Quick Do’s and Don’ts When Painting Double Hung Windows

Quick Do’s and Don’ts When Painting Double Hung Windows

A beautifully painted window can highlight and emphasize your home’s most interesting features, Like any painted surface, your windows will need to be refinished from time to time.

Window painting can be an engaging project for homeowners. Beautifully painted windows can even increases the resale value of your home, badly painted or windows in need of painting will have the opposite effect. However, learning to paint windows right is not as easy as you might think. You can minimize rookie mistakes and paint your window like a pro by remembering the basic premise; paint from the inside out.

Painting Windows from the Inside Out:

When painting doors and windows, the general rule is paint from the inside out. A six panel door begins with the panels then proceeds to the muntins (or mullions) and rails, finishing with the stiles and finally the frame & casing. With windows, start with the sashes and work out toward the casing, sill & stools. First, remove the hardware; place it in a ziploc bag marked with the windows’ location in the room, use a separate bag for each window because although similar, they’re less identical than you’d assume.

Then prep; scrape off old paint drips, sand the surface thoroughly to provide profile for new materials, and prime bare wood and heavily sanded areas using a high quality primer, then let the primer dry overnight. Under some circumstances, where sashes stick or have too much paint build up, you may need to reduce that by sanding, scraping or planing until you get a clean operation and there is enough space between the two surfaces for a new finish coat. Next day (after primer is dry), protect the sill with a section of masking paper taped in place, this way if you drip while working the sashes you won’t create more prep for yourself by having to clean or sand the sill again.

Painting; start high; paint the upper sash beginning with the muntins and rails (note: a special brush may be required to reach the bottom rail of the top sash), once completed continue to the lower sash.. Paint the top and bottom rails last – and only after you have arranged the sashes in their best drying position – finish the sashes and move on to the casings, then the stool and lastly, paint the sill. Allow the paint to dry overnight before applying a 2nd coat, or attempting to correct errors in the 1st coat. After the 2nd coat is dry, replace the hardware and clean up the edges.

What Not to Do in a Window Painting Project?

With any trim painting project, the first rule is don’t hurry. Take your time prepping and priming, and begin your painting in the least visible area, working toward the areas seen most. Don’t use cheap paint or cheap tools, don’t let your tools dry out inbetween coats; wrap them up in a big piece of foil or plastic wrap so they’re wet for 2nd coat but not water-logged from cleaning. Taping glass; this is optional.

If you choose to tape glass, know that paint will bleed under your tape. For best results use Frog Tape, made by Shurtape; Frogtape has an ingredient in the adhesive that blocks paint bleed under tape. 2nd option is to use regular tape and a flat razor blade to clean up the edges after the paint has dried. The third option is no tape – there is nothing wrong with this, it is how windows were painted before tape arrived on the scene, and many professionals still brush windows without taping glass.

Just remember that although you can brush windows without taping them, you cannot sand them without taping – you will scratch the glass, so be careful. Don’t close the windows too soon, the paint surfaces may ‘block’ together if not dry enough to be closed.

For a better result in your window painting project, you can ask a painting professional in the Hilltop neighborhood for help.

How To Get Smooth and Perfect Results in Interior Trim Painting

How To Get Smooth and Perfect Results in Interior Trim Painting

Painting interior trim is no different than painting any other wood or millwork surface in your house. You need to start by sanding the trim until it is smooth (if your trim is MDF, it will already be smooth, but it’s still a good idea to rough it up a little to provide profile for the primer to adhere), vacuum thoroughly with a brush extension, then apply a good quality, leveling primer.

Once the primer has dried overnight, it should be sanded again – this will remove grain fibers that were raised by the primer. Note: oil primer (alkyd) works best for 3 reasons: 1) it dries hard so it sands easy – no rubbery latex to gum up sandpaper; 2) it blocks tannin stains from leeching into your finish coats; 3) it levels nicely. After thorough sanding, clean it by vacuuming, then wipe it down with a lint-free cloth moistened with clean water or clean solvent.

Once you are done with preparing the primed surface, you can apply the first coat of paint. If you need or wish to apply a second coat, you should allow the first coat to dry properly (according to manufacturer’s recommendations) then check it by rubbing over the surfaces gently with clean hands, if the surface feels gritty or rough in places, then sand those areas again but with a finer grit sandpaper than what was used in your pre-prime sanding, then vacuum and wipe clean again with a clean lint free towel – to remove dust, finally apply the second coat of paint.

Note: if you’re installing a paint that dramatically different in color, you may need a third coat – do not try to achieve coverage by applying a heavy coat – this will cause problems like sagging, curtains, alligatoring, and an unsightly finish.

Choosing the Right Paint and Paint Brush for Trim:

Historically, alkyd based (oil, or solvent soluble) paints were mainly used in trim painting because of their high quality finish, leveling, adhesion, and for their ability to stand up against abuse – plus, that all that was on the menu. Later, with the introduction of latex and acrylic based (water-soluble) paints consumers now have a choice. These paints are popular because of their ease of use, easy clean up, and minimal environmental impact.

They have drawbacks too (as with most things, there is a trade-off); primarily, acrylic paints don’t offer the same look and feel as oil paints – they typically don’t level as well, or feel as smooth when dried & fully cured, and they don’t dry as hard as oils. New, hybrid materials, are now available; oil-modified acrylics, they offer the leveling characteristics of oil, with the ease of use found in acrylics – however, they can be tricky to use. No matter what type of paint you choose, practice on a piece of scrap if you can, if not, begin painting in a closet or some other less visible area, work your way to the more prominent, visible areas.

Curing:

Although acrylic paint dries faster than oil, oil paint actually cures (fully hardens) faster than water solubles. This is important if your trim project includes shelves, on which you want to place objects; it is very important to allow your paint finish to fully harden (cure) before placing objects on it.

Acrylics can take up to one month – and sometimes more, depending on where you live, and how thick your paint film is – oils typically cure in about 7-10 days. You can test the cure level by subjecting your new finish to the fingernail test: find an obscure place and gently press the nail of your thumb perpendicularly into the paint, if you see an impression, it may not be fully cured. You can place objects on your new paint anytime you wish, but be warned that they may leave impressions, or even adhere to the film if you’re premature.

Always choose high-quality paint brushes; and buy the brush that is most suitable to the size of molding. Choose a 2 ½ inch tapered sash brush for small trim, and a 3 ½ inch brush for wider trim, flat or block brushes for doors & paneling. If you plan to install new trim, you can prime and paint the trim boards before installing.

Just remember, you’ll need to caulk and putty your trim after you install it, then you can either touch up the putty and caulk, or apply a final coat. If you’re having difficulty, call your trim painting professional in the highlands area for advice.

4 Ways to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets

4 Ways to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets

Refinishing the kitchen cabinets of your home is the best way to liven up your living space and increase the value of your home. You can get a remarkable kitchen makeover in just few days just by planning and updating your existing kitchen cabinets. Following is a basic overview and important clues on where to start with a kitchen refinishing project.

Assemble all Equipments and Tools:

You need to organize the project well by assembling all materials and tools before you get started. If you live near a local home improvement center, you can very easily pick up the last minute supplies in a short notice. However, if the store is not near, it is a good decision to bring all equipment before starting the job. Some of the most important materials and tools you may need in a kitchen cabinet refinishing project are hand tools like a good selection of high quality sandpaper ranging in course from 250 and up, cordless drill/screwdriver, putty knife, break-away knife, utility cutter, plenty of painter’s tape, masking paper, rosin paper & a roll of plastic sheeting.

If you’re brushing, buy the best quality paint brushes; if spraying, the same is true (note: home improvement stores carry basic sprayers, not finishing sprayers, especially cup-gun sprayers sold in home improvement centers are equipped with inadequate compressors to effectively operate the gun.)

Prepare the Surface:

It is important to prepare the surface before refinishing the kitchen cabinets. Many cabinets have melamine surfaces inside, this material is not recommended to paint. You can paint them in place, remove the doors & drawers to another location (garage?) and remove the cabinet boxes too, if necessary – especially if you want to spray them in your garage.

Either way, you need to remove all of the contents. Any grease or dirt remaining on the surfaces should be cleaned off, if not it will cause poor adhesion, fish-eyes, etc. If your cabinets are already painted, you must sand smooth any rough areas or bubbled or peeling paint or varnish. Then sand the entire surface area so the primer has a surface it can bite into.

Prime the Cabinets:

When painting for the first time, or if there’s a lot of dirt & grease, or if you had to perform a lot of surface prep, you prime the all the surfaces first. Primers have additional binding agents that paint products do not, and provide a stable surface for the new paint to bond. Some primers have stain blocking properties that may be necessary as well. The only circumstance where you may not have to prime is if the cabinets are recently painted, and you wish to change color or sheen.

Paint Your Cabinets:

Once you are done with the priming, and you have allowed the primer to dry overnight, you can begin to apply paint coats. If you’re using latex or acrylic, use a sprayer to get the best finish. A sprayer can provide you with a smooth, satin or glossy, and an even paint surface – it can also cause you a lot of trouble if you are not practiced in its use – try practicing on something first, anything that has a similar surface as your cabinets, even plywood or something smooth, the importance of this is to observe how much paint comes out, what the pattern is, etc. You can also check out youtube for videos demonstrating technique.

If you’re using oil, or acrylic-modified oil, you may achieve good results with brushing. An important caution: if you make a mistake – leave it alone! You will be able to correct it once dried, but trying to fix it while it is drying will only lead to more troubles. It is important to brush always in one direction. Never lay your paint on too thick, two light coats of paint is much better than one heavy layer. For cabinet refinishing in Park Hill, you may contact a professional company that can provide you with the best service, and be done quickly.

Is Enameling Your Kitchen Cabinets the Right Decision?

People think of enamel as a type of paint – which it may once have been – but recently it is more of a descriptive term used in a general manner by many manufacturers to describe a paint that dries hard with a higher degree of gloss. This is the type of paint generally used in cabinet painting, and for the purposes of this post I will use the term is it is commonly understood – paying less attention to tradition and technical properties.

Enamel paint is installed on cabinets, doors, windows, trims, and cases. Enameling is ideal for high use areas like kitchen cabinets. One of the most important reasons why enamel is popular is because of its durability. Enamel has a smooth surface that does not collect dirt as easily so it is easy to clean, and also resists marring and scratching, and looks beautiful. If you use good quality enamel instead of wall paint on your kitchen cabinets, it will provide you with a durable and long lasting finish.

You can buy enamel of any color and any sheen. When you are thinking to apply enamel on your cabinets, you have a few choices, there are trade-offs with each option, there is no perfect enamel, you have to select from what is available based on what is important to you.

Water Based Enamel:

Latex and acrylic enamels are water based products and are popular due to their low VOC content (VOC: Volatile Organic Compounds). However, they are difficult to apply smooth, and have the lowest durability and finish quality. Water based enamel are generally when the homeowner wants to keep the project green- and is less concerned with finish or durability.

Oil Based Enamel:

Oil based enamels have higher VOC content than the water based enamels. However, this type of enamel is more durable and offers a better finished appearance. When applied on your cabinet surface, oil typically takes 12-24 hours to dry. Also you need to have a dust free environment when you are working with oil based enamel. Oil based enamel is idea in the situation when the homeowner may not be occupying the home. Oil based enamel also offer a durable and good looking finish that can be cleaned easily. Another consideration on the drawback side; oil products “yellow” with the passage of time.

Lacquer Based Enamels:

Lacquer based enamel is seldom used by homeowners because they are typically not sold in home improvement stores, are very smelly, thin and difficult to control, and have the highest VOC level of the 3. However, lacquer based enamel dries very quickly, allowing multiple coats to be applied in a relatively short period – an advantage over both water and oil based products. There are several types of cabinet lacquer, check with your professional paint store for availability.

These products are volatile, extreme caution must be used – I do not recommend this material for DIY projects. This is the same material used by cabinet shops so it is the best choice of finish beauty and durability. However, lacquer based enamels must be sprayed and should not be applied by hand. If you want the very best finish, contact a professional with experience using these products.

If you need professional support to finish your cabinets, you can contact the professional contractors offering affordable cabinet enameling in Congress Park.

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