Blog from LES LUHRING, PAINTING CONTRACTOR 

Blog #1: Paint Sheens    3/20/16 

No, Charlie Sheen is not a paint finish.

Paints come in various sheens for various applications and purposes.

As a general rule the higher the sheen for interior paints, the greater the washability/durability.

On the other hand, if a wall or other surface has defects or irregularities, the higher the sheen, the more visible those defects appear.

Deep base colors are often distorted by sheen finishes, whereas off-whites and light colors remain consistent.

Common sheens for interior paints are: Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-gloss, & High Gloss.

Designations for exterior paints vary from one manufacturer to the next, but most commonly: Flat, eggshell or Lo-lustre, semi-gloss & high gloss.

Sheens for exterior paints can help retard mildew growth.

 Blog: #2: Driveway & garage floors    3/27/16

Driveway & garage floors can be problematic for a contractor, unless the coating is going on a "virgin surface", i.e.: a surface that has never been coated.

A virgin surface best accepts a concrete stain after pressure cleaning and an acid wash, involving a 4 to 1 ratio of muriatic acid to open up the pores of the concrete, to allow the stain to penetrate. The first coat of stain (in my mind preferably a xylene-based stain) is slightly thinned to better penetrate, followed by a full-strength finish coat. The penetration of a concrete stain vs. using a paint better insures against lifting of the material by hot tires where there is vehicular traffic.

But what if we are not dealing with a "virgin surface", but a surface with a previous coating or coatings?

Spoiler alert; no guarantees, no warranty.

The best chance for success is if the homeowner has a remnant of the previous coating(s) so the contractor can apply the same type of product, e.g. xylene on xylene, latex on latex, spirits-based on same, etc. This is after pressure cleaning and perhaps spot-washing with the acid solution. 

In the absence of a remnant or knowledge of what's already on the surface, it really becomes a crap-shoot. The contractor can perform a few experiments with different solvents to try and identify the type of coating there, but with varied success depending upon how old the existing coating.

If I'm totally baffled I will employ an epoxy coating to give me my best shot at successful adhesion that will stand up, but only before warning my customer: no guarantees!

Blog #3: Selecting your own paint colors    4/4/16

 Choosing paint colors for your home can be tricky.

 I always try to assist my customers in this sometimes arduous task.

 I first suggest that they make preliminary choices at Home Depot, or Lowes, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, et al.

 From there I look at their choices and try to put up a red flag if I see them going down a wrong road... reason being:

 It can be difficult to judge how an entire room or wall will look from a one-square-inch swatch.

 When a customer is trying to utilize some real color, a bold color, they often pick one or two shades too deep from color strips.

 It's my practice to help a customer hone in on the right color by coaching, then having them pick a couple of color possibilities for a given project,

 And then procuring a small sample bottle of that paint and applying it on the wall, so we can both see how it looks.

 I enjoy color consultation, and I believe that my 28 years experience has made me pretty good at it!

Blog #4  Exterior painting procedures   4/11/16

There are a number of necessary steps involved in accomplishing a quality exterior painting project:

1. Pressure clean the substrate @ 2500-3500 psi to remove chalk, remove peeling paint, and otherwise prep for painting.

2. Apply a surface conditioner/sealer, sometimes referred to as a primer, that will promote finish coat adherence to the existing surface. 

3. Repair surface cracks & voids with elastomeric patching compound stucco or wood putty, as appropriate.

4. Mask, or "bag" all windows, fixtures, etc.

5. Spray the finish coat, with a man backrolling the wet paint behind the spray man.

6. Strip masking & caulk windows, doors as needed.

7. Paint exterior doorsides and trim.