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Services and Procedures

Exterior Paint Jobs
Interior Paint Jobs
Dry Rot Repair
Finish Coats
About Latex Paint
San Francisco Lead Paint Ordinance

The painting process begins long before the work does. Before painting begins, we will provide you with a free consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss the feel you want your new paint job to project. Do you want something stately? Sublime? Modern pop? Historical? Serene? Would you like high contrast accents? What colors would you like to explore? We will also review paint choices, and offer a timeline for work scheduled. Remember to schedule ahead for your project, especially during peak seasons (spring/summer/fall). Advance scheduling and a thorough consultation help ensure your new paint job will be a satisfying experience.



Washing: We will fully power-wash and scrub away all built-up grime using a phosphate-free detergent and bleach combination that will not harm landscaping.

Mildew: Most quality paints already contain a mildew retardant, although more will be added if necessary. Locating and alleviating the cause of mildew, as well as properly cleaning the affected surface prior to finishing painting has proven to be the best remedy.

Scraping: Employees will use traditional scrapers, as well as a full set of speciality scraping tools, to properly remove all loose, peeling, and blistering paint.

Sanding: Selected areas will be sanded with 50 to 100 grit open coat paper. Dust bag-equipped belt sanders are used for full paint removal on large flat areas, and orbital or small disk sanders will be used for feather sanding on scraped or stripped surfaces.

Exterior paint jobs
Exterior painting services

Wire Brushing: Rusty metal will be scraped and wire brushed as needed. Wire brushes will also be used to prepare stucco and cement surfaces for finish paint.

Glazing: Loose and broken glazing will be removed from the sashes. Wood will be prepared, primed, and oiled as necessary, and windows re-glazed.

Caulking: Loose or deteriorating caulk shall be removed and replaced with an extremely flexible caulking material made from 100% terpolymer resin.

Patching: In selected areas, nail holes and other small holes will be patched with a linseed oil-based putty. For larger holes created by dry rot or other factors, the area will be cleaned out, and smaller holes will be drilled into the surrounding wood. This process permits proper absorption of a two-component epoxy that fuses with the old wood, offering a long-lasting patching solution.

Priming on Wooden Surfaces: Given their greater flexibility over oil-based primers, combined with recent improvements in the adhesive ability of acrylic resin binder, we now use latex primers whenever possible. Otherwise, on certain surfaces we shall continue to apply an oil-based primer.

Priming on Metal and Wrought Iron Surfaces: Depending on the substrate, we will apply either a zinc-chromate based or red-oxied, rust inhibitive primer.

Priming on Rusted Metal: Nails or other rusted surfaces will receive a coat of "Rust Destroyer." We have found this product to be an enormous improvement over traditional rust inhibitors since it will actually chemically convert the rust, rather than merely cover it up.

Countersinking: Loose boards will be renailed. All raised nails shall be countersunk and the holes filled.

All surfaces will be sanded before painting begins. The walls will be washed with TSP (trisodium phosphate), and primed when necessary. Cracks will be spackled, sanded, and respackled, and joints and holes will be caulked and puttied. Water spots and other smudge spots will be sealed with "stain-lock primer." Floors will be protected at all times with construction paper under drop cloths.

All jobs are waterproofed by caulking seams, patching cracks and re-glazing window putty. Elastomeric coatings, administered in several applications, take waterproofing one step further. It is a much thicker, flexible paint.

We repair non-structural dry rot (structural repair jobs require carpenters). Various products cans be used for damage correction, but the basic restoration techniques are the same: The rot is hollowed-out, and holes are drilled in the wood to allow the sealer to penetrate and bond. A sealer coating such as LiquidWood is applied, and the holes are filled with a maleable fairing gel (filler, e.g. WoodEpox) which can be sanded and molded to the proper shape.

Body and Trim: We will use only the highest quality paints, almost exclusively acrylic finishes or elastomeric coatings. Our research and experience has shown that no brand excels in all respects or in every color. Depending on the surface and color scheme, we primarily use Dunn-Edwards, Benjamin Moore paints, or Pratt and Lambert.

Wrought Iron and Metal: These surfaces will receive a coat of maintenance enamel.

All debris, materials, and equipment shall be picked up daily and disposed of or stored in our crew kits. We shall do our best to protect and tie back all plants and landscaping. Driveways and sidewalks will also be kept clean. If workers enter premises to loosen or wash windows, they will remove their shoes at the front door. Final cleanup shall include raking of all paint chips, removal of new drips, and hauling of all debris.

Most customers want the most durable paint to ensure a long-lasting paint job, free of premature peeling, flaking, and fading. For exterior paint jobs, the two most important factors that determine a paint's durability are film formation and the paint ingredient quality.

Latex paints are comprised of tiny polymer and pigment particles dispersed in water. As the paint dries, the water evaporates, leaving behind polymer particles that form a continuous thermoplastic film which is impermeable to water vapors.

Polymer binders, ethylene glycol, and mildew retardants extend the durability of latex paints. An acrylic polymer binder offers the best adhesion and durability. Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze) protects paint from occasional freezing, and mildew retardants fight mildew once the paint has been applied.

Most premium brands will perform well if applied correctly. Therefore, the key factors to keep in mind when selecting a brand are color, price, and availability.

Lead-based paint poses little risk when properly managed and maintained. However, improperly-managed lead paint can be detrimental to the health of children and pets, and, in sufficient levels, also to that of adults.

Although lead paint was banned in 1978, it is present in about 75% of the nation's housing. That figure is over 90% in San Francisco, since most houses were built before 1978. A 1998 San Francisco city ordinance designed to reduce lead poisoning (San Francisco Building Code Ch. 36), governs activities that disturb painted surfaces on the exterior of buildings built before 31 December 1978, and is of particular concern to homeowners when painting or removing building exteriors in San Francisco:

The Building Owner is responsible for notifying tenants of proposed work (Form D) and for providing them with the EPA pamphlet "Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home" before work begins.

The Contractor is responsible for providing the owner with the Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home EPA pamphlet, and for notifying the Department of Building Inspection. Additionally, the Contractor must monitor the containment barrier level of lead paint, post sufficient "Lead Work In Progress" signage if containment is needed, and remove visible lead paint chips and dust before completing work.