How do I know I need to repaint my exterior?



  • Some time prior to the paint peeling or blistering if you look closely (especially on wood or a wood product siding) you will see very small cracks in the paint or they may even appear as a very small ridge or raised area. At the top of the raised area or ridge you can see a color difference no more than the size of hair, that is a crack in the paint.  This will allow water to seep in behind the paint and absorb into the wood, it is then trapped behind the paint which will rot your siding. After this process repeats its self many times the paint will begin to peel.  Be aware at that point the wood siding has been wet several times and the decay process has started.




Is pressure washing a good alternative to removing old peeling paint?



  • Though we carefully pressure wash almost every exterior job, NO, it is not for paint removal.  To promote paint adhesion, we use a sodium hypochlorite solution  to kill mold and mildew on the building and pressure wash it clean. You must be very careful during this process!  Pressure washing can cause severe damage to wood or wood product siding.  If too much pressure is used, the wrong tip in the wand, to close or improper angle of approach can all cause the water to actually remove part of the wood. We call this tracking.  You may not be able to feel much difference at all in the surface but when painted you would see tracks and marks randomly over the wall. The only way to repair this is to completely sand the siding to a good smooth and level surface or replace the siding.




Do I need to prime my home each time prior to re-painting?


  • Any areas where paint is removed down to raw wood needs to be primed.  The best primer for raw wood is oil base (in most situations) even if you intend to apply latex as the finish paint.  In most situations latex can be applied over oil base but you never (as a rule) want to apply oil over latex.
  • For interior, all bare wood, new drywall, joint compound, plaster or spackle needs to be primed. All of these require 3 coats of paint or primer to properlly seal the surface. Not doing so will result in a difference of sheen/shine, otherwise known as "flashing." For previously painted surfaces that require no repair, priming is generally unecessary. 




Can You paint vinyl siding?


  • Yes!  Modern Paint Retailers produce many task specific products, such as paint for vinyl siding.  Not all paints will adhere to vinyl and plastics.  Therefore, you also need to be careful with color selection because dark colors can damage vinyl products.  Sherwin Williams vinyl safe paint comes in a wide selection of colors with a few fairly dark selections.



What is Solid Stain?



  •  Soild Stain is a common alternative to paint. It has a solid color apperance, very similar to the look of paint. The difference is that solid stain can be applied directly to wood without the use of primer becasue it is designed to penetrate the wood instead of laying on the surface like paint does. One of the benefits is how stain tends to fade away rather than peel away as it ages. This can save you a lot of money in preparation costs. Solid stain is a product best applied to wood with some texture. Rough side clapboards and shakes accept the stain very well while smooth surfaces are more often painted instead. 



Does wallpaper have to be removed, or can you paint over it?

  • The factors that should be considered are: is it loose, what type of wall is underneath, was it sized properly, and how long do you intend to live there. We usually recommend complete removal, because it prevents problems in the future. It is a labor-intensive task, and sometimes it is not practical. If the walls weren’t sized, it will be difficult to remove and will likely cause damage to the wall, which must be repaired before painting. Often the only way to decide how problematic it will be is to try a test sample. In some cases, it is better to spackle and sand the seams, and paint over it. Especially with older homes that have plaster cracking problems, painted over wallpaper can actually look better because it prevents cracks from showing.