Archive for Peek Brothers

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

Dinged, water damaged kitchen cabinets can be made new again

Time and use can make your kitchen cabinets look awful….but proper refinishing makes them like new!

    • Refinishing cabinets is a step by step process….do not skip any if you want nice results
    • First you must clean all cabinet surfaces free of contaminants such as oil and grease BEFORE sanding!
    • Remove cabinet doors and drawers and mark so that you are sure to put them back in the same opening
    • If you remove hinges, be sure to number them and mark cabinet body where removed so that you do not have to readjust fit upon reinstallation
    • Protect cabinet body interiors and drawer interiors, if necessary, from overspray….often interiors do not need finishing as they are veneered with melamine plastic
    • Next step is for you to sand all surfaces to de-gloss and remove all failed coatings….this is a critical step to insure proper adhesion
    • If you want a solid color finish then apply a bonding primer or lacquer primer surfacer followed by sanding when dry
    • If you are replacing old hardware, now is the time to fill and old holes, damage and sand/spot prime these repairs
    • Caulk any open seams
    • Apply two coats of lacquer or paint by spray, brush or roller

If you want a stained finish…

  • then after cleaning/deglossing, apply your preferred stain followed by two coats of clear acrylic or lacquer
  • Most folks choose to have a professional do it….but with patience and time…you can do it!


How to Pick the Right Contractor

Tips on choosing the right contractor

Here is what to do

  • Go to Check a License and be sure that the contractor has proper licenses and liability insurance
  • Check with friends and family as to who they know
  • Ask a tradesman you have been happy with. For example: a good painter will know who the good plumbers are!
  • Make sure to meet with your prospective contractor face to face…you can tell a lot about a person by
    • Are they neat, clean and orderly
    • Do they show up on time.
    • Do they give you a written quote that is clear and specifies what they will be doing, how they will do it along with specifics on materials (brand and product) being used
    • Painters should specify number of coats and, if spraying, will they be back-rolling?
    • Get a written warranty that covers labor….not just materials.
    • Get referrals and check with these previous clients.


Nothing more expensive than a cheap paint!

As is to be expected, I am often out looking at homes that need repainting and the client will say something to the effect of, “Gee, I do not know why the paint did not last longer….it was Benjamin Moore paint!” They could have said any of a number of brands that are seen as “premium” by many people: Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards, Vista, Behr.

The fact is that all paint brands make CHEAP PAINT! You see, every paint manufacturer makes several product lines to meet different price points or quality/durability requirements. All brands make cheap paint for apartment repaints because the apartments get repainted every 2-3 years…they do not need a durable paint. Commercial grade paint is meant for building exteriors that are painted every 3-5 years and are therefore low cost per gallon.

The danger for clients in comparing paints specified by competing contractors, is that the client may get snookered by words like : “we will be using Benjamin Moore paints”…. so the client picks that contractor only to find that the paint applied was from Benjamin Moore…but was actually Benjamin Moore’s apartment grade paint!

Be aware to not only buy from a reputable paint manufacturer but also buy their high quality product line. The cost of the paint is a small percentage of a properly prepared and applied paint project …so buy the best and enjoy it for many years….it will last longer and be over years of service, a lower cost. Much better than face a failing paint job that has to be re-prepared at greater expense.

What is the “Character” of our company

We have had a lot of team meetings over the years and I have written hundreds of inter-company letters to my team. The letter is always sectioned into the same four areas of emphasis that affect the client experience.

  1. Character: where I take a positive aspect of virtue to aspire to; and the expand on how we each can apply it in our daily lives
  2. Craftsmanship: here I write about techniques to provide top finishes for our clients
  3. Customer Service: here a member of the team is highlighted by all of us seeing what a client has written about their experience getting their house painted. It is always instructive to read what has “wowed” the client and what they appreciated most about their experience with us.
  4. Safety: a topic .regarding safety issues commonly encountered in contracting.

Recently I was meeting with a “Best Practices” group of contractors from around the US. We get together twice a year and discuss issues important to improving ourselves and our businesses. At our recent meeting we were asked to write down what was the culture or Character of our companies. I wrote down several of the topics I had written about. After sharing these with the other business owners, we were instructed to go back to our teams and ask them what they really thought the company stood for….it was a bit scary because often a company owner says one thing but acts another way….I wanted to know if I was “walking the talk”.

The words the team put down that THEY say typifies the character of Peek Brothers:

  • Friendly
  • Clean, Neat and Orderly
  • Communicate well
  • Trust and Respect

I was very pleased because these character virtues are in line with what we emphasize in hiring, training and our daily operations and they are in line with what our clients consistently say in our end of job “Client Survey”.

Entry Doors Refinished with Fine Paints of Europe

Fine Paints of Europe imports some of the nicest oil enamels available anywhere. With a rich, hard and durable finish, it is known for a silky smooth touch. Dutchlaq enamel, comes in both satin and gloss finishes and is availabel in ‘Euro Quarts’. This material has a very high VOC and so is only available in quarts in California.

Some folks prefer a brushed look that shows the age of the door with soft brush strokes that give a sense of history and a craftsman’s touch. Others prefer a sprayed finish that can only be achieved with careful sanding and often requires the use of Swedish Putty, a brushed on thick filler that when sanded, provides an ultra smooth surface for spraying.

Restoration of Historic 1921 Alexander Schreiber House in Mission Hills

This California Bungalow, Craftsman style bungalow in beautiful Mission Hills and been poorly painted over the years having extensive paint failure and rot requiring paint stripping and epoxy repairs of wood windows and doors. The main problem was that long in the past, paint was applied directly over slick varnish or glossy lead paint. Subsequent paint coats finally broke free in what is technically termed “multiple coat adhesion failure”

Peek Brothers Fine Home Painting chemically stripped the paint and sanded with German Festool sanders attached to HEPA filtered dust extractors; we treated the rotted or termite damaged wood with boric acid and then consolidated with Smith’s CPES Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer followed by System Three Epoxy filler. After these repairs we primed and then caulked all seams at wood/wood and wood/glass junctions before applying two finish coats of Benjamin Moore Aura. This was a labor of love for us as we really enjoy restoring historic homes!

Albertini Windows and Doors Refinished with Sansin Classic and ENS

This beautiful beach area home designed by Laura DuCharme Conboy is a perfect example of relaxed California living.
Albertini doors and windows are of solid mahogany and were imported from Italy to give this home a warm, yet sophisticated look. Over the years a subsequent owner had improperly used varnish over the original finish and Peek Brothers was called to deal with excessive peeling of the surfaces coating.

After extensive review of available coatings it was determined that Sansin stains and finishes would give the new, discriminating owner that “as new” look and durability we were looking for. After striping all surfaces and applying wood bleach; the wood was conditioned using Sansin conditioner to even the porosity of the wood which was then stained with Sansin Classic and then finished with 4 coats of Sansin ENS. The results were stunning.

Exterior Restoration of La Jolla Historical Society’s 1909 Cottage

Thanks to the gracious donation by Benjamin Moore of their ultra premium Aura paint through Vista Paint Corporation, Peek Brothers donated labor and skill to restore the exterior of this historic structure. This craftsman-style beach cottage, known as “The 1909 Cottage” was owned by the Scripps Family and donated to the La Jolla Historical Society for their on-going work in preserving the history and culture of La Jolla.

The project required substantial preparation and lead safe work practices. Hand scraping with carbide tipped scrapers helped to remove loose materials. Using Festool Sanders with HEPA vacuum attached, lead dust was minimized while surfaces were smoothed. Many of the windows required re-glazing as the old, hard putty had fallen out. The paint scheme was based upon original colors. The building now looks like it did back in 1909 when it was built!

Recycling Old Paint

You can now return old paint to many paint stores! California has adopted a recycling program where they collect a small recycling fee when you buy paint….this is much like we are used to when we buy beverage containers. Most chain paint stores will accept old paint in closed, non-leaking, labeled containers. They will take both oil and water based paints. If the container is leaking or the label is gone then purchase a paint hardener at the paint store and mix into the water based paint and in a few hours it will be hard and you can throw in the regular trash. If you have oil paint in an unlabeled can you can pour it into another oil based can with a label on it for recycling.

Paint-RecycleIt is wise  to keep old paint cans that were used on the current paint scheme of your house as it is very helpful to a contractor like me to see what was actually used and the formula of colorants…even if the paint in the can is no longer useful.

DIY …Do it yourself painting projects?

When planning for a DIY project it is important to think things through a bit.

If you are like me you enjoy learning and doing new things! To complete a project and look at your handy work and enjoy that “Hey I did that myself!” With the plethora of home shows on TV nowadays, there are no shortage of ideas for home improvement.

Do you have the required expertise?

I thought to myself….I can replace that toilet….I have seen it done many times on jobsites. But I learned differently!  After 3 times trying to seat it properly on an uneven floor, I called a plumber!  If you don’t have the know-how needed, wouldn’t you rather do what you do best and use the money you’ve earned to pay a professional and have it done right the first time? I wish I had!

Do I have the time?

Do a good assessment of how much time you want to spend on a project and whether it can truly be completed within your constraints. You want to be sure your project does not drag on and become a burden rather than a joy to complete.The TV shows we watch that get such wondrous results in 20 minutes are time lapsed to get the needed results within the shows time allotment. I often watch with a smile on my face as I think to myself….how long and with how much off screen help, did they get that project competed!

Do I have the required tools?

To get professional results, use professional tools. If you are going to d a DIY do it yourself project, decide whether you have the requited tools and if you have to purchase, whether it is worth the cost in the long run. We have all professional tools that are regularly maintained and in great shape to achieve beautiful results efficiently.

After working your way through the decision process above. Give a me a call, I would be happy to quote your project. It will be done neatly, efficiently and quickly….and off your to do list!