Ravenna Soothing Sage Cottage

Seattle Ravenna neighborhood sage cottage

Client: Peter S.

City: Seattle

Neighborhood: Ravenna

Date Completed: August, 2009

Date of photo: September, 2009

Products: Benjamin Moore brand MooreGuard and MooreLife Premium Exterior paint

Methods: This lovely home was hiding a nasty little surprise for us. One of the most frustrating things for painting contractors to deal with is paint blistering. When a house is repainted the basic approach to prepping the house for top-coating is to remove all paint that is currently failing, feather sand the paint lips to make them less noticeable and then prime over areas where the paint had failed. This approach represents a compromise. Ideally all old coatings would be removed prior to repainting. Stripping of paint is expensive and labor intensive, and in some cases cost effective, but in most cases unnecessary. For this home we had blisters that appeared immediately after applying our top-coats. This happens frequently with old homes where the first coat of primer and paint has become loosely adhered to the house after years of deterioration. Applying a tight binding latex coating over this pulls on the lower paint layers and delaminates them from the house. When these areas heat up the air expands underneath the paint and presto, bubbles. Unfortunately this is exactly what happened here. The way we deal with blisters is to remove the blisters — which almost always exposes bare wood — and then prime and fill the crater with a patching compound. After sanding smooth we touch up the paint, and fix the blistering. Usually the situation will stabilize and new blisters will not continue to appear. This was the case here, and we could fix the issue while we were there and did not have to approach the clients with the option of stripping to solve the issue. Whew. While this situation was resolved without drastic measures many houses with blistering issues either need to have all of the paint removed and or need to be resided before a durable paint finish can be attained.

Client testimonial: In 2008, I received two bids from painters highly rated on Angies List; they were very close. The painters were already quite busy, and said the house could wait another year. Step Up re-bid in spring 2009 — a modest increase in price. The job was scheduled two-months out, which was a time that worked for me. It took awhile longer than anticipated to complete the job for several reasons: (1) exceptionally hot summer weather; (2) discovery of a paint blistering problem; (3) Step Up’s commitment to customer satisfaction. The job foreman was terrific. At least once a day, he solicited our opinions, questions and desires regarding the work. With a few exceptions, we were gone while the painting was being done. The paint crew was friendly. Our yard was kept tidy, with minimal damage to plantings that border the house. We have double-pane windows with weep holes. They were painted over; many, not all, were reopened when the problem was pointed out. – Peter S.

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