{friday finds: exterior prep before you paint}

It is estimated that nearly 90% of all exterior paint failures are a result of inadequate surface preparation. We cannot stress enough the importance of good surface preparation. Follow these steps to a great looking home.

Step one – The surface must be clean and free of all dust, dirt, chalk, grease, oil, mold, mildew, wax, efflorescence, and loose or peeling paint.  If a surface is in relatively good condition and has only a minor accumulation of dirt or chalk, it can be removed by hand washing or scrubbing with a TSP solution and then thoroughly rinsed with clear water. Small areas of loose or peeling paint can be sanded or wire brushed. If there is a heavier accumulation of dirt, chalk, or other substances or if there is a lot of peeling paint then you should recommend the use of a power washer along with one of the appropriate cleaners from Great Lakes.

Mold or mildew typically appears as small black or brown spots and many times is mistaken for dirt.  If you’re uncertain, a simple test can be done by applying a small amount of household bleach to the spots and then rinsed.  If the dark spots disappear where the bleach was applied then it is most likely mold or mildew, as bleach won’t remove just dirt.  If mold or mildew is found to be present then it must be cleaned with a solution of one part bleach and 3 parts water, or a solution of Jomax Cleaner also works great.  The bleach and water process should be done before a general cleaning of the siding.  Once cleaned the surface needs to dry thoroughly.  If a power washer was used this typically means 2-3 days of good drying weather.  If washed by hand and rinsed with a garden hose 1-2 days is generally enough.  When in doubt the use of a moisture meter is recommended.

Step 2 – Inspect for any needed repairs.  Rotting or damaged wood should be replaced. Cracks, gaps, and holes should be repaired with the appropriate exterior spackle, putty, or paintable acrylic caulk.  Remember paint won’t stick to pure 100% silicone caulk.  If any loose or peeling paint was removed then the edges of the remaining paint should be feather sanded to help produce a smoother transition from the bare area to the older finish. Glossy surfaces should be lightly sanded to produce a dull finish with a slight profile for the new paint to adhere to.  Bare wood should be primed with either Hirshfield’s Acrylic Primer (88-4250) or Hirshfield’s Oil Based Primer (88-6050). Platinum Exterior can be used as its own primer.

If all the proper steps are taken you should enjoy a beautifully painted exterior for many years to come.

The knowledgeable staff at any of our Hirshfield’s locations can answer questions you may have about surface preparation.

This Friday Find is brought to you by Kevin Larson, Product Manager at Hirshfield’s Paint Manufacturing.

Image from The Lettered Cottage.

{decorating with florals}

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 8th. You could get mom the requisite bouquet of flowers that will look magnificent on the dining room table for a week or so, but will eventually start to wilt … or you could instead present her with a beautifully decorated room inspired by her favorite flowers.

But don’t go thinking a room decorated with florals has to look old-fashioned or antique-y. Large floral patters in bold colors tend to take on a more modern, artsy vibe. Consider playing with scale and placing a large, bold print on a small area rug or throw pillow.

Real Simple

Conversely, if you think mom is looking for a more vintage, feminine look, work with smaller floral patterns. Mix different pattern sizes and colors for a fun, eclectic look.

Better Homes & Gardens

For a simple, do-it-yourself project, frame some photos of flowers that you purchased or took yourself. You could even frame some scraps of floral wallpaper. Create a grouping on the wall and you’ll have a real work of art to present to mom.

House to Home

When using floral wallpaper, it is important to understand pattern repeats — the vertical distance, in inches, from one point on a design until it starts over again. Busy repeats (six inches or less) can be intense, so they’re often best for covering just a single wall. Larger repeats (12 inches or more) are less dramatic, so they can cover four walls and still feel subtle.

Osborne and Little-available at Hirshfield's Design Studio

Osborne and Little-available at Hirshfield's Design Resource and select Hirshfield's stores

Best Home Gallery

Another great Mother’s Day gift would be the gift of a Hirshfield’s Color Call – Let a Hirshfield’s color expert help you determine the perfect color for your space. Here is what one happy customer had to say about their Hirshfield’s Color Call:

Hi Kim,
David and I wanted to let you know we recently completed our painting project with the colors you selected. We just love it! The house feels so much warmer and up-to-date. You made it all so easy…We never would have been able to do this on our own. Thank you so much.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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