Painter’s Tape – Choose the Right One

Painter’s Tape – Choose the Right One

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Wandering through the aisles of a paint store trying to pull everything together for your DIY painting project can feel overwhelming. From painter’s tape to drop cloths and paintbrushes to sponges, the options are practically endless. Some of these things won’t make a difference in your end product—the plastic you put on the floor probably won’t mess up your walls—but things like brushes and tape can make a huge impact on your lines and finish.

Let’s focus on the tape

Painting without tape is like trying to color in the lines on a tiny picture with a giant marker. It’s going to end in tears. Painting with the wrong tape can be just as bad. If it’s not sticky enough, you will end up with squiggly lines instead of straight ones. If it’s too sticky, you can end up with glue residue on the walls and other adhesion issues.

Recommended types of tape

Most of the tapes that we recommend are 3M™ products, the makers of Scotch® brand tape. These types may be more expensive than other options; but you really will get what you pay for. Cheaper means less quality when it comes to tape.

Scotch Masking Tape for production painting Scotch® Masking Tape for Production Painting 2020 is a high adhesion tape with a 3-day safe release.

Where: Use this tape in places that require high adhesion, mostly exteriors or hard to tape places inside.

Why: With 2020, you won’t have to worry about the wind blowing down your paper or plastic once you’ve stuck it to your trim and windows. You’ll have three days to use and remove this tape without risking sticky, messy residue on your surfaces. This is the shortest release period and the stickiest tape we’ll recommend, so be careful where you choose to use it. Make sure to take it off promptly.

Scotchblue Painter's Tape for multi surfaces

ScotchBlue™ Painters Tape for Multi-Surfaces 2090 is a medium adhesion tape with a 14-day safe release.

Where: Use this tape for most of your painting projects, especially if they’ll take more than a few days, both interior and exterior.

Why: With 2090 you’ll have good adhesion without worrying about removing it in the three-day time window that 2020 provides. While you’ll have two weeks to finish your project before being concerned with adhesion issues, you also won’t have to worry about the tape coming off before you’re done.

Scotchblue Painter's Tape low-medium adhesionScotchBlue™ Painters Tape 2080 is a low-medium adhesion tape with a 60-day safe release.

Where: Use this tape for interiors, especially on delicate surfaces or on projects that may take a few weekends.

Why: With 2080 you’ll have an easy to work with tape that produces awesome straight lines. This tape is our favorite for interiors both because of the two-month safe release and because you don’t have to worry about paint seeping (bleeding) under the tape as much as you would with 2020 or 2090. We’ll warn you that this product is a lot more expensive than either 2020 or 2090, however. Like we said before, you get what you pay for!

Frogtape comes in a variety of adhesion levelsFrogtape® is not a 3M product and can be purchased in a variety of adhesion levels (multi-surface or delicate surface).

Where: Use this tape for interiors and special projects, like painting patterns/geometric murals. There is also a variety specifically for heavily textured surfaces.

Why: With Frogtape® you’ll get the added bonus of PaintBlock® Technology, which is a special film on the tape that reacts with wet paint to form a seal. The idea is that this will mean no bleeding, or minimal bleeding, and straighter lines. Our painters have mixed feelings about Frogtape®; but, if your lines are the most important part of your project, it may be a good choice for you. They also offer Shape Tape ™ which lets you create custom designs with much less work than standard tape as it’s already patterned in a couple of different shapes.

 Tape Width

Once you’ve picked the tape that’s right for you, all that’s left is to decide what width you’ll need. As professionals, we use one or one-and-a-half-inch tape. As a homeowner, using tape as wide as two inches gives you a bit of wiggle room—not that we’d ever accuse anyone of being sloppy!

It’s pretty much downhill from here as far as the tough choices go. Our painter’s tip to you: make sure to take the time to tape off properly and run your finger along the edge of the tape once you’ve applied it. The friction from your finger against the tape will create heat to activate the glue. This helps to achieve the straight lines you’re looking for.

Good luck!

Nancy

Will Paint Fix It? Sisu Tips on What to Expect

Will Paint Fix It? Sisu Tips on What to Expect

Home Painting Interior Painting

Painting always comes with a unique set of challenges for each client. Things that weren’t apparent before painting become visible once we’ve started and customer expectations can be unrealistic. I get it. You’ve paid god knows how much for this interior paint job and darn well expect it to look exactly like you’ve dreamed it would. We want the same thing! Not only are you our customer, you are our lifeline–the people who keep us afloat in this crazy world. We love you and want the best for you! Unfortunately, there are some things that a good paint job just won’t fix.

Got cracks, holes, or texture that looks like the rough side of a bad day?

As much as paint can transform a space in an amazing way, it will not fix all your wall issues. If there’s a visible structural defect before you paint, chances are good it will still be noticeable after you paint. Structural defects can be sneaky, only showing their ugly faces once the wallpaper is off or the furniture is out of the room. Sometimes they’re obvious from the get-go. If your painter claims he can fix the waves, cracks or holes in your walls using paint, he’s probably lying to you. If you’re working with us, we’ll let you know as soon as we find any issues.

 Woeful Woodwork

Trim, baseboards and door casings all tend to suffer from woodwork neglect. Years of wear and tear can leave them looking rough and dinged up. Moisture damage on exposed wood can cause raised grain. As a professional painting company, we know a couple of tricks of the trade that can give you beautiful results. We’ll sand, fill with Bondo or wood filler, use PeelBond or TrimMagic, prime and do anything else we can think of to improve the finish of your wood. Paint will protect and clean up your woodwork. It won’t fix any flaws inherent in the substrate. Additionally, if you find dry rot anywhere, don’t paint over it! Dry rot needs to be removed and the wood replaced by a professional. Hiding the problem won’t help in the long run.

Terrible Texture

Once we landed a job repainting ceilings. It would have been straight forward enough, except for the fact that the homeowner’s main motivating factor for painting was more complicated than a tired color. The texture was peeling off! We looked closer at the damaged area and were amazed that the texture and drywall were not primed. That may not mean anything to you, but to us it was apparent that this was going to be a huge issue. Due to the lack of primer, any paint or texture we applied would just fall off again. We explained to the homeowners that this was a pre-existing condition (something we hadn’t accounted for in the scope of work and couldn’t guarantee in the long run).

As with all of our clients, we did everything in our power to resolve the issue. We called in a drywaller to repair the places where the texture had failed. When they were done, we sprayed the ceilings with an oil-based Z-Prime coat which we let dry overnight. The primer sealed the texture so that we could paint without re-damaging it. When we painted, we used two coats of paint applied with an airless sprayer, making sure not to back roll so the texture wouldn’t be damaged. The results were miraculous (if I do say so myself) and our efforts probably saved the customer thousands of dollars! The moral of the story? Just because paint can’t fix your texture doesn’t mean that it can’t be fixed by a painting pro and a fantastic drywaller.

 Revolting Repairs

We’ve been called in to right the wrongs of other contractors. Shoddy wall repairs can ruin the feel of your whole space and leave you feeling jaded towards contractors generally. First, we’d like to apologize to anyone who’s ever been of a victim of this type of disservice! How terrible, to put your home and your money on the line and have results which are less than pleasing! You have all of our sympathy. Secondly, there is a glimmer of hope. Although sometimes these repairs can be too time consuming to fix (a nice way of saying too expensive) and outside of the services we offer, painting can still perk up your space.

For everything else there’s spackle and caulk. Minor holes and slight cracks can be filled in using one of these two products, but they aren’t guaranteed to succeed. Proper prep work should include fixing what can be fixed and letting you, the customer, know about everything else. Sometimes, there’s nothing to do but call a drywaller. If you have any doubts about your space and its inherent flaws call us, email us, or tweet us! We are happy to help.

 

Old Paint – Don’t Let it Take Over Your Garage

Old Paint – Don’t Let it Take Over Your Garage

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A lot of our blogs focus on the “befores” of painting – how to pick colors, how to prep and common problems – but we haven’t talked a lot about what to do after, when your garage is packed three layers deep with hundreds of old paint cans. Well, hopefully not literally hundreds…

Like most people, you probably don’t have any idea what to do with all those old gallons and quarts. Can you throw it away? Should you recycle them? What colors do you need to keep? What does it all mean? Rather than pushing you into an existential crisis, let us help you out when it comes to your stock pile of interior and exterior paint.

First, figure out which paint cans you can ditch

Our advice is this: if it’s up on your walls hold onto it. Your existing project might require touch ups and you’ll want to have the leftover paint on hand to make those go smoothly. If you don’t have a ton left, transfer it into a quart can (which are available at your local paint store) for easy storage. Eliminate the guess work and endless can opening by clearly labeling each of your colors using the product/color name, sheen and color code—especially if you transfer cans.

Once you’ve figured out what to keep, make sure that the cans are properly sealed. Knock the lid down tight so that your paint won’t dry out before you get a chance to use it.

For the rest of your half empty, old, dried out (or drying out) paint we’ve got a few suggestions.

Are your gallons still pretty full?

If so, we suggest recycling. Oregon, California and Connecticut all have built in paint fees (like an alcohol or cigarette tax) which were included when you purchased your gallon/quart. The fees go towards the PaintCare program which provides drop off sites for recycling old paint. Looking for a location near you? PaintCare Oregon has at least 101 drop sites for paint recycling, click here to find the most convenient one.

Are your cans empty?

If they are just dump them in the trash. There’s nothing wrong with putting them in your regular garbage and the recycling centers will not take empty cans.

Do your cans still have wet paint in them, but not enough to recycle?

If you’re left with just a little bit in the can, remove the lid and let it dry out. Once it’s dry, feel free to throw it away just like you would with an entirely empty can.

If you have paints or solvents that PaintCare will not take care of, you can check with Earth 911 to find current drop off sites for all your recycling needs. Hopefully we’ve answered all your questions; but, if not the office staff here at Sisu Painting, Inc. would be happy to assist in any way possible at (503) 646-1211.

Happy painting!

Nancy

Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Exterior Painting Home Painting Paint color

I love this time of year! The sun is shining, the neighbors are barbecuing and I’m doing what I love best – helping clients choose colors for their homes. With every paint contract, I offer a complimentary color consultation. I have to admit this is the part of my job that I enjoy the most. It gives me a little extra time to build a relationship with my clients. And, I learned early on that no matter how expertly we’ve applied the paint, the client gets the most enjoyment when the color is perfectly suited to their taste and lifestyle.

Along the way, I’ve learned some tried and true tips for choosing exterior paint colors. Here we go…

Be a pioneer – think outside the box

Occasionally, I check in on the big-name painting sites to see what they’re saying about the latest color trends. On one such recent visit, I read some really poor advice: consider your neighbor’s house and make sure your color selection doesn’t clash.

I couldn’t disagree more! In my experience, when the time comes to update your exterior paint colors, chances are the majority of homes in the neighborhood are also using outdated colors. Painting provides a great opportunity to make a bold move and bring in some contemporary colors… or select a color scheme that you just love, regardless of what the neighbors are up to.  Don’t let the fact that so many people choose run-of-the-mill beige stop you from moving into a more interesting or vibrant palette. With a little guidance and reassurance, we can bring in an improved palette with current colors to set a new and refreshing trend in the neighborhood.  Chances are, the neighbors will appreciate it as much as you do!

How to choose colors – look for inspiration – it’s all around you

Does the house have a brick or stone facade? Consider the landscaping features and the roof color. Look at pictures in magazines, online or in brochures provided by the paint stores; these are great resources for paint colors. I often ask my clients to take pictures of houses they like when they are out and about. The Houzz.com website is another great place to collect ideas and inspiration.

When choosing exterior colors go darker – don’t be afraid

Natural lighting washes out color, so you can hardly go wrong by going darker. I can’t remember a client ever saying they wish they had chosen a lighter color, but I’ve heard many remarks about wishing for a darker palate. When selecting colors, even in the darker palettes, it pays to consult with a professional who understands which colors are best with regard to fading.

 Add emphasis and accent to your exterior

The house will look bigger if the garage door is painted the same color as the main color on the house. This strategy works great, unless you have a custom, fancy garage door that is a beautiful accent all by itself.

 Give your front door a pop of color

I love red doors; they are just so Portland!

Black doors are classic, but there’s risk of blistering if the door gets too many hours of full sun. There is an endless selection of fun colors and palettes to match or compliment your house color, which can create a unique and beautiful focal point.

 A little is enough – don’t overdo

It’s tempting to add splashes of color here, there and everywhere, but this approach is only really effective with certain architectural styles such as Victorian, craftsman or bungalow. The most common and best combination for most homes is 1) a base color, 2) a trim color and 3) a door accent color.Exterior of house showing base color, trim color, and front door color

When in doubt, call in a professional to consult. Most of all, remember that the colors you choose say a lot about you… so don’t be afraid to let your style and preferences show!

You never need to go it alone. Give me a call and I’ll bring my color swatches over.

 

Until next time,

Nancy

Essential Maintenance Projects You Should Do Now!

Essential Maintenance Projects You Should Do Now!

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Spring is here. And you know what that means! Here are 7 of the most essential maintenance projects to get started on. Oh, and a special offer from one of our cleaning professional partners!
Don’t wait until the next paint job to wash your house. Washing your house will make your paint job last longer, your house look better, and it’s a great way to inspect your exterior from top to bottom to see if there are any hidden issues. We recommend washing your house every one or two years. Sisu Painting pressure washes year-round, so we are here if you need us.
Cut back your landscaping at least one foot away from your house. Did you know that plants have airborne mold that will attach to your house and ruin your paint job? And, let’s not talk about how unsightly it looks. We’re all about being green here in Oregon, but green mold on your house spells nothing but trouble. Stay ahead of the problem by cutting back your bushes. A little household bleach and water can arrest mold growth.
Check your air conditioner. Hot weather will be upon us before you know it! Perform essential maintenance: remove the cover, change the filter, check the hoses, add Freon, have an inspection or whatever it is that your air conditioner needs to keep you calm and cool this summer.
This is on everyone’s home maintenance list, but nothing is more embarrassing than having your smoke alarm go off at midnight, calling 911 and waking up the whole neighborhood with ambulances and fire trucks only to find out the alarm is outdated and that it was only an internal warning alarm to let you know. This seriously happened to someone here at Sisu Painting this month. Spoiler alert: it was the owners.
No seriously, purge it! You have summer projects coming up, you need the room and you don’t need all that junk. Someone out there does, so clear your space and your mind and donate those wares to your favorite neighborhood charity.
Not too many people are willing to dig out the 30-foot ladder and clean their roof and gutters and luckily you don’t have to. We recommend All-Clean Soft Wash for this service and they are kindly running a special for our customers. Click on the coupon below!
This is starting to sound more like a spring-cleaning guide than a maintenance list, but ‘tis the season! Contact All-Clean Soft Wash and don’t forget your coupon for half off dryer vent cleaning with a window service or any one of their other services! Not only will you get a better view of all the spring flowers, keeping things clean is the best way to spot problems and address them before they turn into remodel projects.
We hope these tips help you achieve the results you are looking for. And remember, we are always more than happy to bid a job for you! CLICK HERE to get your FREE QUOTE for your next painting project.