Anti-Graffiti Coatings

Anti-Graffiti Coatings

An Anti-Graffiti coatings are a coating that keeps graffiti from sticking to most surfaces.

Graffiti is a big problem in Omaha and across the United States. The cost to remove graffiti runs into the billions of dollars annually. The coatings are typically either a pigmented paint or a clear coat and are either a “sacrificial coating” or a “non-sacrificial coating”. Non-sacrificial coatings are sometimes referred to as a permanent coating.


Sacrificial coatings are coatings applied to a substrate that will be sacrificed or removed along with the graffiti that is upon it. Usually these coatings only require a high pressure washing to remove the coating and the graffiti. After removal of the graffiti and the sacrificial coating they must be reapplied to prevent future graffiti vandalism. Often these coatings are water based products that have weak bonds to the surface that allows for easy removal.


Non-sacrificial coatings are more expensive then sacrificial but they only need to be applied once. When these coatings have graffiti on them it usually just takes a cleaner or solvent to remove them.

We will be using a non-sacrificial coating on a bus depot for the Metro Area Transit in Omaha. It is a new and unpainted structure so we will be using a clear coating. These coatings require the standard exterior prep of power washing prior to application.

Anti-graffiti coatings have become an integral part of todays society.

Alkyd vs Latex for Cabinets

Alkyd vs Latex for Cabinets

Alkyd vs Latex for cabinets, which is better?

Alkyd paints have been around for decades. In the good old days they were oil based paints. It is rare to find an actual oil (linseed) based paint these days. Today Alkyd paints are usually synthetic resins not oil but they still share many of the qualities of the linseed based products.

The good side of Alkyds is that they bond well, dry very hard and block many stains. They are a durable finish for any project.

The bad side of Alkyds is that they become brittle and crack with time. They also tend to yellow. They dry very slow and have a strong odor.

Latex or water based products have been around for many years. The performance characteristics of latex paints increases yearly. When they first came out they weren’t so great. A lot of research goes into improving water based products every year. Latex paint passed up Alkyd paints in many benchmarks years ago.

The good side of Latex paints is that they bond very well. Dry to a flexible finish and have good durability. They don’t smell like solvent or oil based paints do and they dry fast. Easy water clean up.

The bad side of Latex paints is they can’t block stains like a oil or solvent based product. They tend to not be as durable as their oil based cousins and the finish is much softer then an oil.

Just as a lot of research is going into improving latex paints, there is much more research going into hybrid products. These paints combine the good qualities from both Latex and Alkyd products and this boosts their performance ten fold.

These are the water borne not water based products. Water borne products still contain solvents and synthetic resins. Examples of this are Benjamin Moore Advance which is a water borne Alkyd. Behr Urethane Alkyd which is also water borne. The technology going into this line of paints is increasing rapidly and the products are changing almost yearly.

Alkyd vs latex for cabinets ? The correct question may be Alkyd/Latex/or a hybrid coating for cabinets. We actually use a hybrid and are happy with the all the positive characteristics and the results speak for themselves.

Omaha interior paint colors and trends for 2020

Omaha interior paint colors and trends for 2020: reflect the same trends for the Midwest in the United States. What’s hot in Omaha is likely to be just as popular in Kansas City.

A lot of research and money goes into predicting what will be hot or popular. These decisions influence design choices, digital marketing, graphic design, paint manufacturers decisions, fashion trends, the auto industry, etc.

If it is important to you or your just curious, here are the predictions for Omaha interior paint colors and trends for 2020.

Interior Colors:

White Heron. An off white. Leans much more towards a light grey.

First Light. Pink. I don’t think this one will take off .

Crystalline. A greenish gray. Potentially a good choice for smaller spaces like a bathroom.

Windmill Wings. A bold blue. A nice choice for a kids bedroom.

Buxton Blue. More of a historic color. Originally unveiled in 1976.

Blue Danube. Beautiful Color. Great accent color. Study or office room color.

Oxford Gray Another blueish grey.

Cushing Green Another historic color. Looks like a good accent wall color.

Thunder. Another grey. Geez. Common guys.

Golden Straw. Meh

Color Trends

Neon colors of the 80’s are back and so is the glow.

Color overlays. See-through color and transparent color.

Futuristic Colors.

Vintage-inspired palettes.

Dark Mode


Colors that carry meaning

Classic Blue Pantone’s color of the year 2020

Common Causes For Painted Cabinet Failure

We are often asked to fix a failed cabinet paint job. Here are the most common causes for painted cabinet failure and how you can avoid them.

Number one: The painter doesn’t know what they are doing. They know enough to be dangerous as they say. Just because you are great at painting a house exterior or interior doesn’t give you the skills or experience to do fine finish work. There is a small number of paint contractors in the Omaha market qualified to do cabinet work.

I have seen some pretty horrible stuff over the years. One of the worst was last year. The homeowner had purchased some fairly expensive cabinets for a new home. The “painter” went to town with a weenie roller. No sanding, priming, no prep at all. While I was looking at this mess, the weenie roller was still sitting in a half dry open can of paint. Wow. The homeowner stopped the process. The cabinets were a total loss. It would cost more to try to fix them then to purchase new ones.

***Check out the paint contractor. Be confident they know what they are doing.

Another type of scary painter is the one that knows how to do it; but doesn’t. They cut corners.

For example: If the Paint Contractor is taking the doors and drawers to their shop to be sprayed but they are brushing/rolling the cabinet boxes in your home. They are only doing this because of the time and material costs involved to prep the cabinets to get them ready to spray. It does take time to prep it out right and it is a pain in the butt but the end results are worth it.

I don’t know how painters doing this type of work can explain it to their customers with a straight face. Do they honestly believe you can’t tell the difference between a sprayed and a brushed finish? Really?

Number two: Poor prep work. You should expect a lot of prep work. It takes days to get a decent sized set of cabinets ready to go. Lots of cleaning, masking, sanding, caulking, etc. Once the process begins you should expect sanding and vacuuming between each coat. Plastic barriers should be erected to protect against dust getting into the rest of your home.

Number three: The choice of products used on your cabinets. This is critical. We use cutting edge primers and top coats. I would put our products up against anything out there. If there was something better I would use it. I am always on the lookout for something better.

Bear in mind that the common causes for painted cabinet failure also applies to stained and lacquered cabinets too.

There are many DIY projects you can do on your home. I wouldn’t include painting cabinets as one of them. We are sometimes asked to fix those projects as well.

These are the most common causes for painted cabinet failure. I guess it should be no surprise that when I go look at a messed up job the home owner often says the painter is out of business. Sometimes, on new homes, they say the same thing about the home builder.

Painting over Lead-based Paint

Painting over lead-based paint is doable. It’s also known as encapsulation. My favorite brand product for this is Insl-X lead block. It has low odor and can be re-coated with most products or left as the finish coat.It has an eggshell sheen.

One interesting thing is it also contains “bitrex” a bitter tasting additive that makes eating paint chips less likely. I never have understood why anyone would eats paint chips anyhow but eh.

The most important thing is to avoid any action that will put lead dust into the environment like sanding. If you do have chips of paint, dispose of them properly.

Lead-based paint is dangerous. Always use a respirator, gloves and eye protection.

If it looks like the paint is peeling or flaking off then encapsulation is probably not an option and you should contact a professional paint contractor to look at the job for you.

If the paint you are encapsulating is in fair condition and you use a quality product like Insl-X you will get about 10 years out of the project based on wear and tear.

The other option is complete removal of the lead-based paint and any other paint along with it. This is a job for the professional. They are time consuming and we don’t do too many of them year to year. This one was done over about 4 weeks.

This one turned out great!! We discovered beautiful cedar siding under many many layers of old paint. Painting over lead-based paint is sometimes an option. Sometimes it needs to be removed. Get the advise of a professional. Our estimates are free.

Quality Cabinet Construction

Quality cabinet construction sometimes doesn’t come to light until it’s time for the cabinets to be finished. We work with several cabinet makers in Omaha. Some are very good. We occasionally have a set of cabinets that are obviously poorly made. Poor joining of materials, bad seams, really bad holes drilled for the pulls/knobs, etc.

Something to bear in mind when looking to have new cabinets made is to consider asking your finisher/painter what their opinion is. We have done work on the work of most of the manufactures in the Omaha market. Even the ones that claim to finish their own work. There is some pretty bad stuff out there.

It is time consuming to re-glue cabinet doors or re-drill drawer glides. We sometimes have to take the work to cabinet makers we are confident in because of our work load.

If you are working with a cabinet maker, ask them if they finish their own work or who they use. If you plan on getting estimates from paint contractors to do the finish work, ask them their opinion on who you may have build the cabinets.

The cabinets in these photos had a glaze finish on the white cabinets and the island and columns, which you can’t see, had a color called black fox. It actually looked more brown then black.

Cabinet Caulking

An easily overlooked detail on a cabinet painting or glazing job is cabinet caulking. I am amazed how many companies doing cabinet finishing work skip this step. Some of the big players in the Omaha market do!!

It is time consuming just like most of the work involved in cabinet work. On average if a cabinet job takes 7 days to do the about 5 of those days are getting it ready to go.

The cabinet caulking or lack of cabinet caulking is not obvious right away but once it is pointed out to you it is so obvious.

See the difference between these two photos?

I have often been asked why i like doing cabinets and I never really have a great answer. It may be because I am very detail oriented as are people that work for me. That is a critical thing on finish work. Especially cabinet work.

There are so many details involved in producing a quality finished product. On this particular job we will be also doing a glaze and we ended up having to fill all the existing cabinet pull holes so we could drill for new pulls the customer had picked out.

As I have mentioned before we use an epoxy filler and a special primer over those areas. It is a great product that we use however it is tedious with all the sanding involved. You can however drill right into the filled in area if necessary without any problem.

Foundation Repair and Paint

Last year we did some limestone repair at Omaha’s Old Market. It was at the corner of 12th and Howard. This was part of a exterior panting project at wheatfields. This was followed by some foundation repair on a residence in La Vista and we used the same process

The home had lots of foundation damage that needed repair prior to our painting it. We used the same mixture as before. A bonding cement mixed with a urethane bonding agent. I mix it up to about the consistency of silly putty. When using this mixture you always want to have several pairs of chemical resistant rubber gloves. The stuff is hard on your skin.

I find that using your hands works much better then any tool for forming and pressing it into the surface to be repaired. It’s necessary to build the surface up with several layers of cement spaced over several days to allow for drying.

Once the surface is where you want it you will want to use a Alkali resistant primer prior to painting. We did two coats primer and two coats of Satin Latex.

The metal railing got and epoxy primer followed with an Aliphatic Urethane. We made certain to caulk where the rails went into the concrete to prevent moisture problems and damage down the road. We used Sikaflex caulk for this. Sikaflex is a single component polyurethane.

Quickie Exterior

If you read this blog then you know I’m a stickler for doing things right. We typically don’t do exterior work in November. Certainly not mid November. We made an exception this weekend with a quickie exterior because the weather was almost hitting 60 plus the fact the customer is anxious.

A quickie

It’s not the time of the year so much as it’s the weather conditions. If the temperature is right and the dew point is acceptable then we can get things rolling.

I’ve mentioned the specifics of acceptable temperature and dew point before so there is no need to go into any detail there. Just stay at least 5 degrees away from the dew point and stay above 50 degrees. Be aware what the conditions will be in the evening and overnight. That’s how most contractors get burned. The conditions are good while they are working but they go bad fast after they have left for the day.

It is very important to make it a short work day. Quit much sooner then you normally would. You don’t want to stop as the weather is getting cooler. You want to quit while it’s still nice out. That’s hard for many. There are still many hours left in the day that can be worked. The paint is curing and needs that time to set up.

This job we will only work maybe 3 or 4 hours a day and only as long as everything stays within the parameters.

Best of Omaha

If you live in Omaha then you are most likely familiar with the “Best of Omaha” contest for all the different businesses in town. People apparently vote for their choice as the best Dentist or in our case Painter.

I know that some businesses really get into it and hire PR people, social media experts, etc. to get their business voted number one. I have had various companies approach me with their pitch to get to number 1.

I have always assumed it was a bit of a gimmick or that it was a rigged “contest” with employees logging in under different names/email addresses to “vote”. That may still be the case, I don’t know, but imagine my surprise when I opened a letter notifying me that we were number 1. Voted the Best Painting Company in Omaha. I didn’t vote and only one person I know voted for us and they told me after I told them of our new professional standing.

we’re number 1

It’s kinda cool. Nice to be recognized. Have you ever voted in one of these contests? I may next time around.

Oh and I got a couple banners, a sticker and the card informing me of the results.