Written by Stuart Kushner

Metal Siding

Now if your home or business exterior looks worn, you have the option of replacing the siding itself. But a more reasonable choice would be to paint the aluminum siding to give it a fresh, modern look.

However, painting metal siding is not the same as painting over the wood frame of a home. First, as the color fades on metal siding it tends to revert to a substance that is chalky in appearance and texture. So the first thing that needs to be done is to remove this powdery material before applying a fresh color.

This prepping process is fairly involved and requires time and patience to ensure that when painting begins, the siding will take and hold the new color. In other words, surface preparation is critical to the ultimate success of the project. Begin by removing all the dirt and debris that is clinging to the siding. You may start with the garden hose for the initial rinse and then turn to a power washer,which can be rented or purchased.  Ensure that it has a ‘detergent tank’ to do the job properly. Even so, an extensive build-up may be challenging to remove so be prepared to devote the amount of time and energy necessary to complete this vital first step.

Although it might seem obvious, it is best to begin spraying at the top of the house so that the dirt and grime roll down the sides. Once the exterior is pristine, test a couple colors on the aluminum siding before you finalize your decision.

Finally, choose a high quality acrylic latex paint for a look that will endure. Some of the better paints also include a primer which provides an even more beautiful finish.

If you have a residential or commercial property with metal siding, give the experts at University Painters, Inc. a call. We specialize in refreshing all exterior looks.

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!

interior painting,House Painting Pressure Washing
Written by Colleen Kalil

Repairing and Repainting After Water Damage

interior painting,House Painting Pressure WashingIf you’re a homeowner, chances are you’ll have to deal with water damage at some point in the life of your home. The causes of water damage vary from the effects of bad weather to frozen pipes to antiquated plumbing. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to do a thorough job of repairing the damage to prevent additional problems in the future.

Consider The Source

Before any repair work can be started, find the source of the water damage. Make sure the repairs are made properly and quickly. Wet materials can begin to develop mold and mildew in as little as 24 hours.

Ceiling Damage

Ceiling damage can cause paint to peel and bubbles to form. Once the source of the water is repaired, examine the damaged area. Remove any peeling paint or bubbles. If the drywall is sagging, let it dry completely. Check to make sure it is still attached to the beams and use drywall screws to restore it to the correct position.

Clean any visible mold or mildew from the damaged area. Use filler or putty to create a flat surface wherever peeling paint or bubbling was removed, then sand it smooth. Next, apply a stain blocking primer to any area that is discolored and let it dry completely. If you don’t apply stain block, the original stain will bleed through the new paint. It’s best to repaint the entire ceiling to prevent patches of different colored paint.

Wall Damage

If the wallboard doesn’t need to be replaced, check to make sure it’s still attached to the studs. Scrape off any peeling paint or drywall putty then clean the surface. If there is any mold or mildew, use bleach and water or a solution specifically designed to combat mildew. Let the area dry completely, then apply a fresh coat of paint. If the existing paint has faded, you may need to repaint the entire wall or room to maintain consistent color.

Repairing water damage can be a time consuming process. Save yourself the aggravation and leave it to the professionals at University Painters. Call or go online to schedule a free consultation today.

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 painting, home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Painting Wood Shingles

exterior painting, home paintersWood shingles, especially cedar shingles, can be a popular choice for the exterior of your home. With proper stain, they are long-lasting, weather and insect-resistant. You do have the option to paint shingles, but special preparation is needed. Wood absorbs paint faster than other surfaces and has to be specially primed. Even the best paint will soak into the wood without the proper base.

Because shingles may weather differently, check to see if any are damaged and need to be replaced. Shingles also mildew rather quickly and should be cleaned thoroughly before painting. To prepare singles for painting, the shingles need to be washed to remove dirt and mildew.

To clean wood shingles, a sponge, household bleach, and water are what’s called for. Using a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water, apply the solution to mildewed areas with a sponge and leave for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Let the shingles dry and be aware that it can take up to two weeks for shingles to dry completely.

When the shingles are dry, use a scrub brush to remove any old wood or dirt and brush the residue off with a wide paint brush. Next, apply a stain blocking primer with a four to six inch brush. Shingles need to be coated evenly. If you choose to use a sprayer, use even strokes moving in different directions for complete coverage.

The final step is to paint. Acrylic latex exterior paint is a good choice and will last for many years. As with the primer, the paint should be applied in all directions and completely cover the shingles. Work in a limited area, approximately 20 feet square, and then move to the next section.

University Painters are licensed, qualified, and knowledgeable about all types of finishes for the exterior of your home. We can work with you to create the look you want for your home. Contact us today at 1-800-390-4848 for an appointment.

home painters, paints, exterior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Gates and Fences

home painters, paints, exterior paintingGates and fences may be added to a home for security or purely decorative reasons. Though any number of materials can be used, two of the most common are wood and iron. Both are long-lasting, can add curb appeal and value to your home if they are maintained regularly.

WOOD

If your gate or fence is made of wood, it must receive regular attention to keep it from drying out, splitting or rotting. Many newer fences are made of cedar or redwood, which are more resistant to bugs, but even these woods need care to look their best.

Wood fences that will be below ground level should be made of pressure-treated wood. This wood is chemically treated to withstand mold, mildew, and insect damage. Pressure-treated wood doesn’t need a sealant, but can still be stained or painted for aesthetic reasons.

To keep a wood fence looking its best, keep a few things in mind. Don’t point sprinklers directly at a fence. The water will keep the wood moist and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Keep vines off fences because they will likewise add moisture to the wood fence. Keep grass trimmed around the fence.

IRON

Iron fences are a beautiful focal point for a home, and can last for decades, but they have one enemy: rust. To keep an iron fence in good condition, wash it every six months with mild soap and water, followed by a coat of metal wax. If you’re already seeing signs of rust, remove the rust with a fine wire brush and rinse it with nonionic water. Keep latches, hinges or other decorative pieces well-oiled and working. Just as with wood fences, keep weeds, grass, and vines away from an iron fence so the extra water won’t damage it.

CHAIN LINK

Chain link fences are commonly used, durable, and functional. Both coated and uncoated fencing is available. Coated fencing is easy to clean and maintain. Uncoated fencing, like iron, is susceptible to rust and should be checked regularly. The posts holding the fence are usually metal and can be treated the same way. Make sure the posts are at a 90-degree angle with the ground. If the posts aren’t secured in cement, they may begin to lean after a time.

University Painters can help you care for everything around your home’s exterior. Contact us today for a free appointment at 800-390-4848 or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

interior painting,home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Keep Your Home’s Paint Looking Like New

When you paint your home’s interior or exterior, you can keep it looking new longer if you know how to take care of it. Most people paint their homes then forget about it until it needs to be repainted. Regular maintenance can extend the life of the paint in your home and ultimately save you money. Here are three tips you may not know.

1. Keep an eye out for any spots or stains from dirt, grease, or crayons, etc. It’s easiest to clean spots when they’re fresh rather than after they’re ground in and covered with more dirt. Take into consideration the finish on your wall. Scrubbing too hard on a matte wall may remove more than just the stain. Try to remove the stain with a damp sponge first. If the stain is stubborn, add a little dish soap on the sponge and try again.

2. Mold is never a good sign. It usually develops in moist, damp areas such as bathrooms and basements. If you find mold, you can purchase special paint to cover the area, or you can start with a simple solution of water and bleach. Check the surface a few months later to make sure the problem has been solved. If the mold continues to spread, you may want to call in a professional to help.

3. Most people don’t realize that paint can fade the same way fabrics can fade. Start with a high-quality paint to avoid this problem. However, if you’re unsure of the quality of the paint you have on your walls, or if you like your room sunny and bright all day long, consider tinting your windows with a UV coating.

A little effort will keep your home looking freshly painted for a long time. The professionals at University Paints use the finest quality materials and are available to consult with you about your painting needs. Contact us today.

painter,paints,
Written by Colleen Kalil

After the Paint, Add Molding for a High-end Finish

Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the look of your home, but you can take your home decorating up a notch by adding the right moldings. Crown moldings, or cornice moldings, may be the most universally known, but there are other choices that will add character and charm to your home. 

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home painters,interior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

How To Bring More Light Into Your Kitchen

If your kitchen feels rather dark, you may want to consider adding more natural light. Natural light can come from overhead skylights or from your adjacent rooms that are open to your kitchen. Having more light can help you prepare food easier and entertain your guests. Here are some ways to bring more light to a dark kitchen. 

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interior painting,paints, painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

How To Choose The Right Colors For Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the busiest places in the home. It’s where your family cooks, eats, and spends time together. When you decorate your kitchen, you want to transform it into a special space you’ll be happy to come home to. Can’t decide on the perfect colors for your kitchen? Follow these steps to design your perfect kitchen.

Choose Your Favorite Colors

Forget about the trends. You want to paint your kitchen in the colors that you enjoy looking at every time you walk into the room. Sure, you can explore the popular options, but make a choice on what makes you happy. The popular or trendy paint colors may be easier to find, but the classics will make a lasting impression on your kitchen.

Create Your Own Color Palette

Once you know what colors you want to use, decide on your color palette. Visit a home improvements store and choose paint chips that stand out to you. Bring them home and see how well they go with your kitchen. Or, you can skip the trip and find stunning color palettes on Pinterest.

Start With Your Cabinets

This is the perfect place to start if you’re repainting or replacing your cabinets. Your cabinets and drawers are the focal point of your kitchen and should stay that way. Choose your colors with a long-term plan in mind. White cabinets may look pretty, but dirt shows up quickly, especially if you cook a lot.

Keep Your Countertops Neutral

You don’t want your countertops to clash or compete with your cabinets. While they may have one of the biggest surfaces in your kitchen, you want to keep them neutral. Choose neutral colors that best complement your walls, backsplash, and cabinets. This will also help you extend the life of your counters if you choose to renovate or repaint your kitchen later on.

Go Crazy With Your Backsplashes And Paint Color

This is where you can let your imagination run wild a little. While countertops and cabinets tend to use neutral colors, your paint color and backsplash is where you can get a little creative. Bright colors will make you smile every time you walk into your kitchen.

There are many options for backsplashes, including glass tiles. Since cabinets and appliances cover most of your walls, use a pop of color that you normally wouldn’t use in a room that’s painted in one color. An accent wall can allow you to use your favorite color without it dominating the entire room.

Decorating your kitchen can help liven it up. It can even change the view of the rest of your house. Whether you’re considering a major renovation or just one room, adding a new coat of paint will improve your home. Contact University Painters today to discuss the plans of your project and to learn more about our interior painting services.

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