Queen Anne House Painting | Custom Home Walk Through DEC 2013


 See This Project on HOUZZ


Andy Sewrey: Can I start? You promise?

We’re here in Seattle; this is an interior new construction project that we’re doing on a custom home. We’ve been working on the bid on this job for really almost close to a year. There’s a lot of special surfaces in here and a lot of special finishes, I’m just going to walk you through and show you some of them.

Let’s start over here on the millwork, the windows. This is the primary stain grade component on the job, this is all riff cut oak, it’s all been custom milled, and everything’s matched between what you see in the walls and ceilings and what not as far as grain pattern. This stuff is a dyed and stained finish or process prior to clear coats. The basic process on this is going to be popping it with water which opens the grain up and allows the dye to penetrate evenly; from there there’s a light sanding, we apply the dye, we let that dry out, then you apply an oil stain, let that dry and then start building up your clear coats and there’s some sanding involved in between those steps. This is going to be a gunmetal black when it’s done, it’ll still show the grain and that’s the challenge here is getting a real black color that doesn’t look painted or opaque. That’s why we use a dye to get in it deep and then a stain to tone it out over the top. That’s’ going to be on all the windows you see if you take a look around here you’re going to see them they’re floor to ceiling they go all over the place.

Custom Home Walk Through

The next feature that they’ve done is a flush detail between walls and your baseboards. So, this is an even plane, we’ll have an enamel on the base and this is a wood base and this is a level 5 drywall finish, we’ll talk about that in a minute. So here again, this is raw wood, I believe this is hemlock, this is going to be really a standard enamel process, but on this particular project it really does have to be bang on and that’s why they went with wood instead of MDF, it’s more stable, it paints out better, it holds the fill better and lots of those sorts of things. So we’ll fill the nail holes, prime it, touch fill it again, any caulking that’s needed–on this one there’s not a lot of caulk joints because they shadowlined a lot of it but there’s some details to protect. There’s the way the color transfer and the sheen works down here is going to be really tricky, and then that moves into the drywall.

The drywall in this one is level 5, for those of you who don’t know there’s basically level three, four and five that you primarily work with, five being the highest level of smooth wall, and that’s what we have here. So on this one, there will be some sanding, this has been all floated, so after the sheet rock goes up they do a final coat of mud on it and sand that down and then it gets a coat of primer. And this primer has been backrolled, but if you look at this point there’s still little bits of stuff in the finish here and there, that’ll need to be knocked off and of course there’s a little bit of trade damage that we’ll have to fill and what not but that’s normal. This job has been really clean; they’ve done a great job of protecting things and not making it difficult that way. Then we’ll apply our finishes, on level five it’s usually a matte or an eggshell, sometimes a flat finish it just depends, but the paint application is critical and the roller streaking and the detail that you go to on that. And also on this one, if you look closely there’s a black shadowline here that needs to be maintained so we don’t want to get a whole bunch of paint down in this back black area, we want to keep that detail clean which is going to require some pretty heavy detail work.

We’ve also got a bunch of cabinetry here, you see the cabinets themselves pre-installed here but we’ll go over and look at some of the parts and talk about them.

John Shearer: Let’s talk about the potentially five different high gloss colors.

Andy: Okay, and these particular parts, what you see here is mostly doors and shelves that will face out the inserts, they wanted a pre-finish black interior on all their cabinets which the cabinet shop did and they did a great job on that. We’re doing a bunch of colors, there’s five plus here, this is all an MDF package. The reason they use MDF is this is an extruded manmade material so its super uniform surface, and we’re using a very high sheen enamel on this, it’ll be a full gloss, and these will look like a swimming pool when they are done. The easiest way to refer to it is basically a piano finish, this type of material needs a light sanding for adhesion but you don’t want to get too deep into it, you don’t want to compromise the level plane that the surface has from the factory. Few challenges with this type of material is on the cut ends, they’re much more porous than the actual surface, that’s just a byproduct of the extrusion process so they’ll be double priming and some real sanding that has to happen on these edges so that—they sometimes get furry and a little bit rough. So to have a uniform finish all around there’s some special work that needs to be done there, and a lot of care taken to be sure you don’t roll these corners over when you’re doing that sanding so you maintain your profile. Let’s look at the shelves again one more time; these are pretty particular as well being that they are faced out with poplar which you can see here, this is the leading edge of poplar and then the MDF. The MDF is good against direct impact, but the poplar will hold up better on the corners and that’s the reason they do this. This particular scene, there’s a lot of places in this cabinet package where things are faced out with poplar to the MDF and we have to make sure we don’t have this seam showing everywhere.  This is just something that’s kind of undercover on the whole project to make sure that it holds up better down the line.


And then the main feature of this house is the stairwell, it’s over here. This is again drywall; the way this was built was pretty spectacular the work that’s been done to this point is nothing short of world class, it’s great. We got a completely flowing radius that goes through all three floors of the stairwell on this job and there’s going to be some challenges in applying the paint finish the right way. It’s not that difficult to paint a smooth wall, and I say that with the assumption that everything is easy until you do it, but for a journeyman painter, they should be able to go to a level five smooth wall and know what they are doing. When you have it on a radius like this, things get complicated. You’re working with straight tools being a roller, a roller is a cylinder, on a constantly changing surface; and making sure that you don’t have roller streaks in it is really quite challenging, we’re looking forward to this. So that this point it’s been primed, it’s ready for finish, we’ll clean it up and look for some little spot touchups and what not, but as you take a look down, you know, we’ll take this off and have a good look at it but once we get going this is going to be a dedicated chunk of work that we have to do here and if we come down and take a look at some of the detail here as well, where this finish intersects the previously finished floor surface here, this is some of that example of trade damage when they did their floor finish. This is typical, you know, nobody did anything wrong here this is normal, but you have a very crisp clean line running up this curved surface and no matter how good of a job we do on the big surface, if that transition is not nailed, it’ll blow the whole thing. So this is a really challenging spot, it’ll be fun to get this right.

So as we come down, this is another view of the stairwell, so if I would come down here, I’m about 6’5 to give you a little bit of perspective on where we’re standing. That goes twenty-five to thirty feet all the way back up and this is just a completely flowing thing, it almost reminds me of the Guggenheim a little bit, it’s quite cool. The lighting on this is going to be really challenging as well, they’ll be a lot of side lights, going to show a lot of imperfections, and as I’ve said before we’ve got this detail all the way down the edge and this one is even a little more challenging because this is stone as opposed to wood, so there is a grout line and what not to work with which is not as consistent as working with a wood to drywall joint.

John: Pool wall.

Andy: Ah, down here, the pool? So this is the lap pool area down here, we’re on the lower level of the house, they’ll have a small lap pool house here but again we’ve got another radiused wall down here. This one is a radiused wall, but you almost call is a cloud because it’s floating, again the same challenges that we talked about before: you don’t have square corners to work with you’ve got to really nail it in these radiuses and we’ve got a ton of natural light just hammering these surfaces, so it’s going to show anything that may not be right in the surface. Staging here is obviously an issue as well, we have to kind of pay attention when we get in here with our staging to be safe, and it’s a big hole you can fall in, we’ll get to that when we actually get in here and get painting. There are some cool features to this house and all the design elements come through, same millwork throughout, same baseboard detail and varying heights if we look behind us we’ve got an eight inch baseboard as opposed to a four inch upstairs and then a lot of the dynamics of the house are going to come out of the cabinet package with all the different colors and they’re actually doing some really cool things with lighting as well but that’s more on the designer side than what we’re working on. We’re proud of this one, it’s going to be pretty spectacular when we wrap it all up.