5 Pro Tips for a Quick Color Change

Jason and Eli

5 Professional Painting Tips

5 Pro Painting Tips for a Simple Wall Color Change

You’ve decided it’s time for a quick, simple change in your home. Perhaps a different wall color for the living room or an accent wall in the bedroom. Remember, it’s always easiest and best to hire a professional for your painting projects. However you can definitely conquer this project on your own too. Here are my 5 professional tips to help you along the way.

  1. Clean – Do a quick preliminary clean. Pick up all the things that have a home somewhere else and put them away.
  2. Move – Move everything you can out of the room. It’s fine to leave large pieces of furniture. Any pieces or things left in the room should be moved into the middle.
  3. Vacuum – Now is the time to do a bit more thorough cleaning. Vacuum. If you have wall repair this is the time to do it. Don’t forget that wall repair requires time for drying and needs to be sanded. Make sure to vacuum after sanding.
  4. Rinse – Rinse with a warm damp rag all walls and trim. Don’t use any cleaning product. If you need to make sure you rinse the residue thoroughly – this is particularly true for kitchen walls that need a degreaser treatment first. Make sure the area is completely dry.
  5. Cover – Use old sheets or drop cloths or plastic and cover all the furniture and odds & ends in the center of the room. Lay down paper, plastic, or drop clothes over the floor.  

Now you can set up your work area and quickly roll out those walls. Don’t forget to cut in first then roll. It is easiest if you stay on the existing color spectrum, going darker or lighter as desired. If you choose a color slightly darker one coat will suffice, if you’re going lighter you’ll probably need two. Good luck on your project!

Painters Need Love Too 💙

Jason and Eli

I know that sounds funny but it’s really true. It’s probably true for every living thing actually. It feels good when someone acknowledges your accomplishments. I’m sure compliments and the such mean more to some than others. However this painter truly benefits from kind words from a satisfied customer.

I love painting, I love my job. I have a pretty strong vision about the correct way to perform certain painting tasks sometimes this can be troublesome if I join the wrong team. There are certain rights and wrongs and I just find it intolerable to accept the latter. I am dead serious when I tell you I take the time to do the job right. This usually means extensive prep time. People just can’t believe what you have to do to have a beautiful smooth finish. Some professionals have eyes on the profit. I don’t think that’s inherently a bad thing however it can offer some blinders and incentives for cutting corners. I’ve found through my 20 plus years in the profession it just doesn’t pay in the end and I really like the way I do it. I believe it is better quality and will last longer. All this to say that after spending back breaking days preparing the home for the best paint job ever it is really nice to have someone appreciate the work. Yes money is the best way to show me 🙂 but thank yous and reviews come a close second!

A very special thank you to everyone who says nice things to me and my helpers, shares and likes my posts on FB and I, and takes the time to write reviews. It really just puts the satisfaction in the work and makes it so much better to start the day. Thank you!

Top THREE Reasons to Hire a Painting Professional

Eli

3 Reasons

Everyone understands that having a professional do a home improvement project is probably best. With painting however many people feel they can do the project themselves and save money. Believe me, you absolutely can! I’m happy to give you some pointers. The thing is painting takes patience, a steady hand, and hard work. A painting professional offers a sort of freedom – they come in and make the things you see better, they fix the walls, ceilings, and oftentimes floors too. Everything in your visual field. Your painting professional sees your vision and makes it happen with no stress added to the homeowner, just a job well done. Call Labbe Painting today for an estimate on your job – 603-456-2050.

1 – Listen – The most important thing we do as a painting professional is listen. We take the time needed to exactly understand the job required. This means we take our time during preliminary estimates and make sure we really hear what is wanted. We, then reiterate the project through our final written estimate. Clear communication is key to a successful working relationship and expectations being met.

2 – Experience – Hiring a professional painter, like Jason from Labbe Painting, assures you the experience of two decades brought to your project. This experience enables Labbe Painting to provide the most efficient job possible. We understand the intricacies of our profession. Through our expertise we’re able to see and manuarve around common pitfalls and rabbit holes that often plague amature painters.

3 – Quality – A true Painting Professional ensures their customers are properly cared for. This means the job is done to the satisfaction of the customer. However our responsibility doesn’t end there, we should help guide decisions about products and services needed to help maintain and care for the home as we know or learn them. We are often front and center for new paints and stains. So we are your current local experts and we’re happy to share the knowledge.

Trust: Real Next Door Trust and Where To Find It

Labbe Painting keeps things pretty simple. We do a good job and stand behind our work. We take time to build customer relationships, engage in our local community, and work hard. We build trust with our actions. We do our best, which isn’t always perfect. When we make mistakes we don’t shy away from them. We fix the problem to the best of our ability, we learn, then we do better. We work hard to maintain our reputation and provide the best service to our customers. This is why we get so miffed at these online vetting services. We find it incorrigible that companies can buy their reputation with no proof or guarantee of their work or customer satisfaction.   

Take HomeAdvisor for example, you the consumer, signs up and checks out ratings of “local” contractors, finally you enter your contact information to find out more. Contractors, on the other hand, pay a fee to get your leads regardless of actual work history. HomeAdvisor has literally sent me leads trying to entice me to join. They do this often, as in they never stop calling, texting, or sending emails once you have inquired about their program. A homeowner is guaranteed that these are vetted professionals however any contractor that pays the fee can get these leads. Don’t take my word for it. Consumer Reports published this article about them – https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/09/online-ratings-services/index.htm  

The article clearly explains the pitfalls and problems with these so called vetting services. We encourage everyone to be very careful using them – the fees can be extensive to contractors which will be surely passed onto the consumer and you’re never sure who you’re going to get.

If you’re trying to vet or find a contractor we suggest you start your search at the Better Business Bureau. While we don’t find benefit in becoming an ‘accredited’* business for the BBB we do very much support their mission. We believe they play a vital role in keeping things working smoothly for small businesses and especially consumers. There are also the reviews on Facebook. Don’t be afraid to check out all social media platforms. Another great way to find local contractors is in your local businesses like the bank, a coffee shop, library, etc… Stay away from places that charge a fee, like Yelp and HomeAdvisor, you’re never really sure what you’re going to get.

We recently found TrustPilot. We’re utilizing this as another way for our customers to have their voice heard. It gives them a direct way to leave feedback without being edited. Click here to review us on Trustpilot

Please check out our reviews on these websites:

*In order for Labbe Painting to become accredited through the Better Business Bureau we were required to pay a $360 per year fee. We just don’t have that sort of money to pay for arbitrary accreditation – we’d rather spend it on education.

It’s All About The Prep, Th’ Prep – No Dirt

Eli

It’s inevitable, your paint job will naturally breakdown given enough time. There is a simple secret to get the longest lasting paint job and it’s all to do with the surface.

The most important part of a successful paint job is a clean surface. I can not stress this fact enough, without a clean surface your paint will fail far sooner than later. While this seems simple, it is deceptively time consuming. Through my decades of painting I’ve discovered a straight forward process of appropriate preparation of a surface/job.

You will see me spend a dedicated amount of time prepping the surface and cleaning the area before actually painting. Here are the simple steps that should be taken when preparing a surface for paint or stain.

  1. Clean – a thorough clean of the project area – at this point you will use warm soapy water or a cleaning product if necessary – this includes vacuuming.  
  2. Scrape (predominantly exterior) – scrape any loose or peeling paint – Here is a great example of the need to keep your area clean – paint chips are notoriously hard to clean up this is why prep is so important. It is far easier to plastic an area to catch the paint chips than it is to clean them up off the ground.
  3. Sand – don’t forget to wipe down after you’re done sanding. Rough Grit – Your first sand is vital to remove gross imperfections, general dirt, feather paint, ect… This step assures correct adhesion will occur but it won’t work if your sand marks are filled with dust. Those clean sand marks are important for the paint to work.
  4. Prime – if priming – cover all surfaces as evenly as possible. Priming is great for seeing imperfections that need to be addressed. Priming before filling or caulking allows those products to last longer. When the fill compound or caulk is against a bare surface it dries out before it is able to completely set, this leads to cracks and shrinkage. To find out more about priming see this post.
  5. Fill/Fix/Repair – fill holes, replace rotted boards, mud, etc…
  6. Sand – Fine Grit – At this point it is important to feel the surface, you want it smooth, feathered, and blended.
  7. Clean – Pay extra attention to corners and junction points (where two or more surfaces meet) – these must be cleared of dust/debris, vacuum thoroughly. Warm water if necessary.
  8. Caulk – Very neatly push (yes! Push not pull) the caulk into the surfaces needed.

The extra hours you spend at this point will extend the life of your paint job by YEARS!

Labbe Painting’s Vision: Why it’s even more important to double down on family now. Support local micro rural businesses.

Trust – ‘Honest work for honest pay.’ and ‘Where a hand shake still means something.’ are not just arbitrary cliches here. We take a down to earth, old-fashion and honest route to jobs. We clearly talk about costs and expectations up front as to avoid any surprises. ‘You get what you pay for.’ is another good adage for us – I bring over 20 years of experience and am a true painting craftsman, Labbe Painting certainly won’t be the cheapest bid for your project.

Ethics – Labbe Painting will not pay any employee less than $15/hr. We will not pay a professional less than $25/hr. This is a vital and core difference between us and almost all other contractors. We will not pay someone less than a livable wage. This is also another reason we will not be the cheapest. Being a micro rural business it is vital for us to take a stand when and where we can.

Community – Labbe Painting is definitely a family-centric business. We believe that a strong healthy core leads to a happy and whole life.  This easily encompasses a focus on our community, seeing the local community as an extention or manifestation of family. Labbe Painting offers a modest discount to local small nonprofits, as often as possible.  We relish the opportunity to grow with our family and our community.

To Prime or Not To Prime

Eli

Primer is a vital part of some paint jobs but not all. It is important to use the right tools when needed and there are specific times to use primer. Lots of times people overthink their priming for a project. It’s pretty straightforward, if you have uncoated surfaces you need to cover it with a primer. Uncoated surfaces can be barewood, rust, bare sheetrock, joint compound, etc… You need to have a surface that the paint can adhere to evenly. If not your paint job will flash. For a paint job to flash means there is an area on the project that is more or less porous and looks different than the other parts of the project. Part of the primer’s job is to even the saturation rate of the paint to the project producing an evenly colored and covered surface. You also need a primer or transition color if you are changing a dark color to a light one. For most repaint projects no primer is needed at all. However pay particular attention to paints with a heavy tint load, they will need a grey primer to neutralize the color so that it’s easier to cover. A heavy tint load paint contains many different base colors or much high amounts of tint. This creates issues with coverage, with the grey primer it neutralizes the original color and allows the new color to cover in fewer coats. You will always need two coats of final color for a paint job to look it’s best.

The use of a primer can mean a quality job and can create a superior surface. While the primer can be a vital and imperative part of a painting project preparation of the area is more important. The second most important part of a quality paint job is the preparation of the surface (read about the most important part in this blog). The surface must be prepped correctly. If the surface is not prepared properly the primer, as well as the paint will fail. Preparing a project is one of the most essential parts of a job. Proper preparation will mean the area has been scraped, sanded, and caulked as needed. Be sure to allow enough time for the caulk to dry then apply the primer to all uncoated surfaces.

Often times with the lesser quality paint you’ll often need a third and fourth coat. Make sure that the coats are thoroughly dry between applications.

Keep in mind these simple rules:

    1. Proper Preparation – Be Sure! Read More 
    2. All uncoated surfaces need primer.
    3. Use a grey primer.