Monthly Archives: December 2013

Drying Time vs. Curing Time: The Difference Matters

Bedroom Ceiling Gloucester
Is it dry? Yes. But is it fully cured?

Latex paint has two things going for it over oil paint. One, it’s easy to clean up. And two, it dries extremely fast. With proper ventilation, latex paint can dry within minutes of its application – and that’s good and bad. Good because projects move fast. Bad because it gives homeowners a false sense of security. You see, even after latex paint has dried it’s still vulnerable to rigorous wear until it has fully cured. What’s the difference?

Drying: A thin coat of latex paint is dry to the touch after just a few minutes, which means the solvent (or carrier) has evaporated from the coating to form a film that can’t be wiped away with gentle pressure. But if you press a fingernail into the painted surface, a dent may be left behind, and washing, wiping, or exposure to water may damage the paint.

Curing: When you can wipe or wash the paint surface without damage and the paint stands up to minor scratches and bumps, it has fully cured. Curing can take weeks because it is chemical process during which pigments and binders fuse together into a continuous resilient film. Some paints take longer to cure than others.

The difference between drying and curing may not matter much in a bedroom where paint will see minimal wear, but in a kitchen or bathroom it pays to be careful for the first month after a new paint job is complete.

This story originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Prime Time by Jerry Enos Painting company in Massachusettsto subscribe, contact us!

Why Install Epoxy Flooring in a Home Garage

Most people assume that epoxy garage floor coating is just for auto shops and factories, but more homeowners are looking into it. What a lot of folks don’t know is that standard concrete garage flooring will eventually crack and chip the same way a driveway does – it just takes a little longer because garage floors have less exposure to the elements. Installing epoxy flooring extends the life of a garage floor hugely, but that’s not the only reason it’s showing up in more and more homes. Here are just a few others:

  • Epoxy keeps the garage much cleaner than it would otherwise be because it’s easy to sweep, vacuum, and even mop. It won’t stain because it won’t absorb oil or chemicals.
  • Applying epoxy is a relatively inexpensive home improvement – certainly less expensive than tearing out and replacing the existing concrete floor.
  • Garage floor epoxy is reflective, which means that the garage is brighter, safer, and more inviting. Installing epoxy can actually brighten a garage by up to 300%.
  • You can turn a garage into a much more useful space for the whole family with epoxy. It becomes a cleaner storage area, a hangout or play space in the warmer months, or a project room.
  • Non-slip epoxy garage floors reduce the chance that accidents will happen while working on household projects, car maintenance, or chores.

All in all, having an epoxy coating applied to your garage floor can take a space that’s often dark, grimy, and uninviting into a space that’s well-integrated into the rest of your home and a great place to work and play.

This story originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Prime Time by Jerry Enos Painting company in New England – to subscribe, contact us!

 

Don’t Let Icy Water Damage Ruin Your Winter

The icy fingers of New England’s winter are squeezing ever tighter, which means if you haven’t winterized yet you’d better get cracking. One of the main offenders when it comes to wintertime exterior damage is ice.

You may remember from science class that water expands and contracts as it freezes and thaws – imagine all that expansion and contraction happening in your home’s masonry, in the tiny gaps between windows and walls, and in the siding. Here are some ways you can protect your home’s exterior (and interior) until that last thaw:

Prevent ice dams, aka walls of ice that form at the roof line when interior heat melts snow and ice and the water refreezes at the gutter line forcing runoff inside. Cleaning gutters and/or installing gutter guards will help, as will keeping the attic from getting too toasty.

ice dam

Extend drain spouts, making sure water is being drained at least five feet away from your home’s foundation.

Check that caulk – especially if windows and doors are flush with the façade and there are no overhangs to keep rain and melting water at bay. Make sure there are no gaps in your caulk and that no one has caulked over the “weep holes” that ensure water isn’t trapped in window frames.

Check your interior. Water damage inside could be coming from outside if melted ice and snow are finding their way under siding or shingles.

Follow the water. Ideally, melting snow and ice should be channeled away from the house through the gutters and then via the downspouts away from your house. If this path is interrupted anywhere, water can seep into and then widen the tiniest openings, causing damage when it refreezes.

Not sure where to start? The first step is as easy as walking around your exterior to look for spots where water could accumulate!

This story originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Prime Time by Jerry Enos Painting company in New England – to subscribe, contact us!

Choosing the Right Paint Sheen for Every Wall

If you’ve ever walked through the interior and exterior paint aisle at your local New England hardware store then you know there’s a dizzying array of options from which to choose. Flat… matte… eggshell… velvet… satin… it’s hard enough choosing paint colors! Now you have to choose, well, what exactly?

Those terms – and others like semi-gloss and high-gloss refer to what’s known as sheen. Sheen is defined as the degree of shine in interior and exterior paints, and it can definitely be tricky to pick the right sheen of paint for your walls.

The common paint sheens, in order of lowest shine to highest, are:

  • Flat
  • Matte
  • Low-sheen
  • Velvet
  • Eggshell
  • Satin
  • Semi-gloss
  • Gloss
  • High-gloss

When it comes to choosing the right paint sheen, the rule of thumb is: the higher the shine, the higher the durability. Shinier paints are stain resistant and can be wiped, washed, and even scrubbed with no ill effects. That’s because they create a harder barrier – especially high-gloss paint, which is the hardest and most durable of all the paint sheens.

But of course, durability isn’t the only thing people look for when choosing paint. Flatter sheens minimize imperfections because they don’t reflect as much light, so imperfect walls appear smoother and more beautiful. However, flat, matte, and low-sheen paints are much harder to clean and more likely to stain so probably best for households without small children or pets.

Here’s where to use some of the paint sheens you’ll see on hardware store shelves:

In kitchens, baths, and high-moisture/high-traffic areas, more sheen is better. Flat paints can take on water stains and are almost impossible to clean to like-new condition if exposed to oil or food spills. Semi-gloss is a good option for walls that will encounter sticky finger and trim subject to above-average levels of abuse.

Painting kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets calls for high-gloss paint. This hard-wearing sheen of paint is best for any surface that is going to endure a lot of touching or dirt and is also good for window trim. Keep in mind, though, that it will show every imperfection so don’t skimp on the prep work.

choosing paint sheen

Use satin where you want a flatter look without sacrificing durability. Satin combines the look of flatter paints with much of the durability of higher sheen paints, making it good for kids’ rooms, foyers, hallways, dining rooms, and family rooms. Be aware that satin paint will not hide application flaws and that makes it hard to touch up when scratches happen.

Use eggshell in the living room – especially if your walls aren’t perfect. Eggshell looks gorgeous and comforting on living room and grownup bedroom walls, and it’s a great choice on walls that have problems you can’t repair easily. That doesn’t mean you can avoid the usual prep, though.

Once you have a handle on paint sheen, picking the right one for your project should be no problem. The one place you could run into trouble is if you’re switching brands mid-project. One company’s idea of eggshell might be another’s velvet or vice versa. Most hardware stores will have a sheen chart available that can help you make sure that the paint you want comes in the sheen you need.

At Jerry Enos Painting, we know the right products for the job. Every Massachusetts exterior painting and interior painting project is different, and unlike other MA painting companies, we will always treat your house, building, or surface as one-of-a-kind. Call us for a free estimate at 978-546-6843.