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Join us and continue the conversation on all things paint-related at Don't forget to update your RSS feed. Thanks for your support. The Paint Gurus Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2011 at Paint Gurus
Once your deck is finished and is starting to be exposed to the elements, there are several things you should be on the look out to ensure the wood continues to be properly protected. It's always a good idea to check for protruding nails and loose boards regularly. Over time you may see sap that has crystallized, commonly around knots in the wood--it can easily be removed by scraping or with a little turpentine. Try to keep the deck swept clear of leaves, which when they get wet could potential stain the deck surface. Before winter, remove items like potted plants and metal patio furniture to help prevent staining. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2011 at Paint Gurus
Now that your deck is clean, dry, and maybe even stripped, it's ready to accept stain. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2011 at Paint Gurus
In our previous blog we gave you the basic information on how to prepare you deck before staining. Now it's time to decide what type of stain you're going to apply. Let's start with the basics. You can choose from typical alkyd- or latex-based stains or the new Arborcoat line of stains. Next, decide on the opacity of the finish before making the all-important color decision. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2011 at Paint Gurus
Whether your deck is made of pressure-treated lumber, cedar, redwood, or teak, everything from the sun's UV rays to rain and snow to simple everyday use creates wear and tear on the surface. Sooner or later it'll need refinishing. Telltale signs that your deck needs a bit more attention than just a good scrubbing are: peeling; when water no longer beads on the surface; grey wood (an indication of dead wood fibers); and splintering (the wood is drying out). Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2011 at Paint Gurus
The warm weather is finally here and if you've just finished installing a brand new deck, it'll need some kind of protection before you can invite friends and family over to enjoy it. Chances are you used pressure treated wood (PTW), the most common and inexpensive choice for decking. If so, you should hold off picking up a brush. Chances are your brand new PTW is not ready to take a finish just yet. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2011 at Paint Gurus
Quality brushes and rollers are expensive, so it pays to take good care of them. Fortunately, water-based latex paints have taken most of the hassle out of clean-up--all you need is a few minutes and a little soap and water and you can return your applicators to as-new condition at the end of every paint job. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2011 at Paint Gurus
Like brushes, choosing the right roller makes all the difference. For very little extra, not only will you get a significantly better finish but the work and cleanup will be quicker and smoother. Seems like a no-brainer but almost everyone gets tempted by those cheap discount packs . . . which is fine if you want a cheap finish and give yourself extra work. The truth is, a good paint roller will cut hours off your painting time while leaving behind a smooth, even finish. Rollers come in different sizes, from small 'slim jims' (useful for painting the wall behind toilets and should not be used for large wall areas) to huge 18-inch setups, but 9 inch rollers are the most commonly used size. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2011 at Paint Gurus
It's surprising to see how often people buy top-quality paint (and spend countless hours on careful prep) then jeopardize the end result by trying to save a few pennies on brushes. There's almost no better example of 'penny wise and pound foolish,' especially since the right brush will also save time and be less hassle because it holds more paint and will give you better control. In the end, you'll get a smoother finish with fewer visible brush strokes and you're far less likely to find pesky brush hairs dried into the finish. Of course, quality costs a little more--you can expect to pay at least $12 or so for a decent 2 1/2-inch trim brush--but a good brush will last for years, if it's properly cared for. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at Paint Gurus
In our last post, we talked about what causes blisters, peeling, and other common paint problems; in this post, we'll tell you how to repair them and, as important, avoid these problems in the future. Proper preparation is the key, whether you're fixing a few blisters or repainting an entire house. Cleaning, sanding, and scraping aren't much fun, but think of it this way: the more time and attention you give to preparing the substrate, the longer the coating will last. In the end, you'll actually spend less time on a ladder, because your paint job will last much longer. Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Paint Gurus
It's very likely that the exterior inspection recommended in our last post will turn up some problems here and there. The good news is that paint problems are usually easy to fix if you can figure out what caused them in the first place. Here are a few of the more typical problems and their likely causes; in our next post, we'll tell you how to fix them. First you should identify if the problem is localized or general. If the problem is limited to a small area or on one side of the house it should be easy to identify and correct. If the problem exists on the entire house it may be a much larger issue and you should probably have a paint expert to inspect your home. Consult your local Benjamin Moore retailer to find an expert who can help. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2011 at Paint Gurus
Here in the Northeast--and in most of the rest of the country--it's been a hard winter. Fortunately, spring is just around the corner, and once the snow melts it's a great time to assess the toll winter has taken on your home. Simply taking a ten-minute stroll around the outside and examining the foundation, siding, trim, porch, and deck can tell you a lot and maybe head off any problems before they become more costly fixes down the road: Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2011 at Paint Gurus
If you've looked at the price of kitchen cabinets lately then you know they can get costly fast. So if your kitchen is in need of a makeover, repainting is a smart way to give the cabinetry a fresh new look without breaking the bank. Previously-painted wood cabinets are prime candidates, of course, but so are wood cabinets with a clear varnish or lacquer finish: With the right prep work, a quality paint job will brighten up dark pine, oak, and other natural-finished wood cabinets and transform the entire room. Formica or laminate cabinets will need additional preparation and an alkyd or bonding primer to enable the paint to adhere. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2011 at Paint Gurus
'Can I REALLY skip the priming?'. . . that's a question a lot of homeowners have about so-called 'paint + primer' products. There are several interior and exterior waterborne paints that have self priming properties on the market--including Benjamin Moore's low-VOC Aura and Regal Select paint--promising one to two coat coverage, over most surfaces when used without a primer. Using products like these, you can expect to cut painting time in half on some projects. As a general rule, these paint + primer products are a good choice when you're repainting work in good condition. Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Fall is a great time to finish up outdoor projects, but a lot of homeowners wonder if it's safe to paint in cooler conditions. The short answer is yes...but you'll need to pay closer attention to weather conditions than during the longer days of summer. This is because most paints are formulated to cure best when temperatures are around 70 to 77 degrees F and relative humidity is around 50%. The more temperature and humidity deviate from those optimal conditions, the riskier it is to paint. Here are some quick guidelines to help you determine whether you should pick up a brush, or move on to other projects on your To-Do list. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Sooner or later, freshly painted walls, trim, and cabinetry will need some touching up. This should be an easy job, especially if there's some paint left over from the original project, but too often the results are disappointing: The dings and scratches are gone, but now the walls have blotchy patches that are slightly different in color and texture. Here are some techniques that the pros use to avoid this problem. Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2010 at Paint Gurus
If you're seeking advice about painting vinyl window frames and trim, you're not alone. This year, thousands of homeowners have replaced older windows with new, energy-efficient models, but many are not happy with the white frames. Sound familiar? The good news is that you're not stuck with white. It's OK to paint vinyl (window frames, shutters, siding or trim) as long as you follow a few rules. Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Stains or bleed-through present special challenges and often call for special primers and/or specialty sealers. An effective blocking product depends upon the problem stain and on the finish material. But with all of the possible stain offenders (smoke, soot, ink, crayon, lipstick, tannins, oils, watermarks, rust, etc.) and the vast varieties of primers, what's a painter to do? Here are a few guidelines on how to choose the right primer/sealer to stop the problem stain: Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Decking and outdoor furniture made of exotic hardwoods (mahogany, ipe or teak, etc.) are uncommonly beautiful--and they require uncommon care. Unlike their more porous cousins (softwoods such as pine, cedar and redwood), hardwoods do not absorb finishes in the usual way. In fact, they don't absorb the usual finishes. If you own hardwood decking or patio furnishings, here are six key tips for their care: Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Recently, a customer was proudly explaining to me that she stains her deck every year with two coats of semi-transparent deck stain, whether it needs it or not. When we asked how long she'd been maintaining her deck this way, she said, "8 years, and it still looks great!" we were happy that her deck finish seemed to be holding up, but didn't want to tell her that when her finish started to fail--and it would start to fail sooner rather than later--it would really be a mess. Staining a deck takes time and none of us want to do it more often than necessary. So, here are our top four deck finishing mistakes: Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Hi Claudia, Benjamin Moore does not recommend using exterior products for interior use. One reasons is that mildewcides used in exterior products release a strong odor from the exterior alkyd resins incorporated in the formula. This is acceptable for exterior use but in the confines of an interior, this would not be suitable. Please consider using a Benjamin Moore interior product instead. Interior stucco may be painted with any conventional latex/acrylic interior paint coating.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2010 on Painting Stucco at Paint Gurus
Stucco, concrete block, and other masonry have the reputation for being strong materials but the downside is that they're also brittle and tend to develop cracks as they expand and contract with changes in temperature. In wet climates like in Florida and along the Gulf coast, small cracks can quickly lead to big problems--rot, mildew, and mold--because they allow wind-driven rain into the wall. In colder, northern climates where there are freeze/thaw cycles, if water enters the cracks and turns to ice, small cracks soon turn into big ones. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2010 at Paint Gurus
In the previous post, Jeff Hester gave his tips on researching a paint contractor. Once you have a couple of candidates lined up, here’s the ten key questions he recommends you ask before signing anything: Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Hiring a painter is a big commitment. You're inviting a crew into your home and entrusting it to their care, so it’s crucial they are trustworthy, considerate, reliable, and professional. We asked Chicago-based contractor Jeff Hester to give us his advice on finding the best pro for the job. Here's his six top things to watch for as you research candidates. In a follow up post he gives us his key questions to ask before signing on the dotted line. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2010 at Paint Gurus
Outdoor decks take a beating--from rain, freeze/thaw cycles, even wind-blown sand. But sunlight causes the most damage, since ultraviolet (UV) radiation initiates the photochemical degradation that kickstarts weathering. First, wood changes color, but soon fibers start to loosen from the surface and are eroded away by the elements. That's why every wood deck--even when built with decay-resistant or pressure-treated lumber--needs to be protected by a good finish that blocks UV rays and moisture and delays the natural weathering process. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2010 at Paint Gurus