Back-rolling paint into the texture where moisture would otherwise penetrate

The clear difference

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Our standard process



back brushing cedar siding


cedar shake refinish with solid stain

Aside from the cosmetic difference, back-brushing increases durability by 4-5 additional years.

Why is back-brushing rough surfaces necessary?

Spray machines lay the paint on top of the surface.  This is great as long as the surface is smooth – ie: hardie boards or cedar siding previously back-rolled.  ON rougher surfaces, the sprayer cannot force the paint into the grain, allowing the coat to dry and trap millions of microscopic air pockets underneath.  As paint ages,  the resin oils that bond the pigments together begin to weaken.  On a hot sunny day, the trapped air expands and causes the premature failure of the entire paint job in the form of bubbles, cracks, peeling, and chipping.

Back-rolling increases adhesion by forcing the paint into the grain, pushing out all the air that would otherwise be trapped in the texture.  This method adds an additional 4-5 years to the life of our already durable paint job.

With High-nap rollers and the proper amount of pressure, we are able to push all trapped air out of the grain, forcing the material to fill the texture and bond with the siding.


Can you achieve the same results with spray alone?

On smooth surfaces, yes.  Rough cut cedar or any type of material wiht rough open pores require back-rolling for proper adhesion.


Using a super high-nap roller (a roller with very long hair) we are able to reach all corners and edges, including the underside of each board and even in between tongue-and-groove siding.

Does ELEGANT PAINTING® crew use a sprayer at all?

Yes.  We use spray machines to deliver the paint from the bucket to the siding, while a roller spreads the material and works it into the substrate.  The sprayer is simply there to prevent the roller from having to be dipped in the bucket.  We also use premium fine finish sprayers on front doors and interior trim.




Video transcript:

ELEGANT PAINTING is one of the very few painting companies in the Puget sound area to back-roll the entire siding.

While other companies use sprayers to get the job done quicker, Back-rolling (or back-brushing) the siding is the most efficient application method recommended by all exterior paint manufacturers.

Spray machines lay the paint on top of the surface, allowing the coat to dry and trap millions of microscopic air pockets underneath.  As paint ages,  the resin oils that bond the pigments together begin to weaken.  When exposed to high temperatures, the trapped air expands and causes the premature failure of the entire paint job in the form of bubbles, cracks, peeling, and chipping.

Back-rolling increases adhesion by forcing the paint into the grain and pushing out the air that would otherwise be trapped in the texture.  This method adds an additional 4-5 years to the life of our already durable paint job.

While some painting companies claim to achieve the same cosmetic effect with a sprayer, back-rolled coats will always have superior durability.  Paint that has been rubbed on the surface will always have better adhesion compared to the material that has simply been blown at the surface with a spray machine.

We use spray machines to deliver the paint from the bucket to the siding, while a roller spreads the material and works it into the grain.  The sprayer is simply there to prevent the roller from having to be dipped in the bucket every few seconds. We also use premium fine finish sprayers on front doors and interior trim.


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Woodinville painting company – Brookside Country Club Fence Refinishing

painting houses in woodinville, WA

Project Report by Elegant Painting

Purpose of this report: State progress, report completed sections, report next steps.

Power washing starting date: May 30, 2013

Power washing completion date: May 31, 2013

Remaining power washing: To be completed on our second trip.

Staining; estimated starting date: Tuesday July 30, 2013

Staining; estimated completion date: Wednesday July 31, 2013

NOTE: Starting and completion dates are weather dependent. Once your project begins, our crew will work consecutive business days. Normal business hours: 8AM-4PM Mon-Fri, and 7AM-3PM Mon-Fri on high temperature days. We may work weekends to make up any missed week days due to rain.

Covered Area

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Stain: Woolman F&P 14396 Natural
Application: Stain will be sprayed 2 coats, wet-on-wet, and back brushed to make sure there are no stain runs.

f & p natural oil stain


Pressure Washing

The entire fence was power washed to remove any mold, mildew, spider webs, etc. Special Attention was paid to the top board.

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Cleaning the top board

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A handy pressure washer gun attachments that lowers labor costs by pointing the pressure where it is needed, without the use of ladders.

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We stained 2 section of the fence following exact methods that will be used on the entire project. See the samples on the corner of NE 155th ST and 188th AVE NE.

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Small issue

We found that this fence was previously stained with 2 different colors! This photo shows where the 2 colors meet. Our stain will improve this flaw, but we do not expect it to disappear completely.

fence stain woodinville, WA

4 sections by 188th entrance have been previously finished with noticeably different stain.



Using airless sprayers, we soak all surfaces, and back-brush to pick up runs. Our back brushing guy back-tracks every 30 minutes and inspects his work a second time and pick up any additional runs. Our goal is to apply liberal amounts of stain, yet ensure zero stain runs.


stain mobile

Our self-powered, super handy stain mobile; carries a generator, an airless sprayer, and 10 gallons of stain.

stain mobile 2

stain brush

We back-brush everything that is sprayed to ensure proper adhesion and even spread of material.

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Staining Completed!

Although staining is completed, we will be inspecting the entire fence every day until it is dry, before calling it done.





Thank you for choosing ELEGANT PAINTING

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Sammamish WA Exterior painting – Columbia Neighborhood – Sammamish, WA

Starting Date: July 15th, 2013

Completion Date: July 19th, 2013


Our most recent project in the beautiful Columbia neighborhood of Sammamish, WA.  We are thrilled to have 10 or more clients in this neighborhood.

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brown colors for outside




We masked windows, concrete patios, power outlets, front rocks, etc.  We also caulked all imperfections on the wood trim, and all butt-joints on the fiver cement siding boards.

fence stain TWP

Protecting the neighbor’s plants, while spraying the fence.

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parrot photo gallery elegant painting

Paint Application

As always, we Apply two coats and back-roll both coats to ensure the material is being rubbed into the surface, as supposed to a quick one day spray job.

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Finished Product

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Thank you for choosing ELEGANT PAINTING

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Power Washing and Color Selection

Power washing a house is all about using the right materials and equipment.  We soaked any visible mildew with our exterior bleach and TSP solution, allowed 5-10 minutes for the cleaner to activate, and power washed to remove fairly large amounts of mildew and other green growth from the siding, eaves, gutters, and back side of gutters.

eastside power washing house

Some Gutter damage

We will attempt to fix these issues that seem to have been developing for some years.  These front gutters have been filled with water and are handing down with the weight of the water.  We will attempt to push them back in place before painting.  In the back of the house, above the sliding glass door, we have rusted gutters that are leaking.  We have a spray product that can seal these holes from the inside and provide a 1-2 year seal. Looks like the little pines or needles from the nearby evergreen trees are filling up these gutters, blocking water from draining down the downspout, causing sitting water in the gutter, and the weight of this water is causing the gutters to come loose.

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Possible Color Choices

blue exterior colors



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Day 1 – Preparation

Friday July 26 – Estimated completion date: Monday July 29th. We started by masking windows to prevent any over spray, caulking any gaps, cracks, nail-holes, etc.  We also removed some loose paint from the south side but there is still some scraping/priming to do on Monday.  We were also able to apply both coats on about 70% of the house, and get started on the trim.

first coat of paint

White Lightning caulking material was applied to all corner joints, and sides of windows, doors, etc.

protecting the roof from over spray

Proper masking allows us to work fast without having to worry about making a mess!


As always, both coats are back-rolled to force the paint into the grain, and to make sure the paint is evenly spread.

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Progress Photos

buxton blue exterior siding blue esterior color second coat of paint


 Final Product

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Thank you for choosing Elegant Painting

Phone: (425) 242-4646

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Exterior Painting – Seattle

Complete Exterior Painting – Seattle, WA


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Step 1 – Power Washing

Pressure washing was completed on Tuesday May 28th.  We removed some mildew from siding and gutters, spider webs, bee’s nests, etc. As with all our cedar siding projects, we allow plenty of drying time.


Step 2 – Preparation and painting

July 1st, 2013

We started with masking windows and covering up plants, walkways, front porch, rear deck, etc.


What we’ve done so far:

Apply 2 coats on siding, two coats on spindles front and back.  1st coat on Garage retainer walls, 1st coat on about 30% of the trim and windows.

Application started with spraying, and back-brushing 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Solid Oil based stain on cedar shakes.  Why not use paint on the shakes?  If paint ever fails (chips) on shakes, then they would need to be replaced.  Paint is never recommended for exterior cedar shakes.  The correct product for shakes is solid stain, which looks like paint but it does not chip or peel.  Next time, the shakes simply need to be washed, and re-stained.

back brushing shingles


 Getting into tight spots

We had to get a little creative to get behind all the plants to paint every square inch of the siding.

painting concrete wall

A fully protected plant was gently peeled away from the house and covered up. Once paint is dry, it will simply be pushed back into place.

cover up plants for painting

An extension pole was used to push a covered plant away from the surface while the paint dries.



We spray and back-roll or back-brush to add 3-5 years to an already durable Benjamin Moore paint job.  Manufacturer recommends “knocking out” the sheen seen in this photo to improve durability.

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 Second coat

As always, we apply two coats, and back-roll both coats to increase adhesion, and produce an even layer.

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Major exterior makeover – Redmond – Fallcity

An Elegant Makeover in the Northwest

Sample progress report from an actual project in Redmond/Fall City WA

This Classic Northwest home is being prepared to go through a major Elegant Makeover.  This house belongs to one of our all time favorite clients who we have known for many years. We painted the interior about 6 years ago and refinished the decks in 2009. Now it is time for the exterior to go through what we like to call…..An Elegant Exterior Makeover!
gray exterior colors


Power washing

Power washing was completed on June 3, 2013.  We were able to remove a large number of bee’s nests and massive spider webs.  We also removed any of the previous stain that was in poor shape.  Luckily we were able to accomplish this task without any water going inside the house through any of the doors or windows.

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Next step of this project begins on June 13th, 2013.  Plan is to Mask off all windows, roof, decks, patios, and driveway, and prime all exterior surfaces, including eaves, porch ceilings, dormers, and trim.  for this paint job, we will be using an oil based exterior grade primer to seal, protect, bond, and produce a workable surface.

Once the primer is dried, we will have some fun installing window trim on all windows.  We will be using 1×4 pre-primed spruce, attached with 3.5 inch 16 gauge finish nails.  Then the nail holes will be filled with “HM Ready Exterior” and edges caulked with our Benjamin Moore Morelastic adhesive.  At that time, we will go through every square inch of each wall, and fill any cracks, gaps, joints, etc.

exterior color


Possible color choices

Looks like we will be going with some shade of grey.  Like all our exterior projects, we applied several popular Benjamin Moore samples for our home-owner to live with for a few days, and view in different lighting, and different times of the day.


Day 1;  Preparation

By the end of our first day, we managed to mask all windows, mask roof, front porch, and deck, and apply a coat of oil based primer to about 70% of the house.

residential painting

Priming complete! Since this beautiful house has never been painted before, we applied one solid coat of oil based primer on every square inch of the siding and eaves.


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As always, we did a thorough job of cover-up.  So far, zero primer on any plants. We take covering-up very seriously. A flawless and durable paint-job looses all of it’s value if there are drops of paint on plant, decks, or patios.

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We used a roof pad to place a ladder on top of the hot tub, this is a piece of plywood with a 4″ sponge glued on the bottom to spread the weight and protect the surface.


Day 2;  Rain….and window trim.

By the end of day #2, we managed to install trim on about 70% of the windows, and unmask front windows.  The rain finally stopped by the end of the day, allowing us to finish priming the siding 🙂

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Once primer was dry, we went through every square inch of the siding and caulked any imperfections.  Caulking must be done after primer.  Similar to paint, caulking materials adhere better to primer than they do to the previous finish.  These imperfections include cracks, nail holes, dents, bumps, bruises, or anything else that might allow the wood surface to hold moisture.  Butt-joints are not caulked to allow the siding to move freely in changing temperatures.  The only time we caulk butt-joints is when it has been done previously and we have no choice but to repeat the mistake.

caulking siding


Day 3; More rain….

Window trim Installation is complete and colors have been selected.  100% chance of rain tomorrow….We cleaned up well knowing we will be rained out tomorrow and are now hoping to complete most of the painting on Friday and Saturday.


Day 4; Painting

We finally had some nice weather and made some great progress.  We now expect to finish this project on Monday June 24th.  Plan for Saturday:  finish the house.  Plan for Monday: Finish doors and deck.

Back Rolling

This photo shows how effective back-rolling is.  The effect is not just cosmetic.  While the sprayer lays the paint on top of the grain, the roller forces it into the grain, making it one with the surface, Making it difficult for the siding to release the paint as time goes on.  We believe this method adds 3-5 years to the already durable Benjamin Moore paint job.  Corners, where the roller may not reach, are back brushed to make sure all surfaces receive the same treatment.

house colors for exteriors

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Second Coat

As always, we apply 2 coats, whether it is needed or not.  Both coats are back-rolled to ensure an even spread.

sammamish house paint interior


gray house 2


painting window trim

installing window trim

elegant painting exterior


Thank you for choosing Elegant Painting


11717 NE 144th pL

Kirkland, WA 98034

Phone: (425) 242-4646


Gray exterior paint colors

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.

Related:  Exterior paint colors that go well with red brick

List of exterior grays and houses painted by Elegant Painting® 

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Light Gray exterior paint colors

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.

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You may also be interested in our Exterior Photo Gallery

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See photos of houses we’ve painted in these classic favorite gray colors:


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Cost of painting fiber cement siding

Elegant Painting offers exceptionally low bids on homes with fiber cement Siding

cement board siding maintenance paint type


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.

painting hardy board


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.


caulking cement boards

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?  

back rolling hardie boards



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.


cost of painting cement siding



By Elegant Painting Kirkland WA

Cost of painting fiber cement siding

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Elegant Painting

11717 NE 144TH PL

Phone: (425) 242-4646

Monday-Friday 4-8pm

How to change motor oil on a Dewalt Pressure washer

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NEW:  Review of our new STIHL Pressure washer BR800

Each of our pressure washing outfits consists of two machines.  A 13 horsepower Dewalt with a Honda motor, and a small 6.5 horsepower machine as a backup.  We avoid losing time due to equipment malfunction by always having two machines on the job site.  The larger machine has a drain plug while the 6.5 Honda requires us to get creative in order to remove the oil. Let’s talk about how to change motor oil on a Dewalt pressure washer.  Buy this washer on amazon


How often should you change the oil in a pressure washer?

We change ours every 6-8 houses.  Each house takes an average of 5-6 hours, so the oil in our machines is changed after every 30-40 hours of use.  The machines in the photos are 6 and 10 years old and they have both worked flawlessly the entire time, with minimum maintenance.


What type of oil to use in pressure washers?

We use automotive 10W-30, and as I mentioned we have had great results for several years.


What you need:
Wrench to undo the drain
Container to hold the used motor oil
Motor oil 10W-30 (automotive engine oil)
PVC pipe for the machine with no drain
Cleanup rags

The perfect pressure washer is available to buy online – free shipping