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.


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.

Switching from an Oil-Based Interior House Paint System to a Latex System

Over the past several years due to government regulation in the Mid-Atlantic region, paint manufacturing companies have slowly phased out oil-based paints. Back in 2005 when the new regulations were starting to be phased in, you could even find painters and homeowner trying to stockpile oil-based products. Today when you go to any paint store and ask for oil-based paint they will only sell you quart sized cans. The only oil-based paint available in gallon sized cans is formulated for use on metal surfaces, not wood. The main problem with oil-based paint products is that they emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)  which have a strong odor and  when dry interact with sun and heat to create ozone pollution.

When I talk to people who have an old oil-based interior system, I get a lot of questions from concerned homeowners who are wary of switching to a latex system but know that it must be done. Below are some tips O’Connor’s Painting Service uses when working with oil to latex on wood trim such as crown moulding, doors, baseboard, chair rails, interior windows, etc.

Preparation Tips

  • Lightly sand trim with 100 grit sand paper.
  • Clean trim with vacuum or dust with old paint brush.

Painting Using Oil Primer and Latex Top Coat

  • Apply one coat of oil primer like Zinsser cover stain which is a quick drying primer. If you are looking for a low odor oil primer, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore carry low odor products that also dry quickly.
  • Apply two top coats of acrylic latex paint like Sherwin Williams, Duron, Benjamin Moore or McCormick.

Painting Using Latex Primer and Latex Top Coat

  • Apply one coat Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer Sealer. This product will bond to slick surfaces like oil.
  • Apply two top coats of acrylic latex paint.

Painting Aluminum Siding

I’m often asked by customers who have very old aluminum siding if it’s a good idea to paint their siding. I was at a paint trade show recently where I met a large company that manufacturers raw materials for paint. They informed me that paint will hold up on aluminum siding for a good 15 years. I find, unlike wood, where wood can go rotten, siding will hold up very well after painting. It can loose its finish after so many years and start to chalk but in general it holds up very well.  The key to choosing paint is to make sure you use a latex product because of its flexibility because aluminum siding moves.

 When working with aluminum siding we prepare the surface with a cleaner like TSP by brushing it in by hand then power washing the cleaner off.  As the surface is now ready to paint, its time to choose a method.

  • Method 1 is to use a direct to metal primer finish latex product. We apply 2 coats of this for a good cover.
  • Method 2 is to apply one coat of a bonding primer and one top coat of something like a Sherwin Williams Duration product.
  • Method 3 is to apply two top coats of Sherwin Williams Duration without the bonding primer.

 Your next question would be which option is best for my house?

 Choose Method 2:
If after power washing you see any metal showing through or if the siding is really slick to the touch use method 2 with the bonding primer.  Or if you don’t want a flat finish and more of a satin sheen, use Method 2. O’Connor’s Painting usually recommends this satin sheen finish because it more closely matches the original look of the siding.

 Choose Method 1 or Method 3:
If after power washing the siding is just dull and no metal is showing, method 3 is acceptable per manufacturer’s instructions but at O’Connor’s Painting, we like to use Method 1 where we apply direct to metal primer finish.

 At O’Connor’s Painting Service we have much experience painting aluminum siding and which method is best for each individual home. Depending on what color you select for your siding, you might need 3 coats of paint so be sure to alert the contractor to give you a 2 coat price and a three coat price.

 Don’t be scared of hiring a painting contractor  to paint your aluminum siding. It’s a good option to help save homeowners the cost of replacing their whole house siding. Call us to schedule an estimate and we would be happy to give you a quote.

Choosing Interior Paint Finishes

When it comes to interior and exterior painting, selecting the paint finish for your paint IA_int_AURA_Lvrm001_197x117project is an important task. There are a full range of sheens offered by various paint manufacturers, but O’Connor’s Painting Service, Inc. typically uses Sherwin Williams, Duron and Benjamin Moore paint products.

Some of the best advice we give is to tell homeowners to choose flat paints for the ceiling, walls, bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms and family rooms. Washable products (semi-gloss, eggshell, satin or matte flat) should be used in the kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms because they give you the most wash ability. Keep in mind selecting a flat paint, in most cases, is not a washable product. However, flat paint will have no sheen or glare and will not show wall imperfections. Flat paints also can be touched up. For example, damaged walls can be treated by flat paints and they will blend in well. If a paint manufacturer claims their flat paint is washable, do not expect much. If you want a paint that is washable for all rooms than you may want to select matte flat, eggshell, pearl or satin paint. However, any paint that is washable will show more imperfections and will not touch up.

In order to assist you with your interior painting sheen selections, O’Connor’s Painting has put together the following information:

Sherwin Williams Products

O’Connor’s Painting Service uses Sherwin Williams paint products, including Sherwin Williams SuperPaint products. This specific product offers three types of finishes for interior painting: Interior Latex Flat, Interior Latex Satin, and Interior Latex Semi-Gloss.global-tapestry

  • Flat: Is used on primed plaster, wallboard, wood, masonry, and primed metal.
  • Satin: Has a slight gloss, however, this finish has the benefits of a flat finish, but with more clean ability. Satin finish can be used on drywall/plaster, paneling, wood, metal, concrete, masonry, and wall covering. This finish is ideal for “show case” rooms, dining rooms, foyers, family rooms, living rooms, children’s bedrooms, and major color changing projects.
  • Semi-Gloss: This finish displays a shine when looking at the surface. Semi-gloss can be used on wood, metal, drywall, plaster, stucco, concrete and masonry. This type of sheen is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, cabinets, doors, windows, hallways, lobbies, children’s bedrooms, and major color changing projects.

    Duron Products

    O’Connor’s Painting Service uses Duron paint products, including Duron Ultra Deluxe Interior Paints. This specific product offers four types of finishes for interior painting: Ultra Deluxe Interior Eggshell, Ultra Deluxe Interior Flat, Ultra Deluxe Interior High-Gloss, and Ultra Deluxe Interior Semi-Gloss.

  • Eggshell: The ideal choice when an attractive yet durable, low-luster finish is desired.
  • Flat: This washable, flat finish is suitable for light to moderate traffic areas.
  • High-Gloss: The perfect choice where a scrubbable, high-gloss appearance is desired such as trim, kitchens, bathrooms, playrooms and other high traffic areas.
  • Semi-Gloss: The ideal choice when an attractive yet durable, low-luster finish is desired.

    Benjamin Moore Products

    O’Connor’s Painting Service uses Benjamin Moore paint products, including Benjamin Moore Premium Interior Paints. The following finishes are offered by this specific paint product: Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Pearl, Semi-Gloss, and High-Gloss.

  • Benjamin Moore Regal Flat Paint: It has some slight washability, but is best suited for ceilings or wall surfaces in areas that are rarely used. This finish touches up Regal Flatwell.
  • Benjamin Moore Regal Matte Paint: It is essentially flat but incorporates new ceramic technology to give the paint scrubability and stain-resistance. This finish is well-suited for bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, playrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. Matte finish touches up well and holds up well to wear and repeated washings.
  • Benjamin Moore Regal Eggshell Paint: It has slightly more shine than the Matte paint. Eggshell allows no shine when looking directly at the surface, but shows a dull angular sheen when looking along the length of the wall. Eggshell is just as durable as Matte and is perfectly suitable for painting walls, trim, and doors.
  • Benjamin Moore Regal Pearl Paint: It is slightly less shiny than the typical semi-gloss paint. It shows a shine when looking directly at the surface. Typically Pearl finish would be used on trim and doors, but can also be used on walls if they are in good condition. Pearl finish is more durable than the Matte or Eggshell.
  • Benjamin Moore Regal Semi-Gloss Paint: It is as shiny as the typical semi-gloss paint. It shows a shine when looking directly at the surface. Semi-gloss finish is the most popular paint in the Regal line to use on trim and doors, but can also be used on walls if they are in good condition. Semi-gloss is more durable than the Matte, Eggshell, or Pearl.
  • Benjamin Moore Impervex High-Gloss Paint: This finish is very shiny. It is typically used for railings or doors and can be used either indoors or outdoors. High-Gloss is the most durable paint.
  • Jumping into the world of blogging

    O'Connor's LogoWelcome to the O’Connor’s Painting Service blog which we hope to be a great resource for our customers both new and returning. In this new blog we will be sharing our techniques for prep and painting as well as reviewing some of the new and exciting paint products being developed such as the new Zero-VOC Natura paint by Benjamin Moore.

    To ensure that all our customers are satisfied, O’Connor’s Painting Service continuously researches the best paint products, preparation techniques, and application procedures. Our company is in frequent contact with Sherwin Williams , Duron and Benjamin Moore tech services to provide us with all the necessary information regarding new, upcoming paint products. Our company also takes the time to understand the history of your home/commercial space to make sure the proper products, preparation techniques, and application procedures are applied to ensure the best results.