Wednesday, October 21

Make a Statement with your Front Door!

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
A front door is a great place to
use color in order to complement
 features in your garden that
you really want to "pop."
Think about your favorite front doors. Perhaps a sunny yellow one at a friend's house makes you feel especially welcome at a cottage-style home. Or, that bright red front door on a neighbor's house lends trend-forward detail to an updated ranch.

Whatever the case, a well-chosen front door color makes an immediate impact, complementing a home's style and improving curb appeal.

Here are three tips on picking a perfect color for your front door:

  1. Start by understanding a few color principlesColor isn't as simple as picking a favorite shade or a lighter hue; there's logic and a bit of science to color selection. A good place to start when choosing the best color for your front door is the color wheel. General color schemes based on the color wheel include monochromatic (several shades of a single color), analogous (colors found side by side on the color wheel), contrast or triadic (three colors spaced evenly apart on the color wheel), and complementary (two hues opposite each other on the color wheel).
  2. Factor in your home's style and settingYour home is also a good guide for what works and what doesn't when it comes to choosing front door colors. Take into account the materials, colors inherent in those materials, style, and surrounding landscape, among other factors. For example, a pastel hue might look out of place with the ornamentation on an English Tudor style house, while it may look charming with a simple brick ranch. Depending on its paint palette, a glossy black front door might not work when paired with a centuries-old Victorian home, while a Mediterranean-influenced design might feel perfectly in tune with a bright turquoise-color door.
  3. Use your front door to make an impact: Don't be shy or too conservative in this case. If you want to add charm and flavor, this is the place to do it. Remember also that your front door can be a tool that you can use to your advantage. Visitors use it for wayfinding. The color can help accent tones in the exterior or provide the finishing flourish to a design palette. The impact might be subtle or it might be more direct; it might also be formal or playful. Color also generates emotion, so think about how you want your guests to feel when they arrive. A brighter hue can offer energy to the front door, while a more subdued one plays up a traditional feel. A darker hue is more somber, a lighter one tends to be playful.

READ MORE >> Best Colors for Front Doors
A.L. House Painting and Pressure Washing also offers staining services for decks, porches, patios, stairs and the house itself (interior and exterior).  All your home renovation needs.

How to Decide Whether or Not to Hire Professional Painting Contractors to Paint Your Home

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Planning to repaint the exterior
of your home yourself? Learn
how to do a professional job.
There are many factors to consider when trying to decide whether painting your own home can be a DIY project. Try this as an initial guideline: Straight exteriors on a simple, box-shaped house make for easier work. Irregularly shaped homes of two stories or more with dormers, gingerbread, or turrets, for example, tend to make for a more time-consuming and complicated project that may suggest a professional is needed.

Next, look at the grade (the finished surface slant of ground) around the house for ladder positioning. It’s a plus if all sides have flat ground up to the house. Walkouts with slopes make it difficult to safely position ladders. Also check to see if obstacles like trees, shrubs, decks, fences, vines, or electric wires will be in the way.

Additionally, examine your house for potential problems that may require extensive prep work. Wood rot, mildew, severe peeling, or alligatoring are typical siding problems. Cracked window panes, crumbling glaze, and loose caulking around trim are other issues. If you’re familiar with solving these problems, just be prepared that you might need a few extra days to remedy the situations. Talk with an experienced paint retailer about the problem for some potential solutions. Another option might be to consider hiring a pro to fix any extensive issues before you get started.

Finally, assess the list of materials you will need and estimate their cost and your labor:

  • Lifts and Ladders. Do you need ladders, scaffolding, planks, or lifts? While a one-story home may only require a ladder, a multi-story house may need not only larger ladders but perhaps scaffolding and planks or a lift. While you may be able to rent needed equipment, consider if you will be comfortable working at heights.
  • Prep materials. Preparing the house is the first step. Basic cleaning supplies include scrub brushes, pails, bleach for mildew, a cleaning agent such as TSP (trisodium phosphate), and a hose with spray nozzle. Tip: Consider power washers to clean exterior surfaces. Check into hand and eye protection for this equipment and follow the guidelines. Have drop cloths, rags, and masking tape for around critical areas such as windows. Use canvas drop cloths instead of plastic so the grass or flowers underneath are not cooked in the sun.
  • Paint removers. If you have many areas of blistering or peeling paint, a good amount of scraping may be ahead. Carbide blade scrapers will be needed if a fair amount of scraping is involved. Also try using an old, dry paint brush to sweep dust away. Just be sure to use dust masks to protect your lungs. Chemical removers may be necessary if the paint has to be softened to be removed, as is the case with many older homes with coats of paint. After getting rid of the loose paint, sandpaper will feather the edges smooth.
  • Caulking. This is a must to seal up cracks around windows and doors and to maintain flexibility and adhesion over many years. There are many types of caulks available. Discuss your project with your paint retailer. Before purchasing any caulk, check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended surfaces. Make sure the caulk you have selected is paintable and remains flexible to expand and contract with your home. Caulks that are 100% silicone, for example, are not paintable.
  • Paint applicators. Quality brushes are made for the latex, oil, or varnish paints you will apply. The brush hairs are typically of varying lengths and taper neatly. They have a ferrule, or band, that holds the bristles tightly to the handle. Quality brushes hold more paint, don’t lose bristles, paint more smoothly, and are easier to use than cheaper alternatives. Spray equipment is a possibility if the house has a lot of flat surfaces with few doors or windows. Remember that sprayers require extensive cleaning. Overspray can be a problem, so everything needs to be covered well and you will need to get familiar with the use of a sprayer. Rollers also can be a time saver.
  • Primer. You will need to prime any new, severely weathered, or problem areas to make sure there will be a proper seal of the surface and a smooth surface for the paint. A primer does not need to be used on a clean, dull, coated surface that is in good condition. Typically you will want to choose a primer geared specifically for your job. If your paint will be 100% acrylic latex, you will want to use a 100% acrylic resins primer. If there are problem areas, however, consult with your local paint retailer for the best choice.
  • Paint. For most jobs, you will want 100% acrylic latex paint. A quality acrylic paint adheres best and holds its color much better than less expensive paints. If doing it yourself, consult a knowledgeable retailer to get the right products for the project.
READ MORE >> "Painting the House: Should You Hire a Pro?"

Contact us today to set up an appointment!

Wednesday, October 14

4 Things to Do in Prepping for Window Cleaning

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Let all the light shine
in with crystal clear
windows this year!

are the self-explanatory reasons not to mess around with DIY window cleaning for your home. Get professionals to do the high climbing they are used to doing, with the proper tools for this very time-consuming task.

There are just 4 simple tasks in order prepare the house for the window-washing team:

  1. Clean the blinds or have them cleaned: The dust from the blinds will get back onto the newly washed windows, so clean them first or ask if it's a service the company offers.
  2. Consider what else they can do: Look around and see if there are any tall light fixtures that need attention or fans that need to be cleaned and find out how much that will cost.
  3. Move your fragile items away from the windows: Just be on the safe side; do yourself a favor and prevent extra stress over worrying about possible accidents.
  4. Ask about screen cleaning: Finally, take note of your screens and realize the ones outside will need a much more thorough cleaning. Make sure the cleaners are mindful of this.
Read more about A.L. Painting:

Wednesday, September 16

How Often Should I Power-wash My Home?

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Keep your home pristine by
power-washing at least once
 yearly and enhance your curb
appeal for everyone around.
This is a common yet important question to answer. Part of owning any house is keeping it in good condition, meaning that a time will come when you will have to power-wash the house exterior.

Power-wash on a regular basis to keep the home clean. A good schedule will keep your home's value up and prevent damage from long-term dirt build-up, and also keep your neighbors happy with you!

To power-wash a house does as much for the look of a home exterior as gardening.

Once you call around to a few professional power-washing companies, they will probably come up with an appropriate schedule for you and this is a good idea. There is no one general rule for frequency of power-washing, but a good general guideline is yearly. Many other factors will affect whether it should be more or less often than this, but some of the most common variables are what material the exterior is made of and the area the home is located in.

  • The materials your home's exterior are made with is important because, for example, one made of stone or concrete will be able to withstand much more often power-washing than say, one that features a lot of wood.
  • The environmental setting around your home is important because those who live in area where there are a lot of trees or that is prone to lots of dust and mold may need to power-wash the house twice a year or more.
READ MORE>> How Often Should you Power Wash House?
A.L. House Painting and Pressure Washing also offers staining services for decks, porches, patios, stairs and the house itself (interior and exterior).  All your home renovation needs.

Hire a Professional Pressure Washing Service and Make Sure the Job is Done.

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
It's time to clean up
your outdoor look
this Spring season!
You can buy a pressure washer just about anywhere. Walmart even sells them. But just because they’re available doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get one.

Besides, when you hire a pro, that expert already comes with his own toys.

Finding the Goldilocks spot is a balancing act. Too little pressure and you’re only going compact the grime deeper into the grains of wood. Too much pressure causes etching in the surface. A pro knows when it’s not too hot and not too cold. They know when everything’s just right.

When you hire a professional, they come equipped with the latest gizmos and gadgets to do the job. When you rent a power washer, you have one project in mind. Hiring a contractor means they’re ready to handle any unexpected developments.

Remember, when professional improvements are made, property values rise, neighbors are happy that your house isn’t owned by a slob and, frankly, if it’s your business that’s getting a cleaning, you might be inviting more customers to your store. They will, in the long-run, help pay for the pro.

READ MORE>> Advantages of Hiring a Professional Pressure Washer

A.L. House Painting and Pressure Washing also offers staining services for decks, porches, patios, stairs and the house itself (interior and exterior).  All your home renovation needs.

Wednesday, September 2

Educate Yourself on Painting Prep Before Hiring

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Try to make sure decorative
removable pieces are painted
separately, then replaced.
When hiring a professional team to re-paint your house this Spring, there are a number of steps to go through before the actual painting can start.

It is wise to know some of the process yourself. 

This way you can assess how well the job is being done as a client and rest assured that it will be done properly and no corners are being cut.

So that nothing gets damaged, surrounding landscape plantings, air conditioning units, BBQ grills and the like will need to be protected from cleaning agents, paint chips, paint splatters and other debris.

You will want to make sure that they:

  • Turn off power to the air conditioner condensing unit.
  • Turn off gas to the BBQ grill and other appliances.
  • Use canvas drop cloths cover the exterior appliances, foundation plantings and other delicate plants that could be damaged. (Not plastic tarps since they do not breathe like canvas and the plantings will swelter under the plastic sheets.)
  • You also may want to tie a cord around tall bushes near the house and pull the bush away from the home and stake it in the ground so the bush does not interfere with painting if you think the drop cloths are not quite protecting everything.
After these steps, things affixed to the house should all be removed and patched or painted, to be replaced after the exterior painting is completed.

Read more about A.L. Painting:

Consider a Triad Color Scheme for Your Home Decor in 2015

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
A softened version of the
red, yellow and blue triadic
colors is just one of the
many ways to execute this
design plan elegantly.
For a fresh new way of coming up with an exciting and pleasing color scheme for your interior paint job, consider a triadic theme.

This interior color scheme uses 3 colors evenly spaced around the color wheel; in other words, if you combine every fourth color on the color wheel, you will get a Triadic combination. For example, yellow, red and blue, or orange, green and violet make up a Triad.

Triadic interior paint color schemes are very popular among artists, because they offer strong visual contrast while still looking balanced and rich when composed properly.

Similar to Complementary interior color schemes, a Triad color scheme is intrinsically vibrant and very contrasting. The possibilities it offers are nearly infinite. But since the colors in the scheme are placed so far apart from one another and are not connected by a common denominator, they tend to compete for attention.

Truth be told, this interior home color scheme is probably the most difficult one to get right. The diversity of colors within the scheme does not guarantee harmony - in fact, this palette can look really discordant when its colors are used at or close to their full intensity. The end result can range from subtle to lively to gaudy, so the success of this scheme will really depend on your ability to carefully balance and subdue this bold and colorful mix of hues.

READ MORE AND SEE EXAMPLES HERE>> "Triadic Interior Paint Color Schemes: Simple Interior Color Schemes"

When you choose A. L. Painting House Painting Services, you’ll see why we’ve grown to become a trusted name in the house painting contractor business.  

Wednesday, August 19

Things to Consider Before Power Washing

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Power washing a home can
 cost from 12 to 20 cents per
square foot, depending
on location and surface.
You need to be careful when considering pressure washing or power washing your home. Experts liken the experience of using a power washer for the first time to switching from a hand lawnmower to a self-propelled gasoline mower. Basically, it’s kind of a momentous thing; you can’t say the same thing about most tools.

There is a lot of prep work involved in a successful pressure washing job, and the finished product will only be as good as the preparation you did.

People unaccustomed to such work might be advised against trying it themselves.

When cleaning your home’s exterior, window and door seals need to be protected to prevent leaks. Windows could break if you inadvertently hit them with the same pressure you’re using for the rest of the house. Also, the amount of pressure is important. Too much pressure on vinyl siding or stucco or even concrete can cause damage. Similarly, to clean a deck it needs to be low pressure.

So, before hiring a professional company to pressure wash your home, ask some questions:

  • Insurance. Is the contractor insured to cover any damage or injury that might occur when cleaning? Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of their insurance-certificate binder.
  • Methods. Talk to them about how they’re going to clean it, what kind of process they’re going to use, down to the products they’re using.
  • Landscape. What will they do to protect trees, shrubs or other plants around the house or property? Wetting down plants and keeping them watered is important. If you cover them, it should only be for minutes at a time.

A.L. House Painting and Pressure Washing also offers staining services for decks, porches, patios, stairs and the house itself (interior and exterior).  All your home renovation needs.

Cost and Tips on Hiring Painters for the Exterior of Your Home

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Get a free estimate.
When hiring a painting contractor, paint and supplies make up about 15-25 percent of the cost, while 75-85 percent goes for labor. Costs typically average $1,500-$3,000 for an average single-story, three-bedroom home, but easily run $3,000-$5,500 or more for a multi-story or multi-level larger house.

Fresh paint not only brightens and updates a home's exterior, it also provides a protective seal against weather damage.

Get estimates from several contractors, request and contact references, search for complaints at the Better Business Bureau and check that the company is properly bonded and insured, as well as licensed in your state. Only pay a small deposit, and don't pay the entire amount until the job is finished to your complete satisfaction (both painting and cleanup).

Contractors' prices are sometimes lower in early spring or late fall--the off-season, when fewer people want their houses painted--than in peak summer months. Or ask about a lower price if the job is done as a fill-in, with the work done in-between other projects.

Additional Costs:

  • Rotted wood or siding should be replaced, and all loose boards or trim fixed; if extensive repairs are needed, that adds to the cost of the project. Prices will vary depending on the type and extent of the damage.
  • Changing from a light to a dark color or vice versa means more coats of paint and can add up to 25 percent or more contractors' estimates.

Contact us today to set up an appointment!

Wednesday, August 12

How to do a Stellar Paint Job in Your Home!

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Paint will refresh everything!
Your home is the place you go to get away from the stress of work and traffic, and it gives you a sense of security and comfort, so why not use one of the best and least expensive home interior decorating techniques to help create the sanctuary you want. Getting rid of the stark white walls and having the home painted is about the most basic thing you can do for a fairly quick dramatic difference.

To start with, narrow your selection to a few colors that seem to complement, rather than compete with, your furniture and furnishings.

Don't select very bright colors unless you are certain that you want your walls to be the focal point in the room.

Your best bet is to find the most neutral shades for the colors that you have in mind. For example, if there are seven shades of red paint, the most neutral shade will be the one in the middle of the bunch.

To add further interest, here are some things you can do after the initial paint job:

  1. Faux painting - (pronounced "foe") means "false". To faux paint is to paint one object to resemble another. With this interior painting idea, you can use paint to create the illusion of natural materials such as wood, marble, granite, etc. One easy faux painting technique is called Rag Painting. It can really provide an elegant look to your walls. This technique first requires you to add a a coat of satin finish paint (in your desired color) to the walls. When this coat is dry, you will then apply a glaze in a lighter or darker color. As the glaze is being applied, you'll gently press a bunched up rag against the wall to achieve the desired affect.
  2. Wall Stenciling - this interior painting idea involves applying color to a wall, floor, or ceiling through cutout areas of a template that create a design. When the cutout template or stencil is removed, the pattern remains. The pattern can be of anything you like including animals, stars, geometric patterns, flowers, the alphabet, etc. The process is very easy and it will add texture to your room. Also, a stencil design can be used over and over again anywhere in your home.
  3. Rubber Stamping - This is super fast and easy, and will give you unbelievable results! You may be familiar with using rubber stamping techniques to create greeting cards and other small handmade gifts. Now you can use those techniques on your walls.

READ MORE>> Interior Painting Ideas
When you choose A. L. Painting House Painting Services, you’ll see why we’ve grown to become a trusted name in the house painting contractor business.  

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