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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a painting contractor?Exterior Finished Paint

The best method is to turn to your friends and neighbors and get a personal recommendations. The personal experience of a trusted friend should not be undervalued. Another important resource is your local paint store. If you don't have a personal recommendation, it is best to get more than one bid on your house. Carefully review each bid, consider the length of time that the job is supposed to take, the experience of the painter, references, the quality and kind of paint, the number of coats, the amount of prep work, and the cost. Remember, the lowest bid is not always the best value.

Do you charge a fee to provide an estimate?

We never charge a fee to provide an estimate. There are many factors to consider when determining painting costs. Condition of surface, size of project, and the complexity of the refinishing itself all factor into the price of the project.

How often should I paint my house?Exterior Finished Doors

A good paint job should last 10 years or more. Factors that can shorten the life of a finish are dark colors with sunny exposures, moisture in the structure, and other problems in the substrate which we take care to address as throughoutly as possible when considering your project. Careful preparation is key to the longevity of a coating. It is best not to let the paint job deteriorate too badly before it is repainted. Paint does more than improve the look of your home, it protects it.

I've heard that you cannot paint under extreme temperatures, is that true?

Yes and No. Paint manufacturers have designed paints to dry under a variety of temperatures and conditions. Many of the new latex house paints dry at very low temperatures (35-40 degrees). Painting at high temperatures is often more problematic than painting at low temperatures. We never paint a surface that has become too hot from direct sunlight or any other environmental factor. Paint needs to dry at a rate that allows it to cure into a durable coating.

What kind of problems can a professional contractor help with?Exterior Finished Ranch Style

Paint problems are correctable and avoidable. Here are a variety of painting problems.

Alligatoring | Surface imperfections on the paint, film have the appearance of an alligator hide.

Blistering | Bubbles appear on the surface of the paint resulting from localized loss of adhesion and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface.

Blocking | Blocking occurs when two painted surfaces stick when pressed together (e.g., a door sticking to the jamb).

Burnishing | Burnishing is an interior painting problem that occurs when the gloss or sheen of paint film increases when subjected to rubbing or brushing.

Caulk Failure | Caulk may lose its initial adhesion and flexibility, which will cause it to crack or pull away from the surfaces to which it is applied.

Chalking | Chalking occurs when the paint film decomposes into a loose powder on the surface. Some degree of chalking is normal, but excessive film erosion can result in heavy chalking. Chalk run-down is the washing down of chalk from an excessively eroding paint onto another area.

Cracking or Flaking | Dry paint sometimes cracks or flakes through at least one coat due to aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint.

Dirt Pickup | This occurs when dirt, dust particles, or other debris accumulates on the paint film. This may resemble mildew.

Efflorescence or Mottling | Efflorescence or mottling is crusty, white mineral salt deposits. These can leach out to the surface on mortar, concrete, or masonry surfaces.

Fading or Poor Color Retention | Premature or excessive fading of color often occurs on exterior surfaces facing southern and western exposures.

Foaming or Cratering | Foaming and cratering occur when bubbles (foaming) form. When the bubbles break during application and drying, they result in small, round concave depressions (cratering).

Frosting | Frosting is a white, salt-like discolored substance on the paint surface. It is most noticeable on dark tints.

Lap Marks | Lap marks are the appearance of a denser color or increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application.

Mildew | Mildew can appear on the surface of paint or caulk as black, gray, or brown spots or areas.

Mud Cracking | Deep, irregular cracks that resemble dried mud form in dry paint film.

Nailhead Rusting | Nailhead rusting appears as reddish-brown stains on the paint surface.

Paint Incompatibility | Paint incompatibility causes the loss of adhesion between coats where old coats of alkyd-based paint was painted over with latex.

Picture Framing on Drywall (Hatbanding) | "Hatbanding" describes a coating with an excessively heavy textured look.

Poor Alkali Resistance | Poor alkali resistance can cause color loss and overall deterioration of paint film on fresh masonry.

Poor Flow or Leveling | Poor flow and leveling occur when paint fails to dry to a smooth film, which results in unsightly brush and roller marks after the paint dries.

Poor Galvanized Metal Adhesion | This occurs when paint has lost its adhesion to a galvanized metal substrate.

Poor Gloss Retention | Poor gloss retention causes a rapid loss of gloss in the topcoat.

Poor Hiding of Colors | Dried paint fails to obscure or "hide" the surface to which it is applied.

Poor Print Resistance | This is the tendency of paint film to take on the imprint of an object that is placed on it (e.g., a shelf, table, window sill, or countertop with books, dishes, and other objects on them).

Poor Scrub Resistance | Poor scrub resistance is a painting problem that leads to the wearing away or removal of the paint film when scrubbed with a brush, sponge, or cloth.

Poor Sheen Uniformity | Poor sheen uniformity leads to shiny spots or dull spots (also known as "flashing") on a painted surface.

Poor Stain Resistance | Paint that fails to resist absorption of dirt and stains suffers from poor stain resistance.

Roller Marks or Stipple | Roller marks and "stipple" are an unintentional textured pattern left in the paint by the roller.

Roller Spattering | This occurs when a roller throws off small droplets of paint during application.

Sagging | Sagging is a downward "drooping" movement of the paint film that occurs immediately after application, resulting in an uneven coating.

Surfactant Leaching | Surfactant leaching appears as tan or brown spots or areas, and can sometimes be glossy, soapy, or sticky.

Tannin Staining | Tannin staining appears as a brownish or tan discoloration on the paint surface from wood tannins migrating from the substrate through the paint film.

Wrinkling | When uncured paint forms a skin, it can wrinkle, making the surface appear rough and
crinkled paint.

Yellowing | Aging paint can develop a yellow cast, most noticeably in the dried film of white paints or clear varnishes.