Seth Rutledge

    I started painting professionally in the summer of 1999.  I learned under the instruction of an experienced painter who came from a family of painters, passing on the trade through the generations.  For years I have painted houses using this same time honored method, while slowly refining and learning more and more.  The houses I painted in 1999 are still in excellent condition after ten years, and I am confident that they will last another five years at least.  I have yet to see a single of my houses peel, and I keep and eye on them as I cruise around the Westcott/University neighborhood where I usually work. 

    My methods are not complicated, they are straightforward and effective: power washing (with soap), thorough scraping, putty knifing to smoothness, sanding off gloss, dust brushing and wiping, priming with the proper primer for the application, sanding again, caulking (only where necessary-your house must breathe), and applying the right premium top coat for the application.  I also replace any rotted wood that will no longer hold paint, add make other modifications if necessary or desired.

    Anyone with a good work ethic and clear head could do it.  Yet still, it is rare that I paint a house that has not been messed up, most often by a professional painter who did not know what they were doing.  I see professional painters make the same mistakes year after year.  Their clients seem to think it is normal to have to repaint again in 5-8 years.  This is not the case; a proper paint job should last fifteen years to life depending on the quality of paint.  Paint jobs fail because of common mistakes such as: over caulking, improper use of materials (a lot of painters seem to think they are above reading directions,) poor material choices, painting in improper environmental conditions, and many other small yet important details that can only be learned by apprenticing with a real painter who has had the trade passed on to them. 

    A lot has changed since I started painting.  The adoption of spray equipment has lowered the cost of painting so I have learned to use a sprayer, cutting down on the time required and lowering the cost.  But I have not compromised my methods, I always back brush to massage the paint into the grain for adhesion and achieve a thick coat that wont drip.  New materials have emerged and I have adopted some of them, others I have found to be inferior to the old.  New tools have been developed, I test them out and use them if they save time but don't compromise the durability and quality of the job.  People have learned about the dangers of lead (one thing the painters of old did not pass on) and I am sensitive to this making sure to catch all paint chips with multiple large drop cloths and vacuuming thoroughly at the end of every day.  I have picked up tricks from many painters and craftsmen old and new.  You may know some of them: Danny Wren, Larry Rutledge, Mike Hawk, Steve Gelburd, Shawn Mann, and others.

    Of course the customer is always right; if the perfect paint job is not in your budget or you have your own idea about how to do things I can adapt to that.  I also paint houses for sale, rentals, and other low cost jobs.  But if you want a professional that you can trust to get you your moneys worth over the long haul, be sure to get an estimate from me, your may be surprised at how reasonable a lifetime paint job can cost.