Choosing the Right Tools for Painting Your House

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

paintrollerBefore you try to paint your house, make sure you have all the tools you need for the job. No one wants to stop halfway through a project to run back to the home improvement store for more tools! Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need before you get started:

1. Tools for preparing your exterior for paint: As we mentioned before, prepping your walls is vital to a good paint job. In order to make your walls paint-ready, you’ll probably need a scraper and a wire brush for removing peeling paint. To make the surface truly smooth, have sandpaper handy, and follow that with a damp cloth for the dust. Also, be sure to fill any holes or cracks with putty or caulk, and sand that once it dries, as well.

2. Rollers and Spray Guns: For the big, wide walls of your home’s exterior, a roller or paint sprayer is probably best; a brush would take far too long! For truly big jobs, you can rent or buy a spray gun at a home improvement store, and with a little practice, you can work quickly to apply the paint. If you prefer a roller, be sure to choose one that is compatible with the paint type you chose (latex or oil-based) and get an extending handle if you have high places to reach. Use a paint tray to load the roller with paint, and reload it often to ensure the paint goes on evenly and smoothly.

3. Brushes – While you won’t want to use a brush for a large wall, brushes are ideal for small surfaces, trim, doors, corners and other tricky spots. Again, choose a brush that works with your paint type, and also pay attention to the size of the brush you choose: even a 4 or 5-inch brush might be too large for the small areas you’ll need to touch up. You may want to get more than one size of brush so that you have some options handy for every need.

4. Dropcloths and Tarps – Have plastic sheeting on hand for protecting plants, porches and other areas that you don’t want to accidentally paint. Dropcloths are fairly inexpensive and can go a long way toward avoiding a big cleanup later.

5. Cleaning and Protecting – If you’re using oil-based paint, you’ll want to have mineral spirits available for cleaning your brushes and rollers. Also, consider using a mask and protective eyewear when painting, especially if using a sprayer. Wear old clothes or a smock to avoid ruining your clothes, and stock up on plain dry cloths that can be used for everything from wiping away stray paint to cleaning off a dirty surface.

The right tools for the project can give you the best chance for a beautiful result, so be sure you’re prepared! If you need professional assistance making your home look its best, contact the pros at Krystal Klean and let them take on your paint job. You won’t be disappointed!

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Getting Your House Ready for Paint

Monday, February 11th, 2013

You’ve decided to repaint your house! Great idea. You’ve got the paint color picked out, the paint type (latex or oil-based) – so you’re ready to start painting, right? Not so fast! There’s prep work to be done before you can get to work painting your home, and if you don’t do the prep correctly, your paint job will not end well.

Follow these steps to ensure that your house is prepped and ready for a fresh coat of paint:

1. Make sure you know exactly which parts of the house you’ll be painting – scope them out in advance and be sure to have enough paint on hand for what you’re doing.

2. Get any mud, mold, etc. off your house, otherwise you’ll just be painting the mud, not the house. A pressure washer works great for getting your home’s surface clean, and you can rent one at most home improvement stores. Once you’re done washing the house, be sure it is completely dry before moving to the next step.

3. You don’t have to remove the house’s last layer of paint, but be sure to take off any paint peels or obviously cracked paint that’s separating from the house. A handheld scraper is great for this. Then sand down any peeling areas so that the surface is smooth for paint.

4. Use painter’s tape to cover any edges that you don’t want painted, such as trim and shutters. Also, use a plastic dropcloth to protect your plants and landscaping from stray paint droplets. Your house will look much better if the bushes don’t end up the same color as the siding.

sailorpaints5. Check your tools – There are brushes and rollers designed for oil-based paints, and different ones designed for latex. Use the tool that matches your paint, and don’t skimp on the quality. The better the brush or roller, the better your paint will look when it’s done, and the easier the job will be. You might want to consider renting or buying a paint sprayer if you have a very large job on your hands (just be sure to follow all the instructions when using the sprayer).

5. For the best results, use a coat of primer over your house before painting it with the final color. Primer helps paint go on smoothly and evenly, and it prevents imperfections from coming through the paint later.

6. Watch the weather! Don’t try to paint if the weather looks to be wet, humid or too cold. You want dry, warm conditions for the best paint job possible.

Use these tips to make your house as paint-ready as it can be, and you’ll be in great shape for a spectacular result. Of course, Krystal Klean’s house painting pros can handle all of your exterior painting tasks for you, from the prep work to the cleanup, so if you want to hand off your job to the best team in town, give them a call!

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Your Exterior Paint: Latex or Oil-Based?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Photo credit: Hesse GmbH & Co

Photo credit: Hesse GmbH & Co

When choosing a paint for your home’s exterior, there are usually two choices of paint type available to you: oil-based and latex. What’s the difference? Here’s a quick breakdown of how each type of paint works, including their strengths and weaknesses.

Oil-Based: Oil-based exterior paints are often the choice of professional painters. They are extremely resistant to water and the elements, and they dry quite hard. The downside is that they can be “finicky” in terms of texture and separation, so be sure to stir oil-based paints often and use tools that are specific to oil-based paint application. Also, be aware that oil-based paints can be challenging to apply and take a while to dry, and you must use oil-compatible cleaners to get the paint off your tools later.

Latex: Latex paints are easier to work with, comparatively. They go on easier than oil and are nearly as durable, and your tools can be cleaned with water. High-quality latex paints can be also used on just about any surface, even metal. Latex doesn’t dry as hard as oil, however. If you go with latex, make sure that you choose an exterior latex paint, not an interior one, as both are available at paint stores.

If your home was previously painted with oil-based paint, you should definitely use oil-based paint again. So how can you tell which one was used previously? Peel a small chip of the old paint off your house and examine it. If it’s very hard and unbending, it’s probably oil-based (latex tends to be more flexible). You can also take a paint chip to your local paint professional and they can tell you for sure what sort of paint it is. Why does it matter? If you try to put a layer of latex over an old coat of oil-based paint, the latex will peel off, rendering all of your efforts useless.

Want a true professional at the helm of your exterior painting job? Give KrystalKlean’s pros a call – they can take the hassle of painting your home out of your hands so you can sit back and enjoy the results!

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Choosing the Best Paint Color for Your House

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Is your house looking a bit drab? Perhaps the paint is peeling, fading or simply looking old. When your house’s exterior paint starts to show its age, the entire house looks worse for the wear. But the good news is that a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to revitalize your house’s look, increase your property’s value and instill some pride in your homestead.

Photo by Anthony O'Neil

Photo credit: Anthony O’Neil

How can you choose the best color of exterior paint for your home? We’ve got some tips to help your house put its best “face” forward.

1. Check with your HOA, if you have one. If you live in an area with a Homeowner’s Association, there are often rules and guidelines about the colors available for home exteriors. Before you pick a color, speak to someone at the HOA about color options. They might ask you to submit your choice to the HOA for approval before you start painting. Follow the rules – after all, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of your HOA.

2. Check out the history of your home. If you live in an older home, the house (and area) probably has a history that includes a color scheme. You can look at similar homes in your area and even consider a fresher version of the color that’s currently on your house’s exterior. Keeping true to that established palette can give your home a historically beautiful result.

3. Look at what your neighbors have done. You don’t want to copy the exact color of the house next door – that would look strange. Instead, check out the variety of colors on your street and then try to pick shades that complement those, while keeping some individuality. If every house on your street is some shade of taupe, buff, sand and terracotta, you should probably steer clear of a color like brilliant turquoise.

4. Examine nature. What does the color scheme around your house look like? Are there vibrant greens, muted browns, or deep blues? You can draw inspiration from the palette of Mother Nature to see what would look pleasant on your home.

5. Consider the trim, roof and other extras. Look at your house – There are many areas that won’t be painted the same color as the walls. These can include eaves, doors, window frames, trim pieces and other decorative touches. You also have a roof which already has a shade of its own, and it could range from black/gray to terracotta. If you like the current colors of those non-wall areas, be sure to pick a house color that works well with the trim and roof. Remember: some contrast can be very good, but try to stay within color families and avoid very jarring contrasts when selecting your colors. You might also consider repainting the trim and doors at the same time as your home, as they often need a touch-up at the same time as the house itself.

6. Open your mind to the possibility of TWO colors. Your house might not look its best with one single color dominating it. Depending on your home’s style, a two-color design might work best. Don’t go overboard mixing and matching colors (too many shades isn’t a good thing), but don’t limit yourself to just one color if your house might look best with two.

Of course, if you’re still in doubt, you can ask experienced exterior painters (like us) for further advice on the colors and styles that might work best on your house. Krystal Klean offers a range of interior and exterior painting for your needs. Above all, have fun bringing your home back to bright, vibrant life with a fresh coat of paint!

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Coating and Caulking Tip – Choosing the right product

Friday, January 25th, 2013

While coating or caulking a building choosing a product that has a 10-20 year life span is important as labor is generally the most expensive part of the job. That $12 tube of caulking may give your sticker shock, but it is likely worth it in the end.

 

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Tour our shop!

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Tour our shop! krystalklean

 We offer tours of our office to customers for one reason: We want to demonstrate how we work to keep our own house in order. We have found many customers enjoy the transparency of our systems and the care we take to ensure order at home – in our training yard, therefore we look forward to seeing you on our own turf.

We at Krystal Klean are happy to serve you, assisting you to keep your own home or business in order.  We always try to offer you fair and competitive prices for quality services.

We will always strive to make you a happy customer and will not sign off on the job before we know that you are.

You are welcome to visit our office and grounds.

We believe the quality of the workmanship you receive begins the moment our employees begin with us.  We take seriously the responsibility of choosing the right teams, training them in the skills they require, and providing them with work.  We regularly hold training meetings to keep each employee on the cutting edge of government-mandated safely rules. We are proud of our team.

We look forward to seeing you at our shop. Give us a call to schedule a visit.

Scheduling: 904.271.2077

 

 

We’re thankful for you!

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Along with you, the staff members at Krystal Klean are taking the time to reflect on the many things they have to be thankful for.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Krystal Klean.

The Morgan family, who own and operate Krystal Klean, are so thankful for their friends, family, employees, partners, vendors and the wonderful community here in Northeast Florida.

The Beaches Chamber helped Krystal Klean get it’s start.

Recently, our own Jeremy Morgan was nominated and selected by the Jacksonville Beaches Chamber as small business leader of the year. The Chamber of Commerce was a huge help to Jeremy and his wife, Claire, when they relocated to Jacksonville in 2001. It means a lot to them to be recognized by their local community.

In fact, the Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in helping Krystal Klean get its start.

Krystal Klean was formed when Jeremy and Claire Morgan set out door-to-door to find window cleaning, painting and pressure washing jobs.

At the suggestion of the Chamber, they started in Queens Harbor, and they cleaned and painted for almost one year there before brother Tony showed up, and the family decided to pursue commercial window cleaning.

With thousands of clean windows and freshly pressure washed and painted buildings to their credit, the family behind Krystal Klean is thankful for their many patrons and excited to continue helping Jacksonville put its best face forward.

We are amazed and thankful to all of the Jacksonville home and business owners who welcomed us and gave us a chance to get started.

Many of you are reading this now and we wanted to use this venue to say ‘thank you!’

Krystal Klean is proud that much of our business comes from repeat jobs from satisfied customers.

Among the first businesses we cleaned was a barbeque restaurant at the Beaches called Sticky Fingers, which was run by Don and Debbie Nicol.

From Left: Don and Debbie Nicol, Jeremy and Claire Morgan and Tony Morgan.

 

The Nicols used our service in other Sticky Fingers locations for many years, as well. They were one of our first steady business customers.
Today, Don and Debbie are better known as the founders of Taco Lu. Now they are opening a new location and are doing great.

If you have been to Taco Lu, you know that they understand that providing a clean, fun dining environment is important to customers restaurant experience.  Thanks, Don and Debbie, for the years of work for our crews; We wish you well and believe you will do great at the new location just down the road from the original restaurant.

Be sure to check out the new TacoLu right down the street from the original location.

To all of our customers, if you need us to schedule a time to send a crew out to clean, paint or seal any part of your home or business please give us a call.

We tend to get very busy during the holidays and it helps us to be able to plan our crews if you call early.

Scheduling: 904.271.2077


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Easy Window Cleaning Tips

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Is it time for some new window cleaning methods and techniques?  I have recently found some amazing tips from PCH that can really help with window cleaning maintenance.   You may be thinking, wait! Publishers Clearinghouse has window cleaning tips?  Yes, thanks to their tip page, you may find these useful as well.

Cleaning Tips

  • Cornstartch and dishsoap is a great DIY window cleaner concoction, especially if you find you are on a tight budget.  This may be effective on newer windows rather than older windows.
  • Make use of coffee filters other than coffee.  This are known to work better than paper towel when it comes to drying.  With this method you can kiss lint and streaks goodbye.
  • Want another streak-free option?  Old T-Shirts are also great for drying.
  • Newspapers are great for buffing and leaving no streaks after a thorough window washing.
  • Apply some glass wax after cleaning your windows. Allow the glass wax to dry and buff away with one of the drying alternatives above.

You will honestly be suprised by the outcome of these tips.  These are also great for when you are in a hurry and have dinner guests on their way over.

Source: PCH

Image: Wikimedia Commons-Evan-Amos

 

 

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How to Effectively Touch up Painted Walls

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

So it’s been a few years since you painted your walls.  Could it use a touch up?  I found some excellent tips on how this can be achieved effectively without going overboard.  Maybe you have scuffs or paint chips, etc., these tips will help you take care of the problem in a heart-beat.

Touch Up Tips

  • You will want to prime and seal any spots on your wall that will need to be repaired.  Use a latex primer if there is drywall involved.
  • If possible, use the original paint from paint cans.  It’s nearly impossible to find the exact color from the original job.  Always store original paint if there is any leftover from the previous job.
  • You should reduce the paint by about 10 to 15 percent using a reducer per your budget.  Do not add it to the paint can.  Shake or stir the paint first. Poor in a paint tray then poor in the reducer.
  • Whatever painting tool you used for the previous job, be sure to use it again to get effective results.
  • Try to paint in weather conditions like that of the previous paint job.  This will cause the touch up paint to look like the old paint without ugly patches.
  • Apply reduced paint to the center of the touch up area.  This helps in touch up transition.
  • Let the paint dry, then thoroughly examine the job.  Try different lighting, etc., until you are sure the touch-ups were effective and are even and flat.

 

Source: eHow

Image: Wikimedia Commons:Ahybusybee

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DIY Window Treatments

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Are your windows needing some TLC?  Here is a project you can get away easily by doing yourself without the added hassles or headaches.  You most definitely want a room to be vibrant and inviting correct?  Here are some DIY tips and tricks for window treatments that you may find very useful:

  • Considering sheers?  These are translucent and usually used behind drapes or curtains to add a layered look.  Sheers do not block views but add a soft look to your windows.
  • Shop and purchase the drapes and curtains you would like to use on your windows.  Drapes tend to be heavier where curtains are lighter.  Select colors that compliment the colors in whatever room you choose.
  • Rods and Finals can be used with drapes and curtains based on style and color.
  • Blinds are available in solid wood, metal, plastic, or cloth.

After putting all of your choices together, you will have a window treatment that will be not only beautiful but the talk and envy of your guests.

Source: eHow

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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