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

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

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