Atlanta painter enjoys seeing a job from start to finish
After spending years working for various painting companies, Vaughn Stallings decided to start his own five years ago. "It's great because I get to implement a lot of the marketing ideas those companies weren't willing to try," he says. And while he admits being the boss is great, Stallings finds the most enjoyable aspect of his job is physically seeing a project through from start to finish. "I like being hands-on to ensure 100% satisfaction."
How and why do you prepare the home for painting?
"We know from experience that a clean surface is crucial to a lasting paint job. We always pressure wash the home first to remove any mold spores or mildew. Next, we cover any greenery around the house to protect it from any paint scrapings. Then, we scrape and sand all the deteriorated areas around the house. We then apply a coat of primer to those deteriorated areas. Any rotten wood is replaced with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This looks and acts just like real wood, blends perfectly and will never rot. All open joints and cracks are filled with siliconized acrylic caulk, which is paintable when fully cured."
What's the best type of paint to use?
"Paint technology is ever changing and we try to keep up with it as much as possible. We almost exclusively use exterior latex paints from Sherwin Williams. They're leading the way in evolving paint into environmentally-safe products that adhere well in warm and cold conditions. Years ago, the alkyd (or oil) paints were all the rage because of their even flow and ability to hide imperfections. The problem was, a gallon of alkyd paint contains about two quarts of mineral spirits. These solvents evaporate into the air as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), causing pollution. Aside from that, alkyd paints take forever to dry, where latex paint can cure in as little as thirty minutes."
What advice do you have for customers picking a color?
"We're not color specialists by any stretch of the imagination. Everyone has different tastes. Who am I to say that you're crazy for wanting a 'Smurf' blue house with pink trim? Recently it seems that people are starting to go toward darker colors like browns and darker greens. But you still have your traditionalists who stick with off-whites and taupes."
What's the strangest color request for a home's exterior you've ever had?
"'Smurf' blue with pink trim. You thought I was joking?"