ABOUT LITTLETON PAINTERS
A Note From Warren Nix, Owner
We’re Really Good at Painting Your House.
I offer color suggestions after listening to your wishes. I always emphasize their satisfaction will be based on how they want the house to look. Painting is more than maintenance it should be a makeover. Even if it is a slight make over with a change in accent colors. I start with 4-5 paint decks from various paint manufacturers. We’ll choose colors with verbal and non verbal cues; observing the neighborhood, style of home, and even consider your neighbors homes, ideally selecting colors that are tailored to your home and landscaping. Select colors that are not the same as the neighbors. Colors that complement the brick not colors that compete with the brick. Lastly the customer should do some homework deciding on their colors. Drive the neighborhood to see if any house colors appeal/ jump out to you. I’ll offer more than just paint swatches, but also suggest changing up the color scheme/placement of colors/accents.
A color scheme change can be more appealing with a simpler balance to the home architecture i.e. garage projects out from the rest of the home.
I’ll inspect the home for wood replacement. Plus inspect the home for any necessary tree or other landscape trimming for access to all areas of the home. The homeowner is responsible for pruning those areas.
After inspection I’ll clarify necessary areas where rotted wood needs replacement and suggest replacing wood that is cosmetically challenged in high-traffic areas. For instance, front door and back patio/deck areas. Wood window sills where moisture puddles and causes paint to fail are targets. Siding that meets the roofline where moisture has created damage are targets. I’ll suggest more suitable products for these areas. Other areas where wood is damaged. I.e. bird holes. I will also offer permanent cheaper no cost suggestions to prevent further damage on these non visible areas. Vinyl is a new product that does not peel nor does it rot.
Customer Expectations is Where We Begin
Durability is what most customers look for. We’re small company in business for 27 years, with only a a small well-trained team.
You can expect a proposal within a day or two. I like to process what each paint job needs to satisfy the customer and exceed you expectations.
Extensive Prep Leads to Great Results
We ask that you remove any small items, items you don’t want wet, items placed up against the home like wood piles. Then we power wash the home. A power washer is the process of washing to remove any chalky build up, cob webs, dirt, etc. This process takes approximately 1 hour. You can actually see the water turn the color of the paint where the chalky paint is removed. A power washer is not to remove paint. Attempting to remove paint will often times damage the wood in particular splinter the wood. Then we wait for the home to dry, 1-2 days based upon the weather and type of siding. Masonite siding can dry overnight. Cedar siding and pine normally take 2-3 days to dry. Then we inspect the home again for any wood replacement .
Next comes the wire brush and scrape wood trim, caulk the large gaps in trim, stain block prime the trim and other areas as needed.
I will check on progress during the work. We communicate if the selected color do not look right for the home. Often times meeting with the customer ASAP to revisit any possible color issues or any other items of concern that may arise.
Included is the removal of any bad caulk that no longer is elastic then re-caulk these areas with a suitable siliconized caulk 50 plus year product. We’ll use backer rod where large gaps are present. Foam Backer rod will prevent large gaps of more than 3/16” from separating. If backer rod is not suitable use of vinyl/wood trim to fill the gap and caulk to paint. These gaps are typically present on door frames in brick i.e. the garage door frame.
Next we’ll mask the entire windows and glass with .5 mil plastic and 3m tape. Then mask off the brick with 12”-16” paper and mask windows set in brick to prevent paint dust from accumulating. Roof areas will be masked off with paper and if needed remove the address. Caulking the windows, doors, patio posts, large gaps in trim, door panels where separated, butt joints on siding, wood trim, and windows.
Then the use of lightweight patch and paint to repair any cosmetic areas that have splintered. Light-weight spackle drys quickly and is easily sandable. We do not use heavier patching materials or compounds like BONDO because when the wood expands and contracts the heavy weight bondo pops out.
We inspect the siding for water damage. The siding typically is Masonite. Masonite is a pressed board of glued together saw dust/particle board with a primer coating. Scraping the siding only creates further damage. We suggest replacing very bad areas and or sealing the siding to prevent further damage. We’ll spray and backroll/back brush recessed nail holes and lap siding lips that have cracks indicating that the lap-siding has water/moisture damage. This is most common on the north side of the home where the siding has the least amount of sunlight to all the siding to dry. This can cause the siding to swell and creates recessed nail holes if the siding is damaged. The nail remains in the same spot and the siding swells around the nail hole.
If the siding is damaged on all sides we elect to spray and back-roll/ back brush an entire coat of primer/paint to the siding. This is a much more thorough and efficient preparation of the home, rather than spot priming with a brush. Damaged areas missed f you only spot prime areas. We will then will respray these areas. Applying any top grade paint from Behr, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pittsburgh paint are self-priming latex acrylic paints. We stain block prime any new wood, wax bleed, tannins, new wood, egg stains – any stains that will show through on the original paint coat. There are occasions we use oil based primers to prevent tannin bleed on cedar siding/trim. Most high quality paints on the market today are self-priming.
We prefer to seal the rough areas of the siding with primer/paint rather than patch/caulking. The paint better conforms and is most flexible with the siding allowing s it to expand and contract with the temperature changes this best. Caulking these areas looks great when the job is complete, but within a few years each caulked nail hole collects dust and visually looks poor. Regardless of what kind of caulk. However, nail holes that cannot be sealed with paint are caulked and then repainted to prevent further damage.
Final Application of a High Quality Paint
All top of the line paints from Behr, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pittsburgh paint are self priming acrylic paint. Paint fading with dark colors is what causes most failure. There is typically not any peeling. Paint fails/peels because when the home is first painted the paint has flexibility to expand and contract with the wood. When the paint no longer is flexible over time it pops or peels. Different woods expand and contract more than like cedar and pine. These woods to fail sooner.
Fortunately, most homes today are built with Masonite. Masonite does not expand contract so there is no peeling paint failure. The paint only fades. Dark colors tend to fade faster than lighter colors. I elect to spray the body because the sprayer is the most efficient way to apply the thickest and most concentrated application of paint. Our sprayers are capable of putting out ¾ a gallon per minute. Honestly, If the spray gun is not continually moved the paint will run. The most important part of using a sprayer to apply the paint is to apply it slowly and evenly with a small fan tip for a higher concentration. We use a small 415 spray tip, 8” fan tip with a larger 15 orifice. This is much smaller than what many of our competitors use for applying paint. Competitors often use 515, 615, 617, 717 spray tips. These tips are 10”-14” spray patterns. Larger spray tips tend to waste paint and provide a less uniform paint coat. Sprayers atomize the paint through a paint hose into a spray gun. There is some loss of paint from wind and the atomizing of paint that falls to the ground. In fact it is very difficult to apply a uniform coat if the spray tip is too large because it is almost impossible to move a spray gun with a large spray tip fast enough. I mentioned earlier most homes built today have Masonite siding. Masonite is a non-porous surface. A sprayer is the best application because as with a car the surface is non-porous and the best way to protect it is with a thick application of paint. There is no advantage to brushing and rolling it. Unless as described above during our preparation the wood is damaged we back-roll or brush the rough areas for the best adherence. These areas are sealed from moisture prior to painting. We use both the proven, old-school techniques of preparation and working the paint into rough and porous areas of the home. The final application is thicker.
Some people believe brush and roll painting is superior. Offering a higher concentration and thicker application. I would agree as we describe above in preparation the paint needs worked onto porous wood with a brush and roller. However, I would not agree that it is thicker It only provides what we do a with our application a primer/paint application where the product is worked into any porous wood. If we only brushed and roll the entire home it would take longer and require more effort to apply a thicker paint coat. Imagine how many times one needs to dip a brush into a bucket. Color changes require 2 coats because it often times does not cover in one coat. Spraying the body a second time is not normally an issue nor required. Unless it is a large color change i.e. yellow, red, white. On the small occasion that it needs the second coat takes about 30% of the time to apply the original coat.
I emphasize a good paint job is the painter not the paint. Paint development has not dramatically improved while I have been in business. After 27 years I have had the same ongoing issues after 10 year that paint fades. Sure there are areas that require maintenance painting every 4 to 5 years. Horizontal wood where water puddles normally needs maintenance painting i.e. window sills and drip caps. I like to service these areas in the off season so your paint job will last twice as long. Therefore the next time we paint there will be no need for wood replacement because we did the necessary maintenance painting which prevents wood from rotting. We brush and roll the trim to seal any porous wood. My crew will clean up any paint drips, often times any small drip on concrete will be left to dry and scraped up later. New paint is elastic and is easy to remove with a wire brush and scraper.
I will blue tape any touch up areas prior to a customer needing to walk the home and remove any replaced wood, thoroughly remove any masking paper, and plastic from the home. Then broom sweep the area and pick up any paint scrapings not collected on paint tarps. Count on us to touch base with the customer and address any issues.