Portland house painter answers questions about his work

Portland house painter answers questions about his work

Brad Bernard has been in the painting industry for 36 years. "I enjoy it a lot," he says. "You get a real feeling of accomplishment in painting somebody's home, seeing it look better, and making people very happy."

How and why do you prepare the home for painting?

"We'll power wash it a few days in advance. When we come to paint, one person will mask off the foundation with paper, someone will cover windows with plastic, and another will check the caulking at the windows, doors and seams. We'll also do small repairs.

"Lately, we've seen a lot of woodpecker holes or places where the homeowner has clipped the garage door frame with their bumper. We'll pound in or replace any nails that are sticking out and put on a rust-proofing primer. We also lay tarps around the perimeter.

"Preparation is everything. If you have raw wood, it needs to be primed ahead of time. We'll sand and smooth down the fascia board if it's peeled, then put primer on it.

"If the house isn't washed off properly, it leaves a fine layer of dust on the siding, so washing is critical. Also, make sure everything is caulked properly so you don't develop leaks."

What techniques do you use to remove old paint?

"We'll do scraping. We start with the power wash, and then we scrape and sand. Sanding reduces any scarring you might have."

What's the best type of paint to use?

"It really varies. We don't have one favorite paint, because each of the companies has their own certain characteristics. I'd say 60 percent of the time, we use Sherwin-Williams for the house, then Kelly-Moore for the trim. Rodda or Miller are good local brands.

"We'll use Benjamin Moore once in a while, if the customer specifies it. It's hard to beat Sherwin-Williams' top-of-the-line paints, I think, but we'll use whatever the customer wants."

What advice do you have for customers when they're picking a color for their home?

"Stick with the color charts from the paint manufacturers. Most hire professional color coordinators to put colors together. Definitely put samples on both the lit and shady parts of the house.

"Right now, the trend is in the greens, but taupe is our No. 1 all-time color."

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