We are always happy to help with color selection. We know from experience that our hard work and labor loose their value if you are not completely happy with the colors.
We usually start by asking your favorite colors. Most home-owners already have aan idea as to what kind of colors they like to see on their home. Once we have an initial starting point, we come out with our collection of most popular Benjamin Moore color samples and apply them right one the surface. While color swatches might be helpful, we believe the actual paint, applied on the surface is the best way to get a feel for the finish product.
Different Lighting Conditions
Once the samples are applied, we encourage you to live with them for a few days, and view them in different lighting conditions.
Whats the most popular color?
Browns and Grays have been very popular in the last 5+ years. We have a large selection of samples – different browns and grays available from the Benjamin Moore paint company.
We called around to our local utility companies and did some research on Painting Utility Boxes on the outside of your house.
Most houses have utility boxes installed on the exterior side of the garage. These items are often unsightly and take away from the clean look of a freshly painted exterior.
Most of these boxes are made of metal or vinyl. So which ones can you paint to help make it blend into the surface? We contacted Puget Sound Energy, Comcast, and Verizon to get their input.
Painting the Energy Meter Box
Also called electricity meter is a device that measures the amount of electricity consumed by your entire house.
This device has a meter socket, made of glass that should never be painted.
There is also the enclosure for underground service termination which is made of metal, and according the Puget Sound Energy, this box can be painted.
Painting the Gas Meter
This flow meter measures the volume of fuel consumed by your household.
Several different designs are in use today and according the Puget Sound Energy, most modern meters can be painted.
The meter reader has a clear plastic cover that should be masked off and not painted.
Painting Cable Boxes and wires
These boxes are often made of vinyl. They are designed to hide the mass of wires and distributors on the outside of your home. According to Comcast Cable (now Xfinity), these items can be painted using acrylic paints.
Painting the Network Interface Device
This box is usually located on the outside wall of your home. This is where telephone network connect to your house.
These boxes are constructed out of vinyl and according to Verizon, these items are OK to be painted using acrylic paints.
Gray exterior paint colors are classic colors that work with any color scheme and combination. Gray works with white trim, darker gray trim, red doors, and pretty much any color configuration you could think of. Gray can be cool and classic, or daring and bold with a deep hint of blue. We recommend a lighter shade of gray for smaller homes. A light gray can take years off the look of an older rambler and give it an updated clean look that appeals to any taste.
A light gray with warm undertone can create a classic and calm finish. It is perfect for large or small exteriors in The Northwest setting. If you are looking for that perfect, clean look, this might be the color for you. Gray siding limits your trim choices to pure white or very light shades of gray.
Elegant Painting produces the most flawless front doors on the eastside. We know your front door is the first thing your guests see, and we want it to be as perfect as the rest of the house.
As with most exterior projects, we start by rinsing off that fine layer of pollution with a pressure washer and allowing it to dry out. Preparation is key to producing a perfect front door. We start by removing the hardware, and any flaws we see on the door including runs left by previous painters, nail holes, cracks, chipping paint, bubble, etc.
If the door has major dried paint runs or drips, we employ the services of our trusty fiber disk sanders to flatten them out. If there are cracks, we speckle then using MH Ready Patch Professional formula speckling and patching compound. This product is Shrink and crack resistant, dries rock solid, yet it is easy to sand and easy to apply.
If cracks are visible in the joints, we use our premium Sherwin Williams® caulk, or the very durable WhiteLighting caulking material to make sure the cracks do not reappear after a few years. With flexible caulking, even if the crack continues to expand due to the settling of the house, the caulking expands and continues to seal the crack, stopping moisture from entering the joint.
After the speckling, and filling of the nail holes, and the grinding of the runs, we hand sand the door with fine 2sandpapernd paper to remove any sanding marks and to smooth out any patching compounds.
Cleaning sanding dust is not as easy as you would think. The most effective way of making sure there is no trace of dust left behind is to first direct a garden blower at the door while brushing every square inch with a clean dry brush. Once we are convinced all the dust is gone, the door is wiped with a clean, damp, lint-free cloth. Now the door is ready to be primed.
Masking the area around the front door
There are 2 ways of making a front door. The first option is painting the door before the rest of the house is painted. This means we only have to cover the porch and not have to worry about getting paint on the siding, but if we are painting only the door, or if the door is being painted after the rest of the house is completed, then we mask off a six foot area all around the door and the casing. For this, we use 3M window masking plastic and tack it down to make sure the wind does not blow it off the surface. Then we open the door and mask the casing from the inside to make sure no paint can make it passed the surface of the door.
Priming the front door
Unless you have a fiberglass or metal door in decent shape, you need a primer. Doors are often painted with high-gloss paints, which means your new coat has nothing to grab. Shiny paints do not allow anything to penetrate into them, hence the need for a good quality oil based primer. We have two nearly identical products to choose from; KILZ Complete, or Zinsser exterior oil based primer. How do we decide if a primer is needed or not?
We make this decision after the preparation. You do not need a primer if your sanding has removed all the sheen out of the current finish and if you are working with a door that is currently in good shape. We also consider how protected the door is from the elements. If the front porch ceiling is protecting the door from rain and US exposure, then there might be a chance you do not need to prime it. If you are working with a wood door that has been sanded and speckled, then skipping primer is a mistake. We spray the oil primer using a Titan Airless Sprayer. This fast drying primer can be sanded in 1-3 hours.
Once the primer is fully dried, we sand with a fine 220 grid sprayer and repeat the dust removing techniques mentioned above. Now we inspect the masking to make sure everything is intact and start painting our perfect front door.
Painting a Perfect front Door
We like to use a Titan440i airless sprayer, with a 410 fine finish tip. The 410 fine finish tip puts out a very small amount of paint, so we count on applying 2-4 coats depending on color. Our paint of choice for front doors is Sherwin Williams Emerald. This paint dries out to resemble a layer of vinyl that is not too shiny, yet offers extreme protection for any surface. The paint is sprayed on in a checkered pattern. The spray gun trigger is pulled away from the door, then the gun is run up or down the height of the door until the entire door is covered. Then the process is repeated horizontally.
After the paint has dried, The door is opened and the inside edge is painted with a brush, taking special care not to allow the brush to touch the sprayed areas.
How do we know which edge should be painted the interior color and which edge exterior? Here’s a simple method; Stand outside and open the door. The edge you see should be painted the exterior color. If the interior of the door is being painted, simply repeat this method from the inside; any edge visible from the inside should be painted interior color.
Once all surfaces are completely dried, which can take a few hours depending on humidity, we carefully remove the masking plastic and inspect the door and surrounding areas to make sure we have achieved the type of perfection Elegant Painting is known to offer.
An overview of exterior edges; which is painted what color.
This page is an extension of your estimate document.
When it comes to edges and corners, exterior painting is a bit different than painting inside. Painting the outside has more in common with production painting and its purpose is preservation of the substrate as well as adding appeal to the home. Elegant Painting follows standard procedure and applies all paint products according to manufacturer recommendation.
This 1×4 pre-primed spruce board is designed to hide the joint between siding pieces. In most modern homes, this piece is used to create a sealed connection between siding pieces and also serves cosmetic purposes. If your home already has plenty of trim in the front, you may avoid the “busy” look by painting the corner pieces same color as the siding.
Corner trim with downspout
When the downspout is installed directly on top the trim piece, a portion of the corner trim is visible under the downspout. This small portion is painted body color to improve precision and avoid an unsightly stripe behind the downspout.
Since most siding is butted right upto the door casing, and the siding is often caulked into the casing, painting only the face of the trim is the only way to produce a neat and straight line. Other options include painting door and trim same color as siding to make them all disappear a bit, or paint door and it’s trim boards all trim color to make them stand out.
Downspouts are usually painted the same color of the surface they are attached to. If a downspout is installed on a trim piece, it should be painted the color of the trim piece, but sometimes a downspout runs down the siding and it should be painted siding color to help make it look less visible.
Posts and Pillars
Not every home has posts or pillars, but when they do, we try to ad an elegant touch by painting any trim on the surface. Painting the metal flashing the body color is one way of adding our elegant painting detail signature to any home.
Edges on Doors
How do we know which edge should be painted the interior color and which edge exterior? Here’s a simple method; Stand outside and open the door. The edge you see from the outside should be painted the exterior color. If the interior of the door is being painted, simply repeat this method from the inside; any edge visible from the inside should be painted interior color.
Elegant Painting offers exceptionally low bids on homes with fiber cement Siding
What is fiber cement siding? Fiber cement siding is a type of popular artificial siding that can withstand all kinds of climates, including our damp Northwest weather. Currently 5.5 million homes in America are being protected by this type of materials. Fiber cement boards are made of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Complete with artificial texture, this siding resembles wood siding and even imitation shingles. Once installed and painted, the exterior fiber cement boards require very little maintenance, and is not susceptible to termites or rot.
Do fiber cement boards need to be painted? Yes. James Hardy of Hardieplank siding recommends painting the siding using a 100% acrylic exterior paint, such as the Benjamin Moore Exterior SuperSpec used by Elegant Painting. If fiber cement boards are not painted when a paint job is due, the moisture content of the substrate falls bellow normal levels, and they may warp, bend, and crack.
Does it cost more to paint a house with fiber cement siding? No. Elegant painting bids are lower for homes that have fiber cement siding. Fiber cement boards take and hold paint extremely well, and are less labor intensive when it comes to back-rolling the paint, resulting in lowered labor and paint costs, which are handed directly down to home-owners.
Does it need caulking? Yes. Per manufacturer recommendation, joints and gaps will be caulked to prevent moisture and wind driven rain from entering the walls. We also caulk around windows, doors, eaves, and other edges to make to prevent leaks. Using our premium flexible, rubber based calking called Sika, which is manufactured by The Sika Group of America. This is not ordinary caulk. This material dies into a hard yet flexible rubber that is similar to materials used in car tires. It remains strong and flexible well after it is dried and cured. Failing caulk on previously caulked joints are removed and a fresh coat is applied.
How does Elegant painting apply paint on fiber cement siding?
After our standard preparation procedures, paint is applied with airless sprayers, and the surface is back-rolled before the paint dries. Back-rolling is absolutely essential on all exterior siding. This method forces the paint into the substrate and produces a very even finish. Back-rolling adds 3-5 years to the life of our already durable paint job.
All too often house painting companies skip this very crucial step when painting exteriors. Unsuspecting home-owners can not tell the difference between a well prepared and primed surface, and a paint job that produces substrate protection for only a short period of time. It is important that you hire only reliable and established painters who have proven themselves over time. Drive by and see some of their model homes, contact references, and learn how long the painting company has been around.
House painting and wood rot
Raw wood is constantly trying to return to nature (rot). Wood surfaces breath and have a natural humidity of ten to fifteen percent. This humidly level fluctuates based on air humidity. When exposed to high humidity, dead wood will capture some water from the air. Living plants have microscopic pockets of water, but in dead wood, these pockets are consumed by fungai, and the walls between the pockets open up. This allows more moisture to be absorbed in the wood, providing more humid wood, which is more favorable to rapid growth of fungi, thus accelerating the decay of the wood.
Role of Primer in Exterior House Painting
Priming is mandatory for exterior surfaces in our damp climate. Primer acts as sealant. It covers water stains, oil stains, and any other material that be be present on the substrate. Wihtout primer, your wood siding is exposed to the elements. Primer is an under-coat applied before painting. Priming improves adhesion, increases durability, and is an excellent protector for exterior substrate. As paint dries, it undergoes chemical reactions. Water evaporates from paint as it cures. Primer controls the curing pace of finish paint and allows it to cure slowly while the chemical reaction is taking place.
Applying Exterior Primer
Primer should never be sprayed on. Having a thin, sprayed layer of primer sitting on the surface offers little to no protection. Brush and roll method is recommended to ensure proper penetration, even spread, and better adhesion.
Please feel free to call, email, or text us if you have any questions about our procedures, or any of our do-it-yourself articles. We are not just a business, we are here to help.
never before painted surfaces – Because this home was previously stained, applying primer to the entire exterior is the only durable option.
PaintingPreparation is key to a durable, professional paint-job that can withstand our damp Northwest climate. Elegant Painting uses the following professional Preparation techniques to prepare exterior surfaces for painting. This process removes any loose or chipping paint and mildew, leaving the substrate ready for primer & paint.
Washing is the first step in any painting job. After moving items, such as patio furniture, planters, garbage cans, etc. a safe distance away, we wash they house by first soaking each wall, then we apply a mixture of TSP and bio degradable house bleach to any visible mildew and water-stains. The solution is then allowed sixty seconds to activate and washed using Honda power washers. The tip of the wand is kept a safe distance away from siding to prevent damage. Windows and doors are rinsed from an even further distance to prevent water entering the house. After the wash, we rinse all exterior surfaces to remove any debris before they dry.
One of our painters uses a disk sander to remove lose paint from a verge board in Sammamish, WA
Sanding & Scraping
After allowing sufficient drying time, our painters remove any peeling or chipping paint. We start by using Makita disk sanders to remove not only paint that is currently peeling, but also anything that we feel might peel anytime in the future. The Makita disk sanders remove loose paint as well as any early stages of dry-rot that might be developing underneath, leaving the substrate ready for primer.
Masking and cover-up
Elegant Painting gurantees, in writing, that our painters will complete a thorough masking and cover-up job and will not slop paint on any surfaces; windows, plants, walkways, driveways, patio furniture, deck, etc.
Primer before caulk
AFter all the sanding dust has been removed, KILZ oil based primer is applied using brush and rollers. We used brush and rollers to ensure proper penetration into the substrate.
Caulking is done after the primer has dried. Much like paint, Caulking materials adhere best to primer. We caulk all gaps, cracks, nail-holes, and joints.
Deck Staining – While painting the entire outside of a house might be impossible for most home-owners, staining a deck is a project that can be done in one weekend, and save you a good amount of cash. First time home-buyers are often unaware of the costs associated with maintaining a cedar deck. The majority of the cost is in labor, so by doing it yourself you save roughly 80%!
This article will explain in step-by-step detail, procedures we use to produce a professionally refinished decks that can battle our damp Northwest climate. We will also point out three areas where things can go wrong so you can be prepared.
What you need:
Pressure washer.A reliable machine can be rented from the local hardware store for about$60.00 per day.
BEHR Premium 2-In-1 Deck Cleaner. Available from the hardware store. $20.00. This is the only BEHR product we use for this, or any other project.
Empty 5Gallon bucket, carwash brush, or a garden sprayer. This is used to apply the deck cleaner. There are no specific methods here. The idea is to get the material on all surfaces, however you can.
Makita GV5010 5-Inch Disc Sanderavailable at the local Home Depot for $89.99. This is the only power sander that will work for this project. What will NOT work for this project: Belt-sanders, palm-sanders, and hardwood floor sanders.
Sanding disks for your Makita sander. How many you need will depend on the size of your deck. Each disk will provide roughly 20 minutes of sanding. The average 400sqft deck will use up about 10 disks at $3 each.
TWP Fence and Deck StainAvailable from the local Dunn Lumber store. $40 per gallon. The average 400sqft deck will use up about 3 gallons of stain. This stain comes in a few different colors, but most of our clients prefer TWP 101 Natural Cedar Tone.
Stain brush. We recommend purchasing the largest meanest brush you can find. Keep in mind stain brushes are not designed to produce straight lines. $15.00
Clean-up rags. You can use any old clothing or towels.