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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Wrought Iron Railing Paint Restoration

Painting a wrought iron fence provides essential protection for the metal while at the same time restores the original color.  The fact of the matter is that everything including metal will break down over time.  Metal railings that have become exposed due to paint failure will combine with oxygen to form corrosion otherwise known as rust.  Over time, as corrosion continues to build up, it will cause the metal to expand further breaking apart protective layers of paint.  It is always best to treat corrosion and maintain metal railings in order to avoid extensive rust abatement techniques.

The good news is that corrosion can be effectively removed from metal railings by using a variety of methods.  Depending upon the severity of the rust corrosion, rust abatement could include thermal techniques, abrasive chemicals, and sandblasting.  Electrolysis is more involved and can remove rust and oxidation without the use of grinders, scrappers or harsh chemicals.  However, under most normal circumstances a wire brush and chemical cleaners that contain phosphoric acid, such as, naval jelly will suffice in removing corrosion.

In late July, we were involved with a wrought iron rail restoration project in Oakton Virginia.  The Home depicted in the photographs had extensive iron railings surrounding the pool and the second level balcony.  The circular staircase had moderate rust corrosion at the base of the support columns, and some areas where there were welded joints.  Additionally, the gate section of the fence had a moderate amount of peeling and flaking paint.  Fortunately the standard rust abatement process was all that was required in order to properly maintain the rails.

Davinci’s provided the following procedures to remove the rust and paint the wrought iron railings:

  • Surface Cleaning such as power washing is not always required, however, in this case there was some accumulation of dirt and debris on the iron railing.
  • Wire Brush Cleaning included the use of hand wire brushes, and a power grinder in order to remove the loose rust and corrosion.
  • Sanding Sponge Process of the entire railing, from top and bottom, eliminated flaking paint and provided a surface profile for improved paint adhesion.
  • Rust Mitigation comprised the application of the phosphoric acid based naval jelly. This stabilized and converted the existing rust.
  • Complete Prime Application was performed wherever scraping and sanding had occurred. We utilized Rustoleum Rust Inhibiting Metal Primer.
  • Paint Application was implemented utilizing brush and roll techniques with Sherwin Williams Urethane Alkyd Industrial Enamel Black.

In most cases, traditional wrought iron railings have a black color; however, it is possible to tint certain alkyd based enamel paint products.  Sherwin Williams Urethane Industrial Enamel is is a new generation of alkyd based enamel which provides increased durability from the sun and outdoor elements.  Also, the availability of alkyd paint is somewhat limited depending upon the EPA Regulations in your state.  That being said, most major paint manufacturers offer one option in terms of alkyd based paint sheen- high gloss. This was a particularly rewarding project and the Home Owner was very pleased with the finished product.

Should I Paint My Home Before Selling It

Some people would think that it would be a waste to paint their home right before they are moving out of it. The main reason I've heard is the fact that they really wouldn't be able to enjoy the benefits of a new paint job and plus it could be expensive.

An important consideration should be made if that investing in this type of improvement would actually increase the value of the home. In most cases, that would be the benefit of re-painting your home prior to selling.

Some market studies in the Northern Virginia area have shown that repainting your home produces a 135% return on investment. This means that spending $3,000 on a paint job is likely to increase the selling price of your house by $4,050, which would be a profit of $1,500. Moreover, a small investment in painting not only could increase the sale price, but it could also increase the likelihood of selling your home quickly.

In housing market of Northern Virginia, selling a home may not be that difficult because there are buyers. Nevertheless, ensuring that your home is clean and freshly painted will increase its curb appeal for realtors and buyers.

My advice is to Invest the money to get the job done well. Since most people would stand to profit from this investment, it makes sense pay what it takes to hire a quality contractor who will do the job right.  Doing a paint job correctly does not translate into doing a paint job as quickly as possible. Ask your contractor if they will be using tape and plastic protection for the carpets and counter tops. Will they remove electrical outlet plates?

Use neutral white colors. In the Northern Virginia area, many homeowners prefer various shades of white, including shell white, oyster white, or cool platinum. In most cases it isn't even necessary to paint ceilings and trim. Only painting walls will definitely save a lot of money, no matter how big your home is. My recommendation is to stick with a single off-white color for the walls, which would most likely contrast with the white color of the ceilings.  Allow the prospective buyer to choose their own accent colors because the goal is to have clean-looking walls, not colorful walls.

As a professional painting company based in Arlington Virginia, the painters of Davinci's Painting have tons of experience when it comes to preparing a home for sale. Moreover, we have tons of experience for the buyers of those homes, who want to provide their own custom colors for specific living areas.

We have established an outstanding reputation for reliability, responsiveness and flawless results.

Here are some photographs of a recent interior project that we completed for an Architect in Arlington Virginia. The house was vacant and the Owner re-finished all of the hardwood floors.  He also contracted to have a new entire HVAC System installed to replace the 60 year old boiler system that was in place. As a result, there was a substantial amount of drywall repair work where previous heating pipes were removed and new HVAC ventilation pipes were installed.  There was also some drywall removal in one of the closets, which isn't always a fun job. The main living areas walls were painted in a shade of grey, and each of the bedrooms had it's own green accent color. The bathrooms were painted in a light blue. This was a wonderful project and everything turned-out great!

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.

Luxury Townhome Painting in Arlington Virginia

At Davinci's Painting, we scale great heights!  This photograph shows one of our Carpenters on top of a very high roof of a luxury townhome.  This townhome is part of the Fenwick Court Subdivision and is located in Arlington, Virginia.  Throughout the month of October, our company is in the process of replacing extensive portions of the exterior trim for about 5 townhomes within this community.  Several of these jobs feature dormer windows that are four stories high.  All of these projects will continue to require the use of a 48 foot extension ladder, as well as, safety harnesses in order to adequately ensure worker safety.

Prior to starting any exterior project, we first scope out the job to determine the type of equipment and ladders that will be needed, as well as selecting fall protection processes that are compatible with the type of work that will be performed.  In some cases, we even have to identify and evaluate fall hazards that could occur while working indoors on high ceilings and stairwells.  It is very important that every employee be supported by a harness, if they are performing work on a ladder that is greater than 32 feet.

Safety is an important consideration in construction related fields like painting, because of potentially dangerous working conditions.  Providing safety equipment and harnesses isn’t everything, we are also very diligent and our Painter Foremen are constantly alert on the job to be sure that adequate safety practices are being followed.  Our employees also have a responsibility for themselves, their fellow workers, and the home owner’s property. We value our employees and we want them to return to their home every night, safe and uninjured.

We are really proud of our safety record and we have never had a serious workplace accident within the 30+ years that we have been in business.  The benefits of maintaining a safe work environment is primarily undertaken in order to protect the painters and our clients’ property.  A safe work environment impacts our project’s bottom line.  Not only does this help boost our employee morale, but there are also fewer schedule interruptions due to incidents.  Moreover, the implementation of good safety protocols has also advanced our company’s reputation.

Davinci’s Painting is a long standing employer in the commonwealth of Virginia.   We carry both General Liability and Workman’s Compensation Insurance.  Please check out the Safety Page of our Website for more information about our Safety Facts and Policies.