DIY Paint Tips: How to Tape Like a Pro

When you’re ready to start your next DIY painting project, after choosing the right paintbrush and deciding what colors and sheen of paint to use, the next step is prepping your paint surface. To achieve a professional-quality paint job, Freeland Painting recommends using painter’s tape to ensure sharp, clean paint lines.

Painter’s tape serves as a barrier between the areas you want to paint—and those you don’t. It’s especially useful on ceilings, baseboards, and trim. Here’s what you need to know to apply, use, and remove painters tape like a pro.

Choose the right painter’s tape for your paint project

With painter’s tape, you get what you pay for. While you may be tempted to buy a cheap painter’s tape, at Freeland Painting we recommend “sticking with” the original: Blue interior painter’s tape from Scotch. We like ScotchBlue original multi-surface painter’s tape in the 1.5-inch width. With its medium-strength adhesive, it’s our go-to tape for protecting trim, drywall, ceilings, and floors. If you’re painting near delicate surfaces such as cabinets or freshly painted surfaces that you want to protect, use ScotchBlue’s lower-adhesive version. Unsure which tape is best for your project? Scotch offers a handy, free paint tape selector tool to help you decide.

Pro tip: Here’s what not to use: Masking tape looks similar to painters tape, but its adhesive leaves a sticky residue, which can be difficult to remove. And be sure to check that your painter’s tape is for interior surfaces when you’re painting inside. Exterior painter’s tape has stronger adhesive to stick to cement, brick, or stucco and could damage your walls, trim, or other interior surface when used inside.

Prepare Surfaces Like a Pro

To get the best paint job possible, you have to prepare like a pro. With a clean, damp sponge or cloth, gently wipe the surfaces you plan to tape and paint. This includes baseboards, trim, walls, ceilings, and wherever else may soon have either paint or painter’s tape on it. The reason is simple: Dust builds up (yes, even on walls—don’t ask us how!) and can prevent both paint and painter’s tape from adhering correctly. If you skip wiping down dusty baseboard surfaces and apply painter’s tape on top of the dust, the tape won’t adhere properly and may leak or pucker. When that happens, paint spreads under the tape resulting in messy lines—defeating the purpose of taping in the first place!

Pro tip: While waiting for your surfaces to dry after wiping them down, remove light switch covers, nails, and other fixtures. A 3-inch piece of painter’s tape applied over the bare light switch itself will prevent unwanted paint splatter. Use another small piece of painter’s tape to stick the light switch cover screws onto the back of the cover itself, so they don’t get lost.

Apply Painter’s Tape With Precision

Once your surface is clean and dry, it’s time to start taping. When applying tape to a straight edge such as a ceiling or baseboard trim, keep the roll of tape flat against the wall and work in short sections (about 8 inches at a time), aligning the tape over the surface you’re taping and making sure it sticks well. Avoid stretching the tape. Rookie paint tapers may want to remove short, 6- to 10-inch sections of tape while you get the hang of it. Once the tape is applied, go back over its edge to seal the bond with a putty knife or credit card. Check out this video from Ace Hardware that shows best practices for using painter’s tape.

Pro tip: When you get to the corner of the baseboard, continue past the corner and run the tape an inch or two up the wall in a perpendicular fashion. Then, use a sharp putty knife or razor blade to cut the tape off the wall along the baseboard line. That way, the corner of your baseboard is thoroughly protected.

Gently Remove Painter’s Tape

Once you’ve finished painting the wall, it’s time to remove your painters tape. The best time to remove it is just after you’ve painted, while the paint is still wet. Don’t wait for it to dry, as the dry paint may lead to chipping of the paint surface as you remove the tape, resulting in a messy line. To remove painter’s tape, tug gently on the tape at a 45-degree angle. Go slow as you remove it, watching for any trouble spots. If you see or hear paint pulling away from your freshly painted surface, use a razor blade or utility knife to gently cut the tape away from the surface to maintain a clean line.

Pro tip: Though it’s tempting to use the same tape for multiple coats of paint, the expert painters at Freeland Painting know that you’ll get a better result from removing the tape—and reapplying it—with each coat of paint.

Using painter’s tape like a pro takes patience and skill, but the resulting high-quality paint job is worth the effort.

When you’re ready to call in the professionals, Freeland Painting is here to help. Give us a call to schedule a free estimate on your paint job. Whether it’s a residential, multi-family, or commercial paint project: No job is too big or too small: We do it all!

Call Freeland Painting at 678.679.3126 to schedule your free estimate!

DIY Paint Tips: How To Choose the Best Paint Brush for Your Project

At Freeland Painting, we provide professional painting services for residential, business, and multifamily properties – but we also know that sometimes people want to paint a room themselves.

This is the first in a series of DIY  Paint Tip posts, in which we’ll provide tips on how to choose the best paintbrush for your project, how to tape like a pro (so it comes off smoothly), how to freehand a straight line of paint, how to paint walls like a pro, how to choose the right paint for each job, how to choose the right paint sheen for each surface, the ideal roller nap for your wall texture, how to clean your paintbrush like a pro, and how to dispose of old paint and paint cans properly.

First thing’s first: Choosing the right paint brush. When you walk into your local Sherwin Williams paint store, Home Depot, or Lowe’s, you’ll find a dizzying array of paint brushes. The important choices you need to make are: natural or man-made bristles, size of the brush, shape of the brush, and quality of the brush. We’ll break down all four to help you choose the best paint brush for your specific paint job:

Synthetic Bristles vs. Natural Bristles

Don’t spend too much time making this decision: If you’re painting a wall in your home, you’re most likely using latex paint, a water-based paint that cleans up easily with water, instead of solvents or mineral spirits.

The type of brush that spreads latex paint best is a synthetic bristle made from nylon or a nylon-polyester blend. A synthetic brush will spread latex paint smoothly and evenly. If you plan to paint more than one room over time and the cost isn’t prohibitive, consider buying a more expensive Chinex bristle brush, such as those from Purdy or Corona. When it comes to paint brushes, you get what you pay for; a high-quality brush can last for years if you care for it properly.

If you happen to be using oil-based paint, choose a natural bristle brush. Oil-based paints aren’t used as often lately as they were in the past because they can be environmentally and personally harmful because of their high volatile organic compound (VOC) content. On our blog, we’ve provided information about latex vs. oil-based paints and the pros and cons of each.

Why Paint Brush Size Matters

The size of your brush will depend on the size of your project. If you’re painting an entire wall, you wouldn’t want to use a small 1.5-inch brush because it would take too long, but if you’re painting a small area or a piece of furniture or mirror, that smaller brush would work well.

For wall and trim, we recommend either a 2.5-inch or 3-inch brush. When painting a wall, you’ll most likely use a roller for the bulk of the work and rely on your brush to “cut-in” around the trim and ceiling of the room. A 2.5-inch brush is ideal for residential painting in most cases.

A 3-inch brush is more ideally suited when you plan to paint large, flat surfaces, such as a fence or deck.

The Right Brush Shape For The Job

Both synthetic and natural bristle brushes come in angled and square shapes. The genius of the angled tip is that it gives you enhanced control of the paint as you apply it, such as when you’re cutting in around trim or a ceiling and want to paint a straight line. We recommend an angled brush for these tasks.

If you’re painting a large flat surface such as a fence or deck, a square brush will work well.

Brush Quality: You Get What You Pay For

While your first instinct may be to buy a cheap brush and toss it after your paint job is completed, consider investing in a higher-quality brush and cleaning it properly. Not only is this an environmentally friendly choice, it’ll help you achieve a higher quality paint job.

When it comes to paint brushes, you get what you pay for. Here’s what Freeland Painting’s founder shared about brush choice:

“The quality of the paint brush is important. We recommend that you get the most expensive brush you can afford. The technology in the bristles will make a huge difference in your painting project, and whether or not you can paint a straight line with it,” explained Doug Ireland, founder of Freeland Painting.

Doug went on to say, “A good, high-quality brush will last for years if you clean it properly after each use. I bought a $25 brush over 10 years ago for our home painting projects, and it’s still going strong.”

Pro Tip on Brush Care

Doug also offered a pro tip about caring for your brushes: The key is to never let paint dry on the brush!

If you need professional help for your painting project, call Freeland Painting. We’ll provide you with a free estimate on your commercial, residential or multi-family painting project.

Give us a call today at 678.679.3126 to schedule your free estimate!

6 Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding

Before we discuss the benefits of fiber cement siding, there’s a question to answer:

What IS fiber cement siding?

You may have heard of this modern building miracle called by a different name: HardiePlank or HardieBoard. That’s because James Hardie Industries is the most well-known manufacturer of fiber cement siding. The company’s name has become synonymous with the product—much like “Q-tips” or “Band-Aids” have become familiar names for cotton swabs or adhesive strips.

Fiber cement siding—also called cementitious siding—is a manufactured siding product made by combining cellulose from wood with fly ash as a filler and Portland cement to bind the ingredients together. The result is a durable, attractive, low-maintenance, fire-resistant, and rot-resistant siding that enhances the value of your home.

Here are 6 benefits of fiber cement siding:

  1. Wood-grain appearance. Though fiber cement does contain cellulose from wood, its wood-grain appearance is embossed on the boards during manufacturing. The appearance of cementitious siding is attractive and classic, beautifying your home as it protects. Fiber cement siding not only comes in a variety of statement colors—we can paint it any color you like!
  2. Rot-resistant. When wood meets water, the result is often decay and rot. Homes with wood siding and trim must be meticulously maintained to prevent wood rot. However, fiber cement siding is highly rot-resistant, because it’s not made of wood. It can withstand wet conditions without compromising its strength. When properly installed, HardieBoard (or any other brand of fiber cement siding) won’t be exposed to sitting water—and therefore, won’t rot.
  3. Fire-resistant. Though not technically fire-proof, fiber cement siding is highly fire-resistant. It has a fire rating similar to brick and can protect your home from exterior fires. The boards won’t burst into flame and feed a fire, unlike other types of siding, including wood siding (which is highly combustible) and vinyl siding (which is derived from petroleum and burns readily).
  4. Environmentally friendly. When lumber companies get to the end of a lumber run, they have leftover wood from trees already cut down that can’t be made into traditional lumber. Fortunately, that’s exactly what fiber cement siding requires: wood cellulose in pulp form (versus in the form of boards). Using leftover wood that might otherwise be wasted means that fiber cement siding is an Earth-friendly, green building material. Manufacturers aren’t cutting down trees to make a cementitious siding. Instead, they’re using the leftover wood from trees that would otherwise go to waste. In addition, the fly ash and cement used in fiber cement board production are abundant and non-toxic.
  5. Insect-resistant. Because the amount of wood cellulose content in fiber cement siding is so low, termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and other wood-boring insects don’t go after it. For that reason, it’s considered an insect-resistant building material.
  6. Increase home value. If you’re considering replacing the current siding on your home, whether it’s wood, aluminum, steel, or vinyl, fiber cement siding is the smart choice when you consider home value. The HardiePlank product itself is more expensive than other siding options, but you definitely get what you pay for. Homeowners find that they recoup their investment in cementitious siding when it’s time to sell their homes. Few other building products perform so dependably as fiber cement siding when it’s properly installed. Potential buyers know the value of this low-maintenance, durable siding option that often comes with a 50-year (or longer!) guarantee when properly installed.

With so many fiber cement board and cementitious trim options on the market today, Freeland Painting can give the entire exterior of your home a durable, fire-resistant surface that will be low-maintenance and guard against rotting wood for decades to come. Because it’s made with cement, HardieBoard keeps its shape and looks beautiful for decades.

If you’re in the market for new siding for your home, the experts at Freeland Painting can help you by answering all of your questions about your siding options and providing a free estimate for fiber cement siding.

Call us today to set up your free estimate, (678) 679-3126, and we’ll renew your house with curb appeal that’s sure to appeal. Because we brush up on the details every day!

Is It Time for New Gutters?

When your house or commercial building was built, the contractor most likely installed gutters around the perimeter of the roof. The reason builders install gutters is to catch rainwater runoff and guide it away from the structure’s foundation and landscaping. This prevents erosion and potential foundation damage that can happen when water collects around a home or commercial building’s base.

Ideally, your gutters will function well without getting clogged by leaves and other falling debris from the Greater Atlanta area’s gorgeous trees. In reality, that’s not always the case.

If gutters get clogged, what will happen?

Without any gutters―or with clogged gutters that don’t function correctly―your house could be in structural danger. When rainwater is allowed to collect and pool around a home’s foundation over time, it can seriously damage the foundation and cause structural damage. That’s why gutters are a big deal.

How can you tell when it’s time for new gutters?

  1. Clogged gutters. If your gutters get clogged often, you’ll need to get up on a ladder to clean out the rotting mess of leaves, sticks, and acorns. That can be a sign that it’s time for a new gutter system.
  2. Sagging gutters. If your gutters are sagging from the weight of too much water and debris, or water pours over the edge of the gutters when it rains—it’s time for new gutters.
  3. Leaking/rusty gutters. If your gutters are leaking at their seams or corners, or if you have rusty seams that look awful—it’s time for new gutters.
  4. Gutters pulling away from the home’s roofline. If your gutters are pulling away from the home’s roofline—it’s time for new gutters.

So, what’s the best type of gutter system that will withstand the Greater Atlanta area’s spring and summer rainstorms?

Freeland Painting has the answer!

Benefits of Seamless Custom Gutters from Freeland Painting

Freeland Painting builds and installs high-quality, seamless custom gutter systems that prevent many problems that traditional gutters can cause.

“We custom build 6-inch gutters in one continuous length with no seams on the straight stretches of your home’s roofline,” said Doug Ireland, founder and CEO of Freeland Painting. Seamless gutters provide a significant advantage because they have fewer failure points: Seams can leak, sag, and collect debris. Without seams, your gutter system will function much better.

“The only seams on Freeland Painting’s custom gutters are in any corners on the home—such as around a bay window—because when there’s a 45-degree corner in the gutter, there has to be a seam. Otherwise, they are completely seamless.”

In addition to providing high-quality seamless gutters, Freeland Painting uses a state-of-the-art mounting system to attach gutters securely to your house.

“Instead of nails, we use hidden gutter brackets that are mounted with screws for a more secure attachment that holds up well over time. Nails often fail to hold the weight of gutters filled with rainwater, making them sag and pull away from the structure. When gutters sag, they hold water; instead of guiding the water to a downspout, the water leaks over the edge of saggy gutters, and they fail.”

The hidden gutter bracket that Freeland Painting uses to secure gutters to your house helps your home’s curb appeal. The bracket is attached to the home’s wood trim from the inside of the gutter. These high-quality brackets connect the gutter’s outer lip for a secure attachment that protects the profile and shape of the gutter long-term.

“We install hidden gutter brackets every 24 inches—instead of 36 inches on a traditional seamed gutter—to hold your gutters securely and prevent sagging and leaking.”

In addition, Freeland Painting can add custom guards to the top of your gutters, which prevent debris from getting caught in them. With this feature, you’ll avoid climbing a ladder to clean out clogged gutters every Fall!

Quite simply, Freeland Painting offers a better gutter.

When you’re ready to replace your sagging, leaking, rusty, clogged gutters, give us a call at 678-679-3126 or email customerservice@freelandpainting.com. We’ll set up a convenient time for our experts to provide you with a free estimate for creating and installing seamless, custom gutters to protect and beautify your home.

What’s the best paint color to sell my house?

Planning to sell your house this year? Then you’re probably busy working through a checklist of things to do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, like this one from Realtor.com. In addition to cleaning, making small repairs, and decluttering, real-estate experts also advise you to consider the outside curb appeal of your home. One major wow factor of your home’s curb appeal is a fresh coat of paint in one of this year’s most popular, trending paint colors.

Need some help with that? That’s where Freeland Painting comes in! We help homeowners in the Greater Atlanta area beautify their homes inside and out with a fresh coat of paint. But what color should you paint the outside to attract today’s buyers?

The Cyclical Nature of Paint Color Trends

Doug Ireland, the founder and CEO of Freeland Painting, has been in the painting and renovation industry for 18 years professionally – 33 years if you include working for his dad while in his teens and twenties. With those years of experience comes a wealth of accumulated industry knowledge.

“Contemporary color choices tend to change from season to season. As with many things that are a matter of taste, popular colors tend to be cyclical,” Doug explained. “For example, just a few years ago, we saw color shades trending in a reverse pattern – meaning, houses had light-color siding and darker-color trim. We haven’t seen that trend since the late 1970s! But it came back.”

“And for those who were glad to see brass door handles and cabinet pulls go out of favor in the 1990s—Well, they’re back.”

Find the Right Color to Help Sell Your Home Fast

Doug shared his thoughts on the colors you should consider to get your home sold.

“Right now, the most popular, trending colors have undertones on the cooler side of the color scale, instead of the warmer side. And gray ― shades of gray and charcoal ― are very hot,” he explained. “The trend has evolved from beige to “greige” to simply gray. This particular color trend morphed very slowly over recent years.”

What is greige, you ask? Greige is simply a mix of gray and beige that results in a richer color. Greige works well in either a cool or warm color scheme. It’s one of the hardest-working colors in the realm!

But back to the best paint color for selling your house: Gray.

“Grays come in a wide array of shades, ranging from rosy or mauve shades, to greenish shades, and then to blue shades of gray,” Doug explained. “The cooler colors of gray that are now popular have a hint of blue in them, but they’re still gray.”

4 Specific House Color Recommendations

In the Sherwin Williams line-up of high-performance paint, Doug shared four recommended colors he recommends to homeowners who aren’t sure what color to paint their homes to sell. These colors would be ideal for either your home’s exterior or interior, appealing to a wide range of buyers.

Three of the four are cooler hues of gray that are most popular right now, but he also adds a fourth choice that’s a bit warmer in undertone:

  1. Mindful Gray (SW-7016) is an extremely popular color because of its neutrality.
  2. Gray Clouds (SW-7658) has cooler undertones than Mindful Gray, with just a hint of blue in it.
  3. Morning Fog (SW-6255) goes another step further toward a blue-gray, and is trending.
  4. Requisite Gray (SW-7023) is a warm gray that’s ideal for people who prefer grays on the warmer side of the scale. Its popularity is fading a bit, but it’s still a nice color.

3 Recommended Accent Colors

As for accent colors on doors and trim, which are trending darker both on the inside and outside of homes, Doug recommends:

  1. Black Fox (SW-7020)
  2. Enduring Bronze (SW-7055)
  3. Iron Ore (SW-7069)

And, if you have a brick home that could use a fresh coat of confidence, we offer a state-of-the-art treatment called Lime Wash that gives your brick home instant old-world charm.

At Freeland Painting, we’re here to help with all of your home’s external and internal painting needs. Helping you choose the right color is part of the service we provide. At Freeland Painting, relationships matter more than the brush and the ladder. That’s why we offer a free color consultation with each job.

Call us today at 678-679-3126 or email customerservice@freelandpainting.com to arrange a convenient time for our experts to provide a free estimate on painting your home. With a high-quality paint job by Freeland Painting, your house will impress every buyer who is lucky enough to see it!