Q: When is priming necessary before painting?2020-01-22T19:04:51-05:00

A: Primer is an undercoat that you paint onto the wall before painting it with color. It seals the surface so the paint adheres to the surface instead of soaking into the wall. If you’re painting drywall that’s never been painted before, prime it first. If you have touched up a lot of cracks and filled in a lot of nail holes on a wall, prime the wall, or at least the areas you have covered with putty or drywall compound, before painting it. If you’re painting a wall that hasn’t been painted for a long time, it’s not a bad idea to prime it, although you also could get away with a thorough cleaning. If you’re applying flat paint on a wall that previously was painted with a high or semi-gloss finish, prime it first. It’s also a good idea to rough up the finish a bit with sandpaper or a good scrubbing with the cleaner TSP (trisodium phosphate), even before you prime it. Flat paint won’t adhere well to a glossy wall if you don’t. If you’re changing the color of your wall from very dark to very light, priming it first will make it easier to cover with the lighter color and could save you from applying a second or even third coat of paint. A tip: Ask the paint store to add a little bit of umber to the primer so it will be a light gray color. Once the gray-tinged primer is on the wall, it will accentuate any imperfections, giving you one final chance to make it perfectly smooth before applying the paint. And once you paint over the primer, you’ll be able to clearly see any areas where the paint has rolled on too thin.

Q: What is the best way to touch-up or repair a wall?2020-01-22T19:04:51-05:00

A: Touching up an existing painted surface can be challenging – professional painters wrestle with this constantly. Ideally, use paint from the same can that was used originally, but reduce it about 10% to 15% with the reducer recommended on the can. If you are touching up walls on which the paint was applied with a roller, use a small trim roller. If the paint was brushed on, use a brush. Apply a small amount of the touch-up paint and “feather” the edges, starting at the outside edge of the touch-up area into the center of the area. “Feathering” entails drawing the brush across the area outside of the touch-up onto the new paint to create a transition that diminishes the appearance of the touch-up. If the surface had to be patched, use a primer sealer. Try to prime and paint to a natural break. Please note, though, that sometimes repaired areas may be noticeable. In this event, painting the entire wall may be the best option.

Q: Is it safe to power-wash our home and/or deck prior to painting, staining or sealing?2020-01-22T19:04:51-05:00

A: (This question comes with a lot scrutiny & debate, and is by far on of the most difficult to answer.) Here is my professional opinion based on decades of experience: There is more to pressure washing than just spraying water on your home or deck and it requires specialized equipment and in some cases the use of biodegradable cleaning products which are safe for children, pets and plants. In the hands of a professional contractor with knowledge, experience and a trained eye, a pressure washer is a vital tool for cleaning & preparing your home, deck, and other surfaces prior to applying a primer or finish product. Pressure washing allows you to clean the surface quickly & effectively by utilizing low & high pressure techniques to avoid damage to the substrate. Without being too specific there are several precautions that must be taken prior to and during the preparation of the surface. Over time many houses accumulate a thin layer of grime (and even mold) from dirt, debris, insects, oxidation & other various sources. While this residue in most cases won’t inflict any damage, it is important to remove it before painting your home, refinishing or restoring your deck, etc. A clean, properly prepared surface will increase the adhesion, appearance, and longevity of the product that you apply for years to come.

Q: Why is the paint peeling on the exterior of my home?2020-01-22T19:04:51-05:00

A: Peeling results when a wet substrate (e.g. the surface that has been painted) swells, causing the paint film to loosen, crack, and fall off. Amongst a variety of ways for water to seep under the paint film some are:

  • Worn-out or no caulking in joints, corners, and openings, allowing moisture to enter
  • Ice-filled or clogged gutters, using moisture build-up under the shingles
  • Interior moisture migrating through to the exterior walls