There are three things to consider when it comes to touch up: First, unless you have the actual can from the original paint job there is absolutely no way to match the color and sheen perfectly. Second, over time environmental damage can change the original paint color, so even if you have the original can it may not match perfectly. The third issue has to do with the mechanics of paint drying – Professional painters always try to keep what’s called a ‘wet edge’, which means they don’t allow the paint to dry in an area before they continue the application. Imagine a painter rolling paint down a long hall from end-to-end. as he goes along the wall behind him dries, but where he’s working is always wet. To the paint it’s drying evenly down the wall in a ‘wave’. This even drying is what gives your paint that smooth finish when you look down the wall. Your touch-up spot is another layer that dries independently of the original and, therefore, the shine may look a little ‘off’, called flashing.
Because it’s so easy to NOT have a good finished product with spot touch-up we recommend painting your bad walls from corner to corner with the best matching paint you can find. The corner will actually hide the difference from your eye since the brain makes a natural break there anyway.
Paint contains many inert materials that help it spread smoothly such as surfactants. As the paint cures in cooler weather, the surfactants can ‘leach’ to the surface due to condensation. On darker colors these surfactants can look like a white or creamy film on the finish. On lighter colors the film can look brownish. In either case, washing down the surface usually corrects the problem and it rarely reoccurs.
One of the biggest causes for peeling paint is moisture. Once the material the paint is ‘stuck’ to gets wet, the paint loses its adhesion quality and begins to pull away from the surface. This allows more moisture to get in, which causes more reduction in adhesion, etc. Caulking expands and contracts with heat and cold to ensure the surface is completely sealed from moisture. It is our opinion that all holes, cracks, seams and nail heads have new caulking applied to them, not just the failing areas. In this way, you are guaranteed the best possible protection from the damaging effects of water.
Proper preparation is essential to a long-lasting paint job. No matter how high the quality of paint you use, good paint cannot stick to a badly prepared surface. Poor surface preparation (not properly washed, paint flakes not scraped thoroughly, old loose caulking not removed, cracks and holes in the exterior, unprimed raw wood, etc.) doesn’t give the new paint anything solid to stick to. In reality, preparation is about 75% of all exterior paint jobs and about 50% of interior projects.
Although it is possible to just paint your trim, it has been our experience that to do so often makes the body of the house look ‘dirty’. In most cases, the trim (which is real wood) is showing the failure of the paint occurring over the whole house (most of which is not wood.) In addition, painting just the trim does not save a lot in labor as the trim requires the majority of the preparatory work to do a quality paint job.
As a general rule, the glossier the paint, the more durable it is. However, shinier paint does reduce the purity of the color radiating off the walls. Also, sheen can affect the paint’s ability to ‘hide’ the color underneath. Flatter paints have courser pigments and cover better than glossier sheens.
Contrary to common opinion, paint is not completely opaque. If you were to paint a window and look through it you would be able to see some light passing through. the more coats, the less light you’ll see. When applied on a wall, light has a tendency to pass through paint and reflect the color from underneath back out – what most people think of as ‘bleeding through’. The more dramatic the color change, the more likely you’ll need a thicker layer to block out the original color.
Poor tools or improper application can also cause a need for extra coats.
Depending upon the quality of the paint and the thoroughness of the preparation, your paint can last as long as ten to twenty years, maybe longer. However it is imperative that you use high quality paints and sealants to ensure the life of surface coatings. Titanium Dioxide is the ingredient in paint that affects durability – the more there is the longer the paint will last. Less expensive or lower grade paints use less titanium dioxide and more fillers, which means they will wear out sooner. The same is true of colorants. Less expensive, man-made pigments fade much more quickly than more costly, natural pigments, so cheaper paints made with man-made pigments are not going to hold their color as long as higher-quality paints. On the same hand, lower-quality caulking is less elastic and cracks out sooner, thus allowing moisture in behind the paint and loosening it from the surface.
By utilizing the proper preparation techniques, using high-quality products and focusing on attention to detail, the HappyPainters are confident your new paint job will give you plenty of enjoyment for a decade or more.
Paint quality can affect the finished product in many ways. Probably the most important factor is the longevity of the paintjob. Consider purchasing a car – obviously you expect a more expensive car to have more bells and whistles; but don’t you also expect it to last longer and age better? The difference is the parts used to make the car.
The same can be said for paint – higher quality paints use better, more expensive ingredients so they last longer. Other factors affected by paint quality include ability to cover, spreadability, and how much coverage you’ll get. As these go down, the cost of labor go up; so many times saving a few dollars in paint can cost you much more in extra labor.