We Like to Inform Our Clients

I have done a lot of online research over the years about some of the details and instructions for interior house painting. I'm putting it out there that a lot of the information that one would find on the Internet is just plain wrong.

This Painting Blog tries to help provide better painting information so hopefully it will be useful for both homeowners and other painting contractors alike.

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Ladder Safety Information

Summer is here but don't look now, but fall is just around the corner! During late summer, many homeowners are in a rush to perform exterior painting before the snow falls, or perhaps clear out the gutters from the fallen leaves. More than likely a project like that will require the use of some type of step ladder or extension ladder. An extension ladder is an inherently dangerous piece of equipment that is utilized for all types of maintenance projects around the home. If they are not not set-up properly, a ladder can become unstable and any type of accident can result in serious injuries or property damage.

As a professional painting company, we are acutely aware about how important ladder safety really is. In fact, we exercise continuous safety training for our painters and we regularly maintain our ladders to ensure a safe work environment. People with less experience using a ladder should familiarize themselves with basic ladder safety in order to prevent accidents from happening. It may seem like a straightforward process to set-up and climb a ladder, but in reality there are several safety procedures that must be taken into consideration. We’ve put together some practical information on ladder safety in order to help keep you, your property, and those around you safe.

Use the Right Ladder!

Different types of ladders are designed for certain projects. Make sure that the ladder’s height corresponds to its job. Painting a house will most likely require the use of an extension ladder, however, some areas of the house should be able to be completed with a step ladder. The ladder you select should be able to reach several feet beyond the highest point at which doing your work. Attempting to complete section of work with a ladder that is too short will encourage inexperienced people to over-stretch, and this can be hazardous. An extension ladder greater than 16 feet will almost require someone with experience, or perhaps two people to set it up.

Don't Use a Broken Ladder!

It is best to avoid ladders if it has broken parts such a jammed rung locks or bent rungs. Only professionals should work with ladders that do not have a halyard or rope used to raise the second ladder section. If you’re buying a ladder, look for safe standards that are OSHA approved, and read the instructions before using it. It is also important to make sure that the ladder is rated for your weight. Ladders are designed and constructed to safely hold up to a certain amount of weight, that would include the person and their tools. A ladder's Duty Rating is determined as the maximum load that is safe for a specific ladder.

Climb the Ladder Correctly!

Climb the ladder slowly and carefully, and come down at the same rate that you went up. Without over-reaching, place one hand at a time on each rung, and climb 2 - 3 rungs with your feet and then stop, before reaching-up to the next 3 rungs. Maintain three points of contact on the ladder while climbing, for example, two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand. Never climb higher than the third rung from the very top of an extension ladder. If you are using both hands to perform work, utilize another part of your body to maintain balance and support, such as your thigh or shoulder.

Set-up the Ladder Correctly!

Ensure that the feet of the ladder are secured on level ground or pavement and that there is no chance of anything to slip. If the ground is uneven or sloped, the use of a ladder stabilizer could provide an artificial level surface. Sometimes secure blocks can be fastened and or nailed into asphalt or slippery deck surfaces to safeguard against the possibility of an accident. The feet bases of extension ladders should be between 3 to 6 feet away from the side of the house, depending upon the height. It's also important to be aware of the resting point at the top of of a ladder to make sure that it is placed on a secure part of the exterior.

Work Safely on the Ladder!

Always brace your body first, to ensure you have the correct support in order to free a hand to perform work. If you’re painting a house, hang your 1/4 full paint bucket from a hook on the side of your ladder, and place your brush handle inside the rung. Carry tools that are secured in a tool belt, and raise or lower larger tools or materials using a second ladder with another person. Never work on any type of ladder with second person on the ladder at the same time. Moreover, it's simply dangerous to try to tie or fasten ladders together to form a longer section.

Don’t Over-Extend Your Body!

Bouncing the ladder or leaning out far to extend the reach and maximize the ladder’s position is best left for a painting professional. Inexperienced people should take it slow, maintain their body position and shoulders within the width of the rails, and only reach out slightly farther than arms length. If you are on an extension ladder higher than 24 feet, it can be very time-consuming to go up and down the ladder and move it every five minutes. However, it is our advice to not stretch your body, keep your shoulders inside the ladder, and only paint safely that is within your normal reach.

Work in a Safe Environment

Never use an extension ladder during any kind of inclement weather, such as, the cold, rain, and wind. Strong wind can force a ladder to fall down and Mist and rain can cause a ladder to become slippery. It is not enough to simply not touch a power line with a ladder, because electricity can actually arc a fair distance from the wire and then make contact with the ladder. When moving a ladder around live wires, first completely collapse the ladder then move it horizontally, and set it up again, to the left or the right, beyond the wires. In some cases, it is even safer to completely skip a section, if it is not possible to safely set-up or work around electricity.

Maintain Mental Awareness!

If you are feeling weak, dizzy or you are prone to losing your balance, you should not attempt to do any kind of work involving a ladder. That being said, if you are not of sound mind and physical condition. the chances of getting seriously hurt are much greater. Moreover, individuals who use extension ladders should be physically capable to use the ladder on their own, or with help. People who are too old, too young, or have health or physical concerns should leave projects involving a ladder to a professional. It's not worth the risk, and there will always be another day to climb a ladder if you are not feeling well.

The most important thing to remember when using a ladder is to just use common sense. If you don't have years of experience working with a ladder, then take it slow and be careful and diligent about your safety and the safety of those around you. Moreover, ladders are not designed to be used as a platform for working. For complicated jobs such as painting high ceilings, think about using scaffolding or hiring Painters in Northern Virginia instead. No type of project involving crown molding installation, gutter cleaning, or painting is worth risking your life or hurting someone else. Please give us a call at Davinci's Painting, for any kind of painting or drywall need you have in your Home. We have decades and decades of experience working with ladders in very high places!

All Types of Drywall Repairs Inside the Home

Repainting the interior of your home with a fresh coat of paint is a relatively straightforward task for most Home Owners. The job is even easier if the drywall and previous layer of paint that you are painting over is in relatively good condition. More likely than not, your home has been lived in by adults, children, and pets, and your drywall has a multitude of imperfections, perhaps even holes. Whether from installing fixtures or furniture moving mistakes, drywall holes happen to even the most careful homeowners. If the drywall shows signs of damage or wear and tear, then repairing the issues first is important in order to get museum quality painting results.

If it’s a small repair, you should be able to repair your drywall quickly and then your new walls will be ready for painting in no time. You should first consider the size of the hole that needs to be repaired first before you grab a putty knife and start spackling. Extensive drywall damage will sometimes require knowledge and quite a lot of work to ensure the stability of the wall and affected area. On the other hand, a small crack or hole can usually be repaired in just a few minutes providing you prepare the surface and utilize the correct type of compound. We refinish drywall everyday and hopefully this blog post will give you some insight on the overall process of fixing the most common types of cracks.

Stress Cracks and Nail Pops
These are common occurrences for both ceiling and wall drywall surfaces, and are caused by a slight shifting framing of the house which is related to the weather and changes of the seasons. For minor nail pops the solution can be as simple as recessing the nail head and applying at least two layers of compound over the surface. In some cases, nail pops that occur in ceilings may require the removal of the existing screw and then the re-installation of several new fasteners around the affected area. Although most small cracks in walls are innocuous, certain stress cracks can be a recurring problem are most commonly repaired with a nylon mesh tape and multiple layers of compound. More aggressive cracks can sometimes necessitate the application of a fiberglass mesh or a high performance bonding material like Plaster Weld.

Small Holes & Hairline Cracks
Hairline cracks in drywall can be caused by normal house expansion and contraction, misplaced drywall joints, or the application of joint compound during inclement weather conditions. It is most common to see hairline cracks in older homes, however, these types of cracks can also develop in houses that are less than 3 years old. Most small holes are caused by people living within the Home and are the result of staples and picture hooks placed in the walls. Luckily, hairline cracks and small holes in the walls can be fixed without much effort. The important step to be aware of is to be sure that the hole and crack are at least one millimeter below the rest of the wall surface. The hole may need to be pounded in slightly to avoid the buildup of compound and a resulting bump or bulged out look on the wall.

Medium Holes & Indentations
These problems can come about for any number of reasons, including the installation of a new fixture, or simply bumping a doorknob or chair against the wall. Depending upon the severity of the damage, the repair could require up to three drywall refinish stages which is codified as a level four type of refinish application. Under most normal circumstances, two or three skim applications of fast drying drywall compound which provides excellent bonding and resistance to cracking. Even though it is impossible to repair drywall without some sanding sanding, the goal is to do as little sanding as possible. We recommend Easy Sand 45 Compound as it is easier to sand if applied properly, and enables several applications to be distributed over a short period of time.

Large Holes with Replacement
Large drywall holes that require drywall replacement are often the result of some accidental or deliberate break in the drywall. Typical drywall damage that is large includes water damage caused by a leak, bathroom fixtures that are removed or replaced, and electrical wiring that has been redone behind the wall. If the damage was caused by water, it is important to find and fix the source of the leak before beginning the drywall repair job. Frequently the solution involves more than one drywall tape application or perhaps even the replacement of a drywall section. The replacement would be followed-up with a single block application, sanding, and two skim coat applications utilizing ProForm Taping Joint Compound. Needless to say, this type of repair job can take days to complete because of the drying stages, and it definitely requires a good deal of craftsmanship and experience.

Performing drywall repairs correctly and then preparing the walls prior to painting is critically important for a professional-looking paint job. We encourage you to research the methods described above further. The Internet is full of resources but please be aware that a lot of advice online comes from a handyman's perspective. Our Drywall Mechanics have over sixty years combined experience, and we specialize in the installation and refinishing of all types of drywall surfaces and textures. Davinci’s Painting Team of professional painters and drywall mechanics would love to consult with you on repairing your walls and covering them in fresh new paint. If you’ve never taken part in a drywall repair project and don’t feel comfortable about tackling the project yourself, give us a call at 571-314-7288 

Some Color Options to Consider for 2017

Decorative trends and new color styles tend to change year after year. This is especially true when you are dealing with interior residential spaces. It is the job of Color Consultant to research these trends and have their eyes peeled for some of the new colors that are in vogue.

If you are looking for some inspiration, you have come to the right place. We have put together a list of five of the most popular paint color trends as the 2017 painting season gets busy!

Sherwin Williams "Show Stopper"


There are a myriad of different shades of red that can flow with with most decorative styles and color pallets. The challenge is finding a red paint color that has the right undertones for the decor of your home. If you're thinking about a vibrant red option, Sherwin-Williams Show Stopper would be the right choice for 2017. This pure red is a bold choice for any space, and is definitely has been a common theme for many front doors accent walls.  As has always been the case, this type of color has always worked well indoors for a room that needs some drama like a living or dining room.

Sherwin Williams "Poised Taupe"

Sherwin Williams announced Poised Taupe to be their color of the year for 2017, and it has been a popular choice for many homeowners. Although they consider it more along the lines of a grayish brown color, some people have described it to have a mix of mauve, pink, with purple undertones. There has been definitely been a lot of opinions posted about this color on various Blogs, including Instagram and Pinterest. Most people have considered it to be the perfect mix of a neutral cool gray with a woodsy neutral brown color. If the previous five years have been any indication about the tendency towards grayish brown hues, then we are confident something similar to this color will still be popular in 2017.

Glidden "Byzantine Blue"

Byzantine Blue was Glidden's 2017 Color of the Year, and it is another type of soothing blue paint color that can work in any room. This color has a contemporary feel and it has a combination of shades of aqua, deep blue and light green.  To contrast the wood trim, a plain white or bright white color is always a must. This is traditionally a great hue for holiday and seaside homes.  The faint violet undertone definitely gives it an unexpected glow that would be dramatic in a special area of the home.  Although this color would look good in any room, it could also serve as a nice color for an exterior front door.

Valspar "Crushed Oregano"

Valspar's 2017 Color of the Year is Crushed Oregano and it's a bold subdued color in a time of neutral paint color popularity. It is more of an olive green type of color with a very slight yellow undertone, which would be a good option for a family room or study.  Obviously, the rest of the room's decor should be well thought out, so that it looks the part and doesn't appear out of place.  For example, white kitchen cabinets would offset this type of bold color, and would be a fashionable design idea.  You will want to sample this dynamic paint color before you commit to paint all of the walls to be sure that it's right for your space.

Sherwin Williams HGTV "Natural Wonder"

Another popular Sherwin-Williams paint color is called Natural Wonder, and it's part of a palette of only twenty colors.  This type of smaller paint color palette helps people make color decisions more quickly and confidently.  Natural Wonder is an earth tone, and is formulated with a combination of several neutral paint colors.  Earth tones like this are particularly versatile, and it can be combined with other colors in multiple ways which should flow well with any type of decor.  Often times it is imperative to balance out earth tones with softer neutrals so that the space is not overwhelming, but in this case Natural Wonder would provide a warm and cozy feeling for any bedroom.

Homeowners Associations Regulations

HOAs and Restrictive Ordinances are designed to protect neighborhood property values by enforcing Homeowners to maintain their home and not to deviate in terms of paint colors or architectural changes. Sometimes however, the bureaucracy of the HOA can be a little overwhelming.  I’ve heard of stories of homeowners being sued by their HOA simply because they painted their shutters red instead of green.

So the front of your house needs to be re-painted or your vinyl siding needs to be power washed. Should you ask permission from your HOA before doing anything?

Usually most HOAs are easy to deal with. They will clean your streets, plow your streets, trim your trees, maintain the swimming pool, and allow you to paint your home the exact same color that was used when the house was built. There are some that have come up with more stringent guidelines. Most notably the Reston Virginia area has an HOA for Reston, and each of the small townhouse clusters has their own HOA

There are some HOAs that will require homeowners to hire an “HOA Approved” painting company. The most moderate HOA’s will limit color choices for an exterior repaint to three or four acceptable neutrals colors. If for some odd chance the homeowner would like to deviate from the approved list of colors, they must go through a color change approval process. This could involve submitting paint samples, provide paint manufacturer and brand information, and possibly even attend architectural HOA board meetings.

There are always obvious constraints. For example, if your next door neighbor had the exact same color that you would like to apply, then there might be an objection. Some HOAs rules do make sense in terms of paint schemes. Colors should be in the same schema when you take into consideration the siding color, trim color, garage door, front door, and shutters. Often times, they will regulate the brand of paint that you use to be the same builder brand and quality. All of these pesky rules and regulations should be included within the By-Laws of the HOA.

>As a homeowner within an HOA Controlled Community, you should take these regulations seriously, and always inquire with the Board if you are thinking about making changes to the exterior. Trust me; HOA’s have their ways of forcing homeowners to comply with their demands. As stated in the By-Laws of the HOA, usually they are able to fine homeowners several hundred dollars per month. If the fines get ignored, they can then place a lien on the property thereby forcing the homeowner into submission.

It's important to document everything whenever you're dealing with the HOA. For example, if someone complains about your color choice years down the road, it's a good idea to keep a paper trail concerning your color approvals. Paint colors on the inside of the home should never become an issue with the HOA in your neighborhood. Davinci's Painting has been dealing with HOA's in Reston since Reston was built! Please give us a call if you should need any assistance.