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August, 2012 | Cannon Painting

Cannon Painting

Why Is That Time Consuming Prep Work So Important?

Prepping Before Painting Makes Good Sense

Painting a house is never as simple as it seems. You can’t just buy a pretty color and slap it up on a wall and expect perfection. Any professional house painter will tell you the foundation for a beautiful paint job lies in the preparation.

On the exterior of your home, think of paint like sunscreen for your skin. However, unlike sunscreen, paint has to last for many years so it’s critical that the surface is in prime condition. Cutting corners here can have disastrous results.

A good scrubbing is the first order of the day. Painting over dust and dirt usually results in paint peeling away from under layers. Paint that is cracking and exposing bare siding may also be due to a poorly prepped surface or excess moisture. Should you discover cracking paint on your home, determine the cause for the moisture before repainting. Otherwise, you may eventually end up with the exact same problem to tackle all over again. What a waste!

If you run across mildew spots, trim back plants or shrubs that may have grown too close to the house preventing good airflow. You may even want to redirect gutters and downspouts.

Scraping and sanding are the best methods for removing defective paint. All bare wood must then be primed and seams and cracks should be caulked to keep moisture at bay. Only then are you ready to apply the paint.

The story is similar inside. Excellent prep work is the foundation of a superior paint job. Face the flaws right from the start so your end result is what you had envisioned. The fastest way to find flaws is to empty the room of furniture or move it to one area of the room and cover it with a drop cloth. Remove all wall hangings, and wall plates from electrical outlets and switches.

Look for cracking or peeling paint, particularly around windowsills and other trim. These will need to be scraped and sanded. Find and repair the cracks that can occasionally occur during the settling process paying close attention around doors and windows. Most likely you’ll have a few nail pops to repair due to everyday expansion and contraction, not to mention that hole you have been hiding behind your family photo! And don’t forget to inspect the vulnerable corners that tend to get dinged when moving furniture around or just in the course of life.

When all the patching and sanding is complete, drop cloths will need to be laid and windows and non-paint surfaces will need to be taped. Then you’re ready for the fun part!

Remember, the foundation for a beautiful paint job lies in the preparation. Do it correctly from the very start and you’ll enjoy your paint color a lot longer!


Find the Right Paint Contractor In Only 6 Steps

How Do You Find The Right Contractor For Your Project?

It’s a time many homeowners dread—your house needs repainting and the job is too big to do yourself. Fear not! If you do your homework, you can find a highly qualified commercial paint contractor to do a beautiful job and save you the hassle.

The first obvious question is, “Where do I start?” Begin with referrals from friends and family. If you strike out there try online referral sites such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Manta or Yahoo Local. These sites provide reviews, photos and business details to help you find the best professionals

Now that you have the names of a few contractors, immediately narrow the field and ask for references—be sure they include several that are a few years old. This will help you evaluate a contractor’s work over time.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to take the following steps: 

1. PREPARE: Create a list of the work you want done and provide it to each bidding contractor. Require written quotes with details of the work proposed.

2. ASSESS: When assessing quotes pay particular attention to the preparation details. Overlook this step and you might as well throw your money down the drain. A painter may spend more than fifty percent of their time with preparation alone, especially on the exterior. Exterior prep can include caulking, pressure washing, patching, and repairing damaged spots or rotting wood. Interior prep often requires repairing nail pops, drywall holes, cracked plaster, cleaning surfaces, and masking non-painted surfaces.

3. REVIEW: Review the painting process, which typically begins with priming. Ask what type and brand is being proposed. The same questions apply to the paint. If you’re unsure what type finish to use, a contractor can help you understand the choices available. Discuss the colors you want and determine the number of coats the job requires. When it comes to paint brands, consider this: Higher quality brands may carry a bigger dollar amount, but they last longer, costing you less over the long run. Many paint contractors are taking an Eco-friendly approach to their business by using paints containing fewer harmful solvents, so this may be a direction you want to request in your initial search for a painter.

4. ASK: How does the contractor plan to protect the interior of your home, such as your furniture, floors, lighting fixtures, etc? On the exterior, what measures are planned to protect your landscaping and decking?

5. VERIFY: Does the contractor warranty his work and if so what is covered and for how long? Make certain the paint contractor is licensed and insured. A contractor’s license can be verified via your state’s website.

6. OBSERVE: When the painter arrives for an appointment, does he appear “professional”? Is he presentable, courteous, and organized? Is he on time for appointments and genuinely interested in your project? These can be telltale signs regarding how the actual project will proceed.

It may appear to be a daunting task, but by creating your checklist, asking for referrals and comparing apples to apples, you’ll be prepared to find the best paint contractor for your next big painting project.


Determining Color Combinations. Look to What Inspires You!

Interior Painting: Let Inspiration Be Your Guide

Where in the vast color spectrum do you even begin to select a hue when it’s time to begin the interior painting of your precious home? After all, the walls you place that moss green or buttery yellow upon are the ones you will stare at day in and day out … and the choice you make is integral to your daily state of mind.

You may think that statement a bit far reaching, but it’s really not when you consider that color is all about emotion. Put two clashing colors together and you feel the tension and friction almost instantly. Yet if you put two colors together that complement one another you immediately feel at ease.

So where to begin? The first place you may want to start your color search is right at home. If you have a favorite patterned couch, chair or pillow you can choose a color from the upholstery that blends well with all of your décor. If your furniture is neutral then consider pulling a color from an accent piece such as a rug or even a favorite piece of artwork.

A great place to get color ideas is from home décor catalogs or stores. The rooms displayed have been decorated by pros that have studied color and are up on the latest trends. Bedding is often quite beautiful and may be just the inspiration you need when choosing your bedroom color scheme. Next time you look at a wall of towels think about where your eye travels and which colors cause you to linger more so than others. If you’re not afraid of vibrant hues, plant nurseries could very well stimulate your creative juices. The most important thing to remember is not to be afraid of color!

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to paint every room an energetic color. Sometimes you may want that rug or favorite painting to be the focal point, so then it’s a matter of choosing the perfect neutral. Color combinations are everywhere, and when you open your eyes to them you’ll begin to see them in places you never dreamed.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, save yourself big headaches and potentially big bucks in the long run and purchase a) sample sizes of several shades your chosen color, or b) samples sizes of several different colors you envision for your room. If possible, paint at a 3’ x 3’ square on the wall and live with it for several days. View in it in all different lights. You’ll be shocked by how much a color will change throughout the day, so make sure you love it all 24 hours!

The bottom line is each home is as individual as the people who inhabit it. Allow that individuality to shine through with your interior paint colors. Have fun with it and the rewards will be uplifting!


When Choosing Your Homes’ Exterior Colors, Don’t Be Afraid to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Exterior Paint Colors: Explore the options!

Curb appeal is everything! So, when it comes time to update your homes’ exterior paint colors, consider dipping a brush into something a bit brighter than the current palette.

You may be thinking, “Good grief! I just took the leap from beige to terra-cotta inside my house and now I’ve got to do the same outside?” Relax, it doesn’t have to be extreme, but there are many great exterior color combinations and several ways to approach your decision.

One direction is to first consider the features you aren’t likely to change anytime soon, like the roof or an existing element such as brick, stone, stucco or an architectural feature. Choose a color similar in nature or perhaps a neutral to make that element pop.

Also consider your home’s surroundings, whether it’s the landscaping or neighboring homes, and keep within that existing palette. Some neighborhoods have homeowner’s associations that must approve any color changes, so be sure to check your covenants before you spend any time or money.

A huge factor in determining color may be the style of home you live in. If you’re lucky enough to own a Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, or other type stylized home, they each come with original color schemes that can be tweaked to your particular tastes.

Here’s a question to ask yourself. “What do I want to accomplish with my home?” If you need for it to appear more prominent from the street or larger, choose a lighter color for your walls and have fun with your accent color; accent color is typically applied to areas such as shutters, the front door, and other interesting architectural elements. Be careful though, lighter colors can possibly work against you and make your home appear insubstantial. Go darker with the main color and your home will appear more solid. Again, the accent color is where you can really lend personality to your home. Add a bit of extra flair and paint the door a separate eye catching color.

Most paint company websites provide fantastic tools for creating custom color palettes, plus they have lots of color combos they’ve already pulled together — often with photo examples. And don’t forget your paint contractor. We’re the pros who work with color everyday.

A very important step you do not want to skip is to test your colors on a wall. Paint as large a section as possible, and view them in the daylight and at night. Take your time and make sure you love them!

Your home’s exterior paint colors don’t have to be blasé. Just a splash of color goes a long way to brighten up your home. The end results will pay off for many years to come.