Company Before I Hire Them?
At some point many of us will consider hiring a professional painting company. Perhaps we’re new to the area, or just haven’t needed a painter before. Before hiring someone to do some painting for you, it’s a great idea to ask a few questions first. These questions will give you a better sense of whether the contractor is a real professional, or just someone looking to work. ### Can’t I Just Research a Painting Company Online? When you are looking for a new painting company to hire, usually the best place to look is online. This is because these companies will have invested the time and resources to put their company in its best light. If a painting contractor doesn’t have a website where they can show off photos of their great work, it’s a red flag. ### What Questions Should I Ask a Painter First? The questions you ask a potential paint company will give you a good idea of their experience, commitment, and skill. Here are a few suggested questions to ask, and why you’ll want to ask them early. __1. Can I See Your Certificate of Insurance?__ Before you consider hiring someone for their skill, it’s a good idea to make sure they are insured. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover activities that occur on your property if those activities were for hire. Businesses are required to carry their own insurance policies, but non-professionals are unlikely to have it. Never hire someone to do any work on your property unless they have a worker's compensation policy, at a minimum. Established, legitimate painting companies will have not only a worker’s compensation policy, but liability insurance as well. Most professional paint companies are also bonded, but not in every case. Especially in the warmer months, some individuals like to roam neighborhoods looking to make some quick money. These individuals will commonly look for any damage they can see from the road and offer to repair it for you. If you hire someone in a situation like this, be advised you may be on the hook if the person is injured on your property. __2. Can I See Your Work?__ Professional painters will always have a portfolio of work they have done in the past. A painter’s portfolio is like their business card, so if a painter can’t produce high quality photos of previous work, it is another red flag. In most cases, a professional painting company can not only show you great looking photos of past work, but show you the work in person. Many professional painting companies will ask a client for permission to allow someone to see the wonderful work they have done. __3. Where Is Your Shop?__ Although it may not be essential to hire a painting company with a physical location, it would be hard to find one that didn’t have one. The reason is because painting requires tools like ladders, walk boards, and all the other materials they need to do a good job. These tools, along with the van(s) they use for transport have to live somewhere. If someone offers to paint your home, yet doesn’t have a physical location for their business, they are likely just renting equipment to appear to be in the painting business. An established local painting company will have a shop or garage where they keep their tools in good shape, store paint, and so on. Some, although not all, will also have an office and/or display area where you can visit. Larger painting companies will probably have a whole fleet of vans or trucks, so if you see them around town, that’s a great sign they are legitimate. __4. Do You Have a Crew?__ A professional painting company will rarely send a single painter to a project. These companies also do very small projects that require only one painter, but the vast majority will require at least two crew members. In most situations, they will be dressed similarly, like wearing a company t-shirt, for example. If a painting company doesn’t have a crew, that means they are probably not going to be very fast. Exterior painting, for example, must be performed when the weather is agreeable, so professional paint companies will have personnel available. These crews will be large enough to complete a stage of the project before bad weather ruins the job. __5. When Can You Start?__ Generally speaking, a professional paint company will have a backlog of work. These established businesses are often very busy during the warmer months, so if someone offers to do some unsolicited work for you, ask when they can start. If the answer is right now, that’s a red flag. A legitimate painting company will need paperwork completed, materials gathered, and personnel scheduled before a project can begin. Some painting companies can complete the process very quickly, but the process will be done before any work is started. Never hire someone to paint your home that does not require some form of paperwork before starting work. In general, you’ll want professionally prepared forms, not something scribbled on an envelope. The reason is that unless there is sufficient paperwork, there is no guarantee the painter will even be paid. No legitimate painting company would risk making an investment in a project with first guaranteeing payment. Anyone willing to do so is not a professional and is probably unsure if their work is even good enough to be paid for. Always hire a painting company that looks, behaves, and presents itself as professional and you can’t go wrong.
June 1st, 2022
5 Painting Hacks
As with most home improvement projects, someone has figured out an easy way to do it. With painting, simple tricks and hacks can save you time and effort, while producing great results. Do-it-yourselfers produce some of the best tips because they often lack a tool or specific knowledge. These ingenious DIYers just make it work, so today we will share a few hacks to save yourself some effort the next time you paint. __Avoiding a Mess__ Probably the best way to save yourself time and effort is to make as small a mess as possible when painting. Often DIYers underestimate the time they have to complete a project and may find themselves scrambling to clean up. The professionals use everything at their disposal to keep paint off of as many unintended surfaces as possible. Even professionals have the occasional splatter or drip that must be dealt with. Most professional painters will use consumable tools like drop cloths, painter’s tape, and paint guards to keep any errant paint to a minimum. In most cases, they will use disposable plastic drop cloths to insure even a small accident does not result in a disaster. __Cleaning Brushes and Rollers__ As mentioned previously, as homeowners we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish over a day or weekend. One common issue is the hassle of cleaning up every day after painting. Some homeowners may realize too late that they lack the time to clean their brushes and rollers before the paint dries, ruining them. If you are using acrylics or latex paints, you can freeze your paints and rollers to protect them. These paints dry as the water in them evaporates, so if you freeze your brushes and rollers with plenty of paint on them, you can thaw them out later without damage. Simply soak the brush or roller in paint, wrap it tightly in a plastic grocery store bag and put it in the freezer. Just run warm water over them when you are ready to paint. __Removing Dried Paint From Glass__ Many DIYers dread painting windows because of the time and effort required to apply painter’s tape to the grids between the panes. This is a time consuming project, so many professionals don’t bother. Many will paint the grids completely, and if some gets on the paint they just let it dry. After drying, the pros just use a paint scraper with a razor blade to easily remove the paint. __Removing Dried Paint From Fabric__ Removing dried paint from your clothes or carpet should be done with caution. Many solvents are acetone based, which will likely discolor the fabric. Removing paint from fabric is difficult at best, which is why painters wear clothes they can afford to lose. However, if you are using latex paint, usually the best time to remove it is before it dries. Latex paints are water soluble as long as they are wet, so if you get it on your clothes, dab it with a dry paper towel to prevent making it larger. Then soak the fabric in water (and soap, ideally) and keep it wet until it can be washed. If you don’t have any clothes you are willing to sacrifice, you can purchase disposable coveralls at your home improvement store. __Removing Dried Paint From the Floor__ Removing dried paint from the floor can be quite easy, depending on the material. Removing dried paint from solid surfaces like sheet flooring, laminates, finished hardwoods, and sealed tile is usually just a matter of letting it dry. These materials are not porous, so the paint simply sits on the surface. Usually a quick flip with a putty knife pops of drips and overspray. Carpet however, is a different problem, so in most cases you’ll want to treat it like fabric and dab it up as much as possible. You want to keep the drip moist until you can remove it with a carpet chemical cleaner. These are safe to use and will not damage the carpet. Just wet a paper towel or sponge and lay it on the drip to keep it moist. If you must let the paint dry on carpet, you can often use acetone based paint remover to loosen it. Once latex paint has dried, it is no longer water soluble, so a chemical solvent called acetone is often used to dissolve the dried paint. Be careful though and test it in a closet or other inconspicuous location in case it discolors the carpet.
May 31st, 2022
How Do I Paint My Gazebo?
If you are lucky enough to have a gazebo, you undoubtedly want to take care of it. Depending on the style of your gazebo, this means sealing it with either paint or a wood sealer. Some gazebos are built from fancy woods like redwood, cypress, and farm-grown mahogany, while others are built from pressure treated lumber and painted. Today, we will offer a few professional tips to help you keep your gazebo in great condition. Again, depending on how elaborate your gazebo is, you may want to use a few different tools. Most you will have, like a paint brush and roller, but others you may not, like a paint sprayer. Here we will suggest when to use these tools and why you may want to. ### Can I Paint My Own Gazebo? If you are handy with a paint brush you can probably paint your own gazebo. Often, do-it-yourselfers have the basic skills to paint a gazebo, but may not have the experience to prepare it for painting. Gazebos tend to have many angles, curves, and slopes which can make a good paint job a challenge. ### How Do I Paint My Gazebo? We will assume you have the basic painting tools, like a paint brush, a paint roller, cover and pan, and a step ladder. You will also probably need access to a water hose, broom, and other cleaning tools, depending on the condition of your gazebo. __Clean Your Gazebo__ Regardless of whether you are painting or sealing, you will want your gazebo as clean as possible before you begin. If you have access to a pressure washer, using the white or yellow tip from a couple of feet away will usually be enough. However, if your gazebo is in disrepair, make your repairs before using a pressure washer. You can also just use a broom or mop with warm, soapy water and clean all the surfaces as well as possible. You can also use an old paint brush or other brush to access tough to reach places, like the collar ties in the ceiling. Once you have removed as much dirt as possible, allow the gazebo to dry completely before attempting any painting. __Use Primer or Sealer__ If you are painting your gazebo for the first time, you will want to use a primer first. However, remember your gazebo must be completely dry before it can be painted. If your gazebo is new and built from pressure treated lumber, you will want to let it dry out before you paint or seal it. Pressure treated lumber is treated at the factory with chemicals that are still present when you purchase the wood. If you were to paint your gazebo before this moisture has evaporated, the paint would simply come off as the wood dried out. Paint or sealer must be absorbed by the wood, so the wood must be dry enough to absorb the paint or it will sit on top and flake off. If your gazebo was built from kiln dried pressure treated lumber, you can test the wood to see if it is ready to seal. Simply drip water on the lumber and if the water is absorbed, you can probably seal or paint it. The rule of thumb among pros is to wait at least one year for the moisture to evaporate, but if you live in a hot, dry climate yours may dry faster. __Sprayers, Rollers, and Brushes__ As for tools, you will probably use a brush for most of the ceiling, posts, and lattice, but you may want a roller for the floor. Using a roller will greatly speed up the process, especially if it will need multiple coats. Be sure and let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. Usually, several thin coats is preferable to one or two thick coats. If you have access to a paint sprayer, you can probably paint the entire gazebo with just your sprayer and a paint guard. In most designs, the gazebo will be all the same color and finish, so you can use the same paint for everything. A pro painter would select a dry, calm day and start in one corner. By the time they make it back to the starting point, the first coat is dry. Using a sprayer, the pro painter doesn’t not have to stop and reload a brush or roller, so the process is very fast. However, if you are new to spraying paint, allow some extra time for cleaning up at the end of the day. Sprayers require care or they will malfunction, so make sure you have enough time to do the required cleaning procedure before you begin.
May 30th, 2022
Should I Wear Gloves When I Paint?
The decision whether to wear gloves when you paint usually comes down to the paint you are using. There are a few different types of paint and some are more harmful to human skin than others. Sometimes the choice to wear gloves is obvious, like when using paint remover and strippers that contain a caustic chemical. Other times however, the choice might not be so easy to make. Today, we will suggest how to tell when you need to wear gloves when you paint. What Type Of Paint Am I Using? As a rule, you’ll want to wear the appropriate gloves (if any) for the material you are using. All paint materials, whether they are house paints, sealers, primers, or paint removers will include safety precautions on the container. This is required by law, as well as any pertinent first-aid instructions in the event of mis-use. __Oil Based Enamels__ Oil based enamel paints are caustic to the skin, because they contain products derived from petroleum. Oil based enamel paints are fantastic for outdoor projects because they form a very durable shell once cured. Oil based enamels, however, should always be used when wearing rubber gloves because your skin can absorb the chemicals in the paint very quickly. Water Based Latex and Acrylics Water based house paints, like latex are much friendlier to human skin than oil based enamel paints. Generally, latex paint is relatively harmless to skin, but you should not let it dry. Constant exposure to latex paint can dry out your skin (because it is designed to dry quickly), some professionals keep their hands in good shape with skin lotions and creams. __What Am I Painting?__ Some projects will always require gloves, whether the paint is caustic to the skin or not. For example, although foundation waterproofers are now available in latex versions, you should still wear gloves when using them. This is because you will be working around very materials like concrete, cement blocks, and mortar, which can be abrasive to the hands. Other paints like acrylics and latex are usually fine to use without gloves, but again, read the label. Wet latex and acrylic paints wash off the skin with warm soap and water. In fact, because skin is so pliable, even dried latex and acrylics can usually be removed with a combination of baking soda and water. __If I Wear Gloves, What Kind Should I Wear?__ There are many different kinds of gloves used in painting, from rubberized cloth gloves to latex. Most professional painters keep different kinds of gloves handy, depending on what they’ll be doing and for how long. Most will have heavy gloves to wear when moving ladders and such, as well as rubber versions like dishwashing gloves, and others. For example, it might seem prudent to wear dishwashing gloves or even latex gloves when you need to keep the chemicals off of your skin. However, many oil-based enamels will literally dissolve some latex gloves, so be sure and read the precautionary statement on the label of your paint. If the paint is caustic to your skin, it will say so and recommend gloves. Other paints however, like acrylics and latex are friendlier to rubber and latex and can be a handy way to keep your hands clean. However, most of these gloves are not breathable and will cause your hands to sweat if you wear them very long. Many pros use mechanic’s gloves, as many have rubber fingertips, but cloth construction so they breathe.
May 27th, 2022
How Do I Protect Myself When I Paint?
When we tackle a painting project, we should take the time to properly prepare for the job, which means protecting yourself. Describing all of the safety precautions you need to take is a very broad topic, so today we will discuss protecting your clothes and skin. However, before you start any painting project, always read the safety precautions on the can. Paint is available in several mediums, better known as latex (water based), enamel (oil based), and acrylic (water based). Enamels dry extremely hard and contain chemicals that can harm the skin, but latex and acrylics are much milder. Today we will discuss how the pros protect their clothes and skin from everyday exposure to paint. __Protecting Your Skin__ Generally, most house painting projects done in today’s modern world of construction uses latex and acrylic paints. Since both are water based, they are safer to use without the benefit of skin protection. Most homes use latex paint, which is water soluble until it dries. Acrylic paints are similar in design and are also water soluble. Enamels, however, will require skin and eye protection as the caustic chemicals in the paint can burn the skin and eyes. You should also never use oil based enamels without adequate ventilation as well, because enamels emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If enamels are used indoors, the painter should always wear a ventilator to avoid breathing the VOCs. When using any paint, many pro painters will wear long pants and long sleeves, even in summer. Protecting your skin is important, because even dried latex paint can be difficult to remove without abrasives. Constant scrubbing can abrade the skin, causing irritation. Most (if not all) professional painters carry a wet rag or towel with them at all times. As mentioned earlier, most house painting is done with latex or acrylic paints, which are water soluble. Pro painters simply use the wet cloth to keep wet paint off of their skin before it dries. Generally, latex and acrylics are harmless to the skin as long as they are promptly removed. __Protecting Your Clothes__ Many professional painters wear coveralls over their clothes and covers for their shoes. Home improvement stores and local paint stores will have these and other protective materials available. Coveralls are one-piece suits that are very loose fitting and usually have a front zipper. Painters simply step into them, zip them up, and their clothes are protected. Many coveralls are even disposable like the shoe covers and painter’s hats. These are not made from traditional fabric, but rather an inexpensive cellulose product that will not absorb paint. The occasional do-it-yourselfers may benefit more from these disposable coveralls than ruining old clothes since the coveralls do not need to be stored between paint projects. Of course, you can always sacrifice an old t-shirt and worn out jeans and turn them into your paint clothes. If this option is best for you, try to select long sleeves and long pants, along with an old pair of shoes. Removing even latex and acrylics from your clothes after the paint has dried is chancy at best, so expect to sacrifice whatever clothing you wear. Once you are finished, you can wash your paint clothes as usual, but you’ll want to wash them separately. Heat, water, and detergents can remove some of the paint from your clothes, but you don’t want it to get on your nice clothes. Pro painters that wear regular clothes tend to have several sets and wash them together at the same time for this reason. __Should I Wear Gloves When I Paint?__ You should always wear gloves when the directions for the paint indicate it. In most cases, this will only involve oil based enamel paints, as they contain acetone, a caustic chemical. Most manufacturers recommend using rubber gloves in these instances, because leather and cloth can absorb the chemicals and allow them to contact your hands. Latex gloves can be used however with latex and acrylic paints in an effort to avoid washing your hands constantly. However, latex gloves can also prevent air from reaching your hands, so it’s a good idea to remove them periodically to let your skin breathe. You won’t want to use latex gloves with enamel paints however, as they may simply dissolve.
May 26th, 2022
Am I Protected If I Hire a Professional Paint Company?
Spring is here and many homeowners are making some updates to their homes, including new paint. Perhaps you are new to town and don’t know any local paint companies, nor have any recommendations from your neighbors. Are you protected if you hire a paint company you haven’t used before? Today we will suggest a few things you can do to make sure you are protected if you hire a professional paint company. __Professional Paint Companies Are Licensed and Insured__ One quick way to make sure any paint company you hire is legitimate is to ask to see their business license. A local paint company will have provided significant information to the local jurisdiction to obtain the license, so just having a license checks several boxes. Companies in the construction industry (like painting) are also required to carry worker’s compensation insurance as well. This protects the homeowner from any accidents that might befall a worker while they are on your property. If an employee of the paint company is injured while working on your home, this policy will see to their needs, not you. Most paint companies will also carry liability insurance in the unlikely event they cause damage to your property. Ladders can fall, wind can blow paint onto cars, and other calamities are very rare, but these paint companies carry insurance just in case. Their vehicles will also be completely insured, in case they cause accidental damage unloading a tool or something. __How Do I Tell If a Painter Is a Professional?__ Painting is an activity that most people can perform to some degree of success. In the spring and summer months, it is not uncommon to have someone offer to paint your home unsolicited. There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone proactively looking for work, as long as they offer the same protections as a paint company. However, this is rarely the case. Simply as to see their business license and certificate of insurance. If they cannot provide these documents, you can be held responsible if they become injured on your property. In most cases, homeowner’s insurance will not cover you if you hire someone to work on your home. They are required to carry their own business policy. __Professional Painters Will Be Clean and Respectful__ Professional painters get training when they go to work for a professional paint company. Local paint companies understand that their painters are the face of the company as far as the customer is concerned. These pros may have paint on their clothes, or may wear a company t-shirt in summer, but pros will keep themselves, their tools, and ther van or truck clean. A professional company will always have professional looking paperwork. It is not advised to make a homemade contract. A professional paint company will be able to answer any question you have and refer to it in the paperwork. This protects you in case there are any misunderstandings or discrepancies after the work has started. __Professional Painters Will Be Prompt and Keep You Informed__ Sometimes the weather turns poor, or products don’t arrive when they are supposed to. A professional painter will always keep you up to date on your project. If your project is delayed due to weather or other reason, they will let you know instead of just not showing up. Respecting a customer’s time is a hallmark of a professional paint company. Part of the protection a professional painting company provides is the quality. If you hire an amatuer, you will get whatever you get because there is no guarantee or warranty. A pro paint company will back up their work, so you are protected from spending good money after bad trying to correct a problem.
May 25th, 2022
How to Practice House Painting
As they say, practice makes perfect, but how do you actually practice house painting? Depending on your goals, you can teach yourself to paint brick, siding, furniture, concrete, and just about anything else. The difference between a professional painter and a DIYer is usually just that the professional has practiced more. Today we will suggest a few good practice methods to practice your painting effectively. __What Do You Want to Paint?__ The first question of course is what do you want to paint? If you are learning to paint your own home, you may want to do some practice with other materials first. This is because some materials, like hardboard siding, are quite easy to paint. Others, like brick and stucco can be a bit more of a challenge. If your goal is to refinish some outdoor furniture, you will probably benefit from some small brush practice. Outdoor furniture, especially woven materials like wicker, can be challenging to paint because of all the small crevices and angles. When painting furniture, it is usually best to apply the paint sparingly, because uneven surfaces will grab paint unevenly and lead to runs. __Do You Have the Right Tools?__ You will want a starter set of paint brushes and rollers that has a paint tray, roller handle, roller pad, and three or four different paint brushes. The roller pads that come in these kits are often a medium nap, so you’ll want to add a fine roller pad and coarse roller pad to your painting toolbox. A great way to practice using both is to start out with a roller and paint the entire surface. Pay attention to how much paint your roller pad absorbs and how much paint it requires. Make the surface as smooth as you can, varying the angles and pressure applied to the roller. Now, let that color dry while you paint another surface a different color, and use a brush. Once both surfaces have dried, swap the order and repaint the rolled surface with a different color using a brush and vice versa. By using different colors you can easily see which area was painted with which tool. This also teaches you how one color covers another, while showing you the textures possible with each tool. __Vertical and Horizontal Painting Are Different__ Remember that vertical surfaces tend to be less forgiving of runs than horizontal surfaces. For example, if you are painting a concrete patio, the paint tends to stay where you put it. However, if you applied the same amount of paint to a wall, it would probably result in drips that must be evened out. In the same way you would paint furniture, be mindful of how much paint you are loading onto your brush or roller. Sometimes in an effort to move faster we overload the tool. Unfortunately, on vertical surfaces this often results in chasing runs more than actual painting. __Practice Materials__ If you are brand new to painting, try starting out on something simple like a cardboard box. This will teach you how paint gets absorbed by the material. Pay attention to how much paint you need on your brush to complete a stroke. Are you leaving noticeable brush strokes? How long is it taking for a thick coat to dry versus a thin coat? It’s a great idea to teach yourself to paint different surfaces and textures too. For example, find a stick in the yard and try to paint it bright white. If the stick is bone dry, you’ll get practice painting a rough texture. How many coats did it take to make it white? Now try it on a damp stick, and you’ll discover why surfaces must be dry before they can be painted. Most home improvement stores sell small 2’ x 2’ pieces of drywall, tile board, and other sheet goods. Purchase some primer and apply it to only half of the material, leaving the other untouched. Now paint the entire surface, both the primered area and the non-primered, and notice if the surface bleeds through. The primered surface will likely appear much more vibrant, because the surface color is not bleeding through. You may achieve the same effect with another coat of paint on the non-primered side, but why would you? Primer is usually less expensive than paint, so if they do the same thing (primer is actually better), why pay more for paint?
May 24th, 2022
What Are Ladders and Walk Boards?
Many of us have used a ladder at some point in our lives, or at least a step stool. Ladders are wonderful tools used in everything from war to painting houses. There are step ladders, extension ladders, articulating ladders, and everything in between. Walk boards however, may be new to some people interested in painting. Walk boards essentially connect two ladders horizontally to increase the painter’s reach without moving the ladders. Walk boards use various guards, clamps, and straps to connect a walk board to two (or more) ladders. Today we will discuss how some painters use a combination of ladders, walk boards, and other accessories to safely and quickly paint the exterior of your home. __What Is a Walk Board and Why Would I Use One?__ Most ladders, both extension and step versions usually are made from either wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Walk boards can be used with any of these ladders with the help of ladder jacks and safety clamps. Ladder jacks are adjustable brackets that hang from the rungs of a ladder to provide horizontal support for the walk board. Walk boards allow a painter (or other professional) to travel sideways considerable distances without moving the ladders. Ladders are most dangerous when the user tries to overextend, and loses their balance. Walk boards allow the painter to safely paint an entire surface, like a wall, without moving the ladders. This makes the job much safer for the painter. __Is Setting Up Ladders and Walk Boards Difficult?__ Generally, ladders and walk boards play well with each other because they are designed that way. Most professionals opt for aluminum or fiberglass versions because they have a high strength to weight ratio. This makes using very long ladders and walk boards possible, although great care must be taken with the connections. Walk boards will require two ladders (or other support like sawhorses), two ladder jacks, and safety brackets. Both the ladders and the ladder jacks are adjustable so that the walk board will be level, even if the ladders are not. As the ladders become steeper, the ladder jacks become shallower to keep the walk board as level as possible. __What Else Do I Need to Use Ladders and Walk Boards?__ When you purchase your ladder jacks and walk board, you will want to buy the safety clamps and guard rails for your particular walk board. All manufacturers of walk boards will offer a matching handrail, which is usually the same length as the walk board. The clamps are used to secure the walk board to the rungs of the ladder and/or ladder jacks. The available handrail for your walk board isn’t technically necessary just to use the walk board, but if the walk board is more than 48” from the ground, you should. The handrails are usually also adjustable, and available in different heights. Certain OSHA safety rules require them in certain situations, but they’re always a good idea. __What Other Accessories Might I Need to Use Ladders and Walk Boards?__ Most pro painters also have stand-offs for their extension ladders, as they prevent the ladder from twisting during use. The more narrow a ladder is the less stability it has laterally, so these stand-offs essentially make the ladder wider than it is. This makes the ladder much more stable and allows the weight of the ladder to be shifted above a wall, like to a roof or beam. __What Are Pump Jacks?__ Pump jacks are a tool used to lift a walk board a little at a time, using a foot mechanism. Most aren’t actually pumps, they are just called that because they are operated by pumping a lever with a foot. This allows the painters using the pump jacks to be on the walk board as they lift it. This greatly reduces the effort required to lift the walk board onto the ladder jacks.
May 23rd, 2022
Pro Tips For Avoiding a Mess When You Paint
If, like many of us, you've ever wondered how professional painters avoid making a mess, read on. As homeowners, we often tackle projects that the pros make look easy, but we end up with a mess, and they don’t. Professional painters look at their job just like you look at yours, so they won’t cause themselves problems they will eventually have to correct. Today, we will take a look at what pro painters might do differently from you to avoid making a mess. ### What Do Professional Painters Know That I Don’t? Professional painters invest years in learning their craft, so many have developed ways to keep clean up to a minimum and avoid accidents. Some of these methods will sound like common sense, but it’s easy to get distracted when you are always looking up. Which is the first topic we will discuss. __Pros Keep Trip Hazards Away From the Work Area__ For example, when the pros are painting a wall, they will ensure there is nothing in the path of the painter from beginning to end. If the painter intends to paint four walls without stopping, he or she will make sure there are no hoses, buckets, handles, or anything else to trip over. One of the most common accidents DIYers make is to trip over a bucket of paint. One way to avoid this accident is to place your roller paint or paint bucket on the other side of the door. This way you can’t accidently step into a tray of paint because you’ll have to open the door first. __Pro Painters Have the Appropriate Tools For the Job__ Professional painters often use special tools to make sure paint only goes where they want it. Pros will often have a variety of paint guards at their disposal, often working in teams of two or even three. Pro painters will use guards on rollers to prevent splatters, edgers to avoid crooked lines, and painter’s tape to protect trim. Drop cloths are your friends, so you can never have too many. Drop cloths are available in plastic (the most common disposable version), canvas, and some double as a tarp. Drop cloths will rescue you from most accidents, so use them generously. Be careful though and keep them flat on the floor so they don’t gather and cause a tripping hazard. __Pro Painters Won’t Take Avoidable Risks__ When professional painters are faced with tapestries, pianos, and other difficult to move objects they may spend as much effort in protection as they do in painting. Professionals carry insurance for accidental damage that might occur at a customer’s home, but obviously they want to avoid accidents whenever possible. If professional painters encounter a project difficult to safely reach, they will invest in constructing scaffolding, ladders and walkboards. Professionals won’t take unnecessary risks, so they will be prepared with whatever tools they need to access the project without damaging your home. __Pro Painters Avoid Poor Weather__ If you live in an area with unpredictable weather like the southeastern United States, you may find the weather throws you a curveball. Professional painters won’t risk painting if there is a significant chance the weather will prevent a good job. Pro painters are patient and detail oriented, so they won’t usually start a project they can’t finish. Obviously, some of this skill comes from experience, but some is having the resources like additional manpower available if speed is suddenly needed. Few things ruin a day like a half painted wall that couldn’t dry before a heavy rain shower. Always give yourself an extra 20% more good weather time than you think you’ll need just in case.
May 20th, 2022
Can I Use a Paint Sprayer?
In the world of modern house painting, there is probably no more important tool than a paint sprayer. Paint sprayers are the next step in applying paint, and can produce effects not possible with brushes or rollers. Paint sprayers are also very fast, efficient, and relatively user friendly. Today, we will offer a few facts about using a paint sprayer that might help you decide if owning one is for you. __What Is a Paint Sprayer?__ Paint sprayers come in both electric and pneumatic forms, meaning some require an air compressor and some do not. Most high performance paint sprayers will use an air compressor that forces the paint through a tiny nozzle. Using varying pressure, these paint sprayers atomize the paint and make it airborne. As the paint exits the sprayer in the form of a mist, it is done in a precise, controllable pattern. Using different spray tips the painter can paint wide patterns and control the amount of paint exiting the sprayer. Some sprayers can even spray textures like orange peel, knowndown, and popcorn, but these are typically applied with a hopper. __Is a Paint Sprayer Hard to Use?__ Using a paint sprayer will require following the directions closely. Not all paint sprayers are the same, so some will do a better job in certain situations. For example, some small, consumer versions have a very small paint reservoir. Constant stopping to refill the reservoir can be time consuming, so the pros usually use an on demand paint sprayer. On demand paint sprayers also do not contain a reservoir, but rather pump the paint straight from the bucket. These tankless paint sprayers have air compressors that are trigger actuated, so any time the trigger is depressed, paint is sprayed. But the opposite is also true, so the air compressor does not run unless you are spraying. Using a paint sprayer is quite simple as long as you keep the spray handle moving. Just as with using a spray can, if you allow the handle to stop, even for a moment, you will probably create a run. Using a paint sprayer takes a little practice, but once you are comfortable with the tool, you may find it hard to ever pick up another paint brush. __Does a Paint Sprayer Require a Lot of Maintenance?__ Paint sprayers are machines with moving parts, so they will require more maintenance than your other paint tools. First, you must never let paint dry inside a paint sprayer. Doing so usually requires a rebuild or replacement, and paint sprayers are more expensive than paint brushes. Paint sprayers must be cleaned after every use (with a few pro exceptions) or you’ll probably only use it once. __What Maintenance Does a Paint Sprayer Require?__ Paint sprayer maintenance will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but all will need to be cleaned of leftover paint, just like a brush or roller. Some fancier models include a garden hose attachment that cleans the pump for you if you are using water based paint. Most versions make a cleaning agent available for periodic deep cleaning as well. Most of the time, if your paint sprayer will not be used for a while, the manufacturers will recommend pumping a solvent into your sprayer to prevent rust and corrosion. The exterior parts of a paint sprayer, like the spray handle, hose, tip, and tip guard can be removed and cleaned individually. Occasionally, seals will need to be replaced, but only after many hours of use. __You Can Use a Paint Sprayer With Practice__ Using a paint sprayer is relatively simple and effective to use, but you will need to practice. Most pros developed their skills painting the same wall over and over. Paint sprayer can make a paint project fast and good looking. Just read the directions, be patient, and practice.
May 19th, 2022
How Do I Know When to Call In a Paint Pro?
Most of us have found ourselves needing to get some painting done, but were undecided if we should tackle the project ourselves, or call in a professional painting company. Painting is not a complicated endeavor, but really good painting takes practice, experience, and the right tools. Today we will offer some criteria that may be useful in making your decision. We will help shed some light on the advantages of doing something yourself, versus hiring a pro. In most instances, the decision will come down to quality, ability, and price. __How Do I Decide If I Should Hire a Professional Painting Company?__ Generally, you will want to make a few decisions prior to this one, as it will simplify the process. First, you need to decide how critical the project is. Are guests arriving soon, or do you have months to make your decision? Hiring a painting company will usually be much faster, especially if the project is large. However, if you wait to book your appointment until the busy season, you might find the wait frustrating. Let’s say you have a few months to get your project done. Now you need to decide if your time and effort is worth what you will save financially by doing the work yourself. Don’t forget to add additional time to the project if you will not have the appropriate tools like ladders, walkboards, and paint sprayers. Now let’s assume you have done the math and determined that you will save 1800.00 by doing the project yourself. A project that large is going to take awhile, so you’ll need to dedicate the appropriate time and energy to the project. Depending on the project, it might be possible to do it on a weekend, or over a vacation. Let’s say you decide you do have the time, so the real question is would you pay yourself 1800.00 to paint your home? Remember, to be fair you must also be able to finish the work in the same amount of time or faster or the project will become more expensive for you. If you don’t own scaffolding or whatever tools you’ll need, you’ll have to add that cost in too. Once you’ve done the math, you might find you are only saving a small percentage of the project cost doing the work yourself. Plus, we aren’t assuming you can make more money at your job than you can save on your painting project. If so, the decision to hire a pro becomes a little simpler. __What Am I Paying For With a Painting Company?__ At first glance, we might not give a painting company its due respect because we think the work is something we can do ourselves. Painting isn’t brain surgery, so we tend to hire professional paint companies out of convenience. However, painting professionals will not just perform the work faster than you can. They will have the training that keeps them and you safe. Unless you climb ladders and traverse walkboards daily, you can assume that pro painters will be more adept than you will be with these tools. Inexperience can lead to mistakes, and mistakes can lead to accidents. The pros have all the necessary safety gear and the training to use it. This keeps both of you safer and keeps dangerous jobs for those prepared to do them. Perhaps the single most benefit from hiring a pro painter is the quality. Pros spend years honing their skills to make them better, faster, and safer. You’ll usually get a free consultation with these companies as well, so you get to pick the brains of experts for free. Often they can prevent you from making an expensive mistake, but their services are often offered at no charge. __If You Can, Hire a Painting Company__ Obviously financial constraints can force us to do some projects ourselves. But, when you combine the quality, safety, labor, and speed a professional paint company provides, doing the work yourself becomes pretty hard to justify. However, many creatives just want the experience of trying painting for the first time, or just want to learn something new. If this is the case, definitely go for it. Painting is a very rewarding and satisfying home improvement project. The pros know this too, which is why they do it for a living.
May 18th, 2022
What Tools Do I Need As a Beginner Painter?
Whether you just bought your first starter home, or just want to learn something new, learning to paint is a useful skill. Painting is a home improvement project that is great for someone who has never touched a tool. Painting is not a particularly difficult skill to learn, but work performed by someone highly skilled is obvious. Today, we will suggest a newbie painter’s basic toolbox. We won’t include professional tools, or special tools you will rarely use. These tool suggestions will get you started on the most important element of painting, which is practice. ### What Basic Painting Tools Do I Need? You’ve probably already guessed that a paint brush should be your first purchase. Technically, you can complete a painting project with nothing but a brush and the paint. However, the quality of the project may suffer because your brush is too large, you didn’t sir the paint, or you made a mess. So, better tools usually equals better quality, if paired with diligence and patience. __Brushes, Rollers, and Pans__ Your first paint brush set should include three or four different sizes of brushes. Most beginner kits have four, including a wide one, one medium sized, and two narrow brushes. Usually one of the narrow brushes is also tapered, because tapered brushes are better for painting edges. You will also want a paint cup for use with trim work. Many manufacturers offer consumer versions of professional tools, like small paint cups that are designed to be easy to clean. These paint cups will often have a handle suitable for hanging from a ladder, freeing up one hand. Paint cups are important not just for convenience, but they also protect your paint. Unless you completely clean whatever surface you are painting, your paint brush will transfer any dirt from the surface into your paint bucket, contaminating the entire bucket. The pros never paint directly from any paint bucket, but transfer the paint to a paint cup, preventing contamination of the paint. Some kits will also include a roller handle, roller pan, and one or two roller covers. These three tools work together to create one tool, a paint roller. Paint rollers are available in a wide range of widths, materials, and naps to allow paint to be applied quickly and evenly. __Painting Accessories__ You will also benefit from a few consumable tools, like painter’s tape, plastic drop cloths, and stir sticks. Your local dealer can also suggest a few inexpensive tools to speed up the process, like liners for paint cans and roller pans. These liners are designed to fit into standard paint containers and are simply thrown away at the end of the project. If you plan to add to your painting toolbox, consider tools that lessen the labor required. For example, purchase a 24” mixing paddle that attaches to a cordless drill you may already own. Especially when mixing five gallons at a time, stirring the paint can be exhausting. These mixing paddles work just like a kitchen mixer and let the drill do most of the work. __Ladders, Step Stools, and Extension Poles__ At some point in your painting career you may want to paint a surface higher than you can reach. In these instances, your options are a step stool, ladder, or an extension pole. Painters often work on ladders and stools, but do-it-yourselfers may not have the experience to use them safely. Extension poles are usually telescoping, so they can be used in both their short and long forms to reach high surfaces. These are much safer to use since the painter can remain flat footed on the floor, but control will suffer. Some companies offer tools called edgers that attach to extension poles, greatly increasing the control. __Go Forth and Practice__ Learning to paint requires just a little practice and patience. As mentioned earlier, painting is a great beginner DIY project because it is generally safe to practice without skill. Many pros began by painting the same surface dozens of times to learn the hand eye coordination needed. Just get a few tools, a bucket of paint, and see what you can teach yourself in an afternoon.
May 17th, 2022
Can I Paint Vinyl Siding?
Many homes built in the last forty years have a vinyl siding exterior. Vinyl siding was developed to address a common complaint, which was periodic painting. Vinyl siding is colored all the way through, so in theory, it would never need painting. However, over time we have discovered that vinyl siding color will fade, so some manufacturers offer specially designed paint for vinyl siding. __What Is Vinyl Siding Paint?__ Vinyl siding paint is available in many brands and colors, water soluble, and easy to work with. Most vinyl siding paint has an acrylic base, which helps it stick to the vinyl. Painting vinyl siding can cost less than 50% less than replacing it, yet adds years of useful life to the siding. One way vinyl siding paint differs from regular house paint is that it will flex with the vinyl. Generally, surfaces that constantly move are unfriendly to paint, because cracks in the paint can develop over time. Vinyl siding paint is designed to flex with the vinyl, preventing any additional cracking. __Is Vinyl Siding Paint Hard to Use?__ Vinyl siding paint is really no harder to use than other paints, but the vinyl itself may affect how the paint is applied. For example, when you paint vinyl siding you are essentially encapsulating the surface of the vinyl. The paint will prevent air, water, or anything else from contacting the surface. Because the vinyl cannot breathe like wood, it often takes longer for vinyl siding paint to cure. For this reason, you’ll want to plan your vinyl siding painting project for a few nice weather days. Most vinyl siding paints will need about a day to dry in optimal conditions because the paint is not soaking in, but just drying on the surface. The good news is that you won’t need any special training, tools, or experience to use vinyl siding paint. __Should I Pressure Wash My Vinyl Siding Before Painting It?__ If your vinyl siding is chalky, dirty, or moldy, you will want to wash it first. You won’t necessarily need a pressure washer, but having one will make the job easier. If your home is one story and you can reach it from the ground with an extension pole, you can just use soap and water. Some siding cleaning tools even include an attachment to an outdoor water spigot. Depending on how dirty the vinyl siding is, you’ll probably want to use a long handled brush and using detergent, gently brush away any debris. Don’t worry about stains from tree sap or bird poop as they will be covered by the paint. Just remove anything with a texture, like dirt or mold. If you do have the benefit of a pressure washer, you’ll probably want to stay away from the red and black spray tips. Use the green, yellow, or white tips as these are less likely to damage the vinyl siding. If you use a detergent with the pressure washer, you can use even less pressure or stand farther away from the surface. __Should I Use a Primer With Vinyl Siding Paint?__ Vinyl siding paint will benefit from a primer just as any other paint will. Primer solves adhesion concerns, smooths out the surface, and makes everything a uniform color. Most professionals wouldn’t even consider using vinyl siding paint without first using a primer. The pros are responsible for doing the best job they can, so primer is never far away. __What Colors Is Vinyl Siding Paint Available In?__ For some vinyl siding painters, selecting the color is the hardest part of the project. When we purchase new vinyl siding, we are offered a very limited range of color options. Vinyl siding paint however, is available in essentially any shade. Often the real problem is what other element on the home will most compliment the paint. For example, when you have unlimited color options, you must be diligent not to get too close to an existing color on the home, or match it exactly. Just getting close to an existing shade can result in a color clash and actually worsen the appearance. The pros recommend selecting lighter or darker shades of the roof, brick, or siding color(s) to guarantee a match without risking a color clash.
May 16th, 2022
Pro Advice For Keeping Your Pets Safe During A Painting Project
When planning a painting project, we can get distracted and forget simple things, like what to do with Fido when the painters arrive. Outdoor pets don’t generally cause any concern as long as they cannot access the area(s) being painted. However, indoor pets can pose a problem because they can accidentally do much more damage. Today, we will discuss the most common ways painting clients resolve the problem. __Use a Local Boarder to Board Your Pets__ Probably the easiest way to provide your pets with a temporary home during a painting project is to board them. Many businesses like this one have popped up in local neighborhoods for just such an occurrence. These “doggie daycares” often provide pet sitting by the day or even the hour, and most are local, trustworthy animal lovers. These are often businesses run out of a home, but several large chains provide both short-term and long-term pet care. Social media is a great way to vet anyone you don’t know or get recommendations from people you trust. Look for one with a website and endorsements from past clients, and you’ll probably find a friend for life. __Ask a Friend or Neighbor For Help__ Probably the next easiest way to care for a pet is to just ask a nearby friend or neighbor. If you happen to have a neighbor that loves animals, consider reciprocating by offering the same service in return when they have their home painted. In fact, neighborhood organizations often post announcements on their websites to help you find some help. If your pet is a snake or other small reptile that can make people uncomfortable, consider using a carrier and taking the pet with you. Some boarders are comfortable with reptile pets, but many will draw the line with dogs, cats, and rabbits. Reptiles are very hardy creatures, so often reptile pet owners will simply buy a carrier and take their pet iguana to the coffee shop with them. __Use a Garage or Storage Building As a Temporary Shelter__ If you have a garage or outdoor storage building, consider using it temporarily to protect your pets while the painters are working. Obviously, you will need to take the weather into consideration, because painters usually work when the weather is nice. Unfortunately, this can mean very high temperatures in a shed, so never keep your pet in any building without proper ventilation. __Low or Zero-VOC Paints Keep Your Pets Safe__ Volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, are common in most off the shelf paints. These compounds can cause lung and eye irritation in mammals, including dogs and cats. VOCs can be considered the fumes emitted from fresh paint that most of us have experienced. Traditional paints have VOCs that can cause eye and lung irritation, especially in small children. These VOCs are emitted as the chemicals and other compounds in the paint cure or evaporate, and should be avoided. The instructions on most paint cans require that an area be well ventilated before, during, and after using the product. Low or Zero-VOC paints replace these compounds with materials that either emit no VOCs, or an insignificant amount as to be negligible. These paints are safe around pets and children and will have no significant side effects, like irritating fumes. You may have to deal with the pet hair that will inevitably get stuck in the paint, but for pet lovers, that is part of the charm.
May 13th, 2022
Why Would I Repaint My Cabinets?
Cabinets can be expensive. If you are looking for an inexpensive reason to update your cabinets, this information is for you. Cabinets come in nearly all shapes and sizes, colors, and uses. Laundry rooms, bathrooms, garages, and of course, kitchens can benefit from a refresh, adding both value and lifespan. Today, we will offer up a few reasons why painting, (or repainting) your cabinets can allow you to express your creativity and put a few dollars in your pocket. __Added Value at Resale Time__ Repainting cabinets often makes sense when the time comes to sell, because most prospective buyers have done their homework. To a buyer, many times dilapidated cabinets are a sign of neglect, so they may adjust their offer accordingly. Cabinets generally last for many years if they are well maintained, so take care of your cabinets and they’ll take care of you. The idea is not necessarily to make your cabinets a focal point, but rather to keep them from becoming one. Not to say you shouldn’t express your artistic flair if you have one, but don’t worry about making dilapidated cabinets look new. Just don’t allow them to look old, worn, and in disrepair. __Let Your Kitchen Shine__ Generally, we love a clean kitchen, even if it only looks that way. Kitchen cabinets that have obvious stains, missing hardware, crooked doors, and sticky drawers add up to dingy. Kitchens can seem dark in older homes with smaller windows, especially natural or synthetic wood grain textures, like oak and cherry. Why spend thousands of dollars to replace kitchen cabinets when all they need is brightening up? These cabinets are often perfect candidates for repainting if the process is carefully controlled. You also have the option of just replacing the doors and hardware. __You Need to Squeak a Few Years Out Of Your Cabinets__ Sometimes we are planning for a family addition or other life event that may require us to purchase a larger home. Many homeowners are apprehensive about installing new kitchen cabinets, although the old ones clearly need help. Many are concerned about recovering their investment when they sell the home, so they look for other options, like repainting. In most cases, you can expect your cabinets to live for about 25-30 years, depending of course on use. If your cabinets are this old or older, but still in relatively good condition, repainting them may be the answer. If the cabinets look refreshed to the buyer, they may not be as concerned about the actual age. If the cabinets look even older than they are however, expect a lower offer. __It’s a Great Excuse to Clean__ When was the last time you removed something permanently from your cabinets? Bathroom vanities are notoriously damaged underneath the sink by all the stuff we tend to store there. Most drain pipes are made from thin PVC, so it doesn’t take much of a bump to cause a leak. Repainting your bathroom vanities forces you to get serious and remove the clutter. You might be surprised to discover how much space you actually get rid of the junk you don’t need. Getting a coat of paint on cabinets in humid environments like bathrooms also helps prevent moisture damage to the vanity base. __Help Out the Environment__ When we replace our cabinets, we have to rid ourselves of the old ones, which can mean burning, or more likely, tossing them in the landfill. Some old cabinets get at least partially recycled, but much of it still ends up in a landfill. Cabinets take up space in the landfill, so the fewer we destroy the better it is for everyone. Repainting your existing cabinets eliminates waste, adds years to the cabinets, and can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
May 12th, 2022
What Should I Know About The Different Kinds of Paint Brushes?
Many of us enjoy painting, whether it’s a home or a driveway we’re refinishing. Paints let us express ourselves in a unique way while adding value and protection to our largest investment, our homes. Many of us apply paint with the same tool as our grandfathers, the paint brush. Paint brushes are designed for different paint mediums, surfaces, and applications. Today, we will briefly discuss the two most popular bristle materials and their common uses. __What Are Paint Brushes Made Of?__ Paint brush bristles (the hairs that hold the paint) come in a variety of materials, ranging from completely natural, like horse hair, to entirely synthetic like polyester or nylon. The paint you are using and the project will often dictate the appropriate brush, as some bristles work better than others. With oil based paint, you might use natural hair bristles that come from a horse, hog, and badger, while synthetic bristles are made from manmade materials like polyester and nylon. Natural bristle brushes are good for enamel paints applied to a relatively smooth surface because the bristles are often very fine. Natural hair bristles are also delicate, so it’s best to avoid rough surfaces when using them, as it will wear them prematurely. Rough surfaces can damage the tips of the natural hairs and make them rough, so it’s recommended to use synthetic brushes when using oil based paints if the surface is coarse. __When Is the Best Time to Use a Synthetic Bristle Brush?__ Synthetic brushes are more commonly used than natural brushes due to their durability and cost. Synthetic brushes are often made from polyester, nylon, or both, making them very versatile. Synthetic paint brushes are entirely synthetic, so there is great flexibility in manufacturing, as well as design. Synthetic paint brushes can be molded into almost any shape for any purpose, so they work great on either smooth or rough surfaces, depending on the brush. Synthetic brushes also have the advantage of low cost, ease of cleaning, and versatility. Synthetic brushes are usually less expensive than their natural counterparts, because there is no need to harvest either wood for the handle, nor hair for the bristles. These brushes are popular for projects that tend to damage brushes because of the low cost compared to natural bristles. __When Is the Best Time to Use a Natural Bristle Brush?__ Natural bristle paint brushes are very unique because no two are exactly alike. Natural bristle paint brushes are very popular with more artistic house painting projects like furniture refinishing and border painting. Many artists prefer the feel of natural bristles and some even prefer specific animal hair over others. Natural bristle brushes are relatively delicate unfortunately, and many have met an untimely end. Natural bristle paint brushes can be unforgiving of poor treatment, so they require proper cleaning and storage. These brushes also tend to wear out faster than synthetic brushes because the material is usually softer. However, there are plenty of thirty year old natural bristle brushes still in use, so with proper use and care, they can last for many years. Natural bristle brushes are also commonly used to apply stains and other materials that can be altered by the painter. Stains, unlike opaque paints, are often applied using visible brush strokes for a specific effect, so many artists prefer natural bristle paint brushes for that reason. Natural bristles provide the artist with a unique tool that provides artistic freedom and expression, and most artists own dozens of different kinds. Natural bristle brushes are recommended for any oil based medium, such as varnish, shellac, and polyurethane as well.
May 11th, 2022
How to Paint A Window Sill Like the Pros
Painting a window is not just a great place for a potted plant. A well maintained window sill will enable your windows to function as they were designed. We use window sills all the time and have for many years, but they tend to be neglected. Today we will suggest a few tips the pros use to keep window sills in good condition and ready for the next herb. __*Special Note*__ __Don’t Sand the Window Sill If the Paint Is Old__ Prior to 1978 essentially all house paint contained some amount of lead, as it provided the paint with increased durability. After the lead was banned from paint in 1978, production was allowed for a while, so current stock was approved for sale. If you're painting a window sill on a home that could have been last painted in the 1980s, do not sand it or abrade it. If the paint contains lead, sanding it will release the lead and allow it to become airborne and has been shown to cause illness, especially in children. The most common way to deal with lead based paint is to encapsulate it, or just paint over it. The paint is not generally considered dangerous unless it can be touched, so most municipalities are satisfied by a repaint. __Use a High Gloss Paint__ You’ll want to use a high gloss paint for two reasons. The first, is that high gloss paint forms a much more dense surface than a flatter paint, allowing it to repel moisture. The second reason is that high gloss paint is much easier to clean. High gloss paint is used on most household trim for the same reason. These traits make high gloss paint ideal for window sills, especially wide ones that are home to potted plants. We all tend to cause a splash when we water our plants, but water will bead up on high gloss paint, allowing time for a quick clean up. High gloss paint is also more durable than flatter sheens, so it takes impacts and scuffs with less damage. __Should I Use Enamel or Latex Paint For My Window Sill?__ You can use either enamel or latex paint for your window sills. Both have similar qualities like durability and high gloss. The one reason why latex paints have essentially taken over the residential paint market is because enamel paints emit VOCs, otherwise known as volatile organic compounds. Homeowners can think of VOCs as the fumes emitted while the paint is drying. These fumes can irritate persons sensitive to VOCs, and cause a litany of symptoms. Latex paints are water based and contain no oils or alkyds, however they too can contain VOCs. As a result, manufacturers have started to produce low and zero VOC paints to eliminate the risk. As window sills tend to be within reach of children, using latex paints greatly reduces the chances of accidental poisoning as well. __Paint Window Sills In the Spring and Summer__ One way to eliminate VOCs and refresh the air is to paint your window sills in the late spring and early summer. This is a great time to air out the home and provide plenty of ventilation. Gentle breezes are also common during this time of year, helping to draw any remaining VOCs and odors out the window. __Use an Fine Bristle Angled Brush Between the Window and the Trim__ Window sills need to look as good as possible because they are seen by anyone who operates the window. Most painted window sills show brushstrokes because the painter did not use a fine enough bristle brush. These brush strokes are very evident in a raking light and detract from the appearance of the paint. Because window sills are flat even surfaces, using a fine bristle angled brush will reduce or eliminate the brush strokes and result in a much prettier job.
May 10th, 2022
How Your Home's Exterior Increases Its Value
Curb appeal is probably the most important aspect in selling a home, at least from a real estate agent’s point of view. Appraisers use the location, condition, and features to determine a home’s market value, so you’ll want to maximize it when you can. First impressions are everything in real estate, because it doesn’t matter how pretty your foyer is if the buyers simply keep driving . Today, we will discuss a few ways a good looking exterior adds value to your home, and why it matters. __A Great Exterior Equals Interest__ As already mentioned, if your curb appeal is not enticing enough to make the buyer stop, the beautiful interior you just spent thousands of dollars on won’t be seen. How many times have we looked at a home or feature and found we couldn’t stop looking and had to stop for a photo? In today’s real estate market, visually attractive properties usually sell the fastest. A great looking exterior becomes the eye catcher of the neighborhood, particularly in subdivisions a little older. A good looking exterior stands out from the crowd because most other homes are beginning to show wear and tear. If you are selling, keeping the exterior in top shape can make the difference in a sale and relisting. __People Want a Pretty Home They Can Show Off__ Home value is really just a function of how much someone will pay for a home on any given day. When buyers are shopping, they are probably making the biggest financial investment they will ever make. As such, they tend to look for homes they can show off and be proud of on social media. Many real estate agents suggest walking around a home objectively and noting anything that would concern you if you were purchasing the home. You aren’t required to make any repairs, but it might be useful to know in advance what defects you may need to defend. You can rest assured if you find any, the buyer will too, so the pros suggest making updates or repairs you find in advance of a showing. Psychologically, when buyers discover an unaddressed defect, they tend to scrutinize the entire property. __Repainting Is Valuable to Buyers__ Many studies have indicated that repainting a home adds value, especially in the view of prospective buyers. In today’s modern construction, fiber cement siding is enormously popular, but it does require maintenance in the form of painting. Most shoppers view fiber cement painting the same way they view a roof because both can be expensive and have a predetermined lifespan. Studies have shown that in a subdivision of track homes, where the homes use essentially the same floor plan, the ones that have been freshly painted sell faster and for more money. Home buyers understand the costs of repainting, so when the work has already been completed, they can make a higher offer. However, never use bold colors or very unique color combinations because it can also have the opposite effect. Although you may view an elaborate color scheme as the coolest thing ever, your buyer might hate that shade of blue. Always use neutral, inviting exterior colors that not only compliment the home, but the entire block.
May 9th, 2022
How to Get Ready to Paint
Getting for a painting project may be the most time consuming part of the project, but also the most important. The quality of the preparation will usually be indicative of the quality of the final result. You’ll want to avoid missing this important first step of the process and ruining the whole project. Today we will discuss how the professionals prepare a project for painting and why. __The Surface Should Be As Clean As Possible__ Cleaning a surface to be painted is not complicated, but it is easy to underperform. Visually, a wall may look ready for paint, but dust, oils, and other substances can cause the paint to run and cause unsightly drips. Professionals change their approach depending on what they are painting, but most will use a damp painter’s rag and remove any dust or oil using only water if possible. Any materials remaining are scraped away and the process is repeated until the surface is clean and dry. Preparation usually includes: - Cleaning the walls as needed - Moving or Removing Furniture and other obstacles - Removing Light Fixtures, Switch Covers and Outlet Covers - Installing Drop Cloths - Sanding - Final wipedown with cheesecloth __Remove Obstacles In the Way Instead Of Painting Around Them__ There is no reason to try and paint around switch or outlet covers, or any other easily removed obstacle. Any of these can be removed with a screwdriver. The same goes for light fixture globes, curtains, or area rugs. Painting around these objects is time consuming and may result in a blotchy job because of the cut -in work required. The pros will remove what furniture they can and lay down drop cloths on everything else. __Finish Repairs Before Painting__ Any repair work, like filling in a crack or dent should be completed at this stage before any paint has been applied. Sanding will result in airborne dust (unless you use a dustless system), so you’ll need to wear a respirator. The pros use spackling compound for smaller repairs as it dries quickly and minimizes sanding. __Use Painter’s Tape, Petroleum Jelly, or Cellophane__ Using painter’s tape, petroleum jelly, or cellophane to mask off areas is common, especially where colors change, a wall meets a ceiling, or trim is present. The pros know that painter’s tape will absorb moisture, so a pro trick is to apply several thin coats when painting over it. Overloading the brush or roller may result in soaking the tape, allowing paint to get under it. A common pro trick is to apply petroleum jelly on the joint between the window glazings and the window frame. Latex paints are water based and will not stick to an oil based material like petroleum jelly, making cleaning up a breeze. The pros simply wipe a little onto the glass, being careful not to get any on the frame being painted. After the paint dries, the petroleum jelly can be easily wiped or scraped off. An effective, but pricier option is to cover the glass with self adhesive cellophane. Available at any paint store, this cellophane can be applied to glass to protect it from paint, mortar, or other falling debris. When the project is complete, the cellophane can be removed in a matter of minutes, often making it cost effective.
May 6th, 2022
4 Times You Shouldn't Do A Painting Project Yourself
We proud homeowners like to flex our DIY muscles on the weekends, but sometimes our home pride can get us in a jam. There’s nothing wrong with learning new skills and expanding your home improvement knowledge, but there are limits. Sadly, we hear of freak accidents that disable or even kill someone, when the problem may have been a lack of experience, skill, or proper tools. Today we will briefly discuss four common projects you may want to hire a professional to perform. __Situation 1 The Project is On the Roof__ You may ask when you would ever need to get on the roof of your home for a painting project. There are a few, but one in particular cannot be done any other way, which is painting dormer windows. Dormer windows are very common in colonial style and georgian style architecture, and extend away from the ridge line towards the gutter. Because most masonry would be too heavy for the dormer to support, paintable siding is the common option as an exterior. Obviously, these dormers will eventually need repainting, so access to the roof will be required. Even if the dormers are accessed through the attic and out the window, the painter will still be standing on the roof. Many professional painters will not only have the experience and training to traverse steep roof pitches, they will also have the safety gear they need to perform the job safely. Most homeowners would not possess these tools, nor have the training to use them safely. __Situation 2 The Project Is High and Wide__ When the project is more than 20 feet from the ground, the ladders used in painting projects can become unstable and require additional stabilization. Ladders are very top heavy when they are extended to their maximum reach, and are very awkward. Professionals work with them everyday and can recognize a problem before it results in a fall. Painting projects that are both high and wide can become even more perilous. Repainting a fascia and soffit would be a good example. Because the painter’s reach from the ladder is limited, walk boards are often used to avoid moving the ladders every few feet. Walk boards are professional tools that extend horizontally between two vertical ladders. Due to weight and length considerations, walk boards can be as narrow as 12” wide, but thirty feet in the air! __Situation 3 The Project Is Too Big__ Sometimes we underestimate what we can do in a week and overestimate what we can do in a weekend. As mentioned earlier, homeowners often look forward to relaxing weekend projects that embellish their home, provide personal satisfaction, and take our minds off the week. Often the result is a well planned, but poorly executed project that turns into a disaster. Most of the time, these disastrous projects were simply the result of something beyond the homeowner’s control, like the weather. Professional paint companies have the workforce to very rapidly deal with inclement weather should it occur. A young couple painting on opposite ends of the home however, may fall victim to a sudden heavy downpour and ruin the project. __Situation 4 You Really Need High Quality__ Even those homeowners with years of painting their own walls and ceilings may not compete on a skill level with a modern professional painter. Throwing absolutely no shade on do-it-yourselfers, professional painters spend years honing their craft. The expensive ones regularly attend additional training from designer paint manufacturers, which is always evolving. Many of these designer paints also include a texture, so every brush stroke and roller pad must be applied as the manufacturer intended. Attempting to use outdated tools and techniques with many of these modern paints can result in a less than impressive job. The savvy DIYer will hire the best professional they can find and learn from them while still gaining a beautiful work of art for their home.
May 5th, 2022
How to Clean Interior Walls Before Painting
Cleaning the walls before painting is the first step in a successful painting project. Cleaning the walls will help remove dust, smoke, and dirt that can prevent good adhesion to the surface. You can prep your walls for painting by using soap or other solvents without damaging the existing paint layer. Today, we will briefly discuss a few ways to clean your walls and prepare them to accept a new coat of paint. __Soap and Water__ Soap and water is the safest way to clean your walls. Soap and water tend to work very well on glossier surfaces, like semi-gloss and high-gloss paint. These glossy sheens reflect more light and are much less likely to absorb the water than flatter sheens like eggshell and matte. The pros will often use a fine grit sandpaper or sanding block to dull the surface and create tiny scratches that will improve the adherence of the paint. __Wall Cleaning Agents__ Wall cleaning agents, like this one won’t leave a residue that could impede the paint from sticking. Generally, if soap and water are not enough to remove a stain, a wall cleaning agent is the next option. These agents have degreasing properties, which can break down even the toughest wall stain, like oil. __Test an Area First__ Professionals can’t afford to damage a client’s home, so they always use their experience and test any cleaning agents before using them. Some paints, like textured and designer paints have a different composition than a regular wall paint, so be sure and read the label on the cleaner. Professional painters will usually avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning walls because many can leave a residue. Most will find an inconspicuous spot, like a closet, to make sure the cleaner is safe to use. __Use the Right Tools__ Using the correct tools for the job will often determine how long the project takes. Tools can save you both time and effort, so the professionals use every tool at their disposal to perform a quality job. For example, the pros will commonly use large tools like this one for cleaning walls because it is much faster. When using tools like these, move in circular motions as this will help alleviate any missed spots. Most of these tools also have telescoping handles, which can avoid the need for step ladders. By allowing the user to stand flat on the floor, these tools are much safer to use and can prevent injuries. __Unorthodox Cleaning Tips__ Professionals tend to collect little tips and tricks as they gain experience. For example, many pros keep household items like baking soda for use as an abrasive to remove surface stains. Hydrogen peroxide is also commonly used to break down wine stains, and chewing gum without damaging the surface. You can also use a clothes iron to remove gunky debris like chewing gum, tar, and hardened adhesive. It may seem unusual, but the pros will dampen a paper towel with water and place it over the stain. They then apply the hot iron to the paper towel, creating steam that loosens the debris. Often this method is more successful than using even the harshest chemicals, yet leaves no residue.
May 4th, 2022
The Challenges of Hiring a Painter
So you’ve realized you won’t have the time to do the painting project you had planned, but you don’t know any painters to hire. How do you find a good one and not get taken advantage of? Today, we will discuss the challenges and pitfalls of hiring a painter and how to know you’ve found a good one. __References__ First, always ask for references. This is extremely important, because some people think owning a paint brush is the same as being a painter. Not to imply that handypersons will not do a great job, but ask for evidence anyway. If the painter cannot show you documented past projects, it is a poor sign. __Insurance__ Any legitimate professional painter will have worker’s compensation insurance. Some will also have liability insurance, in case they accidentally damage your home. It is extremely unlikely (although not impossible) to find a local handyperson with insurance coverage, so hiring a professional paint company is usually your best bet. It is strongly discouraged to hire someone without this coverage, as many homeowner’s policies will not cover you against liability if you hire someone. __Appearance__ Does the painter look professional? Generally speaking, professionals will look the part. Most wear painter’s coveralls, drive a clean van, and present themselves professionally. Beware of someone offering to paint your home that has few or no tools, does not appear professional, and cannot provide insurance documentation. There are those who are simply looking for someone to sue when they accidentally get injured. __Photos of Past Projects__ Does the painter have a portfolio? If not, they are either not a professional or they are brand new to the business. Everyone has to start somewhere, but a little suspicion goes a long way. If the painter appears to move slowly, is constantly stopping and starting, and cannot answer any paint question you have, walk away and hire a real pro. Hire a Professional At this point, you probably will recognize a professional when you see one. Professionals will have a written contract specifying exactly what they will do. They will likely have ladders on their van and act very professionally. Most will offer to perform a walk-around with you to answer any questions you have about the price, the paint, and the schedule. Follow these simple suggestions and you will increase your chances of finding a great painting company you can stick with.
May 2nd, 2022
4 Reasons Summer Is the Perfect Time to Paint
For some reason, most of us like doing things in the summertime. Maybe it’s the feeling of renewal or just the nice weather, but many of us feel the urge to renew our homes in the summer and summer. There are a few reasons why summer is considered by many the best time to paint your home. Today we will discuss five reasons why summer is a great time to paint both the inside and outside of your home. __Throw a Party__ There’s never a better time to paint than just before an important gathering like a new family member or a gift exchange. We’re proud of our homes, and we want our guests to enjoy their visit. Since summertime is party time, painting in the summer takes advantage of the long days, gets the job done quickly, and gives the home a facelift just when it counts. __The Weather Is Nice__ The weather is usually better in the summer, so painting (especially exterior painting) projects can usually be completed without dealing with bad weather. In Utah, humidity levels can be high in the summer, so it’s a good idea to watch the forecast and only paint when the air will be drier. It’s also a good time to schedule a paint company before the summer rush. __Selling Your Home__ Financially speaking, selling your home in the summer will take advantage of the selling season when the largest number of buyers will be shopping. However, you will also be competing with more sellers, so you’ll want an advantage. For this reason, repainting both inside and out will add curb appeal and draw the buyer’s attention. They will imagine living in the home at its most pleasant, placing it in its best light. __Fresh Paint Likes Sunshine__ In summer, the days are longer so we have more time to do exterior painting. Of course, more sunshine also helps in drying because the paint dries faster. Summer weather can also mean unpredictable weather however, so most pros complete projects very quickly. Fresh paint is no match for a thunderstorm, so painting in summer means using whatever the weather provides. __Painters Are Available Now….If You Act Fast__ Summer is a fantastic time to book your appointment, but others will have the same great idea. We strongly suggest requesting your appointment as soon as possible to assure your spot. You’ll need to hurry because spring and summer are prime time for paint companies and their schedules can fill up quickly. Contact Moorhouse Coatings today for a free, no obligation assessment of your home. Just click [here](https://parkcity.moorhousecoating.com/) and Moorhouse Coatings will take care of the rest.
April 28th, 2022
5 Common Mistakes Amateur Painters Make - And How WE Avoid Them!
Those new to painting might discover that quality painting requires skill, good materials, and patience. Painting is indeed a simple process, but it's usually the small details that can wreck a first-timer’s attempt at painting. Today we will identify five common beginner mistakes and how you can avoid making them. __Use the Correct Tools__ One reason professional painters get done so quickly is that they have the correct tools for the job. Amateurs tend to not possess the sophisticated tools professionals invest in, like paint sprayers. If you want to paint like a pro, invest in high-quality rollers, brushes, and maybe even a sprayer. You may also need ladders, scaffolding, and walk-boards, so consider hiring a professional if the job is large. __Use the Correct Paint__ A classic amateur mistake is using the wrong paint. There are many different types of paint, like interior, exterior, latex, enamel, low-VOC, textured, low temperature, paint/primer, etc., so it can get complicated. Always follow the manufacturer's directions on the can. That way if you have accidentally purchased the wrong paint, you can correct your mistake before expending too much effort. __Apply the Paint the Right Way__ Pay attention to the directions on the can. If the paint is designed to be brushed, rolled, or sprayed it will say so on the can. Never try to thin a paint that is not designed for it. This can negate the properties of the paint and cause it to fail prematurely. If you plan to use a sprayer, make sure you purchase paint that can be thinned without weakening the paint. __Don't Make a Mess__ The professionals understand the hassles of clean-up after painting, so they do everything possible to keep the mess to a minimum. This includes using drop cloths, paint guards, moving objects, etc. to make the job easier. Amateurs tend to spend all their energy painting and have neither the time nor motivation to clean up. This can lead to ruined tools and doing the job twice, so always leave a few minutes at the end of the day for cleaning. __Paint Safely__ Professional painters understand that no project is worth getting hurt for. As such, they employ safety gear and procedures, regardless of the size of the project. Painting can be dangerous, so always take the appropriate safety measures. Double-check any ladders, walk-boards, scaffolding, or other tools before using them. Safety gear can also include eye protection and a ventilator when appropriate.
April 28th, 2022
5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Painter
__5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Painter__ --- Most of us can paint, but the results are sometimes underwhelming. Painting correctly is not as easy as the professionals make it look. Professional painters spend years honing their craft to the expert level. Many can employ special techniques, like textured painting, delicate brushwork, and airbrushing. Today, we will briefly discuss why it’s worth the money to hire a professional painter. __The Work Gets Done Faster__ You may be surprised to find how quickly professional painters can work. Many can paint upwards of 1000 square feet per day. Non-professionals tend to take much longer because the setup and cleanup time eat away at the available hours to paint. Pros also work in teams because they understand that a well-trained team of two can do the work of three. __The Quality Will Be High__ Professional painters are trained in specific ways to improve quality and reduce blemishes. Eventually, these professionals become so good at painting, they really struggle to do a poor job. Because they paint so often, they recognize when prep work will be necessary, so they spend the time and effort to prepare the project for success. __Small Blemishes Will Be Repaired__ Most professional painters are adept at making small drywall repairs, like nail pops, scratches, and scuffs. This eliminates the need to make repairs yourself or hire a drywall company first. Generally, the pro painters will have putty, sandpaper, or other tools to address small repairs, allowin te project to progress smoothly. __Pros Won’t Make a Mess__ Professional painters have to clean up after themselves, so they tend to make small messes. This can mean installing dropcloths, using paint guards, and other methods to make clean-up easy. If painting outdoors where wind may be a factor, the pros will extend this protection to cars and driveways. __Pros Have the Tools__ As mentioned earlier, the pros will have the tools they need to do the job quickly and effectively. For example, you might spend an entire weekend painting a storage shed with a brush and roller. The pros will have sophisticated sprayers and special tips allowing them to perform the work in a couple of hours. __Ready to Hire A Professional Painter?__ We at Moorhouse Coating would love to help. Send us a message now to get a free estimate: https://moorhousecoating.com/#estimate
April 15th, 2022
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY WALLS ARE WATER BASED (LATEX) PAINT OR OIL (ALKYD) PAINT?
We recommend using some Rubbing Alcohol (Denatured Alcohol) on a cotton cloth and rub it lightly in an area you don’t mind some damage. If the paint becomes soft or begins to remove then it is latex or waterbased paint. If it’s not affected then it’s likely and alkyd paint or some other catalyzed product. Oil based paint is not susceptible to Alcohol.
November 19th, 2020
DO YOU CHARGE FOR ESTIMATES?
Estimates are always free. We never charge for estimates. We are assuming you want a total price and a complete plan for painting your project. You should call us, even if you can’t afford to have the space painted, you will come away with a better understanding of how we approach the work and how things should be completed.
July 14th, 2020
IS THE PROPOSAL PRICE, THE FINAL PRICE?
Yes, the price you received is the price you’ll pay. We don’t have hidden fees. Moorhouse Coating believes in transparency, we aren’t hiding anything. When you receive a quote/proposal from us it will be the same price on the invoice. The only way to change the price is to change the scope of work, or additional work.
July 14th, 2020
WHAT TYPE OF PAINT DO YOU USE?
We purchase paint from PPG, Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards, Benjamin Moore and other locations that specifically sell paint. We generally avoid big box stores, because quantity and the ability to order quickly and correctly is very important to keep the project running smoothly. With that said, most paint products sold at the big box stores are designed differently, if you are a DIY or Do it yourselfer, the paint products sold at Home Depot or Lowes are designed to be worked more. Meaning you likely have a longer working time or need to work the product for more time. As a professional we want to set it and forget it, the paint products get applied and then touch once and we dont' want to come back and work the material again. So that's a big difference when considering which paint to purchase.
November 3rd, 2020
WHAT IF I WANT TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE COLOR OF MY STAINED WOOD HOME?
Short answer. "No problem. We can make suggestions." Long Answer. Changing the color of stain is difficult and somewhat problematic if the stain is transparent. the original stain color will still be present with the new stain providing another tone. It's then the 2 tones combined that you see applied. So the trick to selecting the right stain is to think about the additive properties of new color. An example is if the house is currently a pine gold color, and you want a green final look, then you would add a slightly blue stain for the result. Yellow and Blue make Green. Another example we complete often is adding two stain colors on a house for the graining and multiple effect of seeing multiple colors. Staining a house white first and then with a charcoal will result in a light grey or weathered stain.
March 4th, 2021
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU PAINT?
General rules: Siding should be painted every 5 to 8 years, stucco should be painted 5-7 years. Wood Staining 3-4 years. Aluminum or composite siding 7-12 years. Whatever sits in the sun or has repeated moisture exposure will need to be painted 2 years before everything else. Consider painting what needs to painted with a maintenance agreement. Often painting just a year before the house/building looks completely worn out will save thousands in surface preparation.
March 3rd, 2021
ARE YOU INSURED AND LICENSED?
Yes, for your protection and ours, we are licensed and insured up to $2 million in liability. The complexity of your project might require more insurance and some projects have specific requirements. We are flexible and capable of Bonding and Contractor Controlled Insurance Programs.
March 1st, 2021
WHY DOES FLAT PAINT SHOW HAND PRINTS?
Common knowledge is flat and low sheen paints show hand prints and seem to mark up fast than products with a higher sheen. Typically we recommend a satin or higher if the substrate will be in contact with objects or hands. But some manufactures are now producing scrubbable lower sheen finishes that have a tighter molecular structure that doesn’t reflect light. So ask you local paint store.
July 14th, 2020
WHY DON’T YOU RECOMMEND PRIMER?
We don’t typically use primer if the surface has been previously painted. Primer is designed for specific substrates like Drywall, Masonry, Steel, so once the wall has been painted, it no longer needs to be primed. However if the surface has been patched or repaired primer will be required.
July 14th, 2020
WHY DOES A PAINT CAN SAY 400 SQUARE FEET COVERAGE? I’M NOT GETTING ANYWHERE NEAR THAT!
The coverage rate on the can is very misleading, it doesn’t take into account a textured surface, loss by application, application thickness, sealed or unsealed surface. We typically figure about 210 square feet per gallon if you install one coat about 160 square feet if you install 2 coats.
July 13th, 2020
WHY SHOULD WE PRESSURE WASH PRIOR TO PAINTING?
The purpose of pressure cleaning is to remove chalky residue, dust, loose stain or paint. We recommend performing the pressure washing a few days, weeks or even a month before painting. Pressure washing also removes cobwebs, and oxidization that would other wise be embedded in the paint. Pressure washing is a great way to ensure proper adhesion to the primer or stain. In recent years we have seen more acid rain and pressure washing is not always needed in areas where the substrate is bare or in a solid state, but it's generally a good idea and the fastest way to get a clean substrate.
March 8th, 2021
SHOULD WE BUY THE PAINT? MY HOA OFFERS A DISCOUNT.
Typically, the larger the contractor or the more volume a contractor purchases the better the price of the paint. Pro painters receive the largest discounted prices. It is doubtful you can beat the price a high volume painter pays. We have found over the years that the paint affects the process and performance.
July 13th, 2020
HOW SHOULD I SELECT A COLOR, CAN YOU HELP?
The final color selection should be made by the owner, but the road to get several close colors and eliminate the other 7000 possibilities should be with some help. If you don’t want to be involved at all, we recommend simply hiring a decorator. But if you want to be active, we can narrow your ideas down to 3 or 4 choices. We recommend samples on the wall because lighting, architecture and decor/fixtures will affect the paint color. Some times the largest obstacle to get a project underway is simply selecting the color.
July 13th, 2020
WHEN CAN YOU PAINT OUTSIDE?
It must be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above for 6 hours in order for the paint to adhere and begin to cure properly. The dew point is more important than temperature, but that is a more complex calculation. If you are in question, it’s probably to close to call, and we suggest you just wait for warmer weather. A long lasting paint project will cure completely without frost or freezing and not be subject to moisture early in the curing process.
July 13th, 2020
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE PAINT OUTSIDE?
General rules: Siding should be painted every 5 to 8 years, stucco should be painted 5-7 years. Wood Staining 3-4 years. Aluminum or composite siding 7-12 years. Whatever sits in the sun or has repeated moisture exposure will need to be painted 2 years before everything else. Consider painting what needs to painted with a maintenance agreement. Often painting just a year before the house/building looks completely worn out will save thousands in surface preparation.
July 13th, 2020
WHY WOULDN’T I JUST PAINT IT MYSELF?
I don’t know! WE LOVE PAINTING. Seriously, it’s therapy! Don’t let us stop you. For those who don’t enjoy the process, we can perform the project with greater precision and most likely out perform your cost benefit. the time you save will greatly out match your effort. We’ve painted for more than a million hours! It’s going to be tough to beat our performance and even other painting contractors have a hard time keeping up. If you want the "know how" just say so, we will be happy to show you how the pro's paint.
November 20th, 2020
HOW MANY COAT OF PAINT DO YOU PUT ON?
As many as we need! Professionals don’t talk in terms of number of coats. If it takes two coats to properly cover the surface thats what you need. If it takes three coats to cover then that’s what’s required. It generally comes down to the coverage requirements from the manufacture and even installation.
July 13th, 2020