One of the many things we're known for is our elaborate product and technical knowledge. Below are some FAQ's were happy to share answers too.
- How can I tell if I have Water or Oil/Alkyd based paint in or on my home? There is a pretty easy way to figure this one out. If you have some Goof-Off, put a little on a towel or rag and rub it on the paint in an inconspicuous area. If the paint comes off or softens quickly, it is Waterbased. If it does nothing but cleans the area, it more than likely Oil/Alkyd based.
- What makes some paints more expensive than others? Paint is almost always "You get what you pay for". Cheap inexpensive paints and stains contain cheap and inexpensive ingredients. Expensive paints and stains contain higher grade and more expensive ingredients. "What does that me to me?" you ask. Okay here we go... Paint is made up of three basic ingredients. Solvent, binders, and pigment.
- Solvent is the vehicle to transfer the paint to whatever it is you are painting. Typically these days it is mostly water, but some paint use oil or alkyds, and some newer product are hybrids of sorts using both water and oil . "Weird, I know, but its pretty neat technology". Good quality Solvent cost more, and allows your paint to flow out nicely and also makes it easier to apply
- Binder is what holds everything together and gives you either poor or fantastic performance over time. When cheap binders are used, you end up with paint on your wall that doesn't scrub well and an't be cleaned or wiped down, will mare when something rubs against it, and will break down over a much shorter period of time. When you wipe or scrub a paint with cheap binder and pigment, you typically see that color on you sponge or rag and the wall will look disturbed where you were cleaning.
- Pigment is what gives paint its Texture, color and hiding ability. You can tell a good quality paint if you take some on your fingers and rub them together. Cheap paints will feel gritty and nicer paints with feel super smooth. Titanium Dioxide is a premium quality pigment and is a big driver of higher cost in paint. Lesser paints use a small amount of titanium dioxide and substitute with calcium, talc, clay and silica (sand) driving the cost and quality down. Those cheaper ingredients don't hold up well, breakdown quicker, and also tear up spray pumps and equipment. Benjamin Moore uses a proprietary colorant that actually dries to a hard finish. Other companies do not have the technology and sacrifice performance because of it.
- Do your paints have primer in them? Most paint salespeople will tell you that they're not fond of whoever coined the term (Paint and Primer in one). This is because a lot of surfaces require a specific primer to achieve optimal performance of the paint over time. Yes we do have paint that say on the label (Paint and Primer in One). However, in most cases this means the product is Self-Priming on previously painted surfaces in relatively good condition. This does not mean, go ahead and put this on your brand new cedar siding with no primer, or brand new interior wood trim. Its important to tell us your project and we'll give you your options on paints and specific primers so your paint job comes out with the best results and will last a very long time.
- Bare exterior cedar or redwood needs an OIL-BASED primer only (we've yet to find a water based primer that holds back Tannin in the wood from bleeding through the paint). Don't be fooled by water based paint or primer labels saying otherwise.
- New interior trim that is pre-primed can almost always be painted immediately. However, you can use an enamel undercoating primer that with create better adhesion, a smoother surface, and allow you to sand out any imperfections before top coating.
- Bare sheet rock/ wall board should be primed with a PVA or better primer before topcoating with paint. Top quality products like Benjamin Moore's Regal Select interior and Aura interior paints can be applied on bare clean drywall with just 2 coats. In the event that you don't prime drywall and put a lesser quality paint on that has any kind of sheen, you will go mad drying to get the sheen on the wall to be consistent. Areas will be shiner than others and the only way to fix this is to prime the wall and repaint. Applying more paint on top will generally not fix the problem as the paint is just soaking into the drywall.