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!
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!
Let’s say you’re looking at buying a house, but it’s got nicotine stains on the walls and ceilings. Or perhaps there are lot’s of cooking stains in the kitchen. Will paint cover over this? Will paint eliminate the smell?
Well, the answer to these questions is, it depends…
How extensive are the stains?
Nicotine smell gets everywhere! We can eliminate the smell coming from the ceiling, walls and trim. However, the nicotine smell can get into the carpet and other flooring, and throughout the HVAC system, so be sure to address these areas as well. So in addition to painting, it would be wise to budget for having the ducts cleaned as well as replacing the flooring. In extreme cases, we can put a stain sealer on the sub floor before new flooring goes in.
Cooking stains generally are easier to deal with. Kitchens usually have hard surface flooring that is easy to clean, so cooking smells and stains can be eliminated with a thorough cleaning.
How do we deal with stains on painted surfaces?
If there is heavy staining we wash the ceilings, walls and trim with TSP, which is a bleaching agent, or Simply Green, which is a mildewcide. After we wash the stained areas we allow them to dry and then we apply a stain-sealing primer, which we’ll talk about next.
If the stains aren’t too heavy, we’ll go directly over with a stain-sealing primer, and we’ll skip the washing step.
Which stain-sealing primer do you use? Generally shellac-based primers work the best on stains, and we prefer Zinsser BIN. There are oil-based and latex-based stain-sealing primers, but we have found that they don’t work as well as shellac-based.
After we have completely sealed the affected areas with primer, then we can topcoat with whatever paint we choose.
What if I choose just to paint directly over the stains?
If you choose to just paint directly over the stains with either oil or latex-based paint, the stain will bleed through the topcoat. This basically means that the stain will show through whatever you paint it with, which is why we need to properly clean the surface and/or prime the surface to seal it.
Painting a house with either nicotine or cooking stains can be done, just be aware of the extra work involved and budget accordingly.
If you’d rather have CAM Painters remedy this situation for you why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
The cost of painting a Toronto home can vary widely, however, there are some ways to get the best value from your painting contractor, and here’s how….
Most of these suggestions come down to proper planning. If you can make your painting contractor’s job more easy, so that they can get it done in less time, then there should be a savings for you.
Just as I was writing this blog post I got a call for wallpaper installation, which would take the better part of a week, based on what he told me. The person wanted me to come and do an estimate today (Sat Aug 12th). I proceeded to ask when he was hoping for the work to start and he said he needed it to start on Monday Aug 14th, 2 days later! This is a recipe for frustration! The chances of finding a reputable wallpaper installer who happens to have a week-long opening 2 days after looking at a job is very low, to say the least!
If you call a painting contractor and expect him to do the job on short notice, chances are that to accommodate you they have to move other jobs around and inconvenience some of their other clients. This creates extra work for the painting contractor and they usually charge a premium for last minute work.
In order to be on the safe side it’s wise to start gathering quotes at least a month before you actually want the work done, that way you can have a good chance of getting the time that you want.
If you can be flexible with timing you’ll get the best value
If you are able to be patient, it can pay dividends! Painting in Toronto tends to be busy in the summer and slower in the winter. If you have interior painting to do and can wait until the slower winter months, you can generally get the best value.
Here at CAM Painters if you book work for the slower months of December through March we’ll throw in some items for free to reward you for your patience. Say, for example we’re painting your entire room (ceiling, walls and all the trim), we’ll give you the baseboard in that room for free.
Ensure that we have good access to the areas we’re painting
Another way to make sure you get the best value for your painting dollar is to ensure that we have clear access to the areas that we’re painting. Painting before moving in is always ideal, feel free to read about all the advantages here.
Empty rooms are the most ideal, however, not always practical if you’re residing in the home. However, the better cleared out the room is, the more efficient and less time it takes to paint. In terms of a furnished room, all the furniture should be moved to the centre of the room, so that there is at least 5 or 6 feet around the walls, and all pictures, etc. taken off the walls. If you, the client, does this work, you save the cost of having us do it, if we have to do all the work of moving your belongings then we have to charge for it.
As you can see, with some proper planning and a little bit of effort on your part, it’s possible to keep the cost of your painting project low, without compromising at all on workmanship or durability.
Why don’t you have CAM Painters over for a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
Are your children scared of going down in the basement? Do you jokingly call your basement a dungeon? If you own an older Toronto home, chances are you have dark panelled walls in the basement.
Dark walls, combined with small basement windows and limited light make for a really dark living space! How can you make your basement more light and inviting? Here are a few ideas
Install more lighting.
Add a few more fixtures, whether that means installing pot lights, or just using brighter bulbs in your existing fixtures.
Rip out your old walls and install drywall
Obviously the best solution for your basement walls is to install new drywall, this give your home the most up to date look, however, let’s weigh the pros and cons:
Pros: You end up with smooth painted walls
Cons: It’s both the most expensive and the most time-consuming option
Paint your panelling
Did you know that you can paint that dark panelling in your basement? What’s involved? First you’ll need to make sure that the surface is clean. Use a primer that offers good adhesion, one of our favorites for this application is Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer, or XIM UMA both of which are designed to stick to glossy and smooth surfaces such as panelling.
Pros: Very economical and you can paint it whatever colour you choose
Cons: You still have the ridges from the old panelling
Wallpaper your panelling
Once your panelling is primed you can have wallpaper installed over the top of it. In general, thicker wallpaper will work better in this situation that a thinner wallpaper would because the thicker paper hides surface imperfections better.
Pros: You don’t have to install new drywall to achieve smooth walls
Cons: The panelling needs to have been installed properly in the first place. If there are bumps, especially where the panels join, this could show through the finished product.
There is hope for your dark dungeon-like basement! If you’d like to paint or wallpaper your panelled basement walls why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your basement with lasting beauty!
The mark of a great paint job for your Toronto home is straight, sharp lines. This can be beneficial if you are doing stripes on a wall, or just want a clean line between walls and ceiling.
Many times when we are painting, we will do our “cut” lines freehand, just following the corner between the wall and, or the groove between trim and wall. However, there are many situations where a professional painter needs tape to ensure a clean sharp cut line.
Here are a list of best practices to get the sharpest line possible.
Select a good painter’s tape
The beige tape is not painter’s tape. Beige tape is too sticky and usually peels paint off the surface.
This particular tape is usually green or blue and is clearly labeled “painter’s tape”. The best is Frog Tape, but it’s one of the most costly painters tape as well.
Apply the tape correctly
Even if a high quality painter’s tape is used all is for nought if it’s not applied correctly. If the edges aren’t properly sealed then paint will seep underneath the tape and wreck any possibility of a sharp straight line.
How do you seal the edges of the tape?
If you are using Frog Tape, you have to make sure that the edge is firmly pressed down. Either use your finger and run it along the edge of the tape, or some people will use a plastic putty knife and run that along the edge of the tape. Once that’s done there should be no paint seeping under the tape and you’ll get a sharp line.
If you have an ordinary painter’s tape a sharp line can still be achieved. Once again, firmly press the tape down, either with your finger or a plastic putty knife. However, an extra step after this is needed to ensure that the edge is properly sealed, this can take the form of:
- a thin bead of caulking along the edge of the tape
- some of the base colour along the edge of the tape
- a clear flat varnish along the edge of the tape
Any of these methods will seal the edge of the tape.
Removing the tape
Either remove the tape right after you paint, or wait until the paint is fully dry. If the paint is partially dry it can lift off the surface.
How you remove the tape is important as well:
- go slowly
- keep the tape at an obtuse angle, ie. close to the surface as you pull
There you have it! Clean beautiful paint lines!
If you’d rather leave the clean, beautiful paint lines to the professionals why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!