Painting in Partnership listens to our ideas and needs and blends them with their skills to come up with a very unique and satisfying result each and every time.
- A. & C. Yeshwant, MD, South Barrington
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Archive for April 2010

Paint Restoration Sometimes Involves Dealing with Rusty Nails

On an exterior painting project, rusty nails are a problem. When nails begin to rust on an old house, it causes a rust stain to appear on the surface of the paint. Eventually, the rust will cause the paint film to fail and flake off.

Dealing with Rusty Nails Before Exterior Painting

Dealing with Rusty Nails Before Exterior Painting

We are currently doing paint restoration on a 1882 farm house. There are a total of 3,600 rusty nails on the siding of this house. As a first step in the preparation work for this exterior painting project, we had to set up a procedure for effectively dealing with the rusty nail situation.

As a first step, our house painters used a nail punch slightly smaller than the nail heads to sink the nails by no more than 1/8”. We then scraped the loose paint off the face of the nails and applied a rust converter to kill off any rust residue. Our painters then filled the nail holes using a waterborne window putty. We chose this product because of its rust-inhibitive qualities and also because it requires no sanding and no priming, and has a quick curing time. Because this product shrinks, we had to hit the nail holes two or three times to eliminate any cratering of the product.

Our client greatly values his piece of Northern Illinois country history and he wanted to make sure his rusty nail issue was permanently dealt with before we undertook the exterior painting of his old farm house.

Paint Color Consultation Brings Excitement to the Façade of a 1927 American Four-Square House

Paint restoration sometimes involves the replacement of rotten wood before any painting can be done. As shown on the picture below, the front porch had deteriorated very substantially. The owners agreed to take that opportunity and redesign the porch to make it more consistent with the period of the house.

Before Period Color Consultation

Before Period Color Consultation

Most of the floor support beams were preserved, along with two third of the floor boards. The rest had to be replaced. When we work on a vintage house, every effort is made to preserve as much of the original materials as we can. Pressure-treated wood, along with cedar, was used in re-building the porch.

Painting in Partnership’s paint color consultation service also played a key role on this project. The owners love color! We recently painted the interior of their house in vivid “period” colors. The front porch and façade of the house had to make a similar statement to what they had made with their interior house painting project. The result was a beautiful five-color porch!

After Painting Restoration

After Painting Restoration

We used dark purple on the porch floor and the shingles on the porch gable. The shutters were also repainted in the same purple color. We stained the shingles on the porch surround a rusty red color to create balance with the rusty color roof. We used two shades of green for the front door and other porch elements. Finally, the spindles were painted the same color as the siding.

At Painting in Partnership, we believe that a little color can go a long way to create excitement for house painting project and the people involved.

The History of House Paint Colors in America

House Painting had a rocky start in America. Pilgrims, known for their austere ways, looked upon the use of color in one’s home as a display of vanity and a sign that the owners enjoyed life too much. As history goes, in 1630, in Charlestown, a clergyman was charged with a sacrilegious crime for painting the interior of his house.

Needless to say, as the colonies grew and became more prosperous, those attitudes about paint and color began to change. However, because of the primitive paint-making process and the astronomical cost of paint in those days, house painting was regarded as a status symbol only a few could afford.

History of House Painting: First Paint Mill in America

History of House Painting: First Paint Mill in America

The high cost of house paints, coupled with a strong desire to have painted houses and a strong dose of American ingenuity, encouraged the development of home-grown substitutes to the expensive imported paint ingredients. Cookbooks of the time became the place where folks stored their paint recipes and recipes for many other necessities of the time.

The Dutch created a white wash from lime and oyster shells. Red oxide from iron was used to create reds and used them to trim houses and paint their barns. Copper oxide was used to produce vivid greens. Here is a recipe for creating a blue shade, common for interiors of the time: “Boil for three hours a pond of blue vitrol and one-half pound of best whiting in three quarts of water”. Skimmed milk, egg white, coffee, boiled rice were often used to produce those early home-made paints.

The nineteenth century brought the Industrial Age. In 1804, the first white lead plant was built in Philadelphia. In 1815, the first varnish plant was opened also n Philadelphia. Early in the 1800’s, Zinc Oxide white pigment was invented in Europe, which would eventually come to play a huge role in the popularization of house paints. But it was not until 1855 that a patent was first issued for what is known as the American process of zinc oxide making. Unlike white lead, zinc oxide was non-toxic and possessed other qualities, which made it an ingredient of choice for house paints.

The information for this post is derived from a 1946 supplement to the Armstrong Paint Company’s employee magazine, “The Armstrong Paint Pot”.

Using Faux Painting Techniques to Expand a Painting to the Scale of a Room

Decorative finishing skills, on occasion, get called on to bring about unusual results. As an example, a client had a striking painting in his master bath. The painting used essentially only three colors: blue, gray and white, and created the impression of water, land and sky by using those colors. On the water, laid the curvaceous naked body of a woman.

The client had the idea of enveloping the room in the colors and style of his painting. On his own, the client had the room painted using the same color gray as in the painting, but the result fell short of accomplishing his purpose. So he called on Painting in Partnership and our team of decorative finishing experts to complete his vision.

Decorative Finishing Magic

Decorative Finishing Magic

Using our color design expertise and our faux painting skills, we were able to blend those 3 colors, using paints and glazes to produce the desired effect. Voila!

Manifesting a client’s vision in this way, using our decorative finishing and painting skills, is very fulfilling. This is the reason we call our company Painting in Partnership.

Paint Color Consultation Creates Dramatic Look for “Period” House

Interior painting, combined with Color Consultation, create much added value for customers. We recently painted the interior of an American Four-Square style house. The owners expressed their desire for bold colors and a dramatic look.

The owners of this “period” house had given a lot of though to the colors they wanted. They also did quite a bit of research, but they were at a loss deciding which colors to choose for their interior painting project and how to use them throughout their house. This is the point at which color consultation was introduced into this house painting project. Let’s use the living room, dining room and foyer as an example. Here is a picture of the foyer before the interior painting project started.

Before Interior Painting

Before Interior Painting

After Color Consultation and House Painting

After Color Consultation and House Painting

The owners used these words to describe the look they envisioned for their living room: “We want to suggest a 19th century upper class English drawing room, where one could read and smoke, while buried deep in a leather armchair, brandy snifter at hand”. Those words inspired the selection of the colors used in the living room, foyer and dining room. A dark blue was chosen for the living room. A deep red was selected for the foyer and a green for the dining room.

You may recall that the owners had expressed their desire for a dramatic look. The stairs in the foyer presented an opportunity to create that drama: every two steps were alternatively painted, using the same three colors as those three areas of the house. Here is a picture of the dramatic new look of their foyer and stairway.

Our customers were delighted with the results of their interior painting project. Such a project demonstrates the power of color in creating home environments that nurture and inspire the occupants of that house. This is the result Painting in Partnership delivers every time.