John Thomas: Answers to Practical Painting Questions

Our Painting Contractor John Thomas

Our Painting Contractor John Thomas serving Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and all of Orange County, CA

John Thomas of shares his years of experience in answering practical painting questions that home owners might have.

John Thomas

Thomas Painting


John Thomas – Answers Questions About Painting Your House-hM6rraZ59WYRENAME

I sent an email out, and I talked about the portion of the speech or the theme of the speech is questions that you may have of me and I got nine responses. So, it’s pretty good for 30 something in a group.

Our first one, from a mortgage broker, and UC Santa Barbara graduate, Kathleen Kramer. It says, “Our rain gutters are peeling now that oil based paints are out of the picture. What do you recommend instead?” Well, oil-based paints, you still can get them. They come in quarts now. Dunn Edwards will sell them to you, and Sherman Williams will. There is a little bit of an interior oil-based paint at Home Depot, but for the most part, in California, the laws to combat the VOCs, the volatile organic compounds moved away from it. We’ve gone to water-based paints. So, in your case, let’s say you don’t want to go back and do oil based anymore. You want to sand it really good. Get all that loose, peeling, paint off.

You get a quality primer, prime it, and then put a quality semi-gloss, or an eggshell, water-based, paint on there, and it’ll last a very long time, because all the research, all the development, has gone towards water based, and they’re really, really, good. There’s this big thing that, “Oil bases are a better paint . . . blah, blah, blah . . . ” And it’s kind of all gone away, and they’ve taken the good stuff out of it anyway, so it’s not really [laughs] . . . unless you want to drive to Arizona. You can drive to Arizona, and supposedly they’ve got the good stuff. I’m not sure. We don’t drive to Arizona.

Okay, and our merchant service man, Chris Trout. He jumped in here with, “I’d like to know what other services your company can offer besides traditional painting.” Okay, well starting let’s say, from the top, working on down, let’s say, on the ceiling, you’ve got a hole in your ceiling. We can repair that hole. We can match those textures. We can take off acoustic coating and put whatever texture you want up there and prime and paint it. We can put crown molding in a room. We can put baseboards in a room. We don’t like doing a whole house, but let’s say someone had a contractor come in and remodel a specific room, but they didn’t really think about the finish work so much. They just got it done. They don’t like the look of the baseboard that . . . to get the better price, it’s real small, doesn’t really add up. We can do those kinds of things.

Another question that was brought to me was by Sherry Boone, a gift basket lady, “What are the best kinds of inside paints that prevent fingerprints and scuffs from becoming permanent?” Yeah that is a grandmothers pot right there. I don’t know, that’s kind of like some neat faux painting, the 3-foot all along the house. What you want is to move away from the flat, as flat paint hides imperfections the best, and has a nice great look. But, they have a tendency to pick up dirt and hold smudges. So, you want something that has a little bit of a sheen to it, and so the sheens go satin, and low sheen, and eggshell, and semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

So, high-gloss is the best. You can really take a scrubby to it, and really clean really good but, it just looks ridiculous in a hallway, in your rooms. It’s just too shiny. So you might want to move back down, and maybe one step up from flat, or two steps up from flat, which is a satin, or a low sheen, and you’ll probably get better performance, especially in your hallways, and those areas. But, as you go up in sheens, it doesn’t touch up as well. If you stay down in sheens, that’s the beauty of the flat, where you still have that can of paint you get smudge marks, you can just go in there and go “bang.” Kind of feather it in, and it goes away. Whereas a high-gloss, where you touch it up, it’s probably we call it flashing, it’s gonna show up. Those are the Yin and Yang of that.

From Dennis Jenkins . . . no [laughs]. From Jim Duncan, from Aim Mail Center, “How do you make the paint color and placement suggestions? Or do we go to a designer?” First, we have a method for selecting colors and it’s get your colors get your chips but I’m all out and then start throwing away the ones that you know you don’t like so you don’t sit there and go back oh I like that I like the name of that one, it reminds it where I grew up in Connecticut and all that you’re looking at the color, you want to look at the color, okay and then you pick three of those colors and then go down and get these little samples and they sell little samples and they’re like 3 to 5 bucks and you put them up and then you go oh wow I really like that one, it’s a homerun and we can go forward from there but then maybe you don’t like any of them but you’ve learned a little bit about when you see the chip what you see and how it’s gonna go on the walls. So those are some things.

A designer is really, really good. They can look at the chip and they can see. The good ones are worth the money sometimes, but maybe you don’t want to spend that money. You don’t want to spend $100-$300 on someone to tell you the colors. Sometimes they’re a little bold. They want you to go in a different direction and push you in a direction that maybe you just want with Swiss coffee all the way to your house and you don’t really care about accent walls, and those kinds of things both we can help you with the colors not a problem if you follow that method if you go through that exercise of getting the chips getting the samples putting them up you’ll have really good results and we have a really high percentage of happy customers when using that method.

From Terry termite our exterminator, he came in with two but for time constraints you only get one question. “I like to learn what can be done to keep exterior paint from developing mold or mildew. I see this especially in areas of homes that don’t get sun.” Well what happens with mold and mildew it delves from a moisture problem so lots of times you’re gonna see that out in the north facing side of a home that has grass up against it, there’s a lot of water, a lot of watering going on so if they could put in, God forbid, some concrete around the home there, that would be a really good thing. Occasionally treated with bleach and washing down, that would help.

Once it develops it always comes back it’s a constant battle those are the two things, I don’t know make the sun bend around, you know, minimizing moisture in those areas, maybe a gutter system so that it doesn’t drip. It’s a really tough one and you have to be tenacious, you have to kind of stay after it. From Jean Teagan [SP], “What is the best way to remove wallpaper?” Don’t remove it. Leave it right up there. Remember one that rose pattern from grandma and all that kind of stuff? Wallpaper’s an enigma, it can just all of a sudden come off, just falls off, that’s wonderful but for the most part it’s tenacious, you got to get really, really hot water, as hot as you can stand, get some gloves on. You can buy a solution to put on and it’ll help tack glue. Use a garden sprayer, the ones that you spray and spray it down and then walk away go do something for 15 minutes.

Try not to start scraping it right away because you got to let that chemical start working on that glue and breaking that glue down and then come back and get it again and then start working on that and hopefully it starts coming off and you’re not going to be damaging the wall but most of the time you take off wallpaper, there’s gonna be some wall work. It might be just a little bit of minimum of patchwork and a little bit of texture. It can be, well you know what we’re just gonna get it off and then we’re gonna skim it with some drywall mud and then we’re going to retexture and that’s just the way it goes but the best way to do is we found . . . I mean some people talk about get the steamer, get the steamer. Haven’t had a lot of luck with steamers because they get heavy and then there’s this little machine over here and it’s just a pain in the butt. Let’s just get the hottest water you can, put it in that little Hudson sprayer which keeps it warm.

That’s the beauty of that and you spray it on there and then that spray action is actually penetrating that paper a little bit which gets down to the glue, so there you go. Okay, Sean Celome [SP], what does he do? He’s our web developer of the group? Every week I get someone that wants to get a paint job from that website, it’s awesome. “Can you and your team patch exterior stuck and match the finish before painting?” Absolutely we do it all the time. Lots of times especially under patio doors, north facing areas or people will be watering around their home. There is traditionally an exterior repaint on a single-family residence and there’s gonna be some stucco damage and we repair that and we want to match the existing, you want to make it so that someone walks by and then they’ll go, oh your painters were here and they did a crappy job, I mean I used to want them. You want the homeowner to go look there was a giant hole there and I can’t even tell anymore.

I mean that’s exactly what you want and they’re gonna get repeat business and that’s how it goes and then of course when you put the new stucco on, you want to prime that stucco and then you put you two coats of paint on which is we always do. Some people go how many coats do we use; we’re always a two coat system minimum, maybe three. Terry Termite yesterday has got some beautiful dark blue walls and some mustard, what would you call that? It was ugly. Yeah mango. That’s being kind mango. Baby crap [laughs], baby crap. Well that took five coats, we’re just so happy with that, just a great time, a lot of fun. Eric Evans, I think he’s an insurance guy, a speech major. You spend more time looking up quotes and working on my tip.

[Side conversations]

And then another thing I want to talk about the pens, now I have to get a pen that has the fancy top on it so you can sign. I have competition, it’s his pen, my pen’s better but I guess this is now a collector’s item because this will be the last time this pen comes out. You’re getting the last of the 500 that I got from Kathy Olleh Wallia [SP] so I have a tip for you so I can get more pens. Okay Eric Evans says, “My family room is red semi-gloss and we’d like it to be painted a tan flat, what type of prep work do you do?” We don’t do anything, we just open up a can of paint and start painting right because that’s pretty much what you do. It’s an easy business. You just open the can and just whoa, whoa, whoa [laughs]. Don’t cover anything. You don’t want to cover anything and don’t wear any clothes that you can get pain on because you’re not gonna spell right?

If you are painting just put something on, you don’t mind getting paint on and you keep them, those are your paint clothes. It’s like you have gardening gloves, now you have painting clothes always because the paint will jump out of the can and get on you, guaranteed and use the drop cloth, please just put anything, a piece of paper.

[Side conversations]

I’m on a roll but anyway what we would do is we would of course pull back the furniture, we would send the wrong wall really fast and then we would prime it with a primer and then we would coat it with a flat, okay and the last question from Guy Baller [SP], our resident diamond, I’ve been there many times he’s gotten mucho dollars from me, “How often do you varnish a wooden door?” I would say every week. No, varnished exterior wood doors are difficult and I would put them on a year or 2-year term and do it even if it doesn’t look like it needs it, you know, clean it. The best thing you could do for that though is once it gets done every time you dust inside you clean that door outside, he treat it like your inside furniture, you get a lot more performance out of it and Angie I will see you after the meeting and take your question personally and thank you so much for all your business and happy painting.