If your home in Ventura or Santa Barbara county has only been mildly affected by the smoky environment caused by the Thomas Fire one option you may want to consider is a product from Sherwin-Williams.
Here is an example of someone using the kind of advice provided in our blog and making something great!
In this case it was one of our customers who wanted to restore a picnic table using the touch up paints we provide at the end of every project. We provided the step by step instructions found in our blog, they did the work and you can see how nice the results were...
See how it was done here: How to Finish a New Picnic Table
Painting your concrete garage floor can bring a much needed face lift to your space, here are the steps needed for completing your next project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTU3sflz3VI
We recommend starting your project by aggressively sanding the floor using a floor sander that you can rent at most any rental yard or Home Depot.
- Use very coarse paper 36 or 50 grit and sand the floor completely.
- It is critically important to clean the floor thoroughly after sanding.
- Start by vacuuming the dust from the floor.
- Most manufacturers recommended using an acid wash.
- Next you'll want to patch any large holes using a patching compound recommended by the manufacturer. Smaller cracks can be filled simply by applying a generous amount of paint.
- Next you'll want to apply your first coat of paint (there will be two total)
- Cut-in (paint with a brush) around the edge of the space, this helps avoid hitting the edges with your roller.
- Roll the paint on evenly filling any small cracks with paint
A two coat process is highly recommended even if the manufacturer says you only need one coat. The second coat will help the floor last longer and give you better coverage. As an option you can purchase vinyl paint flecks that match your floor. In order to apply these follow these steps:
- Paint a small square of floor
- Shake on the flecks, be sure to apply them in small patches while the paint is wet.
- Leave yourself a little room between painted sections so that you can overlap the floor paint properly without picking up fleck in the paint.
Using at least one coat of clear finish is strongly recommended because it will help seal the paint flex and give your floor greater resilience.
A couple cautionary notes, floors tend to be subject to hydro-static pressure from under the slab. This sometimes leads to paint failure and no manufacturer will guarantee against that. Also, most all floor coatings today claim that they will resist hot tire marks, but we have found over the years that it can sometimes still be a problem.
Here's hoping your floor project comes out looking spectacular.
Disposing of paint may seem like a simple process but it may be more complex than you first thought. It may be tempting to throw out old paint in the garbage but first you will need to know if the paint is oil based or water based.
If the paint you want to be rid of is oil based the law says it is hazardous material and it must be recycled by a firm the is qualified to handle these products. This can vary widely by state and locality. The easiest way to figure this out is to google “where can I recycle old paint near me”? In California this includes many paint stores funded by a tax on every gallon of paint sold. Also local recycling centers usually will take up to ten gallons.
Water based paint can be thrown away if they are fully dry. If you have some water based paints you would like to get rid of without going to a recycling center we have quick way to dry out the paint so that it is suitable to throw away. Buy some of the cheapest cat litter you can get and stir that into the paint. Let it stand a while and once it is good and firm it can be thrown out in the trash. If you are looking at a full gallon of paint you will need to use a five gallon bucket to give yourself room to add enough cat litter.
Summer is here and you need a new picnic table for your backyard. The good news is you saw one at the local home-improvement store for a very reasonable price. The bad news is it's not finished, it's raw wood. What do you do? Here are three basic options: clear sealer, staining with a clear sealer topcoat, or painting. With any of these options you will have a weatherproof service that will allow you to wash off any cute child size fingerprints as well as the last vestiges of your evening picnic.
The best place to start your project is by finishing the table before you assemble it. If your table is already put together you can still finish it in the assembled condition. However, the places where one piece of wood meets another will not get thoroughly finished, therefore they are not protected.
Clear Finish Option
If you like the look of the wood the picnic bench is made out of you may want to take the simplest of all options which is to apply three nice coats of a water-based or oil-based clear sealer. We are talking about varnish or polyurethane here. The oil based products are a little smelly, but they're incredibly durable. If you want the most bulletproof of all clear finishes, they can be found at your local Marine supply store. I personally like Epifanes oil based full gloss varnish for this type of project. Oil base can be smelly and take a long time to dry, so as an alternative you can use a high quality, water-based finish from Rust-Oleum.
- Pre-sand all the wood
- Use a very short nap roller and a good paint brush
- Thin the first coat just a little bit with some water, this helps it soak into the wood better.
- Sand in between each coat using a fine sandpaper after the second coat. This should give you a smooth finish.
- Strain the clear coat after the second coat to be sure there are no particles from earlier coats contaminating that last glorious coat of finish.
The paint option offers you a wide variety of colors. Some folks like to two-tone paint the bench and support members to give a fun and colorful finish to the picnic table. When choosing your paint it is important to note that you will get a little more wear and protection out of semi-gloss but if that's just too shiny for you the satin should work just fine for many years.
- Pre-sand the wood before you get started.
- Apply a full coat of primer to all surfaces with a good oil-based or water-based exterior primer.
- Allow that coat of primer to dry thoroughly
- Apply two finish coats of satin or semi-gloss exterior enamel.
- Follow the sanding and straining instructions in the first option.
Our last option is to stain the bench with some nice semi-transparent stain. I strongly recommend on oil based semi-transparent stain. The water-based semi-transparent stain doesn't seem to provide as nice a finish as the old oil base products. After you select your stain color and apply it, you are going to want to put at least three coats of the clear finish we discussed earlier over that stain to protect it from the weather.
Stain and clear finish steps
- Pre-sand the wood
- Apply your stain using roller, brush and then wipe off excess with a rag.
- If you are using the oil based stain do not stack up those rags as they can spontaneously combust… no kidding!
- Hang them to dry for a day or two or soak them in a bucket of water.
- Apply three coats of the clear sealer as we discussed above.
Like any surface if you live in a place where you get a lot of rain or snow you may want to cover the table to increase the longevity of your finished product. With the clear coat option you will want to keep an eye on any deterioration and recoat the weathered surfaces about every 12 to 18 months. A light sanding and a quick coat of varnish will extend the life of your new table by many years. Enjoy your summer fun!
Your once beautiful deck has started to look a bit shabby so you have decided to restore it. This is a worthy project but it's going to take some elbow grease. Maxson painting is here to give you some tips that will help restore that faded deck back to it's former glory.
In general there are three types of deck coating; transparent, semi-transparent, and solid. The rule of thumb regarding stain is that the more opaque the material the longer it will last. In other words, transparent stain, having very little pigment, will last the shortest amount of time. While solid stains, with the highest amount of pigment, will last the longest. I do not recommend using paint on your deck there is too much moisture intrusion from the sides and the bottom. Once the moisture starts getting in the paint will start popping off, and we don't want that do we?
Be sure to mask any surfaces such as spas or doorframes that you don't want damaged. I use red vinyl tape as it resists moisture better than any other product available. Once the masking has been completed you will want to get the deck wet and then apply a deck stripper or deck cleaner to the entire surface. Go back to where you started and apply a bit more deck stripper. Scrub it with a stiff brush and repeat this process over the entire surface of the deck. Once you are done you will need to wash the deck off, you can use a hose or power washer. Next you will want to apply a deck brightener to bring the deck back to a natural wood color. Apply this product according to label instructions and then rinse thoroughly. Once this has been accomplished you will want to let the deck dry out before you take the next step. Once the deck is dry, sand the entire deck with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper. This step is needed to remove the furring that has occurred from the restoration process. Be sure to remove all the dust after your sanding, you don't want the dust in your finish do you?
Now at long last you're ready to start applying the stain. There are a lot of good deck stains out there; Super Deck, Flood, and the top line products from Lowes or Home Depot. Each of these performs about the same. Good luck and here's to a great looking deck and a summer of fun on it!
Removing wallpaper can be a breeze or it can be a real challenge. The great news is that you never know until you are well into the project which of these experiences you're going to have. Okay that’s not such great news, but unfortunately, it is reality. Here are some tips to making the process a little more bearable and to ensure a long lasting, great looking finish.
The first step you are going to want to take is to protect the floor and other surfaces around the area. We recommend masking the floor and other items with plastic. Next, line the floor at the bottom of the wall where you are removing wallpaper with old towels or newspaper. This comes in handy later when applying the wallpaper remover or water to rinse the wall.
I would recommend buying a product called the Piranha because it is inexpensive and will make the whole job substantially easier. The Piranha perforates the wallpaper allowing the wallpaper remover solution to penetrate through the paper and begin softening the glue. Other companies make similar tools that can do this job.
Once the wallpaper has been adequately perforated you can apply a wallpaper remover of your choice. If you want to save a few dollars regular liquid dish soap also works pretty well. Apply the wallpaper removal solution generously using a squirt bottle or garden sprayer. If you are reluctant to do any spraying then purchase a large sponge and soak the walls that way. Remember to generously soak the surface. Let the solution sit for at least 15 minutes allowing it to work. Once it has had time to soak in I find it best to re-wet the surface at the point where you will begin the removal process. Re-wetting small areas as you work on removing the paper acts as a lubricant making the job easier and causes less damage to the wallboard.
Removing the wallpaper can be accomplished with special wallpaper removal tools or wide, stiff, putty knives. Take your time removing the paper. Every gouge in that wall is a gouge you will have to fix later. If the wallpaper is resisting your efforts and just plain refusing to come off then you may need to rent or buy a wallpaper steamer. These work well but they add cost to the project and can be messy. This tool is fairly straightforward, it has a tank with water that gets heated and a large square device that you rest on the wall to heat the glue to a point where the wallpaper can be easily scraped off.
Now that all the wallpaper has been removed go ahead and take a large sponge and a solution of that wallpaper stripper that we purchased earlier and wash those walls down as you want to get as much of that glue off as possible. I recommend sanding the wall to remove any debris left behind from the removal process.
The next step is to apply a full coat of stain blocking primer to the walls where the wallpaper has been removed. This is a very important step. The process seals in the remaining glue that has soaked into the wall. If you skip this process it is likely that a year down the line the finished paint will begin to crack as the glue seeps out.
Once the wallpaper is off, the walls are washed, sanded, and primed you can patch and texture the walls as needed. If you had to make some large patches or texture spots go ahead and seal those with the primer used earlier. Congratulations you are now ready to paint using one of those great zero VOC paints we recommended in our earlier blog. Good luck!
Material and Tools
Popcorn, Acoustic, Stucco, Cottage Cheese, whatever you may call it, removal of this type of ceiling finish is very popular. The temptation to remove this unsightly mess off your ceiling can be strong and you may want to jump right in. But before you start scraping it away there are a couple things you should know so that the project is done properly, looks good, and most importantly you stay safe.
The first thing you need to know is that homes built before 1980 could have asbestos in the acoustic. Asbestos is a fibrous material that was used to help protect against fire. It has since been linked with multiple lung disorders. Testing for the substance is an important first step. Homes built after 1980 rarely have asbestos in the acoustic ceilings but it may be prudent to test anyway. It is important to take responsibility for testing before you proceed with your project. If your test is positive you will need to contact a local asbestos removal contractor. Be sure to sit down before you get the estimate as this can be a very pricy endeavor. In lieu of removing the asbestos-filled acoustic, the acoustic can be painted using specially designed light weight acoustic paints. These products perform best when you spray them on. Often the directions say you can roll them, I would avoid that if at all possible as it may damage the ceiling and disturb the asbestos.
Now you are ready to start. Your first step is to fully mask the floor.
- Cover the floor with plastic
- Lay a second sheet of plastic over the first. (Trust me you will like this step)
- Lay some plastic outside the door of the room where you are doing the removal
- Place an old towel on top of that to help contain the acoustic being removed
Next you will want to wet the ceiling to minimize the amount of dust from the removal process. You can use a garden sprayer or carefully use a hose to do that. Make sure you do not over saturate the acoustic as you do not want the drywall underneath to become too wet. Once the ceiling has been dampened you can use a wide drywall knife, 8’’ or 12’’ knives work well, to carefully remove the wet acoustic. I say carefully because the more nicks and scrapes you inflict on the drywall the more you will have to fix later. Once all the acoustic has been removed roll up that second piece of plastic and haul it to the trash can. Let the ceiling dry overnight. Setting up a fan to keep the air moving is a good idea. The next day sand the ceiling to get any residual acoustic off the surface. Use 100 grit drywall sandpaper or drywall sanding grids for this step.
Next you should skim coat (apply a smooth layer of drywall mud on) the whole ceiling. This can be done by using a 9’’ roller, drywall mud and the widest drywall knife you can handle. Ideally you will have two people for this. The process goes like this…
- Thin the mud just enough to get it to roll out.
- One person rolls out the mud and the second person smooth’s it out with the drywall knife.
- Excess mud from each pass can be put in a drywall pan.
- Turn the fans back on and wait until the mud is fully dry.
- Once it is all good and dry sand the mud again and repeats the process.
Hopefully after letting the second coat dry and sanding it you will have a surface that can be textured using a texture machine or painted as it is depending on the finish you would like to have. Flat paint works best on ceilings as it shows less flaws in the finish. You will also want to caulk the corners in between paint coats to give yourself nice clean corners.
Materials and Tools
- Drywall knives
- Safety glasses
- Hose or Hudson sprayer
- Tape (red vinyl works well when using water)
- Drywall mud
- Sanding pole
- Drywall sandpaper or sanding screens
- Flat paint
- Dust masks
- An old towel
- Texture machine
- Mud pan
Examples of materials you may need
Asbestos Test kit
Dryfall Acoustic paint
The term VOC gets tossed around a lot these days. Let’s start with what VOC stands for. The term refers to volatile organic compounds. Sounds bad right? I hear you asking, "but what does that mean?" Simply stated VOC's are the solvents that get released into the air as paint dries. There are other kinds of VOC’s but we are dealing strictly with what is a emitted from paints in the drying process.
In oil based paints the solvent is paint thinner. As the thinner in the paint evaporates it releases high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds; this is one reason they smell so strong. In water-based paints the solvent is, well, water so when it evaporates there is less smell.
Now you're thinking, "I've got it" so let me throw you a bit of a curve. There are a lot of other compounds in paint, some that help it flow out evenly (we will talk about that in another post), some that allow it to cover better, others that help with washability and the list goes on and on. Even the tinting colors used to make that perfect color for your bedroom contain VOC’s. And you guessed it, as they dry they escape into your home.
This brings us to why you should care about VOC’s. These low VOC pants are designed for painting the interior of your home and the byproduct of them releasing low or no VOC's is low or no odor as you paint your home. This is bad news for those of you who like the smell of fresh paint but good news for those of you who are concerned about the level of toxins being released into your home. Your paint store or, better yet, your local painting professional can give you more information on these great products. As with selecting any paint choose the best quality you can afford and the results will speak for themselves.
In our Pro Tip Series we attempt to answer frequent questions that homeowners have.
In today's post we tackle the question: Why is the paint peeling off my doors and trim?
There could be any number of reasons for this surface condition, the most common cause tends to be water-based paint having been applied over oil based paint. Water-based paints have a lot of great qualities, sticking well over oil based paint just isn't one of them. This can be a real challenge to repair, but it can be fixed if you take the right steps.
What are those right steps you ask? Well that’s a great question and I’m glad you asked.
The first step is to check and see how well the paint is sticking. Meaning, it is not coming off easily when scratched with your fingernail. In the best case scenario the paint is still sticking fairly well.
If this is the case follow these steps:
- Lightly sand the failing paint
- Apply a coat of oil based primer on top of the water based paint.
- Next lightly sand the primer to get a smooth surface
- Finally apply two coats of quality semi-gloss enamel and you're done
If the paint scratches off easily with your fingernail, you will need to follow these steps:
- First remove all loose and failing paint using a stiff putty knife, paint scraper and sandpaper.
- Once this has been accomplished sand the surfaces thoroughly
- Apply a coat of oil based primer
- Next lightly sand the primer to get a smooth surface
- Lastly apply two finish coats of quality semi-gloss enamel.
If you just hate the idea of using oil based primer, check with your local paint store and explain the situation. Depending on where you live they may have a water-based primer that will do the job for you. Good luck with your painting project!
Your friendly professionals at Maxson Painting