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Painting Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the paint bubbling in my house even though it was recently painted?

If the paint on your house is bubbling, is usually due to one of the following reasons:

  1. The surface was not cleaned correctly before painting and dirt are blocking the new paint layer from adhering to the old paint beneath it.
  2. The surface was wet and the new paint could not bond to the surface below because of the dampness. This can be tested by opening one of the bubbles; if you see the most recent paint layer then the problem is with the most current layer of paint.
  3. The paint that is bubbling is actually the oldest paint or primer layers. This is fairly common in Portland’s older homes where the original layer of paint may be 80-100 years old. The new paint pulls on the older layers and they may no longer be firmly attached to the layers below them. You can confirm this by opening one of the bubbles and seeing the original layer of paint or primer, or even the bare wood siding.

At Weinmann Painting, we take care to wash and prepare your house properly, so that the new layers of paint will adhere firmly. Our estimators will also work with you to determine the best course of action for an older home that may need some or all of the paint removed to achieve the best result.

How many coats of paint does my house need?

Paint manufacturers generally recommend two coats of paint for proper coverage. At Weinmann Painting, we use two full coats of paint for your exterior painting project and in most cases, we spot-prime any areas that need it. Occasionally, more coats are needed for full coverage (in the case of very deep pigments); if this is the case, we will inform you of this prior to painting so there are no surprises.

How do you protect my property and personal belongings during the painting?

Weinmann Painting is an EPA Lead Certified Contractor, which means our crews have been trained in the proper methods to remove and dispose of any lead-based paint debris. We take the proper precautions to ensure the health of our clients, their property and neighbors, and our employees.

  • What are VOC’s and why should I be concerned about paints that contain them?

VOC’s (or Volatile Organic Compounds) are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes, and nausea. Some VOCs also have been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage.

As the paint dries, these harmful VOCs are released into the air at high levels. Indoor VOC levels are routinely 10 times higher than outdoor levels, which is why there has been a surge in consumer demand for healthier options. Latex paint, which has lower VOC levels and is generally more environmentally friendly than oil-based paints, uses water-based solvents. No- and Low-VOC Paints have emerged in the marketplace as the healthiest option for indoor painting.

At Weinmann Painting, we give our clients the option of choosing no or low-VOC paints for their interior painting projects. We can also discuss ways to protect their health and that of their family during any painting project.

How long does it take for paint to dry?

Most latex paints are dry to the touch in an hour or so, however, it takes much longer for the paint to fully cure. Specialty products like porch and deck paints, or oil-based products may take even longer. While it might be OK to walk on a porch a day or 2 after painting, be aware that it can be a month or so before the paint is fully cured. We recommend waiting at least 3-4 weeks before putting heavy or moveable furniture on a freshly-painted surface. We also suggest opening and closing doors and windows for a few weeks after painting, to help prevent sticking.

  • How do you protect my property and personal belongings during the painting?

At Weinmann Painting, we take great care to protect all personal belongings and property during your painting project.

What preparation is needed to ensure a lasting paint job?

Preparation is the most important aspect of any painting project; it doesn’t matter how much you spend on paint if the surface you’re applying it to isn’t prepared properly! It is essential that you start with a clean surface, and power-washing or hand-washing will take care of that. Every project requires a different method of preparation, some surfaces need de-glossing of old varnish or paint, some need sanding to ensure the new paint will adhere properly. A primer coat is often required, as is caulking, filling holes, and repairing siding damage prior to painting.

Your painting contractor should describe the methods and products he/she will use to prepare your home for painting. One thing to be aware of, if your home contains lead-based paint, it should NOT be sanded! Sanding sends lead dust scattering through the air and is a health hazard to your family, property, and neighbors. Be wary of any contractor who suggests sanding your lead-base paint!

At Weinmann Painting, we recognize the importance of preparing your home to receive the new paint. We will utilize the best methods and products available to ensure a long-lasting paint job that will protect your home for many years.

What are VOC’s and why should I be concerned about paints that contain them?

VOC’s (or Volatile Organic Compounds) are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes, and nausea. Some VOCs also have been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage.

As the paint dries, these harmful VOCs are released into the air at high levels. Indoor VOC levels are routinely 10 times higher than outdoor levels, which is why there has been a surge in consumer demand for healthier options. Latex paint, which has lower VOC levels and is generally more environmentally friendly than oil-based paints, uses water-based solvents. No- and Low-VOC Paints have emerged in the marketplace as the healthiest option for indoor painting.

At Weinmann Painting, we give our clients the option of choosing no or low-VOC paints for their interior painting projects. We can also discuss ways to protect their health and that of their family during any painting project.

How do I determine if my house has lead-based paint on it?

Houses that were built prior to 1978 can potentially contain lead-based paint. There are several quick testing kits that can determine whether your home contains lead-based paint. If the current layer of paint is in good shape, then there’s little risk of lead exposure during a re-paint. However, if the current layers of paint are starting to fail (peeling, blistering, etc), this can expose lead-based paint chips and dust to the air and create potential health hazards to your family, property, and neighboring properties.

Weinmann Painting is an EPA Lead Certified Contractor, which means our crews have been trained in the proper methods to remove and dispose of any lead-based paint debris. We take the proper precautions to ensure the health of our clients, their property and neighbors, and our employees.

What are the differences between paint sheens (flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss)?

A paint’s “sheen” refers to the way that light reflects off of it, resulting in different amounts of shine. Here are the various types of sheens used to describe paints:

Flat – has no visible shine when light hits it; most commonly used on the main body of the house

Velvet – an exterior paint that has just a tiny bit of shine, can be used on the body or foundation areas when better “cleanability” is desired

Eggshell – an interior paint similar to “Velvet”; good for areas that you want to be able to wipe off more easily

Satin – has a bit more shine; is typically used on the trim areas (windows, fascias, eaves); satin is also commonly used for interior projects in areas where water or steam are present (kitchens and baths)

Semi-Gloss – has quite a bit of shine; used on areas that you want to “pop” such as the front door

Gloss (or High Gloss) – the shinest of all; will really stand out against painted areas with less sheen

*One thing to remember is that the shinier the paint, the more any imperfections in the surface will stand out

How to choose the right painting company for your project?

Choosing the right painting company for your project can be a challenging decision. While the cost is certainly one of the main considerations, you want to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company who will stand behind their workmanship. It is important to get bids from a few different companies, and to make sure that you’re comparing “apples-to-apples” in both labor and materials.

Be sure to check each company out on the Oregon CCB website, to make sure they are licensed and insured, and to check their track record with complaints or claims. I also suggest checking with their Worker’s Comp company to ensure that they can legally employ workers.

It is also important to get references from past clients, and that you be able to contact these people (or at least drive by to see the quality of the work). We provide an extensive list of past clients’ projects, sorted by neighborhood, have many past clients that are available to contact, and have many online reviews for you to check out. In addition, all of our licensed, uniformed painters are full-time employees who have had years of experience with many different types of painting projects.

How to choose colors for your residential painting project?

Choosing the right colors for your house paint can be a difficult decision, but there are several ways to help make that choice easier. One of the first things I suggest to our clients is to take a walk or drive around their neighborhood. Do you see any color combinations that catch your eye? You can take a photograph of the house, or walk right up and knock on the door and ask what colors they used. Most people consider it quite a compliment when someone likes their paint colors!

Another resource is your local paint store. Most paint retailers have beautiful, full-color brochures that show a variety of color combinations. There is also someone on staff at most of the stores that would love to “talk colors” with you, bring a photo of your home to give them an idea of its style.

The internet can provide thousands of websites dedicated to painting colors, some will even allow you to load a photo of your house to “test” different color combinations. A word of warning though, remember that colors will appear different on different computer monitors, so be sure to get samples of the actual colors before committing.

If none of these options works for you, you can always hire a professional color consultant to help you navigate through the jungle of colors out there. We have a couple of different color consultants that we can recommend highly, call our office for their contact numbers.

Once you’ve chosen a few possibilities, we will be happy to come out and apply those sample colors for you free of charge so that you can feel confident that you’ve picked the perfect colors for your home!

My house was painted 7 years ago and it seems to be in good shape, how soon do I need to re-paint?

The lifetime of a paint job is dependant on several factors, such as the climate you live in, the exposure of the siding to the elements, and the abuse your house takes (think active children, pets, etc). If you want to determine if it’s time to paint, have a Painting Company that you trust to come out and look over your house with you. Peeling or blistering paint, excessive weathering or fading, cracks in the caulking, these are all telltale signs that the paint life is coming to an end in the next year or two. Even if you don’t see a lot of visual indicators on a 9–10-year-old paint job, it’s possible that the protective elements in the paint are starting to break down.

A thorough paint job done with high-quality paint can last for 10-15 years and maybe longer. At Weinmann Painting we stress the importance of proper preparation for painting and the use of the best quality products so that the investment you make in your home will be a long-lasting one.

What is causing the paint on my house to peel and blister down to the original siding?

When paint blisters down to the original primer or bare wood this is indicative of the original primer on the house failing. As it fails the primer starts to crumble and it can no longer hold the layers of paint to the siding of the house. Many of the homes in the older neighborhoods of Portland have this issue, as the original primer or paint may be up to 100 years old.

There are a couple ways to deal with this:

  1. You can have the paint stripped (using heat or chemicals) of the entire house, or selectively from just the bad areas. This process must be done by an EPA-certified lead contractor, and proper precautions must be taken to ensure that your home and property are protected from lead paint chips and dust.
  2. The failing paint can be scraped off the bad areas of the house using a specialized paint scraper. While this method is less costly and achieves the result of creating a firm surface for the new paint to bond to, the finished product is not as smooth as with paint stripping. Please note that older homes almost always contain lead-based paint and due to EPA regulations, cannot be sanded. Be wary of any painting contractor that suggests sanding off the old layers of paint.

The best method to ensure that future paint layers will not fail is to completely strip off the paint,  but this is usually a costly and time-consuming process. We have had great success with selectively stripping the areas where the paint has failed, this minimizes the chance of further blistering or peeling in those areas. Many of our clients will have us strip the areas that are the most visible (ie. the front porch or side of the house not covered by landscaping), and simply scrap the areas that are less visible. Weinmann Painting is an EPA Lead Certified Contractor and adheres to the proper precautions for the removal and disposal of lead-based paint.