SNL Painting Inc.SNL Painting Inc.

Five Signs it’s Time to Paint Your House

It’s easy to let important chores slip by us, isn’t it? How often have you said, “but didn’t I just change the air filter?” or “I can’t believe it’s already time to power wash the deck again!” Alas, the joys of home ownership include maintenance needs that come as regular as the seasons.

Repainting your trim, or even your home’s entire exterior, is one of those chores that must be done occasionally to keep your property looking its best. Paint, after all, is your house’s defense against the weather as well as the first thing visitors notice about your home.

Telltale Signs Your Exterior Needs a New Paint Job

(1) Paint that Flakes, Bubbles, or Cracks

Signs like bubbling can signal rot or mold. Temperature extremes, from blazing sunlight and humidity to strong winds and icy winters, can cause your paint to flake or crack. If you notice this on your home’s exterior, it’s definitely time to call in the pros.

(2) Paint That Has Faded

In addition to flaking or cracking, paint can fade due to sun bleaching or water intrusion. If you notice uneven fading, it may be time to contact a professional who can check your home for water damage. You may simply notice that your home’s color isn’t as vibrant as it used to be. That can let you know it’s time for a paint job.

(3) Hardened Caulk Around Windows

This is something you probably don’t check regularly, but you should. Caulk is designed to expand and contract as the weather changes to keep your home well-insulated. If you notice that the caulking around your windows has dried out or lost elasticity, it may indicate that your home’s exterior needs some TLC.

(4) When You Need to Increase Curb Appeal

If you plan on selling your home, a fresh coat of paint will do wonders for your asking price. If your house looks faded and the trim doesn’t stand out, a darker shade of paint can help; if your paint color is outdated, a little research will help you choose the right shade.  

(5) If You Simply Can’t Remember How Long it’s Been

If you’ve owned your home for several years, and it’s never been repainted, it may be time to do the job. Most homes should be painted at least every decade or so. Below, we’ve listed some basic guidelines depending on your exterior material. If you live in an environment with extreme weather conditions, you may need to repaint your home more often.  

How Often Should Different Housing Materials be Painted?

If you live on a beach in Maine, your home maintenance requirements will be very different than if you live in a suburb in the Midwest. How often you need to paint your exterior can depend on where you live, as well as the type of materials your house is made with. Here’s a general guideline of what you can expect:

  • Wood siding should be repainted every 5-7 years, or sooner if it is stained.
  • Aluminum siding should be painted approximately every 5 years.
  • Stucco homes also need to be painted every 5-6 years.
  • Homes built from newer types of materials, like cement fiberboard siding, can go up to and over a decade without needing a paint job.
  • Brick homes usually do well with occasional cleaning if they’re not painted. Painted brick can last about 15 years.

Another factor you’ll want to consider is the quality of the paint. High quality exterior paint will last longer than low quality paint will. If you don’t know which material the previous homeowner used, it’s best to be on the safe side and assume that you’ll need a fresh coat in the next few years.

Call on the Experts if it’s Time to Paint Your House

If this sounds like the kind of work you’d rather hire out, let us know! Our professional painters have plenty of experience, and we’re happy to make your home look good as new!

How to Paint Exterior Brick

If you’re not in love with your home’s brick exterior, you may want to consider painting it! Painted brick can look great in a variety of shades, and it never seems to go out of style. It’s the perfect way to update a home that looks dated or make your home stand out among the dull brick houses on your block.  

You don’t have to do it yourself, but if you’re willing to try, we’ve got some tips for you.

What You’ll Need to Do the Job Right

You’ll need a few materials – besides just paint – so that you can do the job right. SNL recommends having the following on hand:

  • Pressure washer
  • Power sander
  • Caulk
  • Masonry primer
  • Acrylic mortar patch or mortar
  • Standard painting supplies – quality brushes, a thick paint roller, a paint scraper, etc.
  • Heavy duty tarp
  • Shop vacuum
  • Exterior paint in your chosen color  

Proper Prep Will Insure That Your Paint Job Looks Great

Before you begin painting, you’ll want to do some prep work so that your brick absorbs the paint well and you have a smooth painted look. The first thing you should do is clean your exterior thoroughly. Then, patch any cracks or ruts so your surface is ready for paint.

You can remove any loose or peeling paint with a paint scraper. Once you’ve done the initial clean up, go over your brick with a pressure washer, or hire a power washing professional to do the job for you. Beware of using too much force; blasting away at your home could damage the mortar. You want to clear off dirt, grime, and peeling paint, but you don’t want to damage the brick exterior itself.

Allow plenty of time for the brick to dry. Any lingering dampness may make painting more difficult. Next, look over your home once more for gaps in the mortar or other blemishes. You’ll want to fill the gaps you can with mortar or acrylic mortar patch. After that, sand the brick smooth with a hand sander or circular sander.

Steps for Painting Exterior Brick

Prime the brick first using a high quality acrylic or latex masonry primer. Let that primer dry completely before you do anything else. Also, be sure to caulk any areas where water can seep in: windows, doors, trim, and areas around the chimney. Be thorough! Then, clear any dust away using a brush or shop vacuum.

Finally, you’re ready to paint! You’ll want to use elastomeric or 100% acrylic latex. Those are your strongest and longest-lasting options for the exterior. Use a thick roller so you can be sure you’re getting paint in all the nooks and crannies. Let your first coat dry, and then go over your home again. To do the job right, you’ll want at least 2 coats, preferably more for a clean overall look.

Call on the Experts if You Don’t Want to Do It Yourself

If this sounds like the kind of work you’d rather hire out, let us know! Our professional painters have plenty of experience with exterior brick, and we’ll be happy to do the job for you.

Curb Appeal Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home

It’s beginning to look a lot like spring-time …

If you’ve been longing for warmer temperatures, well, now they’re here! Why not take some steps to increase the value of your home?

One area that can benefit you enormously is your home’s curb appeal. After all, whether you plan to sell your home or not, first impressions matter. Here’s some advice from the pros:

The 3 Main Things that will Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

To spruce up your home this spring, you’ll want to focus on clean-up, landscaping, and the little details that make a home stand out.

First, do a few chores. Is there flaking paint on your trim? Have weeds grown through the entryway paving stones? Are your gutters still full of fall leaves? Even if you don’t do anything else to your home’s exterior, a little clean-up goes a long way.  

Second, consider your landscaping. Spring is a great time to prepare the yard for sunny weather, and replant flowers or shrubbery. So, trim runaway bush branches and pull those weeds. Again, it doesn’t take much to impress the neighbors. Sometimes it’s as easy as seeding your lawn.

Finally, consider the little things. What would a new light fixture do for your entryway, for example? Can you update your house numbers or purchase a new mailbox? 

Think about it this way: if you own a business, you want your customers to feel a certain way when they walk in your front door. That’s why business owners invest in fresh landscaping or a powerwash every year. It’s the same with your home.  

More Tips Guaranteed to Boost the Curb Appeal of Your Home

1. Think Like a Buyer

Walk around your home and look at it with fresh eyes. What looks dingy or worn down? What repairs could you make to really brighten up the exterior of your home?

2. Check Your Digits

Are your house numbers visible? Or are they fading stickers, slowly peeling off the side of the mailbox? One easy way to improve your exterior is to install house numbers that are visible and go with the overall decor of your home.

3. Surfaces Matter, Too

There’s nothing more off-putting than seeing a layer of greenish mold on a house’s siding, or looking at an oil-stained driveway or patio. Have you considered a power-wash? An occasional wash can keep your surfaces looking spick-and-span.

4. Invest in Plants

Whether you plan an extensive landscaping project, or simply place a few potted plants in your entryway, greenery is an inexpensive way to bring spring to your yard and add to your curb appeal.

5. Beautify Your Windows

Are your windows treated? When people look at your home, do they see crooked blinds and peeling window sills? Or bright, clean windows with interesting window treatments? It’s up to you.

6. Lighten up …

When it gets dark, do things get a little scary at your place? The warm glow of a porch light or walkway lights can instantly add a friendly, welcoming feel to your place. You can also use lights to highlight your landscaping or your home’s best exterior features.

7. Don’t Forget the Details

Add paint and spruce up the details … You don’t have to paint an entire house to reap the benefits of a fresh coat on your front door, trim and shutters. Choose a color that compliments your home and adds a little pop. Then, accessorize with a new welcome mat, pottery, or patio furniture.

SNL Painting Inc. Can Make Your Exterior Shine

If winter has done a number on your exterior and you want to go ahead and schedule a new exterior paint job, call on us … our experts can help you achieve the look you want.

Winter Weather Can Be Damaging to Exterior Paint: Here’s What You Should Know

If you’ve put off painting the exterior of your house, you may just have to keep putting it off. At least for the next few months. It’s getting frosty outside, and unfortunately, the cold weather can be rough on your exterior paint. In fact, it may be contributing to peeling or discoloration!

What Does Winter Weather Do to Your Exterior Paint?

According to research done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, interior condensation combined with a cold exterior temperature can cause paint to peel and chip.

The damage comes from two sides. Your family produces water vapor during the day by doing ordinary things like cooking or washing clothes. Because ventilation isn’t as effective in the wintertime, water vapor becomes trapped in the attic and walls. When this water vapor condenses, it can soak into your siding or your outside paint job, causing the paint to peel.

From the outside of your home, snow and ice can linger in the eaves and gutters. As the ice melts, it seeps down, doing even more damage to your exterior paint job. That’s why the paint around your roof line, kitchen, and laundry room tends to deteriorate faster. If the caulk around doors or window frames is damaged, you can have problems in those areas, too.

Exterior Paint Problems Can Be Avoided, Even in Winter

The good news is that exterior paint problems can be avoided, even in cold weather. With proper insulation and moisture barriers, and sufficient ventilation, you can avoid the condensation problem described above. We recommend that you install a solid 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier in crawl spaces and exterior walls. Also, be sure to properly vent kitchens, bathrooms, and clothes dryers to the outside. This will reduce the amount of moisture that seeps into your paint, and keep your exterior looking nice longer.

Pay Close Attention to Temperature Guidelines When You Paint Your Exterior

If you’ve been wanting to repaint your home, the best thing for you to do during cold weather is wait. Don’t try to replace peeling paint or put a second coat on faded color during the winter.

If you want to be better prepared, check the labels on your paint for recommended temperatures. Generally, the standard minimum is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, each brand of paint is different. We recommend that users apply paint only in the recommended range for the best coverage.

What’s the problem with painting in the cold? Unfortunately, it can shorten the paint’s drying time, which can cause poor surface adhesion. This often results in bubbling or cracking on your exterior surface. If your leftover paint freezes, that will damage the product as well. We recommend storing your paint indoors.

If You Need Expert Advice, SNL Painting Inc can Help

If you’d like more expert advice, or if you want to schedule a paint job before this year’s big freeze, contact SNL Painting Inc! We’re happy to help, no matter how low the temps drop outside.

Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding: Which Should You Choose?

Refinishing a house can add to its curb appeal – and its owner’s sense of pride! If you have an older home, you may be facing a tough choice: do something about peeling paint by hiring a professional exterior painter. Or going with a popular choice and installing vinyl siding. Which should you choose?

Compare the Durability of Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding  

When it comes to durability, vinyl is the preferred choice. Paint will begin to peel and fade within five to eight years. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, has a lifespan of 20 years or more. Vinyl also comes with integral insulation and can be more energy efficient.

The cons of choosing vinyl siding over paint may depend on where you live. Keep in mind that vinyl siding is flexible. It can bend, dent, or warp. So, if you live in a windy or storm-prone climate, you may want to consider the cost of maintaining the siding on your home.

Consider the Initial and Long-Term Cost

When you consider cost, be sure to factor in both the initial payment and the long-term requirements of your home’s exterior. These costs vary depending on the materials you choose, and whether or not you decide to hire professionals.

Painting is less expensive than siding initially, and if it’s done well, it can beautify your home for several years. Because high-quality paint lasts longer, you’ll want to use the best that you can afford. To give you a cost estimate, a 3,000 square foot house requires somewhere around 15 gallons of paint. Premium paint can cost $50 a gallon or more. So, you can expect that the cost in paint will be approximately $750 or more.

Painting requires a lot of prep work to achieve the smooth, evenly-coated surface you’ll want to achieve. Other repairs to loose or rotted wood may also prove costly. Whether you do the work yourself or hire professionals, the job will require an investment, as well as regular maintenance.

Let’s compare this cost to that of vinyl siding. Installing vinyl, even on a smaller one-story home, will cost upwards of $3,600. Depending on your contractor, vinyl can run you as much as $12,000. Clearly, it’s more expensive up front. However, as we mentioned above, it may require less consistent maintenance over time.

Appearance Matters: the Aesthetics of Exterior Paint

Do aesthetics matter to you? You may want to consider how vinyl siding will change the appearance – even the character – of your house, especially if you have an older home. Repainted wood not only gives your house a classic appearance, it also allows you to keep those charming details, like window sills, cornices, or decorative trim, that give the home so much character. Siding, on the other hand, may make your home look boxy or bland. As one expert in historic home restoration puts it, “Installing vinyl siding on a building is like putting a slipcover on a sofa.”

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to be prepared to invest effort, money, and time into your project so that your home will look its best. If you would like to get advice from professional home painters, let us know! Our experts will be happy to talk to you further about this important choice.

How to Choose the Best Exterior Paint for your Home

The way you feel about spring storms can change the minute you become a homeowner. Along with rain, wind, and hail come those panicky feelings: What is this going to do to my siding? Will my exterior paint job be able to handle all this rain? Will the work I’ve done on my home hold up in this weather?

Your fears are not overblown! The fact is that when paint begins to crack or peel, moisture caused by inclement weather can seep in and damage your home. If you want your exterior to stand up against the elements, you need to put some thought into what you’re using to smarten up your property.

Experts recommend choosing a coating that contains high quality resin to allow for breathable adhesion that will last, no matter what the weather. When you shop for the exterior paint, pay attention to the ratio of resin to pigment. Elastomeric coatings that allow for flexibility can keep rain and hail out while preventing those hairline cracks that can cause damage over time.

If you’re preparing to repaint your exterior, and you want to do it right, follow these tips to get the best exterior paint for your buck:

Use Alkyd or Acrylic Primer on Bare Wood.

If you’re painting on bare wood, use an alkyd or high-quality acrylic latex primer before you apply exterior paint. While some homeowners prefer the oil-based (alkyd) primer because of it’s tried and true reputation, many professionals select the acrylic latex because of its high quality. Whichever you choose, each primer is designed to fill the pores in the wood and give you a nice base for your paint. Be sure to spread your primer to the proper thickness to reap the rewards come stormy weather. If you run into knots that are difficult to cover, use a pigmented shellac.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to buy paint and primer together, read the labels. Oftentimes, the manufacturer will recommend a primer designed for peak performance.  

If you’re painting over old coatings, or if you have questions about your project, rely on our expertise. Our professionals are here to help you achieve the best results.  

If You’re Weatherproofing Smooth Siding, go for 100 Percent Acrylic.

For smooth siding constructed of either wood or cement board, we recommend 100 percent acrylic latex flat. This paint protects against hot sunlight better than any other paint on the market. It also hides dents or imperfections in your siding and gives you a nice finish for years to come. If you prefer a smoother surface that’s easier to clean, you can select “eggshell,” but stay away from high gloss paint, which is better suited for interiors.

Spending a few extra dollars for higher quality covering is well worth it for the adhesion and smooth coat. Because latex paints are more sensitive to temperature, we recommend that you call a professional if you have questions about which paints to use in your particular region.

Use 100 Percent Acrylic for Concrete and Brick Surfaces, as well.  

For concrete or masonry walls, including stucco, we also recommend 100 percent acrylic latex paint. Not only does this paint bind well to your surface, it also “breathes” to let moisture escape. This is necessary in any region of the country because if moisture gets under the surface, it will eventually ruin your paint job, creating headaches for you in the years ahead.

Whatever you do, don’t use oil-based paints on brick or concrete. The strong alkaline content in those cement blocks will shed your paint and create additional work for you.

Please Note: If the surface you’re painting has small cracks in it, you might want to try a thicker acrylic elastomeric paint. This paint is more flexible than regular acrylic. It is costlier, however, so it’s a good idea to discuss options with a professional if you’re not confident about the product.

When it’s Time to Paint the Trim, go for Acrylic in Gloss or Semigloss

The color you choose for the trim can brighten up your home and give you great curb appeal. For this detail work, you may use gloss or semigloss, as long as you’re sticking with 100 percent acrylic latex. This is the longest-lasting option for painting smooth trim, whatever the material. Because painting trim is such time-consuming work, you don’t want to have to go over it year after year. Thus, choosing a durable, long-lasting paint with a glossy sheen is the way to paint like a pro.

Pro Tip: If you’re painting over an old coat of oil-based paint, sand it first so your new covering will adhere.  

Learn More

If you’d like information about weatherproofing the exterior of your home, or if you’d like a quote from one of our seasoned professionals, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is always ready and willing to help!

 

 

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