The Urban Painter
Now Hiring

403.774.1424 | Calgary, AB.

Why The Urban Painter Is The Clear Choice For Calgary

The Urban PainterWhy The Urban Painter Is The Clear Choice For Calgary Painting

In a big city like Calgary, you have your pick of plenty of potential painters (there’s a tongue twister!) when you’re looking to do a project. But with so many choices, how do you weed out the good companies from the bad ones? How do you know you’ll get the most bang for your buck?

Well, not to be biased, but we firmly believe that we at The Urban Painter offer a winning combination of service, quality, and professionalism that sets us above our competitors.  Here’s what we do to make sure you’re happy with our work – and that your home is in better shape when we’re done than when we started.

 

No Subcontractors – All Employees

You may already be anxious about a crew of strangers coming into your home and being there while you’re not, and that’s understandable. That’s why we make no exceptions to this rule: anyone in our uniform is a full-time trusted employee, who knows all of our policies and guidelines. We won’t be having new people constantly in and out of your home, and you’ll soon get to know our friendly workers well – we make a point of only hiring people who are excellent team players and have the right attitude for our job sites.

The Urban Painter promise

The Urban Painter promises our clients that we will: start and finish on time; maintain a neat and clean project; make sure our language isn’t offensive; take care of all details; and stand behind our work. We care about how you feel while the work is getting done.

Transparency and Accountability

We take great pride in delivering one of the best customer service experiences in Calgary. From the first time we meet, to the final payment, we strive to have our procedures well-documented, our contracts easy to understand, and our methods proven successful yet again. You’ll never receive a final bill with hundreds of dollars in hidden fees, or find out that we’ve decided to charge you for work you didn’t approve.

Flexibility

While we tend to have regular starting and ending hours in order to be less disruptive to your home life, we are always open to shifting schedules to accommodate yours. We’ve done overnight work, half-days, split weeks, project rearranging – our aim is to be as unintrusive as possible. Just let us know how we can make your painting experience a good one!

Cleanliness and Appearance

We take our professionalism and appearance very seriously, and aim to break the stereotype of the typical painter with dirty clothes and tools. Our uniforms and tools are replaced regularly in order to stay clean, and we have high standards for our job sites. It’s a little thing to most people, but it makes a very big difference to us at The Urban Painter.

Commitment to High Quality Service & Guarantee of Workmanship

We go to great lengths to be the best painting company in the city, and it shows in our quality of work. We extensively train our employees using standardized material, and regularly update with new training as time goes on, and our methods and materials are the same across the whole company so there is no miscommunication. Because of our high standards, we are proud to offer a two-year guarantee on all labour and materials – we stand by our work, and creating happy clients is the most important part for us. We book many of our projects through word-of-mouth and referrals, and we like to think that it’s not all a coincidence that so many people are happy with our performance!

 

If you have a Calgary painting project to consider – large or small, interior or exterior – then call The Urban Painter today to see why we have consistently high customer reviews, ratings, and referrals.  We are dedicated to making you happy and delivering on our promise of successful, high-quality work! Reach us for a free estimate and colour consultation by phone at 403-774-1424 or email at info@theurbanpainter.com. We can’t wait to show you what we can do!


10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Contractor

Hiring A Contractor10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Contractor 

As a painting company that occasionally deals with other contractors and trades, we are familiar with how disruptive renovations and construction projects can be while they are going on. This can be compounded by disreputable contractors, who may not be entirely up front with their policies, billing, or quality of work. In the interest of transparency and fostering a better relationship with our clients and our work environments, here are ten simple questions to ask a potential before hiring a contractor (including us!) that will save you a lot of headaches later on.

 

1.  How long have you been in business?

A contractor that has no history or prior references immediately raises some red flags. Being new is one thing – and any worthy contractor will have proof of apprenticeship, contacts, and completed training projects – but trying to dodge past issues is different. For example, The Urban Painter has been in operation since 2008, and we have plenty of online reviews of our work. Research the contractor’s name and company, and look for reviews of their practices and quality of work. If you’re getting resistance on the topic, beware!

 

2.  Is there a written warranty for service or materials?

When hiring a contractor, you should know that any good one should offer a written warranty or guarantee on their work, and it’s recommended that you know ahead of time what it covers and how long it lasts. Many materials they use may also have a manufacturer’s warranty included. The Urban Painter, for instance, has a two-year warranty on all labour and materials. It’s a good idea to get all of this, in writing, prior to the start date.

 

3.  What is the timeline for this job?

While unforeseen issues can sometimes delay projects, a professional contractor should be able to estimate a start and completion date for your work without too much trouble. You can also ask about concurrent and upcoming jobs they have, and how they will affect the timeline. Also be sure that you’re both on the same page about how to address changes to the schedule that may arise. When we do the estimate for you, we will give you an anticipated start date, with follow-up calls to confirm accuracy or changes; we also make sure our crew leads know a rough timeline to work with when they arrive on site and make a job plan.

 

4.  What is the payment schedule?

Some solid advice is to never pay the full price of a contracted project up-front – and a decent contractor shouldn’t ask you to do that. With that in mind, it is important to discuss payments before the work begins, and be aware of how much is due and when. We have everything in our contracts and are licensed in Alberta as a prepaid contractor.

 

5.  Will the same team be here through the whole project, and do you work with subcontractors?

Since contractors like ourselves often work on multiple projects at a time, it’s not unheard of for different workers to come onto and off of job sites. While other companies’ policies may differ, we try our best to maintain a consistent team for each site, so that there are not a lot of new faces always around your site. Furthermore, all of our painters are full-time, trusted employees – we do not subcontract!

 

6.  What is a typical working day like?

When hiring a contractor, ask about start and end times, typical noise levels, and what tools will be used on-site. Be sure to show the contractor which outlets, bathrooms, and parking spots can be used, if applicable, and to inform them about who will be home, pets that may be present, etc. We have dedicated start and finish times – though, of course, we’re always willing to work with your schedule – and take great care to be as unintrusive as possible while we’re working in your home.

 

7.  How will you clean up at the end of the day and the job?

Cleanliness is what separates a great contractor from the rest. From the appearance and clothes of the workers, to the care taken while cleaning up the site, a professional company will take the time to present themselves as such. At The Urban Painter, we take our reputation for cleanliness seriously – our uniforms and tools are clean, our work areas are constantly tidied up, and we are always aware of places that are prone to becoming messy. We do a dedicated end-of-day clean-up, every day, as well as a more thorough cleaning upon the completion of the project.

 

8.  Where are you storing tools and materials?

Rather than leaving items all over the place, a good contractor should have a specific area to keep all tools and materials when not in use. Furthermore, this area should be chosen while consulting with you, in order to minimize its impact on your environment. We can’t speak for other companies, but for us, during the first walk-through when our painters arrive to begin work, the crew lead will ask where you would like us to store our supplies – you can count on us never leaving them somewhere inconvenient.

 

9.  How will you protect my property?

When hiring a contractor, you should know that a reputable one will take some simple yet effective steps to keep your home in good condition, even if they are rebuilding parts of it. We follow the same line of thinking: we use plastic, paper, and drop sheets to cover unpainted areas; we remove our shoes when working indoors; we won’t move any large furniture without your express written consent; and we are always sure to lock up at the end of the day if you are not around. These are just a few of the details that a good contractor should do as part of the project.

 

10.  How do we deal with additional charges?

Inevitably, there will be jobs where unforeseen circumstances arise, and additional charges may be necessary – for example, if there is more prep work than initially thought, or if there is a colour change partway through the project. Reputable contractors will discuss all additional expenses with you beforehand, and give you a breakdown of what is being paid for – all in writing, of course – and won’t do any of the work without express approval from you. We do the same thing. We have specific paperwork for just this situation, and are completely transparent with all costs through the process.

 

The thought of hiring a contractor might fill you with dread, but with a bit of research and preparation, your home renovation project can go a lot easier than you think. Why not get started with The Urban Painter? We have the expertise, the equipment, and the energy to get your home painting projects done in a timely and quality manner, and we’d love to show you our work! With our free estimates and colour consultations, it’s now easier than ever to plan a refreshing change to your home’s character. Call us at 403-774-1424, or email us at info@theurbanpainter.com to find out more today!

 

Photo:  http://home-painting.info/house-interior-painting-ideas/


How To Properly Paint Wooden Decks, Fences, and Latticework

Paint Wooden Decks, Fences, and LatticeworkHow To Properly Paint Wooden Decks, Fences, and Latticework

You may be a DIY type who likes to tackle new projects – maybe you’ve fixed up the paint in some bedrooms, or the window trim in the living room. But now you’re looking at your back deck, your perimeter fence, or your trellis, and you’re thinking that they need some TLC, too. But what’s the best and most efficient way to paint these?

When trying to paint wooden decks, fences, and latticework it is different than painting a wall – there’s more to it than just cutting around the edges and filling in the middle. Here’s a handy guide to help you make your yard look better than ever.

Preparation Is Key!

Being on the exterior of your home, wooden features such as decks and fences often get very dirty and extremely weathered over time, and trellises can have vines or other plants growing through the gaps. Move all obstacles out of the way, including plants, rocks, dirt, or any other random items lying too close, and use a pressure washer to give the entire area a good, solid cleaning. Don’t even think about skipping this step! If there’s too much dirt on the surface, it will prevent the paint or stain from adhering properly.

Once the wood is dry, break out the elbow grease! A power sander will be a lifesaver here, as you’ll want to scrape and sand away all the loose and chipped paint and wood on every surface. This is easy on the slats of a deck or a fence, but when you factor in railings, posts, and the inside/outside of many boards, the time can easily add up. Follow the same pattern for each section to ensure you’re not missing any surfaces. When you’re done, it should feel nice and smooth to the touch.

If you’re painting the wood, rather than staining it, your next step will be to prime any bare spots. Use a tinted primer if your chosen paint colour is on the darker side of the spectrum. If you’re going to paint wooden decks, fences, and latticework for the first time, getting every angle can be a lot of work – make sure you check every surface for coverage. For this reason, it’s usually easier to spray these kinds of features.

Choosing the Right Product and Equipment

Staining wood is an excellent choice if you want the natural wood grain to show through, but still have protection from the elements and heavy foot or hand traffic. The stain will soak into the wood fibres and stay there, highlighting its natural appearance and lines. On the other hand, paint is more durable and protective, and comes in a wider variety of colours, though it doesn’t allow the appearance of the wood to be quite so apparent. There is no “wrong” choice, though, so pick the one that you like best!

Once you know the product, you can make sure you have right equipment for the job. Stains are very thin and runny, and are most often applied liberally with a thick brush, left for a few minutes, and then the excess is wiped away – remember to only stop at obvious section breaks (like the ends of boards), since if you overlap with the stain on the wood, you’ll definitely see the lines! Remember to watch for runs and drips, and to check the can as well, since many stains only need one coat applied for optimal coverage – putting on more can actually be detrimental to the finish.

If you’re painting, though, you’ll most likely want to invest in a sprayer, rather than paint it all by hand. Think about it: you need to paint inside all the cracks between boards of a deck or slats in a fence; you need to get every angle on all sides of a trellis; you have to not only get all four sides of every railing on the deck, but make sure they’re all done evenly and at the same time. It’s possible to do with a brush…but in our professional opinion, sprayers will make your life much easier. Again, create a system where you do the same parts in the same order on each section, to ensure you’re getting all necessary surfaces.

Overspray

Because there are so many spaces on the surfaces – whether you’re going to paint wooden decks, fences, and latticework – you’re virtually guaranteed to get overspray if you’re spraying. Take precautions by masking off windows, doors, walls, or other nearby areas, and consider having someone there to help by holding up some kind of protective shield, like a big piece of cardboard or a drop sheet. It may seem tempting to skip this step, but you’ll be glad you didn’t when you see how much paint you catch coming out the other side!

The Finishing Touches

Whether you stain or paint, always make sure that the weather is favourable for the next 24-48 hours before you start – a sudden rainstorm can erase a long day’s work in just a few minutes. Keep pets and people off deck surfaces and away from fences for a day or two after the last coat is applied (depending on ambient temperature), and wait at least two full days to move any furniture back on to your deck. Once it’s safe to do so, you can move everything back to its place, and start enjoying your shiny new finishes!

 

While not the most technically difficult projects, when you paint wooden decks, fences, and latticework, they can nevertheless be frustrating for a beginner to tackle. Do you feel like you might be in over your head when it comes to your yard? Luckily, that’s what The Urban Painter is here to do!

We have years of experience right here in Calgary working on decks of every shape, size, and material. We know the process inside and out and we have all the necessary tools and expertise to turn your old paint job into a sight to behold. Why not get a free estimate today, and a complimentary paint colour consultation while you’re at it? We can even help you choose the best product for your needs. Contact our office at 403-774-1424 today, or by email at info@theurbanpainter.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Photo:  http://www.newsonair.org/white-deck-paint/superb-white-deck-paint-11-white-painted-wood-deck/


Perfect Time To Book An Exterior Paint Job

Perfect Time To Book An Exterior Paint JobWhy Now Is The Perfect Time To Book An Exterior Paint Job

With the time change and the extreme cold weather (hopefully) behind us, many Calgarians are looking ahead to summer and daydreaming about barbecues, backyards, and beverages in the sunshine. While all of us would like to wish for a summer that lasts forever, the truth is – it doesn’t! We have precious few months of hot weather here in Alberta, and for a company like The Urban Painter, we like to make the most of it.

If you’ve been thinking of painting the exterior of your house, you may be wondering when the best time is to book the job. And the short answer is: now! Of course, there are plenty of factors that go into that decision, but here are some reasons why the spring is actually the best time to reserve your prime spot in line for a new exterior paint job!

 

Summer Is The Busy Season

Like all Canadian companies that work outdoors, we tend to get extremely busy between April and September. Our team size doubles, we work plenty of overtime, we are constantly inundated with requests for estimates and projects, and most importantly the weather can make things difficult. As a result, as the summer progresses, our work plans gradually shift weeks – if not months – ahead of the current date, and it can be very difficult to fit in a job that hasn’t booked earlier on in the season, especially as we get into late July and August. The Summer is definitely NOT the perfect time to book an exterior paint job.

 

Current Problems May Be Magnified In The Meantime

As you’ll recall, the summer of 2016 was hardly a summer at all for Calgary – we had plenty of rain in between the sweltering hot days. This pattern can exacerbate any current problems on your home if there are already some pressing issues – moisture can leak into cracks (and mold might follow), flaking paint can intensify, and so on. This is no good! It’s best to take care of these things ASAP once you notice them, or the price to fix them will only increase as well.

 

Don’t Let The Weather Stop You

Just like it can be too cold to paint in the winter, it can also get too hot to paint in the summer. This is not only for our painters’ health in extreme heat, but for the paint itself – beyond a certain range, it dries too fast! This affects sprayer nozzles, open containers of paint, brushes, and the actual painted surfaces, and can quickly turn a big job into a futile effort. By booking a job for the late spring or early summer, you can minimize the chances of this happening while we’re working on your home. So now you know that Spring is the perfect time to book an exterior paint job

 

Enjoy Your New Colours All Summer Long

Summer is the time when you get to hang out in the yard, having cookouts and enjoying the sunshine. Why not get a fresh coat of paint out of the way early, and then you can enjoy it all summer long? Friends and neighbours can see the effect that a new set of colours can have on a house, and you can be the first on the street to make it happen.

So why wait until the rush of mid-summer? Book your free estimate today at 403-774-1424, or by email at info@theurbanpainter.com. We can’t wait to show you how we can make your house look its best!

 

Photo:  http://www.nashvillepainters.org


Festool Dustless Sander

Festool Dustless SanderThe Festool Dustless Sander: The Next Level of Interior Finishing

If you’ve ever done an interior painting project, you’re probably familiar with the enemy of painters everywhere: the dust that comes along with the work. Since patching the drywall and wood sanding are part of the job, it’s inevitable that some of it dries up and takes off into the air, where it happily floats to its final destination – whether that’s on top of your newly-rolled coat of paint, or in the hairs that tickle the inside of your nose. Either way, it’s a necessary nuisance that painters have had to deal with forever – you can’t make surfaces smooth without sanding and producing dust.

There’s been no way around it, until the Festool Dustless Sander came along.

A New Age of Workmanship

The Festool’s unique and user-friendly design is a next-level innovation that completely changes our approach to interior prep work. The compact yet powerful handheld sander has a variety of attachments and abrasive pads, which can wear away diamond-hard layers of ancient paint and gently smooth out minor imperfections on small surfaces with equal ability. But there are plenty of sanders on the market that can do that; why did we choose the Festool?

It’s because it does one thing better than every other sander out there: it gets rid of the dust. 

Using a proprietary Dust Extractor suction system that’s built into the sander itself, the two components work together to immediately and effectively contain virtually all of the dust that would usually be sent into the environment. This not only makes the air cleaner to breathe overall, and cuts down on clean-up at the end of the job, but it means that fresh coats of paint – the sticky paint that covers many of the flat surfaces in your home – will no longer be inundated with specks of airborne dust.

As painters, this is a dream come true!

New Technology

The Festool Dustless Sander is not yet widespread in the painting industry, but we like to be at the forefront of technology. Our investment in this technology has contributed greatly to our ability to do excellent work on home interiors. It is especially useful on drywall, shelves, trim, baseboards, and doors.

One of the instances in which we use the Festool most heavily is painting cabinets – a job which requires a lot of prep work and sanding, a fine attention to detail, a purging of all dust contamination, and a sander that’s powerful enough to smooth down all rough edges and patches. Our cabinet finishes are a source of extreme pride for us, and investments like the Festool make it easy for us to do an even better job than we could before.

Seeing It In Action

If your home is in need of painting, dustless sanding will make the project go smoother and leave less to clean up after. Contact us today If you are interested in more information about how it works and what it would mean for your project. We’d be happy to bring our Festool Dustless Sander over and show you how it works while we take care of the painting for you. Whether it’s cabinet painting, interior painting, or even exterior paint jobs (this sander works great on wooden decks and window frames), we’re ready to offer you our free, no-obligation quote and even a complimentary colour consultation. Tell us about your project at 403-774-1424, or by email at info@theurbanpainter.com. We’ll be waiting to hear from you!

 

Photo:  https://www.hmdiffusion.com/Ponceuse-excentrique-ETS-125-REQ-Plus-Festool-574636-11-43666-p.htm


How To Paint Older Homes

How To Paint Older HomesHow To Paint Older Homes In Calgary

While you won’t find any classical stone structures in Calgary, there are plenty of older homes throughout the city that are full of history and character. From Rideau and Mission near the city centre, to the original houses that still stand in Inglewood, some of these homes are a testament to the spirit of the people who settled here near the turn of the century.

Building standards have come a long way since then, though, and if you want to learn how to paint older homes in Calgary, you may encounter some unique issues that require special attention. Here we’ll go over some tips for making a historic building last for another hundred years.

Planning And Preparation

Since construction laws were not nearly as restrictive when Calgary was in its early stages, there are definitely some differences in workmanship on older houses. You’ll likely run into problems like wide gaps around trim, rotting wood, broken plaster, or improper drainage – all of which should be addressed before you actually paint.

Fill any small gaps with caulking, and if the space is particularly wide, use a foam backing rod (sold at any paint or hardware store) to support the strip of caulking. If you find any rotting wood on trim, railings, stairs, or other areas, we recommend replacing the boards with new ones to prevent a complete structural failure – especially on load-bearing areas like pillars or staircases. Replacing the board before it breaks is much cheaper than waiting until an accident happens!

Plaster was a much more common building material back in the day, and many old houses still have plaster layers on walls and ceilings. However, due to its nature, plaster can crack and eventually break, leaving holes behind that pose major problems for an unlucky homeowner. For small cracks in the surface, you can fill them with putty and sand them smooth once it’s dry. However, for large holes in both plaster and drywall – those up to a few inches in width – you should pick up a mesh grid kit from your neighborhood hardware or paint store, cover the hole with it, and use that as a foundation for the patch. Fan out the edges far beyond where the hole ends, and use at least three coats of putty to ensure a solid base. When it’s dry, gently sand the entire area, using your fingertips to feel for smoothness – if done correctly, you shouldn’t be able to feel a thing!

If you’re working on an old house with moisture leakage, take the proper precautions against factors like mold or structural damage (which may involve some professional opinions). Always be careful and cautious, keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary, and fix any underlying issues with slopes, pipes, or flooding before you put the new paint on. Your property value will thank you!

Using the Right Equipment

The architecture of older houses varies wildly, and there could be all sorts of dangerous sections around the building itself. From slippery grass slopes, to weak or rotting trusses, to steep roofs or exposed wiring – be careful, and use the correct equipment!

You may need some new ladders, or a long pole to reach upper sections of the siding. This can be especially tricky when you need to get right up close to prep the surface properly. When learning how to paint older homes, remember not to work alone when you’re on a ladder, and to keep three-point contact (two feet, one hand) on the rungs. If you encounter a problem that you don’t have the equipment to deal with, don’t try to be MacGuyver – no paint job is worth an injury, or worse.

If you’re spraying, take the time to mask off the windows, doors, fixtures, floors, and other unpainted areas. (Spraying is a big timesaver – but only if you prep properly!) If you’re brushing and rolling, plan out your sections beforehand so you don’t have to stop in the middle of a wall and risk an unsightly line of overlapping coats (flashing). Every good painter knows that being prepared is half the battle.

When finished, store any extra paint in its can in a cool, dark place – labelled with the date, area it was used, and address. Be on the lookout for drips, chips, and errant tools when you do your final clean-up. The use of drop sheets and plastic will greatly reduce clean-up time, and it’s a very good habit to have early on!

Highlighting Your Older Home’s Character

Your house is different from every other one around it – why not show off that fact a bit? Use complementary, bright, or trendy colours in tandem to highlight the unique features of your older home. Railings, handrails, stairsets, trim, fence posts, and buttresses are some of the many architectural pieces that really pop when offset from the main colour. Let your home’s personality fly free!

 

Painting your home can be a great DIY project, but even Michelangelo had helpers! If you have just read our whole “How To Paint Older Homes” blog carefully and you feel like the job is beyond your ability, let us know and we’d be happy to put our highly trained crews to work, getting your historic Calgary house upgraded to a fresh new look. And with our free estimates and paint colour consultations, you can make sure it’s ready for the styles of 2017 and beyond. Call us at 403-774-1424 or email our office at info@theurbanpainter.com to learn more today!

 

Photo:  http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/curb-appeal-tips-for-victorian-homes


How To Paint Doors, Door Frames, Window Frames, and Baseboards

How To Paint Doors, Door Frames, Window Frames, and BaseboardsHow To Paint Doors, Door Frames, Window Frames, and Baseboards

You might be looking around your house and noticing that, while you’re happy with the main colours, some of the accents are showing their age: dingy frames, yellowing windowsills, peeling doors, or washed-out baseboards. Over time, these trim areas can fade and weather, turning once-bright areas dark and unappealing.

Fixing up trim can be a relatively quick and easy way to increase your home’s value and atmosphere, and will be instantly noticeable to any returning visitors to your home. Here are some tips to make sure that your new paint job lasts!

Prep Them Properly

Prepping is important on any paint job, but that’s doubly true for trim work. Exterior window and door frames, exterior doors, and other similar features are exposed to sweltering sun and biting cold, with plenty of moisture and airborne chemicals in between; inside, baseboards can be kicked and bumped, and handrails see some of the heaviest friction traffic above the floor. For these reasons, properly preparing the surface for paint is crucial to making the workmanship last.

Start by pressure washing the area (if it’s exterior), and then once dry, take a hand scraper to the surface. This is especially fun on windowsill bottoms, where water run-off and sun exposure will have taken the greatest toll, and you’ll get an idea of just how advanced the peeling is. Scrape liberally, getting off any flakes of loose paint or wood.

Next, take some sandpaper and wrap it around a sanding block – the grit will depend on the surface; exterior trim generally needs 60-80, while interior is around 80-120, so use your discretion. Sand down all the rough surfaces, checking periodically with your fingertips to test the smoothness. You shouldn’t be able to lift any old paint chips at this point, or drastically feel a change in the surface. If you do, keep scraping and sanding until it’s smooth. Wipe the surface with a wet rag when you’re done to remove excess dust and debris.

Have you ever used a caulking gun? If not, now’s your chance! Caulking is used to seal up nail holes, the gaps between siding and the trim, baseboards and the wall, joints in a frame, etc., and is instrumental in keeping moisture out of the inner areas. It can be tricky if you’re a beginner, so here’s a handy tutorial if you need some advice.

Sometimes, depending on the job, you’ll need to tape off sections, or cover areas with plastic or paper (like window glass, door hardware, and so on). If you haven’t already done this, now is the time – before you get into the priming and painting.

Then, it’s prime time! Using a small roller or a brush, apply a coat of primer to bare wood (if the trim is vinyl, you can skip this part). This will ensure the overlying coats of paint will stick properly, even through the toughest conditions.

Once the primer is dry – you’re finally ready to paint. Whew!

Breaking Out The Paint

Trim is usually painted with semi- or high-gloss paint, to really maximize the accent colour and give it a lustrous shine when viewed next to the finished walls or siding. Be sure to choose a paint that’s suited to the environment – interior/exterior; moisture protection; high washability, etc.

Depending on the job, you may be spraying or using a brush and roller. If parts like baseboards are not yet up on the wall, it can be relatively simple to do the priming and first coat in one long, fluid motion (but don’t forget that you’ll have to fill the nail holes and do the second coat once they’ve been installed). For other areas, like window frames, the exact order of painting will depend on whether the surrounding surface is also being painted and the method of application – each job is a little bit different, so remember to plan ahead in order to minimize doubling back on work you’ve already done.

Be sure to always use drop sheets when you’re working, and keep a wet rag handy to fix any errors before they dry!

Cleaning Up

Hopefully, by now you’ve mastered the ancient art of painting trim, and are ready to clean up and put everything away. Put the remaining paint into as few cans as possible, and clearly label them with the date, area being painted, and address for future reference. If you used latex paint, you can wash out brushes and rollers with simple soap and water (fan out the bristles and use pressure on them until the water runs clear), but you’ll need some paint thinner if you tackled the job with an alkyd-based product.

When removing tape from glass or hardware, use a sharp Xacto knife to carefully cut through the dried paint along the desired lines, in order to prevent the tape from pulling up the new paint. Believe us, it’s much easier to cut the tape first than to try and fix a big rip along the edge of a paint job!

All the paint chips, wood chunks, and paint splatters should have landed safely on the drop sheet or plastic that’s on the floor/ground. Carefully dispose of them and use a vacuum or broom to get any stragglers that may have escaped. Use a clean wet rag to wipe up the floor (if indoors) and do a final check for paint droplets.

Put away all the tools and move any furniture back to its place once the trim is dry, and enjoy a well-deserved rest. You did it!

Don’t Have The Time?

Painting is a trade that may look easy, but has much more to it than just slapping some paint on a surface. As professional painters, we’re highly trained experts who know how to get a job done properly, from the first look during the estimate to the final walkthrough at the end of the project. If you’re doubting your ability to get a high-quality finish, why not let us do the work for you? Our commitment to transparency, customer service, and craftsmanship means that we’re dedicated to making your home look its best, inside and out.

Contact The Urban Painter for a free estimate today, and see how you can improve the look of your home’s trim without breaking the bank. And right now is the perfect time, before the beating sun of summer wears away your current paint job any further. Call us at 403-774-1424 – we look forward to working for you!

 

Photo:  https://www.pinterest.com/explore/painting-interior-doors/


Choosing The Right Paint For You

Choosing The Right PaintChoosing The Right Paint For You

Have you ever walked into a paint store – or even down the painting products aisle at a hardware store – and been overwhelmed by all the options? Stains, enamels, sealants, stains, latex, oil, finishes – it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re looking for if you’re determined to get a job done yourself. So today we’re here to help you discover how to know if you are choosing the right paint?

 

Aesthetics

The first thing to do is to take a look at what you’re painting, and decide how you want it to appear after you’re done. Is it a big family room that needs to look welcoming, or a small bathroom that needs to be refreshed? Are you brightening up some faded bedrooms doors? Have an idea of the colour you want, and how shiny you want the finish to be. (Generally, main walls are flat or eggshell finish, while bathrooms and trim pieces are semi- or high-gloss.)

 

Environmental Factors & Application Method

Next, you should consider where the painting job is. Are you working on an painting an outdoor deck that’s exposed to extremes of moisture, sunlight, and cold? A child-height handrail that gets lots of sticky hands? Or are you just touching up the shelves of a little-used bedroom closet? Take notes of whether you need moisture and extreme weather protection, durability, washability, and coverage. The location of a job may also determine how you’re applying the paint – sprayer, brush and roller, spray can, etc. This is important, too, as some products cannot be easily sprayed or rolled.

 

Functionality

It goes without saying that the paint that goes on a high stucco ceiling is different from the stain that would be used on an outdoor fence. Keeping the area’s function in mind will help you make a final decision on finish, durability, and other properties that differ between paints – for example, a paint with high washability is ideal for kids’ rooms, while bright, flat whites are perfect for ceilings.

 

Quality

As with anything in life, you want to ensure you buy a proper and proven brand of paint that will last for years to come. At The Urban Painter, we use top-quality, high-grade Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Dulux paints, which consistently provide excellent results and longevity.

 

Choosing the right paint can seem deceptively simple, but it’s worth taking the time to look over your needs and selecting the most fitting brand, finish, and grade. If you’d like an expert opinion, we’d be more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect paint for your home – we even offer a colour consultation to our clients, where you can get answers to all your questions about current trends and styles. Take advantage of our free estimate today, and find out how the right paint can not only increase the value and look of your home and property, but provide years of ambience, warmth, and memories!

 

Photo:  https://holykaw.alltop.com/10-similarities-between-choosing-paint-and-choosing-a-partner


How To Paint Stucco

how to paint stucco

How To Paint Stucco

Ah, summertime in Calgary: the days are long, the sun is shining, and you’re finally able to get cracking on that exterior paint job on your house. Maybe you’ve been looking at your stucco siding for a long time, thinking of the perfect colour and finish, or perhaps you’ve just had your siding replaced with a new stucco job. Either way, now you’re thinking: what’s the proper way to paint it? Let’s go over how to paint stucco The Urban Painter way!

Preparation and Planning

If your home’s stucco is brand new, you should give it at least 60 days to fully cure before attempting to paint it. This will allow any residual moisture to evaporate from the material, and will lead to a better-looking paint job down the road. Alternatively, if it’s an older wall, you’ll have to inspect it for cracks, breaks, stains, or water damage, and deal with those as necessary.

Use a pressure washer (but don’t turn the pressure too high, or hold the tip too close to the wall – you don’t want to break the stucco) and thoroughly clean the exterior surface from the top down. Give it at least a day to dry in sunny weather, a bit more if it’s not as warm, before you move on to the next stage.

If the stucco is still in relatively good shape, with no bare spots, it’s likely safe to skip the priming step. But if it’s new, or has a lot of damage, pick up an acrylic masonry primer and use it as necessary – whether that’s covering the whole wall, or just spot priming the problematic areas. This will ensure that the paint on top sticks properly and provides the best possible protection.

To apply the primer, use a roller with a long nap length, in order to get plenty of primer on the porous material and into all the grooves and valleys. This may take a while to do, so remember to put on some good tunes, work in the shade, and keep an eye on your paint supply so that it doesn’t get a “skin” on top! Proper and strategic downtime is important to the success of your home’s appearance when learning how to paint stucco!

If there are cracks or gaps in the stucco surface, use caulking to fill them completely before proceeding to the actual painting step. Holes behind the paint will lead to moisture intrusion, which can cause bubbling, peeling, and ultimately, failure of that part of the paint job in a very short time. You wouldn’t want all this hard work to go to waste!

If there’s major damage – like big broken chunks, large holes, or a leak from a broken pipe, among other things – you may have to call in an expert to repair it. While a wire brush and some patching compound can take care of small chips and breaks, large-scale fixes are best left to the professionals, who can make sure that the texture and materials match properly, as well as preventing the same thing from happening in the future.

The Paint Job

Whew! Prepping stucco can be rather time-consuming, but it’s worth it when you get to this stage. When learning how to paint stucco with the proper technique, you always need to consider qualities like breathability, flexibility, coverage, resistance to force, and washability. A good all-around paint to use is an elastomeric, a thick and very durable material that provides excellent dirt and water repellence on masonry (and many of them actually are self-priming, as long as the surface is clean).

You can either spray or roll the paint on, and both has advantages and downfalls. Spraying is much faster overall, but requires a lot more prep time because you have to mask off windows, doors, dryer vents, and other areas that are not getting painted. Additionally, it’s recommended that you have a second person backrolling behind you, in order to get the paint into all the tiny holes and cracks on a stucco surface – be sure to work quickly on hot days! It’s very easy to miss areas on rough surfaces like this by spraying alone, since the varying heights and valleys of the material make it difficult to reach every angle of every section. Use the correct tips and pumps for the type of paint you’re using (e.g., regular latex paint is much more sprayer-friendly than thick elastomeric, especially in the summer heat).

On the other hand, if you are brushing and rolling, you must first cut in around all necessary areas, which can be time-consuming in itself with ladder placement, reach, safety, and so on. Remember to use a roller with a long nap (depending on the roughness, 1 to 1.5 inches) in order to fully saturate the wall with paint as you go. You want to fill all the microscopic holes in the masonry, and you need a lot of paint to do that! Don’t be afraid to put a lot of paint on the roller, but definitely be aware of drips and runs as you go. The jagged edges of stucco are notorious for catching paint and letting it drip onto unsuspecting walkways, plants, and other items below. It’s a good idea to start at the top of the wall and work your way down, finishing sections before they have time to dry completely. Also note that your roller may get dirty and shredded rather quickly on these surfaces – be sure to have plenty of spares on hand!

Cleaning Up

If you’ve successfully made it this far, then you’ve successfully learned how to paint stucco – congratulations! Now all that’s left is to clean up. Wash out your brushes and rollers (if you’re hanging on to them), and collect all your leftover paint and label it with the date, area of the house it was used on, and the address. Make sure all your tools are accounted for, and if you’ve used a sprayer, clean it out according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Gather up all drop sheets and remove all tape, paper, and plastic, and finally, restore any hardware or fixtures that you may have removed, and move furnishings back where they belong. Hopefully, you’re now the owner of an excellent stucco paint job!

Taking on a stucco job in Calgary can be daunting, especially if your house has multiple storeys or difficult areas to access. While you may be ready for the challenge, you may also decide that you don’t want to risk injury or damage to yourself or your house – and that’s when it’s time to call The Urban Painter!

We’ve been painting jobs like yours in Calgary and the surrounding area since 2008, and we have all the necessary equipment, tools, and training to tackle any paint job that you can think of. We offer free estimates and paint colour consultations, and are committed to excellent customer service (as our Google reviews plainly show). When it comes to doing the job right, we’ll never tell you that you can’t – but we’re able to say with complete confidence that yes, we can.  If you would like to learn about more topics you can do on your own other than how to paint stucco, we invite you to continue to browse our website and enjoy all of the incredible and informative content to help you be successful with any paint job you may encounter.

Call us for your quote today at 403-774-1424, or visit our offices at 328 40 Ave NE in Calgary, Alberta – just across from the Centre Street church. We can’t wait to see how we can make your home looks its best!

 

Photo: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/stucco-house-colors/


Cabinet Painting

cabinet paintingCabinet Painting | How To

Whether you just moved in to a new place and you’re redecorating, or you’re freshening up the old fixtures in your lifelong home, a new coat of paint can do wonders for any room. This is especially true for the rooms where you spend a lot of time, like bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. But it’s not just about the colour of the walls – the accent features of a room are what really bring it to life. With that in mind, you’re likely wondering: what’s the best way to paint your kitchen (or bathroom, or garage) cabinets?  Read on to learn what The Urban Painter has to say about cabinet painting.

Creating The Right Workspace For Cabinet Painting

Cabinet painting can be tricky, so you’ll want to plan things out properly from the start and save yourself a lot of hassle later on. Let’s deal with the cabinet doors first.

Clear a workspace in an open area, like a garage or unfinished basement, where it’s okay to get a bit messy. Lay out some plastic sheets to protect your floor and walls, and put down long boards to create shelves, on which you’ll lay the cabinet doors to dry. If you can, set up a fan to blow air out of a gap in the plastic – the less dust you have in the space, the better.

Using The Right Cabinet Painting Tools

Before you even start any work, make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need. These include: sandpaper (especially some that’s very fine, for small bumps), tack cloths, rags, small movable blocks to use as supports, degreaser and adhesive remover, filler that works for the material (usually wood), tape, and hand tools (drill and bits, putty knife, etc). It’s best to have access to a sprayer with small-aperture, fine finish tips. We do not recommend painting cabinet doors with brushes and rollers, as it simply will not be as smooth as a sprayer finish.

Planning and Prepping

Once you have the right equipment, you’re ready to start! Before you take out a single screw, sketch out a diagram of the cabinets in the room, and label them with numbers. Then, as you remove the doors from the hinges (and not the hinges from the frame), use a pencil to number the corresponding doors inside the area where the hinges attach. Put a piece of tape over the number, and just like that, you have a foolproof system of matching doors with their proper place when you’re done. Keep the hardware in a big resealable bag or container as you take it out, clearly label it and set it aside in a safe place. This will save you major headaches later on.

Once the doors are in the prep room, take some time getting them just right: removing grease and stains, sanding down rough patches, filling cracks and holes, caulking gaps, and triple-checking every surface for imperfections. It’s especially important to remove dust particles from hard-to-reach cracks (as they will blow around and stick in wet paint from the sprayer). It seems tedious, but the little things will seem huge under bright kitchen or bathroom lights – so trust us, it’s best to catch them now. There’s no rush, and it will make the actual painting much easier.

Painting the Cabinet Doors

First, you’ll be priming the doors to make sure that the topcoats of paint stick properly. Make sure the doors are laid flat on their fronts, and that you can easily access all sides of them as you spray. Inspect one last time for dust, and then, using a fine finish tip such as a 211 or 213, hold the nozzle 10-12 inches away and spray all four thin sides of the door with a smooth, sweeping motion – always pulling the trigger before you’re over the surface, and releasing once you’re passed the other side. This prevents splatters and drips from the spray gun while cabinet painting. Once the sides are primed, do the same sweeping motions on the main surface, overlapping each pass by 50% to ensure even coverage. (If there are indents or curves, be sure to compensate accordingly.) One pro tip: always keep the gun moving! If you hold it in one place, the primer (or paint) will build up and run, creating unsightly drips and bulges.

Once the whole side is primed, carefully lift the cabinet door from the bottom and place it on the drying rack, which should be far enough away from the spray area that it will not get overspray or dust. Plan at least 4-6 hours drying time per coat, depending on ambient temperature.

When they’re ready, flip them over and do the same to the other side. Once that’s dry, inspect both sides for bumps, ridges, cracks, or other imperfections, and fix as needed. Then you’re ready for the paint! Repeat the process for at least two coats, and remember that cabinet painting isn’t something you want to rush. Also, by starting on the back side, you finish with the front side drying face up – ensuring the best possible coating to face out into the room.

Painting the Cabinet Frames

While you’re waiting between paint coats, you can tackle the frames of the cabinets. There are several approaches to this, depending on how much time you have to spare and the amount of work you’re willing to do; we often spray as much as we can, and do finishing touches in the hard-to-reach areas with a small foam roller and a brush, if necessary. This involves putting protective plastic and paper across the open spaces, hinges, and surrounding walls, and firmly taping it down everywhere, which can be quite a chore on your own. Overall, though, it results in a smoother, more professional appearance. However you decide to do it, though, remember these tips:

  • be sure to choose the correct roller (small nap or foam) and brush, so that you don’t have excess paint running down in drips.
  • cabinets (especially kitchen ones) can be very greasy from years of build-up. A thorough cleaning with degreaser is necessary for proper adhesion.
  • primer goes before paint!
  • Semi- and high-gloss paints may show areas of different paint coats that overlap (known as “flashing”). Always do a full coat of the entire section at once to prevent this.
  • Always check your seals before spraying near taped sections, and watch out for dust blown around by the sprayer.

Cabinet Re-installation

Once the cabinet frames and doors have had ample time to dry (at least 24 hours since the last coat was applied, if not more), carefully peel off tape and plastic from the work areas. Look under the tape in the hinge areas of the doors and match each one to the cabinet it came from. Keeping an eye on fingerprints and oily skin marks on your fresh paint, gently screw the hinges back in the same way they came out, and replace knobs and rubber stopper pads (if the doors have them). Look for any touch-ups while you’re up there, and be sure to clean out any dust that’s been shaken loose. Check to make sure they close and open properly. And that’s it! You just painted some cabinets!

Clean Up

Overspray during this process hardens in the air and falls to the ground as tiny beads of paint, which then gather more dirt as they roll around. As a result, the floors in spray areas will be very dusty, and care should be taken to contain it – it’s a good thing we put all that plastic down! Roll the plastic up to trap all the dust, and dispose of it accordingly. Use a broom, vacuum, static electric duster, and wet cloths to restore the room to its previous glory.

As for extra paint, put everything into as few cans as possible (hopefully just one partially-full can), and label it on top with the date, area it was used, and address, just in case. This will make sure you can match it if needed, or recommend it to a friend if they like the colour and finish. Show them this article, and they can learn to paint cabinets too!

The Urban Painter is here to help!

That all sounds like a lot of work! Well, it is – doing the job right takes preparation, practice, and persistence. If it seems like it’s too much to take on, why not let us do your cabinet painting in Calgary for you? We have all the tools, knowledge, and space to make your cabinets look brand-new again. And did you know that we do free quotes, too?

Call The Urban Painter today for your free estimate, and to get on the road to having a fresh, new set of cabinets in your home for a fraction of the price of replacement. It’s the perfect way to add value on the marketplace!  We also help with overall interior home painting and exterior home painting in Calgary so you can call us for all of your painting needs!

 

Photo:  https://www.pinterest.com/jscross33/kitchen/