Eco-Friendly Painting

How are we exposed to V.O.C.’s?

Many product we have in our homes release or “off gas” V.O.C.’s. Here are a few examples of V.O.C. sources in our Tucson homes.

  • Conventional Paints
  • Many Cleaning Household Products
  • Vinyl
  • Carpet
  • Adhesives
  • Varnishes
  • Composite wood Products
  • Upholstered Fabrics

Solvents in ink, adhesives and paints of gas V.O.C’s. Gasoline is 100% V.O.C. V.O.C.’s are a major contributor to the depletion of the Ozone layer. V.O.C.’s contribute to poor air quality in our Tucson homes.

Painting History

Since Mans beginning we have decorated our homes. From a drawing on a cave wall, or the ancient pyramids throughout history we have expressed ourselves. We want to make our surroundings more personal. The danger is that paints have always contained poisons and toxins that not only pollute the environment. They also have very harmful effects on the air quality in our Tucson homes.

Good News

In recent years the E.P.A. has put into practice controls on the toxins and V.O.C.’s in paint. The attention this scary situation has made has been good. Many paint manufacturers now produce eco-friendly paints! As I mentioned in a previous article, technology has caught up the demand. These paints known as low or zero V.O.C. paints now perform very well. In fact they often times cover better than conventional paints. And now come with manufacturer warranties comparable or better to conventional paints.

Eco-Friendly Painting

Today we still like to express ourselves, by making our surroundings more personal. When we want to Paint and decorate our Tucson homes or business’s we have “Green” options! No more concerns about harmful paint fumes. “Green” paint has really evolved, how exciting!

Tucson Green Painting

Thinking about going “Green” when it comes to painting?

Recently I decided to change my diet and began eating mostly organic food, so I went shopping! What I found was very encouraging and exciting! I’m not limited on what I can have, I found finding Organic food was very easy. It has become more common than it was a few years ago.

Tucson has beautiful clean stores full of this delicious healthy food! This opened up a whole new world for me! Not only do I feel much better physically. I’m proud to be doing my part for the planet and the environment! This trend to live an Organic or “Green” lifestyle is on the rise. We have everything from Hybrid cars, solar energy, “Green” household cleaning products and beauty cosmetics. And, yes we have “Green” paint! This is what I want to discuss in this and my next few posts.

Time to Re-think “Green” Paint?

As I began to learn and appreciate all the benefits of eating Organic foods, naturally I started to think about “Green Paints”. When the industry first introduced “Green” Paints they were very expensive and really didn’t perform well, so I wasn’t very impressed and didn’t feel comfortable using a product that didn’t last.

Well guess what! Technology has caught up with the demand! Today we have what in the Paint industry is referred to low or no V.O.C. paints (“Green”) that perform! In fact the brand I primarily use has there paints with a lifetime guarantee! This is very exciting! Here’s some of what I’ve learned.

What are V.O.C.’s?

V.O.C. stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. They are found everywhere including nature. V.O.C.’s are organic chemical compounds that are found in nature, mainly in plants. If they are natural, you may ask what’s the problem? We are exposed daily to man-made V.O.C.’s that become concentrated indoors. This causes poor indoor air quality. And can irritate our eyes, throats, etc. I’ve had people tell they have experienced breathing problems when they are around products that emit V.O.C.’s.

My next post will discuss how we’re exposed to these harmful V.O.C.’s.

Choosing a Tucson Painter Part 2

In my previous post I shared some suggestions of things to consider when hiring a Tucson paint contractor.  After thinking about what I wrote I realized there is so much more to say.

So here’s Part 2!

Know What You Want

Educating yourself about the process is a valuable way to start (like reading this and the previous article), before you start calling contractors make sure you know what you want.  Do you know what colors you want?  If you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color will that take more paint?  What sheen do you want? Gloss, semi gloss satin eggshell or flat?  Would you prefer eco-friendly paints?

If it’s the exterior you’re painting,

  1. Will the weather be a factor?
  2. If you’re part of a Home Owners Association are there colors you are limited to?
  3. Have you seen colors in a magazine you like?  Save it, so you can show it to your contractor.

Understand the Process

Like so many things we know the process is important.  We have an itemized check list of the steps we take during the scope of work to ensure nothing is missed.  We give a copy of the check list to the homeowner so they are confident we will take the steps necessary to complete a great paint job! Here’s what we do for Exterior paint jobs:

  • Pressure Wash
  • Fill Cracks
  • Caulk Doors and Windows
  • Scrape loose or Peeling paint
  • Prime bare Surfaces
  • Property Protection
  • Protect Landscaping
  • Pull Gravel away from House
  • Back Roll Stucco Surfaces
  • Wash Windows

And Interior

  • Sand and Prime Surfaces where needed
  • Caulk and fill holes as needed
  • Remove outlet Covers
  • Remove Register/Vent covers
  • Move furniture from work area when possible
  • Cover/ Protect furniture and Property
  • Vacuum Carpets
  • Clean floors

Here are a few ideas of things to consider when hiring a Tucson painter for your home.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us at 520-881-0542 or fill out our Get An Estimate Today.

Choosing a Tucson Painter

Beautify and Protect Your Tucson Home

A paint job should not only beautify your home, it should also play a part in weather proofing your home. A good quality paint job will protect the surface from everyday wear and tear and the elements. Painting your house is an important part of your maintenance program, finding a good painting contractor to do the job is very important.

A great paint job using top quality materials will give you maximum performance and protection from the elements, giving you a long lasting paint job. On the other hand, poor workmanship and inexpensive materials will have you repainting in 4 years or less especially in this harsh climate! Investing a few more dollars up front can save you the hassle of repeatedly painting, and paying increasing costs as time goes by and costs increase.

Get a Full Description of the Paints that Will be Used

We use only high-quality materials. The exterior paint we use comes with a 15 written Manufacturer Warranty at a minimum. This Premium exterior paint is 100% Acrylic, the better quality Acrylic paints have better color retention, thus minimizing fading.

If we’re paint the interior of your home we also use high quality paints appropriate for the application. Paints known as “eco-friendly” are becoming increasingly popular. These paints contain low or no volatile organic compounds commonly referred to as V.O.C. V.O.C.’s have been linked to healthy issues. We are often asked if the paints are pet friendly or if you can sleep in freshly painted room. When we planning on using these low or zero V.O.C. paints the answer is always yes!

Ask to See Prior work, ask for References

It’s important to remember Painting is a service industry. We live on referrals. You’ll want to ask to see past jobs. It’s a good idea to ask to see jobs that may be a few years old. All paint jobs look good when they are fresh. The quality shows over time. It’s also recommended that you talk to some past clients to see how the contractor operated on a personal basis. Please visit our Testimonials from real clients, and see some pictures of our work!

A new accent wall?

This surface makes up about 20 percent of the total paintable surface in a room. Yet we all (well most of us) seem to ignore it. We spend a great deal of time and effort collecting paint samples, looking for the perfect color for our room makeover. Typically not considering a color other than white for this surface. Have you figured out what I’m talking about? You  got it the ceiling!

A Growing Trend

In recent years I’ve noticed a growing trend to paint ceilings accent colors. We recently completed a project where we painted the ceiling in a home different accent colors. The color contrast between the walls and ceilings really gave the room a dramatic effect!

Color on the ceilings is next bold step for homeowners.

If you have a larger room with high ceilings. Consider painting the ceiling a darker color, it can really complement a lighter colored wall giving the room a cozy feeling. Or, if you have a smaller room with lower ceilings. You can paint the ceiling a lighter color (other than white). Giving the same attention to the walls and the ceilings, this creates a nice effect in the room.

Look Up!

Contemplate the possibilities! There is now a fifth surface in your room crying out for attention! Create illusions and accent all available surfaces with a color contrast to complete your room makeover. Ceilings are the new accent wall!

Lead Based Paint

Lead in Paint

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about lead in paint. The Environmental Protect Agency has been working for three decades to reduce exposure to lead in paint. On April 22, 2010 a new law went into effect that requires all contractors performing renovation, repair or painting projects that disturb lead based paint to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. This “lead paint controversy” began in the 70’s. In 1978, the federal government banned lead-based paint from being used in homes. In 1996 additional laws went into effect requiring individuals to receive information concerning a property before renting, buying or renovating pre-1978 housing.

Lead Based Paint Health Concerns

Exposure to high levels of lead can be damaging to children whose nervous systems are still developing, and to pregnant women whose unborn children are still growing. One out eleven children in the United States has a high and/or dangerous level of lead in their blood stream. In 1991 the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services called Lead the “number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States”.

Certified Renovators

Contractors today must jump through numerous hoops to guarantee they are meeting rigorous safety standards when working in homes, businesses and other child related facilities. They have been trained and certified as “Renovators” by EPA-accredited trainers. If you have concerns or questions about lead-based paint and its effects, or how to safely perform home renovations you should contact a professional who has received the EPA certification.

We have received this certification and would be happy to provide further information about the new certification requirements and lead paint testing.

Picking a Paint Sheen


“What type of paint sheen should I get?” The answer depends on where the paint will be applied and the general purpose of the painted surface.  Here are some very helpful tips to keep in mind to help make the selection easy.

Flat Paint

Flat paints the most commonly used sheen in homes is called flat or matte finish.  Most flat and matte finishes tend to have no shine at all. However, there are a few brands of flat paints that tend to leave a very light shine to them, due to the amount of acrylic resin in the paint.  Flat sheen lends itself well to ceilings, formal dining rooms, and large contemporary rooms with lots of natural light.  Flat or sometimes called matte, finishes really do look the best for walls if you are trying to hide defects in the wall.  Also, if you have a lot of artwork on the walls, flat sheens look great.

Satin Paints

Satin paints the next selection of paint sheens have several different names depending on how much shine the paint has when it dries.  Several names you would see in the paint stores are “Egg-shell,” “Low-Sheen,” and “Satin.”  Typically, these paints are far more scrub-able than the standard flat finishes mentioned above.  This tends to be the main reason homeowners decide to use one of these types of sheens.  Satin-type finishes look great in areas that do not have a lot of natural light, closets, hallways and stairwells, and, of course, your kids’ rooms.  Most satin finishes are found on walls only, not ceilings or wood surfaces.  However, some homeowners will opt for painting their baseboards, doors and trim work with a satin finish.  If prepared and painted correctly, trim and fine woodwork can look beautiful with a satin finish – even kitchen cabinets.

Gloss Paints

Gloss Paints The last types of sheen are known as glossy paints.  On the paint shelf, they are labeled as “Semi-Gloss” and “Gloss.” Typically, the semi-gloss gives off a shine of 65%-85% compared to gloss at 100%.

Gloss paints are difficult to work with and are best applied by a professional painting contractor.  Semi-gloss is the number one choice for most homeowners for bathroom walls, kitchens, laundry rooms, rental properties and, of course, woodwork. Selecting the right paint sheen is a matter of personal preference.  Some of us love flat.  Others have to have semi-gloss on every wall!

If you are unsure of the types of paint and paint sheens, give us a call at 520-881-0542.  We will give you some professional advice.

Tucson Need Help Picking Paint Colors ?

Need help selecting a color?

Paint Swatch
Picking Colors

Over the years I have found that for many home owners, the process of selecting colors can be very stressful.  This is understandable when you consider that color can set the mood of a room.  Color can make a smaller room feel bigger, it can also give a larger room a warm homey feeling.  Research has found that color can bring out emotions and can stimulate us in many positive ways such as creative thinking and problem solving.  No wonder many find this process intimidating!  Here’s an suggestion I found  that on several occasions has been very helpful.  Hopefully it can help you reduce your choices from literally millions to a select few.

What colors dominate?

Go to your closet notice what color dominates your wardrobe.

Visit a local paint store, Sherwin Williams has a beautiful color display in every store.

Notice the colors in a favorite family heirloom, artwork or piece of furniture.

Try this, bring a favorite area rug into natural light and choose the first and the last color you notice.

After you have selected a favorite color, think about the feeling you would like that room to bring out in those who enter it.  Bringing in neutrals such as khaki’s and milk whites with any color will work beautifully.  Mixing light and dark colors can give you a very dramatic effect.  For example chocolate browns and pale pinks can bring a romantic feeling to master bedroom.

The Final Step in making your pick

Finally, after you choose your colors, you can take advantage of the many resources that are available to you.  If you visit Sherwin Williams’s website they will allow you to upload photographs of the rooms you want to make over.  You can virtually paint and preview the result of you color selection, this will help alleviate the overwhelming task of selecting the perfect color.  The exciting thing about paint is that new color you now can’t live without is only a brush stroke away!

Give us a call at 520-881-0542 and we will be happy to make your new colors a reality!

Replace or repaint your Kitchen cabinets?

Can’t decide if you should replace or repaint your Kitchen cabinets?

One of the most cost effective home repair or home improvement items is paint. Adding a new color to a bedroom or repainting some wood trim around the home can add quick value to your home. However, one of the questions we get asked often is regarding kitchen cabinets. Homeowners want to know if they should repaint their cabinets, replace them completely or reface.

It is always less expensive to apply paint than replace, so let’s look at some of the reasons why you might consider repainting your kitchen cabinets and you decide what is best for you. Just about any type of kitchen cabinets can be painted. Typically homeowners are considering painting because they are tired of their outdated stained cabinets. The popular finish of the late 1980s and early 1990s was the whitewashed oak. This was then replaced by more of a natural oak finishes followed by dark cherries, maples and very dark stains.

The latest in kitchen cabinets tends to be more in distressed woodwork and stains (made to look older yet clean), solid colors or cabinets with a faux finish applied to it, typically known as French Country. So, the question remains what should you do with your kitchen cabinets? Price out replacing your kitchen cabinets and painting will look better and better.

The Cost of Painting

The cost to paint a kitchen is typically 1/3 to ½ the cost of replacing. The paints applied to cabinets are also very durable and will last just as long as new cabinets in most cases. If a professional paint company is handling your cabinet project, that has lots of experience with woodwork, you will be surprised at how good the finish product will look.

The only time you really do not want to paint or re-stain your cabinets is when you are tired of the look of the doors and drawers. This is where you can do a combination of replacement and repainting or refinishing. In other words, if you want new doors and drawers, you can typically hire a professional cabinet maker to install unfinished doors and drawers with new hinges and drawer guides; then have your cabinet painting company do the finish work.

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, there are many different options a painting company can offer you. The main thing you have to decide is what you want the cabinets to look like when you are done. Do you want a solid color? Do you want a different faux finish? Do you want them to look “Old World” Whatever it is you want, typically for a lot less than gutting your kitchen and starting over your painter can make it happen. But remember; only a few companies are good at painting cabinets. Don’t go with the cheap guy if you decide to repaint rather than replace. You’ll thank me in the end! If you would like me to take a look at your Cabinets, give me a call at 520-881-0542

Wallpaper, to paint or not to paint?

To Paint or Not To Paint

In this current market many homeowners are finding themselves updating their homes and in some cases they are dealing with wallpaper trends of the 80′s and 90′s, stripes and flowers are no longer in great demand. They find themselves having to decide whether to remove aging wallpaper or paint over it!

Many Experts Agree

There are pros and cons to both sides of the issue, many experts agree that removing the wallpaper is the better choice. Many times walls have layers of wallpaper, or have been “painted over” if this is the case it could very well be time to contact the experts.

Painting Over Wallpaper

It is possible to paint over wallpaper, this is not necessarily recommended. There are several things to consider before painting. The seams should be covered with a coat of wallboard compound to hide them. Next, an oil-based primer may be needed to seal the paper, as latex paint could soften the paste on the wallpaper, which would cause it to bubble. In addition, the wallpapers sometimes have a slight texture that would be more noticeable when painted. Finally, if you paint over wallpaper and then decide to remove it later, the process could be more tedious as the paper may become stiffer over time.

If you are not sure of the correct course of action, talk to us.

Removing the Wallpaper

Removing the wallpaper before painting may be time consuming and messy, but starting with fresh walls will create a finish that may not be possible with wallpaper underneath. Removing the wallpaper without damaging the walls is a slow, painstaking process and should be approached with great patience. There are several options available. While steamers were once popular to remove wallpaper, we prefer concentrated remover solutions that are mixed with water. The solutions dissolve the adhesive backing, making it easier to peel. Before beginning, remove outlet/light switch covers and gather necessary tools (scoring tool, sprayers and 6-inch broad knives for lifting corners of the paper). Mix the solution with hot water and begin by testing a small section of the paper. Work carefully, in small sections and do not force the paper off. If it will not come off easily, spray the solution on the area and allow it to soak into the wallpaper. Once the paper is removed, wash the wall with warm water and allow sufficient dry time before proceeding to the next step. Repair the walls and sand before painting.

If the process seems daunting, we are available to examine your walls and recommend the best procedures for each situation. Give us a call at 520-881-0542.