This is a familiar scenario: You have the flooring redone in your Toronto home and then realize that the staircase doesn’t match the new flooring. We can help!
Many people are painting the wood on their staircases in a two-tone colour scheme and it looks fantastic! Or they paint everything but the stair tread – on that area they have it stained and varnished to match the flooring.
I’ll go through the process shortly. But first, let’s define the anatomy of a staircase:
- Railing: This consists of the handrail – what your hand rests on, spindles and posts
- Stair tread: the part that your foot walks on
- Stair riser: the part that your toe inadvertently kicks when running up the stairs
- Stair stringers: the piece on either side of the stairs that holds the whole assembly up
What are our options?
If we want to paint the stairs, here is a typical colour scheme:
dark colour: Handrail, posts, stair tread
light colour: spindles, stringers, risers
If you want to do both stain/varnish and paint, the stair tread would be stained and varnished and the rest of the colours could be similar to the above scheme.
How do you ensure that the staircase is durable?
As you can imagine, stairs take a beating and it’s essential to have the most durable paint on them.
First thing, proper preparation is key:
If the stairs are currently varnished and we want to paint them it’s essential that we scuff sand the surface, this gives the primer something to grip on to.
After sanding we vacuum the surface to ensure all the dust is off the surface
We prime the surface with low odour alkyd primer – latex primers don’t stick good enough for foot traffic and constant abuse.
If We’re Staining and Varnishing
When staining and varnishing the stair tread we need to remove the existing coating all the way down to the bare wood.
If We’re Painting the Treads
We apply two coats of finish – low odor alkyd paint on the stair tread, which is suitable for walked on surfaces, on the other areas we use a latex enamel suitable for trim.
If We’re Staining and Varnishing the Treads and Painting the Rest
Generally we need to apply two coats of stain to get the wood to the right colour. After we apply the stain we put two coats of varnish on the tread, with a light sand in between coats.
On the other areas we put two coats of latex enamel suitable for trim.
We’d love to update your staircase, so why don’t you book a quote? CAM Painters will Transform your Home With Lasting Beauty!
If you want the paint work in your Toronto home to look the best it can, the preparation work that goes on before a can of paint is opened is critical to the finished product.
First thing, let’s define levels of preparation and what type of customer each is geared towards:
- Level 1 “Good” – this is geared towards someone wanting just the basic level of preparation, maybe someone needing a quick turnaround, or perhaps the space that is being painted is one that isn’t of prime concern, or perhaps they just need the paint freshened up in order to put their house on the market
- Level 2 “Better” – this is for a typical customer that wants decent workmanship, they want to have a great painting experience, they want their painted surfaces to look smoother than they do currently, but they don’t expect or necessarily need perfection.
- Level 3 “Best” – this is for someone who demands the best and realizes that it takes time to achieve this level of finish. These customers are typically interior designers and people that like to keep their homes immaculate.
So let’s go through the steps we use to properly prepare a typical interior paint job for painting:
Organization is key, we ensure that we have all the tools to properly tackle each job. Proper tools ensure that things get done with maximum efficiency, and minimal disruption for the customer.
Flooring and furniture is covered and protected. We use either dropsheets or rolls
of paper for flooring protection, depending on which is most appropriate for the situation. Furniture is covered with clean plastic sheeting.
If we are painting things to a “good” level, then all that’s usually needed is a pole sand of the walls, and then a filling of all the visible holes and cracks.
If we are painting things to a “better” level, then we will pole sand the walls and ceiling, fill all the visible holes and cracks, but then in addition to that we will sand out sags and drips on the ceiling, walls and trim and we will fill in any noticeable divots or dents as well.
If we are painting things to the “best” level, then things get a little crazy! We like to put an LED light on an angle at every area that is to be painted, that way, we can see all the imperfections that are in the ceilings, walls and trim. The angled light causes shadows to be cast by every little dent or bump, which we can then sand or fill.
One consideration that we deal with in achieving a level 3 finish is that many of the walls in older Toronto homes have been at some time painted poorly – either by a do it yourselfer or a less than skilled painter. These walls typically have a lot of drips, sags and excessive roller texture. To make these walls smooth it takes a lot of work, which has to be accounted for in our timelines and our pricing.
When we sand the walls we use a power sander attached to a vacuum, to eliminate dust at the source. No one likes dust and it’s best to eliminate it before it gets into the ventilation system and spreads throughout the house.
After we have done all this patching and filling and sanding, we still aren’t done the preparation work, we still have to prime certain areas, and do a little more filling and sanding, just to make sure that the surface is ready to paint. However, when we do the preparation work right, then the painting goes relatively quick in comparison and the end result looks fantastic!
The difference in price from the good paint job to the best paint job can be more than double. So when getting paint quotes be sure to compare apples to apples. If someone has been quoted a level 1 paint job, but then expects a level 3 – frustration will result, both for them and their contractor!
In conclusion, as you can see, a lot goes into a paint job, even before a can of paint is opened. In some situations more time goes in than other times. I like to make sure that this is communicated to my potential clients as clearly as possible, so they know the value that they are getting when they use my services. Why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform your home with lasting beauty!
As I write this at the end of September we are having warmer weather than we’ve had all summer in Toronto. But eventually this heat wave will end, which begs the question, when is it too cold to paint the exterior of my Toronto home?
The simple answer is, it depends on the paint and the outside temperature. Usually the paint can lists the temperature range that it works best in. So, what happens when you paint in the outer limits of the range – either too hot or too cold?
What happens when you paint in weather that is too hot?
The hotter it is outside, the faster paint will dry. Keeping this in mind is key, because if the paint dries to quickly it won’t dry all the way through. Instead, the top layer of the paint will dry and leave wet paint underneath, which will eventually blister as the solvent separates from the paint. This is only a problem when the temperature is in the high twenties and above.
How do you avoid this?
The best thing to do is to avoid painting in the direct sun when it’s in the high twenties and above. Another thing to keep in mind is to apply thin coats, which have a better chance of drying all the way through.
Keeping these tips in mind can keep you painting throughout the warm summer months
What happens when you paint in weather that is too cold?
The colder it gets, the longer it takes for paint to dry. In fact, it can take twice as long for paint to dry at 2 degrees vs 7 degrees. So if the forecast says that there is an overnight frost warning, the paint might not have a chance to dry before the frost hits, which means it will not fully cure until the following day.
So what is our general rule-of-thumb?
Just to give an extra margin of error, we like to make sure that the weather isn’t predicted to get below 5 degrees overnight.
Most years it stays above this threshold until mid to late October.
Do you still have some exterior painting to do?
Act fast and book a quote, we might be able to fit your project in this year. If not, you can book your project for the spring of 2018 at this year’s pricing, so it always pays to plan ahead! CAM Painters would love to Transform the exterior of your home with lasting beauty!
Here is the official CAM Painters guide to trim painting! Do you want your trim looking silky smooth and nice? Read on…
Determine if you need to prime your trim
There are a couple of situations where a primer is recommended.
- First, if you’re painting over bare wood, a primer seals the wood and provides a sandable surface before painting.
- If you’re painting over varnished wood, a primer will help the paint adhere to the surface.
- If you’re painting over an oil paint, a primer will help with adhesion. To test if your trim is currently painted in oil, put some acetone (nail polish remover) on a rag and rub it on the surface. If the paint comes off on the rag you have latex paint, if not, you likely have oil paint.
Lightly sand your trim
Your existing trim likely has a somewhat glossy finish, so it’s a good practice to lightly sand your trim. The purpose of this is twofold:
- It smooths out any rough spots, drips, ridges that are currently in the trim, so that the surface is nice and smooth for all subsequent steps.
- It de-glosses the surface, so that primer and/or paint can penetrate deeper and bond better with the surface.
Prime your trim – if necessary
If you have determined that you need to prime (refer to first step) here is the procedure:
- We recommend a primer with good adhesion, our favorite is Multi-Purpose Water-Based Acrylic-Alkyd Primer from Sherwin Williams
- Apply it with brush or wizz roller (for flat doors or other wide, flat areas)
- Apply it in thin coats – the goal is giving the finish coat something to grab into, not coverage
- Allow enough cure time before topcoating (usually an hour or two)
Fill any holes and gaps
After priming, it’s an ideal time to inspect the surface for any nail holes or gaps. These can easily be caulked, just be sure to smooth out the caulking after so that there are no lumps in the surface.
Give the primer a very light sand
Using 200 or higher grit sandpaper give the primer a light sand. Sometimes bare wood fibers can be raised after its primed, so smooth out these areas with your sandpaper. Also, inspect and make sure there are no rough areas that were missed on the first sanding. You just want to smooth out the surface, not penetrate down to the bare wood, so just use a light touch.
Paint your trim
Our favorite paints for trim are Sherwin Williams ProClassic or Benjamin Moore Advance. These dry very smooth and hard, which make them ideal. Here are some tips to get a great finish:
Use long brush strokes – This minimizes brush marks in the final product and gives the smoothest appearance
It’s better to do two thin coats than one thick coat – If the paint is too thick it will drip and sag before it dries
Check on your work before moving on – If you look back on what you’ve done before moving on to the next section you can smooth out any drips and sags before they have a chance to dry.
We hope you have enjoyed our short little guide to DIY trim painting. If you’d rather have CAM Painters take care of your painting project why don’t you book a quote online? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
So you’re thinking about painting your Toronto home? Selecting a painter can be very similar to selecting a pair of shoes! How so, you ask? Well, it’s all about shoes that are a good fit, that are appropriate for the situation you’re facing and within your budget.
Are your shoes a good fit?
Everyone’s feet are different. A shoe that feels comfortable on one person might be uncomfortable on another.
Similarly, you might feel comfortable with a particular painting contractor. Maybe they relate to you better than another. It’s important to have a painting contractor that you feel comfortable communicating with, and who communicates with you in a timely manner.
Are your shoes appropriate for the situation?
You wouldn’t wear running shoes to a business meeting, nor would you go for a jog wearing dress shoes! It’s the same with painting!
Some painting projects require “dress shoes”; You want the project to look great with a flawless finish.
Some painting projects require “running shoes”; You need the project to be finished in the most efficient time frame possible.
Some painting projects require “hiking shoes”; You need the project to be durable in adverse conditions.
Some painting projects might require a combination of stipulations, or maybe something different altogether. It’s important to be clear on your needs from the beginning so that you can select a painting contractor that is skilled and experienced in delivering what you require.
Just as the price of shoes vary, so does the price of painting projects. In general, if you spend more money on a pair of shoes, you can expect a greater degree of durability, technology or style. It’s similar with painting projects, the more you spend, in general, the higher the quality of paint, and the level of craftsmanship.
In painting, there is a truism:
- Low Price
A consumer must make a decision as to their priorities, because a customer can only choose two. If a client wants efficiency and low price, they automatically choose to not have quality. If a client wants efficiency and quality, they can’t choose low price.
As with selecting shoes, selecting a painting contractor needs care to ensure that there is a right fit, appropriateness and budget. If you’d like to see if CAM Painters is the right “pair of shoes” for you why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!