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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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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!

Lead Abatement in Washington DC

Many Homes in the Washington DC Metro Area were built prior to 1978.  Back in those days, it was a common practice to use lead-based paint materials for both interior and in exterior painting jobs.   For many home owners, older houses have a certain charm and attraction because of the architecture.  As is the case, there is craftsmanship that cannot be found in newer houses.  Lead Paint was also the most durable at the time, and is sometimes found in older buildings.

If this sounds like your Home, and has never previously been tested for lead, it is the law for any Contractor to first test the house for lead prior to performing any work.  This is how lead gets into the home environment and onto carpets and possibly furniture. When the paint chips or flakes off due to scraping or sanding, lead particles can be released.  This is when it can become a health hazard, especially for women who are pregnant and small children.

Perhaps some of you have seen the image of a child eating paint chips off of an old door; however, this is not the most common way that children become exposed to lead.  Whenever there is any type of construction work going on dealing with lead paint, there will always be lead dust because of the fact that lead paint crumbles very easily.  The dust can be stirred into the air when the house is swept or vacuumed and then subsequently inhaled inadvertently.  

These project photographs are from an exterior project that we recently completed in downtown Washington DC.   There were two parts to the project.  The first part of the job was the most extensive to remove the previous layer of lead based paint.  Once that was completed, the paint application process was routine.  Please visit our Pinterest Job Photo Website to view more photographs that illustrate the level of safety requirements involved in the removal of lead based paint.

Failure to effectively deal with the risk of lead exposure can cause liability issues related to environmental contamination. You should absolutely discuss your Contractor’s plan and procedures for lead compliance.

Davinci’s Painting is EPA Lead Certified, and we are experts in the testing and identification of lead, as well as, lead removal practices.  For the health and safety of your family, leave the job of lead abatement and lead paint removal to an EPA Certified Lead Paint Removal Company. There are numerous safety measures that must be followed for both the work environment and the painters themselves.  Documentation must also be submitted to the government.

Extensive Interior Painting in Alexandria VA

This interior painting job was multi-faceted.  The new Home Owner wanted to change all of the colors from the previous Owner.   Although I happen to like deep red and orange, I probably would have chosen those colors for the dining room or office.  In any event, the new owners could not come to terms with the color options that existed in the the master bedroom, converted dining room, and especially the basement rec room.

Other aspects of the job included painting previously stained wood trim, and the paneled walls within the rec room.  In order to paint over the stained trim, we needed to completely prime the wood with Oil Based Kilz Primer. A respirator is always required whenever using oil based Kilz Primer.  Once the Kilz had completely dried, it was important to completely sand every square inch of the primed wood.

There was also an unpainted brick wall within the converted dining room.  This room was a previous porch addition that was built-out at some point to include a ceiling, door, and real windows.  In this case, it was necessary to completely prime the brick with heavy-duty block filler primer.  Because of the fact that we were applying three different types of primers, It was critically important to completely seal the tile and hardwood floor.

The preparation required 5 days to complete.  Since the property was vacant we were able to work late and did not need to accommodate for people living in the house.  Projects that require extensive preparation are performed much more efficiently when they are vacant.  The painting aspect of the job was very straightforward.  Prior to the application of the second coating, we utilized spotlights to check for any imperfections.

Exterior Painting in the Spring!

When spring time brings upon mild weather, most homeowners in Northern Virginia look forward to taking care of those things outside of their Home. Yard work like landscaping and gardening in general are usually the first things that come to mind. Many people just cannot wait to start buying bags of mulch and get to digging up the shrubbery. However, if you think that your Home is need of an exterior cleaning and paint job, then it would be best to put off the landscaping, and take care of the important project first.

You Shouldn’t Delay Painting Your Exterior
It’s never a good idea to delay performing exterior cleaning, repairs, or painting of your Home. Usually, the life expectancy of the typical paint job is 5 to 7 years. After a certain amount of time, those areas that were previously caulked or repaired could become exposed to the elements. Sometimes excessive water penetration due to a faulty gutter or downspout can also cause paint to fail prematurely. When wood trim becomes exposed to the elements, wood deterioration begins. As more time passes, this deterioration can penetrate beyond the cornice trim that you can see, and can enter into the wood framing of the house. The more time that you wait, the more expensive the repairs can become.

Paint First Then Do Outside Landscaping
Despite the great amount of care that is taken to protect plants and the landscape surrounding a Home, there is a lot of work that goes into getting a house painted. Power washing the exterior is the first phase, and often times the most difficult and dirtiest aspect of the job. Because of the excess amount of water, plastic protection of plants is not feasible during this process, and it is almost inevitable that something will be touched. On the other hand, plastic coverings and drop cloths are always utilized to cover plants and shrubbery throughout the preparation and application phases. In any event, if you have the option, you should always consider performing landscaping after any type of exterior work.

Exterior Painting and Weather Challenges
Temperature fluctuations are one of the most important factors to consider when you are thinking painting the exterior of your home. Latex paint will have an adverse reaction as temperatures approach the freezing mark. The reason is that latex paints contain water and will freeze at temperatures below 32 degrees, and this will cause the paint to not cure properly. Moreover, the evaporation rate is much slower prohibiting the latex particles to come together, coalesce, and dry properly. Weather in Northern Virginia is generally mild during the spring and summer months, and it is absolutely the optimal time to perform any type of exterior paint applications. Painting should always be avoided during rainy conditions.

Maximize Your Paint Job!
Painting the exterior of your home will increase the curb appeal because and will make your home look like new on the outside. It will also improve your home’s value and helps portray the idea that you have taken excellent care of your home. If you are considering putting your home on the market, this type of home improvement investment will help draw potential buyers for a first and second look. If your home was painted within the past 5 years, perhaps cleaning your house is all that is needed. Power washing is always included in all of Davinci’s Painting exterior painting work, and it’s the best way to remove mold, mildew and stains on your home’s brick, wood, and aluminum siding.

There are numerous factors that can affect exterior house painting and it can be challenging to get the work done the right way. This is why it is crucially important to hire a Class A Northern Virginia Painting Company. Davinci’s Painting is a museum quality painting contractor, and we perform additional preparation processes that other companies cannot and will not provide. Why not get your exterior painting done before more fun outdoor activities start like gardening, graduations, and family barbecues? Give us a call or request an estimate through our website!