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Preparing to Paint Your Exterior: An Interview with Anthony Vlachos of Color Your World Painting

By Anthony Vlachos

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Originally, I created a DBA Anthony Vlachos Painting & Decorating in 1985. Ten years later, I incorporated to Color Your World Custom Painting and Decorating Inc. Having worked in the field now for over 40 years, I have completed hundreds of successful painting projects. The most important factor that drives my business is customer satisfaction by meeting or exceeding expectations. I give detailed estimates and reasons for choosing certain methods. We are very thorough from start to finish, always keeping in mind the goal of achieving a professional looking job that will last. Being a member and past president (Suffolk County) of a national painting organization PDCA has given me the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of new advances and products in the painting industry.

How should the siding of a home be prepared prior to painting?

The most important preparation step is making sure you have a clean surface that is free from mold, dirt, and dust. All loose paint should be removed, all bare wood should be primed and any openings where water can get behind the substrate should be caulked with a high quality caulking and this should be painted when dry.

Do you recommend painting trim first or last and why?

On exterior surfaces, I complete the siding first. Because the siding is the largest part of the job, you will usually use a roller and or sprayer for applying the paint. Most trim is done with a brush and the paint can be controlled much easier.

Is it necessary to prime the siding prior to painting?

Priming is mostly used for bare wood. If you have asbestos shingles, no primer is necessary. If you have stucco, that has previously been painted and it is in sound condition, no priming is necessary. If however the surface has many areas that are peeling than a good primer would be recommended. Bare cement should have a bonding primer prior to paint. EIFS surfaces that may have small hair line fractures should have an elastomeric paint which is much thicker and more difficult to apply but the paint will bridge most cracks while maintaining the beauty and texture of the surface. Cedar siding that has not been painted should have a full coat of oil base primer and be allowed to dry thoroughly 2-4 days depending on product, temperature and humidity. This will prevent tanning bleed which is the natural oil from cedar that rises to the surface. If no primer is used then you will see yellow and brown stains bleeding through the paint. Aluminum siding in good condition can be painted with a high quality acrylic paint. However if the surface is pitted and or chalking, clean surface and prime.

If you do not know, how can you tell if oil paint or latex paint was used previously?

Quickest way to tell the difference in oil or water based paint is to rub the paint with denatured alcohol. If the surface paint comes off on the rag than you know that the paint is water based. If nothing rubs off than it is oil based.

What exterior paint do you suggest someone use?

I have experience with the following paint brands and I only use the premium line. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, California, Muralo, and Pittsburgh paints.

What tools are required to paint the exterior of a home?

Ladders, drop cloths, rope, pull scrapers, file, sand paper, quality brushes and rollers, 2 gal & 5 gal buckets, pot hooks, safety glasses, gloves, masking tape, caulking gun, mixing sticks, ridge hooks if working on a steep roof, wasp & hornet spray, pump sprayer to apply cleaning agent, power washer and if needed a spray gun and shield.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

Call 631- 427 -2595 or visit my website coloryourworld.net

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