Pets And Paint fumes

Pets And Paint fumes

Pets and paint fumes don’t mix. Just like you, pets are sensitive to the strong fumes paint can produce and remember some pets, like dogs, have a much more acute sense of smell and may be even more sensitive then we realize. Cats, dogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards… all can be bothered by paint fumes.

One group of pets that are often overlooked are fish. Some people assume they are safe in their tank but the opposite is actually the case. Fish tanks have aerators which actually take the air in a room, and the fumes, and run it through the tank. Fish are often more susceptible then any other pet.

Breathing the fumes from solvent based paint, stain, etc. can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea in both you and your pets.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your pets out of the area where painting or staining is taking place. Take them to a relatives or friends house for a couple days. Almost all paint and solvent fumes will dissipate in a couple days with adequate ventilation.

Pets and paint don’t mix. Most pets are curious and may walk right into a work area, paint supplies or right into paint.

Another cause of concern besides fumes is ingestion. Even low VOC (Volatile organic compounds)  paints have compounds that can be deadly when ingested. Many latex paints contain glycols, including ethylene glycol (antifreeze) which will cause kidney damage and failure when ingested. If you believe your pet has ingested a paint or solvent, take them to the Veterinarian right away. If you notice vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, difficulty walking or standing or difficulty breathing, take the pet to the Vet.

Pets become valuable parts of a family and are entitled to love and protection.

Caulk VS Caulk

Caulk VS Caulk

Caulk is an important part of both an interior and an exterior paint job. There are many types and brands of caulk but the two I like the most are the Top Gun brand manufactured by Pittsburg Paint and Sonneborn NP1 manufactured by BASF.

These are two completely different products with different applications. We use the Top Gun products on interior work and prefer the Sonneborn on exterior work.

On the interior applications we usually go with the Top Gun 250 which is a fast dry caulk which will allow us to move much faster on a painting project. This same product can be used on exterior applications but we tend to encourage customers to consider the NP1 which is a Urethane product. It is also much more expensive and difficult to work with but it performs extremely well.

top gun caulk









It is not common to see Paint Contractors using the NP1 because it requires a 7 to 10 day cure time before it can be painted. That causes a significant delay in the project and can make scheduling projects more challenging. It also requires a solvent for cleanup and can be a pain to work with.

Budgets are always a  factor on any home improvement project. We believe in using the best materials possible and like to give options to the customer that make economic sense whether you are selling your home or plan to keep it as your residence. In most cases, using the best materials is the best choice.

3 Colors to Avoid for Painting a Front Door

3 Colors to Avoid for Painting a Front Door

The front door makes a statement that sets the personality of the rest of the house. It is the second thing people notice, behind the front yard.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or you want to create a more welcoming entrance to your home, the color you paint your front door can make all the difference.

Why Color Matters

Yeah, your eye is drawn to a home’s front door. So, what?

You likely felt some emotion when you looked at that front door. Maybe it piqued your interest or creativity, made you feel relaxed, happy, or energized. The color of the door may look elegant, inviting or plain weird.

Most people either paint their front door in a color that matches or compliments the color scheme of the rest of the house’s exterior or they paint the front door in a bold, bright, contrasting color.

Neither of these approaches are wrong. It depends on your personal style and personality.

Yes, the color of your front door tells others about your personality. The color of your front door will shape the expectations others have of the inside of the home.

Here are the connotations given by popular paint colors:


Red front doors are a huge trend right now and the fad doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. A red front door indicates action and that the owners are “go-getters.” Red gives warmth, vibrancy and excitement without being too wild.


Purple gives off an air of sophistication and royalty. If you’re selling your home and you have a purple front door, prospective buyers will expect the home’s interior to be neat, and luxurious. Purple indicates order and perfectionism as well as generosity and helpfulness.


Yellow is eye-catching and indicates individuality, creativity, logic, optimism, cheerfulness and extraversion. Guests to homes with yellow doors expect cheerful and sunny rooms inside. Be careful not to go overboard with the yellow. Painting your whole house yellow, for instance can indicate anxiety and irrationality.


Blue is the most popular paint color. Why? It indicates inner peace, truth calmness and trust. In fact, doors painted bright blue bring in more visitors than any other color.


Black doors indicated glamour, formality, tradition and seriousness. Black doors also give off a sense of protection and security.  Black doors work great with light, colorful colors.


This simple, plain color gives off a sense of cleanliness, simplicity and sterility. Guests will expect a home that is clean and organized.

While most colors are safe to use, there are three colors you should avoid.

The Three Colors to Avoid


There is a good reason why orange is one of the cheapest paint colors. It is bright and energizing, but not sophisticated. This unique color indicates the need to be respected and accepted, it also indicates that the homeowners seek out challenges.

Orange doors are rare because it is hard to pull them off well. If you’re looking for something truly unique and different, however, an orange door can be for you.

Orange doors are not commonly seen because they send the message that the owners are either cheap or weird.

The only homes that can pull off an orange door are those with orange accent colors, such as a dark gray, or are expensive, luxury homes.


Brown has been the traditional front door color, common in years past. Now this color indicates cheap, boring, dated and plain. Dark brown doors also look somber. While brown is not necessarily a color to be avoided on the exterior of your home, it shouldn’t be on the front door.

Pale Green

Green doors add vibrant color to your home and is one of the most popular front door colors. Green traditionally indicates wealth, prosperity, peace and serenity. Green is often associated with plants and nature. Vivid green hues add personality and make a statement.

Light or overly pale green hues, such as sage can be bland and boring. These softer green hues are hard to compliment with other exterior paint colors: it is too light to compliment other light, muted colors and it has too much color to contrast darker, vibrant colors.

If you’re looking to paint your front door and need advice on color selection or have it professionally painted, contact the Painting Company today.

Painting Estimate The Good And The Meh

A painting estimate is your first contact with a professional paint contractor. Everyone has their own style but there are basics that should be included in all written estimates. The key word is written. All estimates should be written out. You should not accept anything verbal. Some Paint Contractors have a painting estimate form they have made, others use generic forms, whatever the case may be it should be in a written format.

The estimate should have the basics like your name, address, etc. and it should include the Paint Contractors information like address, phone, etc. and it should be very specific as to the scope of work to be performed.

One item often overlooked is how long the estimate is good for. Are the prices good for the summer? 30 days? It should be specified. I once had someone call 2 years after receiving an estimate to say they were ready to have their house painted. Our estimates state they are good for 30 days by the way. The prices for materials change regularly.

The most important thing is the price. Included with that should be any terms like a percentage down and any other payment terms like forms of payment. Are credit cards accepted? Credit card fees can get pretty high. It can cost a Paint Contractor hundreds of dollars in fees to take a payment by credit card so it’s best to work that part out ahead of time.



Full Prime Exterior House Painting

Full prime on all exterior surfaces like siding and trim prior to top coating them with a quality latex is almost always a great idea. If it were up to me, most exterior paint jobs would have full primer and 2 coats of the highest quality latex, but often price is an overriding factor. The fact is that labor is the single biggest cost on a paint job, so I encourage customers to go with the highest grade paint and a full coat of primer should be considered. Is it absolutely necessary? No but it will add to the longevity of a paint job.

Being in business for as long as we have, I can look back at previous work and see that the exterior residential paint jobs that have lasted 15+ years (including my own home) have 2 things in common. Full primer and high end top coats.

The thickness of the layers of paint on the exterior to your home are a major factor on how good the paint acts as a barrier to the elements and time. When you add a full prime to the package you are building up the thickness or mils of that barrier. In the United States paint film thickness is measured in mils. One mil equals 1/1000 of an inch. A piece of duct tape is about 4 mils thick. Gorilla brand duct tape is about 16 mils thick.

Keep in mind that primer does a lot more then just building up those mils. It seals, bonds and levels out the porosity of the substrate.

There are times when full prime should not be considered. For example paint can reach what is called critical thickness. That is when forces causing the paint to peel away from the siding exceed the bond holding the paint film against the surface. If there are many layers of paint on a older home then removal of those layers should be considered. That is time consuming and expensive but sometimes necessary.

Staining Log Homes

Staining log homes takes a lot of work! The key to a successful job is how well you clean it first. Quite often when we are asked to stain a log home it is well overdue and in dire need of attention. Power washing and getting it ready to go takes a lot of effort.

It is important to use chemicals in combination with the power washing. One of the best cleaners for this process is DeckBriteWe normally use 2 to 3  of the large 3lbs containers on a log home. Technically that’s 22 gallons of cleaning solution, but we actually double up on the mixing ratio a bit so it makes less then that. When using DeckBrite the best way to mix it is in a five gallon bucket and when ready transfer it to a Hudson sprayer. Don’t mix it in the Hudson sprayer. The sprayers almost always get clogged if you do that. When the granules are mixed with water, the water turns blue. When the water looses the blue appearance you are ready to use it.


staining a log home








We like to mist the cabin logs with water and then hit it with the DeckBrite. Working in sections starting at the bottom works best. The cleaner should remain wet and given time to work, then hit it with direct spray at a relatively close angle to the logs. You will see the color and dirt being stripped  away with the force of the water. You need to be fairly close to the logs with the spray pattern for it to work. This means ladders and power washing which is not the best combination for safety sake. This is a job perhaps best left for the professional paint contractor and it is a process that takes time.

Adequate dry time is important. When it is good and dry after power washing, it’s time to stain. When staining a log home I like to use Sikkens stain. It is expensive but you will get many years out of this product. Using an airless sprayer and low pressure works well. Back brushing and working the stain into the logs is a must!


Painting Steel Siding

Painting steel siding is something we do every year. Many people are not sure if it is something that can be done but it can be under the right circumstances. We normally do a simple test to determine if it is wise to do. It’s easy to do. Take a rag and wet it with MEK. Wipe the surface of the siding. Rub just a little bit. If the color on the siding comes off onto the rag, you have a good candidate for painting.

Priming is necessary. We use a bonding primer. XIM 400 is a great choice. You can also go with an epoxy primer but I like the XIM. After the standard prep, like power washing. A light sprayed coat of primer is sufficient.


painting steel siding before








A quality latex top coat is the next step.

painting steel siding after








The coatings on steel siding tend to chalk over time. When you are doing your initial inspection, look for signs of chalking. Run your hand over the siding. If your hand is dusty/chalky. Then you will want to be sure to incorporate a good cleaner with the power wash. I like Simple GreenIt works well. Be sure to rinse a couple times.

Moisture Vapor Tests

Moisture vapor tests are a critical component of any floor coating project but they are often not performed by many paint contractors or contractors that specialize in only doing floor coatings. This is a curious thing to me because the tests themselves are not expensive although the process can be time consuming and kind of a hassle so maybe that is why the test often gets blown off.

A moisture vapor test is where the amount of water vapor passing through a concrete floor is measured. If there is too much moisture passing through the floor the coating will fail. If the floor already has a coating on it and it is failing, it may be because of excessive moisture vapor.


moisture vapor tests. area is ground and test placed.








Moisture vapor tests are not difficult to do. They can be obtained at several different outlets like AmazonMoisture vapor tests are all comprised of the same things. A calcium chloride “puck”, a ph test kit and a clear shield to place over and seal the test as it is being conducted. You will also need a gram scale.

Once you have the test or tests the first step is to grind an area on the floor to be tested. You will want to grind away all existing coatings and get to the concrete. If there are no coatings, grind an area to insure a clean test. I normally grind an area the same size as the clear shield. For best results wait 24 hours after grinding before placing the test.

Next step is to weigh the calcium chloride puck. Weigh it with the lid attached. You may notice the puck has the weight already written on it. Measure it just to be sure and record the result.

Next step is to place the puck on the test area (without the lid on). Be careful to not spill any of the calcium chloride. Pull the tape backing off the shield and cover the test puck. Press down around the perimeter of the shield to make sure it is stuck well.

moisture vapor tests. weighing the calcium








When I do moisture vapor tests, I wait 60 hours before reweighing the puck. The difference in weight is what you will use to determine the vapor pressure. The kits all have the formula you will use or there are many websites that you can plug the numbers into to get the results.  The reason for running the test for a longer period of time, like 60 hours, is to get a good sampling of the moisture emission. All floor coatings have different limits for maximum vapor pressure and there are special primers that can be used when there are higher then anticipated numbers. If the number you get is below 4, you are good to go.

Knowing what the moisture vapor pressure is will insure a successful floor coating.

The formula, in case you need it, is:


Difference in weight X 2.057 24 1000 = A

Number of hours test is run 454 = B

A /B = lbs of vapor pressure for 1000 sqft.


1.3 (difference in weight)  X 2.057 X 24 X 1000 = 64178.4

60 hrs X 454 = 27240

64178.4 / 27240  = 2.35lbs