Frequently Asked Questions about Painting

1.- How do I maintain my interior painting job?
Interior paint typically gets dirty in many situations: hand prints around switches and knobs; splashes in kitchens and bathrooms; marks on hallways and corridor; “soot” accumulating above electric lamps and other heat sources. Removing dirt before it accumulates not only improves appearance, it reduces chances of it getting permanently embedded in the paint film.
Check for dirt periodically; and assume it will be present in and near cooking areas (airborne cooking oil) and at all places at hand height. Always initially clean the surface with a mild detergent with a sponge or a soft cloth; resort to harsher cleaners only when necessary, recognizing that alkaline cleaners can dull the sheen or gloss of oil based paint. Abrasive cleaner will burnish nearly any paint, and will dull the gloss of satin, semigloss and gloss products. Washed surfaces should be rinsed thoroughly because residual cleaner can interfere with adhesion of paint applied later.
2.- How long will my exterior painting job last?
Generally exterior painting job will need to be redone every 5-10 years. Stucco tends to last longer, wood on the other hand expands and contracts more with changing temperatures which loosens the paint sooner.
It is best not to put off your exterior painting until the house is badly peeling. When it gets to that condition it will end up costing you more in preparation time and possibly dry rot repair work.
If however the property is in a bad condition when you get to it, do yourself a favor – go the extra length and ensure that thorough surface preparation is done. The idea is to create a sound surface for the new coats to adhere to. This requires more time but is necessary for the paint job to last.
3.- What is Elastomeric?
Elastomeric Waterproofing System is normally used on exterior stucco and often when the surface has a lot of hairline cracks. Elastomerics are formulated to be applied in very thick coats and when applied correctly, due to their high elasticity, they have a special capacity to span hairline cracks permanently. Instead of these cracks reopening on your stucco the Elastomeric would stretch and keep them sealed up. This then keeps water out and protects your home from damage. Elastomeric looks much like any other paint and it can be tinted to most colors.
4.- What color should I choose?
It is generally understood that color combinations that appear pleasing are made up of colors that are in harmony or in balance with each other. Colors that do not appear to agree with each other or that clash are not in harmony.
Whether on the interior or exterior painting we normally start a client out with a chart of stock colors. Stock color paints tend to perform better due to the process of their manufacture.
On the exterior paints chart there is also a nice variety of harmonious color combinations to choose from. Another very good way to get started on colors at exterior color selection is to take a drive around the neighborhood and find similar houses to yours to see what others have done with colors there. This way you get a very good idea of what the final look of your home might be.
We can provide you with cardboard brush outs, or roll out samples directly on the areas to be painted. Many clients find this process helps them to better visualize the final result.
5.-Oil or Latex?
Latex paints are more environmentally friendly than oil based paints. With oil based paints there are paint fumes to contend with can be particularly bothersome on the interior painting job. There is also a by product of dirty paint thinner that requires a trip to your local toxic waste site. (We always get rid of this waste as part of our work). There are other factors as well: Latex primers and finishes have been improving tremendously over the years and are very durable. For instance a latex finish on an exterior painting job will stay elastic for years where oil based paint dries to form a hard and more brittle film. Surfaces expand and contract with weather and while the latex paint will move with the surface – the oil will tend to crack sooner with this movement.
The advantage of using oil paints is that it will give you a smoother look as it tends to layout better on the surface not showing brush marks as much as latex. Also, as was already mentioned, oil dries hard so it tends to be more washable than latex.
6.- How do I know if I have lead paint?
If your house was built prior to 1978 chances are it has lead paint on it. A lab test can be done or a simple inexpensive tester can be purchased at your local hardware store if you want to make sure.
7.- How is lead paint dealt with?
There are procedures set by Lead Paint Ordinance on how any work involving lead paint is to be done. These procedures are worked into our approach to the painting work and our painters are trained on all the necessary steps to take. We start with having a containment barrier to ensure that the paint chips do not go where they’re not suppose to, that being onto your or your neighbor’s property, or into interior of your home. We clean up daily and bag the paint chips for proper disposal.