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Surface Preparation – Blog Post

How important is Exterior Painting Surface Prep?

The majority of paint failures is the direct result of inadequate surface prep. Even premium products are only as strong as the material it is anchored to. A properly prepared exterior surface can actually hold paint better and give a long lasting impression. Apart from the long lasting paint result, proper surface preparation also makes sure you get the right finish once the paint job is done.

Clean: The Key is to remove anything that will get in the way of superior adhesion, including dirt, mold, mildew, surface damage, rot and old, failed coatings to name a few. Pressure washing or hand scrubbing are effective ways to complete this step.

Let It Dry: Pressure washing can leave a surface wet for days. It is important to allow several days for the surface to completely dry-out before moving forward.

Scrape: Leaving any peeling or curled edges of paint will contribute to paint failure. Scrape all of the loose coatings until all that’s left are sections of well-adhered paint and bare surfaces.

Repair Damage: Rotted or damaged sections of siding or trim need to be repaired. Read our blog on Rotten Wood Repair for further information regarding the importance of this step.

Prime: For any surfaces in which you peeled paint from, spot-priming those bare areas is important as paint does not always stick to bare substrates. Our product specialists are knowledgeable as to which primers are best for specific surfaces.

Caulk: Caulking doesn’t only give the paint job a finished clean look, it also prevents water from getting into the structure and causing damage. All siding butt joints, as well as gaps where siding meets trim should be sealed to prevent water infiltration.

Once all steps have been completed, the surface is prepped for paint.

Rotten Wood Repair – Blog Post

Rotten wood repair is one of the most important things to do before painting a property. Moisture in wood provides a breeding ground for fungi. Any exposed piece of wood is at risk. Even a tiny nick in the finish or paint of a window trim can let unwanted moisture in. Fungus feeds on moisture, eating away at wood and causing rot. Here are a few reasons why rotten wood should never go untreated:

  • Widespread Damage:  Rotten wood becomes more and more difficult and costly to repair over time. There are several types of fungus spores floating around in the air, harmless until they find a host, such as wet wood. Once in the wood, they germinate and produce strands. The fungus eats cellulose, which is a component found in wood. Once the food source is exhausted, it spreads to surrounding wood, in search of a new host. Eventually, the fungus spreads to the entire structure, turning all of the wood brittle and friable. This puts the entire structure at risk. The longer the rot is left untreated, the more widespread the damage. Early detection and action is key.
  • Insect Infestation: Insects such as termites, carpenter ants, deathwatch beetles, and wood-boring weevils thrive in rotten wood. Rot creates cavities within the wood, providing these bugs with a safe, secluded place to breed. There is also plenty of moisture and food—cellulose and starch—to sustain them.
  • Health and Safety Hazards: Rotten wood causes a number of health and safety hazards. The moisture and resulting condensation can lead to mold growth. Mold feeds on cellulose. Certain strains of mold can cause allergic reactions and even produce dangerous toxins, such as black mold. Also, paint could chip off of the rotted wood, which would be especially hazardous if lead based. Additionally, damage to the structure could cause the floor or roof to cave in.

We offer many composite and synthetic materials for wood replacement and siding. Contact us today for a free, detailed professional estimate.

Featured Job of the Month

Vanguard Lofts – Chicago, IL

Project: Interior Hallways

Updating the interior of a building is always an exciting transformation. It’s amazing what a difference a new shade can do to a room, or in this case, hallways. Vanguard Lofts is a beautiful condominium building located in Chicago. The Property Management Company reached out to us by referral for their hallways to be painted. We offered a few options to them including some additional common area painting, including their elevator lobbies and stairwells. The surfaces were all sanded to ensure adhesion of the new coating. The residents are very happy with the end result!

Featured Job of the Month – August

Old Orchard – Mount Prospect

Project: Exterior Paint and Wood Replacement


Entering the Old Orchard Property gives you the feeling of entering a quaint little town in the middle of Mount Prospect. From the moment you enter the beautiful entry way blooming with flowers, to the Orchard named streets and courts, driving through the beautiful property is so inviting and comforting. There is no doubt this is one reason there are a number of long term residents that reside in this community.

Old Orchard is a rather large property – the scope of work we completed included wood replacement and exterior painting. Working with their property management company was wonderful and we hope all of the residents love the refreshed look of their beautiful community.


Featured Job of the Month – June

7061 Renaissance – Niles, IL

Project: Railings/Exterior Paint

7061 renaissanceRepairing rusty railings is a very labor extensive task. To do it correctly, and have the application last as long as possible, proper prepping must be done. After removing all of the rust, the railings were then scrubbed with a bleach and water solution. The railing surfaces were hand washed and then sanded once dry. Certain areas were caulked and spot primed prior to the paint application. When the job was completed, the railings looked brand new!

We had a very happy Board President, Management Company, and residents of 7061 Renaissance.

7061 railings

Featured Job of the Month – March

Berry Plastics – Schaumburg, IL

Project: Interior Ceiling, Walls, Floor

There were 3 phases to this project, all of which had to be accomplished under a very tight time frame.

First Phase: Priming the fiberglass ceiling tiles and applying two coats of finish.

Second Phase: Applying two coats of water based catalyzed epoxy on the walls for chemical, stain resistance and wash ability.

Third Phase: Completely removing the existing epoxy floor and installing an impact resistant, chemical resistant, and slip resistant industrial coating on the floor.

Take a look at the before and after pictures:




Featured Job of the Month – February

Grand Dominion – Mundelein, IL

Project: Interior PaintGrand Dominon Logo Grand Dominion Pool Grand Dominion Fitness Room

Grand Dominion by Del Webb is a premier community for over 1,400 active adults aged 55 and better. Because of this active community of residents, maintaining the appearance of the amenities within their community is a high priority.

While we have worked with this customer in the past, out most recent project was to update the interior walls of both their indoor pool and fitness room.  Specific paint products were chosen for each of the areas based on the environmental elements of each of the rooms.  Proper preparation was taken prior to application to ensure the adhesion of the products.

Grand Dominion residents are lucky to live in this community in which the management takes great pride in maintaining the appearance of the property.

Featured Job of the Month – January

Methode Electronics – Harwood Heights, IL 

Project: Interior Flooring and Paint 

Methode Electronics is a leading developer of custom-engineered and application-specific products and solutions utilizing the latest technologies. They are also a repeat customer of AAA Painting Contractor’s. We were excited about the opportunity to update the interior of their Harwood Heights location.

To prep for the installation of their new flooring, we removed up to 300 previously repaired cement patches. We grinded the edges to a smooth taper and filled them with a repair mortor system. The additional flooring was diamond grinded for a smoother profile. We primed the entire floor with a clear penetrating epoxy primer. After thorough preparation, AAA installed a self-leveling epoxy floor system. The product we used is specifically formulated to protect concrete surfaces and provide excellent chemical, impact and abrasion resistance.

The second component to the job was interior painting. We removed all of the loose and peeling paint and primed the area with a rust inhibitive and corrosion resistant acrylic metal primer. We sprayed the ceiling panels, cross members, metal trusses, horizontal structural beams, conduit, abutting piping and galvanized ductwork with a waterbased eggshell finish dryfall paint. We also painted the free standing vertical structural columns with 2 coats of alkyd gloss paint. The columns that house fire extinguishers were painted with Safety Red Industrial Enamel alkyd gloss paint to coincide with safety regulations.Methode

Featured Job of the Month – December

Piers 2 – Woodridge, IL 

Project – Interior Hallways 


before-after stairs

We had the pleasure working with this customer to update the interior hallways of their buildings. They opted to change the existing brown trim to white which drastically brightened up the space.

After sanding all of the glossy surfaces to ensure adhesion of the new coating, the damaged drywall areas were patched, sanded and primed. We removed the existing door and window casing and base trim and replaced with primed window casing and base trim. We also added a new primed pine chair rail to the walls in the main hallways to add some depth and design to the area. The ceilings were given a fresh coat of paint, as well as the interior side of the main entry doors, and both sides of the interior security doors. The wrought iron railings were also coated.

We are confident the homeowners will love coming home to this updated space.