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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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.

Do I Need to Prime my Walls before I Paint?

When saving money is the goal of a do-it-yourself Painting Project, every purchase for the Job needs to be an intelligent decision, so homeowners often wonder, "Do I need to prime this wall before I paint it?" Primer is not always necessary, so you can often save money by omitting it. In many cases, however, primer will actually save you money because it reduces the number of more expensive topcoats you will need to get excellent results.

Davinci's Painting has many years of experience as a Painting Contactor in the Washington DC area. We suggest using primers before painting in the following circumstances:

New Drywall & Skim Coating: The process of drywall installation and/or skim coating leaves a great deal of highly absorbent space to paint, and it may require many coats of high quality paint to give adequate coverage. Use a coat or two of quality primer first, however, and the pores will be sealed and your new topcoat will cover nicely in one or two coats.

Patched or Repaired Drywall: If you have repaired a wall before painting, you will likely have patches of Spackle or joint compound on the surface. If these repairs are small, you do not need to buy a separate primer; simply use a small amount of your regular paint and brush it lightly on those areas to "spot-prime" the wall. Then, when these spots are dry, you can paint the wall normally and those spots will not show through.

Major Change in Wall Color: Painting contractors generally assume that a dark color will cover over a light color very effectively with one or two coats. Light paints, however, will rarely cover dark colors even with many coats. In order to save money and time, professional painters recommend using a good primer with strong "hide" qualities.

Painting over Oil-based or Glossy Paints: In order for the new paint to perform well, the new paint must have a surface it can adhere to. When the current layer is oil-based or has a sheen, this surface can be acheived in two ways. You can use sandpaper or TSP to scuff up the surface, or you can apply a bonding primer which will stick straight to the under-layer and provide a good backing for the new paint. If you need to prime anyways because of color change, then use this method and skip the sanding. If you don't need to prime anyways, however, it will probably be cheaper and faster just to do the scrubbing.

Stain or Odor Coverage: Some stains, such as greasy spots or crayon scribbles, will show through new paint. Also, cigarette smoke and other strong odors can still be detected after repainting. In order to truly block out the ghosts of these issues, painting contractors use a serious primer like Kilz or Zinsser. Note: do not use a primer to hide mold or mildew in your walls. It will only grow. Instead, first deal with the cause of the mold (usually water entry), and remove the mold. Then, you are free to prime and paint.

Many professional painters use a tinted primer before painting. This is an inexpensive way to bring your walls close to their final intended color before adding the more pricey topcoat. Ask about this at your paint store if you are painting a bold or dark color.

Davinci's Painting offers excellent residential painting services in Northern Virginia and Washington DC.