Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best paint finish to use in kitchens, bathrooms and other high moisture rooms?

High moisture rooms like kitchens and bathrooms do better with semi-gloss enamel paint. Semi-gloss paints are more moisture resistant, dirt resistant, washable, and scrubbable.

What type of paint would you recommend for stucco?

Elastomeric paint is an exterior paint made for painting stucco. Elastomeric paints have waterproofing and crack bridging properties that regular exterior house paints don’t have. Almost all manufacturers have an elastomeric line of paint products. They look like regular paint and can be tinted to almost any color. They generally have to be applied to a thickness of 16-20 mils dry to qualify for the manufacturer’s warranty.

What causes white powdery deposits on stucco surfaces, and how can I fix them?

The deposits, known as efflorescence, are caused by moisture in the masonry. The moisture dissolves salts in the masonry — the mortar, block, concrete, etc. — and is drawn to the surface by the heat of the sun. After the water evaporates, it leaves behind white foamy looking deposits that must be removed before painting. You must find and fix the source of the moisture or your paint job will fail. Remove the efflorescence with a wire brush and coat the surface with an appropriate masonry primer and paint it with a topcoat or two.

What does paint finish, gloss level, sheen or enamel mean?

Paint finish, gloss level, sheen and enamel are all similar ways of saying the same thing. These describe the smoothness and light reflectivity of the dry paint on a painted surface. There are approximately six sheen types and each has a name corresponding to its light reflective qualities. Sheens range from:

flat or matte (no-gloss)
satin finish
low lustre

Each sheen has different qualities and uses. For example, a flat paint is often used to give a room a velvety look or to cover uneven drywall or plaster. A semi-gloss finish is often used in bathrooms and kitchens since it is cleanable and has a strong, hard shine. Generally, the higher the sheen the easier the paint is to clean and maintain. Traditionally, dry room walls and ceilings are painted in flat or eggshell and trim is painted in semi-gloss enamel. Wet rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are painted in semi-gloss. Water-based finishes are the standard paints for interior and exterior painting.

What is the difference between spray and "brush & roll" when it comes to paint application?

Spraying and “brush & roll” are both acceptable ways to apply paint as long as the paint is put on at the proper spread rate (sq. ft./gallon). Spraying will provide a smoother appearance but is difficult to touch up. Brushing and rolling paint doesn’t give as smooth an appearance as spraying, but is easier to touch up. Some people say that sprayed paint will not adhere as well as brushed & rolled paint but, if the surface is totally clean, both methods will adhere properly. Peeling problems can arise when sprayed paint is applied to a partially cleaned or dirty wall or surface. Depending on the surface to be painted and the condition and location it is in, a quality paint applicator will decide whether a spray or brush & rolled application technique is the best choice for the project.

Can you give an estimate over the phone or do you have to come out to my house to estimate the job?

In order to best serve you, we do not provide any stock estimates. Each home is it’s own custom project tailored to your needs. This means no two estimates will ever be the same. We believe, giving a phone estimate would be a disservice to our clients because each home is unique.

How long does it take for latex to dry between coats?

Most latex paints when applied at temperatures between 16 and 32 degrees will be dry to the touch in about one hour and can be recoated within 2-4 hours. Various factors can increase these times such as poor ventilation, low temperatures, thick films and high humidity. In general one can safely put on two coats of water based paint in a day.

Can I use interior paints on my exterior? Or exterior paints on my interior?

No. It is not recommend to use an interior-labeled paint on exterior surfaces. Interior paints are designed specifically for use on interior surfaces. Interior paints don’t have the flexibility, strength or UV protective elements to stand up to exterior conditions. If you use interior paint on your exterior, expect it to fail, get moldy, or peel quickly.

Do not use exterior paints for interior painting. Exterior paints have flex and other chemical qualities that make them suitable for exterior use only. Exterior paints are engineered to flex with heat and cooling of temperature changes. They don’t get to do this on interiors and will crack and peel prematurely.

Use interior paints on interiors and use exterior paints for exteriors. There is a good reason why paints are labeled for interior or exterior use.

Can I leave my home while your painting crew works?

Yes. Most clients we work with are not home while work is going on. While you are at work or running errands, our crew will be busy painting. We are licensed and fully insured so there is nothing to worry about.

What kind of paint do you use?

We use only the highest professional quality paints from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, unless the customer requests a different brand.

Who will be there to answer my questions or to address any concern I may have throughout the project?

Maintaining an open line of communication with you is very important to us. Your job foreman should be able to answer most questions but please feel free to contact your estimator or contact the owner any time to address concerns or answer any questions you may have whatsoever.

How do you determine the amount you will charge for my painting project?

There are many things to consider including: type and size of the painted area; type of windows and other trim work; number and intensity of paint colors; amount of protection needed for plants and furniture; quality of paint used; and the extent of needed paint surface preparation. All of those things will need to be considered in order to provide you with an accurate cost estimate.

How long will it take to paint my house?

The process can take as little as 4-5 days from the time we connect with you. However, the actual timing will depend on the condition of your paint surfaces, the type of work required, our schedule and weather conditions if the project involves exterior work.

During our consultation with you, we can evaluate your situation and let you know how long we think it will take to complete your painting project.

Will you complete my job in a timely manner without interruption?

Yes. We schedule each job to be completed in consecutive days (M-F.) We will not leave your project until the job is done.

What hours do your crews work?

We generally work M-F, 8-4:30 We can do work at other hours if needed, but these are our standard working hours. If these hours do not work for you, we can work around your schedule. The owner however is free 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about your project.

Do I need to move everything from the rooms before you paint?

Please move all small items and breakables. Unless agreed otherwise, we will move and protect all of the furniture and fixtures.

What color should I choose?

Whether on an interior or exterior paint job, we will normally start clients looking at standard color charts. A lot of colors there are stock and the stock color paints tend to perform better due to the process of their manufacturer. The exterior paint color chart will also have a nice variety of harmonious color combinations to choose from.

How to test if paint is oil or latex?

First, scrub a small area with a solution of household detergent and warm water. Rinse well and towel dry. Then soak a cotton ball, Q tip or soft rag in alcohol and rub it back and forth over the cleaned area. If paint comes off, it’s latex. If not, it’s oil based. In either case, proper prep is key.

What if I want to change something about the job or need additional work done while the paint crew is already at my home?

Please contact your estimator directly. Most of the time it is more cost-effective for us to make a change or do additional work during the course of the project than to have us come back after the project is complete.

When I get different bids from several companies, they are never the same, some high, some low. Why is there such a price difference?

The cost of your project is determined by the level of thoroughness, attention to detail, and quality desired. It costs more to properly prepare a surface for painting than to just pressure clean and scrape the surface. The majority of the cost of painting is in the surface preparation and the labor involved in the application of the paint and not the actual cost of the paint itself. As with most other industries, generally you get what you pay for.

What if it rains while you are painting my house?

We keep a close eye on the weather and weather forecasts. If it starts raining while we are in the middle of a painting job, we simply stop and return after it dries.

How long will my exterior painting job last?

Generally an exterior painting job will need to be redone every 5-7 years. Stucco tends to last longer, wood on the other hand expands and contracts more with changing temperatures which loosens the paint sooner.

It is best not to put off your exterior painting until the house is badly peeling. When it gets to that condition, it will end up costing you more in preparation time and possibly dry rot repair work.

If however the property is in a bad condition when you get to it, do yourself a favor – go the extra length and ensure that thorough surface preparation is done. The idea is to create a sound surface for the new coats to adhere to. This requires more time but is necessary for the paint job to last.

How do I maintain my exterior painting job?

On a regular basis you should walk around the exterior of your home looking for dryrot, water penetration, cracks, and chalking. About once a year it is a good idea to pressure wash your home to remove the accumulation of surface dirt.

How do I maintain my interior painting job?

Interior paint typically gets dirty in many situations: hand prints around switches and knobs; splashes in kitchens and bathrooms; marks on hallways and corridors; “soot” accumulating above electric lamps and other heat sources. Removing dirt before it accumulates not only improves appearance, it reduces chances of it getting permanently embedded in the paint film.

Check for dirt periodically and assume it will be present in and near cooking areas (airborne cooking oil) and at all places at hand height. Always initially clean the surface with a mild detergent using a sponge or a soft cloth. Resort to harsher cleaners only when necessary, recognizing that alkaline cleaners can dull the sheen or gloss of oil based paint. Abrasive cleaner will burnish nearly any paint and will dull the gloss of satin, semigloss and gloss products. Washed surfaces should be rinsed thoroughly because residual cleaner can interfere with adhesion of paint applied later.

Can I trust your workers?

Yes, our professional painters have been all thoroughly reference checked and undergone a criminal background check.

Are you bonded and insured?

Rest assured, the staff at Professional Finish Painters is bonded and fully insured to provide you with outstanding service.

Phone: (778) 677-9474 or Email:

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