Search Painting Topics on this Blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Professional Trim Painting.

Q: How do I paint trim professionally?
A: Generally speaking, you shouldn't try, but depending on the scenario here are some tips.

If you are going to paint previously stained woodwork you should really consider hiring a professional.  There are a lot of steps to take to ensure the primer and top coat adhere.  It is time consuming and smells bad.  I've written previously about it but generally speaking, it should be done by someone who has done it many times before.  If done well, you can make stained oak look great.  If rushed, you will regret it.
With that said if you have previously painted trim work and just want to brighten up, you can use a product by the name of "Advanced" by Ben Moore.  I like it because the luster of the finish is like an oil and it lays down much nicer than a lot of the latex enamels.
Prior to the top coat however, you should take these minimum steps.
1.  Scuff the surface.  Use a medium purple sanding sponge.  It should chalk the surface.
2.  Vacuum the surface.  Use a brush on the end of the hose.
3.  tac cloth the surface right before brushing on the paint.

Nick Dettinger-  Complete Custom Painting LLC
651-336-0561 cellular

White Bear Lake Painter.  Interior Painter.  Exterior Painter.  Painting Company Twin Cities.  Twin Cities Painter.  Painting Company Twin Cities.  Painting Company North East Metro.  Deck Staining.  Fine Finishing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The right prep for painting a ceiling.

Q:  Should I use plastic or tarps if I'm prepping to paint a ceiling
A:  BOTH:  Read Below.

If you're getting ready to prep and paint a ceiling and want to protect the flooring you should take a few simple steps.  1st:  use painters plastic on all furniture, the tops of cabinets and carpet.  2nd: Use tarps on any wood or tile surfaces.  Generally I recommend using tarps on surfaces that are slippery (in either case be careful).  I personally buy the plastic backed tarps or thick woven tarps which are a little more expensive but block any spillage.
What tends to happen is paint splatter from the roller falls down and as you walk around some of it will stick on your shoes.  Make sure you prep the area so you are always walking only in those areas where you have something on the ground (or outside).  Then take your shoes off before moving to those areas that are not protected.
I see a lot of ceilings that have roller marks in them, un-matched texture, roller lines (because they were rolling too long or pressing) and then we get called in to fix the mess.  We appreciate it.
Specifically with texture repair, I am consistently asked to fix areas that were butchered by someone that didn't know the correct way to do it and didn't have the experience.
Painting a ceiling correctly is not as easy as you may thing, and there are more steps than you think.  If you are going to tackle it though.  Take the time to prep the area correctly by covering everything,...everything.
Call Nick at Complete Custom Painting
651-336-0561 cellular

Twin Cities, MN Painter  

 Here on the carpet and the couch we used plastic.
Here we used tarps on the carpet and taped off the on the brass.  In this picture the painter is rolling to the left of the fan but when we roll above the fan we take some painter plastic and throw it over the top of the fan blades.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

How to make sure my painted walls turn out perfect

Q:How to make sure my painted walls turn out perfect?
A: Read Below.

There are a few steps you'll want to take to make sure your walls turn out well when your painting.
1.  Make sure you see everything:  A professional painter should ALWAYS make sure any surface they are going to paint is well lit.  If you can't see an imperfection, you'll likely miss correcting it.

Here you can see we use a 3 stage light and a small light to carry around on an extension cord.  The large light move from wall to wall and the smaller light acts as an inspection light.
2.  Skim the wall in 2 stages.  Once before the prime coat and once after.  Also sand the entire wall.
3.  Use a primer:  There are a lot of reasons why, yes, even though almost all acrylic paints now advertise "prime and paint in one," there are aspects to a primer that perform independently from paints that claim to prime and paint in one step.  Especially when mud is involved (and should always be involved.)
4.  Make sure you are using appropriate techniques.  There are a lot to expand upon here.  You can discuss it further by calling Complete Custom Painting LLC
651-336-0561 Ask for Nick

Friday, November 30, 2012

How do I get different species of wood to look the same after staining them

Q:  How do you get different species of wood to look the same after staining
A:  Read Below and then call Complete Custom Painting: 651-336-0561

Recently we had a job in a very nice house where in a french door was made of Red Oak and the jamb and casing were white oak.  This all butted up to white oak baseboard which had already been finished (more than 10 years ago).  So the question was, how to get the white oak to match the existing white oak, and then make the read oak match also.  Below are some pictures and an explanation of how it turned out:
 Here is a white oak jamb and casing but the door is read oak.  I had two samples made and was carrying two types of stain.  You can see that the read oak appears darker (more red of course) so I thinned it and it matched much better.

In this picture I used the the same two stains but put them on different items.  You can see that the red oak is now extremely red compared to the white and the white oak, is a little too light.  I scrapped this match but added a little of it to the other stain when I applied it to the white oak.  I didn't use any of it on the red (it would have been way too red)

Here is the Read Oak French Door next to an existing door that was White Oak but was in the house for 15 years or better.  Extremely close match and the varnish isn't on it yet. (after the varnish it should be spot on )

  Here is the casing, jamb and french door.  2 types of stains were applied and it was thinned down dramatically when applied to the red oak to make sure it wasn't too dark. This is before the Sealer and Varnish were applied so the amber effect will make it match exactly. While red oak will not ever be exactly the same as white oak (because the idea of stain is to see through to the wood and allow the woods natural color to come through the transparent color of the stain you are going to have different looks from species to species and board to board.  Depending on how opaque the stain is you can make it match.  The more transparent, the more likely you are to see the difference.  However by using 2 types of stains and knowing which colors will mute out certain tones you can get even different species of wood to match pretty well.
Call Complete Custom Painting 651-336-0561  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can you shade varnish with stain?

Question: Can you add stain to varnish to shade it?
Answer:  Yes, but be careful...

Shading has become popular in lacquers.  Lacquers can only be used in a sprayer (or at least the catalyzed lacquers that builders seem to be in love with).  You can do something similar with varnish but the amount of stain you can add to varnish is very limited in comparison to lacquer.  Adding stain to varnish to shade it slightly can cause a real problem if you add too much.  It can separate while drying and destroy your finish.  In addition, it is advised to avoid it entirely if you have universal colorants at your disposal and you can get the same finish by adding those to the varnish.  Since universal colorants are n longer universally carried by professional painters you can add a very small amount of stain to shade your varnish to achieve a darkened look.  This occurs in several scenarios:  Old casing with new inserts on windows, new doors with old jambs, where a shoe meets a new wood floor etc etc etc.  The scenarios are really endless but the important thing to know is that if you do it with a varnish, it can be brushed or sprayed where as with lacquers you are more limited.  Below is a pic of some doors that were replaced in a home with a fire.  Most of the doors were OK and kept in the house but the owner wanted to speed up (slightly) the new doors with a shaded varnish so we did this in a sprayed finish.  They looked great.
COMPLETE CUSTOM PAINTING for any of your painting needs.

651-336-0561 cellular
Ask for Nick

Friday, November 9, 2012

An easy way to save your customer money

Q:  Can you mix paints?
A:  Depends, see below

Generally speaking if you are using interior water-borne paints with the same sheen you can mix them.  I don't recommend it in the event a customer has signed an agreement where you are charging them for one product but then mixing it with another.  But their are a few scenarios where it works pretty well.  For homeowners not working with a professional painting contractor and they want to throw some paint on an old shed (just to clean it up) the general rules are as follows:  You can mix water based interior paints with any other water-based interior paint of the same sheen (and the sheen really doesn't matter if you mix it with a paddle drill and continually stir it through the application process).  You can also mix oil based paints (interior with interior and exterior with exterior).  Just make sure the paint is not lumpy, you've filtered it, and you mix it with a drill and paddle.  I don't recommend this for a painting contractor working with a homeowner.  In the event a homeowner has purchased a job with new quality products, it is wrong to cut the product they've purchased.  In one rare case however, I had the following example and it did work to save the customer money.
Example:  We were painting a house for re-sale (a foreclosure house for a bank), and there are multiple colors in the home, and the agent wants everything painted one color, it may be hard to cover everything in one coat.
My recommendation is to purchase the darkest color in the beige family that will cover in one coat.  (or match it to the darkest beige on site that is acceptable to the seller) and then mix in white on the job site to lighten the color as needed.  That way the painter is saving time (because they don't have to paint multiple colors in multiple rooms) and the customer is saving money (because in at least some rooms you can cover in one coat).  Of course you'll need to put 2 coats on some walls and areas.  I would not recommend this for a homeowner looking to stay in their house.  I would also not recommend it on any area where durability is a concern.  There is no one coat product substitute for the quality process of:  one coat primer, 2 top coats of a quality acrylic paint.  With that said, a lot of people are only looking to clean up the look of their home for staging purposes and are looking to save money.  This is a simple way to save them a few dollars on the job site.

As promised, here are a few pictures I've added after the fact that show the walls.  These smart phone images are as clear as I can make them but I hope the point is clear that after one matching coat (after all mud was primed of course) the finish is prefect for staging.
Call Complete Custom Painting for any of your painting needs:  651-336-0561 cellular

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What is a safe way to remove Graffiti without damaging the undercoat?

When one of our fellow citizens runs around at night and decides to paint all over your business, home, commercial building, parking ramp, retaining wall etc etc it causes you a headache.  Their is a new product that we used recently that can remove the graffiti coating and leave the under coat safe from marring, scraping or the  cumbersome task of having to fully paint everything to match.
There are 2 types of products available (both are lemon based out of Australia).  One is for graffiti done on softer surfaces like a previously painted wall and one is for graffiti done on hard surfaces like block, retaining wall, ferrous steel.
On this job a large building in St. Paul was "tagged" and the property manager called us.  We were able to fully remove the graffiti without damaging the pre-finished aluminum siding.  There was no marring and no scraping.  Also, we were not required to prime and paint the surface (which could have voided any manufacturer warranty)
For safe, effective graffiti removal call Complete Custom Painting
651-336-0561 cellular phone

  Product hoisted up 30 feet with rope.

  Cleaning in Process.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Painting Steel Railing

Q: Should I paint metal railing?
A: Depends on the type of metal?

Generally speaking a person can paint metal railing if it is not pre-finished or polished aluminum. Aluminum is coated with a Zinc Primer in a shop and normally baked on so the finish holds up better. If you are required to field paint it you should use a minium of 2 coats of a zinc primer and top coat it with a top quality paint if you want it to last. I normally don't recommend painting pre-finished aluminum. If you have a old set of gutters that are aluminum and are chipping and fading and you are convinced you want them painted then you can do it but the process requires quite a bit of care and as always I would recommend using top quality products. We are often asked to paint steel railings, light posts and I always recommend to following process:
Sand and wire brush any rust. Angle grind it off (if it is more than flash rusting). Prime with Moisture Cure Urethane. Top coat with an industrial oil enamel.
It should last a long time. In the above picture we are painting some railing at a very popular location in St. Louis Park, MN. We were hired by a large property manager

Contact Complete Custom Painting for any of your painting needs.
651-336-0561 cellular Phone