When Should I Book My Paint Estimate?

When Should I Book My Paint Estimate?

Well first off- during business hours ;). This is a topic that has various answers in different parts of the country with different weather patterns and workforce balances; but here in the PNW we get so many calls for exterior work that people are hoping to get done sometime next week. They are very disappointed to discover that the soonest we can get them in is next summer.

Below I will cover some common misconceptions about when to book a paint estimate! Hopefully this will help you plan out your paint project without any major setbacks! Remember… These are misconceptions- the answer you seek is in the fine print 😉

1. I shouldn’t schedule an exterior paint estimate until my paint fails.

We all want to get the most life out of our paint jobs! (Unless the color is too hideous to behold 😉 ). However, if you wait until the paint is Already peeling, then you’re going to be paying extra anyway. The additional prep-work required to deal with peeling paint adds up! You’re also going to risk damaging your siding if you leave parts of it unfinished and exposed to the elements. (This also costs more…Especially if no one can fit you in until next summer). This is one of those situations where trying too hard to get the most bang for your buck can really backfire.

So how can you tell when your house needs repainted? In general, once your paint has begun to fade, the next thing that happens is it flakes or peels. This blog goes into more depth if you are curious!

2. I should schedule an exterior paint estimate right before I want it done.

In an ideal world, we could talk about painting on the weekend and start the very next week! However, reality is far from that. With all the shortages in our current economy; workers and materials are not so quick to come by. On a good year, exterior season runs from May through October. If you call anytime in that time-frame; expect that you might not get on the calendar until the next May-October. Exterior work books 6-12 months out right now, so it is important to choose a contractor whose business is likely to be around another year. (free tip 😉 )

Sometimes you can call during the winter months (Nov-April) and get in for the upcoming summer. Occasionally you might get lucky and be able to snag a spot even if you call in early summer! Just keep in mind that if you put it off too long; you’ll be stuck with whatever painter you can get and it probably won’t be the one you want! The same rule applies if you have a particular set of dates you want your painting to take place on. If you take too long to book your estimate, you’ll be stuck with whatever dates we can fit you in for! Plan 6-12 months ahead when it comes to scheduling your paint estimate so You can choose the painter you trust!

3. I can use my estimate from 3 years ago to get on the calendar now!

This goes hand in hand with the misconception before this… Say you got your estimate ahead of time just like I advised, but you weren’t quite ready to commit and get yourself on the calendar… So you held onto it a couple years until you were sure you were ready! You call to get on the books annnnnd the unfortunate news is that 3 years is a long time for a paint job. The estimator will likely have to come back and assess the current condition of your paint. If your paint has worn down considerably, extra cost might need to be added for additional prep-work.

Not to mention all the rapid changes in our economy. Everything from wages we pay employees to the cost of our masking tape has gone up. Whatever your estimate had written down for cost of labor and materials is likely not the same. When you schedule your estimate you should be ready to commit to a project in the near future, but also be aware that it might not begin for 6-12 months. If you Are still holding onto an old estimate and you would like to work with that painter still; give them a call! Just remember that the estimate will need adjusted!

4. Interior work doesn’t have a long wait time!

While this is usually true, if you call in the wrong season it is a different story! Here in the PNW a good rule of thumb for interior paint work is to schedule it during the rainy season! If you call for interior work during the summer you will quickly learn that our calendars are filled to the brim with exterior work. We might be able to get you in on a rainy day if one shows up though, so don’t hesitate to call! Just remember the weather is out of our control! If you call about interior work in the rainy season, you can get on the schedule during that same rainy season. No problem.

5. I’m going to sell my house so I should wait until I’m ready to list it!

The Fresher the Better right?! Its common for people to repaint their house before selling to boost curb appeal and profit! Sometimes people know they will be selling their house and moving in the summer and would like a full re-paint (interior and exterior) but want to hold off on the interior work until they are out of the house. At the time of the estimate; they’re not exactly sure when that will be. I have Good news! Because we can not control the wind and weather, our schedule is “approximate” until its right down to go-time.

If you call and get on the books, we can move your project around here or there as needed. If you wait until you are ready to list your house to scramble and find a painter…. well… That is just added stress to an already busy time and we likely will not be able to help you even if we want to. Same rule applies! Try to plan 6-12 months ahead if you can!

Maybe the last time you had your house painted you didn’t have to plan so far ahead. Maybe you lived somewhere sunny and exterior work was a year round thing so it just didn’t occur to you. Hopefully this blog helps you see the current reality of the PNW painting season. We are doing our best at Sir Paints a Lot to keep up with demand! If you realized while reading this that it is time to book your paint estimate- click HERE to schedule with us! Thank you!

UnMasking the Secret to Successful Masking

Ahhh. The anticipation of peeling off masking tape to see crisp, clean paint lines…. Only to discover that the paint has leaked through, the lines are squiggled, and the tape is stuck… in some places… Below I will share some dos and don’ts that may just help you avoid this messy fate!

First things first! There are several different colors and varieties of painting tape or masking tape. I’ll just go over the reason for this and which tape to use where!

  • White Tape: White tape is just your basic masking tape and it is commonly used to hang plastic or paper up around window sills or trim. It works well in most painting situations and can be found in different widths. It is not as highly recommended as blue; but it is much cheaper and works well in all the same situations.
  • Blue Tape: Blue painter’s tape has medium adhesion and is practical for using on slightly more delicate surfaces that you don’t want to risk damaging. For example; You are painting a kitchen and need to mask off the cabinets which have been painted in the past. Blue tape is less likely to pull up the old paint. If that were to happen; then you would need to repaint the cabinets too. Not a fun add-on if you were not planning on it! Go with Purple if you’re really cautious.
  • Green Tape: Green painter’s tape has very strong adhesion and is the best choice if you are relying on tape to get crisp, straight lines with no bleeding; especially if the surface you are applying it too is a little rough. It can pull up the material underneath, though; so use with discretion.
  • Orange Tape: Orange Tape is Basically white tape but stronger. The adhesion level is the same but the strength of the tape (how easily it tears or rips) is a little more heavy duty.
  • Yellow Tape: Yellow tape has strong adhesion that works excellent outdoors. It is waterproof and works great on exterior windows because it will not leave any residue which would later collect dust. Nobody likes dirty windows…

Now here are some tips for How to use masking tape; How to not to; and a few bonus tips at the end!

DO

  • Clean the surface you will be masking first. Your tape won’t stick to dust….well, scratch that, it will! Dust won’t keep your tape stuck to the wall though!
  • Apply your masking as straight and smooth as you can. Avoid using multiple pieces of tape for the same stretch of masking. A tiny bit of uneven overlap will show!
  • Be sure to press down on your tape as you go. This seems like a given; but it can be easy to get moving along a trim board or other lengthy surface and forget to press your tape down the whole way.
  • Allow 2nd coat of paint to dry before removing masking. You want your paint to Just be dry to the touch so that you cannot accidentally smudge it as you roll up your masking.
  • Stick in in the trash. Even obvious things can be forgotten. 😉
Sir Paints Crew putting that green and orange masking tape to good use! Can’t forget the coffee…;)

DON’T

  • Drown the masking tape with a super heavy first coat. If you take it easy on the first coat, it will help to seal the tape to the wall and give you a clean line. If you bury tape with too much moisture; it will not remain adhered to the wall. We all know what happens next.
  • Forget to bolt down free edges of plastic and paper. Wind and even pressure from the paint sprayer will cause these to blow around into your freshly painted surface.
  • Remove masking after each coat. It is very difficult to match your original line if you decide you want a fresh batch of tape for the 2nd coat. Apply both coats (Or more if necessary) before removing tape.
  • Leave tape too long. You want the paint to be dry before you remove your masking; but if you let it dry more than 24 hours it is much more likely to pull the paint right off with it. This completely ruins that perfect line. Epic Fail. (Fear not! There is a tip below just in case this is happening!)
  • Mask around lightbulbs with paper. Some people still use lightbulbs that get hot. Charred accents can be nice sometimes; but that is probably not what you’re going for if you are painting!
  • Throw all your masking on the floor. Dry paint flakes make a big mess and its better to put them straight into the trash. Sometimes there can even be slightly wet paint still hanging out on the plastic; and that will make an even bigger mess.

BONUS

  • Get yourself one of these masking tools! It is a serious time saver that helps you get straight lines and also lines up your tape perfectly with either paper or plastic.
Hand Masking Tool
  • If you have the time and REALLY REALLY want a perfect line; paint a light coat of the color you are hoping to protect against the masking tape’s seam (provided you have it). This will seal the tape with the color behind it, and then you can continue to paint your new color worry free.
  • The Grande Finale of Tips! When you remove your masking tape; first use a blade to score the edge of the tape so that it doesn’t pull any of the new color off with it. This is especially useful in tight areas like along the inside corners and edges of window trim, or in any circumstance where you find your tape is pulling new paint up with it.

Hopefully these tips make the time you spend masking well worth it! If not; at least you will get practice at cutting in and doing touch up! 😉 Thanks for reading! Have a Great Day! If you would like to see how our team gets all the things masked off; give us a call at 541-600-2025 or click HERE to book an estimate now!!!

5 Tips For Choosing A Painter In Eugene

5 Tips For Choosing A Painter In Eugene

You have decided it is time to paint your home! Choosing the painter you want to work with is your first step, and also the most important. How do you choose which company is right for you? Here are 5 tips!

1. Research and Referrals

Finding a painter is easier than you think! Reach out to your friends and neighbors and ask them about the experiences they had with the painter they hired. Chances are that someone you know had either a very positive experience to lead you towards a certain company, or a very negative experience that will help you steer clear! Google is also a great place to search for painters in the Eugene/Springfield area as many painters will have google reviews left by customers. Generally, the more positive reviews you see, the more likely it is that most customers have a positive experience. If you want to know more, many contractors have some details about their company on their business website; along with before and after photos of previous jobs. Some painters even take the extra step to get video testimonials so you can really get a good idea of the quality of service they provide! Check out this video testimonial of Sir Paints A Lot!

2. Schedule Estimates

After you have done some research, you should narrow down a list of about 3 painters and schedule estimates with each of them (ideally not at the same time). This will give you a chance to meet them in person and observe how they put their estimate together. Here are a few things to watch for:

  • Did they show up on time or call ahead if they were going to be late?
  • Do they measure spaces precisely or do they eyeball it/ use rough guesswork?
  • Do they point out areas that may need additional work? (drywall repair, dry-rot, caulking etc)
  • Is their communication with you clear and responsive to any questions you have?
  • Was the estimate delivered to you accurately and in a timely manner?
  • Are they respectful of your time and property?

3. Compare Estimates

Now that you have had a chance to meet your potential painters and look over their estimates, you will probably have an idea of which company you most want to work with. Sometimes your estimates will all be close to the same price, but other times there will be a significant difference in cost. It is important to figure out why and not just choose the cheapest deal. A detailed estimate is preferable to most people because they can see exactly why their paint job costs the price it does. If one of your estimates comes in at a much lower price range and does not provide specific details, it is important to ask a few questions.

  • Will they be priming?
  • How many coats of paint will be applied?
  • Will they be painting my trim and doors?
  • Are there any repairs that need done?
  • What is the quality of the paint they will be using?
  • How do they schedule the work? (pressure washing, repairs, painting…)
  • Is there a warranty or maintenance plan?
  • Do they include a color consult?

If their estimate is missing these details and they do not answer your questions with confidence and clarity, you should be prepared for them to add-on things to your final bill that they did not take the time to account for in the original estimate. Most of us would like to avoid this game of chance by simply having a detailed estimate in the first place. There is always a chance that problems could arise as a job goes on, but a painter who is looking for potential problem areas in the beginning is much more likely to be prepared to handle them!

painter providing a less-than-detailed estimate… bonus points if they write it on the back of their business card 😉

4. Compare Cost with Value

When you have your house painted, you want to enjoy the paint job as long as possible and get the most life out of it! You want the color to be everything you hoped it would be, and you want the coverage to hold up well to the elements. Many companies will offer a general warranty for product failure, but let’s be real…they hope you never call! At Sir Paints A Lot, WE call YOU to schedule touch up work each year! We value our customers and want them to enjoy their investment for many years. Some painters also include a color consult which can be very helpful! Even if you know what color you want, a color consultant can help you determine if it will be a good fit for your space and even paint samples onto the wall. We all know that little paint card can be deceiving! It is important to weigh these details when you compare your estimates. Having your home painted is a big investment, and getting long lasting value should be a primary goal!

5. Choose with Confidence

By now, you should have a clear idea of which painter you want to work with and which estimate you feel comfortable with. You will have had a chance to observe their professionalism, read reviews, and ask any questions about the estimate. Surely you have formed an opinion on how well they communicate, and how well they addressed your concerns. Choose someone you feel will be safe to have around your family! If you don’t want to go off a feeling, definitely go ahead and ask your painter how they screen their employees! Here at Sir Paints A Lot we have all our employees background checked because we want your family to feel safe with us too! Hopefully these tips helped you to make a decision about who to hire for your painting needs!

To Schedule a Paint Estimate with Sir Paints A Lot: Call 541-600-2025, or click here to book online!

You’ve Decided to Hire a Painter In Eugene. What Now?

You’ve Decided to Hire a Painter In Eugene. What Now?

You’ve decided to hire a professional painting contractor in Eugene. What should you do next?!

If it is your first time hiring a painting contractor, the whole process can be a little intimidating. 

Repainting your home is a significant investment towards, probably one of your largest investments, so far. Hiring the wrong painting contractor can leave you frustrated to say the least, but the safety of your family should also be considered.

In this article, we will quickly take you through the process of hiring a painting contractor and an overview of what you can expect. Have a look. 

How to Find a Painting Contractor in Eugene 

Painting companies are generally active locally, and you have probably seen some of them working on projects in your Eugene or Springfield neighborhood. While most of them focus on painting, some take on extra related tasks such as plaster repair, minor drywall repair, cladding, and wallpapering.

You will essentially need to pick a painter based in your specific painting needs. Don’t be tempted to choose the first one that you come across. Some of the best ways to find painting contractors include asking friends, relatives, and neighbors, asking at your local paint store or searching online for local painting contractors. 

Be sure to choose at least three painters, invite them for an interview and request a painting estimate from each of them. It is best if you schedule each of them separately. 

What Will The Painter Do?

Most painters take on any kind of work, from the mere painting of your window covering to a full residential paint job. Let’s assume that you want them to paint your home interior. You can usually expect:

  • Cover all areas that are not to be painted, including floors, windows, kitchen counter-tops, cabinets, etc.
  • Slight surface preparation; this may include light sanding and scraping off loose paint, filling holes left from old nails, caulking, cleaning woodwork, and wiping off surfaces. The contractor assumes that the house is usually in paintable condition.
  • Remove electrical panels, lights, doors, and other obstacles.
  • Moving furniture away for better access to the areas to be painted. That is not really a painter’s job, so you have to confirm that beforehand if you want them to move furniture for you.
  • Priming new drywall or the current paint with an interior latex primer.
  • Apply two coats of latex paint on the walls.
  • Two layers of ceiling paint.
  • Painting of the trim (baseboards, window coverings, doors etc; all depending on what you requested) 
  • Touch-up missing spots.
  • Cleanups for any spills and splashes. 

How to Talk To the Painter 

Unlike a conversation with an electrician, talking to the painter is generally easy and doesn’t involve any jargon. They keep things as clear and simple as possible. 

Some topics you may want to discuss:

  • Is the cost of the paint included in the estimate?
  • What type/quality of paint does the contractor intend to use?
  • How many coats will be used?
  • How does he intend to cover the non-paint-able areas?
  • How long does he expect the job to last?
  • Is it preferable for the residents to clear the house while working?
  • Will the painter clean up after painting is done?

How Much Will It Cost?

If this is the first time you have hired a contractor, painting might cost a little more than you expect. Some painting companies will have formulas that they use. This typically includes measuring total square feet of walls and ceilings, along with linear lengths of the trim. They also calculate the preparation time as well as the “hard costs” for primer and paint.

Some contractors will give you a quote based on their experience with similar jobs. While this estimate may not be specific, it is usually a fair number. The best way to get value for your money is by comparing multiple painting quotes and picking a quote that meets all your needs. It is important to choose a contractor who communicates well with you and who you feel comfortable with. This will not necessarily be the lowest bid.

At Sir Paints A Lot, we offer affordable, reliable, high-quality, and durable residential painting services such as trim painting, wall and ceiling painting, door and frame painting, and cabinet refinishing that will stand the test of time. If you haven’t identified a residential painting contractor in Eugene yet, we would love to be your favorite painter. To give a try, call us on 541-600-2025 or book now for a FREE painting estimate. 

What NOT to Do When Painting a Ceiling

What NOT to Do When Painting a Ceiling

The ceiling is one of those tricky surfaces that no one enjoys painting. It’s awkwardly positioned and painting it can mean getting some of the paint in your face and enduring hours of arm and neck fatigue. And if you get it wrong, it can go really wrong, which is why in today’s post, we’re sharing common mistakes to avoid when painting your ceiling. Read on.

Painting It Last

If you’re painting your entire room or home interior, you will notice that the ceiling is the most difficult part, and this might tempt you to save it for last. When you paint the ceiling last, there is a high possibility you might drip some of the paint on the newly applied wall paint and ruin it. Painting it first means you can easily fix any paint drips on the wall as you paint it and you don’t have to do double work.

Skipping the Cleaning

Unless it has water stains, your ceiling is probably the cleanest looking surface in your room. However, once you set up a ladder and move closer, and even run your fingers on it, you may notice a thin, nearly invisible layer of dirt, dust and paint residue.

Painting directly on such a surface will reduce the paint and primer adhesion, and you won’t get a smooth, even and durable paint job. Before you commence with painting, clean the ceiling surface with a damp cloth and remove all the cobwebs.

Ignoring the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As you can imagine, painting a ceiling can have lots of paint and dirt falling back into your face and all over your body. So before you start painting, wear some eye goggles, an apron, and a disposable painting head cap. If you’re bleaching out any water stains or handling some harsh chemicals, always wear appropriate gloves.

Forgetting Drop Cloths and the Masking Tape

The ceiling painting job is going to be messy, especially if it’s your first time repainting the ceiling –and there is no way to avoid it, except to prepare for it. To prevent paint drips and splatters from ruining your floor and items, move out all the small movable items from the room and cover anything that cannot be moved using drop cloths. Line a masking tape along the perimeter of the ceiling to prevent the ceiling paint from ruining the upper edges of your wall paint.

Skipping the Primer

The primer is meant to increase the paint’s adhesion to a surface and facilitate a smooth and even finish of the paint job. If you’re battling any issues with water stains or transitioning from a darker to lighter ceiling paint, the primer will help block off any stains or old paint color from bleeding through your new paint job. If your ceiling is directly below the roof, a bathroom, or a kitchen, the primer will help minimize water damage.

Failing to Apply Enough Paint to the Brush

Generally, too much paint on the brush can cause excessive dripping and lead to a messy working area. However, on the flip side, using too little paint on the brush and/or roller can leave bare spots and streaks and force you to repaint some areas that have poor coverage. Generously dab the brush into the paint and allow the excess paint drip off back into the can or tray before going for the strokes.

The Bottom Line

Painting a ceiling is not as complicated as you might imagine. But of course, this is not an exhaustive tutorial on how to paint a ceiling, rather, some quick pointers on the common mistakes to avoid.

If you need any professional help painting your walls or ceiling in Eugene, our team at Sir Paints A Lot can help. Simply call us at 541-600-2025 to get started.

5 Tips on How to Properly Paint Over a Painted Wall in Eugene

5 Tips on How to Properly Paint Over a Painted Wall in Eugene

Painting is the easiest and most effective way to transform the look of your walls and add a little more protection against wear and tear. It could be that the walls of your home are starting to look a little worse or you simply don’t like the current color. Whatever the reason, painting could just be your solution.

When it comes to residential painting in Eugene, Oregon, you have two options; hiring a pro or doing it yourself. Depending on the scale and complexity of the project, hiring a professional painter is almost always the best option. However, if you want to give it a try, here are some quick tips on how to paint over a painted wall.

1) Prep Your Work Space

Whether you’re only painting your kitchen or your entire exterior, preparing the area around your paint job is critical to efficient and stress-free painting. If you’re painting your interior, prep might include removing décor from the wall, taking down window treatments, moving furniture away from the wall and covering everything else in the room that you don’t want the paint to get on. For exterior painting, you might have to trim shrubbery and tree branches near your siding, and cover nearby plants and other immovable items, and so on.

2) Cleaning

For any paint job, always start with a clean surface to ensure better paint adhesion and longer durability. Interior walls might only need light wiping using either soapy water with a sponge or mineral spirits in the event of stains such as ink or greasy fingerprints. Exterior walls require a bit more extensive cleaning, and pressure washing usually does the trick. However, if you’ve never used a pressure washer for this purpose before, you should probably leave this part to the professionals.

3) Paint Scrapping and Sanding

If your previous paint job is still relatively ‘new,’ you might not spend so much time on this part. However, any peeling, cracking and bubbling paint needs to be scraped off so that it doesn’t ruin your new paint job. After scrapping, sand the surface and smooth out rough and sharp edges of any remaining paint in order to achieve a smooth finish. This will prevent the new paint coat from flaking and peeling prematurely.

4) Surface Repairs

Covering up damaged or failing surfaces with paint is never a good home maintenance practice. Many times, this reduces the lifespan of your paint job and creates opportunities for things like bugs and moisture invasion. Be sure to fill in any holes and missing caulk, and make any necessary repairs such as replacing missing wood planks and addressing water and drywall damages.

5) Prime Walls

Once the surface repairs have been addressed and the surface properly cleaned, it’s time to apply a primer. The primer prepares the surface for better paint adhesion and also evens out the surface for a smooth finish. If you’re making a sharp color transition, especially from the dark to light paint colors, the primer will help to block off the old paint from bleeding through your new coat of paint.

You will also experience better paint coverage and efficient painting with primed surfaces. Once the prep work is done and the primer has been applied, you can proceed with painting as you would on any other surface once the primer has dried.

The Bottom Line

Small residential repainting projects can be an interesting challenge to try if you have the skill, experience, tools and time. If you don’t, we strongly advise that you hire a professional painting contractor in Eugene such as Sir Paints A Lot.

We specialize in residential painting, and if you have hard-to-reach places or a multi-level home on a slope that you want to paint, but most painters are shying away, we will be more than happy to take up the challenge!

Simply give us a call us 541-600-2025 to get started.