Ever wanted to know how to fix a hole created by a doorknob? George Maxson gives the steps for fixing these types of holes.
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!
So you just got a great deal on a new home but the bad news is, the last people to live there were heavy smokers and the walls look as though they are dripping nicotine. Now what do you do? Well I am glad you asked because we have the answers that will get those walls looking like new. It is also helpful to note that this process will also work for damage from small fires. So let's get started.
The very first thing you're going to need to do is wash those walls thoroughly. Be sure to mask the electrical outlets as you'll be using a good deal of water and we don't want you to have a shocking experience. The walls will need to be washed at least twice with a big sponge and a product we recommend called Krud Kutter. This is a very strong product so be sure to use rubber gloves. Depending on how bad the smoke damage is you may want to mix it a little more strongly than it recommends but no more than a one to one solution. As we said wash the walls at least twice and then rinse them to be sure you've gotten all that nasty nicotine and cleaner off the walls.
Now you need to prime all of the surfaces in the home. We recommend you use BIN alcohol based primer. This has a very strong smell but it dries very quickly and that is key to locking down that nicotine smell. You may want to invest in a disposable respirator for the priming process. They are not that expensive and it will save you that nasty headache you get working around a strong smelling primer. Using water-based primer is not a great option. Even though they promise to block out the stains, the smell may not get locked in as well. Once you have primed everything one time let it dry thoroughly and repeat the process of priming. This ensures that smell and stains are locked down completely. This may not be necessary when using the alcohol based primer but it is critical if you have chosen to use the less smelly water-based primer. At this point you are ready to proceed like a normal paint job.
Some other things you will want to keep in mind that aren't necessarily related to the painting but will help you in this recovery from the smoke damage are…
- having the ductwork cleaned
- changing out all vents in bathrooms
- removing the carpet and
- replacing window coverings
Materials 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
Painting a home can be a large project to tackle. Maxson Painting is here to help, today we are going to cover the crucial first step of any painting project, preparation. The type and amount of preparation needed before beginning your exterior paint job varies according to architecture and the condition of the substrata (the surface that you will be covering). That said, here are some basic first steps to a great exterior painting project.
- First pull back any dirt or plants from the base of the house to allow 2 to 3 inches for painting below ground level.
- Next identify any areas of mildew and treat them with a one to one solution of household bleach and water. If there is extensive mildew you may want to use a garden sprayer to apply the solution. If you choose this route be sure to keep surrounding hardscape and plants wet as a way to avoid damaging them.
- You will want to pressure wash the exterior of the house. A high-pressure nozzle on your hose could be used but I would strongly recommend renting a pressure washer from your local Home Depot or Lowe's. This will ensure you get a good quality washing before you start painting.
- Use a paint scraper, wire brush, or power sander to remove any loose and failing paint. Ensuring that all loose and failing material is removed from the substrata is critical before moving on in the project.
- Apply a coat of primer to all raw wood. Priming raw wood is very important even with paints that claim to be paint and primer in one. It is best to use a product designed for priming specifically as opposed to a paint that's trying to do the job of both the paint and primer.
- Next identify any cracks and uneven areas in the substrata and address those using elastomeric caulking and flexible patching products such as Flexall. Using flexible products is a little more difficult when patching because it shrinks and can take more than one coat. However, traditional spackle is very hard when it dries and tends to fail sooner than the flexible products.
- Once you have patched all the uneven areas and cracks you will need to re-sand them and prime them to ensure adhesion of top coats.
Now you're ready to begin applying your finish coats of paint. In our next blog we will discuss how to select the right paints for every surface on your exterior painting project and provide tips on applying them.
Materials and tools
- Garden Sprayer
- Pressure washer (recommended)
- Paint Scraper, Wire Brush, or Power Sander
- Primer (avoid paint+primer)
- Elastomeric Caulking
- Flexible Patching (i.e. Flexall, DAP)
- Putty Knife
- Sand Paper