Archives for 2016

Why is Caulking and Masking Needed?

Tape caulking is done after your interior surfaces have been cleaned and repaired. Before the paint is applied, you need to caulk and mask because caulk can cover a lot of imperfections and prevent problematic issues, while the latter protects surfaces you don’t want to paint.

  • After priming, cracks become more visible. Prime the wood before caulking as caulk sticks better after that. To avoid moisture seeping into walls, caulk all joints between trim and wall surfaces.
  • Take two tubes of caulk and cut the tips. In one of the tubes, cut a tiny opening so that you can use it for narrow cracks at nearly all joints between the woodwork and walls. It can be put to use between various trim members as well such as frame joints and window stops. A bigger opening needs to be cut at the tip of the second tube as it will be used to seal larger cracks.
  • Squeeze the trigger to apply the caulk, as you either push or pull the tip along the joint. Don’t use excessive caulk to fill up the crack (use only the amount needed), because it will spread out on the surface. Tiny holes can be filled and smoothed with wet fingertips. Allow sufficient time for the caulk to set.
  • Buy painter’s tape, available in various degrees of tackiness and width, to mask the areas. It also comes off much easier as opposed to regular masking tape.
  • Pre-taped masking paper or plastic works well, because the self-stick edges can hold on to surfaces like door trim or the top of a window. The width ranging from a couple of inches to several feet drapes the surface.
  • It is advisable not to opt for masking tape because it has way too much adhesive, thus making it tougher to remove. A rougher edge is created as paint tends to bleed under masking tape more easily.
  • To prevent paint bleeding under the tape, press the edge with a putty knife or any hard material.
  • Remove the tape after the paint is dry. Don’t wait more than 24 hours to take off the tape as it might get wet or the sun might bake the tape on. Peel it back at an angle slowly, away from the painted surface to ensure that the freshly applied paint doesn’t peel.

Get in touch with Southwest Professional Painting to get the best tips about caulking and any painting-related issues.


Types of Tools for Stripping Paint

It’s time to re-paint your home and give it a brand new look! The first and most difficult task is to remove old paint from those surfaces that are in dire need of fresh paint. Stripping paint is a difficult task but it is necessary, because old, peeling, or flaking paint will botch up the task completely.

These are a few paint-stripping tools you can use:

Heat Guns

These can range in temperature from 200 °F to 1400 °F. Keep the temperature between 500 – 800 °F while removing paint with a heat gun. You need to maintain this temperature, because if it goes above 1000 °F, it can cause the paint to vaporize releasing toxic fumes like in the case of lead paint. If you are using it on a siding, the gun can set it on fire if it crosses 1000 °F. Heat guns are quite effective on smaller intricate wood work such as trim and molding. A blow torch is sometimes used instead because it has great speed and mobility, but the risk factor is huge if used on highly combustible surfaces.

Infrared Heaters

These work on the principle of infrared heat, seeping through the top coat into the sub-coats, thereby making it simpler for stripping paint. The temperature needs to be between 350 – 600 °F.  As mentioned before, lead paint can be fatal but infrared heaters remove the paint in chunks and hold it in the paint chip. This technique is slow but one of the safest for removing paints. Electric heat plates are occasionally used to strip paint from big areas. They operate between 500 – 800 °F.

Chemical Sprays

A few years back, methylene strippers were used to remove paint, but it is extremely caustic and causes burns if it touches skin. Nowadays you can find a lot of environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non-flammable, and odor free products on the market. These don’t contain harmful chemicals and is non-toxic.

Dry Ice Blasters

This method works best for thinner layers. It will not be too effective on thicker layers as the bond between the paint and the surface is stronger. How does it operate? It freezes the paint quickly, thus making it shrink and is subsequently released from the substrate. There are no chemicals involved and it can remove paint up to 300 sq ft per hour.

Need advice about paint stripping tools? At Southwest Professional Painting, we have qualified and experienced technicians who can answer your questions and guide you in the right direction for your project needs.  Call today 602-490-0979!




Tips and Tricks to Paint Woodwork

Revamping furniture can lend an entirely new appeal to it – for example, you can touch up an old piece of wood furniture to give it a vintage look or you can buy an inexpensive piece of furniture and paint it. This way you add color and style to your home and save money too.

Here are a few painting tips:

  • You should work in well-ventilated area such as porches, covered decks, or basements with open windows etc. so that the fumes don’t affect you. There should also be no fume-producing object in the vicinity. Use a dust mask, gloves, and goggles to protect yourself.
  • Put an old sheet, a drop cloth or newspapers on the floor. All hardware from the furniture must be removed such as drawer pulls or hinges.
  • Use liquid sander or fine sandpaper to sand the furniture. Keep on sanding till it is smooth.
  • Check to see if any residual sawdust remains and use a hand vacuum to remove the particles. Otherwise, use a brush or barely damp rag to clean the wood.
  • Apply the primer and keep in mind that it should be either white brush-on or gray spray-on water-based paint. The size of the furniture will decide what type of paint you should buy.
  • Let the primer dry for a few hours. The time duration varies for different types, so read the label on the primer you are using to be sure. On a day with high humidity, it might take longer to dry.
  • After the first coat of primer is dry, check to see if another coat is required. If yes, apply the second coat and let it dry again.
  • No rough areas should remain; if there are any make sure you sand them till they are even.
  • Use water-based paint and begin with one coat, brushing it on with even strokes. Always paint in the direction of the wood grain. Spray painting needs to be done with extreme caution – go slowly while holding the can about 8-12 inches away from the surface.
  • As in the case of primer, the first coat of paint needs to thoroughly dry before you can apply another coat. When the painting is done, let it dry overnight.

Southwest Professional Painting can provide you with a lot of useful tips and expert advice as to how you can paint woodwork. So what are you waiting for? Call us today, 602-490-0979.