Great Expectations Painting

Your Local CDA Professional Painters
Winterizing your Deck
600 549 Great Expectations Painting

Winter is Coming! Winterizing your Deck.

Winter is Coming! Winterizing your Deck.

Winterizing your DeckWith the cold weather incoming, its time to start winterizing your deck. Here’s a few tips for properly taking care of your deck though the winter months!

  1. Store all your furniture. Your deck doesn’t want all that crap left on it all winter! Thoroughly clean, and remove your deck furniture. This will ensure you don’t get awkward color spots on the exterior surface of your deck. It will also help the deck coating (stain, clear coat, etc.) last substantially longer! Trust us, ditch the tiki lamps!
  2. Store your plants. Kind of a “duh” but make sure and more any of your plants inside! Aside from killing your plants, leaving them outside will damage your deck coatings by not allowing proper ventilation to the deck surface.
  3. Perform an inspection. Once all your summer junk is removed, make sure and inspect the deck for damage. This can be done while you pressure wash the surface. Look for any chipping stain or obvious missing clear-coat. It is also a great time to make sure there isn’t any rotting wood in place! By doing a simple inspection, you can save yourself a TON of stress through the winter time!
  4. Winterizing your DeckOn the note of pressure washing. Make sure and CLEAN your deck. The product itself doesn’t really matter, just make sure to lightly scrub the deck, paying extra attention to the spaces between the wood. This will remove all the dust and grime, and help better set your winterizing products adhere to the deck surface.
  5. Apply Repellents. In the past several years, many new cool deck products have started hitting the market. If you haven’t recently sealed your deck, or it has lost some of that bright shiny luster, consider trying out a water repellent product. They are affordable, and help with snow removal during the winter months!
  6. Snow Removal. I would love to tell you after properly winterizing your deck, you can just leave it, however you need to keep snow from accumulating all year. Aside from putting undue stress on your decks support structure, snow will wreak havoc on the surface of your deck. The constant barrage of moisture speeds up rot and also damages your clear coat/stain. When the snow starts piling high, just take a few minutes and give it a good push! Winterizing your deck will add years of life and happy living to your home! Good luck, and don’t freeze to death!
Secrets
616 462 Great Expectations Painting

Siding Repair Tips: Secrets.

Siding Repair Tips: Secrets

There are tons of secrets that contractors have found throughout the ages. Most of the time, they filter these secrets between themselves, hoping to keep the DIY-er types guessing. Its almost like a secret club, and once your a member, you get to know all the secrets! Or, you can just read the Great Expectations Painting Blog! We provide tons of great secrets for free! Here are a few for siding repair:

Repairing Vinyl Siding

SecretsEveryone hates vinyl siding. A nifty idea of the 2000’s (like Butterfinger BB’s and Surge) Vinyl siding eventually gets brittle and starts to crack. It looks terrible, and is very expensive to replace. When our owners ask us to repair the vinyl, we purchase COLOR MATCHED CAuLK. The inventors of vinyl knew it would need repair work, and built in a fail safe! By calking over the damage (usually from screws or nails being removed) you get a great clean finish, that is only noticeable under close inspection. Color matched caulk isn’t even very expensive, and lasts just as long as the “good stuff.” Another great vinyl siding secret is the zip tool. Available at any hardware store for like five bucks, a zip tool is perfect for sliding between the bottom edges of the siding.  It makes popping them off a dream instead of a chore! It also never breaks the siding (which typically is already cracked). Best five bucks ever, you can trust us!

Repairing Wood Siding

SecretsAHH! At least you don’t have vinyl! Wood siding is infinitely superior to vinyl, and painting it makes your home completely fresh every few years. Love it! Sometimes (especially in North Idaho) your siding edges will start to fade and get waterlogged, and after waiting long enough straight up being to rot. A Disaster you think! Not in the slightest because were giving you the secrets! First, you need to carefully evaluate the boards. You only need to replace boards that HAVE ROTTED! If they are just wet or “look” wet, we will be able to sand them back to perfection. A careful inspection will save you time and a lot of extra effort replacing non damaged wood! Second, you need to CUT OFF the nails. Most siding damage occurs when your pulling the nails out! Avoid the matter entirely but just hacksawing them off. Your going to use new ones anyways! Make sure to carefully discard the heads, since they can become weapons of mass destruction in a lawn mower! Thirdly, make sure and stagger the joints. Straight lines are not your friend with siding! Staggering helps seal the wood, and it looks more uniform over your house. Remove the rotted boards, install the new ones and your are golden!

Next installment we will cover sealing and protecting your siding for long term beauty! See you then!

Improve Your Home
600 240 Great Expectations Painting

Simple Ways To Improve Your Home

Simple Ways To Improve Your Home

Improve Your HomeThere are tons of ways to improve your home! Your home’s appearance affects your daily disposition. Your home is supposed to be a place to relax, spend time with family and feel comfortable. You will feel happier if you decorate your home in a way that is functional and expresses who you are. Below are some suggestions on how to make your home somewhere you love to be.

You will want your home to be as comfortable as it possibly can be. Everyone dislikes something in the home, but you shouldn’t spend your life being unhappy with your living space. The happier you are with your home, the happier you will be with yourself. When things in your house are not the way you wish them to be, it is crucial for you to put in the effort necessary to correct them.

Expand your space.

Look for ways to creatively improve Your Home. For some people, no amount of rearranging can help with the fact that there just isn’t enough room in their home. In these cases, you may want to think about expanding onto your home. For those who do not have the money to renovate, thinking about adding shelves or storage organizers can also create more space.

New features are perfect for home fun. Popular options include pools, spas, and hot tubs. You can also choose from less expensive options, such as home gyms, exercise bikes, basketball hoops and other indoor or outdoor exercise equipment.

Room Lighting.

Improve Your HomeLighting is one of the main features that affects the usability of a room. It is surprising what a simple modification to your home lighting can do. After changing it, you may find that the previous dimness was causing eyestrain. New lighting can dramatically alter the way the room is seen, and it may now appear larger and more spacious. You can add new light fixtures by yourself and this can greatly improve your home.

Start being a gardener. Look around your yard, and select a bright, sunny spot that would be ideal for your garden. Or, consider landscaping the entire yard to make it an enjoyable haven. If you do not have the time or are otherwise unable to put in the hard work required, you can always hire landscapers and gardeners to tend to the property. This garden will also improve the quality of air in and around your house; furthermore, with a little hard work and the right plants, you can have your very own homegrown flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Change the outside of your home. Painting, fixing a damaged roof, or replacing old windows can easily boost the appeal of your house. When your home looks beautiful and inviting, you can look forward to coming home every day.

You need to like where you live. Improving your home can be easy on the wallet, and can also give you some peace of mind.

Home Improvements
849 565 Great Expectations Painting

How To Live A Better Life By Making Home Improvements

How To Live A Better Life By Making Home Improvements

Home ImprovementsYour feelings about the place where you wake up every morning can set the tone for every day. It’s been proven that people spend most of their time at work or in their own house. If you run a home businesses, your house has an even greater ability to affect your mood. When you love where you live, it is easier to be happy. Continue reading to find out how to modify your living area so that it becomes your dream home.

You will want your home to be as comfortable as it possibly can be. There is probably something that you don’t like about your home, so you should work towards rectifying that. Making your home a place where you can spend time happily and in comfort will bring these same qualities into your life as a whole. If you have something that is not working for you, such as a bathtub that you want changed, it is essential that you change it out for something that you really like.

Add on to your home.

It will be impossible to reorganize properly if you do not have enough room to do so. You can easily solve your space issues through expansion. Adding just a little space can make a huge difference, making your room feel much more comfortable.

Home ImprovementsOne option to consider is to create a home area that is dedicated to recreation. Pools, hot tubs, and spas are common choices. Or, if you prefer more affordable options, an in-ground basketball hoop and home gym can add significant value to your home.

Add some beautiful lighting Fixtures.

Lighting is an important component to your overall experience of any room. When using an area of your home as an office or workspace, it is best to illuminate the entire room to reduce the possibility of eyestrain. You can change the feel of rooms in your home by selecting different styles of lamps and varying the brightness of the light bulbs. You can do this on your own, or you can hire a professional.

Do some work!

Do some green work around the yard, and make an organic garden. Having a portion of your yard filled with a delightfully green garden can give you plenty of reasons to stay home. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, hire a professional so that you can still gain the benefits of a garden. Having a garden to tend to can make your mood better. Carefully consider the type of plants that you wish to plant in your garden because the right selections can provide you with home-grown foods or flowers.

You might want to consider updating the exterior of your home. The house’s exterior can look a lot better if it has a different roof, a new paint job or a different set of windows. You will feel more proud of your home, and enjoy it more, if you improve its exterior.

Since you spend a lot of time in your home, it is important that you are happy with it. Home improvements area great investments, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

Siding Repair
497 322 Great Expectations Painting

Great Siding Repair Tips: Setup

The Great Expectations Painting Siding Repair Guide!

If you own a house, you’re probably familiar with siding repair. Regardless of how careful you are with your home, the unrelentingness of the sun will damage your siding. There are steps to avoiding damage with your paint selection, but its inevitable! Here is our guide to set up for repairing damaged siding and if you have additional questions, don’t forget to drop us a line!

  1. BE CAREFUL! Before we launch fully into our siding repair tips, we want to start with a warning. The damage to your home’s siding isn’t always visible! When you initially remove the siding, make sure and carefully pull the boards back to fully survey the damage. The last thing you need is extra repair costs from lack of care!
  2. Don’t Use Power tools! Power tools make jobs so much easier, most people don’t give using them a second thought. When doing delicate work (like removing damaged siding), don’t use your vibrating and overly powerful tools! The nails in the siding will have loosened over the years, making removal very simple. Just take your hammer or cat’s paw, and gently pull back the siding. It will come away easily, making management of the project much safer!

Enjoy the Video!

Fence care
581 775 Great Expectations Painting

Proper Fence Care: An Epilogue

Proper Fence Care: An Epilogue

We’ve finally come full circle to proper fence care! After all that hard work preparing, staining, and sealing your fence, its finally time to sit back and enjoy it! Well done, drink some lemonade and relax. Make sure and check out HGTV’s great serious on fence care as well!

There are several things you will want to do to take care of your fence.

  1. Fence careUse wood preservative spray. We’ve all seen it: your neighbors fence that starts to rot, then inevitably falls down. Wood warping as it ages is a natural (and alas, unstoppable) scenario. The rot however, is a different story. There are tons of products on the product designed to help keep out the rot! They basically work like wax on a car. Once the fence is coated, it won’t absorb water and it will resist direct sunlight. Adding a fence preserver will add years to your fence lifetime!
  2. Wash it off once in a while! We can’t overstate the value of the occasional power washing! By washing off any buildup on your fence, it helps stop dirt and grime adhering to your fence. Make sure and pressure wash during the daytime so your fence has plenty of time to dry in the sun!
  3. Keep the grass back! We’re all lazy from time to time. The bottom of your fence needs to be clear or any debris or plants. You want any of the material that comes in contact with the fence to be moisture resistant, so keep that grass away! Best bet is to dig out the bottom of your fence, and CAREFULLY round up the base of the fence. After you put in the effort once, it should just require touch up in the following years!

That briefly covers so finder points of fence care. If you have any other questions, or didn’t follow our guide and need fence repair, contact us today for a 100% FREE estimate! To read more from our fencing series, check out the archives here!

Application
425 282 Great Expectations Painting

Fence Painting: Application

ApplicationWe’re finally to our fence’s application time!

Application is the last step in properly painting your fence. Thus far we’ve covered all the preparation and priming. Now is time to finish up with your paint or stain application. Truth be told, this is the easiest step in the process! When you are ready to apply your paint or stain, just keep these few steps in mind, and the job will end up looking amazing.

  1. Spraying. While you can use other methods to paint your fence (brush, roll, etc.), spraying is by far the most effective method of paint application. This will also allow you to back brush (explained later) creating the most thorough and uniform coverage on your fence. Renting a sprayer from one of our local companies is really affordable and the results will be worth it. When spraying you want to ensure a very thick application of stain or paint. This will help create a uniform look later, and will make sure and seal your fence.
  2. Allow enough time to dry. One of the pro steps! After you spray the fence you need to allow the paint or stain 5-10 minutes to dry. There are several reasons for this brief drying time. First, the paint needs to be tacky for proper fence adherence. This ensures enough stain or paint absorbs into the fence. Secondly, allowing a drying time ensures all your paint (or especially stain) keep the same color. When applying a liberal coating to the fence, you can’t naturally control the amount of stain on each section of the fence (you did apply liberally on purpose after all). Equalizing the drying time makes it so each fence section absorbs the same amount of stain! Don’t skimp on your drying time, this will keep the job looking professional.
  3. ApplicationBack Brushing. After you have specifically applied “to much” paint to the fence, you need to remove the additional product. This process is called back brushing. After a timed drying, you take a roller (or brush, or paper towel it doesn’t matter to much) and brush off the additional product. With the correct drying time, the adequate amount of product will already have absorbed into the wood, and you will just be brushing off “extra” product. This allows you to create an even temper of stain for the whole project.

Once your done spraying and back brushing, your stain or paint application will start to set! After drying, your fence is finished! Next week we will cover paint and stain care for your fence. To read more from our fencing series, check out the archives here!

See you next week!

paint choices
424 283 Great Expectations Painting

Fence Painting: Paint Choices

The most important part of a new paint job, are your paint choices!

fence paintingThe specific paint choices you make will determine longevity, aesthetic, and ease of application. The different types of paint/stain to use depend on whether your fence is new or old. Wood that has been stained/treated several times needs different treatment then a brand new fence. We’ll start with a new fence. You have just finished putting up your gorgeous, new fence and now its time to paint it! The single best paint/stain to use is oil based clear stain. Oil based stain is easy to apply, is cost effective, and has an amazing manufacturers warranty. It also applies color very smoothly, resulting in a professional application without the cost. If you want to paint the fence, make sure and choose a “lifetime” fence product. A recent addition to painting products, lifetime paints are amazing. They apply incredibly smoothly and look great. The best part about “lifetime” paints is the warranty: with proper application these paints will last dozens of years! In the past it was impossible to have paint look great even after a few years of the sun baking it. Take advantage of these great products on your next fence painting job!

If your not painting a perfectly prepped new fence, you will have followed our previous steps. After the fence is carefully prepped, you need to make sure and choose a product that is going to make the wood look more vibrant. The best choice is solid color stain. It lasts a long time, and is great at covering up previous products that remained after prepping. Application is generally easy. You will want to make sure and catch the stain with a pan as it drips under the fence (environmental consciousness for the win). We don’t want wildlife licking up the left over stain! Another great solution if the wood will not look beautiful stained is “lifetime” paint (can’t exclaim how much we love this paint). Just like with a new fence painting, the lifetime paint will revitalize your older fence, making it look new and uniform.

When you are making your paint choices, ensure you avoid using odd transparent stains especially on older fences. Usually you will have some remedial stain, and it will create spotting with your new stain. You can avoid any issues by using our above recommended stains.

Where almost there! Next week we will cover paint application. See you soon! To read more from our fencing series, check out the archives here!

priming
360 480 Great Expectations Painting

Fence Painting: Priming

primingWelcome back to the Great Expectations Fence Painting Guide! This week, we cover priming your fence. Having successfully (and carefully) prepped from last week, we are now ready to apply the first layer of primer! If you are staining you fence, make sure and skip this step! Stain does not get primer it goes directly onto the fence! Here’s the big secret from the pros: the primer you buy is super important! Primer (unlike paint) is designed to seal against wear and tear. It also helps the paint to maintain its life, and color vibrancy. Buying cheap primer is the “death knell” for a well done job! The specific brand won’t matter but make sure it is formulated for bare wood or fences. Don’t be cheap! At least purchase mid grade! You will thank me later!

Once you have purchased your primer, its time to start the application! Make sure and start working early. You don’t want the heat from the sun to scorch your primer. Starting early will get you out of the heat, but will be warm, helping the primer dry correctly.

primingThere are two primary ways to start fence priming: Spraying and rolling/brushing. There are upsides/downsides to both. Spraying is better most of the time. It ensures a very even coat of paint, and saves money by using less paint. If you are going to be spraying, the amount of prep work is significantly more. You need to ensure all bushes and plans are covered, and carefully seal any portions of the fence you don’t want painted (gate hinges, cross bracing, etc.). Paint rolling gives you much greater control, but is time consuming and labor intensive! If you have lots of little crannies to paint on the fence, it will be easier to maneuver with a roller/brush. Paint rolling allows you to get a good amount of primer on the board in one go, and brushing lets you get all the nooks and crannies well painted. Which is better depends on the fence itself.

Once you are ready to start the priming process, make sure and work in a pattern. The best pattern is to paint about five boards at a time. This will keep the paint equal and help dry it in sections. Start by painting the top of each board first, then move down towards the bottom using long smooth strokes. Place a piece of cardboard UNDER the boards you are painting to catch the additional paint drips. It also keeps your roller or brush from getting dirty.

That about covers priming! If you have any additional questions please feel free to email us, and we look forward to painting next week! To read more from our fencing series, check out the archives here!

fence painting
800 437 Great Expectations Painting

Fence Painting: Preparation.

fence paintingThese next few weeks on the Great Expectations Painting blog, we want to cover fence painting! This week covers fence painting preparation. Here in Hayden and Coeur d’Alene, we do TONS of fence maintenance! There are very specific ways to make sure your stain or paint adheres and lasts a long time on your fence. With a few helpful tips and proper attention to detail, your stain or paint job will last for years! This week we will go over proper preparation. Arguably the most important part of any job is careful prep work! Using proper preparation means your paint or stain will correctly adhere and the job will be significantly higher quality. Here are a few steps to getting your preparation done right!

  1. Cleaning. Chances are your fence will be filthy. Its one of those things we forget to do as time goes on. It will be covered in peeling paint, bird poo, and spiderwebs and dirt. If you don’t get that stuff off, your paint has no hope of properly adhering to the wood! Make sure to take a flat edge scraper, and get rid of all that gunk! You don’t need to be shy, you will be repainting anyways! Make sure and scrape to bare wood. You can also go over the fence with a wire brush. They tend to get more gunk free but take more “manual labor” to use! The only other note about cleaning is you shouldn’t need to use actual cleaner. Some elbow grease will do the trick, and the lack of cleaning residue will help your paint or stain to better adhere to the deck.
  2. Sanding. The part everyone wants to skip! Giving your fence a full sanding is the best way to ensure a consistent look with your paint or stain. After sanding, you will avoid blotches, poor paint application, and will be able to make sure you didn’t leave any dirt in the cracks and crannies!
  3. fence paintingPower washing. You need to power wash your fence. Even if you take great pains to clean the fence, there will be small bits of debris that you can’t get off! Power washing really helps to prep the wood for new stain or paint. It gets the wood fibers damp, clears off the years of drying, and makes your fence look amazing! Skipping this step will dynamically reduce the amount of time your new stain or paint lasts. Don’t skip it!

That is the start for fence painting work! Next week we will go over the first application of primer for your fence painting project! To read more from our fencing series, check out the archives here!