When comparing quotations from different painters and contractors, be sure you're comparing apples to apples, not to oranges.
Generally speaking, the level of detail presented in the contractor's quotation will be indicative of their attention to detail when executing the work. Make sure the quotation clearly outlines what areas are being painted, the preparation process and the finish coat systems being proposed. Ensure a fixed price is provided to do the work. In saying this, also respect those painters who identify any potential issues which may arise after they have commenced the work (such as coverage for chosen colour) which may impact this cost.
Unless the surface is properly prepared, the coating system will underperform and ultimately fail. This is a critical element in the painting process, so look for lots of detail - the preparation being proposed should take you step-by-step through this process. Consider the extent of the preparation work and its suitability for the affected surfaces and intended coatings.
Line up the quotes received to ensure you are comparing apples with apples - i.e. painting quotes should specify the number of coats and type of paint to be applied, and whether this will provide the coverage and finish you are expecting.
Look for well known brand names and specific products being specified, but also be wary of any relationships which may impede the painter from making an objective judgment in using the most appropriate product for your painting job.
As with most other goods and services, cheaper painting prices may also represent short cuts, substandard craftsmanship and inferior materials.
Under no circumstances consider a painter who does not have public liability insurance or is not licensed with the Department of Fair Trading.
By law, customer and contractor must enter into a written contract with contractors being required to also provide warranty insurance for work over $12,000 - your job will have OH&S obligations and may also have EPA implications which need to be discussed with the painter and/or respective state government department. Non-compliance will jeopardise your rectification rights.
Courtney & Wise offers the statutory warranty of two (2) years in accordance with the Office of Fair Trading - Home Building Act of 1989. .
Some of our competitors are offering up to seven (7) guarantees against faulty workmanship. Please be aware that any guarantee offered beyond the statutory requirement (of 2 years) offers no recourse through the NSW Consumer, Trade & Tenancy Tribunal (the tribunal where such disputes are heard), rendering the guarantee only as good as the contractor offering it. Please be aware that despite providing a written guarantee which extends beyond the two (2) year limit, the contractor could still fall back on the limits within the Act to support their argument.
Furthermore, weathering and environmental factors come increasingly into play as time progresses, making the ability to isolate faulty workmanship as the single cause of painting failure difficult to prove.
Over half a century of business operations is testimony to the quality of Courtney & Wise workmanship and also to the level of aftercare offered beyond the statutory guarantee period to our clients.
Written vs Verbal:
Painting is no different from any other trade or profession, if it's not in writing, then it's just a... maybe?
Monday, April 26, 2010
Courtney & Wise have been members of the Master Painters Association for more than half a century. Owner Michael Peters has been vice president, president, and chair of the Education and Training Committee.
For us, and for the other members of the Association, membership as a Master Painter says something about our level of dedication, as well as our level of skill and quality.
We also appreciate the recognition the Association gives to members. We first submitted work to the Awards for Excellence competition in 2006, and we won that year. We were winners again in 2008, and in 2009 for Timber Finishes.
When you plan to paint, let your first step be calling your local Master Painters Association office to get the name of a Master Painter in your area. Of course, if you're in Sydney, you can save a step by going right ahead and contacting Courtney & Wise, at 9958 1099.
Friday, April 23, 2010
If your favorite colour is pink, your challenge is to keep from making your room look like an infant's nursery or -- depending on the shade you choose -- like a fashion doll's boudoir.
First, consider the shade. Pink runs the gamut from the palest baby shades to shocking bright hues. These three colours would give completely different effects:
So don't cross pink off your decorating list if you love it -- you can use it in many different ways.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
But even an outright purple like "Benevolence" can work with the right planning.
Imagine it as an accent colour with grey for an upmarket look. Or think of it in a kitchen, with leaf green and bright white accents, or a bedroom, as the solid background to a vibrant red and purple textile print. Even in a living room or dining room, judicious amounts of purple with icy blues will look cool and lovely.
The key to avoiding an overwhelming shouting "PURPLE!" is to pair it with its complement, yellow, or with shades near it on the colour wheel (blue and red). Tone it down with neutrals like grey and white. And always pay attention to the proportions.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Orange is a vibrant colour -- some would say irritating. It can make people feel nervy, or at least as though they were in a gymnasium.
If you love it, though, you should be able to have it. Warm, exciting, and happy, orange can work in your decorating scheme if you approach it carefully.
- Blend it in. Though you may hesitate to mix colours that are close to one another, orange suits well with pink, peach, apricot, and even with reds and yellows. A number of warm shades together can create a softer effect by blending together. Think of sunsets and seashells.
- Fit it in. If you have lots of wood, stained surfaces, copper, terra cotta tile, and sisal, you can use bright orange or deep spicy orange when you paint the spaces in between. Dramatic colours look great in small doses.
- Tie it in. Start with a fabric or painting that uses smaller amounts of orange with other colours. Then you can pull the orange out into the walls, and use other shades from the inspiration piece as well. The art or pattern will pull everything together.
at 6:05 PM
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Brown doesn't have to be drab. Think of caramel, chocolate, coffee with cream... brown can be tasty.
Or think of tawny hillsides, sunny beaches, bark curling from the trees. Brown can be free and fun.
So how do you make sure that your brown walls come off the way you want them to, and not as dull or institutional?
- Mix it up. A single shade of beige or brown can look flat. A mixture of shades looks rich.
- Rough it up. Textures make all the difference in a monochromatic room. Combine smooth surfaces with nubby ones, soft with shiny ones.
- Spice it up. Brown on the walls can enlivened with deep blue soft furnishings, or spring green upholstery, or pink and apricot ceramics. A change in the accent colours can change the whole room.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
If your favourite colour is blue or green, you don't think twice about using it in your decorating scheme. You'll have dozens of shades of paint to choose from, acres of wallpapers to admire.
But there are some colours that are harder to use on your walls. We're going to look at some of them, and see how we can give you the colour you crave without causing you regrets.
Red is the definition of a bold colour, and it can be overwhelming. It doesn't have to be, though. Red is energizing, and it can be elegant, too.
- Darken it down. Oxblood red, deep clover, or deep wine red give a sophisticated, traditional look. Combine these tones with neutral grey, brown, or hunter green for an upmarket look.
- Soften it down. Instead of adding black or brown to the pure red shade, add white for less intense shades. Without taking it all the way to a girlish pink, you can lighten and brighten red to a lower level of saturation that's easier to live with.
- Combine it down. Red walls become less overwhelming with furnishings in green or blue, and with liberal doses of white or pale yellow.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
So what's the point of all that paint science? Above all, it helps you avoid paint failure.
Pain failure is caused by things like moisture getting behind the paint. Wood takes in moisture and send sit back out again, depending on humidity and temperature. If you use oil paint on wood siding, moisture can come from the wood and get between the siding and the paint. Since water doesn't seep through oil paint easily, the water can form bubbles. When they heat up from the sun, the water tries to evaporate through the pain. Oil and alkyd paints have low permeability -- that is, they don't let the water vapor out. In time, all the movement on the part of the water will cause blistering.
Wood siding also expands and contracts, depending again on moisture and temperature. As the blistered paint gets stretched by this expansion and pushed back together by the contraction, cracking and failing and peeling result.
Not only does the painting need to be redone at this point, but the old paint must be cleaned off the surface completely. Otherwise, the new paint will stick to the old paint, which isn't adhering well to the siding or walls. When the old paint flakes away, the new paint will come with it.
Latex paint is more permeable -- it lets the water vapor through, so the water doesn't pool between the paint and the wood. Latex paint also stretches better.However, it doesn't adhere well to all surfaces. Once again, it's a question of chemistry.
There are many choices of paints. Let your professional painters and decorators help you choose the one that will work best with the surface you want to paint.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Paint is tested for a lot of things:
- Drying time: how long the paint takes to dry
- Viscosity: the thickness and texture of the paint
- Adhesion: how well the colour sticks to the surface
- Weathering: how well the paint stands up to wind and weather outdoors or indoors
- Gloss: how shiny the paint is
- Stability: how well the paint lasts in the can before use
- Pigment grind: how well the colour particles are distributed through the paint
Paint may also be tested for toxicity and VOCs -- emissions of things like benzene or formaldehyde, which can have long-lasting health impact. Low toxicity paints have become much better in their quality when it comes to usage issues like those above -- but of course it's essential to add low VOCs colouring to the paint when mixing up the colour.
The result of all this stringent testing is a safe, long-lasting paint that you can rely on to keep your home looking good for years.
The cost of paint failure is too high to make it worth choosing poor-quality paint for your job. Courtney & Wise make use of high-quality paint for the best and longest-lasting results, and we don't think you'd want it any other way.
at 3:59 PM
Friday, April 2, 2010
We're always hearing about new paints. Often, they're safer, longer wearing, and more environmentally friendly than the old paint. But how can this be? Paint is paint, right?
Actually, paint has come a long way. At one time, paint was made with plants and minerals and even with milk. There was a lot of trial and error involved, and often the results weren't just right. Sometimes the ingredients were actually dangerous -- like lead, for example. How is a new paint formulated now?
First comes the new idea. A paint with minimal VOx emissions would be a good idea, someone reckons, and the scientists at the paint company are called upon to develop something new.
They check basic formulations, first. There are formulas -- almost like recipes -- using different kinds of solvents, resins, pigments, and additives to make coatings. The formulas are marked for the level of hardness or gloss or coating ability, and of course the scientists have extensive training and experience with the chemicals involved. They think about how changes in the formula might create changes in the final product that could take it in the desired direction.
Once they have something that they think might work, they cook up small batches and test them and try them out. The keep careful computerized records so they can be sure to replicate their new discovery.
Once they have a successful product, they scale up to a larger sized batch of paint -- five or ten gallons -- and try it with different pigments to be sure it'll work in larger quantities.
At last, they make up a batch of 100 to 250 gallons for extensive testing. This production batch in made by usual factory methods, but under carefully monitored conditions. Things like temperature are watched especially closely, and scientists oversee the production.
Only when this production batch of paint has been tested under the conditions paint usually has to face in the real world is the formula fine-tuned and considered finished. It's carefully recorded, and a new paint is born.
at 3:40 PM