• Color Box Painting LLC

    Licensed | Bonded | Insured | (503) 989~7413
  • Color Box Painting LLC

    Licensed | Bonded | Insured | (503) 989~7413
  • Color Box Painting LLC

    Licensed | Bonded | Insured | (503) 989~7413
  • Color Box Painting LLC

    Licensed | Bonded | Insured | (503) 989~7413
  • Color Box Painting LLC

    Licensed | Bonded | Insured | (503) 989~7413
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Color Box Painting LLC Blog

Color Box Painting LLC - Portland, Oregon based Painting Contractor's Blog.

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distressed furniture

Most home painting is undertaken for both maintenance and aesthetic purposes, but there?s one painting project that is done purely for pleasure: furniture distressing. Yes, the project involves paint and brushes, but so too does fine art. And adding an aged look to obsolete objects is a creative undertaking of which any artist would be proud.

Authentically distressed furniture ? the kind that got that way from years of use and abuse ? is a valuable commodity today. High-end antique stores charge thousands of dollars for these pieces. But you can get the same chic look for a song if you do your own distressing.

Start by searching your attic and basement for furnishings that have served your own family in the past. Many of us put old items into storage, where they can sit for years, even decades. Look for wood pieces that have interesting shapes and details, the more unusual, the better.

If your search comes up empty, hit the road. . .literally. You can always pick up hidden gems at second-hand stores or consignment shops, but it?s thriftier yet, and more fun, to go on a trash day treasure hunt. When you do, concentrate on older, upscale neighborhoods, and get there early, preferably before dawn (you?ll be in competition with professional antique dealers and collectors who make much of their living this way). Look not just for furniture, but also for cabinets, vanities, ornate molding and other architectural elements, clocks, and picture frames. They all look great when distressed.

With your newfound items in hand, it?s time to create your paint palette. Consider where in your home you?ll use the finished piece and take cues from the room?s color scheme. Distressing typically involves at least two or three paint colors, sometimes even more. That provides plenty of opportunity to pick up not just the color of the walls, but also the accent colors. Sometimes, a multi-colored distressed piece is what ties together an entire color scheme.

Before you run out to the paint store, see if you have any paint leftovers in storage, especially if you plan to use the same colors that appear on your walls and trim. Why spend more for a new can of paint if you don?t have to? Other tools and supplies you?ll need for your project: a palette knife or painting spatula, paint brushes (and a roller if the item you?re working on is large), liquid paint stripper (optional), 100 grit sandpaper, a latex clear coating if you are working with latex paint, or an alkyd varnish if you are working with oil-based paint.

As with many artistic activities, distressing can be done in countless ways. But here are some general tips to get you started:

First, remove any hardware that is on the piece, such as handles, clasps, or hinges. Then clean the item thoroughly using warm soap and water. Wipe it down and allow it to dry.

painting furniture Apply a thick base coat of paint to the entire piece, using a ?highlight? color, not the one you want to be predominant when you complete the distressing. For example, if you want the finished piece to be generally blue, with smudges of green paint showing through, then apply the green paint first. You can apply the paint with a brush or, to get a thicker coat of paint, a spatula or palette knife. Allow the paint to dry completely, about 24 hours for latex paint.

If you are planning to use more than two colors, apply all the highlight colors first in thick coats of paint. Allow each one to dry thoroughly before applying the next color. Complete the painting by applying the predominant color last and allow it to dry.

Next comes the artistic part. Patiently use the sandpaper to lightly sand off patches of paint where you want the highlights to show through. Assuming that you applied several coats of paint, you can apply more pressure to get to the lower layers of paint, or even down to the bare wood in spots. Work with the piece until you love the way it looks.

When you are happy with the color treatment on your piece, dust off it off thoroughly. If you want to make it look even more distressed, hit it with a hammer, a chain, or a sock filled with nuts and bolts. You can even use a wire brush to make the piece appear more aged.

If you used latex paint, complete the project by sealing your distressed item with a coat of latex clear finish; if you used and an oil-based paint, seal it with a coat of alkyd varnish.

In the course of distressing furniture, you?ll likely discover your own tricks and techniques. For example, before applying any paint, some do-it-yourselfers rub a wax crayon along the edges of furniture where it would normally get wear and tear; then, after the paint dries, they wipe off the wax with a damp cloth ? voila! Instant aging!

Remember that furniture distressing is an art form that can take a while to master. But that?s what makes it fun and relaxing. Enjoy yourself. . .and enjoy your new objets d?art!

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peeling paint

Few things are as troubling to a homeowner as a case of peeling paint. As ribbons, or even sheets, of paint pull away from a wood exterior, so too goes the protective layer that keeps Mother Nature at bay, and with it, the attractive appearance of the home.

Needless to say, peeling paint is not to be ignored. It?s a sign that something is terribly wrong. But what? And what to do about it?

There are at least half a dozen reasons that paint can peel. Some of these can be traced back to the day the paint was applied, while others can occur over time. Possible causes of peeling paint include:

Failure to properly prepare the surface before painting ? for example, applying paint on top of a dirty or mildewed surface, which can interfere with the ability of the paint to properly adhere to the home exterior. Use of a lower quality exterior paint that has less-than-ideal adhesion and flexibility characteristics. Applying latex paint in weather conditions that hinder the formation of good paint film ? painting on extremely hot or very cold days, for example, on in windy weather. Applying an oil-based paint to damp or wet surfaces. Rain, humidity, and other forms of moisture penetrating the walls through uncaulked joints, deteriorated caulk, a leaking roof, or others areas, causing wood to swell and paint to lose its adhesion. Excess humidity or other forms of moisture within the home escaping through the exterior walls. (More likely if oil-based paint was used; latex paints are more forgiving in this respect, allowing water to escape without affecting the paint film.)

The best way to solve the mystery of peeling paint is to eliminate as many possible causes as you can.

If you believe that exterior moisture is the culprit, take steps to cut off the source: repair your roof if necessary; caulk open joints and gaps in the exterior of your home; make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean; and cut away any vegetation that is too close to your home.

If, based upon where the peeling has occurred, you suspect that the cause is moist air originating inside your home, consider installing vents or exhaust fans, especially in kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas. Also consider using dehumidifiers.

Then address the paint job. First, remove all the loose and peeling paint with a scraper or wire brush. Next, sand any rough edges on the paint so that they are as smooth as possible.

Prime areas where the paint is completely gone to the point that bare wood shows. Finish your project by repainting with a top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint. This type of paint has excellent adhesion and is extremely flexible. In addition, it will allow water vapor to escape without harming the coating.

So, if you encounter peeling paint on your home, don?t pull out your hair. Instead, put on your detective?s hat, try to get to the bottom of the problem, and take corrective measures. That?s the proper way to deal with peeling paint and get your home looking great again!

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Touch-up Painting

It happens on even the best interior paint jobs done by the most fastidious do-it-yourselfers: discovering a spot that was missed months or even years after putting the roller down, a careless action that mars a carefully painted wall, a spill or stain that won?t scrub off ? all reasons to reach for the touch-up paint.

Simple fix? Typically, it is, if you go about it the right way. But, as with so many aspects of interior painting, there?s an art to getting the best results, even when doing touch-up work.

The first order of business is to see if you kept some leftover paint from the original paint job. If you did things ?by the book,? you?ll quickly find both the can of paint and your notes on the label as to where it was used. So far, so good.

For a professional-looking touch-up ? that is, one that is unnoticeable ? the paint color must be an exact match. This wouldn?t seem to be a problem if you kept some leftover paint. After all, the paint on the wall came from the same can. Unfortunately, that?s not always enough: Sun exposure may have caused the applied paint to fade slightly, or the color of paint in the can may have ?drifted? a bit from its original appearance. Sheen, too, can change over time, whether the paint is on the wall or in the can.

So, how should you proceed? Try to do a simple touch-up and see how it looks. Here are some tips:

1. Apply the touch-up paint with the same type of applicator you used on the original paint job. If you used a brush, use a brush for your touch-up; if you used a roller, touch up with that.

2. Apply the touch-up paint sparingly. Use the smallest brush or roller needed to cover the area, and dab or roll the paint on with a very light touch.

3. Complete the touch-up by carefully feathering the edges of the paint to get an even finish. Use light, almost artistic strokes. Remember, this is ?restoration? work ? pretend you work for a museum!

When the paint has dried, take a critical look at your touch-up. If you can barely see it, and you?re satisfied with the result, your work is done. But even if you?re not satisfied, all is not lost.

Assuming that you have enough leftover paint, you can repaint the entire wall where the touch-up is needed. While this is probably more work than you bargained for, it?s an effective way to hide the touch-up. Even if the color or gloss of the paint has changed slightly, the mismatch will hardly be noticeable, since light and shadow often alter the appearance of paint from wall to wall anyway.

What if you don?t have enough paint for your touch-up, or your paint has gone bad?

In that case, your only alternative is to take a sample of the color to your paint retailer and ask him or her to try to match it. With your new paint in hand, your options, once again, are the touch-up two-step: first, try the ?dab/roll and feather? technique described above; if you?re still not happy, then repaint the entire wall where the touch-up is needed. One way or the other, you?re likely to rescue your beautiful paint job and save yourself from repainting the entire room!

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outdoor composite deck

Among the long list of exterior products promoted as ?maintenance free? is composite decking. Typically made of plastic and wood fibers, these materials are tough, durable, and increasingly popular.

Manufacturers say the color of composite decking is permanent, although they admit it will fade. But what if you want to change the color completely, or simply freshen the appearance of your deck? It?s possible to do so, but you have to go about the job in the right way.

Assuming that your composite deck has been around for a while, it likely has mildew on it (the organic matter in the wood fiber serves as nutrients for mildew). This must be removed before any type of coating is applied.

Make a solution of one part bleach to three parts water and apply it liberally to the surface of the deck, as well as to any steps, railing or benches that are part of it. Wait 20 minutes, then scrub the surface with a long-handled brush. Rinse off the solution and any mildew residue.

Next, remove the gloss on the composite by lightly sanding all the surfaces with very fine #220 sandpaper. If the deck material is textured, sand in the same direction as the wood grain, not across it.

Remove dirt and dust from all the surfaces by washing them with a household detergent solution or a commercial cleaner made for this purpose. Again, rinse thoroughly.

If you intend to paint your composite deck, first prime it with a quality exterior latex stain-blocking primer recommended for use on plastic materials. You should not prime if you intend to apply a deck stain.

Complete the job by applying a top quality latex floor and deck paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish (higher gloss levels have better mildew resistance and are easier to clean). If you didn?t prime the surfaces, you can apply a quality acrylic latex solid color deck stain recommended for use on composite decking.

One thing to know before charging ahead with this project: Once composite decking is painted, or coated with a solid color stain, you will probably have to repeat this process every three to five years. Because of its face-up exposure, decks take a beating both from elements and from abrasive foot traffic, so even the highest quality paints and stains will eventually succumb to the punishment.

Another thing to keep in mind: When you reapply paint or stain in the future, make sure that you continue to use a top quality exterior latex coating. If you were to apply an oil-based product over a latex coating, you run the risk that the oil coating will quickly develop cracks that could ruin the appearance of the deck.

Follow these instructions and your tired-looking composite deck will get a second life in the color of your choice!

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Save Energy With Caulk

When it comes to protecting and maintaining your home, there are few products that offer as many benefits as top quality caulks and sealants. What?s more, these multipurpose materials cost very little, yet they can help you save a ton of money.

Here are just some of the ways these budget-friendly materials can make life better for you, your family, and your bank account:

Caulking window to improve insulationImproving your insulation. Caulks can be used to seal cracks, gaps and holes in the exterior of your home to prevent the loss of costly heat and air conditioning. At the same time, they can help eliminate drafts and air infiltration from outside the home. The result? Careful application of caulk can make your home more comfortable to live in, and less expensive to heat and cool.

Protecting against exterior moisture damage. Rain, snow, even dew, can damage masonry surfaces, cause wood to rot, and accelerate paint failure if there are even small gaps and openings in your home exterior. But you can easily prevent these problems with caulk. Applying a top quality siliconized acrylic caulk to gaps and open joints in exterior wall surfaces will seal out moisture and help to head off potentially costly repairs.

Protecting against interior moisture damage. In the same way, you can apply caulk around sinks, bathtubs, countertops, tile, and many other areas in your kitchen and bathrooms to protect against moisture damage inside your home. Siliconized acrylic or silicone caulk will create a watertight seal in any wet area; as a bonus, siliconized acrylic caulks have excellent resistance to mildew growth.

Finishing interior walls. You can save time, money, and effort by using water-based acrylic caulk ? rather than drywall compound or spackling ? to fill seams between drywall panels. Unlike those other products, acrylic caulk doesn?t have to dry completely before painting; nor does it have to be sanded after it dries.

Filling gaps in woodwork. There?s a good reason caulk is often called ?the carpenter?s best friend?: By sealing mitered joints, seams, and gaps between molding and walls, you can greatly enhance the appearance of wood trim and wainscoting with caulk. Save the carpenter?s labor charges, and bring on the caulk!

Glazing. Quality caulk can even be used in place of glazing compound to seal glass panes to frames in windows, doors, skylights, and light fixtures.

A tube of the highest quality caulk costs about the same as an inexpensive movie rental, but it has the potential to save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in unnecessary energy expenses and home repairs. And because top quality caulk is so versatile, it can be used in place of many other types of sealants, saving even more money.

To get the best performance when applying caulk to the exterior or interior of your home, make sure that you use a top quality product. For most applications, top quality water-based acrylic or siliconized acrylic caulk works best. But it?s always wise to check the label on the caulk tube to make sure it?s intended for the job you have in mind.

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