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?”

paint and primer in one, Renovating, Toronto great painting experience

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!

wood staining, varnish, toronto house painter

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!

Do I need lining paper for my Toronto wallpaper installation?

Do I need lining paper for my Toronto wallpaper installation?

“I’ve opened up my roll of wallpaper and I see in the instructions that they recommend a lining paper, What does this mean?”.

In this post we’ll go through what lining paper is, what it does and when it should be used.

What is lining paper?

Basically, lining paper makes wallpaper more sound and durable, similar to how a primer can prepare a surface for painting.  

What is the purpose of lining paper?

Wallpaper liner, or lining paper is a blank paper which is installed before wallpaper, as a way to reinforce the wallpaper going over the top.

In walls where there are cracks or surface irregularities the liner can smooth these out and make them less noticeable.

When the lining paper is hung horizontally and the wallpaper hung vertically, the wallpaper can withstand both vertical and horizontal movements in the wall.

When should a liner be used?

Much like our primer example, sometimes lining paper is necessary and sometimes it’s an unnecessary step.  The first place to look is in the installation instructions; a wallpaper manufacturer will generally say in the installation instructions whether or not a liner is recommended.

Here are  a few general rules that a manufacturer will use when deciding to recommend a liner:

  • Thinner papers sometimes require a liner, because they are less effective at hiding surface irregularities than a thicker paper.  In other words, any little bump on the surface underneath shows through the paper as a bump.
  • Metallic papers sometimes require a liner for the same reasons.  Any little bumps show through the glossiness of the paper, whereas a matte paper would hide those imperfections better.

Can I still use a liner even if the manufacturer has not explicitly recommended one?

Of course, we can install a liner under most wallpapers no problem!  There’s no downside to installing lining paper, except for the extra cost.

Here’s an instance where you might consider using a lining paper, regardless of what the instructions say:

If your walls have a lot of cracks, which is typical of some older Toronto homes.  We see this usually in old plaster walls where there is some movement in the plaster.  These cracks will generally come back if a lining paper is not used. As we discussed, a lining paper can flex with movement in the walls and keep that movement from damaging the wallpaper above.

In conclusion

If you want a wallpaper installer that will ensure that your paper is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s directions, why don’t you book a quote?  We’d be happy to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!

Chalkboard Calendar installation in Toronto!

Chalkboard Calendar installation in Toronto!

Have you ever thought about having a chalkboard calendar in your Toronto home?  How about a magnetic chalkboard calendar?

We did just that for a cooking studio in the west end of Toronto.

WATCH THE VIDEO:

Here are the steps that we did…

Products

  • Tape – We used Frog Tape for the border and ¼” tape for the grid lines
  • Activewall magnetic primer – It’s the primer that gives the wall it’s ability to hold on to magnets.  Be sure to purchase enough as 1 gallon will only cover 100 sq. ft.
  • Activewall chalkboard paint
  • Drop sheets
  • Rollers and roller trays
  • Laser level
  • Measuring tape
  • Patience, lot’s of patience!

Chalkboard Calendar Layout

Our calendar ended up being 133” wide by 100” tall, each square ended up being 19” wide by 15” tall.

In order to get straight lines we used a laser level to line up the border, which we tchalkboard calendar, toronto house painteraped off first.  We made sure that we pressed down on the entire length of the tape, so that the paint wouldn’t bleed underneath.

Then we marked off the location of the grid lines, which we then taped off with the ¼” tape.  We decided to tape the horizontal lines first and then the verticals.

READ MORE:  How to create sharp lines with painter’s tape!

Priming

The primer has to be coated thick to ensure that magnets will stick to it.  In order to get the recommended coverage we needed to do 3 coats of the primer.

chalkboard calendar, chalkboard paint, toronto house painterThe manufacturer recommends that the primer dries for 12 hours before applying the finish coat.  We decided to take the tape off as soon as we were finished priming, and then re-tape the following day.  Why did we do this? Because the primer goes on so thick, once it dries there will be a lot of surface tension.  So if we pulled the tape after the primer was fully dry, there would be a risk of peeling some of the paint off with the primer.

Finish coat

The day following we checked over our primer and made sure it was nice and smooth for the chalkboard paint.  Any little flecks of debris were sanded off.

We re-taped the layout, this time using the layout of the primer as our guide, rather than a laser level.chalkboard calendar, chalkboard paint, toronto house painter

Then the chalkboard paint was rolled on, one coat being sufficient.  The thicker the finish coat, the less magnetic the surface will be, so it’s important to coat the surface as thin as possible.

The tape was then peeled to reveal our wonderful chalkboard calendar!

Finishing touches

Our client purchased some wood letters for the days of the week, which we painted with gloss red paint.  These were mounted using construction adhesive.

One thing to keep in mind is that 24 hours dry time is needed before the chalkboard can be used and a full week is needed before the chalkboard can be wiped down.  This is very common for paint, most needs a couple of weeks before it can be washed.

In conclusion

If this is something that you’d like done for your home or place of business, why don’t you book a quote online?  We’d love to Transform Your Home (or business) With Lasting Beauty!

Can Existing Wallpaper be Wallpapered over instead of removed?

Can Existing Wallpaper be Wallpapered over instead of removed?

Wallpaper can be difficult to remove sometimes.  Sometimes it does damage to the walls when it’s removed.  In these cases can we wallpaper over the existing wallpaper in your Toronto home?

In most cases the answer is yes, if certain steps are followed so that the new wallpaper adheres properly to the surface.

wallpaper removal, toronto wallpaper installationFirst, Let’s see if the existing paper will come off…

It’s best if the existing wallpaper can be removed.  If not, there are 2 layers of paper that have to be stripped the next time that the walls are either painted or papered.

At CAM Painters we have various tips and tricks to remove wallpaper, so that it can be done in the most efficient manner.  So it’s worth at least exploring removal.

READ MORE:  How do I remove wallpaper in my Toronto home?

Is the existing paper smooth?

If the existing wallpaper has a texture, that texture can show through the new wallpaper.  A heavier wallpaper can hide the texture of the previous wallpaper, so it’s helpful to choose something that’s a little thicker.

If the texture is very pronounced, it’s better not to take any chances and to strip the current wallpaper.

Is the existing wallpaper sound?wallpaper removal, toronto wallpaper installation, choosing wallpaper

If the existing wallpaper is starting to lift at the seams or is bubbling, this could cause problems with a subsequent layer of wallpaper.  Therefore, it’s best to remove the existing wallpaper if possible.

Here are the steps we take to install new wallpaper over existing wallpaper

  1. Any lifting or bubbling sections of wallpaper are cut out; We want to make sure that we have a firm base to work from.
  2. The existing wallpaper is coated with a high quality wallpaper primer.
  3. A visual inspection is done to the walls.  Once the primer dries, bubbles can appear and seams can lift which were not apparent before.  We want to make sure that we have a sound base to work from.
  4. If any lifting wallpaper was removed, these areas need to be spot primed.
  5. Any areas of wallpaper that have been removed need a thin layer of drywall patch to make the wall smooth and even.
  6. Once dry, the drywall patch needs to be spot primed.

Once these steps have been done, we’re ready to hang wallpaper, just like a normal wallpaper installation!

READ MORE:  How much does it cost to wallpaper a room in my Toronto home?

wallpaper removal, toronto wallpaper installationSo, if you have existing wallpaper on your walls and would like something new, there are a couple of different processes that we can use.  These options are discussed with our clients and we can move forward based on what is both most durable and most cost effective.

So if you’d like to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty why don’t you book a quote?