Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tools and Tips for Interior Painting

So do you want to know what tools I use and how I use them?

It is always a better result to take off the outlet covers and window treatments and everything that will be interference and can easily be removed and replaced.

First step is put some quality drop clothes and disposable plastic like a 1 or 2 millimeter in thickness. I put the plastic as a first line of defense on carpeting and over furniture and items not being removed, and then I add a layer of drop clothes to the plastic on the floors

Now that we have the area covered I start by sanding, I use a sanding pole head with my extension pole. The extension pole is a must for easy rolling over large surfaces and ceilings also. I use 120 grit sandpaper on the walls. Sanding trim requires either a small power palm sander or just some 220 grit sandpaper and some muscle.

The next step is to fill any dents, holes and fix imperfections, since we just sanded, any bumps were already removed. I don’t like spackle for a number of reasons and I use durabond for these fixes. So I use a 6” putty knife and a 12” mud pan where I mix some powdered durabond by adding a little water and mix. This makes the walls nice and smooth for the finished painting. Use some caulking were the walls meet the trim if cracked

As this dries, it is time to start getting your paint ready for use. Start by shaking your paint before opening then stirring once opened, followed by boxing multiple gallons together and stirring some more. Poor some into your bucket and your ready to get messy. I use a 2.5” angle Purdy brush. I start where the ceiling meets the wall and work to the right. Once the top is complete I brush the closest corner down to the baseboard and follow that in a left direction, going up around the doors as I come to them and then all the windows.

After the walls are cut in / edged out. Let’s get ready to roll. I mostly use a Wooster 18” 5 gallon capacity roller bucket it is large square and durable. I use the Wooster 18’ roller frame and a Purdy roller cover. Starting approximately one foot away from the corner and in the middle of the wall I will roll up 2 feet and the down to the bottom and back up, but to the top this time. I will continue this up and down slowly moving to the left until I have the paint evenly spread out on the surface and until the roller cover needs more paint. Continue this step until all the wall space is covered. Before moving to the next wall it is good to “back roll” over the area you just completed- provided it is still wet enough for this option.

A small fan will help dry the walls for the second coat if you’re in a small enclosed room.

I always bring a small step ladder 3’ for the average room and larger if needed.

If your room is not well lit it will be difficult to have good end results so plan to bring some light into the room

My tool basics include: Rollers, brushes, multi-tool, pliers, screw drivers, hammer, putty knives, stirring sticks, caulking, razor knife, nail set, sand paper, cut in pale and ladder

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Comparing Estimates for Painting

Now that you have decided to Paint...

The most important choice is the contractor you hire to perform the work.

Most Paint Brands are similar in quality and longevity, so when your paint fails prematurely it is likely due to poor workmanship. Rarely is the new paint film at fault for premature failures. Some causes are weather related, water damage and sun damage are also high on the list as causes and adhesion to the surface it is applied to is likely the problem, often that area is referred to as the substrate.

Many painters offer a Free estimate and so you may want to call as many as you have time for until you get some feeling for the ones you are comfortable working with.

Providing your bidders with the same project description is critical for comparison one you have all the estimates, otherwise you may be comparing an apple to a orange and will leave you wondering why one estimate is much higher or lower than the other. The description doesn’t need to be complex as long as it is the same to each potential bidder

Here is an example

  • Clean surfaces prior to painting
  • Prepare all surfaces to be painted.
  • Use one complete prime coat and two coats of finish paint.
  • The trim, doors and windows need to be included and painted.
  • Material used will be by X Paints brands
  • Colors selected.

This is important because many painters approach is different from another. While some brush, others spray. Some may use $10.00 per gallon paints and others quote $50.00 per gallon.

Inconsistency will make the estimate near imposable to compare.

Now that you have provided them with your request, If your prospected bidder recommends additional work outside your scope… simply ask for that to be broken down as an additional item with a separate price.

Finally ask them to put in their Estimate some specifics, like how they will proceed to complete the work. The start and completion date. If they expect any delays, if so what they might be.

Now you can compare your choice of fruit.

Have a great day,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Interior Mildew Removal

When mildew is present inside the home it is most common in areas were moister is present regularly, like this bathroom. It is very important to remove this mildew to maintain your health. Here is how we remove it.

First I like to open a window as well as make sure there is proper ventilation in the room, since the chemical products can quickly become overwhelming.

Because I am using a bleaching product I also wear clothes that I don’t mind changing the color of, or burning some holes into. Once I am sure to have the proper ventilation, I then put on some Rubber gloves or latex gloves.

Now mix a solution of chlorine bleach and water. I recommend , 1 part Bleach to 5 parts Hot Water or for heavier duty cleaning a 1/3 mix. Use regular bleach, such as laundry detergent bleach and you likely have in your home already. This is a very strong solution, but it does the job of insuring the mold or mildew is dead and nonexistent.

You can also consider some premixed solutions or a commercial mildewcide, though it's much more expensive than mixing your own and does the same work.

I choose NOT to spray on the solutions because it puts too much into the atmosphere and thus into your lungs, so get either a disposable hand towel or scrubbing sponge and gently scrub away the mildew from the surfaces.

While using the towels or a sponge make sure to rise regularly and thoroughly with fresh water in between adding more of your chemicals, this will help to prevent the spreading of the mildew etc.

Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of your surfaces, start the process over again using a new towel and only clean water to have a surface clean and free of the chemicals you used for cleaning.

After it is completely dry, now consider applying a coat of primer as well as a new finish coat of paint. Doing so will help keep new mildew from growing since most latex paints have products to help prevent mildew.

You can also add some additional products like ZINSSER MILDEWCIDE ADD-2 which is an anti mildew forming product, or mildewcide agent, so you don't have to do this again anytime soon.

Paint Works

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Painting over Oil Paints with Latex Paints or vice verse

Today and in the future oil based paints (alkyd) are becoming obsolete and in some places banned. Many of latex paints are equal to or better than their oils counterparts. We generally use 100% acrylics. Acrylics are water-based and also referred to as Latex. Some of the benefits of Latex paints are that they retain color better, have better elasticity, more mildew resistant. As well as other great characteristics including ease of clean up.

You can use water-based over oil, and can use oil over water-based. However you cannot just apply the opposite on top each other without proceeding with caution and some specific steps. First sand your latex or oil to scuff them up a bit, this will allow the primer to adhere better, next step is to clean your substrate well, using trisodium phosphate (tsp) and water, and now you are better prepared for a lasting finish, prime 100% I recommend a coat of oil-based primer.

How to: Testing if your paint is oil or latex? In an inconspicuous spot, use a cotton ball soaked acetone or denatured alcohol. Rub the area if the paint rubs off and feel tacky, its water-based (latex) paints. Oil based paint will have no reaction. You may be able to tell by rubbing your hands over the paint oil is usually smoother and latex feel rubbery

Monday, February 28, 2011

The 3 rules for having your Exterior Paint last a long time

  • Repair & prepare the surface well
  • Only paint when the weather is good
  • Use top-quality primers and paints.

If any of these rules go ignored, you'll likely be painting again in a few years. Do it right the first time, and save yourself time and money in the long run.

Before "Paint Works" Outside ... We Repair and Prepare

The Basic Steps

A new coat of paint can only last a long time if the surface you apply it to is solid and dry. Here's what you need to do to repair and prepare an outside surface for painting.

1. Vent

o The major cause of peeling paint is moisture in the walls

o Cooking, showers, and heating create moisture in the house that has to find its way outside

o Without good venting, the moisture will literally push the paint off the wall

o Install proper attic, soffit, or siding venting to let the moisture out

2. Remove

    • Remove all loose paint, rust, weathered wood
    • Using sanders, scrapers, a wire brush, a heat gun, or paint stripper
    • Look for tiny cracks (micro-cracking) in the old paint - if we see any, we’ll remove all the paint even if it isn't peeling
    • For best results, strip down to bare wood or metal
    • Remove failed caulking from all joints (around windows, doors, light fixtures, etc.)

3. Sanding

    • Sand all glossy areas until they are dull
    • Sand all trim / smooth surfaces, to provide excellent adhesion and smooth finish
    • Sand areas where rotting fibers, or peeling is present, or scraping was necessary

4. Caulk, Patch & Repair

    • Patch all nail holes, cracks, and open seams
    • Caulk all joints (using high-quality paintable caulking) - paint will peel if rain and snow get through cracked or missing caulking
    • Let the patching and caulking dry before painting it
    • Repair any surface where water pools

5. Wash, Rinse & Dry --------------- DO NOT POWER WASH

    • Wash off all debris, grease, dirt, and chalk ("paint dust")
    • We suggest use of TSP (normal household detergents leave a residue)
    • Kill mildew by washing with 1 part bleach in 3 parts water (look for dark spots under eaves and on shaded areas)
    • Rinse well with clean water
    • Let the surface dry thoroughly before you prime
    • Live within 5 miles of the ocean? Paint within 24 of rinsing to prevent a thin layer of salt from building on your walls.

Wait for Good Weather

Paint and primer needs time to dry and cure. If the weather isn't good before and after you paint, your paint will fail early. We listen to the weather forecast and wait until the weather's right before painting. Unfortunately we have seen too many contractors working until after the rain starts and then resuming at the last drop.

The best time to paint --

a calm day when the weather will be dry and over 50F (10C). If it is sunny, paint the north and west sides in the morning, and the south and east side in the afternoon.

We don't paint when it's:

  • TOO WET (rain, fog, or heavy dew within hours of when you paint can lead to streaking and premature peeling / failure)
  • TOO COLD (if the temperature drops to below 50F / 10C at any time within hours of when we paint, the paint won't cure properly, leading to premature peeling / failure)
  • TOO SUNNY (the heat of direct sunlight causes paint to flash dry, leading to blistering and peeling)
  • TOO WINDY (if you paint when it's windy you risk having leaves, dirt, and insects stuck all over your new paint job)

Create a Solid Foundation - Prime


  • Priming prevents "flashing" (areas of uneven gloss), and helps your walls look great
  • The right primer seals the surface and helps prevent peeling, rusting, and bleed-through
  • Priming can add years to the life of the paint
  • Priming can save you one or more coats of paint
  • The right primer helps your paint stick better

When to Prime

  • You have removed the old paint
  • You have patched the surface
  • You are painting with a Low Luster, Semi-Gloss, and Gloss paint
  • The surface is porous or chalky ("paint-dust")
  • You are painting with a dark color
  • When you are painting over bare wood or metal
  • When you aren't sure - play it safe and prime

Choosing Interior Paint Colors

Painter aside... choosing Paint colors are the biggest decisions once you have decided to paint.

Most repaints are after 4 year or longer, especially for the DIY because most people just don’t want to paint again.

Because we realize this we should be careful to take our time and choose the perfect color that will be lasting and enjoyed.

If you have furniture or items that are similar in color, you may want to consider something that goes along with it. You do not want these colors to clash. Contrasting colors can go together, but you will need to use caution in your consideration.

Many Professional Paint Retailers have an experienced color expert on staff that will help you with this by going over your fabrics and pictures of the room and the details right in the store.

Since Color has the ability for setting the desired mood, plan on them asking you some questions like what is the room going to be used for? Is it to be formal or fun? By looking at the furniture and other items in the room plus photo's and your responses they will give you some recommendations.

So if you have swatches of the fabrics get them together for the process. Take some pictures of the overall room and bring it with you to the paint store, even include the rooms that are immediately connected.

Natural tones and conservative colors are great for lasting designs while bright fluorescent colors usually become those that desire change.

Once you have narrowed the selection to 1 or more, buy a sample sized batch of the color. I recommend buying a few 2’x 3’ pieces of white cardboard (and can be moved around the room) for applying the testing samples on, or you can paint a small area right on the wall for comparison, but I don’t recommend directly on the wall.

Now let’s get a little advanced and this makeover will look like a Professional Decorator executed the project. Fist consider painting the ceiling with color other than white, even if or especially if you paint the walls white. The second way for some added spice is to paint an accent wall.

Paint Works has a full service of bringing the decorators and color planning tools right to your home when your ready for your project to take off.