Interior Painters, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

The Complexity of Paint

The DIYer is a reflection of the renewed American Renaissance spirit. You are the ‘do-it-yourselfer’ who doesn’t need any help. After all – our ancestors built this country from the ground up so you should be able to tackle a small job such as painting your own house inside or out. Well, before you get started on that painting project take a moment to consider just one important aspect of the task – the complexity of paint.

That’s right. There are dozens of different types of paint to be considered for a particular job or surface. This blog will limit the discussion to just a few of the most common types.

• Oil-based paint. These also go by the label of ‘solvent-based paint’. It is a reliable coating that is both durable and long-lasting. Another great selling point of oil-based paint is that it is inexpensive and resists showing signs of wear and tear. It is a common option for painting the interior of homes. It comes in a wealth of colors and is also an excellent choice for painting trim because of its durability.

• Water-based paint. This is also an excellent choice for painting the interior walls of a home because of its minimized toxicity compared to oil-based paint. It is also quite easy to clean up. The paint dries faster so it is possible to apply more than one coat in a single day. However, it does not tend to last as long as oil-based paint. Even so, if your aim is to quickly update the look of your surroundings it is an excellent option. Finally, another ‘selling point’ of this paint type is that it is the most environmentally friendly.

• Latex-based paint. While it is true that there are similarities between latex and water-based paint they are not interchangeable. When you see the term ‘latex’ it is an indication that the paint contains a plastic resin and is made of acrylics or polyvinyls. Latex paint is an excellent option for a variety of surfaces – even those that have been painted previously. However, due to its non-environmental-friendly makeup there is some indication its presence in the paint market is beginning to wane.

These are the most common paint forms for residential and commercial painting. If you are still unsure of what form of paint to use, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. We know paint and painting.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Recommendations to Facility Managers Hiring Commercial Paint Companies

Whether you are the owner of a commercial property or the manager of the facility – there are certain considerations that should be taken under advisement as you set out to find a commercial paint company for your structure.

Let us start by agreeing that in most instances the presentation of the building and property are an important asset. They are a silent confirmation that the owner takes pride in their business and that bodes well for potential customers. Of course, there are exceptions when a customer does not decide if they would engage the company based solely on the façade (for example, many people still expect auto garages to exude a greasy atmosphere with workers in coveralls and dirty parts all around).

What the building or commercial property looks like on the outside is often an important component to bringing the customer to the threshold. A worn-down look will definitely be a deterrent to potential consumers. That makes the responsibility of the facility manager all the more important. Here are some tips to make the job of hiring a commercial paint company a positive experience.

• Map out the extent of the work that will be required in advance. That will require attention to detail and reflection. Perform a thorough walk-around of the building. Get up close and look for spots that need repair. Ensure that you know and can iterate the exact expectations so there will be no confusion when a contract is awarded.

• Inquire with your business neighbors about any commercial painting they have had done and ask for recommendations. Start by contacting these companies and inviting them in to give an estimate. Make sure the estimate is in writing and pay attention to the details. Perhaps the company does not do its own cleanup. Or maybe they are only available certain hours. Find out in advance so there are no surprises. Also ask about warranties and guarantees.

• Determine if they have licenses to handle industrial materials. What is their experience with substrates? What types of commercial painting have they done in the past?

• Consider expanding your search outside the recommendations of your neighbors. There are a variety of online resources that will provide references for commercial painters.

Need commercial painting done? Contact the seasoned professionals at University Painters, Inc.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Do You Need an Industrial Painter?

Industrial painting is defined as the application of varnish, paint or other types of coatings to surfaces including houses, businesses, machinery, vehicles and other materials that require finishing. Under the circumstances then, a ‘commercial and residential paint company’ could also be labeled an ‘industrial painter’.

Industrial painters work in the construction and manufacturing industry. Most often they paint structures, but they also work on other commodities. Industrial painters also tend to specialize in a particular area. For example, some may focus solely on house or business painting – and may stick to exterior work only. Others may offer painting services for both indoors and outdoors. Still other industrial painters will focus on machine or automotive painting. It is sensible to note that most industrial painters work collaboratively. It is very difficult to complete a paint job as a one-person job. There are exceptions such as doing specialty auto painting.

Industrial painters will have a variety of specialized equipment to complete the work appropriately and according to industry standards. Since 2008 the industry has worked tirelessly to enhance their presentation to the public – demonstrating their competency to the public – by creating standards and opportunities to become certified. One example of a respected certification is the SSPC – CAS. SSPC is an acronym for the Society for Protective Coatings. They present themselves as the ‘leading source of information on the preparation of all types of surfaces’. This is much more complex than one might believe. There are a variety of environmental and health and safety issues that must be taken into consideration when applying any type of coating to a surface.

The second part of the acronym is ‘CAS’, which is short for Coating Application Specialist. In order to become certified, you must complete a training program. This certification provides a better guarantee that the painter is knowledgeable in the area of surface coatings. It is not uncommon for today’s paint companies to continue to train and educate their employees on subjects related to environmental issues as well as those concerning health and safety.

It should be noted that there are conflicting responses to the question of ‘what is an industrial painter’. Some researchers will claim that this is a specialty type of painter that works only in industrial settings such as power plants and that the equipment they use differs from the commercial painter. While this may be true to a certain extent, there are similarities to some processes as well as expectations.

To learn more about the industry of painting, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Consider Painting the Trim on Your Home or Business

Have you noticed lately that your home or business’s exterior is beginning to look a little worn? Not the entire structure, though, and you are having trouble putting your finger on the problem. Quite often people don’t realize that when the trim around doors, windows, eaves and similar areas start to fade it can cause the entire building to look run down. So, before you go planning to paint your entire home or business from top to bottom – consider refreshing the trim. What follows are some suggestions that can help you through the decision-making process.

• Examine your home or business exterior with an eagle-eye. Is the trim the same color as the rest of the structure or is it different? A different color trim – using complementary or accent paint colors – tends to catch the eye of the passerby and make the building stand out. However, so does a home or business that looks neat and clean with only one color seamlessly applied from top to bottom. So deciding whether to use complementary or accent colors or making the trim the same color as the entire structure may be the first and most important determination to be made.

• Surf the net. Look for pictures of homes or businesses that have matching trim and those with complementary and/or accent colors. Since you are focusing on trim – go all out. Perhaps you are not a ‘red’ person, but you have seen some homes with red trim and think it might be a color you like. In fact, consider your favorite home colors before moving forward. It wouldn’t hurt to drive around the neighborhood to get ideas as well. Nothing is more informative than real-world examples.

• Take the plunge. If you can’t decide on one color, then get paint samples of a few that you really like. Then, one by one, apply them in a place that is not noticeable to the viewing public. Look at them several times to help you make your final choice.

• Remember to prepare the trim surfaces before painting. The old paint should be sanded down. Any imperfections will be more noticeable then – such as if windows need caulking. Make all repairs in advance.

• Finally, paint and enjoy. Painting the trim requires smaller brushes and a steady hand. When done – stand back and admire!

Contact University Painters, Inc. for all your professional painting needs.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Common Problems Encountered by Residential Paint Companies

The exteriors of homes receive some of the greatest punishment. No matter what the weather, it can adversely affect the paint of the exterior siding and the trim. The rains of spring, the hot sunshine of summer and the winter snow and sleet that occurs around a good part of the country all combine to cause wear and tear on the home. Today’s paints are made to stand up to the constant assault of the weather but even so, eventually you will need to update your home’s exterior. What follows are some issues that you will encounter if you stay in your home long enough!

• Paint blistering. A blister is a tiny raised bubble. If you have ever stayed out in the sunshine too long and gotten a sunburn it will often turn to little blisters before the skin peels away. The same can be said for the paint on your home. Blisters may appear in the paint if it was originally applied when the sun was too hot, or there was dew or humidity in the air at the time of painting. Your home may also be in need of better ventilation.

• Chalking. Chalk is powdery and leaves a residue on surfaces including the exterior of the home. Most experts agree that a little bit of chalking is not uncommon nor is it something to worry about. However, it can be an indication that the paint used was of a lesser quality or had been thinned. When severe, there may be runoff from the side of the home which stains other surfaces. Chalking can also be a sign that porous areas of the home that were painted were likely not sealed correctly. To correct this condition, power wash the side of the home to assess the extent of the chalking then consider repainting.

• Alligatoring. This is the formation of cracks and grooves in a paint job that causes it to resemble the skin of an alligator. There are multiple causes of this including the use of excessively thick paint or the second coat of paint was applied before the first coat was fully dry. Of course, the home’s exterior may develop these cracks as a part of the natural aging process as well. The only option is to sand off the old paint and apply a high-quality new coating.

University Painters, Inc. knows all about the common issues that homeowners experience. We are professionals who can help you solve these problems!

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

A Simple Guide to Finding the Paint Company for Your Job

So, you have decided the time has come to freshen up the look of your home or business. You’ve done a walk-around several times and know that exterior painting will make the structure look like new. You have also determined it is a job you do not wish to take on, so the next step is to find a paint company to do the job for you. But, how do you go about finding the right paint business for your needs? What follows are some simple guidelines that should help you “pick the perfect painters for your final presentation”!

• Start by reflecting on what you expect from the company you choose to paint your home. Perhaps price is the greatest consideration. Maybe your time frame is most critical. You should have some idea in mind of what your expectations are but be prepared to be flexible. Ultimately, you may find one company offers an attractive price while the other is able to meet your time constraints.

• Next, go ahead and contact your friends, family, and co-workers. If you know someone who has had their home or business painted professionally recently, they may be your best resource. A satisfied customer is a business’s best reference. Even though there are plenty of places to ‘post’ or comment on a company’s work – not everyone is inclined to do so positively or can make the time.

• Now, identify the list of business review sites that are considered to be the most credible. Certainly, these would include such resources as the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Facebook and others. This should make the job of finding authentic feedback about a potential company much easier.

• Take your time reading the reviews and then prepare a list of no more than half a dozen companies you think will meet your needs. Contact them individually and arrange to meet with them. Have them do a walk-around of your home or business then provide a quote. Make sure there are no hidden fees.

• Finally, take a few days and consider your options then ‘go for it’. Putting in the time to find the right company in advance will better ensure you will be happy with the results.

Contact University Painters, Inc. for a company that will meet your needs.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

The Tools of the House Painting Trade

There are a number of items that are considered ‘tools of the trade’ in residential and business painting. Whether you are going to paint the home or business on your own or hire a professional painting company – or even if you are starting your own paint company – it’s helpful to know what is needed.

• Tarps – covers that prevent your indoor and outdoor items from getting errant drips of paint on them. No one wants floors, furniture or outdoor shrubbery to end up with paint stains.

• Brushes – there are dozens of brush sizes that are identified by the width of the brush head marked in inches or millimeters. Brush types include bristles made of various materials including nylon and synthetics. They also come in various types such as ‘angled sash’ or ‘foam’. It is advisable to have several of the most common sizes and types available before you start painting.

Also, make sure you have the materials you need to wash the brushes after each paint session. If you don’t thoroughly clean your brushes at the end of every paint session they will quickly become ruined.

• Paint rollers – the paint roller is most efficient for painting large flat surfaces. A paint roller is a simple tool that consists of the roller frame and roller cover. The roller cover is nappy and holds the paint. They are typically made of lamb’s wool, synthetic fabrics or foam. Paint rollers also come in different nap sizes. Shorter naps are better for smooth surfaces.

• Airless sprayer – this tool is used to pump paint at a very high pressure. The outcome is a smooth and even application of the paint. Airless sprayers are a quick way to paint large surfaces without leaving behind brush or ‘stipple’ marks that are commonly left behind using ‘hand methods’.

• HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) sprayer – when used to apply paint they will not create the ‘fog’ common to the more powerful airless sprayer. Training in the use of either tool is advised to ensure the user understands the inherent challenges and potential dangers.

Remember – use the right tool for the right job. Better yet, contact the paint professionals at University Painters, Inc.

discussing ideas for exterior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Prepping Your Business for an Exterior Paint Job

Making sure your business is ‘presentation-ready’ and appealing to customers may be one of the most important ways to draw customers. This means that the exterior should be bright and clean and pleasant to the eye. The first step is to keep the outside of the business looking freshly painted. This telegraphs the message to the customer that you are open for business and have pride in your product or service. If you have done a recent walk-around the outside of your building and believe it is time for a new paint job, here are a few suggestions that will help you get ready while minimizing the disruption.

• Develop a schedule that lists the steps necessary to get the project underway and complete – from start to finish. Add a timeline and review the list regularly to ensure there are no long delays or issues that are unresolved.

• Create alerts for the customers and employees well in advance. You should put notices up on the front door and other entryways letting people know the dates and times the exterior will be undergoing a paint job and when you expect it to be finished. This will allow customers and employees the ability to avoid the area if they have medical issues that arise from the smell of paint.

• Be sure to have completed any repair work to the exterior prior to the first day of painting unless the contractor has agreed to address these issues as part of the pre-painting process. For example, peeling paint should be scraped away so it is not painted over directly. It may be necessary to power wash the exterior before applying fresh paint as well. There are a number of pre-painting hurdles that must be overcome before the first stroke of the brush hits the side of the building.

• Take the time to choose a color that enhances your building’s exterior and aligns to the product or service you offer. For example, a child’s boutique painted in a bold red would be off-putting to most customers. However, a hardware store might be suitable for some shade in the ‘red family’.

Are you getting ready to update your business’s exterior with a new paint job? Contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc.

Exterior Painting,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Matching Your Home’s Color to its Style

Have you ever driven through a neighborhood where the homes are quietly appealing and then you run across one that sticks out like a sore thumb because the color is so inappropriate for the area or style of home? Sometimes an idea for a house color looks better in your head than on the house, even if the aim is to stand out. The occasional pink, lavender, red or midnight blue home can depress the value of all the homes on a block – starting with the one that is oddly painted.

There really is an art to matching a home’s color to its style and region. You do yourself and your neighbors a disservice by trying to step outside of the recommended – and tried and true – color palette of residences. Here are some things to keep in mind as you set out to choose a color for your home’s exterior that you can be proud of.

• The exterior of most home’s do not use just one color. In fact, there are often three that must complement each other and their surroundings. These include the siding, the molding and eaves, and a separate color for the accents such as the door and railings.

• Do a drive-through of the immediate and surrounding neighborhoods to get a feel for the colors that are in use and the resulting presentation.

• Some homes cry out for the classic white but don’t be fooled. There are a variety of shades of white from eggshell to cream. This is true of all paint today with companies offering a gradation of subtle shade differences within each color option.

• Check with your homeowner’s association to see if there are limits to the colors you can use. If a color choice you want is not included, you have the right to lobby for your color. The worst they can do is turn you down.

• Take the time to choose accents that are either dramatic or toned down but add interesting details to your home.

• If you are buying a home in a historic district there is a good chance that paint colors will be very limited in order to retain the home’s authenticity.

Finally, don’t forget the roof! The color of your roof can give a cohesive look to the entire home.

Let the professionals at University Painters, Inc. help you choose the color that is right for your home!

Annapolis,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Make These New Year’s Home Resolutions

With each turn of the calendar page to a new year Americans tend to embrace the idea of making New Year’s resolutions that will result in improvements to their lives. May we suggest you do the same with regard to your home? This year, when the calendar reads January take a good hard look at your residence with the intent of finding places that need to be upgraded or improved. This may include the need for a new coat of paint when spring rolls around, or simply some good old-fashioned organization. Here are some ideas that will brighten your home and your mood!

• Do a complete walk-through of the interior of your home. Use a notepad and pen or a list program on your phone or computer. Take pictures of areas that you would like to have cleaned up or cleaned out, painted or repaired. Repeat this process for the exterior of your home as well. Sometimes a home owner is more likely to be honest about the condition of their residence in the winter weather than on a sunny clear day!

• Now, take your list and organize the issues you have noted in order of importance. Which problem would you like to tackle first? What can wait?

• Beneath each project write out the materials and steps that will need to be taken to complete the job. For example, perhaps your basement is dusty and has been a catch-all for years. What steps would you need to take to make the area usable? What materials would it require?

• Create a realistic calendar for when you will complete each project. Do not set goals that you will fail to reach. All too often, resolutions are abandoned because they are unreasonable from the start. If you are really committed to making authentic changes then ensure that your schedule is obtainable.
• Be sure to stretch the projects out over the course of the year. Also, be prepared to rearrange the schedule in case of weather or other problems. Do not let challenges prevent you from achieving your goals.
• Incorporate celebrations for each achievement…After all – this is your home and your life! You simply can never give yourself too many pats on the back for making things better!

When you are ready for the support of a professional paint company contact the experts at University Painters, Inc.

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