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Back to the Basics

I was just recently painting with a fantastic employee (you know who you are!), and they suggested we get back to discussing the basics.  Great suggestion.   

1. Surface Preparation- Before starting to paint, it's important to tack the basic steps in preparing the substrate.  Sanding, Caulking, Spackle, Putty, Bondo, and maybe some more.

2. Substrate Cleaning- Even the very best paint may be unable to stick to the existing substrate if it isn't properly cleaned prior to the primer or paint being applied.  Surface contaminants and exterior substrates should be thoroughly washed or cleaned to wash away grime, dirt, chalk and mildew.

3. Substrate Repair and Restoration- After cleaning it's important to make the substrate look new prior to painting.  Remember two coats of paint will only be 7 mils which is equivalent to a couple sheets of heavy paper.  How will this micro topping make that giant crack or separation disappear?

4. Proper Material Selection- Choosing a paint that is designed for the job your performing is critical.  Using a quality product designed for your project makes it simple to select the right product, but also a little homework about the right product takes time. It is important to apply the paint at its recommended spread rate and not to thin or thick with additional application.  If the film is too thick or thin it will compromise the integrity of the film.   

5. Application Tools and Brushes to Match Material- All to often we just state using a high quality brush and roller is important, but the right filament in the brush is just as important as the price of the tool. Match Nylon, Polyesters, Natural bristle and Synthentics with the appropriate paints.

6. Temperature and Weather Conditions- Plan to paint when the weather is acceptable.  This could mean you simply have to wait until the conditions become acceptable.  In the Southern California Desert painting in the sun is just not going to be acceptable in the summer months.  It may be necessary to paint early morning and late evening when the sun isn't present.  We recently performed a job in La Quinta and the wind was not allowing the product to set up.  It was drying out to quickly because of the wind and wound up not proper forming a film with any adhesion.  Acrylic Paints like 50 to 85 degrees F.  No wind and no sunshine.  Avoid painting in the direct sun and also don't paint if the temperature is predicted to drop below the paint maufactures recommedation for minimum application.  

7. Primer and Multiple Coats -  This is particularly important on all applications!  I recently visited a home in Palm Desert which had latex installed over oil paint from the seventies.  All the casings and doors were pealing and blistering after being wiped down.  Really an ugly situation.  Stripper and a lot of elbow grease removed most of the recently painted areas quickly.  Talk about being frustrated!!!

Proper Surface Preparation and Application will achieve long lasting results and an attractive surface for years to come.  


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