Deck and Porch Care FAQ

It is that time of year again, and before you know it, the annuals will have all been planted.
So before that happens, don’t you want to sit back on the deck and enjoy the hues and fragrance of nature this summer?

This exercise will deff be more enjoyable if your deck has had its proper maintenance already performed

Here are some quick answers to some pertinent questions about spring deck care to help you out.

Q.) The exterior concrete deck I plan to stain is old and porous -How should I best handle this situation ?
A.)  As always, you want to make sure the surface is completely clean and free of any grease or contaminants that could interfere with the adhesion.
To make sure there is not a sealer on the concrete, just sprinkle some water on it. If the water soaks in, that is the indication there is not a sealer on the concrete. Once clean, dry and sound, stain away.

If water beads up, that indicates there is a sealer present and you’ll need to remove it. If not completely removed, your new stain, sealer or coating will likely not adhere, and will be prone to premature failure.


If a deck is already stained, does the stain I put on it have to be the same kind — in other words, is a water-based stain compatible with an oil-based formula?

Paint blog when to paint

If you are a homeowner, chances are you have considered the subject of Exterior Painting, at least once.
I have heard of some seriously considering doing this in the Fall and Winter months but are worried about the outcome, and wisely so. Then they learn that it’s not possible due to moisture and cold.
So the Next Question that naturally arises, is:

What is the best painting season for a house exterior?

It is true that modern paints and improved paint technology lets you paint outside at temps as low as 35 degrees F (as long as you buy paint that carries a low-temp rating).
I do not like to go below 40 degrees, just for personal preference of being on the safe side, and the vicissitudes of Wisconsin weather are unpredictable and unforgiving.
In the Milwaukee area, the average first frost comes around October 15. Yet, I have painted exteriors up to Nov 1st and felt quite comfortable doing so, while watching the weather forecasters promising that the low temp will not dip below 35
 in the pre-dawn hours, and enjoyed sunny, mild fall weather throughout the shortened workday,.I have wished some days would be never-ending as I happily wielded brush and roller behind my spray rig.

Can Vinyl Siding be painted?

Vinyl siding can be a great upgrade to the appearance of your home. Yet,

Over time, it may become faded or oxidized and you may want to freshen it up or even change the color completely.
The question often comes up – can you paint vinyl siding?
The short answer is yes. Of course, there is more to it than that.
The longer answer will depend on the brand of vinyl siding as well as the type of paint.

It is always a good idea to use a professional painter who has painted on vinyl siding before but if you feel your DIY skills are up for the task, this is entirely up to you.

The main reason that painting siding may become problematic is that homeowners do not always take into consideration the characteristics of vinyl and the manner in which the material contracts and expands. While other material like wood may also do this, the degree is not generally as extreme.
Not to mention that wood typically expands and contracts during seasonal weather changes, but vinyl materials go through more drastic changes every day and night. For this reason, you may be required to perform touchups more often.

The other major consideration is the product you apply to the vinyl surface.
You need compatibility with vinyl compounds and you can find it in a high-grade acrylic paint that is designed for vinyl. The higher grade options have the elasticity needed.
The absolute best choice at this time for a paint that can work with the expansion and contraction of the PVC is a water based urethane blended with acrylic resins.

Newly edited (07/12/15) Benny Moore has a product made specifically for this purpose, see here:

Making a color choice is also more important than most people realize. While it is possible to paint vinyl, your choices are more limited than what you would have if painting a different type of surface. It is simply a good idea to paint the siding a shade lighter than the original siding color.
The reason is that darker colors absorb more heat and this can end up causing damage to the vinyl. The manufactured color of the siding you have was specific in order to withstand only certain temperatures. Turning to a darker color means taking the risk of causing heat damage such as distortion or buckling.

And of course, painting it too much lighter may also require more coats to be able to overtake the original vinyl color.

Also, any material should always be well cleaned and thoroughly dry before painting.  It is always necessary to wash your siding to remove dirt, mold and other outdoor pollution that can accumulate over time.
The best method to use is hand washing with a sponge because pressure washers can actually leave behind a film that is hard to see. Use an organic soap such as Simple Green and pay attention to the conditions as you are washing. You may prefer to use a pressure washer to rinse, but do not get too far away from the surface, because the volume of water is decreased to a fog and the effectiveness will be limited compared to a high-pressure nozzle on a garden hose.
If not thoroughly dried, you may get a drip from underneath some edges that will give the finish job some adverse reactions, so do not be in a hurry to open up paint cans just yet, and your new color will look good for the longest time.

Please respond with any further questions and I will try to answer all post haste.

It Takes more than Paint

The Process of Painting can be quite strenuous. -But much more than that,
You must be prepared to do the prep work.
I can not stress this enough.

Besides moving furniture and placing tarps and having all other incremental tasks completed in order, there is an application process, which involves a definite learning curve.

Preparing the surface is easily overlooked, because the paint will cover over that, right?  Wrong. 
No. Not. Never.  I want to simplify the subject for you, -but:
Not only does the new paint coating actually magnify imperfections in an exaggerating way,
(by reflecting light and drawing the eye to inconsistancies beneath the surface)
 but if the substrate is not optimally ready to accept fresh paint, it will not adhere correctly and this is a worse problem, because the failed paint needs to be removed before applying the new covering correctly.

Firstly, Good preparation is critical to a long-lasting exterior finish.  It does not matter if you’re paying a pro or are doing it yourself, there are not any real shortcuts. That means scraping, sanding, and cleaning the surface correctly and  thoroughly.  Scraping removes old flakes of paint, but you may not want to use a scraper for final finish preparation, because sandpaper is not nearly as aggresive and will leave a much more level and uniform surface for the new covering to lay down on.
Which brings us to the paint.
And while the best paints cover in one coat–and many claim to eliminate the need to prime the surface, it is best to stay away from bargain brands and clearance sales, and the Paint-and-primer-in-one paints, which will not perform as well in either area than a paint or a primer, but leave you with a compromise in both areas.
If you need a primer, use it, and if you do not need to use primer, do not use a primer-and-paint in one!
This does not include the variety of quality paints on the market presently that are called ‘primerless paint’  because these contain the proper binders and will adhere well under normal conditions, but they do not eliminate all needs for primers in all situations.

Other materials may require different procedures, such as Stucco and masonry, for example. These may need sealing beforehand or other preparation. It takes a trained eye to know what steps need to be taken to ensure against premature failure. 

And also, take note of environmental and health regulations.  If you sand or scrape paint on a house built before 1978, be warned: Older coats of paint will likely contain lead, so you’ll need to take extra precautions, and you should be aware of lead abatement procedures in order to do the job safely.  Indeed, federal law now requires that painters you hire be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and be trained AND certified in lead-safe work practices.
But do not be over-alarmed, for if your house has been completely stripped in any year since 1975 or so, chances are that lead paint has not been reapplied after that.  This is because while the law came into effect in 1978, the paint manufacturers were actually taking notice of the problem well beforehand. -Some may argue just not soon enough.

So the gist of it all, is to properly prepare the surface, as well as yourself prior to tackling any project involving paint.

Oil base. Alcohol base. Water base. Acrylic, Enamel, Latex. What you have now and what you will have when you are through are some parameters to get a grip on before you start the process.  It takes more than Paint, and it takes more than tarps and tape. -It takes patience coupled with a strenuous energy and know-how in order to accomplish a job that you can be proud of, and one that will last for years to come.

Besides the fact that paint products have been coming up in price with increasing rapidity.
With all the increased regulations that manufacturers have to comply with, they are unable to keep a newly developed line on the shelf for very long without repeatedly making formular adjustments. And, these require field testing, and these procedures are labor-intensive which drive up the cost of the end product.

This is why when you want to apply paint, and protect your investment, you will want to find a contractor that offers value-added service. This task also is not the most easy task.  Word of mouth is more reliable than internet advertising. Find out what past customers have to say about a particular firm, and discuss your concerns with the company owner to get a feel of how he relates to your concerns.

I sincerely desire that you find not only the right color to paint, but the right painter as well!

Painting is much more

There is more to painting than color on substrate.
It is more important than the quality of product.
Because, this career does not offer a “passive” income where one may outsource everything and go live on a beach.

Another thing that many home owners do not even consider is the amount of prep time involved. This is usually a bigger job than the painting itself!  And then, when the job is over and you are tired, who wants to spend time cleaning out the tools or cleaning up the mess?

When having your own house painted, you want to grasp the idea that a professional painter is more than a creature with a skeleton and muscles connected to a set of eyes. I’m am writing this to say that there’s more to it, Painting is more than a occupation. It is a service, an industry and a way to make a living.
The service industry is dying out because no one wants to put themselves underneath their job. Service is about doing things for others, to increase their quality of life, and really caring about the work you do, when it will be enjoyed by someone else.

And in return, a good customer will realize that they have supported you in your efforts, as you earn a living and raise a family while contributing to the local economy. And they will also understand that you need to make a profit.
Painting is a competitive business, and it costs a lot to even land a job.
(I do not hire salesmen, so I pay for painting leads through HomeAdvisor)

Painters need more than their skill and expertise to succeed. They also need transportation, tools and equipment, and also, working capitol and insurance.
Besides, it is not easy for someone to find good painter that they are comfortable with, and who also can be trusted entering your home and working alone.
Painters need to have a firm grasp on the idea of scruples, which has much to do with ethics and morality: and knowing what exactly is the difference right and wrong. There needs to be a solid foundation of Truth, as a fondation built on a rock.
I have done work for owners that live out of state. I gain access through the realtor’s lockbox, and have received great reviews from clients whom I have hardly met.  I will handle all your needs when it comes to a move-in or a move-out, so all you have to do one phone call or email. Timplex is the painter you are looking for.


Do Colors have Meaning?

Is there emotion contained within? probably not.
However, do not dismiss this abstract science out-of-hand.
Do colors effect Psychology? Some evidence is in the affirmative.
Just take a glance at this pie chart and you may begin to understand:

Further suggestions show that Red may be equated with Confidence, Power, Pride, Desire, Strength, Love, or Action.
The choice is left up to you what room is best to play these out:
Kitchen, Den, or Garage, any room works in my book.
The color Blue favors: Wisdom, Health, and Stability. Again, how do you choose a room to contain all that?
My bedroom was blue at one time but since I sleep with my eyes closed, I guess a nice beige is fine for now.
Yellow increases Fun, Humor and Creativity, and its polar opposite is Purple, which does not decrease fun, but actually symbolizes Royalty, Wisdom, and Passion. In historic times, Purple, or Violet, was the color preferred by royalty, probably because no one else could afford it. Blues and Reds are expensive colors today, say you were puchasing a piece of Red Stained Glass for a project, you would end up paying more than if you were to choose yellow.  And Blue is costly because it comes from grinding lapis lazuli into a powder, which could be mixed together with Red, that comes from the mineral Cinnebar and there we can start to get our purple, or nowadays you could also extract purple pigment from the skin of blueberries.

We could go in many directions with this symbolism in relation to colors, but if I were to have the definitive answer to such a vague question, I would surely be standing on something other than a ladder for the bulk of my days.

What I do know is that, lately, I have seen a surge in the popularity of grays in various shades, as well as tans. 
To me, this is not a promising forecast if I were to predict the direction that the present society’s emotions are headed. It would seem as if the positive outlook which normally prevails is not presently active, if even available, and the people who study the emotions of color are not yet ready to go down that road. Yet.


Get this:  Over 1.57 Billion gallons of paint are sold in the U.S. each year.

Many retailers treat painting as a DIY project, but the majority of paint they sell is still to professionals

What Is Paint?

Most people think of paint as a colorful coating. It may be on the walls, or cars, or even a boat.
Paint Is Decorative, and Artistic. So, it is used for decoration.

Paint is Protective. For your car or boat and your home exterior, -or interior if there are young children.

Paint is Durable. The better the paint, the longer it lasts before failure starts to show.
Paint is Strenuous, -to apply that is,  and paint is expensive. So you want to do it right.

So, what IS It?

Paint is composed primarily of a vehicle, usually either oil or water, which is used as the base.

Next, we have the pigment, which is what most consumers are interested in. 

Next is the Binder, of which there are many varieties. Suffice it to say that the binder exists to hold the pigment to the surface.
Such is the composition of paint, -simplified.

It interests me greatly to see that a film so thin is able to last so many years in Wisconsin’s weather.
From July heat, to January cold, this thin membrane that is often less than 5 thousandths of an inch thick, will be protecting the exterior of your home from premature failure for many years.

So, for paint to be a value to consumers, it must be blended in exact and correct proportions so that, when the paint is finally applied, the finish membrane is a continuous, uniform coating which is smooth and attractive.
 And, this brings us to the application of the coating.
When so much goes in to the development, manufacturing, shipping and sales of a paint product, wouldn’t you think that it should be applied as well as possible?

Many times, the prep work takes longer than the application. I have seen exterior paint jobs where preparation is 90% of the work, or more. And this is not even that uncommon.
I like to wash the surface by hand with biodegradable soap first, and then use a pressure washer for rinsing only.

Inside or out, You want the correct coverage, and you want it to be applied correctly.
And you also do not want to worry about clean-up. 

Think about calling Timplex, and then you will be comfortable knowing you have access to the facts, the information, and the skills of an experienced professional who always keeps service and quality foremost in mind!

If you can conceive it, Timplex can achieve it.
Tim, the owner/operator of Timplex LLC will do his best to answer your call personally, if you would call his cell phone at 262-510-9123





A New Coat of Paint

There are few things that add to a home’s value like a fresh coat of paint.
Not just any Paint, Quality Paint!
Interior paint,
Exterior paint,
There is a lot of difference to a prospective buyer between:
a clean, modern look with fresh crisp lines,
and a smudged, stained wall with nails sticking out where pictures used to hang.
Exterior repairs,
Interior repairs,
Appearance can make all the difference between a quick sale, or a house languishing on the market.

Let Timplex talk this over with you by phone, or possibly a home visit.
Tim not only paints, he does floors, windows, and even polishes woodwork to make your home look fresh and clean. And then, all your rubbish gets hauled away, too.
You will know no anxiety, only peace of mind.

This is why customers of Timplex smile, and say, “Much more than just a painter!”


Is it a Pain to Paint?

There are many reasons why painters are one of the least revered of all trades.
And a lot of this has to do with the paint manufacturers themselves, such as Sherwin Williams. When sales personel in the retail stores pump up a customer’s ego with an attitude that “Anybody can do this”, it does not help the public image of a professional painter.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Sherwin Williams. Their paint is premium quality, and the sales people are top notch, for the most part.  But there is also good reason why they sell the majority of their paint to contractors.

Maybe it is the fact that this locale does not require any special licensing, as for plumbers and electricians. But we painters sure do fix a lot of ‘goofs’ left behind by these trades that are held in higher regard. And we often do not get any extra pay.  Oh, speaking of pay, a  builder or remodeling contractor for instance, will spend good money on carpenters, plumbers, masons, drywallers, you name it. But by the time the painter shows up, the money is not in the budget anymore and we are expected to give a more affordable price.

Maybe it is the amount of paint stores out there. Home Depot for instance, sells the label ‘Behr’.  I have met a lot of people in the last 15 years or so that are very loyal to Behr paint.  I do not know why. Consumer Reports has named True Value’s paint as the best value-rated paint. I use Sherwin Williams, because of the amount of locations thay have in this area. About 33 stores, and everywhere I need to go, there is a SW paint store on the way there. That is great when I need to run in the middle of the day for something unexpected.
Besides, with stores in all suburbs and the inner city, there is no shortage of people who recognize the name.
When I say “Pratt and Lambert” or “Hallman Lindsay” I will get more blank stares than knowing nods.

And then, there are so many people that tell me that they just hate to paint. I guess that if you are good at something, you enjoy doing it, and if you are not good at something, well you can hardly enjoy it and when you don’t enjoy something it is hard to become good at it.

So if you find it unpleasant to paint your panes, or if your pains make it uncomfortable to paint, or, if you just have concerns about time or budget, Tim can handle it with his high standards of excellence!

So please do not think of Timplex as only a painter. Tim offers so much more than that, such as drywall repairs on walls or ceilings, fence and deck staining, wallpaper removal, and so much more. You take pride in your home and Timplex shows as much care in many other services as you find in his painting. You know that when you choose his personalized service, you will be getting the best quality as well.