Archive for July 2013

Cabinet Refinishing Portable Spray Booth

We operate in a small shop space where we need to have the area available for various uses such as: storage of equipment, cabinet refinishing spray shop and light carpentry projects. Often our space is called upon to apply a sprayed finish to cabinet doors and drawers we have brought from a client’s home.

Our system works well in that it is  efficient with a quick set up and clean up and can be done easily in the space of less than 1/2 of a garage. Often, to eliminate transporting the cabinets back and forth from our shop, we save our clients time and money by setting up our system at a client’s home. When we are using a client’s space, of course we protect surrounding areas with plastic to eliminate any possibility of over-spray. This approach gives a nice smooth finish quickly and efficiently, which our clients love.
Click here for Painting Kitchen Cabinets
Click here for touching up stain with Mohawk system
Click here fro Varnish

Refinishing Wood Entry Doors and Garage Doors

Wood doors and garage doors are beautiful greetings to us when we enter and exit our homes….but when they are worn or improperly maintained they can look terrible. How do we get these wonderful entrances to our homes looking so good?

Preparation is key to refinishing wood doors and garage doors!

When we first encounter a wood door that has not been properly maintained it often in such bad shape that we have to do an in depth prep…..Here is a step by step approach

  1. We start by chemical stripping to remove all old finishes.
  2. Sand sanding to remove all remaining finish and damaged wood.
  3. Using wood bleach (not household bleach!), bring wood to even color.
  4. Fill heavy damage with epoxy filler
  5. Apply stain to desired color
  6. Apply a minimum of 3 coats of finish
  7. Apply a clear caulk at sill/door frame junction

To keep a wood entry door or garage door maintained, it needs to be re-coated about every 2 years or so depending on exposure. If you wait too long you will have to strip and bleach again!

There is the classic finish of spar varnish which is available in gloss and satin…if you choose this, go to a Boat/Marine store and ask for the premium grade …expect to pay $50 a quart….it is worth it! This system requires more maintenance and is prone to peeling over time

I prefer another system that we use quite a bit, with super results over the long term: Sikkens brand:  SRD , Log and Siding or Cetol 1 and Cetol 23Plus. This is a stain and translucent tinted finish that provides wonderful protection and a beautiful look. This is an especially great product if epoxy filler has been used and the color needs to be evened out.

Choosing a Contractor You Can Trust

People often wonder, ” How do I choose the right contractor?”

The question behind this is really, “How can I find an expert who will be fair, honest….someone who I can trust to give me good value for the dollar and who will be around and willing to back up their work”

This the age-old conundrum for all of us who are purchasing services….A homeowner is committing  to a contract prior to seeing the results…this is a  scary proposition!

“It would be such a joy to get the house painted but who can I trust….how can I find the right company?”

Here is a “must have” checklist that will help you in choosing the right contractor:

  • Licensed by the state of California : check them on www.cslb.ca.gov
  • Have general liability and workers compensation insurances to protect the homeowner.
  • Contractor must use own employees who are trained and uniformed (no day labor from the home center)
  • Employees must have had drug screening and a full background investigation upon hire (you do not want drug users of criminals around your home and family.
  • Is the quote you receive legible (preferably typed), thorough and detailed (never verbal) and indicates methods of prep, specific  finish materials by brand and specific product within that brand (all brands have low grade to premium grade paint).
  • Your quote should include several references in your area. preferably of clients who have used the contractor more than once.
  • Written warranty should be supplied whether inside or outside work is done. This shows that the contractor feels good about their craftsmanship.
  • Check websites but be careful…many contractors pay for fancy websites full of purchased “stock photos” of work they have not done and are incapable of doing! Look for authentic pictures of local projects you recognize and can ask the contractor directly about.
  • Hire a painter who is a member of a professional organizations: BBB (A+ rated only!),  Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (www.pdca.org) define minimum standards for their members, as well as provide continuing education about the latest in products, trends, and techniques.
  • Check with suppliers as to reputation of contractors you may be interested in.
  • Look for a track record in the community: how many years in continuous business (32 years for us); charitable projects. Community involvement means you are dealing with good people

Once you have vetted potential contractors for your project using this list, you can relax and know you are hiring a quality person and company who will take care of you.