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 here is our wonderful Benjamin Moore MorGlo LowGloss. 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.
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.
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.