Charlotte painter says prep work takes time

Charlotte painter says prep work takes time

In the Navy, Rick Carter painted massive ships and submarines. Three years later, in 1983, Carter took his service skills into the private sector by opening his painting business, Accents Professional Painting Wallpapering Co.

How do you prepare the home for painting?

"We pressure wash the home to start. We remove all storm windows, and cover up plants, shingles and walkways. We sand all painted surfaces, cut out damaged caulking and remove bad window glazing. It's important to do these things for the longevity of the paint job. The prep work is actually the majority of the work. Painting is easy. Prep work for us takes three to five days, depending on the condition of the home."

What techniques do you use to remove old paint?

"Besides hand scraping and mechanically sanding, there are some chemical paint removers you can use, especially with lead-based paint. If it's a general paint removal, you can just hand or mechanically scrape it. If the customer wants the paint completely removed, we use a chemical stripper."

What's the best type of paint to use?

"Acrylics are the best type to use now. Most of use are trying to get away from oil-based paint. Acrylics are more environmentally friendly, and their longevity and flexibility are better than oil-based paint. The oil-based paint cracks and peels more quickly. My paint preference is Porter or Sherman Williams for exterior. Of course, we use them all, especially if the customer is happy with another kind of paint."

What's the average size of the homes you paint, and what's the typical cost for a job?

"The average size is probably 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. The average cost is $6,000. We charge by the job. We have different prices for windows, boxing and doors. We don't have a square-foot price, because some people want only one coat and some people need more prep work. We base our fee on labor time."

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