Category Archives: Painting Challenges

To Tape or Not to Tape – a Painter’s Question

Whether to use painter’s tape or complete the edges freehand through “cutting-in” is a question we are often asked as professional painters. While there are no hard and fast rules about using tape products, there are some pros and cons to this process of interior painting.

We often blog about the importance of preparing a room for painting by cleaning the walls and ceiling, removing furniture, and repairing cracks or nail holes. For homeowners who like to tackle painting projects on their own, applying tape to edges is often part of that prep. But is it really a necessary step? Today, we are going to look at the process of taping so you can decide for yourself if you want to do this for your next weekend project.

The Case for Painters Tape

Painter’s tape has become the product of choice for most do-it-yourselfers because of its predictability and low-stick qualities. It provides a straight line for precision and allows for a protective border in case spillover occurs. People who use painters tape boast that it ensures that you do a neat and tidy job, with clean lines and no messy edges.

Some homeowners who use painter’s tape believe that it can save time since you won’t need to be so careful around the edges. They also believe that painter’s tape makes for clean lines that have a very professional look. It can be used to protect your baseboards, built-in cabinets, and ceilings from the inevitable drips or uneven painting that can happen when painting by hand.

Painter’s tape comes in many different sizes, widths, and types for all sorts of walls, ceilings, and edges. In fact, go to any home improvement store and you will see a Valhalla of painter’s tape taking up almost an entire aisle.

The Case for “Cutting In”

Cutting in is the process of painting edges or straight lines with a quality angled brush without tape. It is all done freehand. This is the method that most professional painters use. The case can be made that using painter’s tape is extremely time consuming and can be a colossal waste of time. Painting freehand removes an additional step from the painting process both at the beginning of the project when the tape would be applied and again at the end of the project when the product would be carefully peeled off.

Professional painters are also quick to note that using painter’s tape is not guaranteed to make a project look professional. Even the highest quality tapes have been known to bleed through, allowing paint to get into areas where you really don’t want it and where touch-ups will be needed after the job is complete. Painter’s tape can also peel and rip during the removal process making an utter mess to your carefully painted wall.

Lastly, professional painters know that painter’s tape does not always work in certain painting situations. For example, it is really difficult to use this product on bumpy or uneven surfaces. This many times defeats the purpose of the straight line of the product. In addition, while the tape is straight, the person applying it must do so in a calculated fashion in order to line things up correctly. You really don’t want an angled line where there should be a straight one!

Generally, the argument about this type of product comes down to personal preference. Now you have a better idea of what the pros and cons are to using this product vs. cutting in freehand. If you need help with your paint projects, please call Jerry Enos Painting.

Importance of Painting Prep 

What’s the most arduous part of any painting project? Hands down, it is the prep work before you get to the fun of seeing the end results and your new color. Unfortunately, skipping the prep work can mean a sub-par application, adhesion, and integrity of the paint. Let’s take a closer look at why prep work is important and what can happen if you skip this important step. 

Why Prep the Surfaces? 

Surface prep is cleaning your surface areas, whether it is the walls, ceiling, or whatever you are painting. Cleaning the surface means that you will be removing years of built-up dirt, grease, and potentially, mildew with a sponge and gentle cleanser. Without doing this important step in the process, you will potentially be painting over the dirt and grime. Paint adheres best to surfaces that are clean. Imagine a few months from now when the paint begins to bubble, crack, or peel because it mixed with the grime on the walls. You really want to avoid that scenario.

Prepping the surfaces also means filling in holes and repairing any damage that may exist. Cracks and holes need to be filled and then the entire surface sanded to form an even and smooth surface. Paint will adhere the best to those smooth surfaces. It would be a shame to have a newly painted wall and notice the old art and picture frame nail holes! 

Why Cover the Floor and Furnishings? 

Covering any furniture that can not be removed from the room will ensure that any drips or mistakes don’t end up ruining your furniture for future use. Covering the floors ensures that your carpets or wood floors don’t have paint stains after your paint project is completed. 

Why Calk the Seams? 

If you are painting near windows, trim, or edging, you may be tempted to just “cut in” and hope for the best. We recommend caulking areas again with fresh caulk that will give the paint a fresh look. After time and hot temperatures, caulk tends to crack and sometimes chip off. Removing the aged caulk and adding fresh layer will look professional. 

Why Repair Ceiling Stains? 

The temptation is there to paint over a ceiling stain, but we say “Don’t do it!” Stains on ceilings have come from somewhere and will probably reoccur if you don’t investigate where the water that caused the stain is coming from in the first place. Investigate to see if your roof is leaking, or if the stain is coming from a leaky bathroom or water pipes. Once the source has been discovered and repaired, a special primer for stains can be used to cover the stain and move forward with the new color. 

Do you need help with the laborious job of preparing a room for painting? Our team at Jerry Enos can help you. Call Jerry Enos Painting today at 978-546-6843, or visit our website

 

Painting Tips for Kid-Proofing Your Walls

If you have children, or even grandchildren, then you know just how messy life can be. Toys strewn around, snacks left uneaten, and all sorts of art projects are an everyday occurrence. It is pretty much an accepted part of having little ones in your life. But are there ways to kid-proof your walls and painted surfaces so that fingerprints, smudges, and smears are easy to clean or refresh? Let’s take a look at some painting tips for kid-proofing the walls in your home.

Choose Colors Wisely

Let’s face it, kids leave their marks on walls, furniture, and around light switches constantly. To combat the messes, choose a color palette that can hide the marks of crayons, fingerprints, and art supplies well. High traffic areas get especially dirty quickly, so choose a shade or two darker that can conceal the mess. Picking a bright white may be asking for trouble.

Choose a Good Sheen

When a mess occurs, you will want to be able to clean off the markings, smudges, or streaks easily and quickly. Choose a high-quality, washable, low-VOC paint in a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. The higher the gloss, the easier it will be to wipe down and clean up.

Plan Ahead

The longer a stain, crayon streak, or paint mess stays on a surface, the harder it will be to completely erase it. Plan ahead and have wipes ready to make quick work of messes when they occur. Some homeowners find it easier to keep alcohol-free wipes in main living areas to use as clean-up-patrol. All you really need is warm water and soap to remove most marks.

Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

If the children in your home tend to draw on the walls or add their creative flair to the walls when they shouldn’t, maybe you should give them a space where this is allowed. There are some amazing paints on the market that allow children to write on them in chalk or erasable marker where the artistic side can be explored in a specific area of your home. Some homeowners create an art corner with a chalkboard wall to allow children to express their creative side, while still having an easy clean up after the fun is done.

Do you need more ideas for choosing the right color, sheen, or kid-proofing for your painted surfaces? Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to speak to our color consultants.

 

Exterior Painting Mistakes to Avoid

Everyone makes mistakes now and then, but to really make a huge mess, paint must be involved! Every summer, we get calls from harried homeowners who valiantly attempted to DIY by painting the exterior of their home. Usually, those calls are to fix mistakes or redo sections that did not come out aesthetically pleasing as hoped. Sometimes, the mistakes take a little repair and rehab. If you think that DIY is the way to go for your home’s exterior paint job, then avoid these common exterior painting mistakes.

 

  • Enlisting the Help of Novices – While it may seem like a fun activity to invite friends, family, and children to help paint the house, we do not suggest it! Sure, it would be great to have an extra set of hands or two but avoid asking for help from someone who has no investment in your home, and certainly someone who has never prepped and painted before.
  • Skipping the Cleaning and Prepping Step – Many homeowners find that, after they painted, the paint seems to be coming off quickly or not covering well. It is possible, if you did not clean and prep the wood, that the paint is having a hard time adhering to the dirty surface. Always clean the surface and scrape the wood to be sure all peeling, bubbles, and cracks are dealt with before you even pick up a paint brush. This includes caulking windows, sanding and filling holes, and repairing any wood that is damaged.
  • Using the Ladder Properly – For your safety, always place and use a ladder properly. This includes having pets and children away from the area in case they bump into the ladder, and always have an assistant at the bottom holding the ladder by the base. Another safety guideline is to not reach when painting, as that can easily lead to tipping and falling.
  • Forgetting to Check the Weather – Many homeowners jump at the chance to paint on a weekend, but be sure to check the weather for the next coming days as well. Avoid painting when rain or high humidity is in the forecast for the next 72 hours or longer. It may mean waiting, but it can save you the hassle of having to repaint an area.

 

Are you looking to avoid all the typical mistakes that can come with painting the exterior of your home? Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to find out more about our attention to detail, cleaning, prepping, and professional painting when it comes to your most valuable asset – your home.

 

Spring Touch up Tips

As the calendar gets closer and closer to spring, many homeowners get into spring cleaning mode. For some this means cleaning out closets, while for others it means a full basement overhaul. While for still others it means touching up paint chips, scrapes, bubbles, and spots!  If you are like me, and are one of these people who notices these little flaws around your house, then spring is a great time to do some much needed touch ups.

Spring allows for warmer weather, which means that paint can adhere and cure better and windows can be left open so that any residual smell can be erased by a good spring breeze. No matter if you are touching up in hallways, bedrooms, main living areas, or all of the trim throughout the house, here are a few spring cleaning touch up tips.

 

  • Clean any area that you plan to touch up. It is no fun painting only to find a spider web or dirt and grime that has built up on the surface that you want to paint. Wipe down the area with a wet towel that is free of lint.
  • Confirm that you have the right paint colors. Hopefully you have extra paint in your garage or basement that is properly labelled. Make sure to mix it well and test the color first! Discard old paint and try to get a color match.
  • Make any necessary repairs that are needed to the surfaces you will be painting. Fill nail holes, smooth out surfaces, and sand raised portions of the walls. Do not paint over blemishes hoping the paint will hide a crack, bubble or peeling paint. This will just lead to a lack of adhesion and paint problems down the line.
  • Don’t forget to prime the area that you will be touching up. Primer is used to gain optimal paint adhesion and color blending.
  • After painting and allowing for proper drying time, check the wall to see if the touch up looks natural.

 

Do you need help with spring touch ups? Call Jerry Enos at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to find out more.

 

DIY Painting – Top 5 Things That Go Wrong

Need to update or refresh a room in your home? Considering paint as an option? Are you thinking about “Doing-it-Yourself?” You may want to reconsider doing the “Weekend Warrior” thing as mistakes are fairly common and costly when in comes to painting interior rooms. According to the paint experts at Benjamin Moore and our paint professionals here at Jerry Enos Painting, these are the top 5 things that could go wrong if you DIY.

 

  1. Improper Prep – Many homeowners and novice painters tend to want to jump right into painting without the proper prep of the room and surfaces. Without the needed cleaning, scraping, and filling of holes or sanding of uneven surfaces, paint could bubble, chip, or peel, leaving a room that is unsightly. Improper prep can also lead to accidents on floors, carpets, or furniture that has not been moved or covered. See our blog from last week on the Importance of Prep for Painting.
  2. Skipping Primer – Some inexperienced painters may have the misconception that primer is an unneeded step in the process. Primer covers flaws in the surface and gives you a smooth, long-lasting finish.
  3. Using the Wrong Sheen – High traffic areas need paint that is durable and easy-to-clean. Using a flat paint in these areas could mean that wiping the surfaces could fade the color or wipe it away completely. Use a semi-gloss or higher sheen on these areas.
  4. Using Sloppy Techniques – There are a million ways to paint sloppily. Some newbies dip the paint brush too deep, use the wrong level of nap on rollers, apply the painters tape inappropriately, or even use unsafe scaffolding on stairwells and high-ceiling areas. Professionals know how to paint each difficult area and apply the right amount the first time.
  5. Lack of Clean Up – Sure, after painting all day it would be easy to pack up shop without cleaning the brushes, covering the paint cans or checking for drips before they dry. Professionals have a tried-and-true method after painting that protects the paint, equipment, and the room that is being painted.

 

If you decide that doing it on your own is not going to happen, call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to find out more.

 

Painting Woes – Peeling, Cracking and Bubbling

Paint can be an amazingly cost-effective way to totally refresh the look of the interior or exterior of your home. For homeowners who choose to paint their interior rooms, a mere change in color, an addition of texture, or painting an accent wall can entirely transform the mood of a room. Exterior painting can also have major benefits such as greatly increasing the home’s curb appeal or resale value. Unfortunately, unless the painting is done properly there can be underlying problems that will surface days, weeks, or even months down the road. These problems are painting woes known as peeling, cracking, and bubbling paint. Why does this happen and how can you prevent it from happening in your home? Let’s take a closer look.

 

  • Surface Prep – Most problems of peeling, cracking, and bubbling start with improper preparation of the surfaces that will be painted. For example, interior walls and exterior surfaces should be cleaned and dried before the first coat of primer is applied. In some cases walls and surfaces should be sanded so the paint has a better shot at sticking properly. In addition, some homeowners do not know whether the original paint was latex or oil based paint. If oil based paint is put on top of latex paint, there will most definitely be bubbling or peeling.
  • Quality of Paint – The old saying that, “You get what pay for,” is true for the quality of paint you choose to apply. Investing in quality paint could save you from dealing with hairline cracks, peeling paint, or finding a bubble or two.
  • Environmental Conditions – Painting while it is too hot (above 90 degrees) or too cold (below 50 degrees) or when the dew point and humidity are high are considered unfavorable painting conditions. Paint that doesn’t have the right environmental conditions does not adhere well nor dry correctly, and then will bubble or peel later.
  • Application – When painting any surface it is important not to apply the paint too thickly or too thinly. Thick paint can dry and later crack. Thin paint may peel or bubble. In addition to the amount of paint, it is important to use the correct tools to scrape, sand, and repair surfaces before painting.

 

Does all of this sound a little overwhelming? Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843 or visit our website, Jerry Enos Painting, to find out more.

Biggest Painting Blunders

Painting is one of the fastest ways to transform a room and the process looks pretty straightforward. But you know what they say, “To err is human” right? Well put a paint brush and a roller in the hands of someone who is not experienced and you will definitely have some hilarious and sometimes costly blunders. Many a “Weekend Warrior” has spent precious hours redoing or fixing painting mistakes that can be costly and time consuming. Here are some of the most common painting blunders.

 

  • Unprotected Surroundings – Painting a room means that it should be pretty much empty and coverings should be laid down to protect the floors. Many a paint can has been tipped or paint trays have been stepped in by painters who forgot where it was or just got sloppy. Always protect the surroundings with tarps and tape when necessary.

 

  • Skipping a Step – One of the biggest blunders novices make is dashing headlong into a painting project without preparing the area. Wash the walls, dust the ceiling and get rid of all dirt and grime. Fill all nail holes and cracks carefully using spackle and putty. You really don’t want to redo a section because you painted over a nail hole or found a spider web in a corner.

 

  • Forgoing Primer – Primer sets the stage for a smooth final coat. The paint sticks better and allows the true final color to show. Professionals never skip this important step.

 

  • Rushing – While it may seem simple to roll on some paint and cut in around corners – do not rush. Cutting in is an art form that can be tricky and can become messy if you try to move too fast. Painting too fast also means you are not taking care of the details that make the difference between a professional job and a DIY mess.

 

If you are looking for a professional paint job call Jerry Enos Painting 978-546-6843 for a job done right the first time.

Five House Painting Rules Not to Break

Jerry Enos Painting has been around for decades and we have seen it all. Sometimes we are called in to a home or business to fix what a well-meaning “Do-It-Yourselfer” has messed up. Painting may look easy but to have it look crisp, clean and professional, sometimes it is best left to the pros! Here are just a sampling of rules that should not be broken when painting your home.

  1. Don’t Skimp on Materials – From brushes to paint, choose high quality. There is nothing worse that having bristles of brushes come off on the wall, paint clumps muck up the smooth walls or waste time doing several coats because a paint has low coverage.
  2. Don’t Skip the Prep Work – Cleaning the walls, dusting the heat registers, covering the floors and moving the furniture should not be optional. If you rush through the prep work you may find that you have spider webs in a corner where you are painting, a paint splatter on your hard wood floors or furniture that is in the way of the work.
  3. Wait for the Right Temperature – Painting when it is too hot, humid or even too cold can be disastrous. Be sure you are painting in the right climate and when your hard work will not be ruined by Mother Nature.
  4. Use the Right Techniques and Tools – Be sure you have done your homework about how to paint certain areas of your home using specialized tools. It would be a shame to work so hard only to have to redo an area or find that it doesn’t look quite right.
  5. Clean Up – Many a DIY job has been ruined when paint and brushes were not stored and cleaned properly. Be sure you wash and clean brushes and rollers as well as tidy the painting area each night.

Painting a Ceiling? You Need These Tips!

When tackling interior painting projects, it can help to think of the ceiling as the fifth wall. A fresh coat of white – or even a favorite color – can do wonders for a room. Depending on what hue you choose the ceiling can make a space feel cozier or grand and expansive. A colored or patterned ceiling can add visual interest. And a newly painted ceiling just looks fresher because after ten years or so, ceiling paint gets just as faded and stained as wall paint.

painting a ceiling how to

If you’re thinking about painting a ceiling yourself, know that it’s a doable project. You’ll get great results if you use the tips we’ve outlined below.

  • Neatness counts, but this isn’t the time to see how neat you can be. Prep the room by covering all furniture and the floor with canvas or plastic tarp. If you don’t want to have to work around furniture, take the time to remove it from the space you’ll be painting. The hour you spend schlepping furniture may mean you can finish your painting project more quickly since you’re not trying to contort yourself around tables and armchairs.
  • Have your materials ready. Lay out everything you need. While good ventilation is a must and probably means leaving the door open, treat your project like a lock-in. Make sure you have your tools at hand so you don’t actually have to leave the room until it’s break time.
  • Make it a point to protect yourself from paint. While paint in your hair won’t be the end of the world, a simple ball cap will keep you from having to do heavy duty shampooing later. And goggles are a good idea because paint in your eyes – a very real possibility when you’re painting a ceiling – can be harmful.

cutting in ceiling paint

  • Cut in first. After taping off the wall, work around the perimeter of the room, painting the first four inches of ceiling using a paint brush. Feather the edges of your line so you don’t end up with a noticeable edge between where you used the brush and where you’ll use a roller.
  • Once you’ve finished cutting in, you’re ready to roll. Use a fresh, brand-name roller with a 1/2″ nap every time. It’s slightly more expensive but worth it. Start rolling in one corner and then move the roller in random directions to avoid visible lines. Try also to avoid rolling over sections that have started to dry because the drying paint will be sticky and stick back to the roller.
  • To get a professional looking finish, apply at least two coats. The caveat is that you need to wait until the first coat is completely dry before starting the next coat to get smooth, even coverage.
  • Finally, consider hiring a Massachusetts interior painting professional. Painting a ceiling can be much more disruptive than painting interior walls because of the potential for mess. You may also need more specialized equipment just to reach the ceiling. If you’re excited to paint then give it a go. But if the whole thing sounds like a hassle, paying a pro can take a lot of stress off your shoulders.

painting a ceiling tips

Happy painting!

Every Massachusetts exterior painting and interior painting project is different, and unlike other MA interior painting companies, we will always treat your house, building, or surface as one-of-a-kind. Need help choosing paint colors? We can do that with an expert eye. Call us for a free estimate at 978-546-6843.