Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets is very popular across the country and Omaha is no exception to this trend.  While there are many websites pushing this as a DIY project, it can be challenging to even the professional to get it right.

If painting your kitchen cabinets is something you are considering here are some things to keep in mind.

This is a time consuming task and it is very disruptive to your routine. Having your kitchen torn apart for a week or so can be very stressful. Plan ahead. How will meals be prepared and served? Often in addition to the kitchen another area like part of the garage will be used to work on the doors/drawers. That’s another area you may use the use of for several days. Allow yourself the time needed to have the job done right. This isn’t something that fits into a tight schedule.

There are many steps that must be taken to do it right. There are solvents, primers and paints and each one has an odor associated with it. While containment areas will be set up for sanding and painting, odors will travel through your home. Some of the products are probably not the type of thing you have smelled before.

Know what to expect. In almost all cases the cabinets are wood. So in the end it will look like painted wood. The cabinets will be caulked and puttied as needed and the grain will be filled in after several coats of paint but in the end painting your cabinets will not transform them into a perfectly smooth plastic like finish.

All the doors and drawers are going to be removed. In most cases the contents of your cabinets can remain, unless you want the interior of the cabinets painted as well, but they will be masked off so you will not have access to what’s in them. The drawers will in most cases need to be emptied.

Pick the right color. If in doubt, we can paint a sample door to display in your kitchen. This isn’t the type of job you want to repeat because of a color your not sure of.

 

Choosing Exterior Paint Sheen

Choosing Exterior Paint Sheen

Most people get confused when it comes to the sheen of paint. What adds to the confusion is that there are no standards for sheen from manufacture to manufacture. One companies flat might look similar to another companies eggshell or satin.

In general, sheen goes from flat to eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and finally gloss. Some companies have high gloss.

In the residential market we are usually dealing with the first four. On interior walls it’s usually flat or eggshell and on exteriors it’s most often flat or satin.

When choosing a color and sheen for the exterior of your home, always pick a high quality product. By doing so you will ensure a long lasting finish (when the proper prep work has been done).

On the exterior of your home, the sheen you choose will effect how easy or difficult it will be to keep your home “clean” and a clean exterior will extend the life of your paint job. In simple terms, the less sheen you choose the more texture the surface of the paint will have. That “texture” holds dirt. Dirt and moisture over time will breakdown the paint film. A slicker feel, like satin will repel water and dirt better.

The number one enemy to the exterior of your home is the relentless Sun followed by the weather. Hot, cold, rain, hail, etc.

After you have had your home painted, there are two things you can do to keep your home looking good and prolong the life of your paint.

#1  Keep your exterior clean. Powerwash twice a year. This should be a relatively low power wash. No chemicals needed. Wash off cobwebs, dirt, etc.

#2 Quickly address any damage to the paint. Hail or animal damage for example. Any penetration into the paint film will allow the elements to get between the paint and your homes exterior and grow into a bigger problem.

I recommend choosing at least a satin sheen for exteriors. It will perform over time and it’s not so shiny as to look “funny” in your neighborhood. The smoother finish helps repel dirt and moisture and it’s easier to clean. One thing to bear in mind is that flat paint hides surface imperfections and as the sheen goes up, imperfections begin to become more noticeable. This may be an issue for older homes with a little more wear and tear on them.

If you like the look of a flat finish, choose a top quality product and be more diligent about keeping it clean. I had a satin finish on my own home for the last 15 years and just switched to flat. I just like the look better so in the end you should choose what you like the look of and be prepared to work a little to keep the exterior looking nice.

Critical Steps When Painting Exterior

Critical Steps When Painting Exterior

Exterior Painting

When we do an exterior estimate we list the various steps we do before getting to the painting. Usually the first step is power washing. If there is lots of carpentry work that needs to be done we will do that first and then power wash. It is not a good idea to power wash a home if there is bad siding or window trim. It can cause additional damage. When washing we will use various chemicals to clean and kill mold/mildew. It is very important to completely clean the exterior of a home before painting.

After The home is clean and dry we move into sanding, priming and caulking. All are critical for a great paint job.

 

Caulking

Skip a step and there will be a problem. We recently did an exterior that was going to need carpentry work. When we got into the carpentry it became obvious what the cause of all the damage was. When the home was previously painted many of the windows were not caulked. Caulking is critical. The water had a path into the home and caused lots of damage to not only the siding but the sheathing and structural framing as well.

caulking is important
Caulking Fail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is easy to take a step or two for granted but as you can see, they are important. The home in the photos looked like it needed to be painted but there was no obvious sign that extensive damage was taking place. There were a couple boards that looked like they might need replacing and a couple bowed pieces of siding. Once we got into the carpentry it was quickly obvious that not only was there water damage but carpenter ants had moved in to feast on all the rotting wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On exterior residential paint jobs we list 21 steps that will ensure a quality job.

We have both highly experienced painters as well as  a couple skilled carpenters on staff. If you think your home may need carpentry work to go with a new paint job, give us a call!

How to Clean Paint Spills

How to Clean Paint Spills

They say there’s no use crying over spilled milk, but most people will cry over spilled paint. It can cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to paint over where it has spilled. As a rule of thumb, it is always better to clean up paint when it is still wet.

For some types of surfaces and paint-type, you can put in a little extra work to remove dry paint too. Here are some tricks for cleaning up paint spills on carpet, tile, hardwood, and concrete floors.

Carpet

One of the trickiest paint spills to clean up is carpet. You must act quickly, but using a wet cloth for small spills will completely remove the paint if it is water-based, like latex paint. If that doesn’t cut it, or the spill is more than small spots, hot soapy water will clean it up. Scrubbing usually spreads the paint, but if the spot is too big, blotting won’t work. If the area is large, try pouring fresh water on the carpet and soaking it up with a shop vac or old towels. A carpet cleaner is great too. Keep the paint wet while you clean it up, because dry paint in carpet is very difficult to remove if you can remove it at all. If the paint is only on the top of the carpet, just use scissors to trim the spots out.

Oil-based paints are a lot harder. Water and soap will do nothing but spread the oil around and you run a risk of combustion. Immediately open the windows and get the air flowing for some ventilation. You can try to soak it up with kitty litter or paper towels, but you should plan to replace the carpet.

Tile

Cleaning up paint on the tile is usually as easy as wiping it up if it’s still wet. The real problem is when it dries on the tile. For some types of ceramic tiles, you can just scratch and peel the dried paint off. If the spill is completely flat though, chances of it peeling are slim. The best tool here is right in your closet. Rubbing alcohol is great for scrubbing paint off the tile. You can even use it in the form of fingernail polish remover. Soak the area and let it sit for a minute. The paint should come off with a little scrubbing.

For oil-based paints, try paint thinner to remove it. Test it out on a small area first, to make sure it doesn’t discolor your tile. You can also try liquor thinner or acetone (rubbing alcohol), but still, make sure it won’t discolor the tile.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are tricky because they absorb so much and risk damaging them further with extreme paint removal methods. The best solutions in these scenarios are citrus-based. Soak the paint splatters for short periods of time and then scrub and scrape it up. You don’t want too much absorbed, so it may take multiple attempts to completely remove the spilled paint. Some good products are Goo Gone and Mr. Clean. Either will do minimal damage to your hardwood floors.

Oil-based paints will soak into the floor. Trying to remove it with any product will remove the finish off your floor. The best thing to do is sand down the area and reapply a stain matching the rest of the floor.

Cement

For both oil-based and latex paints, try using a chemical paint stripper or thinner. There are different varieties of different types of paint bases. Pour some of the solutions on the paint splatter and let it soak in before scrubbing with a brush or scraping it off. The best method is to follow the directions on the back of the container.

Another way to remove latex paint is to let it dry and then scrape at it with a sharp blade. You can use paint thinner first, but if the paint is thick enough, it may just peel off with a lot of time and effort. A power washer can also be used to remove paint from concrete.