Ray Monczka Painting - Painting Journal Post

Friday, December 30, 2011 ‹‹ Back to Journal List  
Preparing to Paint Properly
Many Livonia painters or homeowners looking to prep their walls or trim feel that caulking is the answer. Caulk everything.
I want to assure you that is the wrong answer.
First off no one ever looks at the various causes why trim pulls away from the wall or stringers on stairs, or why mitered trim develops gaps.
Lets explain about baseboards pulling away from the wall. When your home was built everything was new and full of moisture, and as time went on all of you trim, drywall went thru a drying process, and begun a shrinking process which resulted in seperation in various ares such as the trim seperating slightly from the wall.
Over the years,most Livonia painters would come to your home an apply caulk to the top of trim to hide these gaps, but never eliminate the actual problem.

The proper way to fix the problem is to re nail your trim with a nail gun. ( A good painter will do this) This will tighten your baseboards to the wall, and then caulk can be applied which will not separate from the wall for many many years, and give you a nice crisp new look.

Now lets talk about those gaps on mitered corners which open up, and look terrible. Again this is due to shrinkage of wood.

Here we go again! The painter fills with caulk, never eliminating the root problem. The trim has moved and loosened up. The proper way is to re nail the mitered corner on the edge to pull the trim together. A good trim carpenter who trims homes always nails trim this way, but many didn't in the past, because everything was hand nailed, and time was money. In today's environment all trim carpenters have nail guns which really speeds up the process of trimming a home. But back to the problem of open miter joints. By nailing the trim on the edge, this tightens the joint.

Now the best way is to literally push caulk into the closed joint, and wipe off all excess with a rag, and again push more caulk into joint, and wipe again. You will be able to see that the joint is closed, and you have a beautiful miter with no expose joint.

Lets talk about stair stringers. If your stair stringers are exposed with the drywall on top, and a shoe molding hiding the edge of the drywall, most likely there are gaps between the shoe molding and drywall. Again this is due to shrinkage, and constant walking up & down the stairs.

I recommend using a 3 inch brass screw . Find where the old nails were installed to hold the stringer to the wall 2 x 4's and drill a small starter hole thru the stringer, and use a counter sink bit to give a countersink hole to hide the top of screw. Now install 2 screws about 2 1/2 inches apart where the nails were located on each side of the stringer. I then re nail the shoe molding to also tighten that to top of stringer.

NOW YOU HAVE ALL OF THE TRIM READY FOR PAINTING ( NOW ON TO THE WALL PREP)

Just to let you know I usually charge about a $100.00 to $150.00 to go thru a house and do this when I paint, which takes about 2-3 hours, and I feel I made a good profit, plus the homeowner will always feel that I had his best interests at heart, which I always do.

Next week I will go thru the process of properly prepping your walls for paint.

Have a wonderful week.
Posted by: Raymond Monczka on December 12, 2011, 06:07 am
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