Home Prepping
Written by Colleen Kalil

February Home Prepping Suggestions

So, the month of February has rolled around and you are ‘itching’ to get into those home projects. February is a tough time for homeowners. Anywhere you live in the Mid Atlantic region the climate is dreary, and the vegetation around your home lifeless. You are probably spending hours looking through home magazines and catalogs to find the perfect appointments for your outdoor setting. Well, you can do better than that. You can start prepping your home for spring so when the weather breaks you can get outdoors and get busy!

• Clean those gutters. Using a sturdy ladder and heavy work gloves climb up and clear the gutters. Then stick the garden hose on one end and flush out the gutters until they run clear. Double check that the downspouts are channeling the water far away from your home’s foundation.
You may consider hiring a service or handyman to do this job if you do not want to climb a ladder. A second option is to invest in seamless gutters or self-cleaning gutters. No matter what you decide, it is advisable to double check the gutters once or twice a year to make sure they are in good working order – and clean!

• Check foundation vents. If your home has a crawl space, then you have vents along the foundation walls. These vents serve a purpose. They prevent mold by allowing excess moisture to exit beneath the home while also keeping animals out. Cleaning the area around them should be a regular part of prepping your home.

• Be proactive in preventing an infestation of bugs. ‘Bug-proof’ your house early. There are now a number of environmentally-friendly but highly effective products to complete this task. Spraying around the foundation of the home will help keep insects outdoors where they belong.

• Do a complete walk-around of the house. Inspect the current state of the exterior looking for areas of mold, cracking paint, and other issues.

You might also clean your patio furniture, clean the grill, prep the yard for new spring plantings and grass growth, and clean the windows. Contact University Painters, Inc. for a complete assessment of your home’s exterior.

House Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

How to Estimate the Cost of a Paint Job

So, you are thinking about having your home’s exterior painted this year and you would like to include an estimate in your annual home budget. You don’t want to get too serious yet and call in professionals to give you an estimate, You simply want to come up with a ‘ball-park’ figure you can jot down and return to when you are closer to the time you want to get quotes.

• Start by acknowledging you will need to power wash the outside of the home as the essential first step and as part of the complete package for painting your home’s exterior. Power washing removes all the debris from the surface of your home and allows you to see where minor repairs may need to be made. When hiring a residential painting company, ensure that they offer power washing services.

• Consider the cost of supplies to paint your home’s exterior. Take the time to visit a store that sells paint and supplies to get input on the materials these experts suggest will be needed in order to complete the job. This is probably a worthwhile venture even if you intend to hire a residential paint company.

• The biggest cost for painting your home will be the labor involved. While many people tend to think house-painting requires little to no skill – quite the opposite is true. Exterior home painting requires finesse and patience. Professionals understand how to apply paint evenly and expertly. They know how to address small problems that may occur as the job gets underway. There are times of the day and year that are better for ensuring that the exterior paint job will have the greatest endurance. Professionals understand that painting is methodical, and they aim to ensure the last stroke is as well-placed as the first.

• Determine the square footage of your home by measuring the perimeter and height – and multiplying the numbers together. That is the maximum amount and does not include windows and doors. Multiply by the average cost of labor in your area.

A beautifully painted home or business is worth every penny! Contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. for more information – we’ll be glad to provide a quote!

Textures,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Specialty Painting

Interior painting extends well beyond putting one color on top of another. There are many ways you can paint to give a wall or surface texture or other types of faux finishes. Let’s consider the options in this article.

Faux (French for imitation or artificial) painting is not new. However, it has become a popular trend in interior design recently. Faux paints are fun, interesting and beautify your home in a way that makes it unique. Faux finishes may be smooth or textured. They can give your walls a chalky or grainy look or be smooth as silk with a satin sheen. You might like one of the following:

• Marbling faux finishing is a luxurious look and can be done in a variety of colors. It usually has a basic understated background but then reveals veins of white or a complementary color with perhaps some cloudiness. You should limit yourself to three or four colors. Start by applying a ‘middle shade’ according to the color palette you have chosen. This would be the base coat. Then using a variety of tools, layer on the other colors with sponges and blot. Take your time! Marbling is a true work of art.

• Variations on marbling include fantasy marble using resins and metallics and applying one atop the other all while wet or reverse marbling, which is a dark stone-like color with veins of white or something light.

• Silk faux finishing is another opulent look. Start by choosing a base color then find the metallic glaze to complement the tint. Be sure to set aside three days to complete the task and have all your materials ready in advance. Then start by painting two coats of the base color and letting it dry completely each time. Then mix the paint and glaze together with a ratio of 2 to 1 – mixing thoroughly. Finally, add the color one stripe at a time and then use a wallpaper brush to spread the color. Take your time to ensure you get the best results.

Specialty painting of interior home walls makes your home one-of-a-kind. Before you begin, we suggest you speak to an expert in interior painting. The professionals at University Painters, Inc. are available to do an interior inspection and quote at your convenience.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Yes, You Can Paint Your Business While It’s Open!

Are you a business owner who has recently decided that your building’s interior or exterior needs to be refreshed? Are you considering a paint job to give your company a more modern, clean and inviting look? All too often, proprietors believe that in order to complete an indoor or outdoor paint job effectively with the minimum of fuss they must close their doors to customers until the work is done. Well, you should know that nothing can be further from the truth! That’s right – you can keep your doors open for business while you go about the business of updating your presentation.

Now, there is no question that painting, and renovating can be a major disruption to a company’s day-to-day operations. However, if you plan properly and well in advance then this preparation can make the process simpler and less troublesome. Here are some suggestions.

• Start by contacting the local authorities to ensure you are permitted to stay open during renovations. Different municipalities have varying requirements, so this is the best place to begin.

• Take an assessment of what activities occur on a daily basis and how much space and what space is required to carry out these duties. Look for ways to minimize the disruption. For example, perhaps in the early morning or late afternoon there is a lull in customers so that can open up a period of time to work in an area that may otherwise be quite busy.

• The best approach is to create zones within the business in which you can move from area to area. This helps keep your business and renovations organized.

• Make sure that you are able to keep fresh warm air flowing to ensure your employees and/or customers stay comfortable should you decide to paint during the cooler months.

• Announce your intentions to remodel, refurbish or repaint to the public on the multiple media outlets available to you. Also put large signs on the outside of your business so customers know what to expect in advance. However, if you are going to stay open during that time – make sure this information is front and center so you don’t scare off customers who might think you are closed.

University Painters, Inc. has the expertise to keep your business up and running during painting renovations. Contact us today for more information.

Repaint,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Scuff-Resistant Paint

Today’s homeowners and business owners have multiple options that will allow them to keep their freshly painted walls looking fresh and new for longer than ever before. One great invention that has proven appealing is the ‘scuff-resistant paint’. Now, if you have children, animals or employees you know very well that your beautiful walls can become marred very quickly due to marks caused from brushing up against them accidentally.

Scuff-resistant paint is a revolutionary new type of covering for walls. It has been designed and manufactured to hold up against scuff marks in high-traffic areas at home or at work. Many home and business owners will paint their walls twice in an effort to keep scuff marks at bay – although this rarely ever works. Scuff-resistant paint is an interior latex that requires no mixing, emits little odor and applies as easily as any other type of paint. Moreover, it comes in the same variety of colors and finishes.

While many paint companies proclaimed their product stood up to scuffs in the past there is a difference in today’s scuff-resistant paints. They are engineered utilizing a combination of new and different materials that have been created and tested in laboratories. They have lower VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which make them more environmentally friendly, offer better coverage than ever before, and apply as easily as any other type of paint.

In the end, perhaps the most appealing quality for busy homeowners and business owners is that they are low-maintenance and easy to clean. Once it has dried you can often just wipe the surface and it looks as new and clean as the day you painted!

However, just as it is true with all paints, the glossier the paint the more resistant it is to scuff marks. Too, it is important to know the substrate you will be painting and what types of paint are recommended for these surfaces.

Scuff-resistant paint is becoming more popular in the ‘common areas’ in hospitals and dormitories, government buildings, theaters, airports, hotels and just about anywhere that the general public gathers or commutes.

If you are getting ready to repaint or paint for the first time, consider using scuff-resistant paint. To learn more or for other residential and commercial paint questions contact the experts at University Painters, Inc.

Interior Painting,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Painting & Home Selling Tips

People put their houses up for sale all year long. As a result, there are many things that they take into consideration prior to putting the sign in the yard. One of these is whether or not to paint any part of the inside or outside to give it greater sales appeal. This article should help you make the right decision.

  • Painting your property inside or out can spruce it up and make it a more inviting place to visit for the prospective home buyer. Getting customers in the door is the first step towards selling!
  • Painting your property can potentially increase its value. In other words, an interior or exterior paint job can yield a greater return on your investment (ROI) – meaning the cost of the paint job could result in more money for the sale.
  • Painting your home’s exterior gives it greater curb appeal. This is important not only in getting buyers to look at your home but also having those same potential customers think about the home in terms of its value. A freshly painted home is worth more to the buyer and the seller. Be sure to choose a neutral color that will enhance the home’s look without making it stand out for the wrong reason.
  • A home that has dingy interior walls with peeling paint or similar problems will turn a customer away even if they like what they see on the outside. Most potential homeowners will look at a house with an eye towards making it their own and redoing it to their taste. That means that even if you paint the interior or portions of it, the buyer may come in and repaint or wallpaper. But fresh clean walls help the buyer look at the interior and see how they can remodel it to their taste. Dirty, peeling paint will turn the customer away in many cases. Remember, again, if you do paint the interior to use neutral colors or white. These are easy colors to paint over if a buyer wants to do so.
  • Don’t take those pictures you intend to use to promote your property before you have spruced up the place. The whole point of painting is to improve your chances of appealing to potential buyers.
  • Don’t feel obligated to repaint everything. Only paint those areas that you believe will look better when refreshed.

If you need to spruce up your home, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc.

Repaint,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Ho Ho Ho – Home for the Holidays

Have you looked around the interior of your home with a critical eye as the holidays approach? Do you see a smudge here, a scuff there? Unnoticeable to the soon-to-be guests but to you each mark seems to be magnified! So, you run around creating perfection from imperfection and just as you sit down in front of the fireplace it hits you! The fireplace needs refurbishing! After all, it is Santa’s entryway and you want it to be flawless.

Time to get out the paint and paintbrush. Yes, fireplaces can be painted! Begin by scrubbing down the area so you can get a true idea of how the area looks unadorned. This only requires the use of warm soapy water and a wire brush that can be used to scrub the bricks clean of any soot and debris. Sand down any loose mortar and rinse thoroughly. Let the fireplace dry for at least 24 hours then speckle the holes and cracks. Again, give the fireplace time to dry again.

The next step is taking the time to look at images of similar hearths to get ideas of how you want yours to look when you are done. Some people like a modern look while others prefer classic. You may want to create a striking contrast between the fireplace and the surrounding walls. You may instead prefer to make the fireplace the same color as the walls so it blends in.

Now, the best way to ensure that the undertaking is successful is to gather all of the materials and supplies you will need in advance. In that way you will not need to stop and start and drag the project out. This may include everything from paint to tarp, painting tape to spackling, caulking, paint brushes of multiple sizes and types and anything you may feel is essential for a proper job.

Finally, you are ready to paint! Start with that primer. It lays down a coat that evens out the paint that is laid over it. When it comes to fireplaces – start at the top and work your way down the structure. A water-based paint is your best choice. Remember to let it dry thoroughly before deciding if a second coat is needed.

The only thing left to do now is wait for Santa! When you need support for your next residential or commercial painting project, contact the experienced professionals at University Painters, Inc. We’ve got you covered!

Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Residential or Commercial Painter – Is there a Difference?

Some professional paint companies specialize in only one type of painting. They may tailor their services and expertise to home painting – both indoors and out – or they may cater to the ‘business crowd’. Now, this could include any type of commercial property that is not limited only to companies but other areas such as government buildings or establishments. Hotels, hospitals, theaters and other forms of public structures may all fall under the heading of commercial painting.

But, is there a difference between residential and commercial painting and painters? There are a few and it helps to understand them before hiring a paint company!

• Residential painters generally focus on smaller structures. That may be the indoors or outdoors of a single-family home or buildings on the grounds – such as a garage or a shed. These painters are usually well-versed in the amount of paint that will be needed to complete the covering of a single room or the entire surface of the indoors of a home. They will be equally knowledgeable about what is needed to cover the home’s exterior.

Residential painters should also have an expertise in paint-prepping the interior and/or exterior surfaces of the house as well. For example, residential painters will suggest the best times to paint, the types of coverings required to ensure the paint does not damage any of the interior parts of the home such as the floors or furniture – and the exterior – such as shrubs or driveway.

• Commercial paint companies also understand scale – but to a much greater degree. Commercial paint jobs fall under the category of ‘projects’ or ‘project management’ and the commercial painter may be working in collaboration or coordination with other building professionals such as plumbers, electricians or architects.

So, before making a decision about the type of painter you require for your particular job – look at the job and ask yourself what type of painter you think you would need knowing the expertise of each?

You should understand that commercial painters may very well be willing to work on a residential job. If this is the road you decide to travel in painting your home, you should be confident they understand ‘scalability’ is the key to its completion. You do not want to hire a company that is used to thinking in such large quantities they are not able to tailor it to a small scale…and vice versa!

Ultimately, you want the best paint company for the job so do your homework! Interview, review and then hire! For more information on residential and commercial painting contact the experts at University Painters, Inc.

Painting,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

A Simple Kitchen Do-Over

We’re all spending more time indoors these days. And just like ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ – the same holds true about your home. Do you find yourself walking out to your kitchen to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner and averting your eyes from your surroundings? That is likely because you are tired of the worn-out, faded look that stares back at you. Short of an entire kitchen make-over what can you do? We have a suggestion to brighten your kitchen and your mood!

Redo your kitchen cabinets! Now, at first this may seem like too-easy of a fix that will not bring the results you are looking for. But, after years in the business, we know just what freshly painted kitchen cabinets can do for a kitchen. Consider that in many kitchens the cabinets take up the greatest amount of space. They are above and below the counter space and usually circle the entire room. If you have an island, more cabinets might be found there. In other words, your cabinets may take up 50% or more of the visual space you are looking at.

Perhaps you didn’t realize the impact of cabinets before now. Maybe, when you purchased the home you liked the color of your cabinets. But over time everything presents better with a new look and that is as true of kitchen cabinets as a new hair style!

So here is some advice that may help you in your decision to redo your cabinets.

• First, get out there and see what the latest styles and colors in kitchen cabinets are being marketed today. That may require you to visit some home stores where you can browse or talk to an expert on cabinets.
• Second, you may want to take the time to visit home openings of developments that are being built. They often offer the most up-to-date looks on kitchen cabinetry.
• Third, use the internet! There are dozens of sites devoted to updating a kitchen appearance by painting your cabinets.
• Fourth, bring in a professional paint company or two to get their perspectives.

Once you know what look you are going for, make that change! For more information on kitchen cabinet refacing, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc.

Repaint, University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Suggestions for Sprucing Up Your Home for the Holidays

With Thanksgiving right around the corner and no time or money available to create that perfect holiday exterior we have some suggestions that will give your home’s exterior a pleasant, fresh holiday look.

  • Clean your windows. You can hire out the project if you don’t have the time or don’t want to put in the effort. Nothing says dingy like a home full of dirty windows. Windows tend to hold all of the indoor and outdoor invisible pollutants that waft through the air. Over time they can make your windows look dull. This is a simple trick that will help make your home shine!
  • Do a total once-over of your home’s grounds. If you live in an area that receives lots of rain and snow wait for a dry day and roll up your sleeves. Trim the hedges, do a final raking, and you might even consider power-washing the exterior to give it a fresh clean look. Then add some decorations and ‘voila’ you have a home that exudes beauty! Neat, tidy exteriors are inviting. If you don’t want to power wash the entire exterior of your home you may decide to target certain areas that get a lot of traffic, such as the front door and porch or patio.
  • While you’re outside you might as well take the time to clean out the garage. Give it a good going over because it may be several months before you will be able to do this again. Consider the task as working from the ‘outside in’. You start with the exterior of your home and finish your fall cleaning and organizing and then you can move indoors for more of the same. If you have a shed or other outbuilding it deserves your attention as well. Organizing and maintaining your property is cheaper than letting things fall into disrepair and having to pay to repair and rebuild.

Well, there you go. A day’s worth of elbow grease and you have revived a dwindling exterior. Now all you need to do is add some decorations and its holiday time!

Remember, when its time to paint your home or business contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc.

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