When you’re looking for an interior painting contractor who is reliable and trustworthy, sometimes it’s a challenge trying to sift through the many options available. A quick search on the internet might pull up dozens of options in your city, and it’s not always easy to determine who actually does quality work. When it comes to properly vetting and selecting who can get the job done right, there are a few things you can do to properly evaluate your options and end up with the best contractor possible. For most homeowners, this project only comes around every 10 years, so here are a few tips to help you select the right interior painting contractor for the job and make your time and money count!

interior painting contractor

  • Talk to Neighbors and Friends – These days, it’s very tempting just to search the internet for a contractor and pick the highest result, but when it comes to hiring a quality painter, it’s all about their reputation for quality work. Asking around for folks who can give a positive (or less than positive) review of a painting professional they’ve used in the past is a great way to cut through the clutter. If you’re still determined to use the internet, make sure to dig deeper into trusted consumer review sites.
  • Collect Multiple Bids – Time is valuable, and it’s certainly easier to just call one contractor and stick with their quote, but do yourself a favor and take the time to line up at least three estimates. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always pick the cheapest quote, but you’ll be able to get a feel for the attention to detail and quality brought by each company.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions – Any reliable interior painting contractor should have no problem answering questions about their business’ stability and legitimacy. What is their experience level and are they properly licensed? Are they insured? Do they have testimonials to share, and are they able to offer any guarantee or warranty on the work to be completed?
  • Share Your Vision – Good painters will always listen to the client’s wishes and should also be very clear about the quality of materials they’ll use, the specific surfaces to be painted, and any other prep work and repairs that must take place prior to actual painting.
  • Check and Verify Certifications – Beyond references from past customers, check if the contractor is in good standing with the BBB and other consumer advocate organizations.
  • Read the Paperwork Carefully – Make certain the work you’ve discussed during the estimate period is written and scheduled, including details of surfaces, colors, and materials to be used. Also verify payment terms, estimated completion date and warranty.

With these helpful tips, you’ll avoid the potential pitfalls of hiring inexperienced, unreliable painters. For a job that needs to be done right the first time, hiring proven professionals is key!


Kenneth Axt is Your Trusted Interior Painting Contractor


In metro Atlanta, customers have been putting their faith in Kenneth W. Axt & Associates for over 40 years. With great pride in the quality of our work and the long-term satisfaction of our clients, we’ve become one of the most trusted names for painting in the city. Our crews and estimators are trained to properly evaluate what is needed for each painting project, including any carpentry repairs and other touch ups that might need to take place prior to painting. Plus, we’re proud to offer our very own color consultant with our free estimates, because we all know how confusing things can get after staring at too many paint swatches! Thanks to this attention to detail and our use of only the finest in paint materials from brands such as Sherwin Williams, we’re able to offer a solid 10-year warranty on all of our work. And remember, we’re more than just an interior painting contractor, with other services including carpentry, hardie plank, deck staining, power washing, rotten wood replacement, and stucco repair.


We know you have lots of choices when it comes to hiring a quality painting contractor, but hopefully the above guide has been helpful, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Kenneth Axt.  Let us tell you about what makes us different, and why experience and long-term value are more important than finding the cheapest, easiest solution when it comes to painting services.  Contact us today to see why we’ve been certified a “Best Pick” for over 16 years by Home Reports, along with receiving an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau and a “Trust Dale” certification. Let’s get started on making your home look beautiful inside and out!

How To Paint Stucck | Ken Axt | Atlanta Painting CompanyOnce the surface has been prepared by pressure washing, cracks and bulges have been repaired, you are ready to begin the application process.

There are numerous coatings that can be used to paint stucco.  A high-quality flat latex paint such as Sherwin Williams Super Paint is a good coating and has good longevity.

The next level up is to apply an elastomeric such as Sherwin Williams Sherlastic.  This is a thicker coating that gives you protection and has the ability to stretch and to be very elastic.  It also fills small spider vein cracks when rolled.

The best coating would be Sherwin Williams Loxon XP. This product is a paint that is thick and acts like an elastomeric, and offers the additional protection from wind driven rain and water intrusion. It also has the ability to fill spider vein cracks when rolled.

There is an additional advantage of Sherwin Williams Sherlastic and Sherwin Williams Loxon XP. These coatings are so flexible, small spider vein cracks that may develop in the future are safely bridged over and do not break thru the thick elastic coating.

The method of application has a great deal to do with longevity. A coating can be just sprayed on and it will look good and have good performance.  A better application process for increased longevity would be to spray and while the coating is still wet to “back roll” through it.  This “back rolling” forces the material into the pores of the stucco surface.  If the surface is just sprayed there will be pin holing.  (If you were to spray pieces of glass and let it dry you would see that there are tiny pin holes throughout the sprayed coating). These pin holes are tiny weak places in the paint coating.  As the house weathers, mildew can grow on the original surface through these tiny holes.  The process of spraying and back rolling eliminates pin holing and also results in a thicker coating.

If greater longevity is desired, you can spray and back roll the first coat and then while the coating is still wet apply another medium spray coat on top of the wet back rolled surface.

The longest lasting process would be to coat the stucco with a first coat that is sprayed, and back rolled, let it dry for 24 hours. Then apply a final sprayed finish coat to the surface.





How To Prepare Stucco For Painting

Stucco should be pressure washed to remove dirt, dust, mildew, algae and chalk to produce a sound surface and good adhesion for the finish coat.

Soft washing is a good technique to use because it is gentle on the surface and does not force water under high-pressure to leak through window and door openings.

Soft washing with a pressure washer using bleach is usually all that is needed to kill the mildew or the algae. This solution is applied using a pressure washer with a very wide tip which allows a low pressure stream of water.

If the stucco is chalky you can add an “emulsifier” to the bleach and water in order to help release the chalk as it is gently rinsed. If the chalking is excessive then a light pressure stripping is required. A medium size tip held about 2 feet away from the surface will remove the chalk.

You want to avoid applying the stucco paint on a chalky surface because it will cling to the chalk and not be able to penetrate all the way to the sound surface.

Mineral stains cannot be removed completely by pressure washing. These are stains left by rusty nails or copper roofs or even metal screens that are in the windows. These stains should be primed with a quality acrylic primer that is designed to seal the stain.

If there are large cracks or bulging stucco, these areas must be re-stuccoed. Stucco repair involves a three coat application process. A first coat which is called a brown coat, a second coat called a scratch coat, and finally the finish coat of stucco.

If there are medium size cracks, 1/8 inch to ¼ inch, then these are caulked with a textured caulk. When applying this textured caulk try to fill the crack only without allowing any excess to remain on the adjacent surfaces. While the caulk is still wet you can do a process called “wet wiping”. This is done by wiping off all the excess caulk with a dry paint brush and water so that the caulk remains only in the crack and is erased from all of the adjacent surfaces.

If there are small holes or small chips in the stucco they can be repaired with “stucco patch.” If there are small spider vein cracks then a high quality elastomeric paint should be used.
Elastomeric paint is thicker and able to fill the small cracks. These should be no bigger than 1/32nd of an inch or less.

Having pressure washed the surface, repaired stucco bulges and large cracks by re-stuccoing, filled medium size cracks with textured caulk, small holes and chipping with stucco patch, and spider veins filled using elastomeric paint this is back rolled, you are now ready to paint the stucco.


1. Why does my paint turn yellow?

Sometimes paint yellows or turns color if it is affected by different heat sources such as heating ducts, baseboard heaters, stoves and ovens. It can also be caused by lack of light or air circulation being able to get to the surface of the paint. This can occur inside of closet doors and behind pictures and wall hangings. Lower quality oil base paint has a tendency to yellow more readily than a higher quality oil base paint. High-quality acrylic paint very rarely will yellow or turn color.

2. Why does my paint wash off the wall when I try to clean it?

Again, it’s the quality of the paint. Always use high-quality paint with an eggshell or satin finish for surfaces that will be washed or scrubbed frequently. (Note: before washing a newly painted surface allow it to dry for 5 to 7 days. The paint needs time to cure all the way through the coating and become hard before washing).

3. What is the best way to wash a wall surface?

When washing a wall surface a soft sponge should be used. It should be damp, but not saturated, in order to avoid water dripping down the wall. The sponge should have a drop or two of a very mild dishwashing detergent or wall cleaner. (Avoid the use of products that have ammonia or bleach ingredients as they can change the color of the
paint). After cleaning rinse the sponge out with clear water and sponge rinse the area that was cleaned.

4. Why does my wall get shiny spots in it when I rub against it?

This is called burnishing. This is most common when using a “deep tone” paint color and the wall is rubbed by people or furniture. This is due to the amount of pigment that is needed to produce the deep color. It can also occur after trying to scrub the wall to clean it. Lower grades of paint are more subject to this burnishing effect. (A deep tone
color painted with flat wall paint is a “no touch” surface). Use high quality paint and raise the sheen to an eggshell or satin to allow better resistance to physical touch and cleaning.

5. Why does my wood trim have brown stains in different places?

Sometimes you will notice a brown stain start to appear on trim surfaces such as crown moldings, baseboards, doors and window frames. If you look closely you will probably see that these are matching spliced pieces of wood glue together. Because there are so many different pieces of wood they invariably come from different trees and different
parts of the tree. Some of the spliced pieces may bleed through the coating if it comes from a tree that has high tanning content. It is similar to seeing a knot bleed in pieces of wood. The solution is to apply oil based “Kilz” primer to seal the stain. It can then be painted over with a quality finish coat.

Check to make sure you are using the proper roller cover. The type of roller cover that should be used is usually specified on the can of paint. It can make a significant difference and save money by avoiding the cost of having to apply a 2nd coat of paint. 

Application technique is important for an even solid coating. Apply the paint in an “N” fashion on the upper portion of the wall and then apply a second “N” pattern on the bottom of the wall. Now go back and lightly roll over while the paint is still wet from floor to ceiling to smooth out and even the application. Another roller application technique used by professionals is to apply a roller full to the wall about 6 inches above the baseboard and roll up to within 6 inches of the ceiling. Roll through this area two or three times and then begin to extend the paint up toward the ceiling cut-in line then roll down to the bottom and extend the paint down to the baseboard cut-in. The next roller full again starts at 6 inches above the baseboard and rolls up to within 6 inches of the ceiling overlapping the first roller coating by 50%. After three roller fulls have been applied and extended up to the ceiling cutline and down to the baseboard cutline, lightly smooth all three applications. Now begin the next section overlapping 50% of the previous roller application. When the next three roller applications have been completed lightly smooth the wet paint of the last three roller applications. This will produce a very even and smooth wall surface with no roller marks and no thin spots.

Good coverage can also be affected by the quality of roller frame. If it is too flimsy it will produce a different texture and thickness on one side of the roller cover. A quality frame is sturdier and will not bend on the side of the roller cover that is away from the frame. It will produce an even texture.

Of course, the higher the quality of the paint the better the coverage will be. Lower quality paint does not have the ingredients and quality of pigments necessary for great coverage. 

With quality paint a large number of colors will cover over another color with one coat. You can end up spending more with low quality paint because it will probably require two coats. A common homeowner mistake to be avoided is to spread the paint too thin. Put on a good solid even coat. Do not try to stretch the paint too far.

How do I avoid roller marks and excessive texture when rolling my walls?

These problems usually occur on the wall surface when care is not taken to lightly smooth the paint during the application process. Pressing too hard on the roller will cause roller marks or tracks. You can also get a stipple effect or heavy texture on the wall surface if you are using the wrong roller cover or if the quality of the paint is poor. Lower quality paints have a tendency to dry quicker and do not allow the paint to stay wet long enough to lay flat. To avoid this problem lightly roll over the surface while the paint is still wet until no roller marks remain.

The basic cause for peeling paint is poor adhesion.

Fortunately there is a good solution for correcting this problem.

Peeling paint can appear as lifting, bubbling, cracking, splitting, wrinkling, and even peeling between coatings.

The lack of adhesion can be caused by:

1. Not using a primer. Primer has a specific purpose and is formulated differently than a topcoat or finish coat. Primer is designed to soak deep in to the substrate and provide a tooth or slight coarseness for the finish coat to adhere to. The primer seals the surface and helps prevent moisture from soaking into the wood.

2. The use of a low quality primer. Low quality primer may not seal the wood thoroughly or give the adhesion necessary.

3. Painting over bare wood with a finish coat. The bare wood will draw pigments from the paint causing the topcoat, when it dries, to offer less protection.

4. Applying a finish coat that is too thick. This limits the ability of the paint to stretch and be elastic in different weather conditions and results in splitting.

5. Applying the paint too thin. This is a common mistake of most do-it-yourselfers. The finish coat lacks proper thickness and therefore cannot endure weathering.

6. Painting over a surface that is too glossy. The glossy surface is too slick for most top coats to adhere to. It must be sanded or de-glossed in order to allow adhesion.

7. The surface is dirty, chalky or mildewed. These conditions form a barrier that will prevent the paint from adhering to the surface.

8. Painting in direct sunlight. This causes the outer surface of the paint to dry too quickly and does not allow the inner surface of the paint to cure property. Bubbling usually occurs when this happens.

9. Painting over a wet surface. This also can cause bubbling because the moisture is trapped under the dried coating. The sun tries to draw the moisture out, but it cannot escape causing the paint to bubble.

The basic solution to all of the above problems is fairly simple but requires a bit of work to be successful.

The solution is to scrape off all the loose paint. This can be accomplished with a putty knife, a sander, or a hook scraper. Sometimes the peeling area needs to be “chased”. Having removed the loose paint from an area, you will find that the edges of the paint that surrounds the bare area are still loose. “Chasing” is chipping away at these edges until you find sound paint. If this is not done, these edges will pull and curl up as the primer dries.

You may want to sand these edges to a medium or fine smoothness so that the repaired area does not have a distinct edge. If the peeling is extensive you may want to use an environmentally friendly paint remover.

Next make sure the surface is dry and clean. This means there is no moisture, dirt, chalkiness, or mildew.

You are now ready to apply a good quality primer. Allow this to dry thoroughly.

Once dried, apply a top-quality finish coat.

You have achieved success!

Caulk failures occur for a variety of reasons.  One of the main reasons is failure to use a quality caulk.  Caulk that is of poor quality does not have the ability to stretch and flex. It will harden and continue to lose elasticity as time goes on.

Tips for Caulking on a Quality Home Painting Project

Adhesion is an important factor for caulking to be successful. Poor adhesion will result in the caulk pulling away from the surface and in some cases just falling out. Lack of adhesion is sometimes due to sheet rock dust that has not been cleaned off the surface, or from low-quality paint that is chalky. A clean surface is critical to adhesion.

Sometimes when cracks are very tight or too small, the caulk is not able to get into the crack, but will only bridge over the surface. This results in splitting with even minor temperature and humidity changes because the caulk did not get into the crack. There should be 16th of an inch to one quarter of an inch gap in the crack to be filled successfully.

When caulking interior trim the caulk is usually wet wiped to remove the excess and to give a clean look. If too much is removed in the wiping process it will result in a very thin bead that will readily crack and split.

When caulking interior trim to the wall and ceiling surfaces; i.e., crown moldings, door and window frames, baseboards, etc., caulk will sometimes fail if the trim pieces are not nailed tight. If you can push on a piece of trim and it moves it must be nailed tighter. Caulk is effected by temperature, humidity changes and even vibrations.

One area that is particularly susceptible to caulk splitting is on the staircases of the house where the stringers meet the walls. This is due to the vibrations from people walking up-and-down the staircase. One key to successful caulking of stringers is that they must be nailed tight. 

Exterior caulk should be applied thicker than interior caulk in order to endure the more dramatic weather changes. If the caulk is put on with too small of a bead it is more susceptible to cracking and splitting.

caulk paint prep marietta

An area that is difficult to caulk successfully on exteriors is the siding butt joints.  This is where the siding in the middle of the wall butts up against another piece of siding. Sometimes the old caulk must be razor cut from these butt joints. A gap of 1/8 of an inch to 3/8 of an inch is necessary for the caulk to get into the crack and produce a good joint.

So, just to review:

  1. A caulk must be high quality in order to have the elasticity and adhesion necessary.
  2. The surface must be clean of dust and chalky paint.
  3. The trim must be nailed tight.
  4. There should be a wide enough gap for caulk to actually fill the crack.
  5. On interior caulk, it should not be wet wiped excessively leaving too thin a bead.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If I can help with any questions please call 770-928-8700 or contact us for a free estimate, and I will be happy to help you further.

Thank you,


In the metro Atlanta area, you won’t find a more experienced, professional painting operation than the team here at Kenneth W. Axt & Associates. With over 40 years of experience providing exceptional painting service and results, we are here to guide you through each step of the painting process. From the moment you call requesting a quote, throughout the color selection, and ultimately finishing with a beautifully executed painting project, you’ll understand the difference in quality and expertise that comes with our service. Specializing in fine homes, we use nothing but the highest quality materials, with exciting Sherwin Williams colors and paints offering limitless possibilities to reinvent the look and feel of your home. Beyond the expert painting techniques and years of experience, you’ll also benefit from the additional services of our highly skilled color consultants. Free of charge, these professionals will listen to your wishes and work with you to choose the best Sherwin Williams colors for your home. In addition to high-end residential properties, we’re also glad to work with commercial clients, so keep Kenneth Axt Painting Contractors in mind for your office makeover as well.

sherwin williams colors

Expert Knowledge Of Sherwin Williams Colors, Unbeatable Service


We know you have lots of choices when it comes to a painting contractor Atlanta. That’s why we want to stress to you what makes us different, and the best choice for your home or office painting needs. As a family operated business, you’ll personally meet David and Kenneth Axt, as they personally handle all estimates. With their 40+ years of experience and a 10-year warranty, you can count on their knowledge and expertise to provide an accurate estimate using only the best in Sherwin Williams colors and products. As mentioned above, beyond the experience of the Axt brothers, color consultants will also walk-through your home with you to better understand your hopes for the painting project. Once we’ve carefully processed those goals, they will recommend Sherwin Williams colors that can transform a dull, outdated feel into a wonderfully vibrant new look. Contact us today, get your free estimate, and let’s get started on giving your home or office a beautiful new look!

Paint-can-with-brushWhen selecting the type of wall finish for the interior of your home, you must consider the amount and the type of traffic that it endures.  If you have young children, pets, or lots of visitors, your wall finish will require a more washable and scrubbable paint. The second consideration is how high a sheen or gloss is necessary to enable washing and scrubbing maintenance.

A third factor is the higher the gloss of a paint, the more sheet rock discrepancies will be observed, especially in rooms that are well lit or receive bright sunlight. For example, sheet rock seems, cracks, nail pops, and previous repairs. Also, the higher the sheen the more glare will reflect off the walls. This can be uncomfortable when sitting in a room that has glossy walls glaring at you continuously.  

In general the washability of a wall finish falls into three basic categories:

1. Washable: means you can use a sponge with a mild degreaser, such as dishwasher detergent, that can be wiped gently to clean the surface

2. Scrubbable: the same process as above, but you can use gently rubbing pressure

3. Stain resistant: This means you can apply some elbow grease while cleaning the surface with a sponge So in selecting the paint product, you want to keep the gloss as low as possible and still be able to wash and clean the walls effectively.

The following are the products that we recommend for different rooms in your home:

Low traffic areas: dining rooms, sitting rooms, master bedrooms, guest bedrooms, use Sherwin Williams Super Paint Flat or Cashmere Flat Enamel.

High traffic areas: foyers, hallways, staircases, and mudrooms, use Sherwin Williams Cashmere Low Luster or Duration Matte.

Rooms that will require frequent cleaning: kitchens, bathrooms and young children’s bedrooms, use Sherwin Williams Duration Matte.

For two-story rooms such as foyers and great rooms, use Sherwin Williams Super Paint Flat, or Cashmere Flat Enamel.  

For basements, depending on the amount of use, use Super Paint Flat or Cashmere Low Luster, or even Duration Matte.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If we can help with any questions, please contact us: 770-928-8700 or contact us.

Lead Based Paint
Does my house have lead based paint?  Does my house require lead paint removal?

There are three basic ways to determine if lead-based paint is present.Lead based paint | Atlanta House Painter | Kenneth Axt Painting

One is to use an EPA recognized test kit.  This is done by certified renovators.  The second way is to use x-ray fluorescent instruments. This is done by certified lead based paint inspectors or risk assessors.   The third way is to do a paint chip sampling and laboratory testing.  Again, this is done by certain lead based paint inspectors or risk assessors.

The EPA recognized test kits will produce a pink to red color when lead is present.  If there is no color change on the painting film tested, lead based paint is not present and lead safe work practices are not required on the surface.

Lead testing must be performed prior to any painting or renovation work.  All testing is to be performed by the appropriate qualified professionals.

25% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 have lead present.  66% of homes built between 1940 and 1959 have lead present.  86% of homes built before 1940 have lead present.

The EPA’s RRP rule assumes that any house built before 1978 contains lead based paint.  Homes built before 1960 are more likely than homes built after 1960 to contain lead based paint.

The federal standards define lead based paint as any paint or coating that contains lead equal to 1.0mg/cm² or more than .5% by weight.

Lead based paint was introduced to the paint industry to enable added color and durability.  Lead based paint was banned in 1978.

Lead Based Paint Removal | Atlanta House Painting | Kenneth Axt PaintingThe reason for concern is the health risks of lead.  It is very hazardous to children and damages the brain and central nervous system and can cause decreased intelligence, behavioral problems, and hyperactivity.  Damage can be irreversible.  It is also hazardous to pregnant women, workers and other adults.  Lead produces high blood pressure and physical fatigue.  Lead exposure causes permanent damage.

The dust and debris is a problem.  Renovation activities that disturb lead based paint create dust and debris.  Lead contaminated dust is poisonous.  Children and adults can swallow or breathe this dust.