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Why use Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is an organic compound made through the reaction of glycol and isocyanate.  It has great moisture and corrosion resistance characteristics.  For this reason, polyurethane sealant is useful in in commercial and industrial application.  It is often used for a strong adhesive, as well as a coating.  It is also loved for its flexibility.

It may be pressed, layered, sprayed, or brushed into needed areas.  The most common method of application is with a caulk gun.  Common problems are the expansion and contraction of the joint.  Polyurethane is known for its resistance to cracking due to movement of the joint materials.

A quality polyurethane sealant will adhere to masonry, wood, concrete, steel, aluminum, vinyl, and most plastics.

Polyurethane sealants are easy to use, long-lasting and very versatile.  They have a wide-range of applications.  I have used polyurethane for glazing/caulking with glass, stone and tile construction and painting.  This method improves structural integrity, has a more stable adherence, and resists tearing and weathering.  They are available in a wide range of colors and are paintable.  This method enhances the aesthetic appearance of any structure you may be working on.

Is it time for a kitchen cabinet makeover?

Wanting a new look for your kitchen?  Has a new appliance made your cabinets look dated or worn?  Wood or wood laminate cabinets can usually be repainted with wonderful results and a much lower price than new ones.  The biggest challenge is simply in anticipating all the steps involved.    Because your kitchen is the nucleus of your home, a timely renovation is a necessity.  In these articles we will help you think through all the steps involved in recoating your cabinets so that whether you do the work yourself or contract someone else to do the labor, you can be an informed participant.

Step One:  Planning the Job

If you aren’t sure about how or what paint will bond to your existing cabinets, email us a picture of the cabinets you are going to be painting and an idea you want the finished product to look like. Newer higher resolution cameras make looking at your job much easier.

Paint for cabinet doors can be applied with sprayers, rollers, or brushes.  All applicators have pros and cons when it comes to using them.  Spraying cabinets takes the most preparation time and involves the most equipment and clean up.  Depending on the number of cabinets to coat, a pro will usually just elect to brush the material.  The best applicator depends on the paint and finish you choose.

Decide where your work space is going to be.  Cover off a section of your kitchen with plastic or make a work space in your garage or patio.  Sanding and dust are usually easier to clean up outside the house.

Step Two:   Breaking down the job.

All door or drawer pulls and hinges should be removed.  Use a screwdriver or a small cordless drill for speed.  Place all loose hardware in zip lock bags and mark them with tape by number or name.    Labeling blue tape insures that each piece can be replaced to its original location.  Blue tape can more easily be removed than masking or yellow tape.  Place all your materials on a drop cloth to protect it and mask off any surfaces that may catch drips like floors and counter tops.

Step Three:  Cleaning and Sanding

Check all areas for grease, oil or food particles.  If you can see or feel them, use a cleaner like TSP to remove them.  TSP is usually mixed with one part to 4 parts of water.  Rinse and allow the surfaces to dry completely.

Sanding is best done with a sanding block or electric orbital sander.   Sand lightly as there is no need to remove all paint or finish.  You just want a clean smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to.  Sand paper is rated by how course or fine it is.  Use a finer medium sand paper to scuff up the surface and then use a very fine sand paper to finish and insure no blemishes can be detected.

If there are imperfections in the wood, sand to remove these and then prime the area.  Feather or blend in the primer so that no paint edges will be visible.  If after a coat of paint, you discover lines, you must lightly sand these areas and recoat.

Lastly, brush or vacuum all dust from every surface.  Then wipe all surfaces with a tack cloth to pick up any residue or sanding particles.

Step Four:  Painting

Apply a coat or primer to all areas.  Primer provides a better base coat for semi-gloss and/or water based paints.  A pro will usually prefer an enamel paint because it is easier to guarantee a polished finished product.  But there are lots of options with today’s durable water-borne finishes.  Water-based paints are easier to thin and clean up.

Begin with inside edges and work to the outside faces.  Work quickly to enable you to see and correct for any drips or areas where paint has built up.  If you start painting on less visible surface, you can develop a feel for the material.  Apply paint in thin coats.  This will usually mean less brush strokes and a faster drying time.  Overworking paint can cause air bubbles or pits when it dries.  Make sure all areas are covered and wait until the paint is completely dry before recoating .  A light resanding before the final coat will ensure a clean, blemish free surface.

Step Five:  Install hardware and replace all doors and fronts.

Still have questions?  Give us a call at 435.655.9706.

Wallpaper Removal in Weber County

Commonly we are asked, “What’s the best way to remove wallpaper?”

Our best results have come from removing whatever is able to be peeled by hand first, then scoring the wallpaper using a paper tiger.  The paper tiger will allow the water to permeate the paper faster and below any graphic or pattern.  We apply two cups of fabric softener to one gallon of hot water.  Let the water stand for 5 to 15 minutes and scrape with a straight blade. It’s important to keep the wall wet for a period of time prior to peeling the paper and using a sponge to move the water around is also helpful.

After the paper has been removed, we apply GARDZ primer from Zinsser and it is designed to specifically seal prior to or after wallpaper.  After the paint is dry we apply a skim coat of spackle or topping mud to level the imperfections and then prime again.

Now it’s time to hang some new paper or paint.

Choosing the Best Brush for the Job

There are just two things to consider when choosing a brush:  1. What kind of paint are you using and 2. What areas are you going to paint.

The vast majority of painters use brushes from ½ inch to 6 inches.  Each one is designed for a specific paint project.  Smaller paint brushes typically are used for trim and smaller areas such as window frames and large paint brushes for larger areas and covering surface areas faster.  Pros use the largest paint brush that is suitable for the surface because it will carry the most paint and reduces the overall time it takes to complete a project.  I once knew a woman who painted the ceiling in her home with a 2 inch brush but it took her a week!

A brush is composed of a handle, a ferrule and bristles.  The longer handled brushes help balance the paintbrush when it is loaded with paint.   The ferrule is used to attach the bristles to the handle.  And  paint brush bristles are usually one of two kinds, natural or synthetic.  Bristles are always chosen according to the type of paint that you are using.

If the can label says alkyd, oil or oil-based, you need a natural bristle brush.  When paints were oil based, natural bristles from hogs were the best medium for brushes.  But with the advent of water-based coatings, synthetic bristles made form nylon, polyester or some combination work much better.  Synthetic brushes are more stiff in a water medium, they won’t go limp as fast as natural ones and they clean up easily.

The size and number of bristles will also distinguish one paint brush from another.  And the shape or ‘chisel’ of the end of the bristles and how they are finished all count when looking for a better product.  Generally, you get what you pay for.  If you are not sure how brushes work, buy two or more and try them out.  Better brushes always hold more paint, release paint more easily and hide brush marks to give you the best finished product.

written by: Thomas Moorhouse

Seven Secrets Pro Painters All Know

Pro Painters at A Plus Painting and Coatings get great results quickly because they have mastered techniques that make painting look easy.  Every painter has his or her own style and methods.  But here are seven trade secrets that almost all pros employ to make their work more efficient.

  1. A professional painter almost never paints out of his paint can.  Instead, he fills a cup or pot with several inches of paint and then only dips the brush less than halfway in the paint.  Then he knocks off the heavy drips and starts painting.  Novices drag a loaded brush along the sides of a container and end up wiping off most of the paint.  Wiping off most of the paint after dunking is pointless.
  2. Pros don’t ‘drag’ paint with a brush but instead they ‘push’ paint.  This sounds difficult at first but spend some time watching a pro work and you will see the subtle difference this makes.  After loading his brush with paint, a pro starts slightly below the cut-in area.  After he unloads his brush, then he drags the paint up against the edges of the cut-in area.  This makes painting faster and prevents excess paint in the edges and in corners.
  3. Before painting, a pro fills holes and cracks with spackle.  And to avoid this new white spot from sucking moisture out of the next coat of paint and ‘flashing’, a pro first covers this spot with a tinted primer that is similar to the finished color.  This is especially when you are painting with darker or more vivid colors.
  4. Taping off woodwork with blue painter’s tape instead of regular masking tape is another secret pros use.  Regular masking tape can leave a sticky residue that is hard to clean.  Also painter’s blue tape can be left on a jobsite for days and still peel off cleanly while masking tape tends to dry on after only a few days and then is much more difficult to remove. When pros apply blue tape, they run a putty knife over the top edge of the tape for a good seal.  This keeps paint  from ‘bleeding’ under the tape and guarantees a sharp line when the tape is removed.
  5. Profession painters never use bed sheets or thin plastic as drop cloths.  They prefer 10oz canvas because it absorbs paint spills best.  While plastic may keep paint from seeping into a rug, it keeps drips wet longer and because the paint is not absorbed, it means this wet paint may stick to the bottom of your shoes and get tracked on to a floor surface.  Drop cloths are more expensive but can be reused multiple times.
  6. While colors are usually easy to rematch, sometimes batches of paint differ slightly and a new can of paint may vary slightly in the middle of a wall.   Before a pro painter begins a job, he mixes or ‘boxes’ all the same paint together to insure color consistency from start to finish.  If in doubt, order more paint than you think you will need.  It is better to have some touch-up paint left than to return to the store and get newly batched paint.
  7. When they are new, roller covers inevitably shed some fuzz when you first start painting.  To prevent this, pros wash these new rollers in water before they use them and  run their hands up and down the cover to remove this fuzz.  Then while the cover is still wet, they use them.

Should I Paint my home if I’m selling?

It may seem like a complete waste to paint your home right before you will walk out the front door for the last time.  After all, why go thru the trouble of moving all the furniture or working around the landscaping if I’m going to do that just in a few weeks or months.  And the expense, why would I spend more money now if I’m only going to sell it?

But the answer to, “should I paint my home before I sell it?” is absolutely!  The answer is always yes.  Here’s why- market research has consistently shown painting your home will provide a 125% return on investment.  Not only does it increase your sale price, but it also makes selling you home more attractive to realtors and buyers.  Most new home buyers will have a difficult time seeing the potential in your home if it isn’t clean and well maintained.  Interior Painting will have a lasting impression and may update the look of you home immediately. Exterior Painting will likely improve curb appeal, which is a large factor if you want the buyer to even come inside.

As a Professional Painting Company in Summit County, Moorhouse Painting will transform your existing home into a ready to sell property.  We have a reputation for quality, reliability, responsiveness and professional results.

Why you need a written contract.

Doing business without a contract is risky while a well written contract serves the client and guarantees the contractor can run a successful business. In some parts of the country, it’s a legal requirement for home improvement projects over a certain dollar value.

A well-written contract is simply a document that clearly defines what the client and the contractor have discussed and agreed to. It sets expectations about the product, and it outlines the payment terms and consequences of not satisfying the contract’s terms.  A clearly spelled-out contract protects both sides in a deal.

Verbal agreements and a hand shake don’t hold as much weight as a written contract.  Details of what’s to be done and how much it will cost often get misconstrued or even forgotten. It’s unfortunate that this happens but our memories are not perfect and a written contract protects both the consumer and the contractor. Verbal agreements and a hand shake don’t hold as much weight as a written contract.

A contract gives you a strong legal leg to stand on should a problem arise. Having a contract shows you are dealing with a professional and not some fly-by-night operation.  It clearly defines what’s to be done and how much it will cost.  Don’t be afraid of a contract.  Take time to read it, understand it and even ask questions before signing it.  It’s for everyone’s good.

written by: Thomas Moorhouse

Garage Floor Coatings

A garage floor coating is the most economic and aesthetic way to enhance a dull gray floor. From simple coatings to heavy-duty epoxy-based systems, your garage floor can become an extension of your living space.  Concrete coatings also increase resiliency to stains, tire marks and hide minor imperfections.

 

With many colors to choose from, the coating can be further enhanced by decorative quartz, paint chips or finished to look like metal.  Garage floor coatings give you a wide array of design options.  But everyone starts with preparation.  This is fundamental to a great finish.

 

                        How to prepare my garage floor?

 

Concrete is simply a mixture of Portland cement, aggregate like stones and sand, and water.  The water reacts with the cement and forms a bond which binds the cement to the aggregate to form a very hard structure.  Concrete was used thousands of years ago but has improved dramatically in the last 100 years.  It is used in roads, sewers, buildings, bridges, tunnels, and even boats.  Protecting it and enhancing it has become an industry all its own.

 

Regardless of what product you are going to apply, adequate preparation can determine a great finish or a coating nightmare.   What does thorough preparation entail?

 

Concrete must be clean, dry and not too smooth for a coating to bond correctly.  Grease, oil and paint should be removed to enhance the bond. Moisture in concrete can contribute to failure of a coating.  And roughing up or “profiling” the surface is also necessary for a new coating  to adhere.  This can be done mechanically with a scarifier or chemically with acids.  But the entire surface of any floor should pass these three tests:  Is it clean? It is dry? and Is it profiled so the coating will adhere?  All three are important to insure success of the final product.

Considering Hiring a Professional Painter, but maybe you will do it yourself?

Taking on the task of an interior or exterior painting project can be a difficult task.  It really depends on the size of the project and your experience.  Typically the project starts with researching the proper materials and equipment. This takes time out of your busy schedule and multiple trips to the home improvement store for last minute supplies will add up.  The physical labor alone can turn what looked like a weekend project into a week long ordeal.  The real thing that gets most people motivated to attempt it on their own, are the info commercials on TV.  They make painting look like a breeze, and most people find that it was never as easy as they hoped it would be.

Hiring a professional painter takes all the guess work out of getting the job done. You can go about your daily schedule while the painter shows up with all the necessary tools and supplies to get the job done right the first time and in the shortest amount of time possible.  The preparation of the surfaces will be completed without wondering if I’ve sanded enough or prepared the walls thoroughly enough for finish paint.  A seasoned painting professional will take care of the details and make the experience painless.

Quality painting workmanship is another benefit of hiring a professional without having to deal with the hassles of redoing or performing the work for a second time.  Generally It takes a home owner two tries to perform what a professional will perform in a third of the time the first time.

However if the experience of painting your home is something that will bring a smile and the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself, then charge for the paint store and roll up your sleeves.  We support you for doing it yourself, because we know what’s really involved.

Challenges of Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-Cement Siding has the look of wood siding.  When painted properly it can have a lower maintenance cost.  According to most manufactures, the market share for the product has reached 10% of all siding products.  And quite a few new homes have this lap siding installed.  The benefits include resistance to fire, termites and dry rot.  Fiber Cement Siding will generally last longer than wood siding and it has been sold as a superior siding product.

However, In Park City we have seen the effects of fiber-cement products in heavy moisture.  Moisture resistance is a real concern.  This siding is not moisture resistant, and if installed where standing snow and running water our present, it fails in just a few years.  The most frequent issue is buckling where there is inadequate spacing of the planks.

Most manufactures give a 15 to 20 year life expectancy of the exterior paint finish, however if water is present the warranty is void.  Because the primary component in the siding is cement, if water is present it will bring lime and other minerals to the surface of the siding and efflorescence causes the paint film to deteriorate

The composite manufactures we have painted include:

James-Hardie Siding            http://www.jameshardie.com/homeowner.htm

CertainTeed  http://www.certainteed.com/products/siding

Wolverine Dura-press

Maxitile http://www.maxitile.com/maxisiding_ho.php

I’ve included there links if you want to get the official info from their websites.

 

There are certain colors that weather better than others on Fiber-Cement Siding give us a call for your specific color question, and we will be happy to answer.