Great Expectations Painting

Your Local CDA Professional Painters
One last thing about decks.
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One last thing about decks.

One last thing about decks.Okay, I know we ended the Deck primer last week, but we have one last thing about decks: How to maintain them! After all the work we just put in to making it spotless and beautiful, you need to make sure it stays shiny! Proper deck maintenance drastically improves the amount of time your stain and sealant will keep looking new, so don’t skip the maintenance!

  1. Washing the Deck Early in the Year. Before the sun starts to pound down in the summer months, make sure you wash the deck thoroughly in early spring. It will help rinse off winters late blech (all the junk that sticks to the snow will now stick to your deck) and make sure you don’t develop any stains from debris. Without a proper washing, your deck can start to develop mold and mildew, resulting in rotting wood and a huge problem thats easily avoided! After you have washed the gunk off your deck, make sure the spaces between the wood are clear of debris. Its easiest to use a putty knife stuffed in the end of a PVC pipe so you don’t thrash your knees. By keeping the spacing between the wood clean, it will avoid rot and discoloration. An early spring deck washing is great for your deck, make sure and add it to your spring cleaning! PRO TIP: If you have bushes and plants surrounding your deck, make sure to cover them in plastic. You don’t want to wash all the gunk directly on to your lovely floral friends!
  2. One last thing about decks.Use some cleaning product. Last year, when you did all that deck work you originally cleaned it with product. You need to do that again to remove the scum/stains from the winter. Make sure the cleaner is SAFE for your stain! Even using diluted dish soap works well, basically anything that will remove grime will work. Don’t break the budget on some “name brand deck cleaner.” After you have chosen you product, put it into a 5 gallon bucket with the correct amount of water. Then apply to your deck with an “abrasive” application pad. The DIY-er in me says to just use anything: an old brush, mob, or broom, should do the trick. Make sure and use some old junk around the home rather then buying something. Thats for sissies. Don’t forget that your railings will need cleaned too! After cleaning, allow the deck time to completely dry.
  3. One last thing about decks.Replace missing screws/nails. Nobody has ever identified where they go, but nails and screws always come out of decks. When it is super clean is a great time to find the missing ones and replace them. Unless you are a stickler for details, any screws that are coated for outdoor use will work. You can also insert them directly into the missing screw holes, just use a slightly larger screw gauge.
  4. Check your ledger! The most important part of the deck, rotted ledger cause 90% of deck accidents. It is the piece of wood that connects your home to the deck (yes you will have to crawl under the deck to check it. We promise its worth it). If their is any gunk or signs or wear make sure and clean it while you’re down there! Since your already a mess and under your deck, feel free to check all the joists and connecters for any signs of damage. Because of the exposure outdoors, damage is always obvious (except with the ledger) so this should be easy to assess.

That should about cover it! Keeping it clean is easily the cheapest, most effective way to keep your deck looking great! A Good proper cleaning a few times a year will keep your deck happy and healthy!

Trust us, we’re professionals. To read our other deck care articles, click here!

Deck Staining Primer
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Deck Staining Primer: Clean-up

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 4 (and…were done!)

deck staining primerOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover clean-up!

By this point you have prepped, cleaned, and stained your beautiful deck. Now its time to carefully clean your deck. There are several key tips to ensuring your deck shows the beautiful work you’ve put into it! This will conclude our primer, and your deck will look flawless!

Step Four: Clean-Up and Disposal

deck staining primerBy this point (if you kept your yard clean) you have a fair amount of trash to throw away. Some of that trash is empty paint or stain cans and you need to properly dispose of harsh chemicals. DO NOT pour the stain down a storm drain or your own drain! There are tons of icky chemicals that will damage your plumbing system and the environment! You can always check with a local painting store (our favorite is Sherwin Williams). Most of the time they will take empty cans and dispose of them properly.

When you have left over stain (often kept for touch-up) make sure to store it properly. It needs to be sealed, stored below 90 degrees, and saved from freezing. Also, make sure your kiddos can’t find the stain! You can also donate the stain to charitable organizations. One of them is Freecycle. They will take your donation and put it to good use! Another great charity is PaintCare. They will take your paint and dispose of it properly and safely for the environment.

After you have parted ways with (or stored) your old stain, you can finish the deck job! After it has had enough time to dry, simply wash off your deck with water out of the hose! It will show the beautiful grain of the wood, quality of your stain, and it feels great under the feet!

This concludes the Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer! If you’re looking for an expert, drop us a line! We can’t wait to hear from you! To read our other deck care articles, click here!

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Deck Staining Primer: Application

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 3 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)

Deck StainingOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover choosing stain!

Once you have chosen the perfect stain and carefully cleaned the deck, you’re ready to start the application! Careful application of stain, and using techniques appropriately will help your stain last longer and look better!

Step Three: Stain Application

Once your stain is chosen, you’re ready to start the application! Applying stain the same day as you have cleaned  is a no-no. The deck needs the opportunity to separate from the cleaning supplies. A great way to test if your deck is ready for stain is the “water droplet test.” If you sprinkle a few droplets of water on the deck surface. If little droplets form, your deck still has sealant and won’t hold the new stain. Clean it again! If the droplets sink into the wood the deck is ready for application!

Deck Staining PrimerMake sure you apply the stain with the wood grain! Wood primarily absorbs stain with the wood grain, and this ensures proper coating. You will often be able to see tiny bubbles form on the wood when it is absorbing the stain. Don’t worry, your going to be back over the wood in a few minutes!

There are two schools of thought when applying stain: Brushed on and Sprayed. Spraying is always better then brushing, but a professional paint sprayer costs some serious cash. Its one of the reasons to hire a professional contractor!

When you start applying the stain, make sure and liberally coat your brush, then apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain. You need to leave enough stain on the wood to allow some absorption (and you will be back to remove excess stain). A little to much is better then not enough! Don’t worry to much about getting down the cracks between the boards, the stain will work its way down there without you. After each board is coated, allow them to “rest” for about 10 minutes, then back brush over the wood again, removing any excess stain from the wood. Work steadily, and apply the stain in the same manner to avoid any mistakes or blotted stain. Once you have fully back brushed the deck, allow to dry!

You’re done with the application!Deck Staining Primer

A few more tips from the professionals:

Avoid staining in direct sunlight/mid day. Cooler temperatures will help the stain to adhere to your deck, and will look better. Direct sunlight can also dry up the stain before it can be absorbed by the wood, resulting in color blotting. A beautiful cloudy day between 60-80 will be best for your deck stain!

Make sure to let the stain dry for 48 hours. You will be very tempted to get out the furniture and start grilling! Avoid the temptation and wait! You can damage the stain by putting furniture and foot oils on it before it dries!

Once the staining is done, the last step is clean up. We will cover clean up next week as we bring our deck staining primer to a close! To read our other deck care articles, click here!

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Deck Staining Primer: Stain.

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 2 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)

Deck StainingOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover choosing stain!

Deck stain is what gives color or “pop” to your deck. In addition to color and personality, stain also seals and protects your deck from the elements giving you longevity, and a custom deck look! The market is saturated with different choices for colors, finishes, and qualities. In this post we will go over some of the different types of stains, and which to choose for your particular deck!

Step two: Deck Stain are a million choices for deck staining! Different products, finishes, colors,…the list is literally endless! There are a few crucial choices you will want to make that help to identify the best stain for YOU.

First, identify what is most important to you: “color or protection.” If the natural look of wood is most important, they make clear stains that preserve the natural appearance of the wood. On the flip side, they also offer the least UV protection and longevity. Solid color stains completely change the color of your deck, but provide amazing protection and longevity for the stain. There are also several middle ground products (called semi-transparent stains and toners) that offer a mix of clear and solid stain downsides/benefits. Once you identify what is most important, you can choose which type of stain is best for your deck!

deck stainingThe other large consideration to make is how the deck interacts with your house color! When choosing a deep color stain, you need to make sure it will compliment your house color, instead of conflict! Deep color stained decks do not compliment neutral home colors! In contrast, natural wood does not complement deeply hued home colors! Make sure your deck staining complements the home as a whole!

Last consideration for this weeks post on deck staining: texture.

Recently, technology in deck stain has jumped dramatically forward. There are now some amazing products for decks that can allow you to add a fully textured product to your deck surface! This can change the color, and footing of your deck for the better! They come in a huge variety of colors, and are easy to apply. If you have an older deck with aging wood, or want to have a colored easy footing deck, gritted paint will work incredibly well for you! Home Depot offers many of these products, and we would recommend any but the cheapest (the grit is to small to notice).

Thats all for this weeks post! Tune in next week for more of our deck staining primer! To read our other deck care articles, click here!

Deck Staining Primer
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Deck Staining Primer: Cleaning.

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 1 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)

Deck Staining PrimerOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover deck staining preparation!

Arguably the most important part of any deck staining project, you must properly prep the deck for staining. This includes choosing the correct cleaning products, stain, and tools. Starting your deck stain correctly insures you will get the maximum amount of life from the products possible. By doing careful preparation, you are actively saving money!

We all like saving money, right?

Step one: Cleaning products.

Deck Staining PrimerThere are tons of cleaning products on the market. After a huge amount of trial and error, you’ll find you only need 2 things: a stain remover, and a finish remover. Stain remover pulls the chemicals from your last stain off the deck, allowing for better penetration of the new stain. If you don’t power wash and apply stain remover, you won’t get proper adhesion from your new stain. This will cost you half the life of the new stain. The specific product you choose doesn’t matter as much as you think, just apply liberally and power wash thoroughly.

Equally important is a finish remover. Finish remover basically “restores” your deck to how it looked when you installed it. It pulls all the surface coating from the wood, and allows you to “start from scratch.” Often overlooked (who wants to clean a deck twice) this will extend the life of the new stain, AND get you a more consistent stain color! There are a few products on the market for finish remover, but we typically use Sherwin William’s offering revive. Its great for the money, and does a fantastic job. Keep in mind that saving money is entirely up to you! There isn’t a specific product you must use, so feel free to “coupon cut” and find the best deal! Just make sure you use both stages and your deck will look great!

Deck Staining PrimerNotice: If your deck is composite or untreated pressure-treated wood!

Make sure and use a deck wash product instead of the above listed products. Composite and untreated wood typically isn’t coated with the same types of products, and the remover products are overkill! If you have a composite deck just buy a deck wash, and pressure wash thoroughly! Your deck will look amazing and be fully prepped for the staining!

That takes care of step on in our deck staining primer! Stay tuned for next weeks post on choosing your stain! To read our other deck care articles, click here!


Summer Painting Tips
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Summer Painting Tips!

Summer is finally here and its time for summer painting tips!

Summer Painting TipsAfter a long cold winter, the sun is finally shining and its time for summer painting tips! This weekend in hayden and Coeur d’Alene, the temp is going to tip the scales to temperatures around 95 degrees! While a little warmer then my taste would dictate, I definitely approve of the heat rather then freezing anymore! Weather always provides different challenges for interior and exterior painting! I often get asked for my best tips about ventilation, paint choices, and weather “avoidance.” Here are a few tips for hot weather painting that should help your job go a little bit more smoothly! As always, I am more then happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to email me!

  1. Make sure and check the weather! Mother Nature, so often our very loved friend, is a little bit less loving when it comes to painting! The heat (other then the working which is very difficult) helps to dry the paint, but in extreme temperatures (over 90 degrees) you will get some blisters because the paint doesn’t have enough time to set. Humidity brings its own set of problems. Even with amazing new technology in paint development, it still doesn’t stick to water/wetness/dampness/notgunnahappen. You CAN’T paint in the humidity! Don’t try it! Wait for a positive weather forecast and paint when Mother Nature dictates!
  2. Don’t be cheap! At Great Expectations Painting, we never charge a profit on paint or supplies, so believe us when we say BUY QUALITY PAINT! The technological developments in paint the last 5 years have been amazing! The colors, vibrancy, and longevity of paints across the board have all increased exponentially. It is worth every penny to buy high quality paint. They typically include additives and color protectors that inferior paint don’t include. More expensive paint is a safe and great investment!
  3. Don’t skimp on the prep work. Part of what’s great about summer painting is how easy it is to get peeling paint off your house! The high heat tenets to “help” the removal process! Keep in mind that if you don’t remove all the peeling, your new paint won’t stick! Stop any potential painting disasters by doing a thorough job of old paint removal! You will be glad you did!
  4. Combine cans of paint. A real rookie mistake in painting, whether interior or exterior, is not combining paints! As you get to the bottom of a gallon of paint, make sure and add an additional gallon! By combining paint, you will keep any differences in color invisible since the paint blending will cover any mistakes! A real pro tip!
  5. Always paint downwards! To avoid streaks and drips, always start painting at the top of the room, and gradually move downwards. This helps avoid drips, streaks, and in general looks much more professional. This is especially true when using a roller!
  6. Summer Painting TipsExterior painting: Prep the landscaping! I can’t tell you how many times my DIY friends forget to cover their plants! Painting is incredibly messy by nature, and you need to COVER YOUR NATURE! Make sure your plants and trees are covered with canvas so your paint doesn’t ruin them!
  7. Use the proper sheen. These days, there are several different sheens to choose from when picking paint for your interior or exterior painting job! You can read more about which sheen to pick here. Make sure the sheen you pick is appropriate for the job, interior or exterior application, and your lifestyle!

That’s a few of the important summer painting tips to remember! Don’t forget to have fun, and PREP PREP PREP! Summer painting tips are only helpful if you use them!

This year, don’t forget to enjoy some time on the lakes, and happy painting! For more great exterior painting articles, check out our archives here!

Hiring a Coeur d'Alene Painting Contractor
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Hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor

Hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor requires some through research.

I’ll be the first to admit: painting contractors don’t have the best reputations. Oftentimes we are known for missing deadlines, questionable work standards, and hazy licensing. Because of our industry’s reputation, painting has become a hot-bed of DIY information! In fact, if you often read my blog, I provide tons of industry secrets to help private homeowners do a great job when painting.Hiring a Coeur d'Alene Painting Contractor I want to address a few important questions about hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor and what details to look for with a reputable painting company.

  1. Licensing and bonding is a big deal! You don’t want to work with any contractors who are not licensed and bonded. It protects you and your home in addition to the contracting company! Make sure the painting contractor you hire is fully insured and bonded. We (any reputable company) will be happy to show you our  licenses. It costs a lot of money to run a business legitimately and we take great pride in our workmanship!
  2. When your painter asks you to pay is a huge indicator of how they run their business. At Great Expectations Painting, we don’t take up front payments. The primary reason for requiring “deposits or up front payments” is paying for previous outstanding balances. Keeping forward cash flow keeps our workers focused on quality instead of, ensuring your painting job is done right every time!
  3. Great Expectations Painting strives to provide you with a great accountability record. When we issue an estimate, the times/costs/plan we give you is accurate. When hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor make sure and asked for a timetable of work completion! The contractor works for and is accountable to you!
  4. Hiring a Coeur d'Alene Painting ContractorYour painting contractor needs to know they are painting your home or business. Typically we get asked about security, property damage, or left over supplies. Its a consistent problem with construction sites. Your contractor should assure you the workplace will be clean and beautiful by the time of job completion.
  5. If your home is older, your contractor will often need to take extra precautions for the home. If your home is over 40 years old, there is a good chance the layered paint will contain lead. Taking proper care of lead contamination does have extra costs, but the long term benefits are worth it! Make sure your contractor has the proper equipment and experience for taking care of old paint!
  6. Feel free to inquire about paint choices. Not all paint is created equal! There are many reasons we choose a particular brand of paint on jobs, and we are happy to discuss our reasoning with you. If you want a particular brand or color we typically don’t work with, feel free to ask about our experience or concerns. Sometimes your contractor will have a good reason to avoid a specific brand, but sometimes we just haven’t used a particular type or color.

I could go on forever, but you get the “jist.” Transparency offers protection for everyone! By asking the questions up front you can save yourself plenty of time and energy. You will also find the awesome contractors like us, your friends at Great Expectations Painting!

We can’t wait to here from you!

painting in spring!
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Painting in Spring!

painting in springPainting in spring requires a bit of extra finesse! The weather changes from raining to super sunny can cause havoc on your new paint! Most people love painting in spring. The temperature is just starting to rise, birds start singing, kids start playing outside, its great! Follow these simple steps to make your painting in spring successful!

  1. Exterior painting should only be done in temperatures above 50 degrees. Exterior painting in spring is great and you need to make sure the temperature stays warm while the paint dries. This will help create a better seal for the paint and maximize the paint’s lifetime.
  2. Don’t paint while it’s windy outside! This should be self explanatory. The enemy of any great paint job is drips and wind will create lateral paint blisters. When Painting in spring make sure to check the weather forecast and only paint on a calm sunny day!
  3. Check for “just the right amount” of sunlight! Painting in spring and summer is a bit like goldilocks. You need to find a day that is warm and not too sunny or cold! Remember the paint surface temperature will be about 20 degrees hotter then the outside temperature, and this can cause your paint to poorly adhere or worse! Make sure (again, check the weather forecast) the temperature is not going to have a huge amount of variance and you should be fine!painting in spring
  4. Keep your eyes open for potential repairs. There is no better time to fix your exterior nicks and crannies then while your painting! Before you start to strip the existing paint, make sure to fill any holes or damage on your homes exterior. Your house will love you for it!
  5. Spring painting will help motivate you for spring cleaning! There is just something magical about the “newness” that painting in spring creates! Other then increasing your home value, it seems to get our blood flowing and will help launch you into spring cleaning mode!

I could go on forever! Painting in spring is a rewarding and fun experience. Wether you are looking to paint your residential home, or a large commercial building remember to have fun! Spring is in the air! Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions! Property owners looking to fill their properties this spring should contact us at CDA Real Estate Investment & Property Management!

choosing the right paint
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Choosing the Right Paint

I’m often asked about choosing the right paint for home interior and exterior jobs.

choosing the right paintAll paint is not created equal! There’s a huge variety in types, sheens, and qualities to wade through and it can be a bit overwhelming! Like in most things “choice” oriented, knowing what you want and are looking for will help make the choice simpler! If you need help in color consulting or paint choices feel free to ask me! I’m always available for a consult and love helping people choose their new home colors!

Your first choice is type of paint. Latex is used for about 85% of interior and exterior jobs. The paint is known for true color correction, and is long lasting. It also breathes better then oil, resulting in less blistering. There is a big caveat however. If you are painting real wood moldings oil is a much better choice! It tends to seal the wood better then latex, and gets a more “full” look when painted. Just keep in mind it takes longer to dry then latex, and is more labor intensive.

Once you have chosen the appropriate paint for the job, you need to choose your sheen. There are typically 4 levels of sheen: Gloss, Semi-gloss, Satin, and Eggshell. Which one works best for you depends on your family! Glossy paint is much easier to clean and I always recommend it for kitchens and homes with kids! You can clean glossy paint with a wet rag, the weapon of choice for that spaghetti your kid just threw on the wall! Semi-gloss does much the same job but brings down the sheen level a bit. Its best used for connecting rooms to the kitchen, to keep the unified glossy look. Satin paint looks stunning, and typically covers wall imperfections really well. The most common used interior paint, satin typically only takes one coat so it tends to be more cost effective as well. Eggshell paint is very flat, and is designed to naturally accent the color of the chosen paint. Very stark and “modern” eggshell paint is best used for bedrooms and well lit open spaces.

Type of paint? Check! Sheen? Check! On to quality!

The hardest choice to define, paint quality directly impacts it’s look and longevity. Using cheap paint almost always results in drips, blisters, and off color sheens.Choosing the right paint Using the most expensive paint is often overkill too, when you just need your walls painted a faint color! How do you choose the best paint? It almost always comes down to moderation. First, you need to identify what is most important to you: Longevity or color. Once you’ve chosen it makes the choices a lot easier! When looking to purchase paint, buy either a “color-lock” paint, or a primer included latex. They both provide different functions, but those specific titles will keep you out of the bargain bin!

The last step we want to cover today is actual colors! The purpose of paint (other then protection) is to establish different moods in the house. Color consulting is a real industry, and the colors you choose can deeply effect your life and home! If your looking to sell the home, paint colors very close to off-white. It helps to “de-personalize” your home, allowing your buyers to see it as their “dream” home. Want a subtle and soothing look? Light shades of blue are perfect for you, and will tie the entire home together for a soothing shade. More interested in elegance? Neutral shades naturally pull your eyes to the features of your home, such as that gorgeous couch or your grand piano. A lot of time and consideration typically goes into color shading, and you want to ensure you love the colors you choose! Choosing the right paint will help you love your home, and ensure it is protected for whatever life throws at you!

painting buildings 101
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Painting Buildings 101

Painting Buildings is terrifying.

Building Painting 101I remember the first few large projects I completed. After you have painted hundreds of houses, there is still something imposing about a large building! Like with any project in life, you just put your head down and start! First its a small corner of the building primed, then the wall starts looking good, then you can take the half-and-half completion photos, etc. Each different portion completed helps build your confidence as you complete the project. While I always attest that hiring a professional is best (and affordable) there are some tips to successfully painting buildings! We will consider this our 101 course and expand in future posts.

  1. You need more paint then you think. This is especially true with building exteriors. Depending on the type of paint already on the building, grime, texture, you will use a lot of paint. I typically make sure to bid 10% more paint then normal square footage amounts. There is nothing worse then running out when you have such a large structure you’re painting!
  2. DO use tinted primer. This is a tip most pro’s won’t tell you about! When picking a building color, its hard to gage tint before you have painted your entire building and the sun is beating down on it. Using tinted primer can keep you from having the wrong shade of exterior paint. PRO TIP. DO IT!
  3. Paint Additives work! Often ignored because of expense, paint additives will typically save you money AND make your painting job look more professional. Paint Additives can lengthen paint lifetime and stop drips and runs. There is a plethora of options on the market, and calling a pro is the best way to know which ones to buy. You can call Zach and ask here.painting buildings 101
  4. Finish each wall in sequence. Most people naturally think that painting by section (baseboards, then trim, then ceiling, etc) is the best method. Painting per wall ensures your paint looks consistent! When you paint each section independently you will get different gloss levels and it will not look as clean.
  5. Box your paint. A fancy industry term, this just means to ensure your combining paint for proper color. There is small color variation from gallon to gallon. To make sure you have consistent color, combine new gallons together when your about halfway through the paint. This ensures the colors combine and remain consistent from wall to wall.

These are just our start up tips for painting buildings! In future posts we will go over some more detailed approaches to making your paint project look great!