June 24, 2014
I have to tell you about my recent experience with greys!
Eighty percent of the homes we paint have at least one grey feature wall. Grey is the new neutral and will be for some time to come.
Living in a climate with so much grey through the fall, winter and spring it is imperative to choose the right shade. All colours are greatly affected by flooring and the warmer the floor, the cooler the grey the walls can support.
It is the undertone that affects warmth or coolness of any colour, and for grey you get blue (cool) or yellow (warm).
There are other subtle undertones but we’ll keep it simple.
I recently had a client fuss heavily over which colour to choose, since their floor was brown/grey. However, this client desired a cool grey as the main colour.
Looking at small chips is always a challenge and I knew the colours being chosen would not work. I also knew sampling was a required part of the process. I find I do more education than selling and allow the client to decide what is best for them once they are educated.
So we sampled cement grey (client’s choice) and Edgecomb grey (my choice). Cement grey came off like a parking garage and was rejected altogether. Edgecomb was viewed as taupe and not grey at all.
Then we played around with all the grey chips and discussed undertones and what would work best with floor. We landed on classic grey. It definitely was lighter and more subtle, but was agreed upon by everyone. The whole family agreed, which is amazing as it happened to be my family!
To close the story I highly recommend warmer greys for the lower mainland area, and cooler greys can work with southern light and warm floors.
Northern lit homes need the taupe or brown greys to keep the house livable through the winter.
Investing in a designer to assist you with colour choices is a small investment, but one that you will be grateful for in the long run.
My favourite greys are (all Benjamin Moore colours):
- Warm – light – “Revere Pewter” – HC-172
- Warm – light – “Edgecomb Grey” – HC-173
- Warm – accent or powder room – “Metropolis”
- Warm – mid – “Thunder” – AF-685
- Mid – “Grey Owl” – OC-52
- Cool – “Coventry” – HC-169
These are just a few to get you started! I hope this helps you find the perfect grey for your home.
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June 10, 2014
Today’s tip is about painting wood, as I am currently in Edmonton painting my brothers house. It was built in 1962 with beautiful Pella windows, which were stained and clear-coated including casings.
First, we have to mask off the glass with frog tape (and then green tape to hold static charged plastic). Next, we remove the pane of glass that clips in (if applicable); you can have single pane windows for the warm summer months and double paned windows for the winter.
The screens were also wood, so we removed the old screen mesh and prepped the frames for spray by sanding and leaning them against the wall below the corresponding window. Once the paint cures they will be rebuilt with new screens and be touched up.
As with most builds like this the holes were not filled and caulking was not done, so when we primed them we could see all the filling and caulking that needed to be done.
Wood has natural tannins and despite the clear-coat there was a lot of bleed through (brown streaking). To get rid of this we had to use an oil based primer specifically made to stop tannins. We used Sherwin Williams shellac primer, but you can also use cover stain by Zinsser.
We utilized elastomer caulking to prevent future cracking, as it does not shrink and its elasticity allows it to stretch as needed through seasonal weather changes.
For the finish, we chose Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Satin latex. We could not get a hybrid white enough, as all hybrids start off a bit grey.
To finish the windows, we did 4-5 coats and the build up has left us with a gorgeous finish! Definitely more labour intensive than new construction though!
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June 3, 2014
I am often asked which is better for wood surfaces, and it really depends on the current state of the wood and if there is existing product on the wood.
Regardless, it must be clean; we often pressure wash and combine eco-wood stripper, cleaner and/or brightener.
Stain soaks into the wood a bit more and tends to wear away by flaking rather than peeling like paint. Oil paint will crack and peel, while latex flakes but remains in larger pieces.
Let’s break it down a bit further:
- Siding/Fences – new wood or previous latex/oil stain. There are lots of options but we like Benjamin Moore Arborcoat hybrid stain when the wood has stain existing on it. It sticks to everything, has UV protection and comes in virtually any colour. It also comes in natural wood colours or even a clearcoat just to protect wood from the elements. There are less expensive options that we have tested, but Arborcoat outperforms them all!
Decks – this is one of the hardest surfaces to maintain. The simple fact is with weather it is impossible to stop the wood from wearing away. Regular maintenance is required and it is best to strip off all old products and start fresh. On decks we always recommend translucents – they’re oil based and require only 2 coats if you follow the directions closely. There are a few choices, including Arborcoat, Flood, and Duckback, each with varying colours of wood tones.
The hybrids are not as good as oils for this application, as wood has natural oils in it and therefore oils soak in further and bond with the wood better.
So if you are tired of redoing your deck and never happy with the results, strip it all down, clean, brighten and sand (not too smooth or you close the grain and it will not allow product to soak in!) then re-coat with the right product.
We are always happy to help and there is a lot more one could talk about regarding wood, so stay tuned for future additions.
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May 27, 2014
Let’s talk about getting ready for your painter to arrive!
Clients always ask “What can we do to help get ready?” – here are some answers (in no particular order).
- Drop light fixtures if ceilings are being done. Never use paper around light fixtures as they are a fire hazard.
- Remove faceplates, put each room’s into a zip-lock baggie and label them. Great time to wash them and the switches, after the sanding and painting of course!
- Remove all breakables and pictures. If you would like a hook to stay where it is leave it and remove nails and hooks from all holes you would like filled. We do this as a standard.
- Move all items into rows in the room; if ceilings are being done it is important to leave room to access light fixtures and all wall/ceiling edges. If so inclined, you may cover items in plastic.
- Taping has its place but seldom is it needed especially for straight lines! We can talk about this more later. I use it in prep to label colours!
Gimmick tools don’t work – a good brush does.
Just so you know the process is ceilings and casings first, then crown if you have any, to walls and afterwards sills and baseboards.
If inclined to help fill holes see my previous tip regarding wall reparation.
If your kitchen is being painted, we recommend you have the slide kit for your fridge; we do carry sliders for moving heavier furniture, however we cannot always get under the back of some fridges. Just a thought as no one wants a scratched floor!
We always need a shop area and will discuss this and a place to wash brushes/sleeves as we proceed. Sometimes outside is best!
Daily communication is key to discuss job progress and set up for the next day. It is much easier to leave a job set up as much as possible as this saves time which means it saves you money!
Remember, always ask even if you think if is a dumb question; it is better than not asking and wondering! Especially if it is about a blemish that may be repairable.
Preparation is always 75% of the job.
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May 20, 2014
As we kick into spring season, many homeowners are spending time working outside. It’s a good chance to see how the exterior of your home fared over the winter months.
Recently we were pressure washing the exterior of a home and caught that there was no caulking around some of the exterior and interior beams where they met the siding.
It’s important before pressure washing that you check your home for areas of potential leakage.
We take great care to ensure water is not put into the home or behind the siding.
A good way to avoid this is to do any caulking prior to pressure washing. Also, try not to aim directly at the house but rather use a wand or a ladder to wash up or down, not straight at the house.
Old windows and doors often leak so we request someone be home or put towels down and then check for leakage and clean it up if there is any. A great way to ruin a floor is for water to sit on it for hours until the client comes home. Thankfully, we have always taken the needed precautions to avoid this!
Another important tip is the machine you use for pressure washing. Electric power washers generally do not have enough pressure.
The higher the psi the stronger the water stream is that comes out of the machine. You can add TSP or 30 second cleaner for stubborn areas, and use a wand with a scrub brush attachment to help remove moss and mildew.
There are different tips that can be used and these can greatly improve the cleaning time.
There are some paints that do not let mildew and algae grow on them, ever! They last up to 15-20 years and we are happy to discuss these options with you.
Sidewalks and driveways can be clear-coated to reduce yearly cleaning. Keep your eye out for future Tuesday tips, we’ll be going over decks soon!
Have a great week!
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May 13, 2014
Today I wanted to share something we have been doing a lot of; painting cabinets! Kitchen cabinets, vanities, mud rooms, dressers, etc.
Again it is all about preparation!
Kitchen cabinets especially take a lot of abuse and I have seen a fair share of failure.
We prefer to paint/stain cabinets for resale or with a 5-7 year renovation in mind. The reason for this is that professionally painted cabinets will last longer and be more durable as you receive a lacquer finish, which we just cannot do in a home. It’s just not possible; a shop is required to do this.
We are in the middle of painting some wooden cabinets which are 40 years old! They are/were dark stained wood with a clear-coat lacquer finish.
Removing the hardware (new hardware will be installed and we were lucky to find replacements at Lee Valley), we cleaned the cabinets with lacquer thinner and removed years of grease and dirt. They were then sanded down and dusted.
We applied to the bases (or styles) cover stain, then let that cure before applying General Paint’s Monamel Hybrid paint. The doors were completed by hand as it was easier. We are using the garage and some 5 gallon buckets to place the door on for curing, doing one side at a time. It’s a slow process but the best one for this project.
We will apply 2-3 finish coats before putting the kitchen back together.
We will post some pictures of some recent cabinets that are completed!
It greatly brightens the room and since the cabinets were so old, we sprayed the inside of the styles/bases as well.
We have a very happy client and the end results are beautiful!
Next week – popcorn ceilings painted for the first time in 40 years.
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April 29, 2014
By now most of you will know that preparation is the most important part of a good paint job.
Whether it be filling holes, fixing blemishes, or making a seam disappear, there is a specific filler to use for each job to maximize results.
As these tips are short and sweet, I recommend you challenge yourself and if you need help with a specific patch job, please message me so we can discuss the details and get you moving forward efficiently.
For patching ceilings – there are so many different types of textured ceilings! Some spray cans are available for doing small patches, but are really difficult to use even for us experienced painters. So for any textures, it is best to send me a picture and I will help you sort out what the best option would be; I’ll even put you in touch with a pro I know who does excellent blends of different textures!
For drywall ceilings, we recommend either drywall mud or for small patches, use Drydex spackling which turns from pink to white once dry.
For drywall walls, use Drydex spackling for small patches and drywall mud for larger patches. We often tint our wall patching materials to assure we can see it, especially on newly primed walls.
Patching knives are more flexible than scraping putty knives. By now you know having the right tool for the job makes all the difference!
For MDF and wood, using wood filler is best, although some of my team likes to mix a ration of wood filler with Drydex. Since Drydex often shrinks when filling holes, the wood filler does not so we get a smoother, faster finish.
Take care that the wood filler is yellow and not too gritty as we have come across some odd wood fillers that do not create a nice finish. Wood filler also takes a little longer to dry, and it is imperative you wait until it is completely dry to ensure easier sanding. Wood filler can be difficult to sand, so building up layers is ideal.
With bigger holes or seams, often using mesh tape or a mesh patch can be helpful
Protecting door handles from making holes in your walls is important and should always be done prior to patching and repairing, otherwise what is the point?
One key is to not overfill, and remember to push in volcanoes with a blunt end – I like my 9-in-1 tool for this. When filling a gouge, pull the knife along the gouge; play with this and see how more mud stays in the gouge when you fill in the same direction.
I could go on and on, but hopefully this helps and gets you on your way to smoother substrates!
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April 22, 2014
Hello, I hope your week is off to a great start; once I get past Monday, which is generally very hectic, I find the week goes by smoothly.
Even better when I have the right tools for the job at hand!
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about patching – this week I will go over how to paint a patch.
The tools you will need:
- Small brush or regular 2.5 inch sash
- Small roller – pictured
- Paint can opener
- Rag to put down and protect floor (newspaper works well too)
Dip the small brush into your paint and apply onto the patch, then roll out smoothly with the small roller. Lightly feather the edges so you don’t have any ridges.
The first coat primes or seals the patch and will let you know if you did a good job filling. If not, let it dry, mud again (see last week’s tip), let it dry, sand, and try again.
Trial and error teaches you a lot!
Once the first coat is dry, apply the second coat and feather it out again.
Once it has cured (which usually takes a couple of days), hopefully your patch blends in and you can call it completed!
If you are having any issues, such as bubbling or flashing, please give me a call and we can troubleshoot and resolve the problem.
Best of luck and happy painting!
P.S. Easter eggs are fun to paint too! I have found some great ideas while Easter egg painting – I still like the old fashioned way of drawing with crayons and dipping them in food colouring!
Until next week!
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April 15, 2014
April showers brings May flowers! However, in April we also have lots of cherry blossoms and daffodils, and it’s so nice to see these colours bloom around us! We also celebrate 8 years in business – Powell Painting is as old as my daughter, Jade! Pictured here with cherry blossoms in the background.
I learned something this week that I already knew but was able to prove by sampling Aura paint by Benjamin Moore against Regal by Benjamin Moore as well. The sample of Aura was richer, deeper in colour and covered the old wall colour better!
See the picture below of classic Grey oc-23 on the far right, with Regal to the left and Sherwin’s matte to its right.
It was more obvious in person, but by spending a little more on paint we will get 2 coat coverage versus 3 coats, so it’s well worth the extra investment!
We will be doing this for more clients so we can show the quality difference when you invest more in your paint selection.
Call us for a free estimate as we are already booking into May right now.
Also exterior season is nearly upon us and we will share more with you about preparing your exterior for paint. Preparation is everything and big stretch caulking is by far superior when it comes to sealing cracks found on your home.
Until then, remember this current rain means gorgeous colours come May.
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April 8, 2014
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I believe there is no point in painting unless you are going to properly prepare your walls. This tip is for drywall and not plaster, as plaster is unique – we will be happy to help should you still have plaster walls!
Remove all pictures and pull any nails from the wall if you are not hanging them in the same spot; otherwise, leave the hole so you can rehang them using the same hole.
Often a hole leaves a volcano looking opening in the wall; to fix this, use the metal end of you multi-tool to push the “volcano” in, then apply some Drydex spackling across the holes, dings, and blemishes with two putty knives. Ensure you make it as smooth as possible. Drips and sags in the paint can also be pushed in to make the blemish concave and easy to fill.
Drydex spackling goes on pink and once ready to sand it dries white. Two light fills are better than a heavy fill, as you would have to spend extra time sanding.
Use a medium/fine sanding sponge to remove excess mud and lightly sand to a flat surface.
Run your hand over the patch to make sure your work will be flush with the wall upon applying paint.
Next week we will explain how to paint a patch!
Good luck filling!!!
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