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bm icon Benjamin Moore
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July 23, 2018

Ask the Painter

How long should exterior paint or stain last?


Stain should last 3-7 years and paint should last 7-12 years based on exposure. Quality of products and the surface being covered are also determining factors.

Aren't all paints the same?


No. Usually, you will get what you pay for. The differences will be based on the amount of Titanium and the quality of Acrylic resins used. These will create a variation in the longevity of paints as well as the vibrancy of color. Cheaper paints may only last 5 years while the more expensive ones will last much longer and are considered "Lifetime Paints".

Is there anything I can do to extend the life of my exterior paint?


Yes! About half way through the life of your paint job, you can clean and mildewtreat the exterior to make it look fresh and new. At this time, we can also provide a free inspection to look for problem areas and areas of wear that can be touched up.

Is it necessary to add mildewcide to paint?


Generally no, unless you live in a very shaded area and/or have a pre-existing mildew problem. Here in Washington State, most paints have the maximum allowable amount of mildewcide in them already.

How often should I refinish my deck?


It is recommended that you refinish your deck every 2-3 years. If water is not beading up or there are slippery spots then chances are, it's time to refinish your deck before it gets damaged too much by the elements.

Can you make my old stained siding look new/natural?


Yes! Using special cleaners and brighteners we can revive the look of siding and decks.

How often should I have my roof cleaned?


Composition or shingle roofs should be cleaned no more than twice during the life of the roof. Cleaning can be invasive and pressure washing does the best job. However, if done properly, it can be cleaned with no damage done to the roof. It is recommended that it be treated annually to help prevent the moss and other buildup inbetween washing.

What is the difference between semi-transparent, semi-solid and solid body stains?


Semi-transparent stains typically have less than 20% pigment, semi-solid stains typically have 30-35% pigment and solid body stains typically have more than 50% pigment.  The more pigmentation, the more protection.

How long does a shop job typically take?


On average, jobs in our prefinish shop can take 5-7 business days depending on the size of the project and the type of materials used.

How long should we let an epoxy floor set before we place items like a washer and dryer.

A minimum of 24 hours

Does Paint Color Dry Lighter or Darker Than the Color Swatch?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by homeowners. 

The answer is: if the paint is mixed properly, the color should remain true to the color swatch when applied to a surface. However, there are a few environmental and psychological factors that can affect the actual color and the color’s appearance.

Environmental factors include:

  • Light:   Both the type of light and amount of light can affect color. Naturalincandescentfluorescent,LED and halogen lighting will all slightly alter the way a color appears in a room. For instance, some lighting will cast blue tones whereas others might cast yellow tones. Therefore, it is very important to choose a color in the prospective room’s natural lighting.

  • Sheen.   The type of finish you choose also affects the color. Flat paint has a chalky appearance in finish, absorbs light, and can make a color look slightly lighter than the swatch color.  Glossy paint will typically make a color look darker because the sheen will reflect the light, causing the color to be darker.  Eggshell or Matte generally stays very close to the swatch color because it neither reflects nor absorbs light.

Psychological factors include:

  • Metamerism:  This is the scientific word for when our eyes play tricks on us. This phenomenon is when colors look different to the viewer under different circumstances. When selecting paint colors, we automatically compare colors to the surrounding shades and colors. For the most true impression of a color and its value, look at color individually either by paint-sampling or by using large single swatches when selecting a color.
  • Comparison. We also might psychologically compare a color to what the wall is currently. Hold a paint chip up under a yellow or red wall, and the color will automatically change to your eye. This is another effect of metamerism. Look at a color against a white background or against your trim color for the truest representation of your color selection.


Help! I have crayon all over my walls! Is there something I can use to cover it up without it bleeding through to the new paint?

Yes! Primers such as Zinsser and KILZ are specifically formulated to block common stains – water stains, ink, crayon, marker graffiti, soot and tannin from new wood and more – and prevent them from bleeding through new paint.