Why should I hire a professional painter?

Before deciding to “do it yourself” or hire the cheapest painter in the phone book, there are several factors that suggest the lowest price may not be the best value.

  • Safety – Painting can be hazardous work, whether it’s working on a ladder, dealing with solvents and dust or disposing of hazardous materials. Hiring a professional contractor means that you don’t have to worry about these problems.
  • Health – If your building was finished before 1978, it was most likely painted with a lead-based paint (this can cause serious health effects when it is scraped or sanded in preparation for repainting.) A professional contractor will take appropriate steps to protect both himself and you. On June 1, 1999, remodeling contractors (including painters) were required to furnish an EPA produced pamphlet to their customers before they begin any job that involves disturbing lead-based paint.
  • Preparation – Getting the surface properly prepared makes all the difference (the best materials perform poorly if the preparation is not proper.) Professional contractors know the value of preparation and will do it right.
  • Product Knowledge – Coating choices today are more complicated than just oil or latex, and professional contractors will know what paint systems work, how to use it, and will have the right tools for the job.
  • Cleanup and DisposaL – During any job there is the definite probability that hazardous waste will be generated. Professional contractors will know how to handle these hazardous wastes and how to dispose of them. This means you don’t have to worry about dealing with paint residues and other leftovers.
How do I choose the right contractor?

Once you have decided to hire a professional contractor for a particular project, selecting the right person or firm becomes a matter of price, size of company, and amount of years in business.

What is a paint system?

A paint system is a group of compatible products that give a desired result when they are used together. Normally a paint system consists of a primer, finish coat and possibly solvents.

What is the difference between latex and alkyd (oil) based paints?

The basic difference is in the binders. Latex paint binds the particles of pigment with a latex such as acrylic or vinyl, while oil paint uses a binder or resin that is derived from a vegetable oil such as linseed or soya bean. Latex paint spills can be cleaned up with a damp rag, brushes and rollers can be cleaned with soap and water. Hands can be cleaned with soap and water.

What is the difference between paint and stain?

Paint colors a surface by forming a thin opaque film on a substrate. Stain colors a surface by penetrating into the substrate.

What is the difference between interior and exterior paint?

Interior Paint:

  • Good scrubability and stain resistance
  • Good hiding ability
  • Splatter resistance
  • Easier touch up

 

Exterior Paint:

 

  • Color retention
  • Resistance to fading
  • Flexibility (to withstand expansion and contraction due to weather)
  • Mildew resistant
  • Resistance to bleed
What do primers and sealers do?

The goal of both is to make the finish coat (topcoat) look better and last longer. They do this by providing a variety of properties such as:

  • Stain blocking – preventing stains (e.g., water stains on wallboard, ball point pen ink, or resins from a knot in a wood surface) on the original surface from bleeding through the topcoat and becoming visible.
  • Corrosion inhibition – provide a moisture barrier between the topcoat and the raw metal surface.
  • Chemical isolation – similar to corrosion inhibition in that a primer separates the surface to be covered from the topcoat with an inert material.
  • Bonding enhancement – provides a compatible layer between the substrate and the topcoat. (The topcoat may not adhere well to the substrate. The primer adheres to the substrate and provides a surface that the topcoat can adhere to.)
  • Surface filling – sealers and primers fill/block the porosity of a wood surface so that it does not absorb the topcoat medium
  • Enhanced hide – two effects aid in enhancing the hide capability of the topcoat, a primer provides a more uniform color and it tends to mask any color pattern on the substrate.
  • Protection paint – A clear coat sealer may be applied over a faux finish to protect the layers of pigmented paint. A clear coat sealer is used on automobiles to protect and enhance the gloss of the paint.
Why should I buy high quality paint?

The most important benefit is the tremendous saving in hours of work (and money if you are paying to have the paint applied). Two factors affect this time saving:

  • High quality paint generally covers better than less expensive paints – so less is needed. And less time is needed to apply it.
  • High quality paint lasts longer, in some cases two to three times longer.
What is the best exterior trim paint, acrylic or alkyd?

100% acrylic topcoats are typically better because of their color retention properties and flexibility. However, an oil based primer must be used before using the acrylic topcoat when painting over bleeding woods like redwood or cedar. (A complete acrylic paint system may be used on non-bleeding surfaces.)

What causes paint to chalk?

Chalking is a natural degradation of a paint film when exposed to weathering. It results from chemical reactions with the oxygen in the air and may be accelerated by the ultraviolet light from the Sun. Some common causes of excessive chalking include application of a topcoat to an unsealed surface, overspreading the paint, or poor quality paint.

What causes blistering and peeling on exterior wood?

Generally the cause is moisture getting between the paint and the wood surface. However, it can also be caused by inadequate surface preparation, using a low quality paint, or painting in direct sunlight.

Why can’t I paint in direct sunlight?

Paint needs to be liquid for a period after application for proper penetration, adhesion, and solvent evaporation. The heat from the sun can cause the outer layer of paint to dry too quickly and form a skin over a liquid layer. The skin could result in solvent entrapment, which leads to the formation of blisters. Another effect of a too rapid drying is the early loss of the ability of the paint to flow – this means that brush marks may be visible when the paint is fully cured.

How cold can paint be applied?

This depends on the type of paint (and to some extent the paint’s manufacturer). Latex and acrylic paint should not be applied when temperatures are below about 50°F (10°C). Some specifically formulated paints claim to have application temperatures as low as 35°F (2°C).

What other weather factors must be avoided?

If the temperature is over 95°F (35°) or the humidity is over 85% its best to avoid painting (neither the paint nor the painter perform well under these conditions).

Which is better, a natural bristle brush or a synthetic bristle brush?

The choice really depends on the type of paint being used. Both natural bristle and synthetic brushes may be used with alkyd or oil-based paints. With acrylic and latex paints, however, only synthetic brushes should be used – this is because the water in the medium takes the oils out of natural bristles and they no longer hold their correct shape.

Can I paint over wallpaper?

The simple answer is yes, but, as with all painting projects, the surface must be properly prepared. Any loose paper must be re-attached or removed. The surface must be smoothed with spackle or wallboard compound so that seams and patches do not show. Finally, if a water based paint is to be the coating, the wallpaper must be sealed with an oil or alkyd based sealer. Even after proper preparation, it is possible for the texture and or seams to be visible.