Archive for the ‘Paint Talk with David Allan’ Category

Spring Deck Prep

Spring has sprung, time to fire up the BBQ, get the lawn chairs out and…

Easy there, not so fast…

With a bit of time spent now, you will be able to enjoy your deck for years, and be proud of it as well.

Our winters here in southern Alberta tend to be harsh, with 2 feet of snow piling up, than Chinooks coming along and melting all the snow and the cycle repeats itself over and over.

These freeze thaw cycles take their tolls on our decks but with the right maintenance routine it can be kept in check.

What I like to do with my deck every spring has been the same routine for years now…

First off, remove all planters, furniture, BBQ equipment etc. With the deck completely cleared I do an initial quick sweeping and removal of any leaves and dirt that has blown onto it over the winter months. After this initial cleaning, I examine the deck thoroughly for surface wear, cracked or cupped boards, and loose screws or nail pops are taken care of. This step is vital in assessing and solving any problems well before the deck gets put back into use.

After all repairs are made, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning. Right before cleaning, be sure to heavily water any nearby plants, and use plenty of drop clothes and poly to protect any nearby surfaces or plants. Ever wonder what three of the greatest causes of exterior deck coating failures are? In my opinion I place the blame squarely upon Dirt, Weathering, and Mill-Glaze. Fortunately with proper preparation you can take care of all of these problems. For new, weathered or unfinished wood decks there are several commercially available products for cleaning decks that all work well, however one basic solution I like to use is, 4 ounces of TSP, 1 Quart of household bleach, and 3 quarts of water. This solution when applied to the wood and kept wet for 15-20 minutes with a good scrubbing from a synthetic bristle brush is great at removing all the dirt, mildew spores and dead wood cells. Basic safety precautions should always be followed, be sure to follow all manufactures recommendations and warnings. Thoroughly rinse, ideally with a pressure washer, be sure to keep the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface to avoid damaging the wood.

Once the deck has been washed and allowed a couple of days to dry, this is a good time to do another inspection. Depending on what type of finish you are intending on using, you can do the following tests; if it is a penetrating stain or finish, flick water onto the boards, if the water beads up, you know you will have to sand it. If water can’t absorb into the boards, I can guarantee you that stain will not absorb. You see, most transparent and translucent stains are like lotions for the wood, they need to soak in and they become what we often call sacrificial coatings, they simply wear by erosion and you never get peeling or flaking, it simply fades away. The key thing to remember with transparent or translucent stains, is that they will allow you to be able to see thru them to what is underneath, so if there is any remnants of previous coatings or dark stains on the wood you will be able to see them. If this is a concern you can either choose a darker stain to try and hide it or go to a solid stain. If you are using a solid stain, which is a great product to use if the boards are fairly worn and discoloured, it is important to remember that no matter what product anyone sells you it is going to stick to what is there and if what is there isn’t peeling and flaking and it isn’t firmly attached than it is simply going to come off as well. All loose peeling and flaking existing coatings have to be removed. If the previous coating is firmly attached than it won’t be as much of a concern. If the deck is dirty or the dust from sanding isn’t removed than the coating sticks to the dirt and dust and it will peel as well.

Sanding of the deck is almost always the recomended choice of prepping the deck for a new stain. As a general guideline vertical surfaces should be sanded with 80-120 grit, and horizontal surfaces should be sanded with 60-80 grit. ALWAYS sand in direction of the wood grain.

Getting the right products, and right tools for your project is easy when you deal with your local, independent paint store!

Above all and most importantly… Be sure to follow all recomendations and precautions on the label of whichever product you choose to use!

Benjamin Moore Regal Select Is Back!

Regal Select Paint

This will certainly date me… How many of you remember when Regal was our very best paint in any Benjamin Moore Paint Store?

Benjamin Moore’s Regal Aqua Velvet was in my opinion simply one of the best paints ever made.
Im excited to let you folks in on a new product launch…
Regal Select.
Its an updated version of a classic product. Benjamin Moore has enhanced all the positive attributes you have come to expect from their products, Ease of application, with seamless touchups, self priming, washable in any finish, and most importantly LOW VOCs making it extremely LOW ODOUR.
This is a welcome addition to the ever growing  “Green Promise” product portfolio. 

KOVRD 2 In 1 Dropcloth/Tray Cover

So check this out…

I have seen a good deal “handy-dandy-super-duper painting inventions” before, and  I really didn’t like a whole lot of them. This new combination paint tray bag/dropcloth is definately one I’m impressed with.

With the advent of Zero VOC and low VOC paints, what paint manufactures have done is removed the harmful solvents that were used to give paint more open time. This has been a benefit (quicker re-coat times,) however it has also caused some issues with the product simply drying to fast. What a lot of painters have been doing, is to take an old terry cloth towel, dampen it, and lay it over top of the tray. Although very effective, it has proven to be potentially very messy. Along comes KOVRD with their latest patent pending invention…

Now that is a great idea, Thank you KOVRD!

Natural Bristle Brushes

Everyone always says “Bristle Brushes are the best!” It is 100% true… if you’re using oil/alkyd paint or lacquer. Most of the paint sold nowadays is water based simply because of environmental regulations (and is generally a technologically superior coating, in my opinion.) Natural bristle brushes, are generally made with hair snipped from chinese hogs, sometimes badgers, sometimes oxen. The porous nature of natural hair absorbs too much moisture to be used effectively with water based paints. What happens is that after a few strokes the bristles start to swell up and it becomes increasingly harder to get the paint to flow properly off the brush.This is why we always suggest you use man-made filaments for water base products.

What is the most popular renovation?

According to the seventh annual “RBC Renovation Poll” the two most popular planned renovations are bathrooms (38%) and exterior deck and yard (32%). Plans to renovate the basement in 2009 was in the works for 13% of those polled, however for 2011, 21% responded in favour of that reno. Females at 63% were most likely to identify with the need to renovate, however the spouse or partner is expected to do most of the work for 55% of those ladies. 31% of the people polled said they will do most of the work.

So what words of advice would I have on the poll? Bathrooms and exteriors are some of the areas with the most issues when it comes to coatings. Preparation is key here, and seldom are two situations exactly the same. There can be surface contaminant issues, environmental issues, and most importantly special preparation needed… so I recommend going to your local independent paint retailer, and asking the questions and getting the answers. The big advantage that us smaller independents will always have over big box stores is dedicated, local, expertise. Take for instance Southern Alberta. One of the biggest issues we face with deck coatings comes from the fact that we have Chinooks. Throughout any one winter season, how many freeze/thaw cycles do we incur? This is one of the factors that contributes to the degradation of your exterior coating. Has anyone ever seen mention of chinooks on the side of a paint can? Nope. Anyone ever explain how that can be hard on a deck coating for you at any of the big box stores? If you like come by the store, or give us a call and we will gladly explain how this effects your deck stain.

Custom Colour Spray Paint

Just moved into a new house and found a whole bunch of left over trim paint? Or did you just complete a reno and are now wondering what to do with some of the left over paint? We have the perfect solution to that problem. You can bring the paint into the store and we can than load it into spray cans! By doing this you have now made it much easier to do touch-ups. Any colour of paint, any product , any sheen and we will turn it into an easily stored custom can of spray paint.

Recycled ECOCOAT

Sure we can make environmentally right choices right here, right now… but what about making responsible decisions for purchases made in the past?

Calibre Environmental, based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has now come up with a solution for one of those dilemmas… previously purchased paint.  By working hand in hand with municipal and provincial governments, the paint that gets turned into be recycled now finds it way into their hands. When previously purchased paint arrives at Calibre Environmental it than goes through an intensive inspection process prior to being re-blended into one of 14 colours. Each gallon of their recycled paint used, prevents 115 pounds of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. Empty cans are than recycled as well. ECOCOAT is tested for safety and performance, and has consistently proven itself to be a viable premium paint. ECOCOAT is aggressively priced to give you a remarkable value for a remarkable price.

ECOCOAT might not necessarily be the only paint you need, it might only find itself used in your garages or laundry rooms, rental properties, etc, however by making the conscious choice to use ECOCOAT, you are helping the environment without sacrificing price or quality. We are proud to make this product available to you the consumer,  you the contractor, you the environmentally aware individual making a difference!

Check them out online at

Red Devil’s Create-a-Color Caulk Coloring System

So check this stuff out! Easily the most remarkable new thing to hit the caulking scene…Red Devil’s Create-a-Color Caulk Coloring System. Now you can come by SouthPointe Paint, Midnapore Paint, or Calgary South Decorating, and we can make you any colour of caulking you like. This product makes all your caulking jobs look better. We use the actual paint and inject it into the caulking, so the colour is almost exact. Great for flooring, windows, counters, and especially around baseboards. Stop by and ask one of our qualified staff about it.


Volatile Organic Compounds. It’s what was bad in paint. It is organic compounds added to the paint to help improve performance. When VOCs react with the air we breathe that was when problems were first noticed. Eye, nose, throat irritations, potential respiratory problems… thankfully the industry is improving their products… however…

Perhaps one of the things that annoys me the most is when I see paint advertised as Zero VOC’s but than when you look at the fine print, it states that the claim is for untinted paint. Who buys paint but doesn’t have it tinted? From this side of the counter I can certainly tell you it is a pretty rare occurrence. Even most whites have some tint added. Two products from Benjamin Moore DO NOT play that green-washing game… NATURA and ECOSPEC. Two great paints, that no matter what color you choose, what sheen you choose… ZERO VOC.

Thanks Benjamin Moore!

New From Benjamin Moore… Advance!

Advance2advance logoBenjamin Moores’ newest coating is something so advanced that the only possible name they could have given it, is ADVANCE.

 On first glance one would think this could not possibly be an Alkyd based paint… environmentally friendly, soap and water clean-up, quick dry times. But than when a person looks to the qualities and properties of the paint they find easy application, remarkable leveling properties with exceptional flow, unsurpassed adhesion qualities and a product that dries to a hard, durable surface enabling many years of worry free beauty.

 So what is Advance? Advance is truly an Alkyd, not a hybrid, says Carl Minchew, director of product development for Benjamin Moore. The key to the product is the mineral formulation as opposed to the previous industry standard of deriving the resins from petrochemicals. As a result of that innovation, Benjamin Moore developed an Alkyd mineral based product that can be tinted with its proprietary Gennex waterborne colourants, which are VOC-free, preserving the low-VOC content of the coating formulation regardless of the colour.

What this gives the consumer is another choice when it comes to durability. Traditionally alkyd paints were only used for trim, doors, cabinetry, furniture, etc. however with Advance, it is most likely to win favour as a wall finish, due to the available flat finish that will stand up to repeated washings with remarkable touch up qualities.

Advance is truly another giant leap forward in the coatings industry. Now available at your local Benjamin Moore!