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PART THREE-Removing and Repairing Damage Ceiling Texture

Worst case scenario:  Your texture is damaged, your sheetrock is damaged and you need to repair both.  You first need to decide if you need to remove and replace any sheetrock.  If the sheetrock is bowed or sagging, that problem can only be remedied with sheetrock replacement.  Call a contractor, this process will not be explained below.  However, if you have a few holes in your ceiling fist sized or smaller, or the texture is falling off?  No problem, read on! 

First remove any loose texture with a metal putty knife (1.5” – 6”) blades usually work best depending upon the amount of damage and how tight the texture is.  The goal here is to remove loose, soft and or damaged texture until you find tighter or sound texture.  When we say remove we mean that the ceiling will be smooth underneath the texture.  The damaged area will still be dusty or chalky but all the bumps will be gone.  The difficulty here is again due to lack of a primer under the texture and/or no paint on top of the existing texture. It’s hard to know when and where to stop the removal process. You will need to remove all the water damaged texture.  If you just paint over damaged texture it may fall to the floor when you paint.  This can even happen years later.  Once you have removed the damaged texture you will need to bevel back the remaining sound texture at the edges of the damaged area.  You can’t leave a line, edge or ridge at the joint where the texture is sound and the removed area.  We use a stiff putty knife to remove the sound texture.  Yes, you will now be removing the sound texture to create a beveled edge.  This beveled edge must be at least 5” wide.  The idea here is to remove all the texture at the joint and carefully remove less and less texture as you move away from the joint.   (The joint is the spot where you stopped removing the damaged texture and the sound texture begins)  You are trying to create a 5”-10” area that is beveled.  As you move out and away from the joint you will be removing less and less texture. This beveled area is the key to hiding the damaged area.

Patching Holes:   Don’t patch until you prime the damaged area.  Patching compounds will not stick well to dusty and/or chalky areas.  The best primer for something like this is again a clear thin primer like Zinsser-Gardz Problem Surface Sealer from Abbott Paint & Carpet.  Prime the entire area that you have worked on and allow to dry.  When patching, if the hole is smaller than or slightly larger than a standard pencil then you can just use any type of spackle or patching compound.  If the hole is the size of a quarter then Gravity will pull the patch out of the hole to some degree.  Fill the hole first with something.  That something will need to be tightly inserted and can’t stick out of the hole.  That something (Joint tape, a piece of sheetrock, some foam spray etc.) must fit tightly to the sides of the hole.  Then fill as stated above.  Always use at least two coats of patching compound and allow to dry between coats.  For larger holes use a metal mesh patch available at your local paint or hardware stores. Follow the directions on the label for application.  Use at least 2 – 3 coats of joint compound to adhere the metal mesh patch.

Okay!  Damaged texture has been removed, beveled edge installed, damaged area primed, holes patched it’s time to texture.

There are some aerosol textures on the market for small spots.  Read the instructions carefully and be prepared to apply the product 2-3 times.  You must allow the product to dry between coats.  These aerosol texture cans may work very well for small spots.

If you rent a texture machine you will also need a bag of texture, 99% of ceiling texture products are of a medium size (more than likely you will need medium).  Follow the directions on the back of the texture bag.  Talk to the people at the rental store.  This is all trial and error stuff, be patient.  There are three different variables at play when you apply texture.  Airflow or the volume of air, the hole size in the texture gun and or the thickness or thinness of the texture itself.  It’s a super messy process, start small and be prepared to wipe off the texture if it doesn’t look right.  Try, try again don’t worry too much about messing it up you can always call Lake Area Painting & Decorating.

If the damaged area is larger than a soccer ball? Call your local contractor, Lake Area Painting & Decorating or you can rent a texture machine. Or you can do all the work stated above then call Lake Area Painting & Decorating.

If you succeed with the texture the texture is dry, everything looks great.  Then look carefully for water stains.  If you see them then deal with them as explained above using a spray can of spray primer Zinsser B-I-N or Kilz Original. 

Paint your ceiling as stated in a previous blog post or again call Lake Area Painting & Decorating Inc. Thank you for taking the time to read our blogs!

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PART TWO-Painting a Textured Ceiling

This process in and of itself has caused many people problems, pain and cost.  You see the dirty little secret is that 95% of textured ceilings are installed incorrectly when the house is built.  All manufacturers of sheetrock, joint or patching compound and texture recommend that new sheetrock is primed prior to installing texture.  This step is usually skipped.  In modern home building, ceilings are very seldom primed prior to applying texture.  This practice creates major problems when you want to paint a textured ceiling.  Ceilings textures are water soluble and due to lack of a primer, they have very little adhesion to the new sheetrock.   Latex paints and primers are primarily water.  When the texture gets wet with the paint or primer the texture can fall off of the ceiling.  This is not pretty and can cause you to have to re-texture the complete ceiling.

Make sure all walls, flooring, furniture and all ceiling hardware such as lights are covered.  The most difficult items to cover are the walls.  We use 1.5” OR 2” Low adhesive masking tape by the 3M Company.  The tape must be installed very carefully at the wall ceiling joint. Line the tape up with the texture and firmly press the tape onto the wall.  We use a narrow 1.5” putty knife to secure the top edge of the tape to the wall at the ceiling line.  We leave the bottom edge of the tape loose if possible in order to tuck the plastic under that edge.  We use 12’ wide plastic on a 400’ roll to cover all the walls.  Again you tape the wall at the ceiling line then tuck the edge of the plastic under the bottom edge of the tape.  You then unfold the plastic to cover the walls all the way down to the floor.
Ready to paint?  First and foremost, test the existing texture to see if it has ever been painted, there are many ways to do this.  Try a putty knife edge first, gently scrape at the popcorn texture.  If it has never been painted it will fall off easily, almost like a powder.  You can even scrape it off with your fingernails.  If the texture seams soft like it has never been painted make a 2nd test.  Get a wet sponge and carefully gently wash a very small part of the ceiling.  If it turns to mud and or washes off immediately you have now confirmed that the texture has not been painted.  You must prime the ceiling first before painting it and you should spray the ceiling with an AIRLESS SPRAYER.  You can rent one of these at your local rental store.  You really should hire a contractor at this point.   If the ceilings have been painted before then most of the danger described above is passed. You may only need one coat of paint and you can roll the new paint onto the ceiling.  Use a heavy nap roller ¾”-1” nap.  Take your time don’t miss any spots.

Priming and Painting an unpainted textured ceiling.  Call your local contractor Lake Area Painting & Decorating or rent that sprayer and learn how to use it.  Suffice it to say in untrained hands you can create many more headaches than just water damage.  The process and technique for rolling and/or spraying will not be discussed here.

The safest primer to use in terms of your textured ceiling not falling down is an oil based or alcohol based primer/sealer.  However, if you don’t have a full face respirator you will be overcome by the fumes from the solvents.  We have found in careful hands we can use a quick drying primer like (Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3) or a slow drying Penetrating primer like (Zinsser-Gardz Problem Surface Sealer).  When you apply these primers DO NOT OVER APPLY!  If you saturate the popcorn texture it may fall.  You may want to test a small area first and let it dry.  This will ensure you have no problems.  You want to apply a very even uniform coat.  Once the primer has dried you can apply the finish paint.  You don’t need expensive paint for this.  Actually the cheaper the better, but make sure the color is what you want.  A good product for this is Super Hide from Benjamin Moore.  You can get this product at Abbott Paint and Carpet located in White Bear Lake.

Your best solution for painting your textured ceiling is to call your 5-star local painting company that has been in your neighborhood for almost 70 years, Lake Area Painting & Decorating.

Check back soon for our last blog post in the series – Removing and repairing damaged ceiling texture.

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Three Part Blog Series-On water damage/texture & painting repair caused by frost or ice dams

If you have good insulation and good ventilation you won’t get frost damage or ice dams.  Water damage is a serious issue that can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

If you do see a stain on your ceiling, usually it’s a dark spot or grayer spot when it’s wet.  When dry it’s that sickly dirty orange-yellow color and it may have some dark streaks mixed in.  You will need to solve the immediate problem.  If you remove the snow and ice from your roof you will have solved the short term problem.  If you decide to do this yourself, be careful!  Ice and snow on a steep roof with a long drop to the ground..do the math!  In addition to the dangers involved you can cause long term damage to your roof using a pickax and/or shovels.  The simple solution is to remove the snow and then use salt and lots of it.  Salt pucks or salt in a nylon sock or pantyhose seem to work well.  In some cases you will not need to climb onto the roof, this will allow the water to drain safely.  You can go online and find some of these products or you can hire a professional to steam or hot water blast away your ice dams.

Ok, so now the problem won’t continue.  The snow and ice are gone, but what about that ugly stain on your bright white ceiling?  When you first notice the stain watch it like a hawk.  The first question would be is the stain growing or getting larger?  If it is not growing then it’s not an immediate problem.  The stain can be as big as a dime and up to the size of a trash can lid without being a serious problem.  The more serious problems happen when the stain starts to change in shape.  Is the texture starting to droop, sag, fall off or crack etc.?  Is water starting to drip or run off the ceiling?  If so, it’s time to take more extreme action.  Water is building up above the ceiling and if you don’t eliminate that excess water it will move into other areas of your home.  You will need to drain away the excess water!  Get a couple of buckets, a ladder or stool and take action.  Find the nastiest looking spot and drive a screwdriver into the sheetrock or any hard pointy object will work.   You may need a hammer to break through the sheetrock ceiling.  Water will start to drip out of the hole you just made.  Capture the water into the bucket.  More holes are sometimes needed to remove the water.  More holes will also allow the ceiling to dry out thus eliminating the potential for mold.  The faster the ceiling dries out the less chance for mold.  Get some fans and heaters pointed at the problem right away to further aid the drying process.  In extreme cases make a larger hole, as large as your fist may be necessary to eliminate the water and dry out the ceiling.  Once the water is gone, the ceiling is dry and spring is here it’s time to repair the ceiling.

Check back soon for part two & three in our series on water damage/texture repair.

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Refinishing Interior Windows

What is wrong with my windows?  The bottom parts of the windows look terrible.  The varnish or paint is peeling, the stain has changed color, there are black and gray rotten looking areas.  Maybe all of the above.

Why is this happening?

There are many reasons from poor quality windows to just lack of maintenance on a wood window in the northern climates.  The basic underlying cause is the weather.  Here in Minnesota in the winter we have extreme conditions. It’s 20 Degrees outside and very dry.  Its 70 degrees inside and higher humidity.  If you’re lucky you have insulated double or triple pane windows, but even so.  There is only about 1”-2” of glass and or wood separating your warm house from the cold outside air.  That is why condensation happens, but there is more.  Expansion and contraction, sun damage, wood that gets wet and won’t dry out.  However, many times it’s just a lack of maintenance or a poor quality original finish of paint or varnish.

Can it be fixed?

Yes, solutions are as follows:  Better windows, the better the window the fewer the problems.  Keep the interior moisture down in your home however, this creates other problems.  Static electricity is not fun, well maybe for the kids.  The real solution is to maintain the finish or re-finish the bottom of your windows.  If neglected they WILL rot and fail.

How to?

First off the wood must be dry and I mean very dry.  We use a moisture meter to test the window sill, sash and jamb.  Once we determine the wood is dry we break out the elbow grease..SANDING. All of the broken and cracked varnish, discolored stain, black or decayed wood must be sanded to a new fresh layer of wood.  If the black or gray damage goes deep and can’t be removed with sanding then we have to break out the wood bleach.  See your local paint store for this product. Open the window and inspect all the surfaces.  There should be no raw wood, often times the edges of the windows were never finished when the house was built.  All raw wood must be finished.  So you have sanded all the damage away and dusted or vacuumed.  Maybe you had to bleach but everything is very dry now.  Most paint stores carry pints of stain, oil-based stains are best due to penetration and ease of use.  Buy 3-5 that you think might work and test them.  You may need to intermix the stain to get the correct color.  Apply the stain to all the surfaces and wipe off all excess.  When dry apply 4 coats of water-based polyurethane varnish to all raw or stained areas.  Make sure you have the correct sheen and make sure you fill the joint between the glass and the wood edge.  It’s even best to get a very thin layer onto the glass.  If you don’t fill the gap that is where the water will soak in.  Take your time and do it right, you don’t want to repeat the process in 3 or 4 years.  10 years sounds better, better yet save some of that varnish and re-apply with a light sanding in 3 years.

If this is something you would rather not tackle your own or just don’t have the time.  Please give us a call, Lake Area Painting & Decorating, we would be happy to help.

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North Oaks Exterior After Photo

On my last post, I posted a North Oaks home that was in progress.  Today I had the opportunity to take the after photo.  A paint job can only be as good as the surface you are painting over.  Preparation is the key to a LONG lasting paint job.

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Why Does My Exterior Paint Job Fail?

A paint job can only be as good as the surface we are painting over. Many layers of misapplied paint result in massive failure. All paint manufacturers and industry analysts agree that preparation on an existing painted house normally takes about 70% preparation and 30% painting, most painters and homeowners do quite the opposite.  We are in the progress of removing all the paint from this home in North Oaks, Minnesota due to this problem. Preparation, preparation, and more preparation is the key to a long lasting paint job and that’s exactly what Lake Area Painting does!

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Centerville Cement Board Home Painted with Aura Low Lustre in August of 2017

This home in Centerville, Minnesota and was only 10 years old, but the paint job looked like it was 20 years old. The original paint was of poor quality and was put on thin by an airless sprayer.  It started to fade and oxidized within 3 years.  Lake Area Painting & Decorating came to the rescue and power washed with hot water to cause and locate failure and to remove the oxidation, dirt, and mildew.  We then painted with Aura Low Lustre paint and it was applied by brush this time around.  The body color is Aura Fairview Taupe and the peaks are Night Horizon.  What a difference with the two-tone color, this home really pops!  We also stripped and refurbished the front entry door.

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Exterior Semi-Transparent Stain

30 years we have been taking care of this customer. We have re-stained the wood siding every 10 years with a semi-transparent stain. The average life span for this type of product is 5 years.  Preparing the surface is the key to any paint or stain job.

 

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Cabinet Refinishing, what are your options?

If the cabinets in your home are worn out, peeling, fading, soft, gummy or spotty, you have many options for making them better. The list for fixing them is long and ranges from completely replacing them, to replacing the doors, to re-varnishing or painting.

The least expensive option and often the smartest option is simply to re-paint or re-varnish.

The three most important parts of refinishing are preparation, preparation, and more preparation. Most paint and varnish manufacturers have been trying to make products that are user-friendly for years. They are making self-priming and no-sanding products. The problem with cabinetry is as follows:

There is perhaps no other wood surface in your home that gets the same amount of abuse. Cooking oils, hand oils, cleaning products, fingernails, rings on your fingers and constant use.

So, your new coatings must stick. This means you must prepare. This means you must do the following and be diligent.

Wash all surfaces with a strong cleaner like TSP, rinse to remove residue. Re-sand to raw wood at damaged areas to allow the wood to accept new stain or primer. Custom mix stains to match your existing finish and apply spot stain. We use gel stains to allow for darker coloring. Spot apply with an oil-based sanding sealer at damaged areas. Caution — don’t move to the next step until the finish looks uniform. Re-clean with a solvent like paint deglosser and start your varnishing.

Coating compatibility is a problem. Oil-based varnish, water-based varnish, polyurethanes, epoxies, and lacquers react differently with each other. You can’t just willy-nilly apply one over the other. Your safest and easiest coating to use over any existing varnish is just good old fashioned standard oil-based varnish!

If this is something you would rather not tackle at this time, call Lake Area Painting & Decorating.  We love to restore kitchen cabinets.

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Bar & Table Top Refinishing

New table tops at Tom Reid's City Pub in St. Paul, MN

New table tops at Tom Reid’s City Pub in St. Paul, MN

Yes, at Lake Area Painting it is a specialty. We are very good at making an old beat up table top or bar top into a new extremely hard varnished finish. The final finish can be a mirror-like gloss finish or a hand-rubbed satin finish. Bar tops and kitchen tables take an enormous amount of abuse, which is why we only use high-solid content polyurethane or epoxy in these situations.

The most incredible part of our system is you will not need to close your bar or restaurant! The complete system can be achieved within 24 hours! That’s correct we can come into your restaurant and/or bar at 9pm on a Sunday night and by Monday night the smell will be gone and you will be looking at a perfectly smooth varnished surface.

What is involved? All adjacent surfaces are covered and protected. All existing coatings are removed including a very fine layer of wood. All surfaces are sanded smooth and we apply 2-3 coats of varnish.

We have several types of finishes to choose from, we can use lacquers, polyurethanes, or two-part epoxy. All are extremely tough and designed for long-term daily abuse.

Call today 651-429-1778 for a no obligation estimate.