Archive for Restoration

Painting Kitchen Cabinets


A clean new look for refinishing cabinets at a fraction of the cost of refacing or replacing:

  • What are the steps?
  • Remove cabinet doors and drawers to be refinsihed
  • Clean free of contaminants like hand oils and cooking residue
  • Caulk open seams and gaps
  • Prime and sand smooth
  • Spray apply two finish coats of premium enamel
  • Voila! A bright new set of cabinets!


El Patio Building in La Jolla refinished with Dunn Edwards Evershield

The El Patio Building in La Jolla California needed a face lift! The owner watched us working for months on the restoration of St James by the Sea just down the street. Impressed with our level of preparation and attention to detail, he asked Peek Brothers Painting to attend to his building as well. Extensive wood repair was necessary and to protect from further wood rot, we installed drip flashing on all exposed beams and rafter tails. Finished with premium grade Dunn Edwards Evershield, the building has now been restored to its original beauty. Thanks to Dunn Edwards Representative Dan Harris and his team for helping with color and specifications. A special shout out to Jennifer, LeeAndra and Joe at the Kearney Mesa DE store for mixing 100’s of gallons of paint for us!

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!

Restoring a Richard Neutra Designed Home

Famed architect Richard Neutra designed and built 4 homes in San Diego. This residence near San Diego State was built in 1960 and is a beautiful mix of white stucco, floor to ceiling glass and natural redwood. Neutra worked with Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler early in his career. Neutra became known for spare and open structures that took advantage of the moderate west coast climate.

A previous owner had put many coats of varnish over the exterior wood that was originally specified by the architect to be simply oiled. The hard glossy varnish gave the house a “Brassy” look and was blistering, de-laminating and peeling everywhere. The home had lost its organic look.
Our stripping and sanding this beautiful wood was quite a task but my oh my what a pleasure it was to put fresh, penetrating oil on that wood…there is nothing more beautiful than clear heart, tight grained redwood!

This gorgeous structure took a lot of elbow grease  but it was a labor of love….I even have a portrait of the completed guest house in my office! We used various products: Amteco TWP 1501, Sikkens Cetol Marine and Festool vacuum attached sanders to keep sanding dust at a minimum and get this pristine result. The owner was so pleased that we were commissioned to refinish the interior as well.

Darlington House Gets a Facelift

The Darlington House is a beautiful large home owned by the Social Service league of La Jolla whose mission it is to provide meals and housing support for seniors who have lived and worked in the area. Revenue from special events at Darlington House are used to support the League House next door. My mother Ellen was a active member for many years. In 1968 the League purchased the estate sized home from Mrs. Sybil Darlington and turned the mansion on 7448 Olivetas Street into super special location for weddings and receptions venue. As a natter a fact, our sister Elizabeth (Wig) was married here!  

We have had the pleasure of painting both the interior and exterior of this fine historic structure over the past  30 years. Folks call us when they are looking for a house painter from La Jolla that they can trust; whether it is interior painting or exterior painting. Owner, John Peek, grew up in La Jolla attending local schools and has close ties in the community. John presently serves on the board of directors of the La Jolla Historical Society.

La Jolla Athenaeum Makeover

Many of our younger or newer residents do not know that the portion of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library building on the corner of Wall and Girard was once our community book library. This beautiful structure was designed by William Templeton Johnson and built in 1921 to take the place of La Jolla’s original Reading Room that was built in 1898 on Girard and Wall.  Way back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, when attended Muirlands Junior High and La Jolla High School, I would ride my bike over after school and use the library as a quiet place to study and read. There is nothing like the smell of books in an old building to make one feel studious!

 By 1989 library use had increased to the point that  the new La Jolla Public Library was built over on Draper Avenue with major donors being Francis Riford and Joan and Irwin Jacobs. The Athenaeum

Athenaeum is “adopted” by Peek Brothers

Back in 2010, I was driving “my” old library and noticed that the paint was peeling in several areas. I could not let this continue and so I contacted the director, Erika Torri, and asked if  Peek Brothers could “adopt” the building exterior and re-paint it . With our donated labor and material, we were glad to get it back to its former glory! It was quite a chore though….as we started to wash the stucco, all the paint from years of maintenance came off down to raw stucco in many areas. What started as a touch up ended up as a full restoration of the plaster and stucco surfaces. After extensive patching; we fully primed and then applied two coats of elastomeric coating to smooth out the look. It gives me great pleasure to drive by “my library” and enjoy its beauty and remember all the great books I have read there over the years. I hope you will enjoy it to!

 

St. James by the Sea gets a Makeover!

St. James by the Sea, on Prospect Street in La Jolla, is considered by many as one of the most beautiful churches architecturally, but it is also enjoys one of the most idyllic spots on our beautiful La Jolla coastline. The building sits on property once owned by Ellen Browning Scripps. Ms. Scripps, who lived across the street, deeded the property to the episcopal congregation in the early part of the 20th century. In 2012, during a general clean up of files at St. James, the original deed to the property was found! To insure the documents safety for years to come, it was presented to the La Jolla Historical Society for safekeeping in the Society’s climate controlled archive building across the way.

St. James by the Sea

St. James by the Sea

A Family Gathering Place

This church is special to my heart as the Peek family has experienced many family events here. My father Tom Peek began attending here in 1940 when his family moved to La Jolla after his graduation from High school in St. Louis. My cousin Nancy Feehan Wilson, who serves on the vestry, was married there and we have christened many a new addition to the family and gathered to say farewell  over the years for those we have loved.

You may notice a beautiful bench out in the front by the fountain and grass area. That bench was commissioned by my father, Tom, to commemorate all our love for his wife and our mom, Ellen. My younger brother Bob Peek, who is an accomplished artist designed the bench and had it cast in Salt Lake City.  The back of the bench has 9 slats that represent Tom and Ellen along with us seven children; the seat has 17 slats which represent their 17 grandchildren. The design is quite comfortable to sit in and remember those whose ashes are in the grass triangle memorial garden.

We have been pleased, over the years, to have the opportunity to paint both the exterior and interior of the sanctuary and maintain the varnish work on the gorgeous heavy oak doors. On a building of this age, you can imagine the amount of prep that goes into it! Stucco repairs, rotted wood that needed replacement or repair with epoxy fillers not to mention the many coats of varnish!. But it is a labor of love when you are painting to maintain a building that has provided such a loving home for family and friends over the years.

St. James Hall Gets a Fresh Coat of Paint

Did you know that this beautiful structure was once the local USO? Back in the 1940’s the military realized they needed a place for the young men serving up at Camp Callan and the local community to meet socially. I wonder how many young couples got their start here at 776 Eads?

The building was purchased by St. James by the Sea and was used for many years for church activities such as youth group, receptions and the famous “White Elephant” sale that La Jollans still look forward to each year!

  • A visit to the jobsite by Stacy Peek and newly born Brendan Spring 1986
I have particularly fond memories of this structure. I helped my mom, Ellen, back when she chaired the White Elephant sale….she would often ask: “Honey, would you mind going over to so and so’s house and picking up a sofa for me sweetheart”. I built up a lot of muscle due to that annual sale! We also used to have a huge youth group meeting in the main room every Wednesday night with lots of spaghetti and then discussions…it was the best!  We even celebrated my parents (Tom and Ellen Peek) 50th wedding anniversary with 200 people here.

We painted it in 1986, back when it still had the original siding and windows from when built. Sometime in the 1990’s the structure was extensively updated inside and out. We got the fun project of re-painting the remodeled structure in 2007,  both inside and out, to give it a fresh new look it has today.

Recently around 2010, the facility was leased by the church to an event coordinator who named it “The Cuvier Club” to service weddings and other receptions.

 

Scripps Carriage House

 

Beautiful Windows

Beautiful Windows

This was a super fun project! The building is old, historic and the paint was in terrible shape…just what I love to tackle! When a structure has this kind of beauty underneath, I love to nurture it back to its former glory…even though it was just a carriage house…what we today call a garage 🙂

This old Carriage House was once owned by Ellen Browning Scripps and her sister

Virginia. Ellen was known for her philanthropy and was known as Virginia was a bit of a curmudgeon, who disliked it when she saw anyone wearing purple as she felt only she could wear purple in the town of La Jolla!

The colors were chosen carefully from a palette of colors that were available and used quite commonly in the era the building was erected. Look at the detail in the windows…the diamond shapes are very distinctive and were quite a job to get re-puttied cleanly and then painted in all those sharp corners

Prep-Carriage-House

Prep-Carriage-House

The interior was prepared as well…but not to park cars or carriages! It is now a state of the art archival storage facility with a climate controlled storage for priceless historical documents and photographs. If you look closely at the window

photo, you will note the fire suppression system.

This project was a donation by us to The La Jolla Historical Society. Our work and materials were given as a gift back to the community of La Jolla.

Carriage-House-After

Carriage-House-After

 

Rotted Wood and Termite Repair

Rotted wood column before epoxy  repair.

Rotted wood column before epoxy repair.

For years and even before I was a painting contractor I was aware of polyester fillers…the main one being Bondo. I used it to repair all the dents and dings in my extended ego (read car) in high school and college. When I started painting, of course I began using it and other brands of similar formulations on homes and came to find that what is good for thin repairs on a car may not be good for a thin repair on the siding of a ship-lap sided home. After a few months in the sun, I was back removing the remainder of what the sun had not de-laminated for me. The problem was that polyester filler is not formulated to do two things very well: adhere nor flex with wood substrates…lesson learned. I do keep polyester filler in the truck though, as it does work well for effective interior repairs to heavily damaged lock-sets and dead-bolts that have been blown out. It dries super-fast especially so because you can “goose” it with extra catalyst. On the other hand there is epoxy which you cannot “goose” with extra catalyst or you will really screw it up. Epoxies are each uniquely formulated to a specific dry time and thickness/viscosity as well as dry flexibility properties and adhesion and they do adhere! Most of these are overnight dry which is why painters who don’t give a hoot for quality of the repair rely too heavily on Bondo so it will cure in 2 minutes and they can get home to beer and Oprah while the repair fails as soon as the check clears. Various epoxies are made for craftsmen and proper wood repairs should be in your tool box. Here are a few I always have on hand:

Rotted wood epoxy repair process.

Rotted wood epoxy repair process.

Removing Rotted Wood

Now with any repair: the wet, feathery, lignin-free wood needs to be gotten rid of. Like a dentist, you have to use whatever tool: a drill, chisel, 5-1 and get that bad wood out. I then drill pilot holes all around the repair and in the sides and base at an angle and soak the surrounding wood with consolidator (see Smith’s Epoxy below) which is often sold by the epoxy manufacturer and can be a very thin epoxy itself that plasticizes the wood or an very thin acrylic that chases water and impregnates with hardening in the wood. Note: after the repair is totally complete I will go just outside it and drill ¼” holes where water might get in again and insert boric acid pellets so that they will disperse into the wood and prevent rot if water should ever enter. Also use a polyurethane caulk like Vulkem (oil based) at upper facing seams that could open up in the future…sure it takes a few days to dry and you cannot paint it “in minutes” but aren’t “time saving” products like cheap caulk that you can “paint in minutes” what cause premature failure in the end? Shoot…if you are going to be using a $45 tube or can of epoxy…sell yourself, do it right, sleep at night and be a craftsman

Epoxy wood repair complete.

Epoxy wood repair complete.

  1. Flex-Tech: this product comes in a double tube that is pumped out of a double barrel caulk gun. Buy the gun with your first order…it is worth its weight in gold as it assures you get the exact balance of resin and hardener. This product comes out like thick peanut butter and spreads in a “Jiffy” but will hold its shape in the deepest repair. It is easy to tool with putty knives in large holes and is better than the others for old rusty nail holes that you have set deep in siding and do not want to rise up and show their ugly old heads again!
  2. There are many epoxy fillers available that are wood colored, two component and composed of epoxy and light weight micro-spheres. PC-Woodie, System Three and Abatron are three of this type. Use surgical gloves and mix the two dough components together and push them into the repair. A neat trick is to use white vinegar to wet your putty knife and smooth the repair for minimal sanding.
  3. Smith Co. makes a watery epoxy that I buy in two gallon kits of equal parts hardener and resin. This stuff soaks into raw wood and hardens. This key feature can and years to the durability of your paint jobs. Take, for instance a new raw wood panel door. We have all experienced the rot at the hinge side rail and stile joint after a few years even after priming and painting properly from the start. The problem nowadays is that with all those joints, compounded by the core being lesser quality wood and the fact that most doors fool both carpenter and owner with a thin fancy veneer that will pull away from the joint; nothing is going to keep that door from pulling apart and letting water and rot in unless you pre-treat it. With Smith’s epoxy, mix up a good pint to a quart and brush on a coat to the top and bottom of the door (let it soak in and do it again especially on end grain), behind hinges and all cut outs for hardware and especially at lower rails and stiles…I even go further and soak the whole door and then caulk the open gaps on the top and bottom of the doors with Vulkem. This door has been prepared properly!

Hope these tips and products will help you