Written by Colleen Kalil

Hiring a Professional Painter vs. DYI

As a consummate DYI individual I always try to do everything myself. As with all things in life experience quickly taught me that hiring a professional painter not only saved me time and money but the headaches of frequent trips to the store for things I didn’t know I needed or had forgotten. Whether your home is one that you have lived in for a long time or one you just purchased, you need a knowledgeable professional to guide you through the journey. Don’t get me wrong, I still do small projects but never a whole house.

To decide if it is cost effective to do the project yourself, sit down and determine the supplies you will need. Do a walk through and ask yourself these questions – will you need extra tall ladders, how many drop cloths will you need, how many gallons of paint, how many rolls of tape are required, will you be cleaning the walls first and will you need a primer. If you are painting over a dark paint with a lighter color, will you have bleed through? Once you have the answers, start mapping out the time you will need to move furniture, tape off everything and prepare and patch any walls that need work. As you do this, remember a professional company will come in with a team and have a room done in a few hours as well as cleaning up the area. Plus, they will guarantee their work.

Let’s face it, professional painters have done this before and know the tricks of the trade and the correct techniques to get quality results. It is how they make their living. They will help you choose the right type of paint for the surface area. Always ask for verifiable references and verify that the company is licensed, bonded and insured. Determine if they have performed background checks on their workers. In the long run, hiring professionals will save you time and money.

Please feel free to contact us at University Painters for a free estimate.

Exterior Painting, Painters, Painting Job
Written by Colleen Kalil

Common Signs that a House Needs Repainting

Exterior Painting, Painters, Painting JobIf you are like most Americans, you are busy, busy, busy. Between work and home, raising a family and struggling to make ends meet, sometimes even the most obvious needs can be overlooked. This is especially true of your home’s exterior. You may pull out of the driveway before the sun comes up and pull back in long after dusk. If so, you may actually be unaware of the condition of your home’s exterior or the fact that it may need freshening up. In this blog we will provide you with a list of signs that it is time to paint your home.

  • Do an exterior walk of your home during the daylight hours, on a weekend if you work during the week. This is the best time to notice if the paint is fading. It is easiest to identify if you can find a nook or cranny on the house that is shaded and compare the sharpness of the color with an area that is in the direct weather more often.
  • The paint shows signs of wear aside from fading. For example, perhaps the exterior of the home is showing signs of rot or mold. Those are indicators that the home’s exterior needs some serious attention which may include repainting.
  • If the caulk is cracking on the exterior surfaces of the home or otherwise appears brittle, this means the caulk has lost its elasticity and should be updated. In other words, the exterior needs to be repainted. This will prevent further wear and tear on the home.
  • You are selling your house. This is often a difficult decision. You really don’t want to pay to update the home’s exterior if you are not staying there, but potential buyers are attracted to homes that look fresh and updated. It’s called curb appeal and the most common way to get it is by painting. Consider the cost and benefits. Ultimately you can pass the cost of the painting on to the buyer in the form of a higher price.

Finally, a home’s exterior should be painted every five to ten years. Knowing this – you may be in need of a paint job. If so, don’t hesitate to call the experts at University Painters, Inc. Your home is our business.

House Painters, Exterior - Interior Painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Common Paint Problems

House Painters, Exterior - Interior PaintingWho doesn’t like a freshly painted interior or exterior in your home or place of business? Fresh paint gives off a bright, clean feeling. It’s uplifting and makes most people feel pride in their surroundings. But, in the process of painting – and prior to the completed project – there are a number of common paint problems that may cause you to become frustrated and sidetrack you from completing the work. Let’s consider some of these in this blog.

  • First, when applying a fresh coat of paint, you may find that a stain is apparent underneath. Often those who take on a painting project are unaware that the extra time taken to prep the surface prior to painting will save time and money in the end. If there are stains on the interior or exterior of your home or business, you should take care to remove them before starting to paint. All surfaces should be cleaned and primed before you dip that paint brush into the can.
  • Second, once you have cleaned the surfaces, be sure to allow enough time for it to dry thoroughly. If you fail to do so you may find that your freshly painted surface will begin to flake, bubble up, or otherwise be unsightly. If you have flaking paint, remove it thoroughly with an abrasive brush, then sand it smoothly so that when you repaint these areas you won’t be able to tell the difference between the old and new paint.
  • Third, avoid brush marks and paint drips. So, you’ve chosen your color, primed your surfaces, allowed adequate time for it to dry and now comes the moment of truth. You have opened your paint can, stirred it thoroughly and you are on the precipice of updating your home or business’s interior or exterior. In all of your excitement, you dip the brush into the can and put it out completely overloaded and dripping. Then, to make matters worse, the brush is so paint-laden that it causes brush marks as you paint. How to avoid this? It’s simple – don’t overload your brush with paint – or otherwise engage in poor painting techniques.

Need more tips on avoiding common mistakes in painting? Contact the expert painting company of University Painters, Inc. We are here to serve you!

Exterior Painting, Home Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

What Does an Exterior Home Painting Cost Estimate Include?

home Exterior painting, House PaintersHardly anyone questions the reality that painting the exterior of your home increases its value – sometimes exponentially. Most will also agree that painting your home’s exterior is a tedious, labor-laden job that can quickly become overwhelming. The job requires a large amount of preparation and may include a variety of complex nuances that lead the homeowner to abandon any thought of undertaking the process themselves, and instead place the job in the trusted hands of professionals. What factors are involved in painting the exterior of your home? The most common points are listed below.

  • Labor costs compromise the bulk of the price. Of course, there are dozens of resources that will purport to give you the average cost of hiring a painter. One source says $50 per hour per painter with a bottom line of $2400 – $7000 for an entire exterior of a home. Another resource estimates exterior painting costs of $30.00 to $35.00 per hour with commercial jobs priced at $25.00 to $45.00. Still another source says painting an average home between 500 and 1,500 square feet can cost between $1,000 and $3,000

You can see there is no single price for labor. Other factors that must be taken into consideration include the number of stories of your house and ease of accessibility to reach all areas.

  • Paint is going to be the next big expense. If you purchase paint that runs between $25 – $40 per gallon with an average home exterior of 3000 sq. ft., the paint will run anywhere from $375 – $600. However, if you purchase more expensive paint, the price will go up. For the record, research shows that most homes need to be painted every 5 to 7 years and the better paints offer you better protection against the ravages of the weather.
  • Other costs include power washing the exterior surfaces prior to painting, which can run $75 per day rental fee; there’s no reason to purchase a power washer unless you will be doing long-term power washing on a patio or other surfaces. Ladders and scaffolding can run up to $75 a day as well, and then there are the variety of tapes, sponges, brushes or power sprayer equipment to apply the paint.

Then there is the homeowner’s time and frustration. Exterior home painting is an exacting job. Hire the professionals at University Painters, Inc. Your home is our business.

House Painter Exterior Painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Seasonal Painting

House Painter Exterior PaintingIt may seem that exterior and interior painting is an all-year-round event. But the truth of the matter is that no matter where you live, summer seems to be the best season for painting. What is the allure of this time of year? To start with, paint loves the heat. Often there is less rain in the summer months than other times of the year, which gives you longer windows of time to apply the paint without fear of it being washed away.

Despite the fact that spring and fall seem to offer better climate conditions – breezy, cool days and cool nights – these times of the year are also the most unpredictable. In other words, you may start a project and get hit with an unexpected storm or a light rain shower. The summer offers more sustainable weather conducive to all your outdoor projects.

Continued warm weather ensures the surface is dry which is the only type of surface that will accept paint. If an area has experienced a recent hard rain, the surface of the home’s exterior may feel dry but be saturated underneath. Experienced painters know how to determine if a surface is optimally ready to receive paint.

If paint is applied to a surface that is moist underneath, it will adversely affect the drying paint. However, summer is also a time that dew tends to collect on things in the early morning hours. So you will need to rely on the expertise of the painting company you hire to ensure they are knowledgeable in prime paint application times.

For the inexperienced home exterior painter, the worst time to paint the outside of a home is when it is cool outside – forty degrees or below.

To recap:

  • Outdoor projects of all types are best conducted during the summer months. This includes painting the exterior of the home including trim. The reasoning is the heat ensures the surface is dry, which allows the paint to ‘cure’.
  • Allow the home’s surface to dry in the sunshine prior to painting in the morning.
  • Finally, painting during the earlier summer months will allow you to find and seal rot that may have occurred during the winter.

For more information on painting seasons and related information, contact the experts at University Painters, Inc. Your home is our business!

Interior Painting Home Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

It’s the Little Things!

Interior Painting Home PaintersWhile we focus mainly on exterior painting, we are experienced in all aspects of the painting process, inside and out! For instance, we have some great advice for the weekend handyman or handywoman who is going to tackle an indoor painting project. You’ve decided to paint the wall (or walls). People tend to think that it’s an elementary task. However, there are little things you should think of and attend to before actually popping open the paint can. In other words, a few moments of pre-preparation will make the job go much faster and more smoothly. Then you really will be able to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Clear the walls. Take down any hangings or fixtures even if they don’t appear to be near the area to be painted. Accidents happen all too often and are more likely to when you are not prepared!

Inspect the wall for nicks and imperfections. Now is the time to make repairs prior to beginning the painting process. If there are cracks in the paint or you have mold and mildew, attending to these issues before dipping the brush in paint will make the job go more quickly and result in a nicer presentation.

Now wash the walls. That’s right, walls get dirty just like floors and windows. Think about the variety of cooking smells that waft through the house, or odors that are not that enticing. Some of them leave a residue that dulls the color of the walls and makes them look and feel dirty. If you are not one to wash the walls, there are service companies available to do it for you.

Tape, tape, tape. One thing is true about paint – it drips. When you dip the brush in the paint, there’s always a chance that paint splatter can happen. If you want to avoid leaving a paint job on your woodwork, window panes, cupboards or other trim, take the time to buy and use tape that will not allow paint to seep.

The experts at University Painters, Inc. take pride in offering superior exterior painting services to homes and businesses. But that’s not all we know! If you have any paint questions, we will be happy to speak with you.

Exterior Painting, Home Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Freshen Your Outdoor Look for the Holidays

exterior painting, home paintersThe time is almost upon us. You know what I mean. The whirlwind of holidays that trip over each other from October to the beginning of the new year! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas,

Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s run into each other with hardly a moment to take a breath! Homeowners are advised to look over their property now with a critical eye for upgrades that will help give their home that festive look.

Even though in many parts of the country the weather is taking a turn for the worse, there’s still time to put a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home. In fact, painting the outside of your home may be the simplest way to give your home curb appeal even if you have no intention of selling. When those trick-or-treaters come knocking at your door or the family shows up en masse with a fruitcake in one hand and gifts in the other, you will be able to feel an extra sense of pride knowing your home is ‘showcase ready’ for everyone to enjoy.

Remember, paint fades over time and the process is accelerated by the affects of sun, snow, wind and rain. When you look at your house day after day you may not notice that the exterior is waning and perhaps even a bit shabby. As September melts into October there is still time to have your home painted before winter sets in. Although each house is a unique circumstance, the average time frame for painting the outside of a house is roughly four days.

So, in the time span of a little more than a weekend you can have a whole new look to your home. We hope this blog has given you the push you need to arrange for a professional paint company to provide an estimate and time frame to update your home’s exterior. If you are in the market for an exceptional painting company, please give the experts at University Painters, Inc. a call. We provide superior customer service and our goal is your satisfaction.

interior/exterior painting, painters,
Written by Colleen Kalil

A Consumer’s Guide to Trendy Paints

interior/exterior painting, painters,America is a country of choice. We like choice in everything we do – from our breakfast drinks to our appliances, our jobs and to our modes of transportation. In fact, we insist on it. Choice drives the economy! One can sometimes wonder if perhaps we don’t have too many choices on occasion. Take, for instance, paint. Those paint companies seem to never run out of subtle differences in shades that make it possible to offer a hundred variances on the simple color ‘white’ if we are so inclined to opt for them. But then try comparing them side by side. It can be overwhelming.

Indeed, the savvy consumer can quickly become bogged down with the intricacies of something as simple as picking out a paint color. There are dozens of brand names that all compete for the title of highest quality and most exclusive. Some paint companies prefer to market to the public as having the ‘greatest value’, ‘wear-ability’ or ‘durability’. So, you can see, that choosing paint is not nearly as simple as it might have been even twenty years ago. Is there anything out there that can help make the decision process easier?

Actually, there is. Consumer Reports, a magazine long respected for its thorough examination of many market niches, takes the time on occasion to test a wide variety of paints for multiple factors including, but not limited to, the very ones we spoke of in this blog. While we would not tout one paint over another for any reason in our blog – even if it has the Consumer Reports seal of approval – we would point you in their direction and advise you to take the time to read their research before making any final decisions. An educated consumer makes better choices.

However, we will second one of their most astute observations. As noted in a Consumer Reports study regarding paint options, it is a good idea to stay away from the cheapest brands. They will likely not provide the ‘wear-ability’, ‘durability’, or thorough covering you can expect from the more popular, and usually more expensive, brands.

It’s usually true what they say – you get what you pay for.

Need more hints about painting? Contact the experts at Universal Painters, Inc. Our goal is to provide the best service for your home.

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

Preparing to Paint

interior painting,painters,home,commercialFall is a great time to refresh your home’s interior. The weather is cooler and it’s an opportunity to get ready for the upcoming holiday season. The time it takes to prepare properly is well worth it when you see the results.

Furniture

If at all possible, remove the furniture from the room and cover the floor with a drop cloth. If you can’t take all the furniture out, push everything into the middle of the room and cover with plastic or another drop cloth.

Cleaning

Before you paint, clean your windows inside and out. It isn’t necessary for painting, but it will add to the freshness of the room. You can also check the frames and glass for any signs of wear or damage. When the windows are done, cover the glass with plastic using painter’s tape to protect them from drips and splatters.

Repair any cracks, chips, or other damage to your walls. If you have to use putty to fill holes, make sure you sand it smooth. If you don’t, you’ll see the outline under the paint. Dust the walls and ceiling if you plan to paint it. Wash the walls with warm water and a little mild cleaner. By removing the dust first, you avoid creating dirty streaks when you wash the walls. Vacuum any vents in the ceiling or in the floor.

Taping

The best order for painting is trim, ceiling, and walls. Tape around the trim and around the ceiling, then paint. Let the ceiling paint dry completely before taping the top of the walls. Some people hate taking the time to tape, but it saves time and creates a finished look.

Painting

If the current wall color is very dark and you’re applying a lighter color, prime the walls first. However, some brands of paint include primer or the texture makes primer unnecessary. Using a small brush, cut into the corners of the room, where the ceiling and wall meet, and around the trim. Do this for any place your roller won’t be able to reach. Paint the walls using a “W” pattern starting in one corner and covering a 3′ x 3′ area. This reduces visible seams where the paint overlaps.

Drying

Most latex paint dries to the touch in a few hours, but you shouldn’t let anything rest against the wall or wash it for at least 48 hours.

The professionals at University Painters take the time to prepare every surface in your home to achieve the best results. Call us today and schedule your fall refresh today.

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