Wallpaper is still popular on commercial jobs. We are currently doing some wallpaper as part of a new Woodhouse Mazda project in Bellevue. It is not very popular on residential jobs. What we do most often is remove wallpaper on home projects.

It is best to remove wallpaper when possible but sometimes it is better to seal it and paint over it when it is going to cause too much damage to the walls in the removal process. When this situation arises the process is time consuming but not as bad as what is involved with wall repair when the paper won’t come off easy.

The first step is to make sure the paper is truly well adhered to the wall. Sometimes the paper is tight at the seams because they have been glued but the paper is fairly loose beyond that. If it has a good bond then you should be good to proceed. The areas need to be taped off for painting. Next is two coats of a quality oil base primer. Make sure to wait a fair amount of time between coats to insure the first coat is dry.

Oil Priming Wallpaper

Any bubbles that may appear will need to be cut out and re-primed. Those bubbled areas will need to be skimmed over with drywall mud as well as all the wallpaper seams.

The areas that get drywall mud will need to be sanded and re-mudded as needed. Sand all those areas smooth and double prime with an alkyd primer.

Now it is a standard 2 coats of finish and clean-up. This system works but can be a bit time consuming. As long as you don’t cut corners it will work great. One note of caution. When dealing with an alkyd or oil base product, clean up is more of a challenge. Pay attention to any drips, etc. Clean them up while wet.

Dreaded Paint Blister

Dreaded Paint Blister

There are a few reasons you may get a blister on a new or newer exterior paint job. One reason is if the paint is applied within the dew point. You have probably heard a weather man mention the dew point and wondered what the heck is that or “why do I care about that”? The dew point is the temperature at which the moisture in the air will condense on a surface. Like moisture on the side of a cold beer glass. If you paint within the dew point the paint can’t adhere to the painted surface because of that moisture so it cures to itself. It’s just hanging there and will eventually form a bubble or bubbles.

This is easy to avoid. Paint only when the exterior temperatures are many degrees above the dew point and not expected to drop into or below the dew point until the paint has had a chance to cure. This type of failure is common when exterior painting is done in the fall or early spring and the painter isn’t monitoring the weather. If the painting is done in the fall you may not see the failure until next year in the spring or summer.

The “dreaded paint blister” as I like to call them is when the blister is formed because the original coating fails after a new coat of paint is applied over it. Normally there are many older coats of paint and it is on a older home with cedar or redwood lap siding.

There is no way to foresee this type of failure. These homes often pass through power washing without the paint coming off and there is no magic coating or primer to put on the home prior to painting to prevent this from happening. You just have to deal with it after the fact and here is how.

  1. Cut out the bubbles.
  2. Prime the area with an alkyd primer. I like XIM 400 white.
  3. After the primer has dried. I wait 24 hours. Skim over the area with a quality exterior spackle. I like MH Ready Patch.
  4. Sand the areas smooth and reapply more spackle if necessary.
  5. Prime again with the alkyd primer.
  6. Paint the areas again.

I will paint the patched areas after they have been primed and then repaint that side of the house again so it has good coverage and blends in well.

The “dreaded paint blister” is one of the last things I want to discover on a project. They can become very time consuming when fixed correctly.


We took delivery today of a new Man lift. You only have to rent one a few times and it’s paid for. We have rented various lifts for so long it just makes sense to buy one now with all the commercial work we have on the books for the rest of the year.

We got a smoking deal on this one. About half what similar ones are going for!! Will make changing the light bulbs in the shop so much easier. Ha ha.

Epoxy Floor

Epoxy Floor

epoxy floors
Mid Grind

Epoxy floors are labor intensive but they sure look beautiful when done. To do the job correctly, you must grind the floor. Some people don’t. Big mistake.

We use a hand grinder in hard to get to places like this job. There was no way we could get an upright grinder down the staircase so on our knees we went.

epoxy floors

A vacuum system is essential when grinding concrete. So are ear plugs. It’s a very loud process. If you don’t use a good HEPA vacuum system you will very quickly fill the room to the point of not being able to see. Breathing that is very bad too.

After the grinding is complete we use a special concrete patch material to fill cracks and holes. There are very few patch materials that can do the job and be top coated. The 2 component material we use can be top coated in 8 hours but we wait 24.

epoxy floors

The patch material must be sanded after it’s cured. After which we vacuum again.

The primer coat is next. We double prime our epoxy floor jobs. On this job we are using MegaSeal primer and self leveling top coat. Once you get to this stage it is very important to observe the re-coat windows. How long you wait before applying the next coat and the maximum amount of time you can wait to recoat. Not paying attention to this is disastrous.

The self leveling product we used for the top coat is MegaSeal. Not an easy product to use. The pot life, or how long you have before it sets up, is about half of what they advertise so you have to work quickly. It is mixed up, poured out and spread on the floor. It gets cross rolled in two directions and then before it sets up we use a spike roller on it to release any air bubbles. All of this is done while wearing spike shoes. I haven’t fallen yet but I have had many close calls. This process is done again after the first coat cures over 24 hours.

A finished epoxy floor.