We Like to Inform Our Clients

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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Selecting the Correct Sandpaper

Preparing the surface and sanding is a critical preparation step for nearly any painting project. Sandpaper provides a way to scratch away, and clear the surface of previously peeling paint and otherwise removes imperfections and dirt from the painted substrate. It is also essential to produce some traces of roughness to the painted substrate so that the new paint material will properly adhere. Any surface that is not properly sanded and retains defects, will cause those defects to be magnified once the new paint is applied. There is a wide range of different types of sandpaper available, and it can be difficult for Homeowners to make the right decision.

Not every painting project requires the same sandpaper grit type, and it's important to have a general understanding of sandpaper Grit type. Evaluating the appropriate coarseness for the project is the first step in determining which sandpaper grit type you should use. The Grit Type Number reflects the number of particles per square inch of the sandpaper. The higher the Grit Type Number, the smaller the grains of sand and sand density on the paper. Sandpaper with a low course number of perhaps 80 grit will be able to remove much more of the surface than a very fine sandpaper that has a course number between 220 and 240.

In addition to actual sandpaper, sanding sponges are also commonly used by Painters in Northern Virginia for detail sanding for both interior and exterior painting jobs. For drywall projects, they are often used during the final stages of point-up drywall work after the the bulk of sanding has been completed with pole sanders. Sponges are easy to handle because it's made of a foam block that is completely wrapped in sandpaper on all four sides. The blocks are also more versatile and can be easily used to sand flat surfaces or odd-shaped trim surfaces with uneven edges. The grit type of most sanding sponges are usually available in 80 grit, 180 grit, and 220 grit.

Screens are preferred by some Mechanics for interior projects, and they are mainly utilized for drywall projects that involve drywall compound or plaster. They are lightweight and designed with a waterproof, sharp synthetic material that abrasive and cuts fast. Another advantage of the screens are that they are composed of holes to allow the drywall dust to dissipate and not build up. Sanding screens should be handled cautiously because inexperienced users will sometimes inadvertently leave a screen imprint on the sanded drywall compound. We would recommend that most Homeowners engage with regular paper backed sandpaper.

Although determining the correct coarseness for a particular project may be challenging, for most painting projects it is best advised to use a combination of grit types. A sandpaper with a low Grit Number is very coarse, and it should quickly remove major surface imperfections. Each successive incremental Grit Number will eliminate the scratches of the coarser sandpaper used previously, until the scratches themselves are almost invisible. For most painting projects, the 3 most common types of sandpaper a Homeowner should user are 80 Grit Type, 180 Grit type, and finally 220 Grit Type. Some complicated renovation projects and lead removal processes necessitate the use of machines for sanding, as well as, vacuums and sealed-off containment areas.

Please be advised that some sandpapers may be labeled differently depending upon the country where the sandpaper was purchased. For example, if there is a P in front of the grit number, then the manufacturer is using the European system. The CAMI System developed by the Coated Abrasives Manufacturers Institute is the sandpaper measurement system that is used in the United States. This approach to sandpaper measurement differentiates the coarseness and density in an ascending order, whereas the higher the density, the higher the grit type number. Micron-graded sandpaper with a Grit Type of up to 3000 is used in the refinishing of cars or perhaps stained and lacquer type finishes.

Paint preparation and sanding surfaces for paint is one of the most important tedious aspects of any painting project. Whether you choose to tackle the job on your own, or enlist the help of application experts, there is no better way to give your painting project a professional finish than with proper preparation and sanding. For painting projects, we administer our own preparation system that takes into account the substrate and type of application. We are competent in all phases of residential and commercial coatings, as well as, various surface preparation techniques.

Museum Quality Interior Preparation

When painting indoors, our initial activity will always consist of implementing protective procedures. Our biggest responsibility is to protect your home and everything within it. As a Customer, you are inviting us into your home to help you, and we recognize that we need to pay careful attention for the work activities that we do. We treat your home as if it were our own and take extra care when moving your furniture and belongings.

As a painting company in Northern Virginia, we are often praised on our professionalism and extensive prep work that we undertake to ensure the highest level of protection. Some Customers ask us why we go to such great lengths using so much tape and plastic. My answer is simple. It ensures 99%protection of surfaces, and helps us complete the application much faster. By completely taping and putting plastic over cabinets, counters, bathrooms, and floors, we do not need to cut-in these areas.

Following the plastic seal protection, we layout clean, interior painting-only drop cloths throughout the floor space of where we will be working.If we are working over hardwood floors and stairs, we take even more precautions by laying out durable rosin sheathing that protects the hardwood from impacts and scratches. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we think that this is a very important component of protection and containment for any kind of paint or drywall application.

Our skilled mechanics will also move the furniture to the center of the room and cover it with protective plastic. Additionally, we will remove items from the walls, including electrical plates and bathroom fixtures, and store them for safekeeping.Curtains and blinds are temporarily removed from the walls and protected. We will then inspect the area one final time to see if anything else needs to be removed or if anything requires additional protection.

When we are done, everything gets put back to its proper place, we sweep and vacuum all your floors, and wipe down your counters where wherever we have been working. Our jobs always end-up cleaner than when we first started the work, and there is never any trace that we were even there. Except for the fact that now you have beautiful new colors on the walls throughout.

How to Touch-up Paint your Walls

Sometimes marks and scruffs on interior walls can diminish the look of a well-designed room. Depending upon how much time has passed since the walls were last painted, sometimes you can hide unsightly blemishes by covering them with touch-up paint that matches the existing wall color. Even if you don't know what the original color is, there are other ways that you can accurately match your current wall color.

The best way to match the paint from an existing wall is to bring the original can of paint to any reputable paint store. Usually most paint stores can easily re-create the hue if paint label is still visible with the formula. In some cases, the store can still match the paint and create a new paint formula by utilizing a computer matching system. This type of system can analyze the color and create the match that usually turns out to be very close to the original. Many chain paint stores also maintain records of other paint manufacturers, and they should be able to determine the color. Always make sure that the match is correct by applying paint to a sample.

Sometimes finding the original can of paint from a specific wall color can be impossible. If that’s the case, your local paint store can create a paint match if you are able to bring them a color sample from the wall itself.. By using a putty knife, simply cut a two-inch square in the drywall from a less noticeable area, such as a closet, above a framed door, or inside an electrical outlet. Gently press the knife blade into the drywall without damaging it in order to remove the top layer of paint. Most chain paint stores have a computerized paint-matching system that has a spectrophotometer that can create a new formula based from the scan.

A sample paint card from the original paint manufacturer with the paint formula printed on it, is even better! If that particular color name and color formula is still in existence then the match process should take only minutes. On the other hand, if a sample paint card was not kept on file for 10 years, don’t fret, simply travel to your local paint store and ask them for a paint fan deck. These fan decks contain all of the colors that they make. Many homes in Reston Virginia are part of a Homeowners Association, and it is the Association that dictates what colors are to be applied to the exterior of those homes that are within the community.

Needless to say, you may have trouble finding an exact paint match for an existing wall that is moderately faded due to age. A lot of times simply cleaning the walls with a mild dish detergent and warm water to remove dirt will reveal the true paint hue. Something else to consider is how the previous paint was applied. If it was sprayed, touching-up that wall will make matters worse. In those cases, it would be necessary to brush and roll complete walls. After touching-up a wall section, allow it to dry completely before deciding to try a different touch-up color. Davinci's Painters are experts at matching colors for touch-up purposes, so give us a call!

Preparing for Interior Painting

When Homeowners think about painting around furniture while working within an interior room that is occupied it's probably necessary to move all of the furniture away from the walls of the room. This may or may not be very helpful. Think about a Bedroom or Living Room. If you move all of the furniture to the middle of the Room, you have created a huge obstacle to paint around. When painting a ceiling with the proper equipment like extension poles, an obstacle in the center of the room is hard to work around. This is not an obvious issue if you are only providing application to walls only.

Davinci's Painting recommends that furniture be moved away from walls and arranged with a few pieces in different areas of the Room. The furniture should be spread out within the room rather than isolated to s single place in the center of the room. This generally makes it a better and safer work environment. If the Homeowner is moving the Furniture, it is suggested that you leave enough space between spaces of furniture and the walls in order to provide space for an average step ladder.

When moving furniture, we suggest following safe lifting techniques. Many back injuries happen to people who are moving furniture. If at all possible, hire a Moving Company that has experience in moving or dismantling large furniture pieces.

When Davinci's is requested to move furniture, we take extra precautions to ensure that no accidents occur. Smaller light weight pieces of furniture can usually be picked up and moved ahead of time by the Homeowner. However, heavier pieces could require several men to move to an ideal place in the room. Homeowners, should be careful not to scratch or cut any wooden or tile floors. This is also true for carpet. Pushing or sliding heavy pieces of Furniture across carpets can tear or stretch the carpet, creating lumps in carpet. To avoid damage to any type of floor place a large piece of cardboard under the furniture and slide the furniture across the cardboard. This will protect the carpet. For certain very large projects, we request that the Homeowner retain a Moving Company in order to clear out the working area.

One should also be very careful with any electrical appliances or outlets in the room. You need to turn off the circuit breakers for the outlets in the room you are working on to avoid any hazard. Latex paint contains a lot of water, and everyone knows that water conducts electricity. Sometimes you may need to turn off more than one breaker for one room. A foolproof way to see if an outlet is off is to use a circuit tester. Circuit testers consist of two wires that are connected to light. If you plug the circuit tester into any outlet and it lights up, you will know that you did not turn off the electricity correctly. Once the electricity in the room is off, it is safe to remove the switch plates and outlet covers to be sure not to get any paint on them. Place all of the screws in a secure place to be sure to they will not be lost.

Davinci's takes extraordinary efforts to cover all of your floors and furniture with plastic sheathing and drop cloths. Plastic sheathing will generally suffice for Furniture, however, floors usually require a larger thickness plastic sheathing, as well as, drop cloths. The thinner plastic is only ideal for furniture and not designed to be walked-on because often times the thinner plastic will tear easily. Homeowner's do appreciate the level of protection that Davinci's Painting provides for it's Customers.