Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you brush-and-roll, or spray when applying paint and stain?

We only use the brush-and-roll technique on exterior work because spraying simply doesn’t last as long as stain and paint that is rolled and brushed on, even with “back-brushing” performed after spraying. However when a high-gloss finish is desired, such as on a front door, we use an airbrush to create an even finish.

Why doesn’t spraying last as long as brush-and-roll?

There are millions of pores and grooves on the surface of cedar siding, previous stain/paint coatings, and just about everything. These pores and grooves on the surface is what the paint and stain uses to hold onto…imagine a rock climber without any footings to hold onto. The brush and roller effectively pushes the paint and stain into the pores and grooves of the surface. This is why your home or deck needs to be pressure washed before paint and stain is applied, so that the dirt and sap is cleaned out of those areas. Simply put, a paint sprayer simply coats over the top of all those vital areas, whereas a roller and brush pushes it in, giving you a lot more life out of your coating. Please also read about backbrushing in the next question below.

I was told that spraying is fine as long as the stain or paint is backbrushed before it has dried, is this true?

The trouble with this technique is that modern paint and stain begins to seal itself almost instantly when applied to a dry wall. In fact, when it is warm outside, or when a wall is exposed to direct sunlight, paint and stain can be dry to the touch within 60 seconds! This doesn’t leave enough time for the painter to change tools and still push the paint and stain into those vital pores and grooves in the various surfaces to be painted or stained. The painter knows this and although many companies promise that they will backbrush, they know it’s a waste of time so they skip it altogether. Spraying is cheaper than brushing and rolling, that is for sure. However if that is the route you choose, you’ll have to have it done again twice as fast! In fact, we refuse to use our paint sprayer on exterior work even when someone asks us to because we don’t want our good name to become synonymous with cheap results.

What are your proceedures for preparing a house for staining or painting?

The first step is to fully pressure wash all surfaces that we will be coating, so that the pores and grooves in the surfaces to be stained or painted are clear, and the paint and stain has something solid to hold onto. Then we let your dry home and/or deck for 3-8 days, depending on the outside temperature. On our first day of work, we do all of the preparation work. This is when we sand, scrape, caulk, and look for any damaged siding to report to you later on. Our caulk is a pure polyurethane so it needs at least 24 hours to dry. The following day is when we begin coating your home or deck.

What kind of precautions will you take to protect my landscaping while working at my home?

Before painting or staining any area of your home, we will fully cover the area with heavy-duty canvas dropcloths to protect the ground. All plants and other sensitive objects are covered with vinyl sheeting that will protect it from spots, but is lite enough not damage it under its weight. Vinyl sheeting will not burn plants even when exposed to direct sunlight. We have been trusted with coating homes in the Kalamazoo/Portage area that have award-winning landscaping.

What kind of safety equipment do you use while painting and staining in high places such as roofs?

We have harnesses which are OSHA approved for dangerous work, as well as fully-trained staff for emergency situations. We have never had an incident since the company was founded, but even if something does happen, we are fully insured so you are covered.

Is spraying cheaper that brush and roll?

Most of the time it is. But like all things, with cheaper methods mean lower quality. You can expect a spray job to last about 4-5 years and a brush and roll job to last 8-10 years.

How long can I expect my coating to last?

It depends on how much sun, rain, and snow hit your siding, but you can expect it to last from 8-10 years before needing another coat. In the case of decks you’ve got similar dependencies but because the water has nowhere to run off you can expect it to last about 1-2 years for solid stain, and 2-3 years for semi-transparent stain.

Do you remove mold & mildew before staining or painting?

This is always the first step to our process. We will arrive at your home and use a pressure washer to blast off all chalking, mold, and mildew and then allow it 3-8 days to dry depending on the outside temperature before we begin work. We have years of experience with using a pressure washer on any surface you can imagine and we assure you that we have and will never damage anything with the pressure washer.

Can you put solid stain over the top of paint?

Yes you can. Many people don’t know this, but stain can and should be used in 90% of situations when coating surfaces. It sticks better to aluminum (such as gutters and downspouts), window frames, and doors better than paint. At this point, paint is only preferable over stain when a glossy look is requested.

Do you clean up each day after finishing work?

Yes we do. We look around for all bits of old caulk and paint that we may have removed from your home, and look around to make sure everything is in order. All equipment is stored neatly in one unused area of your yard.