We realize working in a historic Victorian presents a unique set of conditions and requirements and you continually meet or exceed our expectations.
- Ed Fortino and Dayle Duchossois, Chicago
Phone: (847)934-8885 | Email: info@paintpartner.com Visit PIP's Facebook Page View Mario Guertin's LinkedIn Profile Visit PaintPartner's Google+ Page Follow PaintPartner on Twitter Visit PIP's Pinterest Page Visit PIP's Houzz Page Subscribe to PaintPartner's RSS Feed

The Refinishing of an Ipe Wood Front Porch Floor

Ipe Wood Decking - 1

Ipe Wood Decking – 1

Late last summer, our painting and decorating company was tasked with the refinishing of a front porch deck and the railings, as well as the refinishing of the front door system for a six-year-old house in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The decking was made of Ipe wood, the railings of Cedar wood and the front door of Doug Fir. Ipe is also known as Brazilian Walnut ad is one of densest hardwoods in existence. It is three times harder than cedar and is very heavy lumber.

Needless to say, creating color harmony between the different woods was very important to the client. To achieve the desired result, we had to resort to three different stain products, depending on the wood specie. Samples were prepared using similar woods. The client having specified Penofin as the product to use for the Ipe wood, it set the tone for the stain colors of the other two woods. Penofin is the Cadillac of finishes for Ipe and several other hardwood species. It is made of Brazilian Rosewood Oil and penetrates deeply into the wood and performs the best of any products I know of. In the long-run, it is also the easiest finish to maintain.

Ipe Wood Decking - 2

Ipe Wood Decking – 2

The major challenge we faced in refinishing the Ipe floor was that a different product had been used, the first time it was finished. We used a deck stripper to remove the old product and then sanded the whole deck floor. Strippers typically raise the grain of any wood. Normally, the sanding knocks off the dead wood fiber. However, we learned that , for a hard wood such as Ipe, the wood fiber is very soft, short and dense. It is similar to a peach fuzz. We tried sanding off that fuzz, with only very limited success. We ended up having to buff out the fuzz with an orbital sander and a soft foam pad covered with 1000-grit sandpaper. To achieve the desired finish, we had to wipe on two additional thin coats of Penofin, on top of the first coat.

Taking the additional finishing steps and doing the stain samples proved key in producing the look the client was after.

Lincrusta Wallcoverings Are Still in Vogue in “Period” Homes

Glazed Lincrusta Dado in Stairway 1

Glazed Lincrusta Dado in Stairway 1

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we install an array of wall coverings, including fabrics, grass cloth, string cloth, embossed and other exotic papers. We recently installed Lincrusta’s Edwardian dado panels in a house’s front staircase.

Created in England in 1877 by the inventor of Linoleum floor coverings, Lincrusta has since then adorned upscale homes all over the world. Today, Lincrusta finds a home in many restoration projects. Its deeply embossed patterns lend themselves to many styles of buildings, in both residential and commercial settings. Lincrusta is sold as wallcoverings, dado panels, friezes and borders. The patterns can be brought to life by using paints, glazes and varnish. A wide array of effects can as a result be created.

Installing a Lincrusta wallcovering is a multi-step process. To ensure the long-term stability of the installation, we first installed a liner paper, which we then primed. After carefully laying out the pattern and getting the client’s approval, we proceeded with the panel installation. At this stage, the wallcovering has a creamy color and needs to be

Glazed Lincrusta Dado in Stairway 2

Glazed Lincrusta Dado in Stairway 2

finished. The oils from the manufacturing process must first be removed from the surfaces of the paper. The panels must then be primed and painted. Because the client wanted the highlight the details of the embossed pattern, we then glazed the painted surfaces and manipulated the glaze to accomplish the desired effect.

Lincrusta wallcoverings are one of our many options to help clients add a “”period” touch to their environment. Lincrusta also supports our company’s commitment to help restore the beauty of vintage buildings in Chicago.

Panting in Partnership, Inc. Wins Another Painting Restoration Award

For the twenty-ninth year, the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association has sponsored the “Chicago Finest Painted Ladies and her Court Competition”. The contest is held every year to recognize the most outstanding painted work done on Victorian and other “Period” buildings. The competition is open to both contractors and homeowners.

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Facade

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Facade

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Bay Window

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Bay Window

Our project won in the category “Best Color Scheme for the Neighborhood”. The building is an 1889 brick Victorian with extensive metalwork on the cornice and two-story bay window. Part of the restoration work involved the fabrication of around thirty pieces of metal decoration that been lost, corroded or fallen apart (as well as the relocation of five bird nests). The metal had not been painted in over twenty years. So, much scraping was involved in the surface preparation. The project also involved the rebuilding of substantial portions of the front porch and the epoxying of many of the window casing and sills.

As far as the color scheme is concerned, we simply reproduced the existing one, which gave the building a regal look and worked well with surrounding buildings. Such projects often involve substantial color consultation and major changes to the color scheme. In this case, we felt the existing colors worked really well.

Chicago is well endowed with such buildings, where shaped metal was used to decorate and beatify their appearance. As painting and decorating contractors, we are privileged to help preserve them and restore their beauty.

“The History of Paint in America” Made its Debut at the School of the Art Institute

On October 8th, 2015, Mario Guertin was a guest lecturer in the Historic Preservation Department of the School of the Art Institute . The lecture was given to a dozen graduate students as part of the curriculum for their class on American Interior Design. The professor for this class is Rolf Achilles who is a luminary in the field of Art History, especially as it pertains to the American decorative arts and architecture. Among other things, Rolf is the Curator for the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows and is Chair on the Board of the Glessner House.

Historical Preservation Class of 2015 - School of the Art Institute

Historical Preservation Class of 2015 – School of the Art Institute

The first part of Guertin’s lecture told the story of how paint evolved from ingredients being mixed in the field by painters to ready-mixed paint in a can, as it is known today. Guertin started his lecture by saying that, after listening to this lecture, they would never look at a paint can the same way again. He then went on to explain how population growth, combined with tremendous technical innovation during the Industrial Revolution created the painting industry and ushered in the era of the “Chemist”.

The lecture also illustrated the use of color from the mid-1880’s to the 1950’s by sharing some of his vast collection of antique paint color cards featuring the actual paint chips for the various colors. The lecture also included a segment on color consultation – past and present. Those were the early days on Interior Design. Out of their need to promote the use of paint, manufacturers also did a lot to illustrate how paint colors could be used and combined to decorate the interior and exterior of houses. Many of those illustrations were displayed in the class.

Guertin wrapped up his presentation by illustrating how his own house painting company goes about doing Color and Concept Consultation for both interior and exterior painting projects. No one in attendance will ever look at paint cans the same way again!

Hiding this Beautiful Wood Grain… Why?

Front Door System - Before Refinishing

Front Door System – Before Refinishing

One of our specialties as painting and decorating contractors, in the Chicago area, is the refinishing of wood front door systems and wood garage doors. In the past four weeks, we have refinished about a dozen of those doors. One of them has a particularly interesting story.

A client in Elmhurst was very unhappy with her front door entrance, which consisted of a mahogany door, two side lites and a canopy. For reasons that were not too clear, the person who last refinished the door applied a heavy coat of opaque stain. It virtually looked like a solid-color stain and no wood grain could be seen, as shown in the “Before” picture we attached.

After twelve hours of stripping the old finish off, the beautiful mahogany wood grain was again revealed. The owners were elated! The finishing consisted of two coats of tinted satin varnish and an additional coat of clear. The result speaks for itself. Take a look at the “After” shot. Which one do you prefer?

Front Door System - After Refinishing

Front Door System – After Refinishing

Wood exterior doors are an expensive investment for the homeowner, one that is subjected to all the abuses weather has to offer. To keep up their good looks and protect their investment, homeowners have to invest in the periodic maintenance of those doors. We have the expertise to do the required maintenance or complete refinishing of the doors. Bringing beautiful wood grain back to life and preserving the doors from the elements give us much satisfaction as house painters.