When to paint your house exterior in Atlanta?

The best time of year to paint the exterior of your home in Atlanta is from the 1st of March through end of November.  But its important to remember that in Atlanta you can paint all year round.   Through the winter the majority of the days are mild enough to paint.

During the summer it is best to avoid 95 degrees and above.  Painting contractors will generally start, on hot days, in the morning on the sunny side of the house.  Then by afternoon as the temperature increases they will work the shady side of the hose.  It is best not to work in the direct sun because it reduces productivity and is, of course, uncomfortable, and the paint will tack up quickly when brushing.

Can you paint in the winter in Atlanta?

Yes, there are many mild days through the winter months.  Usually painting contractors will pick weather windows from 10am to 3pm.  This allows the temperature in the morning to warm the surface and allow the paint to dry before the evening dew comes.  Generally they would start on the sunny side of the house in the morning and then follow the sun throughout the day and finish on the sunny side in the afternoon.

A good guideline is to start when the temperature reaches 40 degrees and to stop painting when it begins in the afternoon to drop below 40 degrees.

If you paint too late in the day and the evening dew settles on horizontal surfaces before the paint is dry, you will lose the gloss of the paint.  The next morning after drying, the surfaces can be repainted.  There are several Sherwin-Williams top-of-the-line paints that allow you to paint at 35 degrees.

Can you paint during pollen season?

You can actually paint straight through the pollen season.  The heavy pollen season is generally from April 1 through May 15.

You have probably never seen pollen in a painted surface.  Pollen through this season has many days of very light pollen and a number of days when there is heavy pollen.  Even on the heaviest pollen days the acrylic paint dries so quickly that there is no effect from the pollen falling.

The pollen will lay on the surface but not impregnate the paint.  The simple solution is to just rinse lightly with a garden hose at the end of the day or to wait for the first rain to rinse it off.  The exceptions to painting in heavy pollen would be when coating decks with oil base stain and doors that are varnished with an oil varnish.  Also wrought iron railings done with oil base paint.

How often should I have my house pressure washed?

The frequency of pressure washing your home depends on whether your house has mildew beginning to grow.  If the quality of your exterior paint is good you may not need to pressure wash until the next time you paint.

If the house mildews in the fourth or fifth year it’s because the exterior paint is breaking down. If you wash the house at this point it will only last about one year before the mildew begins to return. It’s probably a good time to think about painting again.  If your house has had good paint which contains a quality mildewcide you should be able to go eight or ten years depending on the sun and shading of the house.

It is best not to pressure wash your house every year. The reason to wash a house is if it becomes dirty or has accumulated mildew. It’s a rare occurrence to have a significant accumulation of dirt unless there is new construction nearby. So mildew accumulation is generally the only reason to wash a house.

Traditionally you pressure wash your house using bleach.  Sometimes you choose an additive that is designed to mix with bleach to help clean the surfaces. This process is slightly corrosive. It will break down minutely the paint film, and accelerate any potential rust almost immediately ( nail heads and galvanized gutters and other, ferrous metal surfaces.)

How should I maintain my house in between paint jobs?

You should rinse the soffits and areas that do not get washed by rain with a garden hose each spring. This will help dissolve salts that crystallize as humid surfaces evaporate.  Dissolving the salts helps reduce dirt buildup.

You might elect to paint the gutters which after 4 to 5 years can start have black streaks as result of debris accumulating in the gutters which run over after a heavy rain.  These stains start to appear after the factory finish starts wearing thin.  Sometimes these stains are from mineral stains from water that’s sitting on top of the gutter edge or from inside the gutter.

Maintenance painting of certain areas of the house might be needed. For example first floor window sills, porch handrails, stair cases and fascia boards that are exposed more to weather than other parts of the home tend to need attention between full exterior house painting jobs.

Replacing rotten wood on your house before a repaint

What is the best material to replace rotten wood with on a house?

Hardie Plank siding is also an excellent product and last for decades.  Hardie Trim is also made and is used extensively for wood replacement.  Again, another excellent product and holds exterior paint well.  Hardie Siding and Hardie Trim is a cementitious-based product that weathers very well.  The use of these materials and other permanent materials is state of the art carpentry.  It is a disservice to a client to use wood products which are subject to rotting again.  Yes the material costs a bit more but the alternative is constantly replacing rotted wood.

Which is better?  Brush painting or spray painting my home exterior?

Spraying of siding produces an almost perfect finish.  It is similar to the difference between spraying a car or brushing your car as far as the finished look.  Most siding is perfect for spraying.  The exceptions are siding that has texture or has small pores in the wood.  These surfaces can be sprayed but must be back brushed to work the paint into the small pores and the texture.  Stucco is perfect for spraying except it must be back rolled to get the paint into the texture.  Trim is best sprayed and back brushed so that any small cracks are filled with paint.  Spraying a smooth surface or a surface with no porosity or texture will last just as long as a brushed surface.  A spray gun is not able to force the paint into small pores and into heavy texture, there is a static tension on the surface of the paint that must be broken mechanically with a brush.  It is like the meniscus on a glass of water.  Another advantage of spraying is it takes approximately 30% more paint because the coating is thicker than a brush coating.  A spray coating is about 1.1 mills thick as opposed to a brush coating which is about .7 mills thick.  It actually takes two brush coats of paint to perform for the same number of years that a good spray coating on the appropriate siding or surface does.

Cedar siding, stucco, most wood siding require the spray coating to be back brushed while it is wet.  This method of spraying and back brushing or back rolling is excellent because the spray gun will apply more paint and a brush or roller and will also get the paint worked into the texture.  It is also a faster process than just brushing or just rolling and therefore will save you money.  The general guideline is a surface can be sprayed if there are no cracks, pores or texture.

Please call or email us if we can help with any questions.


How to find a good painting contractor

Let me offer you some guidance on what you should be looking for when hiring a painting contractor.  You should be looking for an experienced contractor that has learned from his mistakes.

There are three things to look for:

  1. First is the level of expertise. Does he know how to do the job professionally?
  2. Secondly, is he telling me the truth or is he more interested in money than doing a good job?
  3. Third, and this is where your instincts come in, Do I feel safe with him, do I like him?

At Mike’s Home Improvement, we have over 30 years of experience specializing in residential & commercial remodeling, specializing in interior & painting and hardwood & tile flooring.

Our online reviews and testimonials speak for themselves.

We run the company on principles. These are old school principals most of us learned in kindergarten and they are; telling the truth to people. Being fair in all situations. Going the extra mile and putting the needs of other people first. Really, just simple kindness and friendliness.

We believe that as you peruse our website you’ll come away with the conclusion that we are honest, fair and use those guiding principles.  Actually our primary goal is not to make money. It’s actually a secondary goal. We found that if you focus on the principles the money just seems to follow.

We are a family run business and I’ve put my name on it.

We are specialists in painting and flooring. The estimates that we give our more of an inspection than a quick painting quote.  We are looking for three things while we give an estimate. One, is to solve the existing problems.  Secondly, to correct future problems and thirdly to identify all the carpentry issues.

What is the very best paint to use for painting a house?

We use almost exclusively the top-of-the-line paints by Sherwin-Williams.  As far as materials it is important to use the very best paint, the very best primer, and the very best caulk. You don’t want to have a weak link in the chain.  We feel that you can feel good about using us and recommending us to your friends knowing that they will be very safe in our care.

The Best Painters In Marietta

If you need quality painters in Marietta, Mike’s Painting & Flooring is the only call you need to make. Don’t gamble with contractors that you can’t trust. Mike’s has 20 years of experience providing quality work to Marietta and metro Atlanta. We take pride in our workmanship and getting the job done right to leave you satisfied. Our crews are expertly trained in a wide variety of painting and finishing techniques, and will work with you to select the best colors and look for your home improvement project. Whether you need exterior trim touchups, or a complete overhaul of your interior color scheme, Mike’s has the knowledge and expertise to achieve your vision. To go along with our pride in workmanship, we also strive to use we use only the best quality paints, such as Valspar and Sherwin Williams. When it comes to getting a superior result, we’ll never cut corners and sacrifice quality. Once you’ve reached out to Mike’s Painting & Flooring, we’ll provide a quote and won’t deviate from that price after the job is done. Keep reading to learn more about what makes us the premier painters in Marietta.

painters in marietta

Trust Mike’s As The Superior Painters In Marietta

Mike’s Painting & Flooring does all the little things that lead to a quality paint job. We also have the knowledge and experience to help you choose the right paint products. Here are just a few of the steps we follow to ensure the job is done right and you’re satisfied with our product.

A superior result all starts with a smooth surface before a single drop of paint hits the brush. We take the proper steps of sanding and prepping walls, woodwork and other surfaces to prepare for the paint. After sanding, it’s still not time for paint yet. First comes a top quality coat of primer. At this point we also take steps to prep all bathroom and kitchen surfaces for mildew and mold prevention.  After this important prep work, it’s finally time for painting, and you can trust that we only use the highest quality products for your job. During the painting process, our crews pay attention to detail to achieve precise lines, avoid brush marks and spills, and perfectly blend trim and corners. Once the paint is dry, we leave the worksite cleaner than we found it, further guaranteeing your satisfaction in a job well done. You won’t find more professional, attentive painters in Marietta!

Call Us Today For a Consultation

Mike’s Painting and Flooring is your only call for painters in Marietta. Between our attention to detail, quality materials, and years of experience, your money will be well spent and your home will receive the quality treatment you should expect from a premium contractor. You can rest easy knowing that our company is bonded, fully insured, and licensed. Besides our quality workmanship, you can also rely on our extensive knowledge and consulting expertise to help guide you to the right choices for all of your home improvement needs. Don’t wait any longer. Call Mike’s Painting & Flooring today to schedule a consultation and hear more about our current specials. Treat yourself and get that beautiful interior and exterior look you’ve always wanted for your home with Mike’s, the finest painters in Marietta!

Do I need mildewcide in my paint?

Why should I add mildewcide to my exterior paint?

Yes, there is a mildewcide that is exceptional and gives years of resistance to mildew.

There is a vast difference in mildewcides as far as their effectiveness.

Quality paint comes from the factory with 1% mildewcide.  That is helpful and usually gets 4 years or so before you start to see mildew buildup on your home

In government testing of mildewcides based on a good, fair, poor, rating there is only one mildewcide that received a good rating.  MX3 made by the M1 Company is the best out there.  It is the only one that scored a good rating.  All the rest scored fair or poor.  This product is also environmentally friendly.

We add MX3 to every gallon of exterior paint we use and see most of all our clients’ home mildew free or only a very light build up after eight years.

The advantage of using this mildewcide for the homeowner is it is unlikely that they will have to pressure wash the house between paintings.  This, of course, saves the cost of pressure washing the house.

How can I recycle or get rid of old paint?

There are two fairly easy ways to dispose of old paint cans.  It’s not too difficult but takes a few minutes to do.

1.  If your city does not have a day they set aside for disposal of paint products then there is a good solution and you don’t have to wait for the yearly date.

If you will open the can, usually it’s a partial gallon of paint, add kitty litter and stir the kitty litter into the paint, leave the top off, and let it dry.  Don’t skimp on the amount of kitty litter because the paint must be dry solid.  Replace the lid and set out for your garbage.  In most cities this is a legal and appropriate way to dispose of old paint.


2.  The second method is to spread out newspapers on your pine straw areas and pour the paint out on the newspaper and let it dry.  When it’s finished drying, simply roll up the newspaper and put out for your garbage man.

Always remember to reuse if possible.  If the paint is still good, do not dispose of it, it can be used as touchup paint.

Can you paint when rain is in the forecast?

If you are using latex acrylic paint you need at least two hours of sun for exterior paint to dry before the rain comes.  If heavy rain is forecast or several days of rain are coming in the next few days, you will need about six hours of good sun to dry the paint thoroughly enough to not be affected.  Paint will dry to the touch in one hour or so depending on the heat of the day.  It takes about five days of normal weather for paint to dry all the way through and for the paint film to reach its maximum hardness and durability.

If it rains before the paint surfaces dry the rain will wash some of the paint off that were painted last.  This is rarely a problem because the surfaces, when dry the next day, can just be repainted.

Exceptions to this rule would be if you are using oil base pant.  Oil base takes longer to dry and therefore rain should not be in the forecast for about 24 hours.  Oil base paint is not recommended on exterior surfaces in southern climates.  The oil base paint weathers very quickly in a sunny climate and loses its gloss and does not have the flexibility it needs to endure the hot sun.  It will generally crack and peel much more readily then acrylic paint.  It is also begins to break down in three or four years and becomes very susceptible to mildew which feeds on the resins in the oil base paint.  It is subject to rapid color fade and chalking.

How soon can you paint a house exterior after the rain?

Generally if the surface is dry to the touch you can paint the surface if using acrylic paint.  The acrylic paint allows small amounts of moisture to pass through the coating from the surface to the air.  It is a rare occurrence for acrylic paint to bubble due to moisture.

If using oil base, which is not recommended, you must have a perfectly dry surface which may take one or two good days of drying weather.


Do I need to replace all my Georgia-Pacific or Louisiana-Pacific siding before an exterior painting of my home?

Quick answer is ‘Not necessarily’.  Many contractors will encourage you to replace all the siding on the house when quoting on an exterior painting project.  You can however, replace individual pieces of siding or sections of wood siding without having to replace all of it.

Usually the lower siding boards get the most weather.  They are exposed to more rain and more sun than the siding boards up closer to, and shielded from the soffits or overhangs.  If a siding board is swollen or soft then it should be replaced.  The first indicator of the siding going bad is on the chimney.  Because the chimney receives very little heat from inside the house it has a tendency to have more moisture inside and therefore weathers the siding more quickly.  If the chimney siding starts to go bad it may be only the upper portion of the chimney, above the roofline, that shows weak first in that section and can be replaced.  It is not uncommon to replace all the siding boards on the chimney with Hardie Siding.  When you look at the siding on the house you need to look underneath the bottom drip edge or weather bead of the siding board.  If looking at the bottom you begin to see fractures or cracks in the bottom of the edge then you have to check see if the board is soft.  This is one of the main problems that Georgia-Pacific and Louisiana-Pacific siding has.  Due to the fractures in the bottom edge of the siding it will absorb rain or beads of water that hang on the bottom drip edge of the siding.  That will cause the siding to continue to swell and rot.  If the siding has these fractures and is still solid you can use a thick primer or even a caulk that is wiped off to help fill these small fractures so that it will absorb less moisture.  This process extends the life of the siding.  If there are no fractures, no soft siding and no swelling there is no reason to replace the Georgia-Pacific and Louisiana-Pacific siding.

Another problem that occurs but less frequently is that Georgia-Pacific and Louisiana-Pacific siding appeared to have nail heads that were sunk too deeply by the nail gun of the contractor.  That does happen occasionally but generally you observe that the nails have remained in position while the siding has swollen at the bottom edge, holes appear where the nail head was.  This is easy to remedy if the siding has not swollen too much by simply filling the nail head with caulk and wiping off excess caulk.

Another less frequent but possible problem with the Georgia-Pacific and Louisiana-Pacific siding was that it would sometimes spall on the surface of the siding board.  This appears as if small chips of the siding has occurred.  Again this problem can be solved by sanding lightly by hand and then using a good acrylic primer.  This is not a long-term solution but generally will get your home through another painting season.

You can do a lot of single boards or sections of the house without having to replace all the siding.  If approximately 30% of the boards need replacement then it may be worth considering full replacement of your home siding at this point.  The siding boards can be replaced with Hardie Siding.  If you have textured siding, Hardie siding has a similar texture.  It’s not exact but is in most cases difficult to discern the difference from a short distance that there is a slight difference in the texture pattern and also the bottom weather bead edge.

How can I tell when my house needs painting?

Does my house need painting?

The indicators will be mildew starting to appear on the exterior painted surfaces.  If you have the house pressure washed and cleaned and the mildew comes back in six months, you are probably ready to be repainted.

Once the coating has weathered for a number of years the mildew resistance is diminished.  A new coating of quality exterior paint with a good mildewcide will help it to last longer before mildew appears again.  Mildew will eventually grow on any surface but the reoccurrence can be lengthened by using the high-quality paint with a mildewcide additive.

Another indicator is when you begin to see a number of areas of rotten wood.  This would indicate that there is caulk that is cracked or split and the water intrusion is beginning.

Also, when the first floor window sills begin to peel.  The reason the first floor window sills will peel first is that they are not shielded by the overhangs as well as the second floor windows from weathering from rain and the sun.

Of course, color fade and paint that is chalking are obvious indicators.  Usually color fade is first noticeable on the front shutters.

How often should I paint my house?  How long should my paint job last?

Most homeowners have a tendency to let the house go too long before repainting.  This usually causes more expense in preparation and in more carpentry required for rotten wood than normal.

Generally with lower quality paint you would expect about five years out of your painting.  With high-quality paint you should expect eight years or more.  It is not uncommon for a quality paint job to last up to ten years or longer.  Depending on how the home is positioned in relation to the sun.

The indicators that you should repaint are when you begin to observe heavier mildew buildup, a number of rotten wood areas, when the first floor window sills begin to peel, color fading, chalking paint and numerous areas of split caulk.

How do you paint a house to last longer?

The key to longevity in painting a house has a number of factors.  The house should be pressure washed to remove any mildew and residual dirt so the mildew doesn’t grown under the new coating as this usually results in peeling paint.  The prep work, of course, is important.  That means that peeling paint areas are scraped or sanded to remove the loose and peeling paint.  This means the edges of the peeling paint need to be scraped back tight toward the existing solid paint so that no loose edges remain.  Caulking is critical to prevent intrusion of water that causes rotting and swelling.  Another factor is the quality of the paint.  Use the highest quality paint always.  The failure of most premature painting jobs is the neglect to use the highest quality materials across the board.  This means not only the highest quality paint but also the highest quality caulk, the highest quality putty, glazing and the highest quality primers.

There are also specific paints to be used for sundry items around the house.  These would be metal roofs that require a special metal paint that last twice as long as house paint. (Due to direct exposure horizontally to the sun and rain.)  Also, iron rails require a high quality rust primer and a finish coat of high gloss oil base metal paint.  Chimney caps which are faded require  

If anyone of these items is lower quality it causes the weak link in the chain and affects the overall longevity of the painting.

What painting company has a reputation for the longest lasting house painting?

Mike’s Painting & Flooring of Marietta have a reputation for the longest lasting house painting jobs.  Our high quality paints and thoroughness allows our clients homes great longevity.

What is the longest lasting house paint?

We recommend Sherwin-Williams Duration Satin for great longevity.  The satin finish last longer than flat finishes.  Using gloss paint will cause eye catching discrepancies in the quality of the wood surfaces.  Duration Satin is used on trim and siding.

Most leading paint manufacturers have a top-of-the-line paint that is safe to use.  The reason we recommend Sherwin-Williams is that we have observed their products for over 40 years and can attest to the longevity as we go back and repaint our clients homes.  Sherwin-Williams is the largest paint company in the world and has state-of-the-art research and development laboratories.  It brings great peace of mind to know they produce high-quality paint.

10 Things you need to know when painting your house

These are the 10 things you need to know when painting your house:

  1. Insurance for peace of mind:  The last thing you want is for a contractor to get hurt while working in your home and claim you are liable.  Don’t cut corners, go with a reputable contractor who has the right coverage for his team AND your home!
  2. Highest quality painting supplies & materials:  A reputable company can specify high quality paint – but all products used need to be highest quality across the board – caulk,  mildewcide, painters putty, glazing, shutter paint, wood primers, rust primer, metal roof paint, wrought iron, deck paints and stains, stucco paints, etc…  Example: Caulk goes for $1 tube to the finest caulk on the market @ $7/tube.   This not only gives the job greater longevity, but ensures the job goes well and you get your house painted the way you want.  Keep in mind every leading paint manufacturer carries several high quality lines and it pays to go with the best.
  3. Exterior Painting for that extra curb appeal:  By just tweaking the exterior you can dramatically improve your homes curb appeal and value by simply tweaking or adjusting the existing colors.  Slight changes to shade and contrast can make this difference quickly.  However it requires a very experienced and skilled color consultant which we provide FREE or charge.  Mike will come to your home to help you pick the colors you want.  You may want the most current and popular color palate, or go with a traditional or classic.  In considering color choices many factors affect curb appeal.  Style of the home, even of neighborhood, color balance, stone, brick, roof color.  Out of date or common color combinations can really hurt a home value and appeal.  Feel good about the way your home looks. (you could pick a paint contractor who gives you a color charge to pick your own colors).
  4. Actually an exterior home inspection – checking, inspecting, physical maintenance items, select specific products
  5. Choose a no pressure company – some companies camp on your doorstep, call everyday pressuring you to do the work.  We are latterly “no pressure” company.  We believe our customers are intelligent, have reached a certain level of success, know what they want, and have instincts to know who they trust to do their work. (we ask if we can help with any questions and let you make yor decision in your own time)
  6. How long should a painting estimate take?  Some people think we are more expensive… but a solid carpentry estimate – one done correctly by locating all rotten wood – can be done in one hour.  We make sure the correct high end products for different surfaces and finishing for your home.  Wood, stucco, hardi, cedar & decks also require the correct primers.   As part of our quote we check 11 different areas of the home that are potential trouble areas – saving you unnecessary expenses down the road, whether it be during the job or years away.  The estimates are completed on-site and shared with you the same day. Caveat emptor – avoid ballpark estimates that are done too quickly.
  7. Does the contractor have Full-time staff?  Choose a contractor who has a full-time, friendly and helpful office staff that answer the phone when you call.  Does your contractor have a team ready and willing to help you set-up an estimate, get questions answered, check scheduling and ask for Mike to call – we take great pride in getting to know our customers and fulfilling their needs – avoid wasting your time waiting for answers.
  8. How long has the contractor been in the business?  Get someone who made all their mistakes decades ago and knows how products perform on the materials you have on your home.  It takes an expert with years of experience to be able to specify correct primers and finishes for different surfaces and surface conditions.  Years of watching products perform is the only way to actually know the longevity of the products used.  We specify only the longest lasting paints for Hardi wood, vinyl, stucco, cedar, metal, etc. and specify the correct proper surface preparation for these surfaces.
  9. Should I get a carpentry estimate?   YES!  Always get a physical carpentry inspection!  This inspection takes at least an hour to complete correctly, as a casual visual inspection will not find all the rotted wood areas.  Carpentry materials should be permanent lifetime products such as hardi plank, hardi trim, PVC, etc. to avoid reoccurrences.  Your carpentry estimate should list the specific piece that are to be replaced and their location.   This way you will know what the cost is upfront.
  10. Does size matter?  We are biased, but we believe that when you use a smaller company where the owner / manager (who also did the estimates) do the supervision and the final inspection, you get the best results.  Get someone who cares about doing what they said they would do and inspects to make sure it was done.  After all, your home is your pride and joy – getting someone who takes pride in their work is the key to keeping your home a sound investment.