Elastomeric Coatings: The Best Protection for Exterior Masonry in New Jersey

As part of their exterior maintenance plan, we visit an apartment complex in Williamstown, New Jersey, and coat one building each year. This allows us to incrementally move throughout the property, protecting their exterior surfaces on a predictable schedule.

Having this kind of maintenance schedule is definitely valuable, and so is the coating we use.

Specifically, it’s an elastomeric coating, and if your home or business has masonry surfaces, you might want to consider it.

Why? Let’s take a closer look.

Are Your Masonry Surfaces Protected?

Masonry is strong, durable, and practical in many ways, but as it ages it becomes more and more vulnerable. The biggest issue we encounter is moisture damage, especially from wind-driven rain that blows right into the compromised surface. Moisture intrusion is a major issue, and will only grow more extensive if it isn’t prevented at the source.

The elastomeric coatings we use are a high-build product, specifically designed to protect masonry surfaces. If applied correctly, they essentially create a waterproof system that offers an invaluable barrier against the elements.

The Benefits of Using an Elastomeric Coating

Here are just a few of the top reasons why we use and recommend this type of product:

  1. Superior Hide – It often takes fewer coats of an elastomeric coating than exterior paint to achieve the same desired results. Many property managers will use just one coat to save labor costs, since it offers the same mil thickness as two coats of exterior paint.
  2. Waterproofing Properties – As we mentioned above, elastomeric coatings can create a waterproof system if all the specifications and correct application procedures are followed. Generally, this level of complete protection calls for two coats without pinholing (this can leads to peeling, if applied incorrectly).
  3. Protects from Wind-Driven Rain – Wild, wet, windy weather can spell disaster for your paint, but elastomeric coatings are designed to stand up to more extreme weather events than typical exterior products.
  4. Bridges Hairline Cracks – Stucco always cracks a bit, especially with the natural settling of a property over time. Hairline cracks are nothing to worry about, however, especially when you use an elastomeric coating that easily fills them in. Larger cracks need to be patched prior to application, but the little ones will be filled as we go.

Is an Elastomeric Coating ALWAYS the Best Option?

As awesome as this option is, it’s not a universal solution. There are two primary scenarios in which an elastomeric coating isn’t necessary, or even your best choice:

  1. If your home if painted already, and the coating is in sound condition, it may not be necessary to use an elastomeric coating. Typical exterior house paints will cover more square feet per gallon, resulting in less paint needed to complete the job.
  2. If there are multiple coats of paint on your stucco, it may not be a good idea to paint again with an elastomeric coating. Elastomeric paints are high-build coatings, meaning that they weigh more than a typical paint. If the coating under the elastomeric is not tight to the substrate, it could be pulled away from the stucco by the sheer weight of the new coating.

Let’s Talk Exterior Coatings! Contact Our Team Today

Our best recommendation is to give us a call so we can talk about your specific New Jersey property, and help you determine the best paint or coating solution for your needs. It would be our pleasure to put our decades of local experience to work for you.

7 Tips for Finding a Painting Contractor

Are you considering hiring a painting contractor for your home or office this year? Well, if so, I have a bit of advice.

Do your homework.

How To Research Your Contractor

Here are some ways you can research your painting contractor:

  1. Ask them how many years they’ve been in business
  2. Have you seen them around?
  3. Did you get an insurance certificate from their insurance carrier?
  4. Have you read their online reviews? Are they positive? Did they respond to them?
  5. Have you met them?
  6. Do you trust them?
  7. Do you see intrinsic value in what they’re doing?

That’s what we believe in: offering value of the highest level to our customers.

Give us a call today at 856-589-5895, or schedule your free estimate online.

Does Paint Quality Really Matter?

Are you planning on painting your New Jersey home, either inside or out? If so, we know from experience how many questions you’re likely asking. There’s a lot to consider: finding the right professional, evaluating estimates, scheduling, colors, surface repairs that might need to be addressed, and the list goes on…

One common question we often hear as a New Jersey painting contractor is what kind of paint product we use, and why? This is a fantastic question, and one we recommend homeowners ask (along with these 5 others as well).

At Brennan Contracting, we truly believe in the importance of investing in quality paint products. Join us for a quick exploration of why, and a look at the paint we use for our New Jersey clients.

Higher-Quality House Paint Is Worth the Investment

We understand the importance of sticking to a budget, but some items are worth a heftier up-front investment because they directly contribute to the long-term value and success of your project.

And yes, this is definitely true of your paint.

Interior and exterior house paint is more than a pretty face, providing crucial surface protection as well. It needs to be sturdy enough to withstand exposure to UV rays, wear and tear, washing, moisture intrusion, pests, the occasional flying toy, pets, touch-ups, and more.

So, what does great paint really offer?

  • Longevity – It simply lasts longer!
  • Color Retention – Good paint will stay true to the color you fell in love with.
  • Durability and Protection – Walls work hard, inside and out, and your paint needs to be up for the challenge.
  • Ease of Application – Quality paint can be applied more efficiently, offering better, smoother coverage.
  • Value – We’ll dive into this below! Keep scrolling.

How Can Better House Paint Provide More Value?

photo of finished cabinet painting in pitman nj

Higher-end paint may cost more up-front, but when you do a cost analysis in comparison to cheap paint that needs more frequent touch-ups and repainting, it actually comes out on top.

Your initial investment is one well worth making.

What Kind of Paint Do We Use?

For interior projects, we use the Sherwin-Williams Cashmere line, and always 100% acrylic products for exterior work as well. In addition to these superior paints, we also invest in careful, thorough surface preparation. For exterior work in particular, the right prep makes all the difference, especially in conjunction with using the best products for the job.

If you have any other house painting questions, we invite you to contact us directly. It would be our pleasure to serve you!

exterior house painting in new jersey

4 Ways To Help Your Exterior Paint Last Longer

Anytime we invest in something worthwhile, we naturally want to see as strong a return as possible. This is especially true of home improvement! Your property is perhaps the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and you have the opportunity to care for it in a tangible way that will certainly pay you back someday!

Whether you’re planning an exterior house painting project or just completed one, here are a few practical tips for helping you maximize your paint’s life and value. And, as always, if you have any questions about house painting services in New Jersey, the Brennan Contracting team is here to help.

Exterior House Painting: Start with the Right Professional Painter

At first it sounds obvious, but this might be more important than you realize! House painters are NOT created equal, and neither are the services they perform. It’s essential that you take the time to learn about and investigate your prospective pro, ensuring that they have the right experience, credentials, and commitment to quality that you need.

To learn more, take a look at this article: 6 Questions To Ask Your Exterior House Painter. These questions will put you way ahead of the curve, and on the fast-track to finding a real maintenance ally.

Invest in Maintenance Painting

Most homeowners get a new paint job, and then put it out of their mind until it starts looking haggard again. This really isn’t the most cost-effective approach!

Investing in a surface wellness check every year or two can catch issues early, keep your home looking its absolute best, and extend the life of your exterior paint overall. Wood rot, paint failure, exterior damage, and more can all be caught early and fixed quickly, if needed.

Here are a few of the warning signs we watch for:

  • Peeling, blistering and loss of adhesion
  • Cracking
  • Loss of shine or serious fading
  • Signs of rusting

Invest in Quality Exterior Paint

Paying more initially for higher-quality paint can actually cost less over time! How? Well, paying more upfront for a paint job that lasts 9 years will ALWAYS be cheaper than buying cheap paint and repainting every four years.

Power Washing Can Extend the Life of Your Paint

Annual professional power washing can work wonders for your surfaces!

This is most valuable in the spring, when your New Jersey home is looking a little rough after winter. Power washing can remove mold, mildew, dirt, and other contaminants that will actually shorten the life of your paint and stain.

Combine your wellness check with power washing and you’ll have a fresh, sound, attractive home in time for summer.

Invest in Quality and Enjoy the Benefits!

It’s well worth your time to find a painting company you really feel comfortable with who offers the right services, products, and surface preparation.  

Your home is worth it!

 

6 Questions To Ask Your Exterior House Painter

Spring and summer are two prime seasons for exterior house painting in New Jersey. Whether you’re putting your home on the market sometime soon or simply are ready for a refreshed look, exterior paint and repairs offer crucial style and protection.

Now comes the slightly trickier part: finding a painting contractor! After all, painting is a personal process, and one that really calls for a trustworthy professional that you can comfortably invite to your home.

We’ve put together a handful of questions that will help you find the perfect pro for your job, weeding out those who may just be taking advantage of a seasonal uptick in painting business.

You deserve better, and so does your home!

Important Questions To Ask Your Painter

Ready?

  1. Are You Insured?

Many homeowners don’t realize that if you hire an exterior painting contractor who isn’t insured, YOU can be held liable for workplace injuries and/or damage. That’s not a position you want to be in, and not a position that a reputable, conscientious painter would put you in.

  1. What Kind of Preparation and Repairs Does My Estimate Include?

Not to be a wet blanket, but if an estimate seems low, there’s probably a good reason for it. Less than scrupulous painting contractors will sometimes include little to no prep in their estimate, cutting their labor time down drastically. In turn, this creates a much lower quality paint job – one that will not look as good or last as long as it would if the time had been taken to do the job right. ALWAYS make sure your estimate is clear, and that it breaks down exactly what is included (labor and materials).

  1. What Kind of Products Will You Use, and Why?

Every painter has their trusted, go-to products. Be sure to ask your prospective exterior painter which products they use, and why. Bargain brands that are upcharged can pad the estimate, but won’t do your house any favors. Exterior paint especially needs to be of a higher quality to offer the most long-term value and protection possible.

  1. Where Can I Find Your Reviews or References?

It’s worth taking the time to review a company’s reputation. And, don’t just look for all high ratings! It’s not realistic to please everyone all the time. Instead, take a look at how any lower ratings have been handled. Were they ignored, was there retaliation, or were they responded to in a calm, respectful, professional manner? That’s a major indicator of what kind of experience you can expect.

  1. How Do You Handle Safety?

This is a big deal, and a wonderful question to ask after inquiring about their insurance coverage. Making sure that your home (and the workers) are protected during the process is crucial, especially when dealing with ladders, heights, landscaping, etc. A good safety plan is a sign of attention to detail!

  1. What Kind of Warranty Do You Offer?

A warranty indicates confidence, longevity, and investment, both to their work and their local reputation. Asking what kind of guarantee is in place offers you peace of mind as well!

 

These are all important questions to ask a painter in an interview, and we certainly hope you find them useful. If you have any questions for us at Brennan Contracting, please contact us! We’re here to serve you, meeting all of your New Jersey house painting needs.

 

When to Get Your House Painted

There is a season for everything. More so when it comes to getting the exterior of your house painted. And unless you reside in a climate that is moderate through the year, it is best to choose the season properly before you proceed with getting your house painted. Apart from the season, the climate for the particular day of work is also important if you want your job to be done satisfactorily. Getting your house painted in the wrong climatic conditions can cause runs, cracks, flaking and bubbling.

The best season for painting

It all depends on the climatic conditions of the place you live in. If you live in the north and get snow, it is best to wait for late spring before you even think of getting your house painted. While summer is generally warm, it can get windy. Your painted surface can get dusty and your paint spray can carry far and wide.

So what are the ideal conditions?

It is best to check the weather forecast daily. Moderately warm temperatures, between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal; but see that there is no forecast of wind in the weather report. In case you are using oil-based paint, the temperature of 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit works well. A sky that is cloudy is much better than a sunny day. This is because the sun can cause cracking of the paint. To give your paint time to cure properly, the weather conditions should be stable for a day or two.

Avoiding moisture

A dry surface is ideal for paint. It is not only the snow or rain that can cause your walls to become moist; it is the humidity in the air too.

If it has rained heavily, wait it out, at least a day before you even think of starting on your project. Then check the surface and see if it feels wet. Sometimes, even if it does not feel wet when you touch it, it may well be wet within. This is especially true for surfaces that are porous like masonry or bare wood. Dew formation can also be a bane.

Painting when the conditions are wrong

You can be assured that you have not only wasted your time but your money too if you had your house painted in the wrong climatic conditions. When paint gets wet in the rain or there is too much humidity, the paint does not have time to cure properly and can blister or swell. In conditions that are too hot or too cold, the paint will not bond to the surface and cracks and peeling upon drying are the result.

With the right conditions and the proper knowledge, you can get an experienced professional to get your house painted to your satisfaction.

photo of baby's room

Things to Take into Account when Painting a Nursery

There is nothing more exciting than waiting for the birth of a child. A baby in the house changes everything; life is suddenly peppered with immense joy and a whole lot of unimagined surprises. Preparing for its arrival is, however fraught with stressful moments that can be overwhelming. There are baby clothes to buy, furniture to select.

Setting up a nursery for the newborn is an exciting affair. You want an environment that is safe and warm. The ambiance has to be just right. An inexpensive and effective way to alter a room into a nursery is to paint. But a nursery is not just any room. Your baby is going to spend most of his/her time in there. So it has to be just right. While aesthetics are important, a healthy environment is of paramount importance.

Although your contractor will have a fair idea on what is involved when painting the nursery, there is no harm in arming yourself with a bit of knowledge. After all, your baby’s health is at stake. Here are a few tips that might be helpful.

A matter of fumes

Paint toxins can be detrimental to health, especially for a new born baby. So find out if the paint your contractor is using has toxins or not. Some paints available in the market not only give off harmful fumes even after they have dried, but they tend to harbor deadly bacteria that are not easy to clean.

Opt for a no-VOC or a low VOC formula paint for your nursery. The volatile organic compounds that many paints give off will be reduced with the use of a no-VOC paint. Though these paints are toxin-safe, they do leave a faint odor but are still a lot safer than water-based paints or standard latex paints.

So why are VOCs so bad? Exposure to VOCs is associated with a number of health issues; these include cancer, irritation in the ears, nose and throat and headaches. VOCs are also known to damage organs like kidneys, liver and the nervous system. Children, especially newborns are more susceptible to health issues.

Picking out a theme for your nursery

The theme is very important for the overall look of the room. Since it’s going to be there for a while, choosing something that will appeal to you for a long time is important. There is no need to restrict yourself by choosing gender stereotypes. Light blues, yellows and pastel greens do just as well. You can add to the overall appeal by adding photo frames, throw cushions and stuffed toys. Remember to keep it simple.

Adding the frills to your walls

There is a lot more your contractor can do once the base coats are done. Stenciling a floral border along the skirting or paneling works well for any nursery. If you are artistically inclined, you can get a mural hand-painted on your accent wall. If not, then there are always themed stickers available in the market. But be sure to let the colors complement each other.

One thing to remember is that your baby will be growing up in the room you design, so be sure to select soft and pleasing colors with motifs that are stimulating and intriguing. Once you are done with the décor, you can sit back and await the arrival of your little one.

Painting an Accent Wall-What are your Choices?

There is nothing quite like an accent wall to liven up a room. There are many ways in which you can make the chosen wall the center of attraction of all eyes. It can be a fireplace, a strategically placed painting or a collection of photo frames. But nothing really does it like giving your wall a bold contrast color to accentuate it. It can be a plain bold color or you can go for different texture or treatment to really jazz it up.  Here are some suggestions that might be of help.

Choosing an accent shade for your room

Deciding on the right color can be challenging. But there are shades on the color palette to suit any and every need. Your contractor will help in deciding how much paint you will actually require, as the area will be comparatively small. You can go for a totally different look or try and match the color to the existing furniture, the choice is yours. For a home that is older, select a low-sheen or eggshell finish to hide all the imperfections.

So which wall should you choose?

It’s important to pick the right wall as your accent wall. Look around you carefully. Search for a wall that has a fireplace or a bookshelf that naturally draws your eyes to it. If you don’t have any architectural details to focus on, create a wall that will carry your collection of frames, or your collection of shells, neatly framed. If it’s your bedroom, the wall behind the headboard is the perfect choice. For longer; narrow rooms, painting the shorter wall will succeed in making the room less narrow and long.

 A bit of drama

The sky is the limit to what you can do when it comes to innovative means to highlight your accent wall. These include, wallpaper, metallic colors, graphic prints, plaster treatments or 3-D wall tiles. Be sure to choose something that suits your home and décor. A good beginning is to use a favorite painting, a rug or a cushion and use that as your basic color palette. These are just a few of the ways to dramatize your wall.

Wallpapering

Wallpapers are not what they used to be when your grandmother was around. Today you have a plethora of choices; there are textures, metallics and prints that are bold and vibrant. Some of the newest trends are glass-bead wall coverings and metallics.

Stenciling

Sometimes budget can be an issue when it comes to high-end designer wall covering. Stencil patterns are an attractive alternative and also quite easy to use. The advantage is when you do get tired of the pattern; you don’t have to scrub off the wallpaper paste.

Creating a gallery wall

A gallery wall succeeds in giving your room character. You not only have an accent wall, but you can also showcase your artwork or your favorite prints and paintings. With your accent color as the background the artwork will really stand out.

Now that you have decided what you want to do with your accent wall, remember that the other walls in the room cannot be ignored. Use a color that compliments the accent wall without overshadowing your accent wall.

Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Your House Painted

Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Your House Painted

You may think that all you need to improve the look of your home is a gallon of paint, a few brushes and a roller. It may seem like a simple job; after all, what can be easier; right? But just because it seems so easy doesn’t mean that it actually is. And rather than end up with a botched up job, isn’t it advisable to let the professionals handle what they are trained to do? Here are a few mistakes people make when they go about getting their homes painted.

Selecting the wrong colors

It may seem like a nice color when you see it on the strip at the store and place your order. But it just doesn’t look anything like what you picked when it is brushed on to your walls. The best way to avoid this problem is to ask the paint store to mix you a batch of a small sample that you can take home and let the contractor test it on your wall. For best results see it during the night and in the day. If you don’t like it, it is a simple matter to select another sample.

The wrong paint

No matter how well applied; if the paint is wrong, the project is doomed from the word go. Things that need watching:

  • The surface should be checked. If it is not perfect, painting with high sheen paint should be avoided. The problems on the surface will only get accentuated with the gloss. Every defect will be highlighted in the sheen. So opt for paint with a semi-gloss and the surface that is being worked on should be as smooth as possible.
  • While covering a light tinted surface with a darker shade, a tinted primer is advisable. A sure bet is gray primer which works for most dark colors.
  • When using a combination of two sheens of the same color, label the cans of paint. That way they won’t get mixed up. It would be a disaster to accidentally paint over flat walls with semi-gloss paint.

Walls are walls and ceilings are ceilings

Extra care is needed when working on a drywall ceiling. Your painter you will tell you stories that un-textured ceilings show drywall seams no matter how many coats of paint are applied.

For best results, the entire ceiling should be skim-coated with a fine layer of joint compound. Level differences will thus be feathered out and a consistent surface will be there for painting. Rolling on a special high-solids paint made especially for this purpose is also an option.

Avoid these mistakes while your house is being painted

  • Leaving the paint can lid off. If someone steps on the lid there will be paint all over the house.
  • Lock out pets. Keep them away from the area being painted. You don’t want paw prints all over the house.
  • Over brushing should be avoided. Level the paint with a couple of strokes to avoid brush marks.
  • Make sure to cover everything properly before the spray painting starts.

A little knowledge on the subject will go a long way when you are getting your home painted by a professional. Painting a home is not an easy task. So while your contractor sweats it out, you can put up your feet and relax.

Getting Your Wood Paneled Wall Painted

Getting Your Wood Paneled Wall Painted

A wood paneled wall reminds one of the 60’s and the 70’s when wood was a rage. But if you are not really into the retro look and want something a bit more contemporary, you don’t need to remove the paneling. It is an easy matter to just paint it over in hues that please the eye. But how do you go about it? Hiring a painting contractor to do the job is your best bet. However, there is no harm in knowing what is involved; it’s your house after all. Here are some tips on painting a wood paneled wall.

Is this what you really want?

Wood has a charm of its own. So the first thing you have to decide is whether you want to paint it over. Once it is painted, the elegance of the wood will be a thing of the past. So it’s better to give the matter a bit of thought rather than plunging headlong into a decision you might live to regret. If you have decided to give paint a shot, read on.

How the contractor will proceed

  • To begin with, the wood-paneled walls will be given a thorough wash by your contractor using a solution of TSP and water. Once dry, the walls will be sanded lightly. The technique that is used to sand the walls is known as ‘scuffing.’ The sanding makes it easier for the primer to bond with the paneling.
  • Dust masks are essential when sanding is going on. The residue dust on the wall can be wiped off with a wet rag as the work proceeds.
  • The next step after scuffing is the application of the primer. For solid wood paneling a water based product is preferred. But if its veneer, a shellac-based primer is advised.
  • The contractor will apply two coats of primer. Some contractors prefer to tint the primer to match the shade you have chosen, but this is not strictly essential.
  • Once the primer is dry, the next step is the application of the chosen shade of paint. At least two to three coats of paint will be applied; with a bit of sanding in between when the coats have dried. A foam sponge roller cover is ideal for the application of the paint. A paint brush will take care of the corners and dab away at any drips that might appear. Once the work is done, all you have to do is stand back and admire a job that is well done.

It’s amazing what a bit of paint can do to change the look of your paneled room! The next time you have friends over, it is sure to be the topic of conversation!