Monday, January 14, 2013

Interior Painting and Finishing Details - Notorious Quality Killers

Quality Matters

The term "quality" brings to mind superiority or excellence, and when it comes to interior painting and the installation of finishing details like moldings and hardware, quality is often lacking. 

I found an article on this subject in the San Francisco Chronicle many years ago and held on to it because I thought, "Here's someone who thinks the way I do". I wish I'd kept the name of the author (he was an architect, as I recall) so that I could give him the credit he deserves. Many points might seem obvious, but the list brings needed attention to some examples of the sloppy work that's all too common. Be aware of these notorious quality killers, and don't accept them. 

"Notorious Quality Killers

Here are some notorious quality killers that can sully a fine job at the last minute: 

  • Indifferent painting is the surest way to doom a job. Although paint is the predominant finish on most houses, it often suffers from being carried out late in the project, when money and patience are at a low ebb. Poor workmanship results, either because the job is rushed, or because incompetent painters are hired in a misguided attempt to save money.  The quality killers: gloppy application, drips and runs, ragged or wavy brushwork along edges or paint on fixtures, finish hardware, masonry or glass. None of these  shortcomings should be tolerated.

  • Moldings such as baseboard, door trim and ceiling cove are often treated as last-minute frou-frou by harried contractors, even though they’re among the most obvious finish items. Quality killers include inaccurate or open miters, ragged or splintered cuts, and gaps between moldings and floors, walls and ceilings. All standard moldings (such as door trim) should be installed plumb and square. Running moldings (such as baseboards) should align properly and have clean, tight miters. Gaps should be neatly caulked. The last step, mind you, is seldom carried out (unless you’ve hired a skilled painting contractor), but is imperative to any quality installation.

  • Highly conspicuous finish hardware items such as door lock sets, cabinet pulls, towel bars, grilles and the like usually get hasty treatment because they’re among the last thing installed. Obvious lapses in quality include mismatched finishes (polished brass mixed with satin brass, for instance), off-plumb or misaligned pulls or trim plates, crooked towel bars and locks and catches that don’t engage properly. Insist that such items be neatly installed and placed perfectly plumb, level or square, as appropriate."

I'm so glad this this architect spoke up for quality. The saying that God (or the Devil) is in the details is true, and the people who set high standards for their work are the ones you want to hire. 

A Special Word to Home Sellers

If you want to price your house at the top of its range, be sure it doesn't suffer from these notorious "quality killers". Correcting them is even more crucial when the house is vacant, because they'll be in full view and very evident to buyers. Sloppy painting with cheap materials will devalue your house and make it more difficult to sell.

Roger at Work Patching Holes

Expert Painting and Cosmetic Repairs

Take a look around your house. Do you see any quality killers? If you need help to address them, a professionally trained painting contractor like Roger, who's skilled in making cosmetic repairs, can solve many of the problems described above, plus others that weren't listed. 

Call me at 828-692-4355 to schedule an estimate. 

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