Archives for 2014

Tips to Select and Use Spray Paint

Painting with a brush takes a lot of time, but you can seek a suitable alternative to that – spray paint. Nowadays, they have faster dry times; provide prevention from rust, and have great durability as well.

Choose the Right Spray Paint

  • For appliances, metal cabinets, and outdoor tables, use enamel it provides an extremely hard finish. Use it for recoating and touch-ups too.
  • Plastic should be used for items like planters, lawn chairs, and mailboxes. The job will take an hour or two and you can mix colors for decorative appeal.
  • High Heat is ideally used for grills, stoves or radiators but is strictly prohibited for interior surfaces exposed to flames, which means you can’t apply it to the inside of these appliances.
  • To get the look of etched glass on mirrors and doors, use the Frosted version, which can be paired with stencils for a customized decorative look.
  • For children’s rooms, Chalkboard is perfect. It can be used for coating poster board, metal or wood and other types of surfaces for a clean-erase finish.
  • To get a high luster finish, you should apply Lacquer in many coats. It can be applied on all kinds of items, especially furniture. Urethane coatings can be used over stains or as a protective finish (available in gloss, semi-gloss or satin).
  • Some types of finishes belong to the Specialty section which include metallic, reflective, antique or stone or patinas like verdigris, hammered or rust.

Using the Paint

  • Clean the item, rinse, and dry. If there is rust on it, lightly sand away and prime the affected areas.
  • Each type of spray paint has different instructions so ensure you know about recommended surface prep and dry times.
  • You can use a cardboard box with a top, bottom and three sides or build a frame surrounded by plastic stapled in place, as a booth in case of overspray. The best room for doing spray painting is the garage.
  • Use the paint in short bursts so that the drips and overspray is lessened. Apply lighter coats and let it dry thoroughly between coats.
  • Larger items should be worked upon in sections. Use plastic primer for plastic items and prepare surfaces using paint thinner.

Exterior Painting for Houses, HOA developments, Apartment Buildings & Commercial Buildings throughout Arizona

Checking Out Your Contractor

All contractors are supposed to have a license before they can legally carry out any trade work what so ever! These licenses basically state that they are able bodied to do such jobs and have passed all the necessary requirements and tests that they need to get the status of a licensed contractor. The ROC or Register of Contractors is the governing body for contractors licenses. Their exams and criteria for being a licensed contractor is thorough.

If a contractor carries out work they are not licensed for and the work is less than satisfactory, then you have spent money for a job that needs to be redone or repaired. Money that again will have to come out of your pocket. With a licensed contractor, should something go wrong, the ROC is your go to organization to get solutions. The ROC is there to protect the consumer against unscrupulous companies. The ROC can’t protect you against contractors that are not licensed.

There are two different types of licensing that a company has to obtain. The state license states that the company can do business within that state, and the ROC license. If a company is licensed with the ROC they need to have the ROC # visible on their trucks and in their advertising and business cards. You can always check the ROC # through the Register of Contractors website at On the website you can see if the license is current, what type of license they hold, and if there have been any complaints against the company along with the owner information. Always a good idea to check out who you are planning to hire to do your home projects.

Licenses are important and it is up to you to make sure that your contractor has a full and valid license!

Cabinet Refinishing and Painting – Do it Right

It is time to work on the cabinets and have them looking as good as new! We often tend to neglect painting the cabinets, instead choosing to focus on walls and ceilings, but refinishing and painting is necessary too.

Know what to do

Repainting wood, wood-laminate, and metal cabinets is not too difficult, but plastic laminate ones require specialized techniques as they resist over-painting. Woodwork with raised panels, routed profiles or other architectural detailing need longer to prep and paint. For repainting, there are various methods like rolling, spraying or brushing using a natural or synthetic bristle brush or a foam brush. Don’t forget to remove the doors and drawers of the cabinet along with the knobs, latches and other hardware from these parts.

Cleaning and sanding the surfaces

All surfaces should be cleaned with a solution of one part tri-sodium phosphate and four parts water. While rinsing, ensure that the cabinets are not soaked with clean water. Allow them to dry completely. Sand the doors on all sides and faces. It is not necessary to remove all the old paint if it has adhered well. Simply make the surface rough to provide the new paint with a firm, clean base for better adhesion. Sand over glossy areas to get rid of the glaze from the previous finish. Use denatured alcohol and fine steel wool if required. Pay attention to old and flaking paint; sand well to expose bare wood and spot-prime with a stain-killing primer/sealer.

Apply the primer-sealer and paint

Primer-sealer should be applied evenly to all surfaces for a well-bonded finish coat. As mentioned above, it works well for deglazing old finishes. It provides a great base for semi-gloss, water-based paint. Water-based finishes are in demand nowadays because of their durability and ease of usage.

Begin from the inside edges and openings of the face frames, moving on to the outer cabinet sides, and then paint the face frame fronts. Work on the cabinet doors and drawer fronts next. The coats applied should be thin and light, and need to cover all areas. Thin coats leave fewer visible brushstrokes and dry more quickly. The dry time between coats is at least 4 hours. After drying, re-sand surfaces before the next coat.

Tips to Remove Paint and Varnish

Getting rid of paint and varnish stains from furniture is a headache but it needs to be done. You wouldn’t want your beautiful furniture pieces stained with blobs of paint because it will completely mar its appearance. Needless to say, paint and varnish stains will affect the overall look of the room too.

Protect yourself

Removing paint or varnish involves the usage of chemicals that have noxious fumes. Protecting yourself is a priority, so ensure that you put on heavy rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and protective eyewear. If you are working inside, the area should have proper ventilation and fans. It is advisable to work outside because of the fumes. In case you are sensitive to fumes, don a charcoal-filter respirator.

Applying the chemicals

To remove paint from the surface, use methylene chloride. Read the safety precautions on the can carefully. It is slightly thick in composition, since wax is added to give it mass and delay evaporation. Pour it on the surface and use a paintbrush to smooth the liquid over it. Leave it like that; cover with waxed paper to reduce evaporation. Don’t poke or prod the chemical as it breaks the wax barrier, allowing it to evaporate faster. For stained or shellacked antiques, you can use a product labeled furniture refinisher. Pour in a metal pan, dip a pad of steel wool in it, and rub onto the surface with the wet steel wool. Use a dry rag to wipe it off. After it has dried, sand it a bit, and put on a coat of tung oil. Use synthetic pads if you are scraping varnish off baseboards as steel wool pads fall apart in this case.

Scrape the paint

After taking the waxed paper off the methylene chloride, scrape up the sludge (paint and goo) with a plastic spatula. This exposes the original surface beneath. Wipe the surface with a rag dipped in mineral spirits. Don’t leave the sludge lying around – put it in an empty can along with the rags and steel wool before disposing. Sludge disposal rules and regulations vary according to city, so ensure that you know how to throw it away using the correct procedure. If you notice specks of paint in the cracks of wood after stripping use a brass brittle brush to scrub it out of the pores.

A Guide to Painting Ceramic Tiles

Painting ceramic tiles is not too difficult but it takes time and effort. With a little guidance, it is possible to paint ceramic tiles in such a way that they get a totally different look. Moreover, you can also make old ones look like new.

Cleaning before painting

Firstly, you need to ensure that each of the tiles is completely clean and dry before you begin. There shouldn’t be any grease or waxy residue on them. A mild abrasive soap can be used to clean the tiles, in order to remove the build-up. Cleaning the grout might take some time – you can use a scrub brush and an oxygen bleach cleaner solution. Apply it to the grout, let it soak for about 10 minutes, and scrub it till it is clean. Allow the grout to dry for 48 hours before painting.


All repair work to the tiles and grout, like cracks or crumbling grout should be dealt with beforehand or else it can ruin the painted tiles. All the gloss and shine needs to be removed from the ceramic tiles so that the paint will adhere to the surface. This can be done with a hand held orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper. Clean the tile and grout once more so that there is no dirt and dust.

Selecting the Paint and Primer

An acrylic paint primer is needed for the first layer of paint. The paint (it needs to stick) used for ceramic tiles is oil based paint or water based paint with a urethane resin.

Painting the Tiles

Coat the tile with the first layer of primer, let it dry for a few hours, and then apply another coat. The second coat should be left for 24 hours to dry. After that, you should sand areas that are not completely smooth and wipe off the dust. Tiles can be painted by spraying or with a roller. If you choose the latter, it should have low nap, as that it will go on smoother than a high nap roller and will give less bubbles. Tape the grout lines so that the paint doesn’t seep through. The newly painted tiles need 48 hours to dry before the finishing coat can be applied. Water–based urethanes work best on painted ceramic and will not yellow.

Tips to Touch up Flaws in New Paint

There is nothing more annoying than to see scratches or scuff marks after your walls or ceiling has been painted. This is a common occurrence so you don’t need to get flustered because there are various methods to fix the flaws and make your wall and ceiling look brand new again.

How to touch up chips

  • For fixing chips in drywall, use a tub of drywall compound and for chips in wood, opt for wood putty.
  • Take a putty knife and scoop a portion of filler that is approximately the size of the chip.
  • Fill the chip with the broadside of the putty knife blade.
  • Leave it to dry for 24 hours and then sand it with a 120-grit sanding block. The tarnished surface will soon be even with the surrounding areas.

How to remove scuff marks


  • Wet a cleaning rag (no excess water should remain) and pour some abrasive cleaner on it.
  • Very carefully, rub the cleaner and rag over the scuff mark to erase it as much as you can. The cleaner should be washed off the wall, following which it should be allowed to dry.
  • Use a high-quality wall primer to paint the surface and dry as per instructions on the label. After that, re-paint the area with matching paint as the rest of the wall. You can apply two coats if needed (allow the first coat to dry and then check if a second one is required).
  • If there are too many scuff marks, it is advisable to paint the entire section of the wall.

How to get rid of scratches

  • Scratches leave grooves in the paint, which means you have to smooth over the area and repaint it.
  • A small square of fine sandpaper can be used to make the scratched area smooth. Ensure that you sand the existing paint away till the scratch is completely removed.
  • Take a soft cloth and wipe the area to eliminate any dust from the sanding.
  • A fresh coat of paint needs to be applied to replace the removed paint.
  • The area needs to be totally dry, especially if you are going to place furniture against it.

Need advice about fixing up your home? Simply call Southwest Professional Painting today, 602-490-0979.

What Colors Can Liven Up The Kitchen This Season?

Gone are the days when the kitchen used to be a dull and lifeless portion of the house. While revamping our home, we think of color combinations to spruce up the living room, bedroom, and even the bathroom, so why should the kitchen be excluded? Check out some colors that you can use to liven up the cooking station of the house.

Lively Greens

Yellow-based greens exude a warm and sunny vibe as they can ramp up the available natural light. Imagine lots of crisp white trim, apple, and olive greens – refreshing isn’t it? They evoke nature and the environment and thus have positive associations, which is the reason for their popularity. If the ceilings are high, a couple of vibrant hues can warm up stainless-steel appliances and some white-painted areas can keep them from being too bright.

Soothing Vintage Blues and Greens

The words used to describe these colors are – soft and optimistic. These shades of blue and green can accentuate the visual appeal of a kitchen in a subtle way. They add pep to a compact workspace and blend well with wood countertops and floors. The hues are casual, comfortable, with an inherent versatility. They also go well with retro furnishings.

Warm Harvest Hues

Did you know that the three colors, which can create hearth-like warmth in a cooking space, can be found in the produce aisle? That’s right – the colors are borrowed from carrots, peas, and corn. They can absorb the chill off stainless steel in kitchens, and enhance the rich tones in ceiling beams or wood floors. You can choose a single hue if your kitchen is not too big whereas the combination of colors can be used for bigger spaces.

Elegant Shades of Blue

Rich, saturated shades of blue have a classic and timeless beauty. A lot of these blues are now being used in both kitchens and living rooms. You can layer dark and midtone indigos for an understated elegance. The buzzword you are going for is sophistication. A particular look you can opt for is blues on the walls whereas cabinets are unified by a blue-and-white tile mural. The shades stand out more if there are black countertops with the chairs and tables painted navy.

Painting Ceilings – Get it Right!

Painting might be the simplest DIY method to give your home an upgrade, but the ceiling is a whole other story. It is daunting and takes time as it involves a bit of elevation and contortion.

  • Remove as much furniture from the room as you can before you start so that it is easier for you to make your way around the space where you work. The ones that can’t be removed should be covered with drop cloths, as it will protect them and the floors from mishaps and paint splatters.
  • Painter’s tape should be used where the walls meet the ceiling and around any moldings that decorate the ceiling’s edges.
  • A coat of primer is necessary because it acts like a stain barrier. Moreover, the primer ensures that in most cases, you need to use only one coat of paint to finish.
  • With the help of a stepladder, paint a 2-3″ cut-line along the edge of the ceiling. Begin at a corner, and use a 2” trim brush to paint around 3 feet along one wall, then the adjacent one. Use the roller and start painting the ceiling while the cut-line is still wet. The same rule applies for paint applied from section to section with the roller.
  • Fill the deep portion of a roller tray with paint, and roll the apparatus over the paint till the nap is covered. This is the correct way to use a roller. Don’t submerge it; slide it gently over the paint in a back and forth motion in the shallow part of the tray until the nap is completely covered and paint drips are minimal.
  • Take the extension pole and attach it to the roller. Use the paint-filled roller and go for a zigzag pattern measuring 3-4″ square. To even out the paint, work over the same area using straight, controlled strokes. Don’t leave paint lines from the edge of the roller. Keep in mind that you have to work while the paint is still wet, so tackle small sections. To reduce distinct, visible lines between sections, ensure that you feather the edges.

You might need to repeat the process from cut-lines to painting after the coat is dry. That depends on the paint and coverage though. Southwest Professional Painting is proud to have qualified experts on board who can help you with your painting projects. Call today, 602-490-0979

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor?

It is important to make sure that who ever you hire to do work on your home is not only Licensed, Bonded and Insured, but also Licensed with the ROC (Arizona Register of Contractors).  There are so many scams and people working without the proper licenses, to do the work contracted.  This can result in damage to your home, a job done badly, or worse.  Some scammers will have you pay up front for materials and never show up, or show up do a lousy job and expect payment at completion, and you may not notice until after they are gone.  If they are not registered or licensed with the ROC, you may not have a leg to stand on in recovery your money or getting the repairs needed to have the job done right.

Cheap labor sounds great but in the end it could cost you much more than if you hired a contractor with all the correct licensing and insurance in place.   To know if someone is registered and licensed, first they should have an ROC # on their paperwork, fliers, website and business cards.  But even those can be fake, so double check with the ROC before you hire to make sure that the company you want to do the job is truly licensed and registered.

Don’t be the victim of a scammer.  Find out more about the ROC and how they can help protect you as the consumer.

Some Great Articles for Reading:
Why hire a licensed contractor?
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim.
“10 Tips for Hiring a Contractor” by Popular Mechanics: