How do I prevent dry rot?

See how to avoid, treat and prevent dry rot.

How do I maintain my interior painting job?

Interior paint typically gets dirty in many situations: hand prints around switches and knobs; splashes in kitchens and bathrooms; marks on hallways and corridor; “soot” accumulating above electric lamps and other heat sources. Removing dirt before it accumulates not only improves appearance, it reduces chances of it getting permanently embedded in the paint film. Check for dirt periodically; and assume it will be present in and near cooking areas (airborne cooking oil) and at all places at hand height. Always initially clean the surface with a mild detergent with a sponge or a soft cloth; resort to harsher cleaners only when necessary, recognizing that alkaline cleaners can dull the sheen or gloss of oil based paint. Abrasive cleaner will burnish nearly any paint, and will dull the gloss of satin, semigloss and gloss products. Washed surfaces should be rinsed thoroughly because residual cleaner can interfere with adhesion of paint applied later.

How long will my exterior painting job last?

Generally exterior painting job will need to be redone every 5-10 years. Stucco tends to last longer, wood on the other hand expands and contracts more with changing temperatures which loosens the paint sooner. It is best not to put off your exterior painting until the house is badly peeling. When it gets to that condition it will end up costing you more in preparation time and possibly dry rot repair work. If however the property is in a bad condition when you get to it, do yourself a favor – go the extra length and ensure that thorough surface preparation is done. The idea is to create a sound surface for the new coats to adhere to. This requires more time but is necessary for the paint job to last.

What is Elastomeric?

Elastomeric Waterproofing System is normally used on exterior stucco and often when the surface has a lot of hairline cracks. Elastomerics are formulated to be applied in very thick coats and when applied correctly, due to their high elasticity, they have a special capacity to span hairline cracks permanently. Instead of these cracks reopening on your stucco the Elastomeric would stretch and keep them sealed up. This then keeps water out and protects your home from damage. Elastomeric looks much like any other paint and it can be tinted to most colors.

What color should I choose?

It is generally understood that color combinations that appear pleasing are made up of colors that are in harmony or in balance with each other. Colors that do not appear to agree with each other or that clash are not in harmony. Whether on the interior or exterior painting we normally start a client out with a chart of stock colors. Stock color paints tend to perform better due to the process of their manufacture. On the exterior paints chart there is also a nice variety of harmonious color combinations to choose from. Another very good way to get started on colors at exterior color selection is to take a drive around the neighborhood and find similar houses to yours to see what others have done with colors there. This way you get a very good idea of what the final look of your home might be. We can provide you with cardboard brush outs, or roll out samples directly on the areas to be painted. Many clients find this process helps them to better visualize the final result.

Oil or latex?

Latex paints are more environmentally friendly than oil based paints. With oil based paints there are paint fumes to contend with can be particularly bothersome on the interior painting job. There is also a by product of dirty paint thinner that requires a trip to your local toxic waste site. (We always get rid of this waste as part of our work) There are other factors as well: Latex primers and finishes have been improving tremendously over the years and are very durable. For instance a latex finish on an exterior painting job will stay elastic for years where oil based paint dries to form a hard and more brittle film. Surfaces expand and contract with weather and while the latex paint will move with the surface – the oil will tend to crack sooner with this movement. The advantage of using oil paints is that it will give you a smoother look as it tends to layout better on the surface not showing brush marks as much as latex. Also, as was already mentioned, oil dries hard so it tends to be more washable than latex.

How do I know if I have lead paint?

If your house was built prior to 1978 chances are it has lead paint on it. A lab test can be done or a simple inexpensive tester can be purchased at your local hardware store if you want to make sure.

How is lead paint dealt with?

There are procedures set by Lead Paint Ordinance on how any work involving lead paint is to be done. These procedures are worked into our approach to the painting work and our painters are trained on all the necessary steps to take. We start with having a containment barrier to ensure that the paint chips do not go where they’re not suppose to, that being onto your or your neighbor’s property, or into interior of your home. We clean up daily and bag the paint chips for proper disposal. For more information on lead paint call 1-800-424-LEAD

What is surfactant leaching?

The term surfactant leaching is used to describe spots or streaks of sticky brown or colorless material that appears on the surface of freshly applied latex paint. Surfactant leaching is a common paint problem that may occur with any brand of latex paint. The spots or streaks caused by surfactant leaching, while unsightly, are not harmful and do not affect the performance of the paint. Surfactants are ingredients in paint that are critical to the performance properties of the paint such as its color, stability, flow, and leveling. These materials usually evaporate in good drying conditions, or they are locked into the paint film. The staining occurs when drying conditions cause the paint to dry too slowly, allowing the surfactants to rise to the surface of the paint. The spotting and streaking occur when moisture condenses on the fresh paint and draws the surfactants rapidly out of the paint film. Heavy condensation will cause streaking from the run down of surfactant rich water. Surfactant leaching usually occurs during the spring and fall when the daytime temperatures drop below the dew point rapidly, or when temperatures are low and humidity remains high. In costal areas, such as San Francisco, marine layer can suddenly increase humidity and cause surfactant leaching any time of the year.

Do you charge for estimates?

We never charge a fee to provide an estimate for your painting project.

How do you determine the amount you will charge for my painting project?

There are many things to consider including: type and size of the painted area; type of windows and other trim work; number and intensity of paint colors; amount of protection needed for plants and furniture; quality of paint used; and the extent of needed paint surface preparation. All of those things will be considered in order to provide you with an accurate cost estimate.

How long will it take to paint my house?

The process can take as little as 4-5 days from the time we connect with you. However, it can take longer depending on the condition of your surfaces, the type of work required, and weather conditions if the project involves exterior work. During our consultation with you, we will evaluate your situation and can let you know how long we think it will take to complete your painting project.

What are the advantages of flat and lower sheen paints?

They provide even light reflection and give the surface a softer, more uniform look. They don’t highlight surface imperfections like higher sheen paints, so they usually don’t require as much surface preparation (like patching, texturing or sanding) prior to painting. They are much less likely to show ‘lap marks’, so they are generally easier to apply and touch up than higher sheen paints. (When one painted section dries before the next section is painted, the two sections won’t flow together into a uniform film, resulting in a ‘lap mark’.) They don’t need to be sanded or de glossed before repainting, unlike higher sheen paints.

What are the disadvantages of flat and lower sheen paints?

They tend to highlight any surface imperfections. They are harder to touch up than lower sheen paints, because the higher sheen tends to highlight the slightly raised surface of the film where the touch up was done. They usually need to be sanded, de glossed or primed prior to repainting, to ensure good adhesion of the new paint.

What are the different paint sheens?

Sheen refers to the light reflectivity of the painted or varnished surface. There are varying degrees of sheen’s, from no sheen to high gloss. Paint manufacturers may refer to their paint sheen’s by different names. From lowest to highest sheens correspond to these reflective degrees: Flat finish Eggshell finish Satin finish Semi gloss finish High gloss finish

How long will it take for my paint to dry?

Acrylic (latex) paint dries much faster than Alkyd (oil). Usually a couple of hours is plenty of time. Oil paint though should dry overnight. Flat paint may dry faster than semi gloss.

Will you complete my job in a timely manner without interruption?

Yes, we schedule each job to be completed in consecutive days, on exterior jobs if weather permits.

What kind of paint do you use?

We use the only professional quality paints from Dunn Edwards, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams unless the customer request a different brand.

How will my personal property be protected from paint?

On interiors, after you have removed your personal items all areas or items remaining will be covered with clean drop cloths or plastic sheeting. On exteriors: shrubs and surrounding areas are protected so that no evidence of paint or paint peelings remaining.

Do you have references?

Yes, our references our available upon request. Or simply click here.

When I get different bids from several companies, they are never the same, some high, some low. Why is there such a price difference?

The cost of a job is usually determined by the level of thoroughness, attention to detail, and quality desired. It costs more to properly prepare a surface for painting than to just pressure clean and scrape the surface. The majority of the cost of painting is in the surface preparation and the labor involved in the application of the paint and not the actual cost of the paint itself. As with most other industries you get what you pay for.

Do I need to move everything from the rooms before you paint?

Just move the small items and breakables. Solidarity Painting will move and protect all of furniture and fixtures.

How to test if paint is oil or latex?

First, scrub a small area with a solution of household detergent and warm water. Rinse well and towel dry. Then soak a cotton ball, Qtip or soft rag in alcohol and rub it back and forth over the cleaned area. If paint comes off, it’s latex. If not, it’s oil based. In either case, proper prep is key.