Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Save Money on a Good Primer

When I have more priming to do in my job it is always dilemma, where to get a primer- in the closest paint store or in these big chain stores like Home depot or Menards. 
Today I will go thru the project where I had to put primer over the spots made by candle smoke. So it means that:
1) I had to consider which primer would block candle smoke spots better.
2) Other thing was- my client wanted to paint the ceiling and walls with one coat. It means primer should have strong pigment so that ceiling and walls after primer coat should be nicely white covered. 
I will be using white paint for the ceiling and one of white colors for the walls. That's how it looked ceiling and walls at the start

I started search for teh primer options. I have checked Home depot store and was considering Zinsser primer, but then I have found cheaper option Kilz primer below $10 price.

When I started priming  the first impression was good, pigment was strong and nicely covered smoke spots. Only unexpected thing was the color. At the start it had gray light tone, but in a drying process it turned to the white color.

After one coat of primer

And then after one coat of ceiling paint (I used Sherwin Williams extra white color flat finish paint- color was close to the primer color) and one coat of wall paint the result was very good!

I want you to know, that I am not advertising any of mentioned brands and stores. My goal is to share my experience with you. Next time I will probably consider this primer again, because of good price, coverage of smoke spots and strong pigment which made surface good enough to finish walls and ceiling with one coat of paint. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

House Painting Questions

Hello everybody! After Easter I decided to put Skype button on my blog. If you are starter in painting business or private house owner considering to paint your house, make some drywall repair work and you have some questions-I am here for you. If you have some practical questions and I can answer them- I'd be happy to help you. Or if you have some ideas about my blog themes I would be grateful to hear from you. Fell free to use it! Thanks.

Scoring tool for wallpaper removal

I already posted about wallpaper removal in my earlier post. Today I would like to focus shortly about Scoring Tool for that purpose. As I mentioned we use it for making small holes on wallpaper for better water absorption  thru the wallpaper .

In my next video I want you to show how does look the back side of the wallpaper after using this tool. You can see water marks on back side. It helps to get wallpaper off the wall, when the moisture gets in.

Our goal is to make big peaces of wallpaper to get peeled from the wall. Because sometimes you can go just inch by inch. It happens when wallpaper crew didn't put sizing primer before starting this process or did put some extra glue on the wall. Sometimes it happens when wallpaper is very cheap and very thin.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

How To Decorate Easter Eggs?

How to decorate eggs it's my question to you today and I have to admit, that it is a weaker side of my painting skills ☺. Every year starting with my childhood growing in Lithuania I usually was involved in a process of decorating Easter eggs. The main technique mama learned me and my brothers to use was onion peals, wrapped around the egg and pushed in to a peace of nylon sock by fixing with a regular thread. After that put eggs in a boiling water with a desirable color of fabric dye (in those times we had immunity against all kind of hazardous chemicals ☺). The Result of decorating was amazing-
colors would be deep and intensive and we would enjoy seeing "maps of the world" on our eggs and competing with my brothers which egg is the most beautiful. 

But today decorating eggs is a biggest Easter challenge to me. I tried hard to move this responsibility on to my kids, but so far it wasn't successful." You are the painter (they say) and it is your responsibility to manage this process". Those products in the market does not work so strong as it used to in my childhood. Paint kits, tablets, powder are much weaker instructions are complicated (you should boil egg first, than put in to separate plate with dye, ad some vinegar , who knows what percentage exactly 4,5.9% ? OK may be I will stop right here about these challenges. I just will go to the stores, maybe I even will use natural ways I have red about decorating eggs by using red cabbages, beets, spinach, coffee.

As you can see on the picture our dining room is getting ready for the Easter. My wife is good with interior design and decorating tables for different occasions. I will do my best to make Easter eggs shine on the table. If you have some advice please help me!!! You are welcome put them in a comment box. Happy Easter Everybody! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cracked vaulted ceiling corner

Very often I have fixed cracks along a vaulted ceiling corner. Sometimes I find them caulked. Caulk can be used if the crack is tiny. Today I have situation where the crack doesn't go right along the corner, but is twisted and peeled.

What steps do we need to take to fix this corner.

Step1 By using painters 5 in one scraper clean up the peels from the corner. Put screws along the corner on the ceiling and the wall. Use stud finder to locate studs. By putting screws we make all drywall sturdy and it is more guaranteed, that this fixed corner is going to last longer. Of course if a house still in a settling process, it makes huge force which moves wooden constructions and forces drywall to crack. Materials we use to fix the corner not going to stop it. But what we can do- to do the best job we can to prevent drywall side by the corner from having a movement.

Step2 Patch the corner

Step3 After it is dry, send and prime it and paint the ceiling part 2 coats, by allowing completely to dry in between coats. After ceiling is dry do the same with walls. Paint two coats by leting it dry between coats.

2nd coat of paint is still drying, so we can have little nap an go home ☺.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One room painting cost

What questions do we need to ask before hiring painting company or self employed painter to paint your house or just one room. Let's take simplest basic situation- painting of medium size bedroom 13'x15':

1. Do we paint the ceiling? If yes- does it have color tone on it? If we choose white ceiling color sometimes we will need two coats. Look at this picture how it seems ceiling with color tone. It is hard to see this until you put white color on it. Than you can see the difference:

2. One or two coats  to the ceiling? After first coat we can see the difference between brush painted edges and the roller. It means we need one more coat of paint

3. Does the ceiling need some repair (nail pop, cracks, tapeline repairs)? If the ceiling has nail pops it will need to scrape it and put extra screws by the nail pop to secure drywall from further movements.

4.Does it enough to paint two coats to the walls? Sometimes if you have dark painted walls you might consider one coat of primer and two paint coats on the top. Especially if you paint with the yellow color ( like linen white) paint on darker walls you might need three coats of paint or one coat of primer and two coats of paint.

5. Do you consider accent wall? If you do it will need one more gallon (because quart might not be enough) of paint and extra time by cutting nice lines at the wall corners.

6. Do walls need some repair (cracks, nail pops)?

7. Are you considering to paint trims?

After these questions are asked we can try to put some numbers together. Let's say we have one experienced painter and try to count how many hours it would take to paint one room.

1.Prep work: moving furniture, taking of drapes, cover plates, putting drop clothes (tarps), covering everything with the plastic sheet, baseboard taping, etc.                                    1.5 hours

2. Ceiling repair work (fixing cracks, tape lines, nail pops) scrape, patch, dry by using dryer, sand, prime
                                           1.5 hours
3. walls repair work (fixing cracks,nail pops) scrape, patch, dry by using dryer, sand, prime                   1.5 hours

3. Painting first coat to the ceiling:take off can light rings, cut ceiling edges with the brush,paint around the lights, role the ceiling with the roller
                                           1.5 hours
4. Painting  second coat to the ceiling if needed. It usually goes faster.
                                            1 hour
5.First coat to the walls: paint wall edges with the brush, role walls with the roller.                               2 hours

6.Second coat to the walls. It usually goes faster.
                                            1.5 hours
7.Take off masking tapes,do touch ups if needed, put back cover plates, drapes, move furniture back,vacuum clean the floor.
                                              1 hour
One coat to the ceiling, two coats to walls:  10.5 hours
Extra coat to the ceiling:                                         1 hour
Accent wall nice lines:                                             0.5 hour

So you have 10.5 to 12 hours of one painter work time for one room. Now you need to find hourly rate of each contractor or painting company. It might vary depending on region, size of company, time of season (winter time is not busy for painters, so it could be discounted prices). This number might be starting with $35 to $50 or more per one work hour.

So if we have 10.5 hours option , labor could cost $367 to $525 +$100 materials.
For 12 hours it will be: labor $420 to $600+$120 materials

Materials for one room approximately: 1gal paint for the ceiling $20 to $40 per gallon gallon and 2 gallons for the walls $20 to $50 or more, depending on the paint brand and contractor discounts at the store.

Keep in mind, that basic painting could be less costly. I tried to show situation where you have 3 hour of fixing work, ceiling painting. Often people choose paint just the walls, so the cost could be decreased significantly.

  I didn't talk about trims this time. Let's leave it for the next time. So, have fun and paint it easy!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How To Remove Wallpaper

If you have idea to get rid of  wallpaper and need some help how to do this I am here for you, because yesterday I did exactly the same ☺. First of all you will need some tools: 2gal bucket, scoring tool, sponge, scouring pad, towel, wallpaper stripper liquid:

First of all keep in mind that wallpaper has two layers of paper. At the start you can try to remove top layer without moisturizing it, just peel corners of wallpaper and try to remove it from the wall by keeping both sides of wallpaper and ripping like a sheet along the wall. If it does not go this way it means you will have more fun.

1 Step Take scoring tool and make scratches on the wallpaper for the better water absorption to the top layer  

2 Step Pour hot water in to the bucket, add wallpaper stripper in to it (I like this one vs gel).
Take a wet sponge and moisturize wallpaper one or two lanes at the time and leave for about 15 minutes (you can repeat it several of times).

3 Step Remove top layer of wallpaper

4 Step Moisturize second layer by using wet sponge and remove it

5 Step Wash up the glue from the wall by using scouring pad and rough towel . 

6 Step Patch, sand and prime scratched spots after wall is dry and paint walls.

Thank you for reading, have fun ☺.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How To Fix Wall Cracks

Cracks are probably the most noticeable imperfection at your home. It always gets your attention when you walk through the room with the cracked wall. After a number of these walks I probably will get your call by asking to fix a crack . I will walk you through the process how I am fixing the crack.

Step 1 Open the crack, by using 5 in one painters tool (you can use a utility knife as well). It is important to scrape all peals and cut along those cracks for the purpose to  make a groove for the mud.

Step 2 It is necessary to put screws along the crack. If it's no stud behind the crack, you can use stud finder to detect it. Even one or several screws will make a difference in the future. Because the place you are fixing and patching needs to be sturdy and not suppose to have moving parts. Otherwise it can brake that crack in the same spot after a while. After securing the place with screws you need to put  a mesh tape on the top. It will hold the mud firmly and after its dry it will make better bond with the drywall.

Step 3 Now we are ready to patch it. The first layer of mud can be rough, the purpose of it is to fill all area with the mud and to cover the mesh tape.

Step 4 After first layer is completely dry you can scrape the surface easy, to make it as smooth as possible before second layer by using 5 in one tool or drywall knife. Now its time for the second layer of mud.

Step 5 After second layer of mud is completely dry we should check the surface of the patched are. If everything is covered well, no mesh tape signs on the top, we can start to sand. If you think that it needs third layer of the mud- do it.

Step 6 After sanding a patched area we need to prime it first before painting it.

The crack is fixed now and no more bothering of our attention ☺.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

How to fix a cracked ceiling corner

This time we have big family room with a four sided tray ceiling. The upper corner is cracking along whole one side of the ceiling. Usually corners with more or less than 90 degree are more likely to crack, because construction itself is less resistant against the houses small, insignificant moves, related with changes of temperature and humidity outside and inside the building, types of nails or screws used in construction process. In our case we have nails- you can see in this video after scraping the nail pop.

Step 1 Open a ceiling crack along the corner by using a 5 in one scraper. Before starting it we need to separate a good part of the corner from cracked part, because we will need to open and lift one side of corner bead and fill it with mud.

Step 2 Lift up one side of the vinyl corner bead and fill up under it with mud along the whole corner. Make sure that the whole area under the corner bead is full of mud. Put an extra screw by the nail and make sure you have found the ceiling  joist. For that purpose you can use stud finder to locate a joist. Patch a nail pop area. 

Step 3 After first layer of mud is completely dry we can scrape uneven parts of mud from the surface to make it as flat as possible. Before a second layer we can use a mesh tape along the corner if we are not sure that the mud properly bonded corner bead to the ceiling surface. In this case everything looks good, so we can skip this part ( we will need less time for putting extra layer of mud and save some time). Right now is time for the second layer of the the mud. 

Step 4 After second layer is completely dry we inspect the surface and decide if we need one more layer of mud for better quality surface. If it's enough we can start sanding process. We can use folded sandpaper or sanding sponge for better reach of the corner. 

Step 5 Prime sanded area with the primer or extra coat of ceiling paint and after primer is completely dry, paint the ceiling with a ceiling paint. 

Today is Saturday and after good work it is time to relax ☺.

Feel free to leave comments or ask some questions below this post. Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stair Painting after Refinished Treads

Today we are going to paint risers and skirt boards after refinished (stain) stair treads. We have stain spots on these risers and skirt boards. Varnish was done about a week ago, so it is dry already. But for secure job we are going to use easy blue tape ( we don't want to rip varnish spots off  ). We have removed carpet along the middle part of the stairs and new carpet will be installed the same way. So actually we need to paint just side parts of all risers and all skirt boards.

Step 1 Tape treads everywhere, where they meet white skirt boards and risers. We have little gap between risers and treads filled with putty. Usually I tape on the top of treads by keeping distance about 1/8" or less from riser and skirt board. We wouldn't like to tape on the putty, because the surface is not so flat and for nice line we need steady flat surface. Use 5 in one scraper to push tape to the tread surface.

Step 2 Caulk all gaps along the tape for better line quality otherwise you can have paint seeping through the tape and after removing it you will have shaky line.

Step 3 Prime stain spots with special primer: it could be oil based primer or water based primer with qualities to cover stain. 

Step 4 I will paint two coats of white semi gloss paint on the top of primer by using small roller and the brush.

Step 5 Remove tape form treads. If you will find that the tape rips the caulk- cut gently along the tape by using utility knife with a new blade. In my case caulk was dried enough and everything worked well without knife.

Finally everything is done. Now we can compare how it looked before painting and how it looks after. Oh! It was picky job! ☺


It is it for today, feel free to leave comments or questions.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Painting Wall Paneling 

Today I will show how to paint lower part of the wall paneling in a mudroom. Upper part of the room is the drywall. I am going shortly to show what technique and a tool choice I will use in this case. 
First of all I painted the ceiling and the upper part of the wall already.

Next step I need to prep the paneling surface (existing finish is semi gloss paint). By using 180 grit sanding sponge sand the surface of paneling, The goal is to take paint sheen off the old paint for the better new paint bonding result with the surface.

After vacuum cleaning the surface we can start painting. For that purpose I will use small roller cover and the paint brush. Because all paneling area is small I will go with the brush up and down along all the surface and especially trying to fill the paneling groove with the paint. After that i will role over with the small roller for better finish texture (with no brush marks) Small nap roller (for smoother finish texture) couldn't reach these grooves, that's why we use the brush. 

If the paneling surface would be bigger (whole basement room), I would brush just along those grooves and finish flat flat part of the paneling with the 3/16"x 9" roller for the semi gloss finish and bigger nap 1/4" - 3/8" for egg shell, matte or flat paint finish. 
Mudroom is finished although today it looks like a new shiny "cleanroom"to me☺. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tape baseboards before painting walls

In the previous post I talked about painting all stained trims and doors. Today I am ready to show how to tape baseboards and door trims before painting the walls and how to remove
the tape after walls are done.

Step1 After floor and furniture is covered, start taping baseboards. I like to put tape on the top of the baseboard by keeping distance from the wall of about 1/8" or less. If you "step" on the wall you are going to have a wavy line on the wall when it is painted. Push the tape along with 5 in one scraper to have better contact with the surface. You can leave this easy tape along the wall painting process for several hours. Baseboard paint is not very durable yet (they were painted just yesterday). The highest durability sets in about 2 weeks. You can test if the paint holds well by sticking a peace of tape on the top of the baseboard and removing it right away. Just check if you have some trim paint on the tape. If not you are safe to go.

Step 2 If the wall surface is prepared you can start to paint the walls. Usually I tape the door trim just before painting with the brush around the door trim, because the trim paint is still fresh (painted yesterday)  and the trim side is much thicker than the top of the baseboard. Sometimes when removing the tape the paint rips from the trim if you leave the tape for several hours, so its better to just tape the door trim, keep distance from the wall 1/8' or less

Step 3 Paint along the door trim and remove the tape right away

Step 3  And when you paint the second coat, paint by hand and keep the brush away from the line by 1/8" or less distance, so the straight line stays untouched.  

Step 4 When the walls are finished with 2 coats you can remove the tape from the baseboards. Take the tape off gently, because sometimes egg-shell finish paint gets ripped from the wall by the tape. If this happens, use a utility knife with the new blade and gently cut the paint on the top of the baseboard along the tape by the wall and then remove the tape.

Painting is finished, clients and kids are happy with the new bedroom colors- I am happy too☺!

Feel  free to leave comments or questions below this post. Thanks and see you in the next project!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Painting trims and doors with stained -varnished surface

Usually it takes 3 coats (1 coat of primer and two coats of paint) to cover stained-varnished surfaces.

Step1 Tape the carpet along the baseboard. Push the tape as close to the bottom of the baseboard as possible 

Step2 Sand the sheen of the baseboard and doors, using 150 grit sandpaper or sponge and vacuum clean after all surfaces are sanded

Step3 Put one coat of primer (I like Stix) on the stained-varnished baseboards and doors

Step4 Caulk top of the baseboard and sides of the door trims if it is needed.

Step5 Put one coat of the paint on the baseboards and doors and after it is completely dry, put second coat on all surfaces

Step 6 Take off the tape from the carpet. Use scraper to separate tape from the baseboard

Finally trims and doors are done! Ceiling is painted as well. Tomorrow I will use easy tape and start walls by Painting it Easy!☺

Feel free to leave your comments or questions...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remove Glow in the dark stars
Paint the ceiling

Today I am going to paint the ceiling with plastic Glow in the dark stars on them. So I will need to "clear the sky"☺, before start painting the ceiling. 

Step1 Remove stars using scraper

Step2 Spray oil based primer (like Kilz) to block glue spots 

Step3 After primer is dry, patch and sand ripped spots. Put one coat of ceiling paint on these primed spots

Step4 Paint the edge with the brush around the ceiling perimeter 

Step5 Role the ceiling with 3/4" nap roller cover using flat finish ceiling paint

Ceiling is finished, no more stars in the sky☺. 

Next post will be about painting trims and doors with stained -varnished surface.