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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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.

Heat Safety Tips

At Davinci's Painting we are very conscientious about the dangers of excessive heat exposure that occur during the summer in Washington DC. While doing paint application in hot weather, our Painters often work in the direct sunlight. Because of this, we’re always careful about our employees’ health while working in high temperatures.

The strain of extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.

Here are some easy ways to protect yourself when working or playing outdoors in hot, humid conditions:

  • Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sugar-free beverages, both before and during work or exercise. Our bodies can only absorb about one quart of water per hour; however, we can lose up to 2.5 quarts per hour in extreme heat.
  • Clothing made of lightweight material that is loose-fitting will enable the body to adequately perspire and eliminate heat.
  • Be aware that certain prescription drugs can modify a person's sensitivity to the heat. Antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory drugs are just some of the things that can increase sensitivity to sunlight or decrease the body’s normal hydration level.
  • Other factors that may make a person more susceptible to heat-related illnesses include hypertension, circulatory problems, being considerably overweight. Those who suffer from kidney or liver disease should take special precautions.
  • Symptoms vary between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can cause a person to feel weak and thirsty. It can also cause extreme thirst and sweating. Heat stroke symptoms, on the other hand, are seen as an absence of sweating, confusion, and dizziness.

If you suspect that you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take the following steps immediately:

  • Get out of the sun and into air conditioning if possible.
  • Remove any clothing that mahy be retaining heat.
  • Take a cool bath jump into a pool!
  • Drink fluids, including water or diluted sports drinks.
  • If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, lie down and elevate your feet.

Prevention of excessive heat is always a good practice. So remember these tips to help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable summer!

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.

How to Store Leftover Paint

What always happens when you finish a painting project, is that there is paint leftover. This isn't such a bad thing, though, since it is not unlikely you'll want a bit more for touch-ups or matching a detail in some other area. The key to storing leftover paint is to limit air exposure, and temperature since evaporation and freezing are how paint dries and becomes unusable.

In order to keep your leftover paint from drying, always cover the can unless you are actively using it. Be careful not to get the rim full of paint, as that can prevent it from sealing properly. Once you have used at least a quarter of the can, there begins to be a good amount of air inside it, even when closed. Use a clean plastic bag and lay it flat on the open can, then gently and evenly push it down until it contacts the paint. Now put on the lid over the plastic. This way there is a barrier between the surface of the paint and the air in the can.

Another option, especially if there is not much paint left in the can, is to pour it into a different plastic container. Anything with a lid will work, such as, tupperware, water bottles, and yogurt containers. just don't confuse the leftover paint with your leftover dinner and stick it in the microwave! Use the container that will hold the paint adequately but minimize the amount of air. One advantage to a water bottle is that you can squeeze out the air before screwing the lid on, thus eliminating all air that would ruin your paint!

Davinci's Painting is very well established painting company in Washington DC. We provide both Residential Exterior and Interior Painting Services.