Bathroom Remodels Make a Big Splash This Spring

Bathroom Remodels Make a Big Splash This Spring.

Renovate Paint and Design brings a fresh new look to bathrooms in San Antonio, TX.  Take a look at some of our projects for ideas and to understand the some of the process.

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Bathroom Remodels Make a Big Splash This Spring

This gallery contains 15 photos.

WOW, it is happening again this spring.  Many previous and new customers have contacted and engaged us in bathroom remodeling.  It is amazing how some simple changes add such elegance in one room. Check out our video on YouTube to see how we do these remodels and for more ideas: Look at these pictures of […]

All DECKED Out: Staining and Caring for Your Outdoor Platform

Deck Transformation: Before (above) and After (below)

The harsh weather conditions of Texas cause Deck refinishing and staining to be a very popular service. Oftentimes, however, it is not done properly.  The KEY to getting outstanding results is in surface preparation.  When prepped correctly the deck will turn out great. Rush through prep, skip a step (or two) and the deck will not look right or last very long.

Over-application of the wood finish coating is a major source of problems and complaints.  There are many do-it-your-selfers or non-professionals that believe that when it comes to coating, more is better. This is simply not the case and is particularly a problem for decks. Most deck finishes are designed to penetrate the surface of the wood. Putting too much of these coatings on the wood leads to a buildup of material, forming a film which can ultimately peel or crack. For water-repellent products, over-application can result in a surface which is overly waxy, sticky, or slick. Over-applied stains will often result in sticky surfaces, since the coating buildup interferes with their ability to dry properly.

It is a face that all exterior wood needs protection from the elements.  This is due to the damaging effects of the weather on exposed surfaces.  The day that you finish installing a deck or other exterior wood structure is the day trouble can start.   Consider these points:

  • Morning dew, rainwater, and sprinkler’s water, are quickly absorbed by unprotected wood, causing it to soften and swell.
  • Direct exposure to the sun’s heat causes drying, causing the wood to shrink.  Continuous cycles of wet and dry, swelling and shrinking cause wood to warp, split, crack and check-all of which leads to premature wood degradation.
  • Surface graying is caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays on unprotected wood.
  • Consistent moisture creates conditions for the growth of mildew, algae, mold, and other fungal organisms that feed on wood. spreading across and staining the surface.
  • Termites and other wood-boring insects also use wood for a food source, causing rot and decay.

Weathered Wood

If the wood on your deck is uncoated, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly with a product specifically formulated to remove the aged top layer, which will rid the surface of its graying appearance, ground in dirt, stains from food, fungus growth, including mildew, mold, and algae.  After cleaning the surface we use a pressure washer to aid with the cleaning, but use low pressure 500-800psi.  Too much pressure will cause the wood to deteriorate.

A stain stripper will need to be used first, if you have a previous failed coating on your deck.

New Wood

Just as in restoration of old wood, it is necessary to prepare the surface of the new wood before coating. Preparing the surface involves cleaning the new wood, in order to remove invisible surface barriers, such as excess wax, or mill glaze, a burnished surface often found on new cedar lumber.

Preserve your woods beauty and structural integrity by following through with a regular maintenance program.  Once your deck is installed and protected it should be cleaned once a year, inspected, and re-stained as needed.  Daily exposure to UV-rays will wear away the coatings surface layer, thus making it necessary to re-apply periodically.

Splash water on your deck and notice if it is absorbed or beads up. If it is absorbed rapidly your deck is ready to stain. If it beads up you still have stain or contaminants on the surface.

Types of Deck Stain

Transparent Deck Stains are the lightest pigmented. These are also called wood-toners and will enhance the woods natural beauty. They typically offer the least amount of UV protection from graying as the trans-oxides are usually low. They offer the most natural look.

Semi-Transparent Deck Stains are higher in pigment and trans-oxides. They still penetrate into the wood but have a higher ability to stop UV discoloration. Typically are “richer” in color then the Transparent Stains and accent the wood grain.

Solid “Opaque” Wood and Deck Stains are not transparent at all. They will mask or cover the wood similar to a paint but are thinner in consistency so they will penetrate into the wood cells. They offer the best UV protection from graying.

Realizing the Olympic Home of Your Dreams

Like millions around the world, we have been enjoying the summer 2012 Olympics in London and watching the amazing endurance and fortitude of all those that are competing.  It has brought to mind the Olympic motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius” or Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

At RPD, we think there is a strong correlation between that motto and what every homeowner wants: a home that can endure and stand steadFAST against time / elements, having HIGH marks for décor, and a STRONG appearance / structure that has the HIGHest quality of materials and fixtures.  We all want an Olympic home and we’d like to share some ideas with you on how to make that happen.   If you need a coach to help get your home in Olympic shape, give us (RPD) a call and we’ll put it on the right track.  210-403-3232

Update Your Painting

The Olympic Home has only the best most durable painting products applied for endurance and color-fastness.  One of the most “green” and cost-efficient ways to paint your home is not have to paint as often, so using superb products encourages this.  Using the higher-end paint products to get maximum thickness and protection is what we recommend (RPD Painting Suggestions).  Consider these paint resources:

There are some trends we have noticed homeowners leaning towards.  This information is especially important for those that are considering the sale-ability of their home.

  • Wall paper is out and painting is in.  Wall paper is “dating” a house in the real estate world.  It is a more “Americana” look than most homeowners currently want.  Most customers complain about wallpaper in the bathroom due to the seams opening up due to the high moisture.
  • Cabinet  is out and painting cabinets is in.  Milk-staining and darker stained cabinets have lost their appeal with homeowners.  Many have opted to paint their cabinets, bringing color and brightness into kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Crown molding is never out of style.  Installing crown molding—in areas such as family rooms, dining rooms, master bed and bath—adds a touch of class and elegance to a room.
  • Two avenues of thoughts when choosing wall colors.  About 80% of our customers want to move away from “builders white” to warmer, earthen tones.  The other 20% are choosing a crisper and brighter look with shades of gray, whites and sage-tones.

Countertops

Out with the old Formica and simulated marble and in with Corian (DuPont brand), Silestone and granite countertops (when choosing granite countertops there are several well-known granite/stone yards in San Antonio;  RPD would  be happy to set up a tour of a local yard). Customers prefer the custom-look of a well-designed kitchen or bath: The Parade of Homes feeling.  In addition, these styles of countertops are more durable and come in multiple colors and styles.  RPD Kitchen Suggestions

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the first rooms in a home that most people consider updating.  Changing out fixtures, tile, increasing the size of shower, and removing tubs, are all considerations.  It is one of the few rooms that when receiving a total makeover creates a dynamic appeal while greatly increasing the value of a home.

Tile colors trend towards earthen tones and true stone that provides texture to flooring, shower walls and elegant .  RPD Bathroom Suggestions

Flooring

Slick ceramic tile is out (linoleum has been passé for many years).  Simulated stone or real stone is the preferred product in bathrooms and kitchens.  There’s a full range of colors and styles to accommodate any style theme in a home, such as southwest, Mediterranean, and the modern Art-Deco.

One of the most popular choices of homeowners is changing-out carpet for wood floors, especially in high traffic rooms: living room, study, dining room.  Be wary of putting wood flooring in areas where there is potential water leaks (i.e.: bathrooms and kitchen).  Wood flooring adds an overall richness and appeal to any home.  Wood floor choices range from moderately priced engineered wood and more refined “glued-down” real-wood floor.

Windows

Windows add more value to a home than any other exterior surface.  They enhance the exterior look but also are energy savers and noise reducers.  The overall cost depends on the style preferred by the customer as well as the style of the home.  For example, the tilt-window is conveniently cleaned which adds a convenience factor for the homeowner.  RPD Window Ideas

Trendiness

When updating the colors or areas of your home, be sure your selections are choices you can live with for a long time.  Unless you have money to burn, you want the investments your making in your home to be ones that will not need replacement or changes for several years.

Art deco, modern, southwest, traditional American, old-world, eclectic, Mediterranean-style, etc., all of these can look great in any home, but be sure your décor and furnishings match the changes you want to make.  Web-searches and home-style magazines are great resources for creating the perfect style you’re looking for to suit you.  At Renovate Paint and Design we believe in personalizing our services to meet your unique style and interests.

Painting is not only cosmetic

Charles Loveless, Manager of Sales and DesignAs I travel around the communities I work in, I notice a lot of homeowners neglecting wood repairs and painting issues for their homes, sometimes the neglect spans 2 – 3 years or longer.  I would love to do a full exterior paint job with carpentry repairs, however, sometimes we have to fit inside our customers’ budget.  Therefore, about 15 jobs per month are smaller than $1,000 and only address carpentry repairs and touch up painting because the homeowner can’t afford more than that.  Unfortunately by not addressing the whole house, but only a portion, the homeowner will end up needing additional painting services sooner, and in the long run, end up spending more.

Some of the areas I see that need the most attention are the chimney, door casings, siding issues, and the face board around the roof line.   One reason neglecting regular painting maintenance and repairs leads to wood-rot is a caulk failure due to it aging and becoming brittle.  This allows water and moisture to seep in behind the wood.  I encourage all home owners to address the carpentry needs on their home immediately otherwise a few more serious issues may occur, such as:  termite or carpenter ant infestation, and internal damage to home’s ceilings and walls.

When you decide to have work done on the exterior of your home, ensure that the individuals doing the work prepare your house properly.  This includes mildew bath and pressure wash, sanding all peeling surfaces, priming exposed wood and then using a 60-year rated caulk to seal cracks and joints.  Some of the leading paint manufacturers include Sherwin Williams (Duration paint), Behr (Premium Plus Ultra), and Pittsburgh (Timeless).  Most paint jobs will look good even with a builders-grade paint on the house, however, will not last as long or protect your biggest investment: your home.  I encourage homeowners to spend a little more upfront for a quality paint job and paint materials, rather than spending more later due to poor workmanship and lower-grade paint products.

Wood-Rot on the Exterior of Your Home

“How could I have so much wood-rot on my home?”  It’s always surprising for a homeowner to discover their extent of wood damage.  The obvious damage stands out to most people with wood that is visually deteriorating.  Wood-rot only occurs when the wood absorbs moisture multiple times (Formula: WOOD + WATER = WOOD-ROT).  This can be prevented by visually inspecting your home twice a year for cracks and/or caulk-lines that have opened up.  Be aware of damage to the edge of the roofing shingles as this may lead to fascia wood-rot. Since most rotting occurs from moister damage inside the wood, it is seldom noticed during a casual inspection.  Many homes have both exposed and hidden damage.

This obvious wood-rot was caused by the roof shingles not extending far enough to prevent water back-flowing onto the fascia.

To locate wood-rot the best tools for inspecting are a good pair of binoculars and some type of pointed tool (pen or screwdriver) to poke suspected areas.  The areas of most concern are at the base of door casings, trim around windows, joints on the fascia (board at roof line), and occasionally joints on the siding.  Begin your inspection by looking for wood that appears cracked or discolored.  The tool will penetrate any rotten area even if it appears good on the surface. 

Most wood decay is less obvious and only can be detected once you have a trained eye.  With your binoculars examine the upper fascia, trim, and siding.  You will be looking for a “waffled” surface.  The latex paint may still look good, but you will notice indenting on the surface that runs 2 or 3 inches along the grain of the wood.  Usually this occurs at wood joints where the caulk lines have opened, thus allowing moister to enter.

When replacing the wood it should first be primed, and the joints sealed with a 60-year rated paintable caulk.  High-quality caulk tend not to shrink or crack and are more pliable over time.  The most important suggestion I wood make is to use premium paint with a color-fast formula.   When you have a lot of wood damage and cracking it is best to apply two-coats to all painted surfaces.  Following these steps should ensure long-lasting protection for your home.

If you would like to have our “trained-eye” take a look at your home and give you a free estimate for repairs and painting give us a call.  Our estimates our always free:  210-403-3232.

White Trim and Doors are Yellowing – Why?

A Clean color of white around Trim and Baseboards, accentuates your home's walls and flooring.

Homeowners will find that most of the trim and doors in their house are painted with an oil-based product.   Trim is found around the edges of the house (baseboards, windows, doors) and can accentuate and add style when installing crown molding or decorative trim molding.  The problem is oil-based paint on interior trim and doors is notorious for changing from white to an antique cream 7 to 10 years after painting.  Over the years, I have been asked “Why does this happen?” by many customers. 

First of all, you may wonder why oil-based paint is used so often; especially considering that it has strong fumes and isn’t  very environmentally friendly (due to high Volatile Organic Compounds- VOCs, strong solvents needed for clean-up and difficulty to dispose of properly)?  Using oil-based paints has its advantages:

  • It goes on smoothly
  • Is resistant to abrasion
  • Is moisture resistant
  • Dries to a hard / glossy finish and is more durable in areas with lots of traffic, which is why it’s used so often for baseboards. 
  • Using it on the decorative trim and doors helps to add continuity and color/sheen match with the baseboards.

The yellowing effect of oil-based paint occurs over time due to several causes. 

  • The alkyd chemicals in the oil begin to age/break down due to their curing mechanism. 
  • Exposure to sunlight and gas heat increases the yellowing. 
  • Oil-based paints are more susceptible to mildew.
  • Tobacco staining from smoking leads to a premature aging-effect.

There is really only one option for regaining the original trim/door color:  They must be repainted. The process to do this is:

  1. First, lightly sand the trim/doors with a 220 sand paper. 
  2. Wipe the surfaces to remove any dust from your sanding
  3. Finally, using a quality brush, apply the top coat with even strokes using high-quality oil-based paints.

If your trim/doors have oil-based paint you have to go back with the same type of paint.  Use this painter’s “trick” if you are uncertain what type of paint you have:  using an alcohol swab or cotton swab with alcohol, try rubbing off the paint.  If the paint comes off fairly easily, it latex, if not, then it is oil-based. 

Keep in mind that water/latex-based paints will not stick to oil-based paints resulting in peeling and being easily scratched.  You can use an oil-based primer prior to applying a latex top-coat, however there are problems:

  • you’ll still have to deal with the high VOCs of the oil-based paint
  • more paint is used
  • brush strokes will be more evident
  • Latex paint is generally not as durable as the oil-based.

If you have an option, try to use a quality interior latex paint, especially on decorative trim (crown molding).   Keep in mind that if any alcohol-based products touch the latex paint it will cause the paint to deteriorate and eventually come off.  FYI – some household cleaning products contain alcohol.  The advantages to using Latex paint are:

  • Low odor (lower VOCs)
  • Faster dry time
  • Water clean up
  • Long-term flexibility
  • Non-yellowing
  • Not combustible

Whichever option you choose, whether oil-based or latex, be sure that you use high-end top-quality line of paint.  Examples of paint brands that all have great oil-based (Alkyd) paint product selections are:  Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pittsburgh Paint.

NOTE:  A few paint manufactures have been testing out and/or have on the market new oil-based and latex trim paints that can be applied to trim/doors. These should release less VOCs into the home environment and be able to be cleaned with only water.  We will report on these products in the near future.