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The Craftsman Way

Summer, 2010
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In this Issue of
The Craftsman Way



The News!

Historical Colors, Circa 1887 - Preserved

Six Color Porch

Chicago "Period" Colors - Repatriated


The Coolest Projects

A Six-Color Porch for an American Four-Square

Six Color Porch

A Custom Mural Grouping for a unique look


Your Questions Answered!

Rusty Nails

Six Color Porch

Peeling Paint and Spalling on Painted Brick



Paint Memorabilia Corner

Antique Moisture Meters

The Client Testimonial of the Season

"We learned much about the care of the exterior of our home from our experience with Painting in Partnership. In addition, its workers were top notch. They worked very efficiently, courteously and extremely cleanly. We were amazed that we found virtually no debris from this work."

          - Jack Bernauer

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The News!

HistoricalColorsHistorical Colors, Circa 1887 - Preserved

Paint Book
Through the 19th century, master house painters mixed their own paints and colors. It  is only over time in the 20th century that the public started to have access to ready-mixed and colored paints.  Therefore, master painters played a critical role in the early days of the decoration of American homes.   Through the help of rare book dealers, Painting in Partnership was recently able to purchase a very rare book written by a master house painter in 1887.  The book includes 116 lithographed reproductions of those early colors.  Read below for the complete story.

Click here for the rest of the story.


PeriodColorsChicago "Period" Colors - Repatriated

Period ColorsAfter being in storage at a Valspar Minneapolis facility for 40 years, an extensive collection of Chicago paint color cards from the 1920's through the 60's, has made it back to the Chicago area.  These color cards came from seven old-time Chicago paint manufacturers, which over time were merged and or acquired by what later became Valspar. Read on for details on the significance of this collection and the role Painting in Partnership played in it.

Click here for the rest of the story.
The Coolest Projects

SixColorPorchA Six -Color Porch for an American Four-Square House:

Six Color PorchPainting in Partnership's paint color consultation service played a key role on this project.  The owners love color!  We had recently painted the interior of their house in vivid "period" colors. They wanted the front porch and fašade of their house to make a similar statement as they did on the interior of their house. The result was a 6-color porch!

We used dark purple on the porch floor and the shingles on the porch gable.  The shutters were also repainted in the same purple color.  We stained the shingles on the porch surround a rusty red color to create balance with the rusty roof color.  We used two shades of green for the front door and other porch elements.  Finally, the spindles were painted the same color as the siding.  White was the tying color.

At Painting in Partnership, we believe that a little color can go a long way to create excitement for house painting project and the people who live there.


CustomMuralA Custom Mural Grouping for a Unique Look:

What is a custom grouping? It is a hybrid between mural painting and faux finishing. It consists of a series of related paintings that, when combined into an arrangement, become greater than the summation of its parts. In other words, each painting can individually stand on its own. However, when combined, each piece enhances the aesthetic appeal of the other pieces, as shown in these two pictures.


Mural Grouping

We recently completed such a project.  Click here for the rest of the story.
Your Questions Answered!

Rusty Nails: 

"I have rusty nails on my house.  Can you permanently solve my problem?"

Rusty NailsRusty nails are indeed an unsightly problem, especially on white painted surfaces. When nails begin to rust on an old house, it causes a rust stain to appear on the surface of the paint.  Eventually, the rust will cause the paint film to fail and flake off.If you have a problem with rusty nails on your house, this is what we would do to permanently resolve this issue. As a first step, our house painters would set the nails using a nail punch slightly smaller than the nail heads to sink the nails by no more than 1/8". 

Second, we would then scrape the loose paint off the face of the nails and apply a rust converter to kill off any rust residue. Our painters would then fill the nail holes using a waterborne, rust-inhibitive window putty.  This putty requires no sanding and no priming, and has a quick curing time.  Because this product shrinks, we had to hit the nail holes two or three times to eliminate any cratering of the product.

We recently handled 3,600 rusty nails for the owner of an old farm house, prior to doing any painting work on the house.


PeelingPaintPeeling Paint and Spalling on Painted Brick: 

The paint on my brick is peeling.  Even some of the brick is falling off.  Why is this happening and what is the solution?

Paint restoration sometimes Peeling Paint 2requires starting over, especially when it comes to painted brick.  Painting brick is not a good idea, especially when you are dealing with common brick. Common brick was fired at a lower temperature and was therefore softer than face brick.  Common brick was usually used on the rear and sides of buildings.  Face brick was used on the front of the house and was much harder and durable, and also more expensive.  So, why is it not a good idea to paint brick?

Click here for the rest of the answer.

Please send me your question(s) via my e-mail at mario@paintpartner.com.
AntiqueMoistureMetersPaint Memorabilia Corner

Every issue of The Craftsman Way newsletter has a section devoted to paint memorabilia because we believe that an understanding of the history of the painting industry gives us a better appreciation for the work of painters today.  Over the years, Painting in Partnership's collection has grown to almost 800 items and is recognized as a "Custodian" of the painting industry's past.

Antique Moisture Meters

Ascertaining the level of moisture in a substrate has long been a concern for house painters and many other trades, that it be wood, plaster, concrete or drywall.  There are two types of moisture meters.  The most common one measures the electrical resistance of the substrate; the more moisture there is, the lower the resistance will be.  This type of meter uses two electrodes that are driven into the substrate.  The output of the moisture meter is translated into a scale or dial on the device. The greater the moisture level, the higher the number on the scale will be.

Moisture MeterHere are two generations of electrical resistance moisture meters.  The first one is from the 1920's and was made by the L.R. Bradley & Co. of New York.  The device used 45 volt batteries.  You set the dial on the device to the maximum moisture level permitted for that substrate. A light turns on if the moisture is higher than that level.

Moisture Meter 2The second moisture meter was called the "Midget Wood Meter" and was made by Weston Electrical Instruments, Corp. of Newark, New Jersey.  Using the mallet provided, the pins were driven into the wood and the moisture level was displayed on the dial.  This meter was from the 1940's or 50's era.

Newly cut wood can have moisture content of 80% or more.   Painting wood when the moisture content is elevated will surely cause paint failure, because the moisture will prevent the paint from adhering to the substrate.