house painter, exterior painter
Written by Colleen Kalil

Paint that Sells the Home

house painter, exterior painterHave you ever gone house hunting and were totally put off by an exterior or interior color that was off-putting, if not downright ugly? You’ve seen those houses painted bubble gum pink or candy cane red on the outside. It’s probably going to be the same house that has interior walls the color of a forest with neon baseboards for added interest.

Believe me when I tell you that the color of your home both inside and out can either draw prospective customers to your home if you are getting ready to sell or repel them. All indications are that if you are getting ready to sell your house, it has a better chance of moving on the market if you keep these things in mind.

Choose a color that blends well with your natural surroundings and the larger neighborhood. For example, if you live in Arizona, the overwhelming majority of homes are a shade of taupe on the outside with subtle trim and an arid, clean color on the inside. Conversely, homes in New England look better and are more likely to sell if they are a shade of white or gray with neutral trims. These colors give off a stately vibe that the potential buyer feels without having to say anything.

Blue is another popular choice for a home’s exterior, but this should be done with the same caution as choosing any other color palette. Again, a blue house would be out of place in many areas of the country. But, it would be just as much at home near a beach, especially with white trim and particularly if the color of blue is muted.

Occasionally, accent walls on the exterior of the home can provide a bold statement. It can make your house stand out while still blending into the overall neighborhood. For example, you might try a charcoal colored or indigo blue accent wall against a cream-colored house.

It’s a good idea to put some thought into the color you choose to paint your house long before you begin the process. Remember, color can draw buyers to you or send them fleeing in the other direction, even if the location is good and the price is right.

If you need some expert advice on painting your house, we here at University Painters pride ourselves on our long-standing professional service. Before you buy that first gallon of paint, give us a call. We would be delighted to work with you!

painting contractor. house painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Mixing Brick and Exterior Color

painting contractor. house paintingA brick home offers a unique presentation. To the passerby, it can look stately. To the homeowner, it can feel like a combination of old-world charm and comfort. There was a time when the choice of brick exteriors extended only to what shade of red or chartreuse you liked. Today however, a brick home still offers the owner a variety of options to make their house look unique and stand out from the rest. This can involve either changing the color of the brick itself or the trim in complementing or contrasting pigments.

The easiest way to make a change is to paint the brick itself. This opens up a variety of choices for the homeowner. Some may prefer a muted or neutral color of paint while others may make more bold choices such as painting the brick white. The exterior of a brick home painted in white offers an entirely new and updated look. It can feel modern and chic. At the same time it opens up further options. The home’s trim can be a color that contrasts, thereby accenting and highlighting the white brick or it can remain a neutral, muted tone, such as a gray or brownish tint on the framing and door.

If you do choose to paint the brick white, take the time to look at the breadth of shades in that color. There are many toned-down whites that are not as stark, such as creams and even light beige. Some homeowners have even used a whitewash or translucent color that offers a more aged look. There are those who swear this route offers easier upkeep and a more classic appearance.

Whatever color you choose, take the extra step of painting a small portion of the house in that color prior to ‘taking the plunge’. This will help to ensure you can live with your decision before you come home to a totally new look you did not expect. Still another color that is a common choice for painting brick homes is a shade of gray. This can be equally as stunning, particularly when paired with white or charcoal trim.

Other colors that harmonize are yellow and cream, and green or black and gray. It’s up to you. And remember, if you want to keep your brick home its original color, painting the trim in a beautiful accent color can make it stand out just as much.

Whatever you choose, first choose University Painters. We are experienced in painting all types of exterior and interior surfaces and will treat your home like it’s our own!

Exterior Painters,paint,painting company
Written by Colleen Kalil

Prepping Your House for that New Exterior Paint Job

Exterior Painters,paint,painting companyYou’ve finally decided it’s time to spruce up the outside of your home. Maybe you are getting ready to sell it or maybe you just want to have a house that looks good inside and out. Well, everyone knows you need to pick out the color. That’s the fun part of the job. But there’s more to painting a house than putting on paint. There are a number of steps that must be taken to be sure the surfaces are prepped and ready to receive the color and reflect it in the best way possible for years to come. Let’s consider these steps more closely.

  1. Trim back shrubbery, trees and other landscaping so they do not become part of the paint job.
  2. Begin the painting process by cleaning the entire exterior of your home completely. You want the house to be fully clean so the paint doesn’t dry with dirt and other pollutants mixed in. The best way to do this is to power wash your home. If you do not own a power washer, they can be rented at most home repair and construction stores. Use a cleaner or additive only if you find mold and stains.
  3. Allow at least 24 hours for the exterior to dry thoroughly before beginning the next step, which requires a paint scraper and patience. Methodically move around the entire outside of the house scraping paint chips and flakes. These become quite obvious if they are painted over and not removed beforehand.
  4. Caulking is the next step. Here too, patience and attention to detail are necessary. The most expedient way to carry out this task is to fill cracks with caulk until it seeps beyond the edge, then wipe away the excess with a damp rag.
  5. If you have been cataloging areas of the exterior that need repairs, this is the time to complete them. Rotted boards or other problems that are too difficult to handle on your own require calling in a professional, such as a painting contractor, to complete the job.
  6. Next, prime the house with a quality primer. It seals the wood from the elements and will help make your paint job last longer.

Now it’s time to paint! Or you could hire the painting professionals at University Painters. We have been in the business since 1986 and we’ll treat your home as if it is our own! Contact us at  800-390-4848 for more information.

paint, color,house painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

One Brush Is Never Enough

paint, color,house paintersPaint brushes come in a variety of sizes, bristle and handle types. Think all brushes are pretty much the same? Think again. A good brush holds more paint than a cheaper one and will make application easier and faster.

Brush Bristles

There are basically three types of brushes: natural-brushes, polyester brushes, and nylon/polyester brushes. Each brush performs differently depending on the type of paint it’s used with.

Natural-bristle

These brushes are made with animal hair and are best used with oil-based paints, varnishes, and other oil-based finishes. The natural splitting on the tips of these brushes are designed to hold more paint and create a smooth finish.

Polyester bristle

It’s best to use polyester bristle brushes with latex paints, but they hold their shape well when used with any paint and produce a smooth, even finish.

Nylon/polyester blend bristles

The mixture of bristles makes these brushes easy to clean and flexible enough to work with any type of latex paint. Nylon/polyester brushes are durable and keep their shape after continued use. If cared for properly, these brushes can last for years.

Size Does Matter

Choose the brush size depending on what you’ll be painting. A general rule for size is one to two inches for windows and other trim; three inches for gloss paints on doors and cabinets; four inches for large, flat areas. In addition to size, consider the shape of the brush. Slanted brushes create straight lines in corners and on edges, while square edge brushes are good for applying paint on large, flat areas.

Maintenance

Make your brushes last a long time by properly maintaining them after each use. Latex paint cleans up in warm water, while oil paint needs to be cleaned with a solvent. When cleaning a brush after using latex paint, hold the brush under warm running water, spread the bristles, and push them against the bottom of the sink to clean brush from tip to handle. For oil paint, swish the brush from side to side in the solvent to remove paint. Use a fresh container of solvent for the final rinse. Dry brushes flat to maintain the proper shape and never store brushes with the bristle end down.

The technicians at University Painters use the finest equipment to produce quality results all around your home. Call or go online to schedule an appointment today.

house painter, Interior Painters ,Exterior Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Painting Concrete or Brick Surfaces

house painter, Interior Painters ,Exterior PaintersPainting is a great way to change the look of any surface, whether it’s inside or outside. Almost anything can be painted, including concrete and brick. With the proper equipment and knowledge, you can add to your home’s value and curb appeal.

Concrete Slabs (such as garage floors)

Before you paint a concrete floor, make sure no moisture comes through the slab. Tape around the floor where it meets the wall and wait for a few days. If there’s moisture on the tape, it’s best not to paint it.

If moisture isn’t a problem, sweep out any dirt and debris and wash the floor with a non-residue cleaner. Remove any old, flaking paint and grease spots. Next, etch the floor’s surface with a muriatic acid solution. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you have good ventilation. Do not use it in a closed-in space.

Use a latex primer and paint specially made for concrete. Let the primer dry before applying the paint. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for both.

Brick

Before you paint brick, remember it’s a one-time decision. It is nearly impossible to remove paint from brick. Make sure it’s a step you want to take.

The best way to begin any painting project is with a clean surface. Use a wire brush to remove heavy dirt or debris and then wash with a solution of warm, soapy water. If you’re painting an entire house, you might be tempted to get out the power washer. That’s not a good idea; you’re likely to end up with gouges in the brick and you’ll damage the grout. Use a wire brush to spot clean and then use a regular hose to clean the area. You can get a foaming sprayer and then go over the surface again with plain water. Let the brick dry completely.

Use a quality latex primer as a first coat and let it dry completely. Next, apply latex paint for masonry using a long nap roller; use a brush to cover the grout. Don’t be in a hurry. Watch for dripping paint. Two coats are recommended for the best results.

University Painters can help you achieve the look you want for your home’s interior or exterior. Contact us today online at University Painters or call 800-390-4848.

home painters, exterior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Small Budget, Big Results

home painters, exterior paintingWarmer weather and longer days mean more time outdoors for most people. Whether you like to entertain family and friends or spend quiet time reading, your backyard can be transformed into a great outdoor living space. Upgrading the outdoor spaces around the home is a popular home renovation project, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get high-end results. Regardless of the size of your yard, you can create a relaxing oasis without breaking your bank.

Add A Water Feature

There’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of moving water. Adding a fountain to your backyard is an inexpensive way to get an instant atmosphere boost. A fountain can be the focal point in your yard, or it can be part of the overall design. Whichever route you choose, a fountain can have a big impact.

Upcycle Materials

If you look around your home, it’s very likely you’ll find unused material that can be repurposed to create something for your backyard oasis. Old tires can be painted and be used as planters or garden borders, scrap lumber can become a beautiful wooden planter or a small raised garden. Ask family and friends what surplus materials they have as well. You’re only limited by your imagination.

Rock Garden

If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, add a rock garden to your yard. It’s easy maintenance and can be an inexpensive design element. Scout around your yard for rocks to use. Home centers sell a variety of rocks and crushed stone that are fairly inexpensive. Pick out our favorite stone mix and create your very own Zen garden.

Shed A Little Light

Adding even a few well-placed lights can add a sparkle to your yard for very little money. Check second-hand stores for strings of lights and use either clear or color bulbs. Paper lanterns are another inexpensive lighting option that will deliver a big impact. Pierced aluminum cans, glass mason jars, or solar lights offer more lighting choices.

University Painters can be a great resource for your backyard transformation plans. Contact us today for a free appointment at 800-390-4848 or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

exterior painter,, home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Quick Changes To Your Outdoor Spaces

exterior painter,, home paintersDo you love outdoor projects but don’t have a whole afternoon to devote to it? Consider one or two simple projects that require very little time but can change an unused corner of your yard into something special.

Vertical Gardens

If you don’t have the space, or the time, to invest in a large garden, you can still create a simple place to grow herbs or flowers that’s quick and easy. Repurpose indoor organizers such as canvas clothing or shoe organizers into unique planters for outdoor use.  Hang them in an area that gets plenty of sun. Use inexpensive clay pots to create a multilevel planter. Turn some pots upside down to create tiers and top them with potted plants.

Banish Pesky Mosquitoes

If you have a favorite relaxation spot in your yard, but are plagued by mosquitoes, there are quick, eco-friendly ways to drive them out of your space. Citronella candles, either store bought or homemade ones, keep these pests away, provide lighting, and create a calming glow.

Not only will eating garlic keep insects at a distance, but so will a simple garlic spray that you can mix up at home. Your yard may smell like a garlic festival for the first 24 hours, but after that, you won’t smell it but mosquitoes will and they’ll steer clear.

Faux Pergola

You don’t have to be an expert carpenter to create a fun little pergola-style canopy. A drop cloth and four poles are all you need. Paint the poles a color that complements your home’s exterior. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you could add a few yards of tulle fabric to each corner to create a curtain effect.

Mini Fire Pit

With a few simple tools and an unused grill you can create a place to roast marshmallows in the evening, for little or no money. Remove the legs from an unused circular grill, dig a hole the same size and shape as the grill, line the hole with stones, and voila, your own fire pit.

These quick and easy projects can improve your yard’s appearance and your enjoyment. University Painters is a great resource for your backyard transformation plans. Contact us today at 800-390-4848 for a free appointment or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

exterior / interior painting, home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Pressure Washing Around Your House

exterior painting, interior painting, paintersIf you think pressure washing is just for your home’s exterior, think again. Pressure (or power) washing is a great way to clean and refresh many large areas quickly. A washer can be used on most any surface. Let’s start with your home’s exterior. As the years pass, your home’s exterior can take a beating. Rain, snow, dirt, birds – well, you get it. Pressure washing is good for cleaning aluminum or vinyl siding, clapboard, brick, or stone. Be careful with wood shingles as the pressure may gouge or damage them and can push water under the shingles causing mildew problems. You can add a mild detergent to the power washer for the first cleaning and then follow up with clean water to take off all soap residue.

Like wood shingles, any wood surface should be treated with care when using a pressure washer. Be sure to use a low-pressure nozzle or you could strip the finish or other coatings off the wood, or oversoak the wood. Proper use of the washer on wood will help you remove dirt, grime, mildew, or other stains.

Metal surfaces such as rain gutters, drains, and fencing are also good targets for a power wash. Even an outdoor grill can be power washed. Don’t hold the jet too close to the surface though to avoid scratches.

Concrete, stone, and brick can also be cleaned with a power washer. Make your garage floor look like new by adding a little detergent to your washer to get rid of grease and oil. Whether your driveway is brick, stone, or concrete, it can be washed too. Never use a pressure washer on asphalt surfaces unless you want to replace it.

Power washing is also off limits for roof shingles, especially asphalt shingles. It’s likely to cause more damage than good including loosening shingles, driving water under shingles, and blowing them off entirely.

Your in-ground swimming pool or a Jacuzzi can be pressure washed. If the washer is able to create steam or use hot water, you can eliminate germs and other contaminants from these vulnerable areas.

University Painters not only paints interiors and exteriors, they can pressure wash surfaces around your home for a cleaner, fresher look. Contact us today for a free appointment.

home painters, interior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

New Paint Technology And Trends

home painters, interior paintingEvery industry has to continue to innovate in order to remain relevant and the paint industry is no exception. Changes in environmental and healthcare industries have driven changes in many home décor products including carpeting and paint.

People are more and more aware of the impact of everything we put in, around, or on our bodies. Home should be a place where we’re safe from pollutants and other contaminants. The toxic effects of paint on our health have been documented and are pointed to as the source of many common ailments for both people and animals. One of the biggest concerns about paint are VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. VOCs can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, visual problems, and respiratory distress. Symptoms as serious as memory loss have been attributed to VOCs.

Having plants in your home can improve the air quality, but why not get to the real source of the problem and give your home’s interior a fresh coat of paint? Eco-friendly paint, that is. There are a number of good, eco-friendly options to choose from. They may be a bit more expensive, but in the long run, your health is worth the price.

Three well-known paint manufacturers, Sherwin-Williams, Behr, and Benjamin Moore, all have eco-friendly paint options readily available.

1. Sherwin-Williams Harmony paint line is VOC-free and works with other household products to improve air quality.

2. Behr’s Premium Plus paints are VOC-free with paint and primer all in one.

3. Benjamin Moore’s Natura products are VOC-free, as well as asthma and allergy-friendly.

As our society becomes more aware and more concerned with environmental issues established companies are developing new product lines and innovative newcomers are introducing new technologies into the marketplace.

1. The Real Milk Paint Co. products are different from water and oil-based paints. They’re made from real milk protein and instead of a liquid are often sold as powder.

2. Earth Pigments markets another great alternative to conventional paint. They’re sustainable because they are mineral and plant-based.

3. Bioshield products are eco-friendly, solvent and VOC-free paints and wood stains suitable for interior and exterior use.

At University Painters, we can help you select eco-friendly paint options that will not only beautify your home, but protect your family’s health and well-being. Contact us today at 800-390-4848 for a free consultation.

home painters, painting, interior,exterior
Written by Colleen Kalil

Get Your Deck Warm Weather Ready

home painters, painting, interior,exteriorFollow these steps to make sure your deck stays in good condition.

Clean between the boards to loosen and lift out any dirt, mud or other debris using a putty knife. Don’t use anything that would damage the wood. Sweep the deck thoroughly. Ensure that you’re using the correct cleaner for your deck. Some require that the deck be wet before the cleaner is applied.

Apply the cleaner with a brush-style broom, garden hose sprayer, or a paint roller. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Don’t forget to clean the railings, beginning from the bottom up, and the stairs then rinse thoroughly. If you’re planning to reseal the deck, wait at least two full days.

Check the deck for any large gouges, loose boards, or other signs of wear. If nails have popped up, take them out and replace it with a slightly longer wood screw. If there are any boards with rot or significant signs of wear, replace it. Check railings as well to make sure they’re secure.

Remember to periodically move furniture or planters to clean underneath and prevent rot. Plants should never drain directly onto the deck. Keep a tray underneath each item to catch excess water. Protect the deck from furniture scratches with nylon pads similar to what you would use in the house. Don’t use any natural fibers that can mildew or rot.

If you have a grill on your deck, take a few precautions. Make sure there’s sufficient space around the grill so air can circulate and the heat won’t damage the deck. Protect the wood under the grill with a spatter mat, specifically manufactured for that purpose. Again, clean under the mat regularly to keep dirt and grease from building up. Clean up any spills as soon as they occur.

University Painters are experts in the treatment and maintenance of exterior surfaces. Contact us today for a free appointment at 800-390-4848 or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

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