Kitchen Cabinets – Replacement versus Painting

Kitchen Cabinets – Replacement versus Painting

Home Painting Interior Painting Paint color Uncategorized

Don’t let age get you downDated Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets age no matter what. What was in vogue yesterday is out of style today. That’s pretty much a fact for any interior design element, but once your cabinets start to look dated, it makes the entire space seem like a bad scene out of the past.

Replacement

If you are considering an update to your kitchen (or bathroom) by replacing your cabinets, you may experience a bit of sticker shock once you begin to add up the expenses. At first glance, tackling this project looks pretty doable. You stop by the big box store, price out a few cabinets and you think, “I got this”. But, after the measuring is all said and done and you decide you prefer an upgrade to real wood and you add in the costs of the hardware and installation plus factor in the down time for your kitchen, it all starts to get a little daunting. This, you realize, is not the simple update you were expecting. All of a sudden, this seemingly inexpensive project easily tops 10k, more often exceeding 15k or even 20k.  If you happen to have a large kitchen, the price just goes up from there.

If you are financially suited to take on the costs of new kitchen cabinets and you find a style that you are crazy about, then by all means, I recommend it.

Painting

However, if you want to keep within a certain budget or you simply prefer to preserve environmental resources, you may wish to consider painting your kitchen cabinets.

Wood cabinets are the best substrate for painting (verses MDF, laminates or melamine) and we can achieve impressive and durable results with our process. We offer options to paint or glaze, depending on your preference, with the costs ending up substantially less than replacement. You can also paint or glaze in just about any color, so your options are endless.

If you choose to paint, we will generally de-gloss, prime, prep and apply two coats of paint with an airless sprayer. The costs of painting are roughly 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of replacement. Glazing is a high-end finish and requires painting as described above, hand applied glaze and top coating with polyurethane. This finish is spectacular. I prefer my glazed oak cabinets over any new product on the market and the cost is roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of replacement – potentially saving you thousands of dollars! The clear coating over the top of the paint and glaze gives you an extremely durable end product as well.

I recommend that you hire only the most reputable companies to paint or glaze your cabinets. Cabinet painting requires special skills and products, and this is one project you will want to leave for the professionals.

Things to think about before painting starts

While painting your kitchen cabinets will update your home and improve your property value, it is also a detailed undertaking and can be disruptive. Here some ways to prepare for this type of painting project.

Kitchen cabinets

Be prepared to lose access to your kitchen for a few days. Please empty the drawers and remove just enough belongings from the boxes to allow enough wiggle room to tape off for painting. It’s a good idea to have your wine, coffee, and other small appliances that you’ll need moved to another space, so you’ll have access to these items for the duration of the project.Painting the boxes is our priority to get you back into your kitchen as soon as possible.

Oven use

Do not use your oven during the painting. This is dangerous and could cause a fire. Please make other arrangements for meal preparation.

Dust

We will make a tent to protect your house from excessive dust. However, the tent is not airtight, so please expect a little extra dusting after the project is completed. One of the reasons people hire us is because we are meticulous, but cabinets require a ton of sanding. There’s no efficient way to contain the dust 100 percent.

Door painting

The system that we use to paint the doors requires us to drill holes in either the top or bottom of the door. We use these holes to install hooks, so we can hang the doors to paint all six sides at once. The holes will be filled and will not be visible once the doors are re-hung.

After-care

The cabinets will feel dry to the touch within hours; however, it can take a month or longer before they fully cure. No need to worry! Just take a little extra care and avoid chemicals when wiping up spills.

New hardware

If you are planning on installing new hinges or drilling new holes for handles, we recommended that they be fitted BEFORE painting. We can do the installation and charge time and material.

Most importantly, relax and enjoy the process!

Nancy

How Repainting Your Home Can Help You Sell It Quickly

How Repainting Your Home Can Help You Sell It Quickly

Uncategorized

As you lived life in your home—bought new furniture, decorated for holidays, tried not to step on toys underfoot—your paint may have receded into the background. But as you prepare to sell your house, remember that paint will be something prospective buyers notice. People buy from their sense of emotional connection to a house, and that connection comes through the eyes. Paint is a major source of visual appeal: It can welcome, dazzle, and delight, or it can make a house look neglected and ugly.

 

Paint can even increase your home’s value. A Consumer Reports survey shows that fresh paint in key indoor places can up value 1-3%, and that a newly painted exterior can increase value 2-5%. Fresh neutral shades add to a home’s look of well-being and cleanliness, and they are the right backdrop for effective home staging. Plus, it can be harder to sell a home whose walls boast a full palette of colors or unusual colors, like that purple bedroom the kids loved so dearly.

 

Savvy sellers will research the best time to sell a house, and this time will vary due to location, climate, business shifts, etc. But the national trend data show that the autumn months ahead are a good time to close on a home sale. Although homes usually sell quickest in June and July, the fall months do see homes sell after spending fewer than average days on the market. And fall closings often come with the highest sale prices.

 

Depending on your area and its seasons, selling a house in the fall may mean paint becomes even more important. As brilliant leaves fade and colorful gardens shrivel to brown stalks, a beautiful paint job will take center stage, becoming more noticeable and providing most of the home’s vital first impression.

 

It’s important to hire a licensed painter with stellar recommendations. The best source to find house painters is your real estate agent, who is sure to know a trusted professional you can rely on. If you’re not currently working with a realtor, ask friends and neighbors for referrals, check the neighborhood for good painters at work, or check online. Sites such as Houzz, Angie’s List, NextDoor, and others can match you with the right person or team for the job. Look for plentiful and mostly positive reviews, and note those painters whose clients have taken the time to tell a flattering story or post an “After” photo.

 

The painters you choose should gladly give you an estimate, a contract with costs, time frame, materials listed, and a guarantee of their work. Whether they help you outside, inside, or both, repainting can take you a long way towards a quicker home sale.

 

 

Winter Paint Colors – Fresh Inspiration

Winter Paint Colors – Fresh Inspiration

Home Painting Interior Painting Paint color Uncategorized

Winter in Oregon is a pretty monochromatic affair; but, this year, when the temperatures dropped down below freezing, ice frosted the ground and snow flurries fell gently from the sky, we couldn’t help but be enchanted by the colors of winter. The cold, cold winter days bring to mind images of evergreens cloaked in snow, of holly berries and of shimmery blue icicles.

We love these chilly, winter colors and want to inspire you

Bring the best of winter into your home using color.

Wintery Whites
alabaster, winter, wintery white

Alabaster 7008

It would be silly to think of winter without thinking of snow, ice, and the color white. Although picking the right shade can be tricky, the perfect white can leave your spaces feeling crisp and clean. Most commonly, white is used on ceilings and trim. You can also use it on your walls for a modern look. Though most people think of white walls as boring, they can be useful in helping your unique furniture and artwork to stand out. Some of the whites we love are Sherwin William’s Dover White 638 or Alabaster 7008 and Benjamin Moore’s Super White (stock) or Cloud White OC-130.

 

Blustery Blues
palladian blue, blue, winter, wintery blue

Palladian Blue HC-144

This chilly, winter color has seen a comeback in recent years. While it experienced a decrease in popularity (perhaps clients were haunted by memories of their baby blue childhood bedrooms) for a while, blue has always been my favorite color and will feel fresh and relaxing, even in your most stressful spaces. Don’t be daunted by the variety of blues available, choose a softer blue for a wintery feel—we recommend Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue HC-144. Looking for something a little brighter? Avalon Teal CSP-645 from Benjamin Moore will be the crowning jewel in your winter color pallet.

 

Roaring Reds
pomegranate, winter color, winter red

Pomegranate AF-295

Snuggling up next to a warm fire is one of those winter time activities that we just can’t get enough of! Whether or not you have a fireplace in your home. adding some of the passion that red has to your space can make it feel a little less dismal this winter, and a lot cozier. Bring the heat to your walls using a deep red like Benjamin Moore’s Pomegranate AF-295 or its fiery counterpart, Chili Pepper 2004-20. Both colors are sure to warm up even the coldest of winter nights.

 

 

Gorgeous Greens
cascade green, winter green, cool green

Cascade Green 0066

Especially here in Oregon, where green could be the state color, winter is the season for greens! You can find it in holly leaves, in wreathes, in evergreens and, of course, in the Christmas tree. Green is earthy and calming and picking the best green for you could be the easiest paint choice you’ll ever make. Almost all greens can be used with great versatility in every room of your house. We’ve narrowed it down to just a couple of greens that will compliment your wintery décor. Feeling frosty? Check out Sherwin William’s Cascade Green 0066—this green pairs well with gray and is more of a neutral green. Our other, darker choice is Sherwin William’s Basil 6194.

 

Great Grays
light winter gray, cool gray, french gray

Light French Gray 0055

If green isn’t Oregon’s state color, gray might be. For us, one gray day after another might make you feel a little stir crazy by February; but, gray doesn’t always have to bring you down! Gray can lend sophistication and grace to your space, and gray is always in style. For us, Benjamin Moore’s Tranquility AF-490 is a great, wintery version of this color. Another option would be Sherwin William’s Light French Gray 0055. Both of these colors are great for the winter and all year round!

 

What colors inspire you? If you want one of these colors in your homes or are having trouble picking a color, let us know. After all paint is what we do!

Wishing you a great start to your year,

Nancy

Mistakes House Painters Make – Common Causes

Mistakes House Painters Make – Common Causes

Exterior Painting Home Painting Interior Painting

Mistakes can be made on house painting projects, whether you are tackling the paint job yourself or you’ve hired a professional. First, let me state clearly, errors are made by hard working painters and homeowners alike and most can be corrected. Sometimes things are missed because of oversight, other times there are issues that aren’t apparent until the job is done. Here are four of the most common glaring issues.

The lines aren’t straight. 

Painting is a skilled trade and I’ve seen painters with 20 years of experience that still haven’t learned to paint a straight line. There’s also an art to taping off. If you’ve ever painted for yourself, you know the frustration of the paint bleeding underneath the tape. The solution is to hire a professional to repaint the straight lines. Choose a company that has a great reputation for clean lines and you won’t be disappointed. The simple act of straightening up the lines can make a night and day difference on how your final product looks.

The paint is peeling.

The three prevalent reasons that paint peels are: inter-coat adhesion failure, moisture, and lack of appropriate prep or primer. Let’s look at these in more depth:

  • Inter-coat Adhesion is caused by two paint products not bonding. Most of you have heard that you cannot apply latex paint over oil without the proper prep. If waterborne paint is applied directly to oil-based paint without sanding and/or the correct primer, it will peel. If you apply a low sheen over a glossy paint without sanding, it will peel. When the paint doesn’t bond, it peels off easily. Inter-coat adhesion failure can be time consuming and expensive to fix. Sometimes a light sanding and bonding primer applied with a high-quality paint will correct the issue; however, in the worst case, the paint will need to be completely stripped.
  • Moistureif paint is bubbling and blistering, then moisture is most likely the cause. This is very common with older siding. You may not see moisture, but condensation in the substrate can cause the paint to blister and peel. Also, moisture intrusion in the house or places that are not properly ventilated can create issues with paint. Paint will not fix a moisture problem; the cause of the moisture needs to be addressed. Once you have fixed the root of the problem, then a good primer and two coats of quality paint will take care of the paint failure.
  • Lack of appropriate primer can cause problems. You could be dealing with the paint not properly adhering to the substrate, inter-coat adhesion, and/or tannin bleed. Mistakes like applying paint to bare wood will make the paint not stick. Most wood requires an oil-based primer. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) requires an oil-based primer as well. If you prime MDF with a water-based primer, you will have moisture issues because the water in the primer will penetrate the substrate. If you have a glossy surface, then I recommend a bonding primer. Also, cedar and other wood products require an oil-based primer to block the tannins. Tannic acids are the oils that bleed out of certain woods, especially cedar, mahogany, redwood, fir, and pine. They cause a yellowish-brown stain in the paint, more prominent with light colors.

There are paint drips and splatters.

Nothing is more frustrating than cleaning up these from a freshly finished paint job. It doesn’t take long for paint to dry and you may never fully remove the paint, if it lands on certain fabrics and belongings. Once, we were hired to take over a paint job because the previous painters didn’t cover anything and got paint on the homeowner’s antique cello. While painting, mistakes can happen, you should NEVER have paint slopped on your surroundings because someone didn’t take the time to tape off and cover everything. Avoid the worries of having to clean up dried paint by making sure EVERYTHING is covered with plastic, paper and drop cloths. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Lack of prep isn’t pretty.

painting prep, mistakes, common causesIf the surface you are painting isn’t properly prepped, all sorts of problems can ensue. Prep work includes cleaning the surfaces, sanding, caulking, filling holes, wall repairs, primer, and taping among other various steps required for a fine finish. These can be tedious, time consuming and cost extra labor; or they may cut into your personal time, if you are attacking the project yourself. But, if you are anything like me and appreciate a beautiful paint job that lasts then it’s worth the extra effort or expense to have the job done right the first time. My advice? Mistakes are less likely to happen, if you don’t skimp on prep work!

If you’ve found yourself at the end of a paint job and you aren’t satisfied with the workmanship, you may need a professional opinion. As always, we are only a phone call away!

Happy painting!

Nancy

House Painting in Wet Weather – When is it Safe?

House Painting in Wet Weather – When is it Safe?

Exterior Painting Home Painting

Weather can affect exterior house painting and the Pacific Northwest has its challenges. You may already realize that our greatest threat is moisture.

Let’s address the obvious questions:

Can you paint exteriors in rainy weather?

The answer is a resounding “NO!” If your contractor is telling you they have a method for painting exteriors when it’s raining, I would be very skeptical. The only safe way to paint in the rain is to have the areas completely covered and not in danger of taking on any moisture. That means, for most exteriors, you would need a giant plastic enclosure protecting your home. This is a spendy undertaking.

Unscrupulous painting contractors “red-eye” their paint so that it will dry quicker. This is a bad practice, because it voids the manufacturer warranty. Red-eying the paint comprises solvent-based additives that flash off quickly and cause the paint to dry at an accelerated rate. I suggest you tell your painter to hit the road if they try to use this method.

Switching to oil-based paint during a rainy stretch is another practice which is frowned upon. New construction runs year-round, so painters may switch the gutter and/or trim paint to oil-based paint because it skims over and won’t rain off nearly as easily as their preferred water-based counterparts. The problem is that oil-based paints do not hold up to the elements and will crack and peel off the gutters. We’ve cleaned up a lot of gutters because of this problem, and sheesh, what a mess! To be fair, when there’s a deadline to meet and the general contractor is on your back and the buyers need to get moved into their home, painters aren’t left with a whole lot of options. As they say, the show must go on. But, with repaints, there shouldn’t be such pressure, so there’s no reason to rush and deliver anything but a proper paint job.

How soon can it rain after a paint job?

This answer varies with humidity, dew point, temperature, wind, paint color and the product that is used. Under normal circumstance, most paints can withstand a shower or two after about 4 hours of drying time. The gutters are at the highest risk for issues because they are the most exposed. The water collects on the top rim of the gutter, runs down the front edge and then collects in big drips underneath on the bottom of the gutters. If the paint hasn’t had sufficient time to dry, this can turn into one ugly mess! If this happens, the best solution is to wait till weather clears then repaint.

High humidity, dark colorants, cool temperatures and reaching the dew point all slow up the drying time. Wind and warm temperatures speed up the drying time. Heat and air movement are critical for the paint to dry.

The dew point will affect the drying time the most. The temperature needs to be at least 5 degrees above the dew point in order for the paint to dry properly. The dew point is the point when moisture appears on surfaces. Unfortunately, if the paint gets wet from dew, it delays the drying process and can cause problems.

What’s the preferred air temperature for painting?

It’d sure be nice if it was sunny and 72 degrees with just a hint of a breeze every day, because then we wouldn’t have to worry about the weather. But, that’s unrealistic, so we’ve had to rely on the drying agents in paint to help us extend our season. Otherwise, there’d only be about three optimal days to paint in Oregon!

When it comes to painting, I am more concerned about the dew point than the temperature because most exterior paints are rated to 35 degrees. If the paint re-wets from the dew, it can ruin a perfectly good paint job.

If you must paint during the off season, a good rule of thumb to follow is to apply paint with an airless sprayer between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm. This way you are starting late enough for the air temperature to raise a bit and stopping to give the paint plenty of time to dry before nightfall.

If, while you are painting, the weather turns on you, take a deep breath, stay calm and think your options through. First, stop painting immediately. Second, check your work site to see if there is any wet paint that is in danger of raining off. If the paint has skimmed over, you may be okay. If you find areas that are washing off, try to find a way to protect those areas, such as draping plastic to provide a cover. If that’s not possible, you may have to let Mother Nature follow course and deal with a mess later. If paint starts raining off your house, try your best not to let it dry out once the rain subsides. If you get to the paint while it’s still wet, flushing the areas with plenty of water will dilute the wet paint and make for a much easier time of cleaning. This is where a pressure washer comes in handy, especially if the paint is dripping onto surrounding surfaces, such as concrete or the roof.

If the paint has cured to the point that it won’t wash off easily, you best run to the paint store for help. There are products, such as Krud Kutter that are made to remove dried latex paint. Just be sure to read and follow the instructions of the label.

And, most importantly, r-e-l-a-x. A paint disaster really is a miniscule problem in the grand scheme of things. As with most problems in life, there is a solution. A glass of wine won’t hurt either. If you’ve done your due diligence and hired a reputable painter, then trust your painter to take care of weather related issues. Weather is unpredictable, so there is no fool proof way to completely avoid Mother Nature’s wrath.

Bottom line – whether you hire a painting company to complete the job or you choose to do-it-yourself, I recommend waiting out inclement weather to help you achieve the spectacular results you hoping to achieve.

Wishing you a happy, sunny day!

Nancy

Front Door Color Options – Make a Great Impression

Front Door Color Options – Make a Great Impression

Exterior Painting Home Painting Paint color

Choosing the right color for your front door can seem intimidating at first, but will help create a great first impression of your home. Curb appeal is a hot topic in the real estate market and can improve the value of your home. What’s more inviting than a freshly painted and vibrant front door? I prefer selecting neutral tones for the exterior siding and trim in the Pacific Northwest because the neutral palette blends well with the landscape and ever changing cloudy skies. But who wants a boring house? I know I don’t, so I encourage my clients to use a color that pops on their front door.

Consider a vibrant orange, Kelly green, or even a warm, sunny yellow. This is the time to think of your favorite color and just go for it. Be daring and outrageous, really let your personality shine. Go for a color much deeper than you feel comfortable with or so bright that it scares you. This is one area where I’ve seen the risk of making a big, bold statement pay off.

Another consideration for your front door is to pick the right product and sheen. I love Rust-Oleum Sierra Beyond in a high gloss sheen. You can find this product at Powell Paint Centers.

Here are a few color choices to consider – all from the Benjamin Moore color line:

  1. Fresh Lime 2032-30: Choose this bold color to tie in with your green landscaping. This color replicates the green of spring.
  2. Patriot Blue 2064-20: If blue is your favorite color, there’s no better place to use it than your entrance.
  3. Sunflower 2019-30: Even the grumpiest neighbor can’t help smiling at this bright and sunny color.
  4. Vintage Wine 2116-20: A bold classic that will pop with the right amount of sheen.

The possibilities are endless, so have fun exploring the colorful side of you.

Until next time,

Nancy

How To: Wall Repairs for Holes Smaller Than A Fist

How To: Wall Repairs for Holes Smaller Than A Fist

Home Painting Interior Painting Uncategorized

Drywall is not the strongest substrate in the planet.  In fact, without much effort or completely by accident, it’s easy to put an unsightly hole in a wall.  Drywall damage often happens during picture-hanging, due to an accidental drop of a heavy object, or the occasional hole-punching teen tantrum.  Believe me; I’ve seen it all…

The good news is, small drywall holes are quite easy to repair!  Just follow these simple instructions:

Repairing nail or screw holes – flush fill the hole:

Simply dab a little lightweight spackle on your index fingers to fill the hole, wiping any excess away with your finger or a light cloth.  No need for putty knives and sanding.  Keep it simple and it’ll blend quite well with your orange peel texture.  If the edges of the holes have flared out from the fastener that you removed, you may want to knock down these edges with your putty knife before you fill.  Smooth walls can be a little more finicky, so you may need to sand it smooth after proper drying time.  With small holes like this, less is better.  We see a lot mistakes when homeowners overdo the putty, which usually creates more work later.

For larger holes that require patching – gather these commonly available items:

  1. Putty knife – size depends on the size of the hole you are repairing
  2. Yellow fiberglass drywall mesh tape – self adhesive
  3. Drywall mud – 20 minute mud will work just fine
  4. Utility blade (snap knife works great)
  5. Sponge
  6. Rattle can texture for textured walls – I recommend Homax Oil Based Wall Texture for Orange Peel; they also have one for knock down, but most walls have an orange peel texture.
  7. Primer – water based wall primer will be sufficient
  8. Touch up paint
  9. Paint brush/roller and frame

Here are the steps for repairing the hole:

  1. Trim back the drywall paper about a quarter to half inch around the perimeter of the hole.  The drywall paper will peel off the drywall after you score it, exposing the bare drywall.
  2. Apply strips of dry wall mesh over the hole to cover the hole; overlapping the strips of mesh and attaching it to the exposed drywall, then trim the excess off with your blade so that the edges of the yellow tape do not overlap onto the textured parts of the wall.  This gives you a base to apply the drywall  mud so you don’t need to patch in with a piece of drywall
  3. Apply the drywall mud over the top of the yellow tape with your putty knife, gradually building it up to create a smooth surface; “feather it out” over the edges onto the textured wall to create uniform converage
  4. Allow the drywall mud to firm up, but not completely set (about 10-15 minutes)
  5. Take a wet sponge and start working the drywall mud in a circular motion, keeping the sponge wet at all times to smooth out the drywall patch.  Be patient and work slowly.  It will create lather as you gradually smooth out the patch
  6. Once the patch is smooth and flush, clean out your sponge and wipe the patch clean
  7. Allow the patch to finish drying
  8. Apply a coat of primer with a brush or roller and allow to dry
  9. Warm your rattle can texture under water to build pressure and shake the can for a full two minutes – DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS STEP
  10. Practice spraying on a piece of cardboard or paper.  When you are spraying, spray in a continuous, circular motion
  11. Adjust the nozzle till the spray pattern matches the wall
  12. Spray the texture as you practiced.  Do not over apply the texture.  This only takes a few seconds.  It’s better to spray too little than too much, because you can always add more13.Allow to dry 5 or so minutes, then apply the final coat of primer
  13. After the primer is dry, apply the touch up paint

If you follow these steps, you can repair a hole in the wall in just a couple of hours.  If you have trouble with the wet sanding step, you can allow the patch to completely dry and use drywall screens to sand it down. This creates dust, so we prefer to wet sand.

I hope these directions will help you achieve great results!  Let us know how your project turns out.

Best regards,

Nancy

Caulk failure? Your siding may be the problem

Caulk failure? Your siding may be the problem

Exterior Painting Home Contractors Uncategorized Women In Construction

 

Repainting your home is an investment. Under normal circumstances, if you hire professional painters who properly prepare and apply two coats of quality paint, and if you maintain your property between paint applications, you can expect your new paint job to last 10 to 15 years.

Unfortunately, sometimes other factors affect the longevity of a quality paint job. One of the most common, if unexpected, factors that can affect the appearance and longevity of paint is siding caulk failure.

Caulk is the waterproof filler and sealant used in building work and in repairs. It is often used by painters to fill cracks or repair holes in order to create a smooth and uniform surface on which paint can be applied. When caulk separates or fails to adhere to a surface it can result in unsightly cracks, breaks or openings into which moisture can seep and cause a secondary, and serious, problem.

This failure can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is directly related to the substrate (siding material) to which the caulk (and paint) is applied. Due to exposure, weather and outdoor elements, siding wears over time. Some types tend to wear well while others tend to experience caulk failure at an alarming rate.

We have seen the majority of caulk failure occur with the most popular brand of siding used by today’s builders and remodelers: HardiePlank®.

HardiePlank® siding is very popular because it is an extremely durable alternative to vinyl or wood siding. When it’s new, it actually holds paint longer than any other siding and does not require back brushing or rolling, under normal circumstances, which makes it easy to work with.

The problem is mostly with HardiePlank® siding which was manufactured before 2008. This siding has had serious issues with cracking and breaking due to expansion and contraction of the product as temperatures vary.  The obvious fix for this problem was to caulk at the butt joints in order to close the gaps; however, the same expansion and contraction that caused the initial cracking causes the filler caulking to fail. As a result, the seal is broken, allowing water penetration to occur, even on a freshly painted house.

The manufacturer of HardiePlank® addressed this serious issue in 2008 by requiring builders to install flashing behind the butt joints and recommending that painters did not, from that point forward, caulk in the butt joints.  Thankfully, as a result of this change in policy, newer homes with this siding should not have a caulk failure problem. Unfortunately, because the “fix” for this problem is not widely known by all builders and painters, we still run across this type of caulk failure fairly frequently, even in homes built after 2008.

If you are a homeowner or manager for a property with HardiePlank® siding, it is important to understand that paint will not wear as well nor look as good when applied over siding that is failing due to cracking or breakage or caulk failure.  We cannot guarantee results when working with this type of siding, because the problem is with the product, not with the paint.

There are some things you can do to minimize the issue, however.  If your home was built before 2008 and you have HardiePlank® siding, you should regularly maintain it by:

  1. Replacing caulking as soon as you notice it failing.
  2. Touching up the paint after any caulking repairs – this will help maintain both the appearance and the seal.
  3. In extreme cases, siding replacement may be needed.

Home renovations are stressful even under the best of circumstances. Things like caulk failure can complicate your otherwise straightforward job; but, more knowledge about your property and your potential problems can help to assure a quality end product. If you have HardiePlank® siding, check it often for caulk failure and hire a well rated and well informed painter whenever you choose to re-paint.

Until next time,

Nancy

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

The Pros and Cons of Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Home Contractors Interior Painting

Medium-Density Fiberboard (more commonly known as MDF) is a man-made building material used as a substitute for real wood millwork in homes. We most often see it used in trim, cabinetry and interior doors.

This man made material has become very popular in new construction and remodels for a couple of reasons; it’s cheaper than real wood and it looks very nice after it’s been painted.

Remodelers and homeowner alike love this product because of the extra money it puts in their pockets and it looks amazing once the work is complete.  Real wood is expensive.

However, our painters have a different take on this product.  Painting this product the first time around doesn’t really pose any issues worth mentioning, but when it comes to repaints, it’s a whole different story.

When MDF gets wet, it swells.  Attempts to fix the problem in the traditional way (Bondo or other fillers and sanding) are futile and can even make the problem worse.  The only way to fix moisture damaged MDF is to replace it.

There are a few areas where MDF should never be used – kitchen or bathroom cabinets and trim in the bathrooms. These are the two areas we see the most failure because of moisture.  Window sills are also problematic if the windows have any sort of condensation or leaking problems.

Additionally, if you have a hectic lifestyle with kids and pets, MDF may simply be the wrong choice. If your wood work is going to take a lot of abuse, spending the extra money now on real wood could save you money and headaches down the road.

Most people seem to be satisfied with the MDF product and have experienced great results, but I don’t see this honeymoon phase lasting too much longer. As the product ages, the true test of time is going to bear results and I’m afraid some of the results are not going to be as satisfying as they are at the present time.

Natural materials tend to outperform man made substitutes.  This is true for all kinds of materials; not just building materials. For example, natural materials used in clothing and the food we eat are better than man made.  Budget restraints may require the use of MDF, but it’s better to make the choice with your eyes wide open so you aren’t disappointed down the road.

Whatever choice you end up making, I hope your project turns out better than you dreamed.

Best regards,

Nancy

 

Brush, roll or spray; Which is the preferred method

Brush, roll or spray; Which is the preferred method

Exterior Painting Home Painting

 

Exterior paint can be applied using a variety of methods. The purpose of this post is to compare and contrast the most common methods and to explain how the processes we employ at Sisu Painting are guaranteed to get the best results.

Brushing and Rolling

Brushing and Rolling is a manual process that involves the application of two coats to meet manufacturer specifications.  While this type of process is both time and labor intensive, the painter is able to control the process and achieve an even coat and desired thickness.   This method provides excellent overall coverage, particularly important on “rough” siding surfaces such as cedar shakes or T-111.

If your siding is hardy plank construction that is smooth and non-porous, back brushing or rolling may not be necessary or even the best application, however; eaves, corner boards and trim almost always require two coats of paint with back-brushing or rolling for an even and attractive paint application.

Spraying

Airless sprayers are commonly used for exterior paint applications because the spraying method allows for a uniform paint application (in terms of thickness) as well as a relatively fast drying time. However, when working with rough siding such as cedar or T-111, the airless spraying method does not allow the paint to absorb into the siding and often results in an inconsistent coverage and eventual paint failure.

At Sisu we bring the best of both methods to your exterior paint job…

To achieve the quality results you’ve come to expect from Sisu, our painters apply the first coat of exterior paint using an airless sprayer followed immediately by back-brushing or back-rolling to assure that the paint is worked evening into the siding surface. They finish with a top coat. This method combines the best of both worlds to achieve the most attractive and longest lasting paint application possible.

Enjoy the sunshine,

Nancy