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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Painting Exterior Stucco

I must preface this Article by stating that as a rule, you should never apply paint to stucco! What can happen is that moisture can get between the paint on the stucco and the moisture resistant backing that is attached to the structure's studs. If mold forms there, it can move through the moisture barrier and into the home. There are many contractors in the area who are not experienced with stucco and will indicate that painting the stucco is not a problem.  There is a small chance that you will never experience a moisture problem if you paint stucco, but is it worth that chance? Stucco is designed to breathe.

If your stucco is close to the bottom of your exterior wall, it's possible that ground moisture will come into contact with the surface. The moisture will dissipate through the stucco that is close to the foundation and become trapped between the paint and the moisture barrier. Then when that surface gets warm the moisture will expand and cause the paint to lift off of the stucco. Stucco needs to breathe!

We recently completed an Exterior Project in Alexandria for a Farm House that is 100 years old. To the Home Owner's dismay, the stucco was coming off in sheets. He indicated that the stucco was re-painted about 7 years prior. Our tests indicated that the original stucco was of an oil base form. What had happened was that the previous Contractor applied latex based materials on top of the oil based stucco. For those of you who don't know, this will never work. You can never apply latex paint on top of oil based paint, without extensive surface preparation. We provided a solution of a complete power-wash, oil base prime undercoat application, followed by a complete application of Sherwin Williams Marine Coatings Latex Bondplex.

We are confident that that Bondplex will provide adequate adhesion for those areas of the stucco that were beginning to fail. This was project was somewhat complex due to the age of the property and the condition of the stucco. Fortunately, we had the right experience to deal with these issues. If you are considering undertaking a project and would like a second opinion, please do not hesitate to contact Davinci's your Northern VA Painting Company.

Painting Exterior Aluminum Siding

Aluminum Siding History
In the 1940's Aluminum siding was developed for homes in the United States because it was considered to be a low maintenance alternative to wood clapboard siding. There were several benefits of installing aluminum siding including the fact that it was lightweight, and the paint finish was baked-on. No painting was necessary.

Back in the day it was a popular option among homeowners. During the 1970’s, the cost to manufacture aluminum siding had increased significantly and vinyl siding had proven itself to be the future of low maintenance house covering option. There are obviously millions of homes that were built between the 1940’s and the 1970’s and chances are good that the exterior is covered with aluminum siding.

Aluminum Siding still requires some Maintenance
Many people have discovered, there are some problems that are inherent with aluminum siding. The biggest problem is the fact that the coating that is baked on the surface of the aluminum and it has a tendency to chalk and fade like it's nobody's business.

What can you do when it’s time to bring the exterior of your home up to speed?
Is painting the aluminum siding a good idea? Can you paint it or should it be replaced with new vinyl siding?

Here is the good news:
when properly cleaned and prepared, paint will adhere to aluminum siding. And painting your home will always be less-expensive compared to replacing the siding.

Power-wash the Siding First
It is critical to first remove any chalk and mildew from the surface so that the paint will properly adhere. A quick check for a chalky surface is to move your hand across the surface of the siding. Observe your palm. If there is chalk then it must be removed before any paint application process can proceed.

Eliminating the chalk
This can be accomplished by power-wash cleaning and using bleach or an aluminum siding cleaning product. In some cases, a scrub brush with an abrasive sponge and some good old fashioned elbow grease could be necessary. These cleaning products are specially made to remove the layer of chalk from the surface of aluminum siding. Davinci's are Painters in Vienna Virginia and we include power-wash cleaning as part of the preparation process for all of our exterior projects.

Sanding and Preparation
If the paint on the aluminum siding is baked into the material from the factory then there would not be a problem about any peeling paint. But if the coating you’re painting over is not the original finish, make sure you scrape any loose or peeling paint, and sand any uneven edges.

Paint Application of the Finish Coating
Many good quality paints can be applied on top of aluminum siding without the need for a primer. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations on the can before you start your project. Then apply two coats of a 100% Acrylic Latex Paint by whichever application method that is recommended.

How is the Exterior of your Home looking?

Is the Exterior of your Home starting to deteriorate and look worn down? If the answer is yes, it may be time to think about painting to protect the exterior wood trim surfaces. Unfortunately sometimes wood deterioration can occur because of a lack of paint maintenance.

Usually, people have to go through exterior painting in Northern Virginia between 7 and 10 years. The time between each job depends upon the type of paint materials used and the preparation that was done previously. Another factor is how much maintenance took place since the previous paint job. When people neglect exterior maintenance such as power-washing every 2 years and painting every 7 years, unfortunate things can occur. Some of the things that we have seen as a result of poor maintenance include wood deterioration, and window glazing that is falling out. However, under most normal circumstances, most homes only require standard preparation procedures.

What sets Davinci's Painting apart from everyone else, is the fact that we include many of the preparation processes that others will not. These things include power-wash cleaning, extensive preparation processes like pole sanding the complete wall surface, inspecting the entire wall with spotlights, and of course priming.

Davinci's Painting is the Northern Virginia Painting Company that includes all of these things as part of our normal preparation procedure. We also include a complete inspection from a licensed Carpenter of the entire exterior, to determine if there is any wood deterioration. Additionally, we provide annual inspections and a 5 year warranty for all of our work.

Choosing the right Contractor and having a complete understanding of everything that needs to be done is very important. College Graduates who think that they are seasoned painters, really would not have the same experience as a seasoned mechanic with 20 years under his belt.

Davinci's Painting is the Northern Virginia Painting Company that provides the most comprehensive estimate in the Washington DC Area. Every last detail is explained thoroughly, and indeed our Website has a Start-up Guide, Facts Section, and an entire Glossary of Information for Homeowners to look-up paint information.

We do things the right way, and we have literally hundreds of references who would agree.
Please email or call us today for a free no-obligation painting estimate.