Posts for : September 2015

Can you shade varnish with stain?

Question: Can you add stain to varnish to shade it?

Answer:  Yes, but be careful…

Shading has become popular in lacquers.  Lacquers can only be used in a sprayer (or at least the catalyzed lacquers that builders seem to be in love with).  You can do something similar with varnish but the amount of stain you can add to varnish is very limited in comparison to lacquer.  Adding stain to varnish to shade it slightly can cause a real problem if you add too much.  It can separate while drying and destroy your finish.  In addition, it is advised to avoid it entirely if you have universal colorants at your disposal and you can get the same finish by adding those to the varnish.  Since universal colorants are n longer universally carried by professional painters you can add a very small amount of stain to shade your varnish to achieve a darkened look.  This occurs in several scenarios:  Old casing with new inserts on windows, new doors with old jambs, where a shoe meets a new wood floor etc etc etc.

The scenarios are really endless but the important thing to know is that if you do it with a varnish, it can be brushed or sprayed where as with lacquers you are more limited.  Below is a pic of some doors that were replaced in a home with a fire.  Most of the doors were OK and kept in the house but the owner wanted to speed up (slightly) the new doors with a shaded varnish so we did this in a sprayed finish.  They looked great.

What is a safe way to remove Graffiti without damaging the undercoat?

When one of our fellow citizens runs around at night and decides to paint all over your business, home, commercial building, parking ramp, retaining wall etc etc it causes you a headache.  Their is a new product that we used recently that can remove the graffiti coating and leave the under coat safe from marring, scraping or the  cumbersome task of having to fully paint everything to match.

There are 2 types of products available (both are lemon based out of Australia).  One is for graffiti done on softer surfaces like a previously painted wall and one is for graffiti done on hard surfaces like block, retaining wall, ferrous steel.

On this job a large building in St. Paul was “tagged” and the property manager called us.  We were able to fully remove the graffiti without damaging the pre-finished aluminum siding.  There was no marring and no scraping.  Also, we were not required to prime and paint the surface (which could have voided any manufacturer warranty).  For safe, effective graffiti removal call Complete Custom Painting