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.

 

Two Coats are Better than One – Here’s Why

Two Coats are Better than One – Here’s Why

Home Painting Interior Painting Paint color

It’s a gloomy Portland day. You’re stuck inside looking at your walls, which have been the same color for years. You think – I could paint over that. I could have a fresh start; I could transform my whole world with just one coat of paint! You daydream, plan, plot. Your interior paint job will be the envy of the neighborhood. But then the anxiety sets in, and you read the label on the paint can: two coats?!?! And your world comes crashing down around you.

While this may be overly dramatic, when it comes to tackling a wall or trim painting job on your own, switching from a one coat plan to a two coat plan has some serious consequences (and some serious consequences if you don’t!). Not only does the extra coat add extra materials, it adds extra drying time. Let’s be honest, it’s easier to only do one coat.

Easier is not always better—often it’s worse. As professionals, we get to do all the worrying for you. We worry about the perfect coverage and finish, we worry about making sure that your paint is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, and we worry about getting the most bang for your buck. If you haven’t hired us to worry for you, you should be thinking about these things too.

Our rule of thumb: if the can says use two, we do

“But Nancy,” I can hear you protest. “The shampoo bottle says wash, rinse and repeat and I never do that. Surely this manufacturer warning is just shampoo paranoia.” Let me explain why it isn’t.

Two coats assure better coverage

Unless you are painting with the same color as was already on your walls, you’ll need two to make sure that no nasty undertones pop through your new color.

The manufacturer’s warranty won’t cover your paint

unless you follow the specifications as listed on the can. For most paint, this means using two coats. The warranty makes sure you’re covered in case of a bad batch of paint or some sort of failure down the road. Having the warranty makes sure your job doesn’t get unexpectedly more expensive because of issues with your paint. There are some exceptions to the two “coats = manufacturer’s” warranty rule. For example, Benjamin Moore’s Aura honors their warranty with only one coat as far as product failure goes. They don’t, however, guarantee coverage with only one coat.

Two coats are always more durable than one

Paint durability is dependent on the thickness with which it is applied (or its level of film). But there’s a catch 22, in order for paint to spread evenly, it requires thin coats. If you try to get a thick coat in one go at it your paint might end up looking like a hot mess; dripping, running and sagging all over the place. The best way to get an even, thick coverage is to do two thin layers. It’ll be worth your time!

Two coats touch up better than one

Because of the coverage issues we’ve already talked about, touching up one coat can be dangerous. If your first coat did not achieve full coverage, a touch up will stand out loud and proud with full, mismatching coverage as compared to the rest of the wall.

So, whether you’re giving your walls a face lift or painstakingly painting your trim, two coats is generally the way to go. You’ll have a beautiful, lasting finish that will make you sigh with joy not pull your hair in frustration—at least until the next time you decide to change it up.

Analogous Color Schemes – Decorate in Perfect Harmony

Analogous Color Schemes – Decorate in Perfect Harmony

Home Painting Interior Painting Paint color

Make the right choice

Choosing the perfect color scheme can feel overwhelming. What if, once it’s on the wall, you don’t like it? What if, after a year, you’re tired of looking it?

Reflect your personality

If you’re like me, it’s important that your style of décor and color schemes reflect your personality – although, in my case, I really don’t want the scatterbrained, distracted and flighty part of my personality to come through! I look for the sophisticated and subtle parts of me hidden deep down inside. What better way to draw them out than with the colors and décor I choose for my home? When choosing colors for a client, I rely heavily on intuition and experience. When it comes right down to it, some colors just pop and feel “right” in a given space. And, I also consider how it all comes together, which is my way of saying it’s important to select colors that are analogous.

What is analogous?

Choosing analogous colors from paint paletteAnalogous is just another way to say similar or comparable. Analogous colors are the colors that correspond to each other on the color wheel. When you look at the colors splayed out on the wheel, the color on either side of your dominant color is analogous. The best part about analogous color schemes is that they flow nicely. Unless you are specifically trained or gifted with color, picking colors around the wheel can end up looking like a mess. If you pick colors next to each other, you have a much better chance of getting it right.

Create an impact with comparable colors

The wonderful thing about color is that a little change can make a big impact. You don’t need to pick green in one room and red in another to give your house interest. Picking green in one room and blue-green in the next can be just as striking with a much better flow. The rooms will feel like they are related to each other, in a sense connected, and the style theme will carry from one room to the next.

When selecting colors, it should be a goal that your space appears as though it was completely decorated all at the same time and in the same style. That doesn’t mean you can’t mix up styles; however, if you do, try to carry that theme from room to room. In this way you avoid the perception that every room represents a different stage of your life.

Need a little inspiration? Invite me over and I’ll bring my color wheel. Choosing the theme for your home can be both fun and inspiring.

Until next time,

Nancy

Ceilings – Sisu’s Six Essential Painting Tips

Ceilings – Sisu’s Six Essential Painting Tips

Home Painting Interior Painting

De-stress the idea

Make sure that the ceiling needs to be painted in the first place.

Are you painting your walls?

If so, I definitely recommend painting your ceiling. Think of your ceiling as another wall in the room. Would you skip painting any other walls? Of course not. And, once you get that fresh coat of paint on your walls, I guarantee you will not want to revisit the project by attempting to paint the ceilings later on down the road. Taping off walls and protecting them from splatter is a chore in and of itself.

Should you skip painting it?

The only time I recommend skipping the ceilings is if they have been recently painted AND the wall color will flow with the existing ceiling color. If the ceiling color does not match the new wall colors, I recommend painting the ceiling.

If you have a water leak or other damage you need to paint over, you may not need to paint the walls. In this case, you will have to cover all your walls with plastic to protect from splatter.

Get awesome results

Use the right equipment:

I can’t stress this enough. You need the correct size extension pole to attach to your roller handle. This will make life so much easier. This will also keep you off the ladder because you can paint the ceiling from the floor (unless you have really tall ceilings). You also need the proper ladder.Choose the right ladder with help from Sherwin WilliamsMake sure it’s the correct height for the job and that it’s sturdy and set up properly. I recommend a good quality brush and rollers as well.

 

 

Completely cover the floor (and all belongings) with drop cloths, paper or plastic:

Save yourself the hassle from having to move around drop cloths by covering the entire floor and furniture before you open the can of paint. The centrifugal force of the roller will throw tiny droplets of paint that will splatter everywhere. Think ahead and cover all exposed surfaces. 

Use a high-quality ceiling paint:

You don’t need the most expensive paint, but if you go too cheap, you might not get the coverage you need. I recommend Benjamin Moore’s Ceiling Paint.

Cut in first:

Sisu painter cutting inUse a brush to cut in the edges, the corners and around light fixtures or other hardware. Choose a container that will fit comfortably in your hand. Pour paint off from your gallon into your container but only fill about 1/3 full. Dip your brush into the container, covering just the ends of the brush – only dip in about ½ inch or so. Don’t overload your brush. Apply the paint around the perimeter of the room with your brush and around any fixtures.

Roll out an even coat:

The best way to get an even coat is to evenly coat your roller when you are loading it up. Applying loaded-up roller in a W pattern on ceilingApply the loaded-up roller in an N or W pattern, then go back and roll over it to spread it out. Work your way from one side of the room to the other until your entire ceiling is covered. Do not worry if it looks uneven while it’s drying.  Once it’s dry, it’ll look much better.

 

Paint two coats:

After you’ve done all the work to get the first coat on, it might be tempting to say “done is better than perfect” but in this case, let’s just do it right. The second coat is half the work of the first coat and it’s the step that’s going to take your hard work to next level. I almost always recommend two coats. If you want a professional looking job, paint the second coat.

I hope these tips help you achieve the results you are looking for. And remember, we are always more than happy to bid the job for you!

Until next time,

Nancy

Trim – Sisu’s Six Essential Painting Tips

Trim – Sisu’s Six Essential Painting Tips

Home Painting Interior Painting

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

To get the best results

Whether you have recently installed new trim, or you are attempting to update your old wood work, these tips should help you achieve the results you are hoping for.

1. Choose the correct primer:

If you are painting trim that is bare wood or has been stained and clear coated, you will want an oil-based primer.  Check with your local paint store for the best recommendation.

2. Choose the correct trim paint:

For trim paint, you want a high-quality enamel.  I recommend Benjamin Moore’s Advance; a low VOC modified alkyd.  This is a waterborne paint with alkyd resins that slows down the drying process, so you get a better “float”.  This simply means the paint levels better than traditional water-based paints (think less brush strokes or stipple).

3. Prep, prep and more prep:

Prep for Painting TrimYour paint job will only look as good as your prep.  You will need to fill holes and caulk in your wood work.  You also need to de-gloss the wood work, if it has been previously painted or clear coated.  I recommend sanding the trim or wiping down with a chemical de-glosser.  On especially glossy substrates, I recommend both.

 

 

4. Take your time:

Painting is not a job you want to rush. If you try to hurry your job along, you will get sloppy results. As a novice, it might be better to take on small chunks of the project rather than the whole house.  Think about just painting trim in one room at a time.  This will make the project more manageable and you won’t feel so much pressure to hurry.

5. Use a good brush:

Purdy Brush Wood WorkUnless you are very experienced with an airless or HVLP sprayer, I recommend you brush your trim work.  This takes a little finesse, but with a little practice you can achieve great results. Buy your paint brush from a paint store.  A 2 or 2 ½ inch brush will probably be the easiest to handle. Go for the name brands, and do not pinch pennies when it comes to your purchase.  Remember to take good care of your brush by washing it after each use.  Keep the jacket the brush came in for storage. There is nothing more frustrating than painting with a brush that has bent bristles.

6. Thin your paint:

You can use a paint extender, such as Flotrol to extend the paint.  This extends the drying time and gives you a little extra time to work with the paint before it starts to skim over (the top surface dries quickly).  Quick drying paint can turn gummy on you, leaving behind unsightly brush strokes on your trim.

I hope these tips lead you to a successful trim painting project.  And, remember – we are only a phone call away.

Happy Painting!

Nancy

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

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

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

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