There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to brighten your space and lighten your spirits. But once tarps come down and the painters are gone, what do you do to keep your new paint job looking bright and “like new?”
Handle with care
Fresh paint will feel dry to the touch, but it actually takes several weeks for the paint to fully cure. Latex or waterborne paint cures in approximately 30 days; whereas, oil based paints can take around 60 days.
Protect your investment interiors
During the time when interior paint is curing, it is important not to clean or otherwise disturb the surface. Allowing the paint time to cure will significantly increase the longevity of your new paint job.
New paint – proper care and cleaning
- Flat paint, which is the sheen I almost always recommend for walls, requires special care. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any smudges or dirt. Avoid rewetting the surface if at all possible. In cases of difficult marks or stains, it may be best to touch up the area with the original paint.
- Trim work is generally painted with sheen, usually satin or semi-gloss, which is easier to clean. Trim paint can rewet with excessive scrubbing, however, and you should never use an acidic cleaner on any paint surface as it can actually strip the paint away. A simple solution of Dawn dish soap and water is recommended for cleaning trim work. This also works great for stubborn stains on walls.
Touch up instead
Sometimes, a painted surface cannot be cleaned without damaging the paint. In this case, I recommend touching up the paint with the original paint (leftover from the paint job). After a certain period of time, which varies depending on environment and lifestyle, regular wear and tear from daily living will necessitate a fresh paint job rather than a touch up.
Protect your investment exteriors
Exterior paint surfaces require extra care due to environmental exposure of weather and outdoor elements. If exteriors are not maintained, mold and mildew can develop – a condition which will eventually ruin the paint job. To avoid this, take the following precautions:
A visual inspection of the house will reveal signs of mold/mildew or excess dirt from rain or weather conditions.
I recommend pressure washing the exterior surfaces as needed. Treat any mold or mildew buildup with a dilute household bleach solution or a mildewcide.
- Loose paint may come off during the washing. If this occurs, it is an indication of a paint failure situation that must be dealt with. It is recommended that you use a professional painting company for any paint failure issue.
- Avoid the use of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) for maintenance cleaning. This chemical can de-gloss the paint.
Until next time – keep smiling!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do not use your oven during the painting. This is dangerous and could cause a fire. Please make other arrangements for meal preparation.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Wishing you a great start to your year,
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:
- Putty knife – size depends on the size of the hole you are repairing
- Yellow fiberglass drywall mesh tape – self adhesive
- Drywall mud – 20 minute mud will work just fine
- Utility blade (snap knife works great)
- 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.
- Primer – water based wall primer will be sufficient
- Touch up paint
- Paint brush/roller and frame
Here are the steps for repairing the hole:
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Allow the drywall mud to firm up, but not completely set (about 10-15 minutes)
- 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
- Once the patch is smooth and flush, clean out your sponge and wipe the patch clean
- Allow the patch to finish drying
- Apply a coat of primer with a brush or roller and allow to dry
- 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
- Practice spraying on a piece of cardboard or paper. When you are spraying, spray in a continuous, circular motion
- Adjust the nozzle till the spray pattern matches the wall
- 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
- 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.
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:
- Replacing caulking as soon as you notice it failing.
- Touching up the paint after any caulking repairs – this will help maintain both the appearance and the seal.
- 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,
You’ve probably noticed that we focus on color a lot. Whether we’re talking about your interior or exterior paint color or choosing the perfect pops of color to complete your look, color is important to us! And why shouldn’t it be, it’s all around us. Talking about color can be difficult, however. We wanted to give you a leg up on the conversation and cover a few of the color “language” basics.
The primary colors are red, blue and yellow. All other colors are made by blending these three primary colors together.
A color wheel is a circle with different colored sections that helps to show the relationship between colors. Color wheels can be simple, only showing the primary colors and their basic, blended counter parts (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple); or they can be complex, showing a large variety of hues and lightnesses.
These colors are the colors on the right half of our color wheel; specifically, the reds, yellows and oranges are all warm colors. When you think of warm colors, think about the amount of energy you want to give your space. They are “advancing” colors, meaning they appear closer, and will make a space feel cozier and slightly smaller.
On the left half of our color wheel are the cool colors. These colors—blues, greens and purples—are receding. A cool color can be useful to calm down any space in your home, which is why they are commonly found indoors and in living spaces. They will make any area feel more open and tend to have a relaxing effect.
Color wheels can be awesome tools for easily choosing colors that match. Complimentary colors are one of these perks. Want to find colors that are very different but still look good together? Look across the color wheel for some complimentary color pairs like the one shown here. Opposites really do attract in this case!
Another color scheme that is relatively popular uses the variety of values (lighter or darker shades of the same color) to its advantage. We’ve seen monochromatic looks making a come back, specifically in terms of using different sheens to play colors up rather than changing the hue. A monochromatic look uses only one slice of the color wheel.
If you’re not digging the contrast provided by complimentary colors, analogous colors may be more your speed. Look at a wider portion of the color wheel for your analogous options, including several different slices, and pick a pallet which appeals to you.
Do you have other color terms bogging you down? Let us know and we’ll do our best to help you out!
Until next time,
You are taking on a project that will improve your property value and enhance your living experience…and may increase your anxiety. Whether you are taking on a small painting project or a whole house remodel, we offer these basic guidelines to help maintain perspective and humor…and get the best results.
Carefully review this list so you know what to expect during your paint project:
- Perfection does not exist, and looking for it can add to your stress.If you are someone who expects perfection on this or any project, you’re likely to be disappointed often. Your paint project is being managed by human hands and humans are, well, human. You can trust us to do our very best to create the results you want.
- Murphy’s Law applies to every project, bar none. If something can go wrong, it probably will. Stuff happens. Keeping a cool head and learning to rely on honest and direct communication is the best way to deal with glitches in the plan. It’s also why it’s important to hire professionals to manage your project. We have lots of experience with overcoming the inevitable glitches along the way…so you don’t have to.
- Communicate with us. Something doesn’t look or feel right? You’re frustrated that you can’t get to that bottle of wine covered with painter’s plastic? You haven’t seen your cat around for hours and worry he may have fallen into the paint bucket? (kidding!) Talk to your onsite project manager, tell them how you feel and what you need. And, never hesitate to call the office or the owners to discuss any questions or concerns. We are all here to help you be as comfortable as possible with the process.
- Delays Many factors can delay a project, including the weather, material shortages, sick workers, or other unforeseen issues. Don’t fret, your project will be completed in the order it was scheduled. Rain is the biggest reason for delay of exterior projects. We carefully monitor weather forecasts to determine whether or not to schedule painters on a given day. Sometimes the forecast is incorrect, which may cost us a day on the project. However, to get the results we (and you) want, we need optimal painting conditions. Try to be patient, and trust us to do our best.
- Now and then, damage On any worksite, things occasionally get broken. If you have an irreplaceable heirloom or special family treasure, take the time to move it out of the construction/paint zone. While our employees are extremely careful and, while paint spills and splatter can easily be cleaned up in almost all instances, we strongly encourage you to remove anything of personal importance.
- Sometimes the swatch doesn’t always match the wall, or your expectations.Our color matching experts are excellent at what they do, but remember rule #1: perfection does not exist. This is the reason we do drawdowns (large samples of the actual paint drawn down on card stock for color match approval). The good news is, if the color doesn’t match, we can always change it. That’s the nice thing about paint J.
- Interior paint projects can disrupt your life! In order to do the proper paint preparation necessary to achieve an exceptional final result, we’ll cover everything (furniture, etc) with plastic, paper and drop cloths… and keep things covered during the duration of the painting project. If it’s your first project using professional painters, you may be shocked… but you will be thrilled to see the final result. Try to be patient.
- There may be surprises along the way. Once the project is underway, our painters may discover existing damage or flaws that require attention. Your house may need maintenance that you were not aware of. Discovery is important, but it’s never the kind of news we are happy to deliver. When this happens, you can trust us to bring the issue to your attention. In some cases, we may need to bring in other contractors to fix a problem, which may add additional costs to your project.
- Occasionally – very occasionally – we miss a spot.Touch-up painting is generally done at the end of the project, during the phase when our expert painters are looking over all the newly painted areas. If, by some chance, you notice something we missed, just give us a call and we’ll come and fit it.
- We take deadlines seriously, but workmanship is most important of all.Rest assured, our painters are working as fast as they can to finish your project. Sometimes, due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances (see #9), things take longer than anticipated. We will never rush a job to get to a deadline, because we know that rushing results in sloppy workmanship. Be patient. We pledge to stay on your project and do the job right, from start to finish.
- Pre-existing paint conditions can be tricky. It is common to encounter old drips and spills on trim or baseboards, left over from the last paint application. Because this paint is old and set, the process of removing it can be very time consuming and expensive. In most instances, through careful preparation, we can make it look better or “good enough,” but rarely can we make it look like new unless you are willing to incur additional expenses.
- Color selections must be pre-approved to assure a match. Your color selections need to be finalized at least a week prior to the start of your project in order to present drawdowns for color match approval. If you authorize us to begin your project without your having approved the color, the cost of ordering additional paint in a new color will be applied to you.
- Relax: there is rarely a problem for which there is not a good solution. It is rare that we face an issue that really baffles us, but occasionally it takes a little awhile to find the right solution. Remember, we are as eager as you are to make everything come out right.
- Brace yourself for color shock. Once the color starts to go up, so will your anxiety. This is a normal reaction to change. Take a deep breath. The first coat rarely looks “right” in the beginning, but 99% of the time clients find it stunning in the end.
- Sit back and enjoy the process. We hear it all the time from clients: you won’t find a harder working or more highly skilled team of professional painters anywhere. The work ethic of our team is unsurpassed in the industry, and they are really nice to boot!
The best thing you can do to improve your overall experience of any home renovation project, is to relax and stay positive. Remember, especially during the construction phase, how much you wanted these changes… and that all good things take time.
Here’s to fresh paint!