Best Toronto condo painting experience

Best Toronto condo painting experience

Painting a condo is a specialized task, which requires a different approach than painting other structures. Here’s some reasons why CAM Painters offers the best condo painting experience in Toronto!

We offer remote estimates

Many of our clients hire us to paint their condo before they move in. This can present some challenges for an in-person estimate, given that an estimate is required before our client’s have possession of the property.

We are happy to do a physical inspection during a real estate visit, but sometimes that’s not possible.

Fear not! We offer remote estimates! Send us pictures of the condo along with a floor plan and we can provide an estimate based on these. Another option is when visiting the condo, let’s do a video chat walkthrough of the space and we can provide an estimate based on that.

We only need one trip up the elevator

We understand what a hassle it is to book a service elevator for multiple trips up and down with tools and other equipment!

We address these issues with a modular stackable tool kit that allows us to get all we need up to your suite in one trip. Since we’re up in one trip, we find most of our clients don’t even have to book an elevator (check with your management office as rules vary between condos).

We work efficiently
In most condos, space is at a premium. Therefore, we work methodically from room to room, so that furniture can be moved out and then put back in that particular space after we’re done. This minimizes disruptions for our clients and keeps a clean and neat work environment.

In summary

We offer remote estimates, we only need one trip up the elevator and we work efficiently. Why not let CAM Painters transform your condo with lasting beauty?

Do I need to Prime my Toronto Home?

Do I need to Prime my Toronto Home?

There has been a lot of talk about paint and primer in one products.  Are these all they’re cracked up to be? Are they much different than regular paint?

Whenever I mention the need to prime before painting, many times I hear from my clients “what about the paint that has the primer built-in, why don’t you just use that?”

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Is paint and primer in one any different than normal paint?

In a word, “no”, it’s no different than a good quality paint.  A good quality paint is self-priming in all the situations that a “paint and primer in one” product is.

If the surface is previously painted a primer is not necessary in most cases.  If the surface is glossy, a light sanding will allow the new paint to adhere properly, no primer needed.

When do I need a primer?

When there is a major colour change

Paint will get better coverage over a primer, than over a paint.  Therefore, if you’re going from a light to dark colour a grey primer is recommended.  If you’re going from a dark colour to a light colour a white primer is recommended. The primer makes the surface porous, so that when the finish coat goes over the top the coverage is better than if it was going over a paint (which is generally less porous).

Paint and primer in one, does not give any advantages in terms of coverage over that of a good quality paint.

When painting over unpainted surfaces

There are primers designed to adhere to certain surfaces.  The sole purpose of these products is to adhere to the surface, they don’t have any protective elements in them, that’s the job of the finish coat.

Paint is designed to sit up on the surface and protect it.  So when you have a system of a primer, followed by a paint, you have both adhesion to the surface along with protection of the surface.

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When sealing out stains

Water stains, nicotine stains and wood knots/tannin bleed can come through the finish coat.  What does that mean? You’ll paint the area and then as it dries, you’ll see the stain reappear–Not Good!

What that means is that you’ve got to use a specific stain-sealing primer.  Generally these are oil-based or shellac-based, which can seal more stains than a latex-based product can.

In conclusion

As we can see, there’s not a great deal of difference between the performance of a high quality paint and a “paint and primer in one” product.  There are many instances when a primer is necessary even when using a “paint and primer in one” product. Therefore, when your painting contractor recommends a primer they are not trying to upsell you, they just want to give you the best end result.  The best end result is a job that looks great and can stand the test of time.

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So if you want a painter that will give you a great looking and durable paint job, while giving you a great painting experience along the way, why don’t you book a quote?  We’d be happy to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!

Stain matching old wood trim in your Toronto home

Stain matching old wood trim in your Toronto home

Many older Toronto homes have stained and varnished trim, if I have newer trim installed can this be matched to the existing trim?

Stained and varnished trim highlights the beauty of the wood, so it’s a shame to paint over it.  Here is our process to get you the best result for matching new trim to existing trim.

Make sure your contractor/renovator uses the same species of wood

If you’re going to have new trim installed, make sure it’s the same species of wood, so there’s similar wood grain patterns between old and new trim.  Most older Toronto homes with stained wood have oak trim installed, so you’ll want the new trim to be oak as well.

A couple of things to be aware of when you’re having your new wood installed:

Carpenters will occasionally use glue, if they can’t access the area with a nail gun.  If any glue gets on the surface it will impede stain absorption, this will result in lighter spots where the stain hasn’t soaked in as much.  Even if the glue is wiped off immediately after it touches the wood it still soaks into the grain and will cause issues.

If you are having oak installed be aware that it’s an extremely hard wood.  Therefore, inspect the surface to make sure your carpenter has sunk all the nail heads beneath the surface.

Mind the gaps!  You’ll want your carpenter to get gaps as tight as possible.  We can fill small gaps with wood filler, but the wood filler will take the stain differently than the wood will.  So for the best results the less filler we have to use, the better.

Stain matches take time

In order to do a stain match we need two items:

  • a piece of the existing stained and varnished trim
  • a sample of the new wood that’s being installed

Once we have these 2 items we take them to the paint store for matching, which typically takes 3 days.  Why so long? It takes time for the stain to dry between coats, and it usually takes multiple coats of stain and varnish to match the existing trim.  Keep in mind that nothing is perfect in the world of wood staining, we are matching new wood to old and although we can get a close match, it might not be perfect.

Now the fun part!  Time to stain and varnish your wood!

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When there are no other trades working in your house we can schedule to do the staining and varnishing.  Why? Other trades create dust and this can ruin the finish on the wood. When we arrive there is a process that we follow to stain and varnish your wood to get the best results:

  • We inspect the trim work and make sure there’s nothing that will cause uneven stain absorption, ie. carpenters glue, damaged wood, water stains on the wood
  • We fill all the nail holes and gaps with wood filler
  • We sand down the wood filler once it’s dry
  • The surface and surrounding areas are vacuumed – dust is the enemy of a proper wood finish
  • The wood is wiped with a tack-cloth – it’s basically a sticky cloth that wipes any residual drywall dust or sawdust off the surface
  • We apply the stain by brush
  • The stain is given some time to soak in – usually ranges from 30 sec to a few minutes
  • The excess stain is wiped off the surface
  • The stain is given time to dry overnight
  • We brush on 2 coats of varnish the next day – with a light scuff sand and tack-cloth between coats to make sure we have a smooth finish

In conclusion

It’s possible to finish new wood to match existing stained wood.  So why don’t you book a quote? We’d love to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!

Dark Wallpaper Tips

Dark Wallpaper Tips

I have a dark wallpaper to install in my Toronto home.  I’ve heard that the seams can really show on dark papers, how do you prevent this from happening?

What is the issue with installing a wallpaper with a dark background colour?

The basic issue is that if some precautions are not taken the seams will look lighter than the rest of the paper.  The overall look then becomes little thin white lines at each seam and not a consistent background colour.

Keep the seams tight!

When paste is put on the back of wallpaper, some wallpaper swells a little bit, then as the paper dries it can shrink back to it’s original dimensions.  An inexperienced wallpaper installer might not account for this. In this case they might install the wallpaper at it’s most swollen state and then as it dries, it shrinks back and exposes a sliver of the wall underneath.

An experienced installer always read the instructions!  The instructions will give how long to book the wallpaper (ie. let it sit so that it has a chance to swell and contract back).  Some papers don’t swell very much at all.

This is all vital information to make sure that once the wallpaper is dry, the seams stay tight.

Paint a dark colour on the walls

Despite all efforts to keep seams tight, a good precaution is to paint the walls the same colour as the wallpaper background.  Then if seams open up a little bit, it’s not revealing white walls, but walls painted the same colour, thus hiding the seam.

Colour the edges of the wallpaper

Regardless of the colour of the wallpaper, the backing of the paper is generally very light,  This means that the edge of the paper is light as well. Sometimes this shows a little in the finished product, especially if the walls aren’t perfectly smooth.  A good precaution is to colour the edge of the paper with a colour similar to the background colour, It can be done with a marker or pencil crayon when the paper is rolled up tight, this ensures that the colour only gets on the edge of the paper and not on the face.

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In conclusion

A couple of simple steps will ensure that the seams of darker wallpaper will be nicely hidden.  If you nave a dark wallpaper that you want installed (or any wallpaper for that matter) why don’t you book a quote?  We’d be happy to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!

Toronto Accent Wall Project:  Chevron Stencil

Toronto Accent Wall Project: Chevron Stencil

Are you looking for something a little different?  Maybe you’ve found a wallpaper pattern that you like, but you can’t find it in the colour that you like?

That’s what happened to this family.  Their daughter wanted a specific pattern in a specific colour, she wanted a chevron pattern in black and white.  Their interior designer tried to source a wallpaper, but nothing caught their fancy.

The solution, get a stencil and paint a chevron pattern on the wall!  With paint, the colour choices for the accent wall are now unlimited!

Here’s what we did, step by step:

Paint the base colour

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We decided to use the white as the basecoat.  Darker colours usually hide better over lighter colours, rather than lighter over darker.

We used Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace which is almost a pure white.  Even using top quality paint, we need a few layers of paint to have it look nice and evenly coloured.  So we primed twice, followed by 2 coats of finish.

Once the base colour is done we needed to make sure it had enough time to fully dry, so we left it until the next day.

Prepping for the stencilling

Stencilling can be a little messy, so we taped around the perimeter of the wall, and around the window.  Basically we taped off any adjacent areas that we didn’t want our stencil colour on.

Next, we wanted to minimize bleeding around the edges of our stencil, so we took spray adhesive and sprayed the back of our stencil.  We let it dry for a few minutes, we wanted it to be slightly tacky, but not so sticky that it would take paint off the wall.

Stencilling our pattern

We used our laser level to keep everything in line.  Basically we lined it up with the bottom corner of each chevron.

We started at the top of the wall and worked our way down.  After we finished each vertical section, we moved the stencil back to the top and did the next section over, in the same manner.

With stencilling we had to use very little paint, to avoid the paint bleeding underneath.  So we used 3 coats, and took our time, so that it could dry before the next coat was applied.  In fact, we put a hair dryer on the drying paint, just to speed it up a little.

Even still, we had some bleeding paint, which we had to go back after and fix.

We had to respray the back of our stencil every 15-20 min, just to keep it tacky.

In the corners and around the window we bent the stencil and got in as far as we could.  Afterwards we finished the pattern off using some tape.

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Final touches

After we did our stencil, we let the paint dry to the touch.  Then we finished off the pattern in the corners by taping the edges.  Anywhere where the black bled under the stencil, we taped and painted a little white along the edges.

For taping we really like Frog Tape, which has virtually no bleed through along the edge.  Just remember to press firmly along the length of the tape, to stick it down!

In conclusion

This was a fun project and the client absolutely loved it.  If you’re interested in exploring doing an accent wall in your home, why don’t you schedule a quote?  We’d love to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!