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I have done a lot of online research over the years about some of the details and instructions for interior house painting. I'm putting it out there that a lot of the information that one would find on the Internet is just plain wrong.

This Painting Blog tries to help provide better painting information so hopefully it will be useful for both homeowners and other painting contractors alike.

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Ladder Safety Information

Summer is here but don't look now, but fall is just around the corner! During late summer, many homeowners are in a rush to perform exterior painting before the snow falls, or perhaps clear out the gutters from the fallen leaves. More than likely a project like that will require the use of some type of step ladder or extension ladder. An extension ladder is an inherently dangerous piece of equipment that is utilized for all types of maintenance projects around the home. If they are not not set-up properly, a ladder can become unstable and any type of accident can result in serious injuries or property damage.

As a professional painting company, we are acutely aware about how important ladder safety really is. In fact, we exercise continuous safety training for our painters and we regularly maintain our ladders to ensure a safe work environment. People with less experience using a ladder should familiarize themselves with basic ladder safety in order to prevent accidents from happening. It may seem like a straightforward process to set-up and climb a ladder, but in reality there are several safety procedures that must be taken into consideration. We’ve put together some practical information on ladder safety in order to help keep you, your property, and those around you safe.

Use the Right Ladder!

Different types of ladders are designed for certain projects. Make sure that the ladder’s height corresponds to its job. Painting a house will most likely require the use of an extension ladder, however, some areas of the house should be able to be completed with a step ladder. The ladder you select should be able to reach several feet beyond the highest point at which doing your work. Attempting to complete section of work with a ladder that is too short will encourage inexperienced people to over-stretch, and this can be hazardous. An extension ladder greater than 16 feet will almost require someone with experience, or perhaps two people to set it up.

Don't Use a Broken Ladder!

It is best to avoid ladders if it has broken parts such a jammed rung locks or bent rungs. Only professionals should work with ladders that do not have a halyard or rope used to raise the second ladder section. If you’re buying a ladder, look for safe standards that are OSHA approved, and read the instructions before using it. It is also important to make sure that the ladder is rated for your weight. Ladders are designed and constructed to safely hold up to a certain amount of weight, that would include the person and their tools. A ladder's Duty Rating is determined as the maximum load that is safe for a specific ladder.

Climb the Ladder Correctly!

Climb the ladder slowly and carefully, and come down at the same rate that you went up. Without over-reaching, place one hand at a time on each rung, and climb 2 - 3 rungs with your feet and then stop, before reaching-up to the next 3 rungs. Maintain three points of contact on the ladder while climbing, for example, two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand. Never climb higher than the third rung from the very top of an extension ladder. If you are using both hands to perform work, utilize another part of your body to maintain balance and support, such as your thigh or shoulder.

Set-up the Ladder Correctly!

Ensure that the feet of the ladder are secured on level ground or pavement and that there is no chance of anything to slip. If the ground is uneven or sloped, the use of a ladder stabilizer could provide an artificial level surface. Sometimes secure blocks can be fastened and or nailed into asphalt or slippery deck surfaces to safeguard against the possibility of an accident. The feet bases of extension ladders should be between 3 to 6 feet away from the side of the house, depending upon the height. It's also important to be aware of the resting point at the top of of a ladder to make sure that it is placed on a secure part of the exterior.

Work Safely on the Ladder!

Always brace your body first, to ensure you have the correct support in order to free a hand to perform work. If you’re painting a house, hang your 1/4 full paint bucket from a hook on the side of your ladder, and place your brush handle inside the rung. Carry tools that are secured in a tool belt, and raise or lower larger tools or materials using a second ladder with another person. Never work on any type of ladder with second person on the ladder at the same time. Moreover, it's simply dangerous to try to tie or fasten ladders together to form a longer section.

Don’t Over-Extend Your Body!

Bouncing the ladder or leaning out far to extend the reach and maximize the ladder’s position is best left for a painting professional. Inexperienced people should take it slow, maintain their body position and shoulders within the width of the rails, and only reach out slightly farther than arms length. If you are on an extension ladder higher than 24 feet, it can be very time-consuming to go up and down the ladder and move it every five minutes. However, it is our advice to not stretch your body, keep your shoulders inside the ladder, and only paint safely that is within your normal reach.

Work in a Safe Environment

Never use an extension ladder during any kind of inclement weather, such as, the cold, rain, and wind. Strong wind can force a ladder to fall down and Mist and rain can cause a ladder to become slippery. It is not enough to simply not touch a power line with a ladder, because electricity can actually arc a fair distance from the wire and then make contact with the ladder. When moving a ladder around live wires, first completely collapse the ladder then move it horizontally, and set it up again, to the left or the right, beyond the wires. In some cases, it is even safer to completely skip a section, if it is not possible to safely set-up or work around electricity.

Maintain Mental Awareness!

If you are feeling weak, dizzy or you are prone to losing your balance, you should not attempt to do any kind of work involving a ladder. That being said, if you are not of sound mind and physical condition. the chances of getting seriously hurt are much greater. Moreover, individuals who use extension ladders should be physically capable to use the ladder on their own, or with help. People who are too old, too young, or have health or physical concerns should leave projects involving a ladder to a professional. It's not worth the risk, and there will always be another day to climb a ladder if you are not feeling well.

The most important thing to remember when using a ladder is to just use common sense. If you don't have years of experience working with a ladder, then take it slow and be careful and diligent about your safety and the safety of those around you. Moreover, ladders are not designed to be used as a platform for working. For complicated jobs such as painting high ceilings, think about using scaffolding or hiring Painters in Northern Virginia instead. No type of project involving crown molding installation, gutter cleaning, or painting is worth risking your life or hurting someone else. Please give us a call at Davinci's Painting, for any kind of painting or drywall need you have in your Home. We have decades and decades of experience working with ladders in very high places!

You can Paint Your Exterior Vinyl Siding

Over time, the color and sheen of aluminum or vinyl siding of the exterior of your Home can become weathered and faded.  In the past, most Painting Contractors were reluctant to paint to paint vinyl siding because of the fact that vinyl tends to expand and contract depending on the outside temperature.  Under most normal circumstances, caulk and paint will crack and become separated from the surface whenever expansion and contraction occurs. Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select Revive and Sherwin Williams Vinyl Safe line of Exterior Paints are specially formulated with Vinyl Lock technology that is specific for vinyl siding.

Although we have been painting aluminum siding for quite a while, this new paint formulation provides remarkable benefits when it comes to painting vinyl siding and other PVC plastic trim  Even though vinyl siding typically lasts a lifetime, these new paint products make it possible for Home Owners in Northern Virginia to revive their exterior vinyl siding's dull faded appearance.  The paint is acrylic latex based which delivers superior adhesion that is specific for plastic, and can be applied by brush, roll, or spray techniques.  Moreover, depending upon the Homeowner's Association approval, Home Owners can change the entire color scheme of the exterior of their Home.

Regal® Select Revive Paint Highlights

  • Excellent adhesion with Vinyl Lock technology to adequately maintain the look and color of your home
  • A wide selection of colors that are formulated to be safe for exterior vinyl and PVC surfaces
  • Hard Durable finish to resist fading, cracking and peeling
  • Formulated with the paint and primer together
  • Available in Low Luster Finish

The expense is minimal compared to an investment in new siding, so this is a fantastic option for the homeowner on a budget seeking to renew the look of their home.  The material comes in a low luster finish and there are 59 different colors to choose from including pastels, white colors, vibrant blues, greens, and reds. Davinci's Painting performs exterior painting jobs from April through October, so now is the best time to book a free estimate and consider bringing your Home's exterior up-to-date.  Whether you are looking to refresh your faded siding with a color close to the original or it's time for a dramatic change, give us a call today at (571) 314-7288 or schedule your estimate online

Exterior Painting in the Spring!

When spring time brings upon mild weather, most homeowners in Northern Virginia look forward to taking care of those things outside of their Home. Yard work like landscaping and gardening in general are usually the first things that come to mind. Many people just cannot wait to start buying bags of mulch and get to digging up the shrubbery. However, if you think that your Home is need of an exterior cleaning and paint job, then it would be best to put off the landscaping, and take care of the important project first.

You Shouldn’t Delay Painting Your Exterior
It’s never a good idea to delay performing exterior cleaning, repairs, or painting of your Home. Usually, the life expectancy of the typical paint job is 5 to 7 years. After a certain amount of time, those areas that were previously caulked or repaired could become exposed to the elements. Sometimes excessive water penetration due to a faulty gutter or downspout can also cause paint to fail prematurely. When wood trim becomes exposed to the elements, wood deterioration begins. As more time passes, this deterioration can penetrate beyond the cornice trim that you can see, and can enter into the wood framing of the house. The more time that you wait, the more expensive the repairs can become.

Paint First Then Do Outside Landscaping
Despite the great amount of care that is taken to protect plants and the landscape surrounding a Home, there is a lot of work that goes into getting a house painted. Power washing the exterior is the first phase, and often times the most difficult and dirtiest aspect of the job. Because of the excess amount of water, plastic protection of plants is not feasible during this process, and it is almost inevitable that something will be touched. On the other hand, plastic coverings and drop cloths are always utilized to cover plants and shrubbery throughout the preparation and application phases. In any event, if you have the option, you should always consider performing landscaping after any type of exterior work.

Exterior Painting and Weather Challenges
Temperature fluctuations are one of the most important factors to consider when you are thinking painting the exterior of your home. Latex paint will have an adverse reaction as temperatures approach the freezing mark. The reason is that latex paints contain water and will freeze at temperatures below 32 degrees, and this will cause the paint to not cure properly. Moreover, the evaporation rate is much slower prohibiting the latex particles to come together, coalesce, and dry properly. Weather in Northern Virginia is generally mild during the spring and summer months, and it is absolutely the optimal time to perform any type of exterior paint applications. Painting should always be avoided during rainy conditions.

Maximize Your Paint Job!
Painting the exterior of your home will increase the curb appeal because and will make your home look like new on the outside. It will also improve your home’s value and helps portray the idea that you have taken excellent care of your home. If you are considering putting your home on the market, this type of home improvement investment will help draw potential buyers for a first and second look. If your home was painted within the past 5 years, perhaps cleaning your house is all that is needed. Power washing is always included in all of Davinci’s Painting exterior painting work, and it’s the best way to remove mold, mildew and stains on your home’s brick, wood, and aluminum siding.

There are numerous factors that can affect exterior house painting and it can be challenging to get the work done the right way. This is why it is crucially important to hire a Class A Northern Virginia Painting Company. Davinci’s Painting is a museum quality painting contractor, and we perform additional preparation processes that other companies cannot and will not provide. Why not get your exterior painting done before more fun outdoor activities start like gardening, graduations, and family barbecues? Give us a call or request an estimate through our website!

Bay Window Carpentry Restoration

Throughout the fall months, we stayed busy completing several exterior carpentry projects. One of our Clients in Falls Church Virginia had a bay window with a very unique look that was designed with many architectural elements from the 1800’s.  This bay window had some extensive wood deterioration that fortunately did not extend into the house framing. Additionally, the old double-hung windows that were part of the bay window were very drafty and not insulated, which contributed to a lot of cold air coming into the house.

The side of the house where this bay window is located is right next to the watershed of the entire townhouse development. The area has a lot of trees with little sun, animals and critters, water, and tons of mud everywhere. Unfortunately for the homeowner, what had happened was that nature and the elements had started to re-claim his house.  Although we could see many issues from the ground, a complete Power wash cleaning and thorough carpentry inspection was required before we could provide him with an estimate.

There were several places within the bay window cornice work that were so completely deteriorated that there were holes exposing the house framing.  All three window sills were entirely shot, and it felt like a sponge when you pressed down on it. The panels were also constructed with MDF which is sort-of a cardboard composite.  All of these panels were warped.  And on top of all of that, carpenter bees had bored-out several holes within the trim and had been hibernating inside when we found them.

We carefully removed all of the cornice trim and rotted wood and unsalvageable parts of the bay window. After dismantling everything, we were left with about 15% of the original trim.  The windows themselves were replaced with Marvin double-pane tempered glass. The remaining 85% of the trim was replaced with complete sections of PVC up to 12” in width. Even the corbels and some detail soffit sections that had been protected from the elements, needed to be replaced with custom-milled sections.

The type of PVC that was used is called Azek and it is basically plastic that will never deteriorate. This product is not inexpensive and they only sell 18 foot sections. These particular horizontal replacements were slightly more than 9 feet, which basically means that we had to purchase an entire 18 foot section for each horizontal. The PVC caulk to seal the expensive PVC cost about $11.00 a tube. Needless to say, the caulk and paint will deteriorate and crack, however the PVC will literally last forever!

I'm very happy with the finished bay window and I enjoyed helping to recreate a bit of 19th Century craftsmanship. We used the most advanced materials for the job to bring back the character of the home’s exterior. When spring comes around and everything warms-up, we will return to apply the paint! In addition to museum quality painting, we also specialize in wood trim replacement and structural repairs. Please call or click Davinci’s Painting for more information and a free carpentry consultation.