Our Blog

These blogs are written and updated regularly by painting enthusiasts, we are obsessed with reinventing and redesigning homes. This blog will highlight the best and latest painting trends, techniques and practices, to help you in your next project.

Home January 2017

No Pressure in Pressure Washing

Pressure washing a wooden deck

Your patio, car and other property are exposed daily to a whole host of different elements; this can lead to a build up dirt, dust, mold and debris. This can completely mask and age the look of your property. This is where pressure washing comes in to restore your surface to its best form!

Power washing is a cleaning method that uses high-pressure mechanical water spray to remove layers of dirt off a variety of surfaces. It offers an easy solution to tough cleaning jobs, such as removing flaking paint or preparing a surface prior to painting. Doing this can ensure that your paint will last longer.

However, most homeowners underestimate the importance of being informed on how to use a pressure washer. If the wrong technique is applied, it can cause significant damage. Don’t make the mistake of likening a power washer to a toy water gun, the level of pressure the machine has could lead to serious harm to a person or property. So never point the machine at pets or other people.

Follow these tips to get the most out of your pressure washer and to get the job done right the first time!

No Pressure in Pressure Washing

Pressure Washer

So, how does one operate a power washer safely? Firstly, it is important to protect yourself. We advise whenever operating a power washer, that you wear safety glasses, gloves, and sensible shoes to avoid damage to the skin. Next, it is important to check that both water and electrical outlets are tightly secured at all times. Have a look over the machine to see if there are any obvious damages or cracks. If any cracks are present, the washer will not work properly.

There are a vast array of pressure washers available on the market. Be sure to pick one that is suitable for your needs and the scale of the job you intend to carry out. Every pressure washer is different in its operation. So, we suggest that you read the instructions and safety guidelines very carefully, this may seem time-consuming and is often overlooked by many people. However, failure to adhere to these can lead to damage to yourself and your property.

There are a few tips to bear in mind regardless of which power washer you have.

Be sure to choose the right nozzle. The nozzle you should use will depend on what type of cleaning job you are going to implement. As the nozzles vary with each pressure washer, it would not be possible to say which nozzle suits which surface. What we advise is that you try using the different nozzles on a small area of the surface to see which nozzle best suits. To avoid accidents as you are changing the nozzles, make sure that the nozzle is attached properly before attempting to use the machine.

No Pressure in Pressure Washing

Man does pressure washing at least 4 feet away from the area.

Once you have decided on a nozzle. Test your pressure washer. You can do this by standing 4 feet away from the target area you hope to clean. Move the wand side to side to check if the area is getting cleaned.  You could move closer to apply more pressure. That being said the key thing when operating the machine is to have patience and to use the correct technique. By applying too much pressure and not using a gradual motion, you run the risk of causing a break in the surface.

Now you can apply your detergent of choice, allow it time to soak into the surface for at least 3-5 minutes. This will ensure the soap latches onto the surface and the stain and lifts it out.

Now to use the pressure washer. Technique is crucial at this point. Random spraying will lead to areas left unwashed and streaks. These will be extremely visible once the surface has dried. So to avoid wasting time and an uneven look, spray horizontally from left to right in a slow sweeping motion. Start from the top of the area and work your way down this will minimize the risk of streaks and dripping. It is best to start at the lowest pressure and work your way up, especially when you are trying to clean windows. After cleaning the surface, give it enough time to dry before attempting to paint or apply anything over it.

Power washing can lead to extremely costly damage if done incorrectly. Don’t despair, HNM Painting is on hand to help relieve you of the pressure. Contact us anytime at 843-263-2409 or drop us an e-mail at info[at]hnmpainting.com.

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Wallpaper Removal: Never An Easy Thing

You sit, staring at the walls surrounding your room and it occurs to you, exactly how long has it been since you’ve had the same wallpaper stuck on those four walls. The look of your room is outdated and dull. You then let your imagination take over and consider painting the walls to bring some much-needed life back into your room. Another thought then follows, how exactly are you going to remove this wallpaper which has pretty much embedded itself to your walls?

At first glance, you may think that that wallpaper removal is an easy task. However, when you start looking into it further, it dawns on you, this task is not going to be an easy one. You can’t simply peel the wallpaper like you would a banana. But do not lose hope! With the right planning, in conjunction with determining the right techniques for your specific wallpaper, you can accomplish what could be a messy task if not done correctly.

The first step would be to remove any furniture from the room. Move any furniture or fixtures that cannot be removed into the center of the room to increase your workspace. Once you have done this, cover them, so as to protect them.

Now it’s time to examine your outdated wallpaper to determine what best technique would be to remove the wallpaper. Materials such as vinyl, foil, liner, and fabric wall coverings in most cases will peel off easily. While other materials, such as the old style of flock wallpapers, require more time and effort. After determining what type of covering you currently have and want to remove, it would be beneficial to do a test run on a 1X1 square foot area to ensure the process and tools you are using, work for your wallpaper.

Wallpaper Removal: Never An Easy Thing

Removing wallpaper using a steamer

There are several wallpaper-removal techniques: steaming, dry-stripping, soaking and scraping.

Steaming can result in scalding if you are not sure on how to execute it. There are several things you can do to minimize the risk to scald yourself. We suggest wearing a protective rubber gloves, and a long-sleeved top. You should also, set aside a pan where you can place your steamer. Now the preparation is done, start steaming from the top of the wall. If the wall is too high, consider using a stepladder. Hold the steamer’s hotplate against the wall to soften the wallpaper. Following which, move the steamer away from the area you’ve just softened so that you can now peel the wallpaper off.

Wallpaper Removal: Never An Easy Thing

Stripping wallpaper using a putty knife

Dry-stripping is the easiest technique. However, do bear in mind that not all wallpapers are dry-strippable. In order to ‘dry strip,’ use a putty knife to lift the corners or the edge of the wallpaper gently. Continue this till all of the wallpaper has come off. There may be some adhesive that is left after this. You could use it for your next cover, but we would advise that you check with an expert to see if it is compatible with your next wallpaper.

If you also want to remove the adhesive backing, then the best technique for you would be soaking and scraping. Soaking and scraping involves mixing warm water with a special solution which is intended for wallpaper removal. Put the mixed solution in a spray bottle then spray it on the surface. This will soften the wallpaper.

Following this, scrape the soaked wallpaper with a taping knife or wallpaper scraper. If the paper is non-porous, roughen the surface first by using sandpaper or any perforating tool. This will allow for the solution to penetrate and dissolve the remaining adhesive. Once the entire covering is removed, use a sponge to wash the walls with either water, wallpaper-removing solution, or a non-phosphate cleaner. To finish things up, sponge and rinse your wall with clean water until all residues are out. You will be left with a perfectly clean canvas ready for your new ideas!

We would like to bring more life, not just into your walls, but also into your home. Remember that walls are the basic foundation of your home. We really want to be part of helping transform your thoughts into reality. If you need someone to brainstorm your ideas with, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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