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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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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!

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.