The walls are uneven in my Toronto home, can I still wallpaper?

The walls are uneven in my Toronto home, can I still wallpaper?

You’re in love with wallpaper, however, many older Toronto homes are plagued with uneven walls.  Many renovations and DIY projects have left corners less than square. Plaster walls can look a little lumpy and humpy in parts.  What’s a homeowner to do? Can wallpaper still be installed?

Yes it can!  Here are some guidelines that will make it look it’s best….

Here’s how to see if your corners are square

Wallpaper Installation & Home Painters in Toronto - CAM Painting - Gallery Image 16

An example of a geometric pattern

Get a straight edge, the longer the better.  If you hold it in the corner, you’ll be able to tell if the wall curves in or curves out.

Next, get a level and place it in the corner.  This will show you if your corners are level.

If the corners are both straight and level, congratulations!  Any wallpaper that you choose should look great once installed.

If your corners are not square or level:toronto wallpaper installation, CAM Painters

Try an accent wall

The problem with uneven corners is that in order for the wallpaper to be level both going into the corner and then level going out of the corner, the paper can’t match all the way from top to bottom.  However, if you’re just wallpapering an accent wall you eliminate this problem.

Be aware of the pattern that you’re choosing

Geometrical patterns can be problematic when dealing with uneven corners.  Uneven corners are highlighted because it’s very obvious that the pattern doesn’t match.

toronto wallpaper installation, CAM Painters

Paper with a lot of background space

Abstract papers can work well, because the match isn’t as obvious.

Papers with lots of background space can work well, as well.

Always use a top-notch wallpaper installer

With experience comes tricks of the trade.  An experienced wallpaper installer knows how to make your wallpaper look it’s best.  They can arrange the pattern so that the effect of uneven corners are minimized.

So if you’d like a quote for your wallpaper installation, why don’t you book a quote?  We’d love to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!

$50 per hour seems very expensive to paint my Toronto home…

$50 per hour seems very expensive to paint my Toronto home…

On first glance when I tell customers that I average around $50 per painter per hour on my quotes, people are sometimes taken by shock.  One prospective customer even told me that it’s like paying someone $100000 per year for painting (based on 2000 hrs working per year)! Unfortunately no, this simply isn’t the case, so allow me to explain why we have a $50/hr charge rate (as of this writing in March 2018) for our services.

The painters that work in your home are skilled craftspeople

Our painters are skilled craftspeople with an eye for detail that the average person simply does not possess.  Some people think of painting as a low skill minimum wage type job, but if you pay low skill labour, you get low skill results.

Currently (as of March 2018), our average wage rate is in the low to mid $20s per hour.

However, we have employees, so we have additional costs that are incurred.  We pay WSIB on our employees, we pay EI, CPP and other source deductions. We also offer health benefits to keep our team happy and healthy!$50 per hour, toronto house painting, painting value

Why do we do this?  We could just use all subcontractors, like many other painting businesses.  Well, it adds value for you, the end client. Employees are covered under our WSIB and Liability Insurance policies, whereas subcontractors are not.  This gives you peace of mind, that if (heaven forbid) any injuries or accidents occur while on your property you are not liable.

So, when all is said and done, our average wage rate plus our labour burden puts our cost per hour at an average of $28.

We don’t skimp on the extra job-related costs

With any paint job there are little extra job costs.  A roll of plastic to cover furniture. A roll of paper to cover floors. Caulking and patch to fill holes and gaps.  Drywall tape to ensure that cracks are repaired correctly and don’t return. Roller sleeves and brushes. These are all little in and of themselves, but they add up to 5% of the overall cost of the job

We invest in our business to make it a great experience for our clients

Any business has overhead expenses.  Just because we don’t have a retail space, doesn’t mean that we don’t have overhead.

We have ladders!  We have step ladders, extension ladders, ladders that will fit into stairwells, extension ladders that will fit into elevators for condo work, ladders for uneven ground.  

We want to make sure that we can access all parts of your home in the safest and most efficient manner. We easily have thousands of dollar invested into many different ladders, so that we can transform your home.$50 per hour, toronto house painting, painting value

We have proper tools.  Painting tools aren’t just a brush, roller and roller tray.  We have dropsheets, drywall repair tools like mud pans, drywall knives.  

We have dust extractors so that when we sand dust doesn’t get through your home.  We have air cleaners that filter the air in a 400 square foot room every 10 min. One dust extraction system that we use is worth over $3000.

We have vehicles to transport equipment to your home.  For us, the average cost of running a vehicle is in the range of $8000 – $10 000 per year

We have a storage unit to put our equipment in when it’s not in use.  This costs us another $2400 per year.

When we total up our numbers for the year, our overhead generally runs 20% of sales when all is said and done.

So how do the numbers shake down?

$50 per hour charge rate$50 per hour, toronto house painting, painting value

Minus $28 per hour average labour cost (wages plus associated costs)

Minus 5% for assorted sundries, which equals $2.50 per hour

Minus 20% for overhead, which equals $10 per hour

So when you do the math we net out an average of $9.50 per hour profit, which gives us a profit margin of 19%.  So, if we do $300 000 in sales in a year our net profit is just under $60 000.

Why should you as a client be concerned if we’re profitable?  Profit keeps us running our business and doing excellent work for our wonderful clients.  When we stay in business we can honour our warranties and stand behind our work.

So if you’d like CAM Painters to Transform your home with lasting beauty, why don’t you book a quote?

Renovating your Toronto home?  Here’s how to plan the painting

Renovating your Toronto home? Here’s how to plan the painting

So you’re planning on renovating your Toronto home?  

CAM Painters can help!  Not only can we do the painting, we can recommend the sequence of painting so that it’s done as efficiently as possible.renovating, paint before moving, Toronto house painter, interior painting

Step 1:  After the drywall has been installed, taped and plastered

Prime walls and ceilings, Paint ceilings, Prime and Paint trim while it’s loose

Once the place has been drywalled, taped and mudded it’s a perfect time to have us in to prime and paint the ceilings.  Ideally this can be done before flooring goes in.  As an added bonus, if the trim and casings are onsite, we can prime and get a coat on those before they are installed.  

The benefit of getting the ceiling and walls primed early on in the renovating process is that if there are any deficiencies by the drywallers, these can be seen and rectified.  It’s better to have these deficiencies fixed before the floors, trim and other finishes go in.

Getting a coat of primer and paint on the trim while it is loose is more efficient than after it’s installed, so it saves time, which in turn saves money.

Step 2:  After flooring and trim has been installedRenovating, Toronto house painting, best value

The next phase of renovating would be to have us in after the flooring and trim has been installed.  

This phase would consist of the following:

  • Filing nail holes in the trim
  • Caulking gaps between the trim and the wall
  • Painting the walls – 2 coats
  • Painting the trim – it already has 1 coat, so it just needs the final coat

 

At this point the project would be complete, except for touch ups

Step 3:  Final touch ups after move in

Although most movers are careful, there is always some wear and tear from moving furniture back into a home.  So we recommend allowing for a day of touching up the paint, which can be scheduled shortly after you move in.

Final thoughts to consider when planning your renovation

You should allow enough time in your renovation schedule that painting can occur when there are no other trades.  As careful as other trades are, the more of them that are onsite, the more damage that is likely to happen to the paint.

Your contractor should ensure that the HVAC system is running properly prior to having any painting.  If a house is too cold, or too dry, it can have a negative impact on how the paint dries.renovating, toronto house painters

Your contractor should also ensure that there is a laundry sink and that water is available to use.  We need water to clean brushes, mix patching compound and wet rags to clean off surfaces.

Also, please make sure your contractor has the wood casings and trim are on site a week before painting starts.  This allows the wood to acclimatize to the house and do any expansion or contraction before primer and paint is applied.

If you’d like to have CAM Painters handle the painting portion of your renovation project why don’t you book a quote?  We’d be happy to Transform your home with lasting beauty!

3 tips when choosing bold colours for your Toronto home!

3 tips when choosing bold colours for your Toronto home!

So you’re thinking about bold colours for your Toronto home?  Bold colours can be tricky to paint with, so here’s our list of tips to make sure that it goes smoothly.bold colours, toronto house painter, interior painting

Coverage

Intense colours are notorious for bad coverage.  I’ve heard many stories about certain intense colours taking 7, 8 or more coats, and they still don’t look right.

First, let’s explore why this is so.  Paint comes in different bases starting with a white base, all the way to a clear base.  To these bases tint is added to achieve the desired colour.  For a very light colour, not much tint is needed and the the paint is able to get a lot if it’s coverage from what’s in the can of paint.

As we go to more intense colours, such as bright reds, bright blues, oranges, bright yellows a clear base is used.  If a white base was used, the colour would be muted and not bright at all.  When a clear base is used, the paint is getting all it’s hiding power from the tint alone.  Therefore, in most cases the paint looks almost translucent and requires many coats to cover.

There are some steps you can take to minimize the number of coats required and end up with a better finished product.

First, Use a grey primerprimer, bold colour, toronto house painter, interior painting

If you use a grey primer, you’ll be further ahead than just painting over the previous paint, or using a primer of any other colour.  The depth of grey should be matched to the depth of the topcoat colour – any reputable paint store should be able to advise on the particular depth of grey primer to use.

Second, Be careful when choosing level of sheen

Tint gives the paint more sheen, which doesn’t matter for most colours.  However when dealing with bold colours with a lot of tint, the effect can be that an eggshell looks closer to a semi gloss, or a flat looks closer to an eggshell.  So choose your sheen level wisely and perhaps choose a less glossy sheen than you would otherwise.primer, bold colour, toronto house painter, interior painting

Third, Be careful with your brushing and rolling technique

The extra tint can cause the paint to leave more texture, or stipple than normal.  Basically, you’ll want to be extra careful that you’re not leaving any unevenness in the paint when you roll it out.  I would also brush and roll one wall at a time, just to be on the safe side, rather than brush the entire room and then roll.

Expect that you might need an extra coat with bold colours

Even with all these steps, you still might need a 3rd or even a 4th coat.  So make sure you’ve given yourself enough time that you can come back the next day for another coat or two.

bold colour, toronto house painter, interior painting

Some product recommendations

When it comes to bold colours we find that Benjamin Moore Aura offers the best coverage.  However this paint can be a little difficult to work with, be sure to follow all the directions on the can and ask the paint store clerk if you have any questions.

READ MORE:  Colour Selection 101

Finally

Bold colours can really transform a space!  If you’d rather leave the application to someone else why don’t you book a quote?  We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!

A primer on priming!

A primer on priming!

Many paints advertise “paint and primer in one” and this can potentially be a time saver.  However, there are certain situations when priming will greatly help a paint job, either in terms of efficiency or durability and sometimes both.

Here is our definitive list of when to prime!primer, toronto house painter, interior painting

Primer is recommended for drastic colour changes

Certain primers are designed to have higher coverage than paint.  Therefore, these primers are handy in a few different situations:

  • When going from a dark colour to a light colour.  A white primer can hide the dark colour better than the finish coat can.  We recommend 1 coat of primer for most deep colours, and in some instances we’d recommend a 2nd coat for very dark colours.  After the surface is primed you can usually get the finish coat to cover in 2 coats
  • When going from a light colour to a dark colour.  The primer can be tinted close to the finish coat colour.  Usually 1 coat of primer will suffice, and then 2 coats of the finish paint and you’re done!
  • When using an especially vibrant colour.  Many bright reds, yellows, greens and blues can have coverage issues.  To ensure good coverage a grey primer is recommended.  A reputable paint store will be able to recommend the specific depth of grey that’s needed.  

Helpful tip:  If a paint store recommends a lighter version of a vibrant colour as a primer, don’t listen to them!  A grey primer is essential under any vibrant finish coat!

Our recommendation for this application is Sherwin Williams Multi-Purpose Water-Based Acrylic-Alkyd Primer.  This particular primer has great coverage so it’s perfect as an undercoat for colour changes.

primer, toronto huse painter, interior paintingPrimer is recommended when adhesion might be an issue

Paint has trouble adhering to certain surfaces, these include:

  • Glossy surfaces
  • Bare drywall patch
  • Bare metal
  • Bare wood

Glossy surfaces can be either sanded to de-gloss, primed, or both sanded and primed.  Sanding breaks open the surface and allows the paint to penetrate deeper and get a better bond with the surface.  

Bare surfaces, such as bare patches, bare wood or metal should be primed as well.  Priming acts as an intermediary step, it bonds to the surface and then gives a porous surface for the finish coat to bond to.

primer, toronto house painter, interior paintingPriming is recommended where there are potential problems with stain bleeding

These areas include the following:

  • Mould-prone areas such as bathrooms
  • Wood where sap from knots are staining the surface
  • Greasy areas such as kitchens

First off, what is stain bleeding?  Paint has trouble covering certain substances, such as grease, sap and mould.  Consequently when these are painted over, the stain discolours the paint and “bleeds” through the surface.

Greasy and stained areas should be washed first with TSP to clean the grease off the surface.  However, even after cleaning there can still be a little bit of residue remaining, especially if there’s extensive staining.  To completely eliminate the potential of the stain bleeding through one can use an alcohol-based primer.

Finally

If you’d prefer CAM Painters to take care of your painting needs why don’t you book a quote?  We’d love to Transform your home with lasting beauty!