We offer a full suite of interior and exterior painting services. While we specialize in older home restoration and the greater challenges that may present, we are also well versed in all phases of new construction. In fact many of our projects combine the two: a historic home with recent additions.
With nearly 40 years of experience there’s not much in the residential painting world that we haven’t encountered, from modest suburban ranches to country estates, from sleek high-rise apartments to stately Victorians (we even painted the interior of an Airstream trailer!). We’re pretty confident your house falls somewhere within this spectrum and would love to be given the opportunity to help you spruce it up!
We are RRP certified which means we will protect you and your family from potentially harmful dust and debris. We accomplish this by sealing off work areas, covering all surfaces in affected areas and sanding with HEPA vacuum systems.
We are thorough in our preparation and precise in our finish work.
We offer a range of services:
On a typical exterior project we will scrape all loose or failing material then sand all surfaces to “feather” edges which will not only provide a more aesthetically pleasing finished product but also a more sound surface for new coatings to adhere to. We will collect as many chips as possible by surrounding the immediate perimeter of your home with plastic, being careful to also cover all plant materials with breathable canvas drop-cloths (we go to great lengths to protect your landscaping as we work around it).
We will wash all surfaces thoroughly to remove dust, mildew and other surface contaminants, after which we will inspect all elements for rot or other damage (see Minor Carpentry and Epoxy Repair below). We will caulk all gaps in wood trim and where trim meets clapboard siding to increase energy efficiency and create a uniform appearance. We will remove loose window putty and reglaze sash as needed. Our typical finish system incorporates an alkyd primer (for deeper penetration and a better bond) and an acrylic topcoat for better color retention and breathability. We have experience using most locally available paint brands, and are happy to recommend a brand or work with any manufacturer you may prefer.
Interior painting requires a unique level of attention to detail, which translates to more precision in both preparation and finish work. The same principals apply as in the exterior painting description above, but now finishes must be smoother and cut lines crisper. After all you are living within the interior and looking at it constantly (it is also not subject to the daily rigors of your home’s exterior, which makes it easier to achieve and maintain a very high level of finish).
All surfaces will be thoroughly sanded and remaining imperfections will be filled and sanded smooth. All interior trim joints and perimeter edges will be caulked for a solid appearance, which also aids in achieving those precise cut lines between walls, ceilings and wood trim. On woodwork, we can apply finish paint by brush or sprayer, each achieving a pleasing yet slightly different finish depending on your preference. On new or previously finished cabinetry a sprayed finish can provide a brilliant, seamless look, though again some still prefer a hand-applied finish for a more period look.
We want our finishes to feel as good as they look (no kidding—there’s something very satisfying about running your hand across an expertly applied, ultra-smooth finish), and we make it our aim to achieve that on every interior project. Ultimately we are as vested in making your home look good as you are.
Horsehair Plaster Restoration and Resurfacing (Skim-Coating)
If you own an older home then you can appreciate the character and charm that wooden lath and horsehair plaster walls and ceilings offer. We certainly do.
Unfortunately, time and gravity (and soccer balls…) can take a toll on these surfaces, causing the plaster to pull away from the lath, cracks to appear from shifting and settling and just general wear and tear. Fortunately, these walls can be repaired and restored to their original glory. Here’s our approach:
First, we check for soundness, making sure that the plaster is still firmly attached or “keyed” to the lath. In some cases this is visible and obvious where the plaster can literally be seen to sag or bow away from the ceiling or wall. In many cases, however, the problem areas are less easily detectable, and require literally tapping on the surface to detect both movement, and/or a change in tone from the surrounding plaster. Once we’ve established and marked trouble spots, we will fasten stainless steel plaster washers or “buttons” to pull the plaster back to the lath (and sometimes studs and joists where accessible).
In some cases, the plaster may be too damaged and removal of the offending area may be required, after which we will either fill with Plaster of Paris (PoP), or install a drywall patch if the area is too big to be practical for plastering. We will check all areas for stress cracks, again common in older homes, which we will open up and “channel”, followed by backfilling with PoP and in some cases, joint tape, which can provide additional resistance to cracks recurring. We will fill any remaining holes or deep gouges with PoP, after which all repaired surfaces will be top coated with a finishing compound, and finally sanded for smoothness.
If it’s deemed necessary, or desired, we can resurface all areas with joint compound (skim-coat) for added uniformity and smoothness. For some owners this is desirable, others appreciate a bit more historic “character”. We are always happy to make recommendations and provide a range of options where applicable. We are not believers in a “one size fits all” approach.
Complete Double-Hung Window Sash Restoration and Weatherization
While some homeowners may opt for the instant fix offered by many of today’s modern replacement window sash systems, they often fail to consider the potential disadvantages to this approach, which may include reduction of the opening size (to accommodate the replacement unit/ = less glass surface area), unavoidable damage to interior and exterior trim during installation, inferior wood and construction, and styling that looks out of character with many homes, to name a few. We’re always happy to discuss the merits of restoring rather than replacing antique double-hung sash.
With the employment of proper techniques and systems, older sash can be made to be just as efficient and smooth running as the best quality replacement sash, with the added advantage of the old-growth lumber these sash were constructed of. Most of today’s lumber is harvested from trees that have been cultivated to grow rapidly, so the wood is not as dense. Old-growth wood is much denser, making it more resistant to decay or damage, including from rot and insects, which new-growth lumber is more susceptible to and within a much shorter time frame.
In the case of damage to older sash, we have great success in employing structural epoxy for a lasting repair (see a more detailed description in Epoxy Repair above). We can cater a plan to suit your specific requirements which might include replacement of broken sash cord with high-tensile strength cord or bronze chain, replacement of parting beads with quality hardwood, and trimming sash so that the meeting rails and sash locks line up accurately and operate efficiently. We can make further adjustments and “tune” sash so that they operate smoothly; it’s amazing how satisfying that can be after years of struggling with reluctant windows.
For increased energy efficiency we start by making sure exterior window putty is sound and removing loose putty and reglazing as needed, or alternately removing all putty and doing a full reglaze. Naturally, we would replace any broken glass, with either conventional, or antique/ reproduction glass, as desired. Other options include installation of various weather-stripping systems in locations including window tracks, sash tops and bottoms, and meeting rails. These can make a remarkable difference in increasing heating efficiency and eliminating drafty airflow. We’re happy to make suggestions and provide options based on your individual needs.
We are capable of installing interior and exterior trim including casings, crown moldings, wainscoting, soffits, stair and rail parts, and more. We can also replace damaged shingle and clapboard siding, as well as full replacement.
In the case of damage due to rot or aging, we have the ability to assess a situation, make recommendations and execute a course of action. For smaller repairs, especially those involving more ornate, custom moldings, or situations where traditional repair can be very involved (say, replacement of a window sill), we may suggest one of several structural epoxy systems we employ. We have had good success over the last twenty years employing the Flex-Tec HV epoxy system in particular. Unlike some other systems, Flex-Tec will maintain its flexibility and expand and contract as the wood does. Its compression strength is rated at 14,000 psi, which exceeds the strength of the strongest hardwoods such as maple or walnut, and is accepted and recognized by the National Historic Bla Bla. It’s good stuff.
Network of Sub-Contractors
Being in business and working alongside other trades for as long as we have means we have established relationships with a number of reputable area subcontractors. We are happy to make recommendations should you have need of other services outside of our area of expertise.
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