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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What is the Best Roller Cover to Use?

There are many different tools and methodologies available when it comes to applying paint. The most common tools include brushes, rollers, and sprayers. In some cases foam pads, rags, and sea sponges can be utilized for specialty applications such as faux painting. Paint rollers are the most distinguishable because of their relative ease of use for even non-professional painters. If operated properly, these rollers can produce an excellent finish for most large flat surfaces, such as drywall. Though a sprayer can deliver the most superior paint finish, often times it is not practical for small confined areas, or spaces that are occupied.

Professional paint results are produced by professional painters who employ the correct type of tools and materials for a particular project. That being said, people with limited painting experience frequently use the wrong type of roller cover and don’t know how to use it correctly. Most interior projects that we deal with have some type of issue with the paint finish that was the result of a Handyman or someone using the wrong roller cover for the paint type. We fix those problems that include roller mark lines and stripes, paint splotches, areas that were missed, and lint that was left behind after using a cheap roller cover.

Similar to choosing the right brush, selecting the correct type of paint roller makes all the difference in the finished result. Not only that, a high quality paint roller cover that is best suited for the job will reduce the actual time spent painting a specified area. Many Independent Paint Dealers like Benjamin Moore sell very high quality paint tools and materials. The cost is significantly higher in a lot of cases, however, your walls will look so much better and you will save yourself a lot of extra time in the application process and clean-up. Inexpensive discount packs of roller covers are generally not good and should be avoided.

There are a couple of things to consider when deciding upon the right type of roller cover that should be used for application. Determining the paint type and the surface that to which it will be applied are essential prior to deciding upon which type of roller cover to utilize. Differences in roller covers vary by size of the roller cover, its composition, and the length of the fibers otherwise known as the nap size. There are different roller covers designed for every type of application. Any experienced paint applicator should assess the project and closely analyze the substrate to ascertain the correct type of materials and tools to be used for the job.

Often times the big Home Stores will feature some roller covers that have packaging that indicate that they can be used with all paints, this is not necessarily accurate. That is like saying a separate prime application isn’t necessary because the paint is labeled “paint and primer in one”. We consider these gimmicks as more of a clever tactic to increase awareness amongst average Homeowners and drive more purchases for these products. They are indeed much less expensive than real quality roller covers. However, for professional results we recommend choosing a roller cover that is specifically designed for your application.

Roller covers that are made from synthetic nylon or polyester fibers are adequate for most latex paint applications. These synthetic roller covers are made with different blends of nylon, polyester, acrylic, and rayon composites. They would also suffice for most finishes as well, including flat, eggshell, and satin based finishes. If you prefer more professional-quality results, then a natural woven roller type cover would be recommended. Natural roller fabric such as lambs-wool have excellent capacity and provide a better finish than any other type of roller cover, and most museum quality painters in Washington DC use them on a daily basis.

An assessment of the surface that is going to be painted, as well as its size, should indicate the best nap length that would be the most practical for the job. The objective should be to select a roller cover that will hold as much paint as possible, provide average stipple, and release it onto the wall with minimal splattering. Most drywall surfaces, paneling, and metal would call for a short nap from 1/8” to 3/16”. For previously painted drywall surfaces, a nap from 3/8” to 5/16” would be most appropriate. The slightly longer nap will absorb more paint and yield minimal stipple. 1- ½” covers are best suited for heavily textured surfaces and concrete block.

As a leading paint application provider in the greater Washington DC area, we are constantly testing and evaluating newer types of natural and synthetic fibers used in roller covers in order to produce optimum painting results for our Customers. Needless to say, the natural fiber lambs-wool roller cover have continuously exceeded our expectations in terms of producing a faster, cleaner, and more efficient way to produce paint applications. With the new advanced coating materials that have appeared on the market, it is important for us to use the right tools and equipment to continue to deliver museum quality work.

Paint Ideas for a Child's Bedroom

Children are just as sensitive to color on the walls as we adults are and choosing just the right color can be a challenge. Including your child in the process of selecting their room colors would be helpful because even the youngest children respond positively to certain colors. Keep in mind however that extremely vibrant and bold colors that your kid might like will be fun for a period of time, but they are not necessarily a practical option for the long-term. Although selecting paint colors that both you and your child will love will not be easy, the importance of selecting the correct paint type and sheen cannot be over-stated. A child’s bedroom is probably an area of the house that will receive the most wear-and-tear so for that reason a highly durable paint that has some type of a sheen would be satisfactory for those walls that are challenged with sticky fingers and crayons. Finally, while modern paints are safe, always be sure paint with Low VOC or Zero VOC paint products that are safe for young children to be around.

We wanted to share a couple of ideas that can help you create the perfect environment for your child’s space.

Consider the Theme

The objective is to choose the right paint colors that correspond with the kid’s age in order to create the right mood for a child’s bedroom. Usually there are really no rules when it comes to painting a kid’s bedroom, so don’t be afraid to mix and match different colors that otherwise might seem odd together. Integrating other decorative features and an exciting theme with new paint colors will definitely create a wonderful living space in which a young person they can thrive, learn and play. For example, forest animals or a princess’ wagon, would probably bring about endless hours of joy for any child.


That being said, the overall character and paint color scheme of a child’s room will almost always deviate from the rest of the paint colors of the house. Unless you are planning on painting other adjoining bedrooms, it would be important to consider the paint tones that already exist in those other areas, to ensure that the overall theme of the home doesn’t change that much. Perhaps creating a forest jungle with polka dots painted everywhere may not be for every family, so sometimes a simple accent wall or really cool wallpaper can make a child’s room a fun place to play. Whichever new color you select should integrate well and flow with the rest of the colors in the house.

Cool Colors for Kids

Some studies have demonstrated that children often show improved perception skills after being exposed to a range of various colors at a young age. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that bright vibrant colors appeal to kids. When deciding on room colors, it can be sometimes helpful to bring your kid into the process by possibly showing them images of finished rooms in magazines. Whichever colors you decide upon, it is important to create a calm and relaxed environment in a child’s space because colors do impact the mood and behavior of young children. After all this is the area where they sleep, study, and play.


The paint colors on the walls within our home sets the mood and tone for the environment in which we live. Vibrant wall colors can be exciting for a child, however, some colors can be jarring and clash with the rest of the room’s décor. One way to resolve the issue of color overload is to diffuse the vibrancy of a color by 50%. This way the child still gets their color, but at a much more subdued, calmer shade. We would recommend using scaled-down colors of blue, green, or yellow. There are also a myriad of neutral shade colors that are very relatable for young children.

Think Paint Durability

The likelihood that your child may have beaten-up their bedroom walls with knocks, scratches, and scrapes, doesn’t make the paint job any easier when it comes time to fix all of those imperfections prior to painting. Moreover, depending on your kid’s age, the walls may have even endured the little scribbles made with a pen or crayon. For those reasons it makes perfect sense to go with a durable paint when selecting the right paint product for a child’s room. When decorating your kid’s bedroom, we recommend a high-quality latex based paint with a certain level of sheen which makes it easier to wash off some of the blemishes.


Most conventional painters would argue that for children’s bedrooms, it’s best to apply flat paint on the ceiling, a satin or eggshell finish on the walls, and a semi-gloss finish for the trim and doors. An eggshell finish is often used for provides a low luster and it is often applied in common areas such as, hallways, stairwells, and recreation rooms. We would recommend this type of finish for a child’s bedroom, over other types of finishes. Depending on the actual paint brand, eggshell finishes have a much lower sheen than a satin finish but yet it is still easier to clean than any matte type finish. Latex satin and semi-gloss finishes are very tough, and hold up the best under constant cleaning.

Non-Toxic Paints

There was a time when painting the interior of your home meant turning on fans, opening all the windows, and then actually leaving the house in order to avoid inhaling the Volatile Organic Compounds found in paint. These compounds were primarily utilized in the paint formulations for oil based and lead based products. They were particularly harmful for the respiratory systems of small children and pregnant women. In those days, safer paint options were difficult to find and they also didn't perform as well as regular paint. Fortunately, EPA Laws that took effect about 10 years ago, forced major paint manufacturers to eliminate or reduce greatly the amount of VOC’s.


Homeowners and Painting Companies in Northern Virginia have welcomed the less harmful paints that are available today. Today it is the standard and it’s easy to find Zero VOC, Low VOC and other varieties of "non-toxic" formulas made from natural raw ingredients like water, milk casein, and plant resins. We would highly suggest the use of Eco-friendly paints when painting a child’s bedroom. Despite the fact that they are formulated with safe materials, we have observed no issues in terms of longevity or the paint’s performance as long as they're applied correctly. They're available in a wide range of finishes for both interior and exterior applications, masonry paints and primers.

Chalkboard Paint

Kids are all full of imagination, and the spaces where they spend most of their time should be too. Painting your child’s room with chalkboard paint is one of the most innovative ways, to resolve issues regarding scribbling on the wall. Since it’s obvious that kids like to draw on walls, why not just let them decorate the walls the way they want? Chalkboard paint also mitigates damage to the painted wall because unlike standard paint, it is especially formulated to receive those scribbles. There is also a wide variety chalkboard paint colors that can be coordinated with the existing décor.


Drawing and handwriting are great ways to create a personal touch to a child’s bedroom, and when their preferences change in a few weeks or months, simply erase the chalkboard and start over. As a parent, chalkboard paint is also a good place to track school projects, keep lists of chores, and leave messages. Give your kid their own personal wall to express themselves and showcase their artistic skills! More like an interactive space on the wall that constantly evolves as times change. The chalkboard can also be whatever size you like and can placed wherever you and the child agree.

Please contact Davinci’s if you think you could use assistance with your project! We’re always available to help with painting ideas, and to give creative painting tips. As a fully equipped residential painting company, we guarantee that any work we do for you will meet the highest standards of both quality and safety.

What is the best type of Interior Paint Finish?

Choosing the correct color for your Home is always an important factor to consider, however, there is yet another very important decision to make. With several paint finishes to choose from, it is important to be somewhat educated about the pro's and con's of each type of finish in order to determine the right finish for your Home. The four main types of finishes include: Flat, Eggshell, Matte, and Semi-Gloss Finish.

Each paint manufacturer has its own guidelines for how much sheen goes into each Paint Finish. If you buy a satin finish from one manufacturer, it will look different than the satin finish of a different manufacturer. For this reason, it is always a good idea to choose a single brand for your Painting Project in order to avoid subtle differences. Consult with a Painting Contractor for help with choosing and applying the best Paint Finish for your Interior Painting Project.

High-gloss finish paints are rarely used for Interior Painting purposes because they leave a very shiny finish. Semi-gloss paints have a mildly glossy appearance and are often the paint of choice for Kitchens and Bathrooms. Rooms that are prone to moisture and mildew should be painted with a semi-gloss finish. You can even have mildew resistant properties mixed into your paint. You can also use semi-gloss for trims, moldings, and doors.

A satin finish has a sheen which is flatter than semi-gloss. Paints with an eggshell or satin finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing. It makes a great paint choice for kids’ rooms, because you can easily wipe off the fingerprints, smudges, and dirt they might get on the wall.  The only drawback with the use of Eggshell and Satin is the difficulty in touching up certain areas.

Davinci's Museum Painters can help you choose the right finish for your Home!

Satin finishes are also used for trim, moldings, and doors because it gives a nice decorative effect to them. Surfaces painted with an eggshell finish can also be wiped off, although not as easily as the higher-gloss and satin finish paints can. An eggshell finish has the smooth look of flat paint, but flat finishes collect dirt. A flat finish is the dullest finish of all the paint choices and does not reflect light. This makes flat paint ideal for ceiling surfaces usually.

It can be a bit mind boggling navigating through all the paint choices that are on the market, but ask an Davinci's Home Painter for help! Our interior Painters are experienced with the application of the various types of Paint Finishes. We also know how to accent your furniture and other accessories with Paint Colors. Our Painters will help you bring the color palette you are envisioning to life. Contact Davinci's Painting for all of your painting needs. Call us at (571) 314-7288 today!

Home Carpentry Issues- Carpenter Ants

Most Homeowners don’t think about carpenter ants until they discover wood deterioration on their home.  Several times a year we receive inquiries from Customers in Northern Virginia, who want to resolve peeling paint issues on their exterior trim.  Many times the peeling paint is just what is visible on the surface.  Once this peeling paint is blasted off, we often find wood deterioration that is commonly caused by carpenter ants.

Carpenter ants usually establish their nests within the wood itself that is located in a moist and humid environment.  They also seem to favor wood that is hollowed out, so that they can establish their nests.  Our most recent project for the month of December was built 20 years ago in Vienna, Virginia.  This Client had extensive carpentry requirements, and we surprised to learn that almost all of the lower window sills needed to be replaced.

This home had the original wooden windows that are not made anymore.  All of the window sills, frames, and other parts were basically hollow.  Also, the rear façade of the home faced several acres of woods, as well as, a running creek that was less than 100 yards away.  That being said, the back of the house was constantly wet and muddy.  This was the perfect breeding ground for carpenter ants, and we discovered an entire window sill that had been completely devoured by carpenter ants.

Carpenter ants are different than termites because they don’t actually eat the wood.  They excavate the wood by carving out intricate hollowed-out canals which can extend several feet.  One way to know the difference is to examine the destruction that is left behind.  We found about four inches of what appeared to be sawdust underneath the deteriorated window sill.  This sawdust pile was actually made from the shredded fragments of wood that were ejected during the ant’s excavation process.

In more serious situations, these carpenter ants can hollow-out the house framing or even structural beams, which would eventually weaken them and cause a structural failure.   Even though these pests can cause considerable damage to a house, they are actually considered to be beneficial insects.  In the forest these insects are essential for their excavation work because they help accelerate the decomposition of dead trees.

One thing that you should do if carpenter ants are eating your house is to locate the nest.  In most cases the carpenter ant nest will be located outside of the house structure, in a place where there is abundant moisture.   They almost always prefer to set-up their nests in rotted wood that is easy to excavate, but eventually they will expand out into wood that is not decayed.  Usually a pest control service operator will be able to develop a strategy that would eradicate these pests in an effective and safe manner.

Another important step to ensure that carpenter ants stay away is to eliminate the conditions that allowed them to invade your wood trim in the first place!  Our Carpenter at Davinci’s Painting stays very busy throughout the year replacing deteriorated wood trim.  In fact, one sure-fire way to eliminate wood deterioration in the future would be to replace that worn-out trim with PVC Composite trim.  You should also check your downspouts and gutters for water leaks that could cause wood damage.

In addition to painting, we also specialize in wood trim replacement, structural repairs, insect damage repair, and home restorations.  Please call or click Davinci’s Painting for more information and a free carpentry consultation.