Do you charge for estimates?

We never charge a fee to provide an estimate for your painting project.

What is surfactant leaching?

The term surfactant leaching is used to describe spots or streaks of sticky brown or colorless material that appears on the surface of freshly applied latex paint. Surfactant leaching is a common paint problem that may occur with any brand of latex paint. The spots or streaks caused by surfactant leaching, while unsightly, are not harmful and do not affect the performance of the paint.

Surfactants are ingredients in paint that are critical to the performance properties of the paint such as its color, stability, flow, and leveling. These materials usually evaporate in good drying conditions, or they are locked into the paint film. The staining occurs when drying conditions cause the paint to dry too slowly, allowing the surfactants to rise to the surface of the paint. The spotting and streaking occur when moisture condenses on the fresh paint and draws the surfactants rapidly out of the paint film. Heavy condensation will cause streaking from the rundown of surfactant-rich water.

How do I know if I have lead paint?

If your house was built prior to 1978, chances are it has lead paint on it. A lab test can be done or a simple inexpensive tester can be purchased at a local hardware store if you want to make sure.

Oil or Latex?

Latex paints are more environmentally friendly than oil based paints. With oil based paints there are paint fumes to contend with that can be particularly bothersome on interior painting jobs. There is also a byproduct of dirty paint thinner that requires a trip to your local toxic waste site. (We always get rid of this waste as part of our work.)

There are other factors as well: Latex primers and finishes have been improving tremendously over the years and are very durable. For instance a latex finish on an exterior painting job will stay elastic for years, where oil based paint dries to form a hard and more brittle film. Surfaces expand and contract with weather. While the latex paint will move with the surface, the oil will tend to crack sooner with this movement.

The advantage of using oil paints is that it will give a smoother look as it tends to layout better on the surface and so not show brush marks as much as latex. Also, as was already mentioned, oil dries hard so it tends to be more washable than latex.

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