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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Selecting the Correct Sandpaper

Preparing the surface and sanding is a critical preparation step for nearly any painting project. Sandpaper provides a way to scratch away, and clear the surface of previously peeling paint and otherwise removes imperfections and dirt from the painted substrate. It is also essential to produce some traces of roughness to the painted substrate so that the new paint material will properly adhere. Any surface that is not properly sanded and retains defects, will cause those defects to be magnified once the new paint is applied. There is a wide range of different types of sandpaper available, and it can be difficult for Homeowners to make the right decision.

Not every painting project requires the same sandpaper grit type, and it's important to have a general understanding of sandpaper Grit type. Evaluating the appropriate coarseness for the project is the first step in determining which sandpaper grit type you should use. The Grit Type Number reflects the number of particles per square inch of the sandpaper. The higher the Grit Type Number, the smaller the grains of sand and sand density on the paper. Sandpaper with a low course number of perhaps 80 grit will be able to remove much more of the surface than a very fine sandpaper that has a course number between 220 and 240.

In addition to actual sandpaper, sanding sponges are also commonly used by Painters in Northern Virginia for detail sanding for both interior and exterior painting jobs. For drywall projects, they are often used during the final stages of point-up drywall work after the the bulk of sanding has been completed with pole sanders. Sponges are easy to handle because it's made of a foam block that is completely wrapped in sandpaper on all four sides. The blocks are also more versatile and can be easily used to sand flat surfaces or odd-shaped trim surfaces with uneven edges. The grit type of most sanding sponges are usually available in 80 grit, 180 grit, and 220 grit.

Screens are preferred by some Mechanics for interior projects, and they are mainly utilized for drywall projects that involve drywall compound or plaster. They are lightweight and designed with a waterproof, sharp synthetic material that abrasive and cuts fast. Another advantage of the screens are that they are composed of holes to allow the drywall dust to dissipate and not build up. Sanding screens should be handled cautiously because inexperienced users will sometimes inadvertently leave a screen imprint on the sanded drywall compound. We would recommend that most Homeowners engage with regular paper backed sandpaper.

Although determining the correct coarseness for a particular project may be challenging, for most painting projects it is best advised to use a combination of grit types. A sandpaper with a low Grit Number is very coarse, and it should quickly remove major surface imperfections. Each successive incremental Grit Number will eliminate the scratches of the coarser sandpaper used previously, until the scratches themselves are almost invisible. For most painting projects, the 3 most common types of sandpaper a Homeowner should user are 80 Grit Type, 180 Grit type, and finally 220 Grit Type. Some complicated renovation projects and lead removal processes necessitate the use of machines for sanding, as well as, vacuums and sealed-off containment areas.

Please be advised that some sandpapers may be labeled differently depending upon the country where the sandpaper was purchased. For example, if there is a P in front of the grit number, then the manufacturer is using the European system. The CAMI System developed by the Coated Abrasives Manufacturers Institute is the sandpaper measurement system that is used in the United States. This approach to sandpaper measurement differentiates the coarseness and density in an ascending order, whereas the higher the density, the higher the grit type number. Micron-graded sandpaper with a Grit Type of up to 3000 is used in the refinishing of cars or perhaps stained and lacquer type finishes.

Paint preparation and sanding surfaces for paint is one of the most important tedious aspects of any painting project. Whether you choose to tackle the job on your own, or enlist the help of application experts, there is no better way to give your painting project a professional finish than with proper preparation and sanding. For painting projects, we administer our own preparation system that takes into account the substrate and type of application. We are competent in all phases of residential and commercial coatings, as well as, various surface preparation techniques.

Some Color Options to Consider for 2017

Decorative trends and new color styles tend to change year after year. This is especially true when you are dealing with interior residential spaces. It is the job of Color Consultant to research these trends and have their eyes peeled for some of the new colors that are in vogue.

If you are looking for some inspiration, you have come to the right place. We have put together a list of five of the most popular paint color trends as the 2017 painting season gets busy!

Sherwin Williams "Show Stopper"


There are a myriad of different shades of red that can flow with with most decorative styles and color pallets. The challenge is finding a red paint color that has the right undertones for the decor of your home. If you're thinking about a vibrant red option, Sherwin-Williams Show Stopper would be the right choice for 2017. This pure red is a bold choice for any space, and is definitely has been a common theme for many front doors accent walls.  As has always been the case, this type of color has always worked well indoors for a room that needs some drama like a living or dining room.

Sherwin Williams "Poised Taupe"

Sherwin Williams announced Poised Taupe to be their color of the year for 2017, and it has been a popular choice for many homeowners. Although they consider it more along the lines of a grayish brown color, some people have described it to have a mix of mauve, pink, with purple undertones. There has been definitely been a lot of opinions posted about this color on various Blogs, including Instagram and Pinterest. Most people have considered it to be the perfect mix of a neutral cool gray with a woodsy neutral brown color. If the previous five years have been any indication about the tendency towards grayish brown hues, then we are confident something similar to this color will still be popular in 2017.

Glidden "Byzantine Blue"

Byzantine Blue was Glidden's 2017 Color of the Year, and it is another type of soothing blue paint color that can work in any room. This color has a contemporary feel and it has a combination of shades of aqua, deep blue and light green.  To contrast the wood trim, a plain white or bright white color is always a must. This is traditionally a great hue for holiday and seaside homes.  The faint violet undertone definitely gives it an unexpected glow that would be dramatic in a special area of the home.  Although this color would look good in any room, it could also serve as a nice color for an exterior front door.

Valspar "Crushed Oregano"

Valspar's 2017 Color of the Year is Crushed Oregano and it's a bold subdued color in a time of neutral paint color popularity. It is more of an olive green type of color with a very slight yellow undertone, which would be a good option for a family room or study.  Obviously, the rest of the room's decor should be well thought out, so that it looks the part and doesn't appear out of place.  For example, white kitchen cabinets would offset this type of bold color, and would be a fashionable design idea.  You will want to sample this dynamic paint color before you commit to paint all of the walls to be sure that it's right for your space.

Sherwin Williams HGTV "Natural Wonder"

Another popular Sherwin-Williams paint color is called Natural Wonder, and it's part of a palette of only twenty colors.  This type of smaller paint color palette helps people make color decisions more quickly and confidently.  Natural Wonder is an earth tone, and is formulated with a combination of several neutral paint colors.  Earth tones like this are particularly versatile, and it can be combined with other colors in multiple ways which should flow well with any type of decor.  Often times it is imperative to balance out earth tones with softer neutrals so that the space is not overwhelming, but in this case Natural Wonder would provide a warm and cozy feeling for any bedroom.

Homeowners Associations Regulations

HOAs and Restrictive Ordinances are designed to protect neighborhood property values by enforcing Homeowners to maintain their home and not to deviate in terms of paint colors or architectural changes. Sometimes however, the bureaucracy of the HOA can be a little overwhelming.  I’ve heard of stories of homeowners being sued by their HOA simply because they painted their shutters red instead of green.

So the front of your house needs to be re-painted or your vinyl siding needs to be power washed. Should you ask permission from your HOA before doing anything?

Usually most HOAs are easy to deal with. They will clean your streets, plow your streets, trim your trees, maintain the swimming pool, and allow you to paint your home the exact same color that was used when the house was built. There are some that have come up with more stringent guidelines. Most notably the Reston Virginia area has an HOA for Reston, and each of the small townhouse clusters has their own HOA

There are some HOAs that will require homeowners to hire an “HOA Approved” painting company. The most moderate HOA’s will limit color choices for an exterior repaint to three or four acceptable neutrals colors. If for some odd chance the homeowner would like to deviate from the approved list of colors, they must go through a color change approval process. This could involve submitting paint samples, provide paint manufacturer and brand information, and possibly even attend architectural HOA board meetings.

There are always obvious constraints. For example, if your next door neighbor had the exact same color that you would like to apply, then there might be an objection. Some HOAs rules do make sense in terms of paint schemes. Colors should be in the same schema when you take into consideration the siding color, trim color, garage door, front door, and shutters. Often times, they will regulate the brand of paint that you use to be the same builder brand and quality. All of these pesky rules and regulations should be included within the By-Laws of the HOA.

>As a homeowner within an HOA Controlled Community, you should take these regulations seriously, and always inquire with the Board if you are thinking about making changes to the exterior. Trust me; HOA’s have their ways of forcing homeowners to comply with their demands. As stated in the By-Laws of the HOA, usually they are able to fine homeowners several hundred dollars per month. If the fines get ignored, they can then place a lien on the property thereby forcing the homeowner into submission.

It's important to document everything whenever you're dealing with the HOA. For example, if someone complains about your color choice years down the road, it's a good idea to keep a paper trail concerning your color approvals. Paint colors on the inside of the home should never become an issue with the HOA in your neighborhood. Davinci's Painting has been dealing with HOA's in Reston since Reston was built! Please give us a call if you should need any assistance.

Environmental Friendly Renovation Tips

If you’re renovating your home this spring, there are many decisions that you need to make before the work can get started. In fact, it can be quite a task for many people. Sometimes it can be helpful to organize the project when you have time off! One thing you should always consider is to take into account environmental friendly considerations. More often than not, these strategies will not only help the environment, but it can go a long way in terms of saving money for the overall project. We recommend the following tips when you’re renovating.

Hire an Environmentally Responsible Architect

Environmental considerations over the entire life cycle of a building process is an important goal of sustainable architecture.  Over the past 20 years, conscientious contractors and the modern public have embraced green architecture as a socially responsible way to build and renovate.  Architects use many different techniques to reduce the environmental footprint of the building process, as well as, eliminate the need to use fossil fuel during the construction.  Green renovation projects can include the resourceful use of materials and the methodologies that are utilized to install those materials. A thorough site analysis that includes an environmental impact study will minimize the impact of building or renovating within the environment.

Use Recycled Materials When it is Possible

Using recycled materials in construction is not entirely mainstream in modern architecture, however, it's gaining traction. There are a many examples and ways to be ecologically conscious that doesn't have to impact the design and aesthetics of a renovation project. This can include anything from reclaimed wood, insulation, concrete, and floor tiles. Needless to say, it may not be easy to find the right kind of materials in good condition for your specific project. But it never hurts to see what is out there, because many times you will be surprised about the quality of some environmentally friendly recycled materials that are available. Moreover, recycled materials can be available at a quarter of the cost of new construction materials.

A Healthy Indoor and Outdoor Environment

Environmentally-friendly construction can not only help preserve the outdoor environment, it can also help to maintain a healthier indoor environment within your home. Traditional construction approaches and materials have often been associated with a wide range of health problems. Chemical compounds from paints, solvents, plastics and other composites are known to cause health issues for people living within the home. The utilization of non-toxic products and materials and recycled construction materials can help alleviate some of those health issues. Green construction techniques that are used today should focus on not only protecting the natural surroundings, but also the indoor environment.

Salvage Materials from the Existing Structure

Architects should find opportunities during the disassembly stage to reuse whatever they can in order to reduce the environmental footprint and reduce costs. Designing a home that can utilize some of the existing materials reduces waste overall and and provides environmental benefits for communities. Moreover, builders, owners, and occupants, also receive an economic benefit by extending the life of the parts of the house that already exist. Those house parts and materials can be taken apart and recycled for further use during the remodeling process. This could include salvaging the existing foundation, or perhaps dismantling and retrofitting roofing and framing structures to accommodate the new design.

Utilize Low VOC or Zero VOC Paint Materials

Volatile organic compounds are contained within commonly used household products which includes a lot of older and inexpensive paint products. The process of applying those paint materials containing VOCs causes gas or vapors to be emitted within the environment. These organic compounds can cause a variety of health problems for some people, including watery eyes, headaches, respiratory ailments and even cancer in some cases. Women who are pregnant, young children, and other people with heightened sensitivity to chemicals may be more susceptible to VOC related illnesses. Most experienced residential painters will follow EPA Guidelines when utilizing paints containing VOCs and should recommend those products to customers.  We have a ton of information on our Website concerning Zero VOC Paints and Green Painting!