I would have any of his people over at my house for dinner!
- Lois Gries, ASID, Chicago
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Archive for March 2013

Stenciling Garage Doors? Why not!

Exterior painting does not have to be limited to just the colors you select for the painting project – it can involve decorative painting as well. When you pull up to your house at the end of the day, the first thing you see is your garage door. It can be a welcoming feature of your house, something that will bring a smile to your face every day.

Decorative Painting on Garage Doors

As an illustration of this concept, I would like to tell you about the painting of the garage doors for the shop/office building for Painting in Partnership. Shortly after building this structure on the rear of the property where my house is located, my wife suggested we dress up the doors to give them more pizazz. I liked the idea. So she proceeded with developing a 3-color stylized leaf pattern, which we would then stencil unto the panels of the garage door. To complement the garage door motifs, she designed a stylized tree with the same leaf pattern for the entrance door.

Wow! I thought those were cool designs. So I proceeded to execute the painting. The main materials besides the paints were the plastic sheeting for the stencils and the stretchable tape for the curvy lines of the tree, plus a good measure of patience and attention to detail. The major challenge was to maintain crisp stencil lines, in spite of the strong wood grain texture of the garage door.

Paneled garage doors present wonderful opportunities to use decorative painting to make a statement by introducing a splash of color, on otherwise plain surfaces. As house painting contractors in the Chicago area, we thrive on using color and custom patterns to enhance the beauty of clients’ home environments.

Looking for Early Signs of Paint Failure Saves Money!

House painting is commonly looked upon as a once-in-many-years event, which often translates as follows: wait until everything looks bad and then do it over. There is a better and cheaper way!

Paint Maintenance Eye

The problem with this conventional approach is that, by the time your house looks like it really needs a paint job, other serious problems may have developed that will require expensive carpentry repairs, the replacement of windows or doors and, sometime, the repair of interior damage caused by an exterior issue. These problems could have been avoided or greatly minimized if they had been detected early.

As house painting contractors, we believe in paint maintenance and the concept that an ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of correction. We recommend a periodic inspection of the exterior painted surfaces of a house. For newer homes, we recommend inspecting the house every three years at the most. For older houses, we recommend two years. For the oldest wood houses in our care, we recommend a yearly inspection. What do we look for?

When doing a paint inspection, we pay close attention to the condition of the caulk. When caulk begins to crack, it is a point of entry for moisture, which often gets trapped and will rot the wood. Where is this most likely to occur? The most vulnerable areas are: miter cuts, where a brick molding meets the sill, where two wood surfaces meet and where wood meets a different substrate like brick or masonry.

Our paint inspection also focuses on detecting early signs of paint failure. Where are they more likely to occur? They are: window sills, the top portions of muntin bars, the top of the rails on panel doors, the lower four feet around a house, the dormer surfaces near the roof shingles and the trim boards around gutters. Old clapboard house with ten to twenty coats of paint present an added challenge. The surface tension on the paint coating is such that, combined with our harsh Northern climate, it can cause all the paint layers to crack and begin to fail.

Having detected the paint maintenance issues, we then repair the caulk, prep the painted areas, spot-prime and spot-paint as needed. Doing this kind of paint maintenance can be done in one or two man-days for newer houses and two to four man-days for old houses. It not only adds years to the useful life of a paint job, improves the long-term appearance of the house, but also saves money on costly repairs and replacement. Call on us today for your FREE paint inspection.