Painting a Floor

Refinishing a floor isn’t always feasible. The floor could be concrete or laminate, the wood could be too poor of quality, or its simply cost prohibitive. Painting a floor is a cost effective way to spruce up a difficult room, covering up mistakes, stains, or an ugly floor. The difference between painting a floor and a wall starts by understanding that a floor needs to be far more resistant to damage. This means additional prep work and a special final coat of clear polyurethane.

Painting a floor requires extra time, as the paint must be given plenty of time to dry before additional steps are taken!

1) Preparation- Preparing a floor starts with a thorough cleaning. Sweep and mop the floor vigorously, especially in the edges and corners. After cleaning, the floor should be sanded. Ideally, the entire space that will be painted should be sanded, to better help the primer to adhere to the surface.

2) Prime the Surface- Pick a primer appropriate to your flooring. Allow ample time for the primer to ‘set’. Priming a floor is essential to a lasting and durable coat.

3) Paint the Surface- Painting a floor should be done in at least two full coats of paint, allowing time for each coat to dry before starting again. Coats should be done in smooth thin layers, with no drips or unevenness. Smooth with a roller or take extra care with a brush or the floor will develop an uneven surface.

4) Polyurethane Coat- Once ample time has been allowed for the surface to dry, we seal the paint with a durable polyurethane finish. Clear polyurethane finish is essential to the long life of the floor. One or two coats will give you a long lasting and durable surface.

When choosing the right paints and primers, its important to read the can! Be sure that they match your floor, and as always, your friendly Paint Experts at Mallory Paint Store will be happy to give you advice on which products and tools you need to be sure your project goes smoothly!

Painting with Designs and Stencils

Using a stencil for a project will be a lot more work then just a simple paint job. We’re here to give you a few tips about how to choose, prepare, and use stencils for your household projects.

Whether you are buying a design or creating your own, its important to choose the right kind of material. A thin plastic or construction paper may work for small projects like stepping stones or furniture, but adding a design to a child’s wall will require a durable and slightly thick material, a rigid plastic, a laminated paper, or a wood stencil. Heavier wall paint may bleed through light or fragile materials, and thick brushes may simply damage or destroy them.

When preparing to use a stencil, take into consideration the size of the stencil, how much white space it has on the sides, and how many times you’ll need to move it to paint the wall. If your stencil is big, use painter’s tape to hold it in place on the wall.

When painting over an existing color, you should probably prime it. Even if you’re using a similar color to the already existing color, a darker blue on a light blue, priming will make sure that the color is vibrant and there is limited paint bleeding or color bleeding. When using a different color, always prime the area.

Take care how much paint your use on the edges of your stencils, when moving and remove the stencil from the wall as cleanly as possible. Nothing would be worse then carrying a drop of paint to new parts of the wall, ruining a unique design!


Negotiating with a Painting Contractor

The overall cost of getting a repaint can be quite high and it can be difficult to understand the costs involved. Contractor quotes may vary wildly, and the cheapest quote may come with unintended consequences. Negotiating for the right price can mean several different things, from simply trying to be sure you get charged the best rate, getting additional services such as caulking, and even as simple as deciding whether you’ll provide your own paint. We’ve talked about how to choose a good contractor and with painting season underway, its time to talk about negotiating the right price.

  • Shop Around – The price of a repaint will change from contractor to contractor. These prices could vary wildly, as a contractor will set his prices based on what is reasonable to him and his crew. Each contractor will use some sort of formula, based on square footage to be painted, complicated painting, difficulty, and cost of labor. Asking multiple contractors will help you better understand the costs involved and give you a stronger, more educated position to negotiate from.
  • Ask Questions Is the cost of materials included in the estimate? How long will the contractor take? What brand of paint will be used? How do they intend to cover areas from drippage? What is their process for sanding/chipping old paint? How many coats of paint will the use?
  • Itemize the Cost – When quoted for your home, be sure to ask your contractor to break down the different costs for you. This will help you understand if one contractor is overcharging for labor or materials.
  • Material Cost – Its not unusual to ask a painter to use a different brand of paint. Some contractors may require you to supply the paint, and will refuse to quote materials. Others will have a specific brand they prefer, and have experience working with. Whether you are looking to cut costs or you have a preference for quality, supplying your own paint can help you remove the ‘static’ costs for a painting project.
  • Be Knowledgeable – Painting can be very expensive, and the best way to get a good deal is to take the time to learn about the costs. Understand how much paint your project should need, what areas will be difficult to paint, what unusual costs might be involved.

Remember, a good place to start looking for a painting contractor is your local Mallory Paint Store. Our Painting Experts will be able to help with more then just materials. They work with contractors every day, supplying work sites, and listening to testimonials.

When to look for a Painting Contractor

About the time most people decide to commit to getting their home repainted is the moment its too late to get the best contractor. Some painting contractors will open their scheduling for summer repaints  as early as the fall of the previous year, especially if they are in demand. Spring marks the beginning of the exterior repaint season in Washington State, and it will last until early fall. Since each project takes several days, sometimes weeks, and a full team to do the work, getting on a painter’s schedule can be competitive.

Some painting contractors may already have full schedules but most  will still have room for exterior repainting and other work. Its approaching the middle of Spring which means it will be difficult to find appointments for April and May, maybe even June.

Act now and there will still be plenty of time to get a contractor for the dry summer months. Its the best time to get your exterior repaint done and there is plenty of time to interview a few contractors and select the best one to fit your needs.

If you’re having trouble finding a contractor, don’t forget to visit your local Mallory Paint Store, or check out our past spotlights on Washington Contractors. Your local Mallory Paint Store will have great recommendations and advice on picking a contractor that fits your needs.

Spring Painting

Warm weather is returning and with it comes a buzz of activity! Spring cleaning is in full swing, and with it, repainting! Its time to match the flowers in color, and work like busy bees.

Now that we’re out of winter we start to finally see dry days. For spring painting, its best to start earlier, before plants begin to really pollinate. Exterior painting should be cleaned thoroughly as trees and flowers will soon release particulate that will make painting difficult.

Spring’s colors are shades of blue, bright yellows, pinks, and all kind of green. Life is bouncing back from winter and exploding into activity. Trees are getting new leaves, flowers are blooming, and the whole world comes alive anew. Spring’s colors bring a bright new energy to the home, verdant and excited.

Its the best time of the year to start painting! Your local Mallory Paint Store is waiting, and our color experts are ready to help make your home into a field of colorful flowers or a wild green forest!

Painting Exterior Furniture Early

Getting ready to spruce up your outdoor furniture? With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add that touch of vibrant color to your life. Maybe its time to start capitalizing on the bright sun or you just want to turn over a new leaf with the seasons. Although the pacific northwest sees plenty of rainfall this time of year, it doesn’t have to be a barrier to your projects.

Benjamin Moore features several types of exterior paint, tailored to your specific situations, such as Aura® and Arborcoat®, which are designed to be durable above all else. Some types of paint will be more resistant to Washington’s weather, drying quicker and being more tolerant to sudden changes in temperature and weather. However, rain should always be watched for.

Preparing a space indoors is easy, and helps to skip Washington’s weather. Any room can be a painting studio temporarily. Make sure to clear enough space for not just your project, but you as well. Pets tend to ignore any sort of rules or warnings, so make sure the space can be properly gated off or closed up to prevent animals and day to day traffic from damaging the paint while it sets.

If working indoors, the importance of protecting your work space can’t be understated. Drop cloths or tarps should be laid out to catch drops of paint or flecks while working. If you’re working in a tighter space, be zealous with covering furniture nearby with extra tarps. Painters tape should be used to hold down the drop cloth, and, if you are using multiple cloths together, you should overlap the tarps and tape them together.

We’ve talked before about the steps to clean up and revitalize your outdoor furniture, but we’ll give a brief recap:

  • Vigorously clean the areas you will paint
  • Sandpaper down any loose or peeling paint
  • Prime the surface with outdoor primer to help long term durability.
  • Most paints only require one coat
  • Allow your paint time to dry, or cure completely. Refer to directions on the paint can or ask for help

Your local Mallory Paint Store Color Experts will be able to give you all the help you need picking the right paint for your project, and being sure you don’t leave without every tool you need to prevent accidents and complete your project!

Recognizing Water Damage in Paint

Water damage is complicated and cannot simply be painted over. It is important to identify the different ways that this damage can be visible in your paint.


Here are some of the signs of damage:

  1. Discolored – This type of damage is the most easily recognizable. Water has discolored the paint and is soaked into the surface. The paint will be discolored in a ring around the affected area. Do not simply paint over this area as the painted area and the surface beneath still have water that will damage future paint.
  2. Bubbled/Deformed – Unusual lumps in the paint may have held water or still hold it. The painted area will be soft to the touch and very easy to remove.
  3. Peeling – Easily chipped or removed paint. More areas may be affected nearby, even if they haven’t begun to chip.
  4. Buckling or ‘pushable areas’ – Though it may not be bubbled or deformed, paint can separate from the drywall. The paint has give when pressed, or, it feels like there is air between the paint and the wall.

Most signs of water damage are indicators of a much bigger problem. Water damage can have many causes such as a leaky roof or damaged plumbing. These problems require a lot of work to fix. Never try to simply cover up the damage without finding the cause, or you’ll find your discolored wall has grown more damaged over time and your new coat of paint is just as discolored as before.

Repairing Damaged or Chipped Paint

Last time we talked about painting specifically for resale. While some walls may need a great amount of attention and paint, you probably won’t be repainting every single room. Maybe the color is fine but some areas have suffered damage from mildew, children, or a simple bump. We’ve talked about mildew damage before, and its important to be sure any damaged wall is repaired before painting.

Damaged or chipped paint need to be cleared away with a paint scraper to find any loose fragments. Follow up the scraping with a coarse sandpaper. Scrape away any fragments of paint and be sure to sand all the edges of the remaining paint. Dust the area thoroughly, prime the damaged area, and paint.

The Color Experts at Mallory Paint Store can help ensure that your new paint is as close a match as possible to your old paint. Its important to remember that paint goes through several stages of color, and the wet paint may not be an indication of the dry color. Lastly, its important to remember that wear, dust, and the sun will change the shade of your paint, so even if you know the original color for your wall, it may be more vibrant then you’d like.


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