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Tips to Paint Stucco When House Painting in San Ramon

House painting in San Ramon has its own share of formidable challenges — and one of them is painting stucco. Stucco is an excellent and cost-effective way to build a stylish house, it also keeps the space well-insulated. Compared to other surfaces, stucco needs only a bit of maintenance, which is another great thing about it. That’s why a lot of Californians love stucco for their homes. If you want to update the look of your stucco, then paint may be the answer.

Like other painting projects, properly cleaning and prepping the surface is still important for a successful paint finish. Having the right prep work done will always help ensure you are quite satisfied with the finished job. Of course, you will also want the paint and the stucco beneath it to become a low-maintenance surface, so it requires a proper planning as well.

The stucco should be first cleaned, then repaired (if it needs to be). If you see any surface flaws such as old peeling paint, then it must be fixed before repainting the surface. For more stubborn dirt, loose paint, grime as well as peeling paint, pressure washing can also be used. However, use it with caution; a pressure setting with a range between 1200 and 1500 pounds per square inch (PSI) is ideal. Extremely high pressure from the washer can damage stucco, as it is rather a soft kind of masonry.

Generally, water is all you need to clean stucco. However, if the stucco has more stubborn dirt such as rust or efflorescence, you should use water plus a detergent which is specifically formulated for masonry cleaning. You may also need to use a wire brush and a putty knife to gently clean and remove peeling paint off the stucco. While a pressure washer will remove most loose paint, it may not get rid of the all old paint.

Don’t overlook the spots where you see old paint, efflorescence or rust while you’re cleaning stucco, as these may mean moisture problems that may need major repairs rather than paint only. Especially efflorescence — it might indicate water has passed through the stucco and is causing the alkaline salts to appear on the surface.

After cleaning the surface, leave it to dry completely. Once dried (or cured in case of new stucco), check if there are any flaws that must be repaired. In case there are large flaws such as cracks or gaps, fill them with patching compound or a brush-grade elastomeric sealant. For smaller cracks, caulk will do. After applying the sealant or the caulk on the surface, leave it to dry completely. Sand off any excess dried sealant or caulk. Then use primer to prepare the surface — a primer will help the topcoat to adhere to the surface properly. An acrylic primer is highly recommended for best results.

Then finally, there’s the painting part! You shouldn’t use any paint for stucco. A high-quality, exterior masonry paint is recommended, with elastomeric paint being the best option. While elastomeric paint might be more when compared to regular paints, they are well worth the price. With elastomeric paints, you don’t need to prime the surface, or will only need minimum priming because elastomeric paints have a superior formulation that isn’t found in common paints. The coatings of the elastomeric paints adhere excellently to the stucco surface and have an excellent coverage that will even help conceal smaller surface flaws. The elastomeric paint’s flexibility will also help prevent the paint from the usual problems such as chipping, chalking or peeling. Unlike regular paints that tend to trap moisture, therefore allowing mold and mildew to breed on the surface, elastomeric paints do not.

There are some differences between applying paint on a smooth exterior surface and applying paint on stucco, however. While spraying may be the most common method of applying paint to most exteriors, this technique is not ideal for stucco. This is because spraying alone cannot cover the entire surface as it tends to miss the tiny cracks, pores, and texture “shadows.” If you do spray paint on the surface, then the next step should be back-rolling. This method uses a paint roller and is done after spraying paint to make sure all these tiny holes, are also filled with paint. When back-rolling, it’s ideal to use a fluffy, lamb’s wool roller cover. Use a roller with a 1 or 1-1/4 inch nap for smoother stuccos, and 1-1/2 inch nap for rougher stucco. Even if the first coat looks good, a second coat is still recommended. Stucco, in particular, needs the paint to have a nice film thickness to cover the tiny holes and pores.

Having excellent paints and materials to go along with proper cleaning, preparation and applying the paint on stucco will give you excellent and long-lasting results. This will surely make your house painting in San Ramon a positive and fulfilling experience.

What to Look for in Painting Contractors in San Ramon

There are a lot of things a property owner can do when he or she finally decides that the exterior of their homes needs to be repainted. One is to do the painting job on their own. Another is to hire a contractor to do the work for them. If you want to choose a painting contractor in San Ramon to do the job, and then there are things you should consider before hiring them do the work.

Most property owners see experience as the top factor when choosing a contractor. Indeed, a good contractor in San Ramon should have a decent amount of experience. Because an experienced painting contractor is likely to be professional and do a satisfactory job.

However, just because a company is new doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t good at their chosen field. In fact, some budding painters in the industry have proven a lot in their relatively short time in the business. Some newly-established contractors operate legitimately, have the proper licenses, and have already put up a good quality performance, excellent track record and positive recommendations from their clients. These factors should be a good start for them to build up their name and reputation. Besides, other more seasoned contractors won’t be where they are now if they weren’t good way back when they started in the industry.

A good and reputable contractor in San Ramon should also be licensed and insured. These are extremely important considerations when looking for someone to do the job for you. When a company is insured, it gives an indication that it’s a legitimate company — not someone who pretends as a company and whose only goal is to take money from you.

When a contractor is insured it means that if there is an injury in the course of their work, you are not liable for their medical (and sometimes even legal) expenses. An insured contractor also ensures that if the work is not properly completed or damage occurs to the property, the company will insure it on their employers’ behalf.

References are helpful since they enable you to get a sense of contractors’ work ethic and skill level. Since the contractors will be working in and out of your house, it is important to find out if they are honest and trustworthy. Other customers a company has worked with are the best source to speak with to learn if the company has a good reputation, professionalism, and working ethic.

To the average property owner, prices are generally important. You want to have an idea on how much a contractor charges, so getting prices from several painting contractors in San Ramon and adjacent areas is a wise move indeed. It will help you to know if the prices that your preferred company charges are comparable to others of a similar quality. But if they are not, it’s good to ask why. If one contractor’s prices are remarkably higher (or lower) than that of the other contractors, then there is usually a reason why. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you think the price is too high.

A contractor that offers warranties for their work is another mark of a good contractor. A warranty is even more important particularly when the price a company tenders is significantly lower than that of the others. If they do offer a warranty, find out specifically what it covers. It’s also good idea to request them to give you a copy of their warranty prior to hiring them. Because contractors deal their own businesses differently, it’s not safe anymore to assume that any warranty covers all the same things as any other. So it’s best to get the information in writing whenever possible.

A good painting contractor in San Ramon also puts emphasis on safety, workmanship and attention to detail. These are also exactly the things that should be of an issue to a lot of potential clients. If a company otherwise does shoddy, inferior work or uses unsafe practices, then it’s much better not to hire them.

House Painting in San Ramon: Is There a Right Color for Kitchens?

Painting the kitchen may be one of the most demanding parts of house painting in San Ramon. The kitchen is the place where your meals are prepared. Your dining area may be next to the kitchen. It can be a busy room and may experience oil, smoke, or dirt and grime.

Painting the kitchen is both a challenge as well as an opportunity. It is a challenge because it may require you to remove fixtures like faucets, sinks, or countertops. Cabinets and shelves may also need to be removed to facilitate painting. But it’s also an opportunity because you have the chance to turn an otherwise utilitarian space into a more appealing space. Accomplishing this takes getting the right type of paint and colors that will make a difference in the room.

For most high-traffic areas like the kitchen, a glossy finish is recommended. You can choose from eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and glossy. Eggshell paints are generally recommended for most aspects of kitchen painting, while some types of paint finishes are better for accents. All glossy paint types clean easily, although they are not perfect at hiding flaws on the surface.

Now that you have decided about the type of paint finish, your concern will be toward color. So what really is the best color for the kitchen? Well, there’s no fixed answer to that, but will depend on your kitchen as well as your preference. Take a look at some of our color suggestions that can work for your kitchen:

  • White – This choice provides brightness to your kitchen. It also helps you to see the food as you prepare it, and is easy to spot spills and food drops. However, a kitchen painted white is more prone to visible dirt so maintenance and cleaning should be done regularly. White is ideal especially for smaller kitchens, as it gives an illusion of space.
  • Beige – If you want a bright kitchen but don’t want it all-white, go for beige. Like white, beige is a neutral color and can also give brightness to the space. But unlike white, beige otherwise provides a warm ambience. You can also pair beige with white — for example, paint the walls with beige and paint the kitchen islands and cabinets with white.
  • Red – Red is a warm and vibrant color and may stimulate an appetite. If you notice, most fast-food joints and restaurants are painted in red. No wonder red is often used to paint a kitchen. Most people start the day in the kitchen. A vibrant color like red will provide an energizing feeling. Believe or not, the color is very versatile and you can choose a variety of shades from crimson or vermillion to scarlet and maroon.
  • Yellow – Like red, yellow is a warm color which gives off vibrancy to the kitchen. Yellow makes people think of sunshine, so a kitchen painted in yellow can make people happy and spirited. It could also whet one’s appetite. Yellow is soothing and can calm the mind. You can use yellow with either gray or white accents in the kitchen.
  • Green – Green has the perfect combination of being both energetic and soothing. Green works well with white accents, but can work equally as well with natural accents like ones made of wood. The perfect shades of green for the kitchen will be mint green, olive green, apple green, and lime green. Brighter greens, in particular, are ideal for accents such as kitchen cabinets and shelves.
  • Gray – You may be surprised by this, as gray is neutral and generally considered as dull. However the right shade can make a difference in your kitchen. You may want to pair gray with other colors to make it more versatile. It is a great color to build upon and is also good for cabinets and countertops.

These are only a few ideas to help you choose the right kitchen paint. Keep these suggestions in mind as you consider house painting in San Ramon.