Choosing the right paint for a busy veterinary office

Last Fall, the Laytonsville Veterinary Practice contracted O’Connor’s Painting to re-paint the interior of their offices and exam rooms. Off I went in search to find the best paint product to use for the project. I needed something that offered durability, good coverage, was easy to wash and had a low odor.  What I found was was Sherwin Williams Pro Industrial Zero VOC Catalyzed Epoxy commercial coating which had all the benefits I was looking for in a paint product for the veterinary practice.

  1. Zero VOC’s

    Commercial Interior Painting by O'Connor's Painting Service
    Interior rooms painted by O’Connor’s Painting Service
  2. Extremely Durable
  3. Created a hard, tough coating that is super washable
  4. Superior resistance to abrasion, corrosion, chemicals, stains… all things that can occur in a heavily used exam room that has high maintenance
  5. Flowed and leveled to a smooth finish
  6. Comes in egg-shell and semi-gloss sheens

When applying the first coat, it was dry to the touch after one hour. However we did not apply a second coat immediately. According to Sherwin Williams we waited the required 8 hours before applying the second coat. In a busy vets office with animals that can scratch the walls, you definitely want the product to cure properly which takes between 5-7 days before the rooms are put into heavy use.

The only problem I found with this product is that if you let it dry longer than 72 hours before re-coating, you have to sand the surface again.

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More sanding, less dust

This past month I made the decision to upgrade our sanding system here at O’Connor’s Removing old paint from home exteriorPainting Service. It was a major investment, but I think a wise one that will help my painting customers and employees. After researching for months and asking all my fellow painting contractors what they recommended, I settled on purchasing a dustless sanding system made by Festool. If you own a house that was built prior to 1978, there is a chance that your exterior paint might be lead-based. Before I purchased the new Festool Hepa dust extracting sanding system, my guys would have to wet sand by hand. Now with the Hepa dust extractor, the dust created by sanding is instantaneously sucked up by the attached vacuum that collects the dust. This system meets EPA Lead Safe guidelines. In areas we can use this new tool, the wood turns out better and our customers and employees are protected. If your looking to get the exterior of your home painted in the future and you are concerned about lead paint removal, know that O’Connor’s Painting Service an EPA Lead Safe Certified company and with our new Festool dustless sanding system, you can’t go wrong.

A Trick for Priming PVC

Sherwin Williams makes an exterior/interior bonding primer that I used the other day at mpaint_template-1y own home in Laytonsville, Maryland to prime PVC. Being a very slick surface, PVC can be tricky to paint and have last a long time without peeling. As I was working with the Sherwin Williams bonding primer, I got a little on my hands. What a time I had trying to wash it off my hands after I had completed the work. Good thing I didn’t have the primer on my hands all day or it would have never come off! One thing this taught me is that this product is a superior bonding primer and since then I’ve used that same product at O’Connor’s Painting Service to not only prime PVC boards but also aluminum siding and any other slick surfaces.

Old paint cans hanging about that you want to get rid of in a responsible manner?

Whenever O’Connor’s Painting Service completes a job, any unused paint we leave with the customer with a description of where the paint was used in the house written on the can. These paints come in handy if there is ever a need for the homeowner to touch up a spot here or there years later. A quick tip, be sure to store your paint in a warm area like your basement or laundry room to make sure the paint remains stable.

After awhile, you might want to eventually dispose of old cans of paint you no longer need. You just can’t throw them in your garbage “as is”. To dispose of paint in a environmentally responsible manner. There are a few steps you should follow.

First, I recommend keeping a log of the paint brand (Sherwin Williams/Behr), type (interior/exterior), sheen (flat/satin), color name, color number and the formula if a custom blend.  You never know when you might need to reference this information later.

Second, check with our local county waste authority for there rules on disposing of paint waste. For example in Montgomery County, Maryland if you are a resident, you can go to the dump and they have a special area set up to accept your old paint along with other household hazardous waste.

Finally, dry your waste paint with a product such as Krud Kutter Waste Paint/Colorant Hardener. It’s great for latex and oil-based paints.  You can find the product at most home improvement stores. Add the crystals to the paint can. Stir paint til it thickens, then let dry hard. You can now dispose of your old paint. Some municipalities will let you dispose of this hardened paint right in you garbage can but call first to make sure.

Painting Cabinets

Often a stain on older cabinets can start to look dirty and grungy. In an attempt to freshen older cabinetry, customers often ask me what it would take to paint over the existing surface. Here is a step by step explanation of the process O’Connor’s Painting Service uses to paint cabinetry.

  1. Remove old hardware. Note: if customer wants to replace the old hardware with new, be sure to choose hardware that matches the existing screw holes to avoid a lot of putty work to fill existing holes.

    Painting Cabinets for a Fresh Look
  2. Sand cabinets well with very sandpaper to remove old varnish or polyurethane.
  3. Wipe the surface with mineral spirits then follow by also wiping the cabinets down with a cleaning solution such as 50% water and 50% ammonia.
  4. Apply one coat primer of Zinsser Cover Stain Oil. We normally paint the exterior of the cabinetry then both sides any doors.
  5. Apply two top coats of latex or oil semi-gloss paint, whichever color a homeowner picks. We suggest picking a Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore product that has a oil base finish for a harder surface.

The real key to success in painting cabinets is in the preparation. Sand extremely well with sandpaper and clean all surfaces using a clean cloth saturated with mineral spirits in order to remove all surface dirt, greasy spots and contamination. If the surface is excessively dirty, you may have to go over the areas multiple times with the mineral spirits and the 50/50 ammonia water mixture.

Deck Finish – Clear, Solid or Semi-Transparent Stain?

When I get a call to bid a deck staining job, often the homeowner asks me my expert opinion on whether to use a clear, solid or a clear semi-transparent stain. It all depends on the level of maintenance and investment you are prepared to commit to over the years.

Clear finish deck stains only last up to two years. In most cases your deck will look the same after power washing when you apply a clear finish. Some clear sealers may have a hint of color. The advantage of a clear stain is that after several years the sealer will be gone so prep and re-application is simple. Just power wash and apply clear again.

Semi-transparent deck stain can last about three years. When the semi-transparent stain wears off you must apply a stripper, then a cleaner before power washing the deck clean to prepare the surface. In most cases, a semi-transparent stain will give the wood deck color. This option is more costly to keep up due to the extra prep work needed.

Solid stain deck finishes will give you a solid color just like paint but with much less sheen. Solid stains last around five years. To re-do a deck with solid stain, manufacturers always recommend you completely remove or strip all stain first. If the solid is peeling, you will need a professional painter to determine the correct application process. Some times you may be able to avoid stripping the deck by power washing and re-coating with the solid stain. But in some cases for example, the deck floor may be peeling profusely so you will need to strip and apply penetrating oil, then re-coat with the solid stain. Decks stained with a solid experience more peeling than semi-transparent or clear stained decks thus requiring additional maintenance.

At O’Connor’s Painting Service we recommend products such as Cabots, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr or McCormick stains. Your deck stain will last longer with a professional application with a top rated product.

Trying to Decide between Power Washing or Hand Cleaning Painted Surfaces?

Often it takes a trained professional painter to determine if the exterior paint of your house should be cleaned O'Connor's Painting Service in Montgomery County Maryland example of paint chalking.by hand or power washed and to what extent.

Scenario 1Your paint job was done about two years ago and you decide to change the color. If there is very little mildew, you may be able to just hand clean the dirty areas.

Scenario 2 – Your house has not been painted in 8 years. When you rub your hand across the surface it is covered with a powdered chalk. Also upon examination you also see black mildew spots. In this case O’Connor’s Painting Service would apply a cleaner for the chalk and mildew surfaces.O'Connor's Painting Service recommends Krud Kutter as an exterior painted surface cleaner We will then power wash the largest areas always using a low pressure. Around windows and doO'Connor's Painting Service recommends Jomax as an exterior painted surface cleanerors, we always clean by hand. Good quality cleaners like Krud Kutter or Jomax can be found at all paint stores, home Depot or Lowes.