Total Refresh: Self-Cleaning Paint Technology Key to Historic Knoxville Home Restoration

When Nate Brown of Two Rivers Restoration met Nick and Anna Ferruso and began talking about restoring the exterior of their 1920 Craftsman two-story home in Knoxville, Tennessee’s historic north side, he knew that Emerald® Rain Refresh™ Exterior Acrylic Latex with Self-Cleaning Technology™ would be just the right product for the job.

Emerald Rain Refresh is formulated so dirt washes away upon contact with rain or water. That helps homes stay fresh and clean looking longer, minimizing maintenance.

“With an exterior project of this type, I can make different recommendations on the type of paint to use, but with two busy parents and a young child, I know you need all the time you can get,” Brown says. “That’s why I knew recommending a product like Emerald Rain Refresh would be great for them because it would help diminish the amount of ongoing maintenance required on the exterior of their home,” Brown says.

At some point in time, the second story of the home had been covered in roofing shingles, while other areas were left in the original state. With the age of the home, lead-based paint was a factor. Two Rivers Restoration is certified in lead-based paint removal, which was part of the first step in the renovation process.

Two Rivers took the exterior of the home down to bare wood through the painstaking process of stripping multiple layers of paint. This was achieved by using equipment designed to meet EPA guidelines for removing lead-based paint.

After removing the paint and sanding smooth, the wood was treated with an oil-based coating additive and primed with Sherwin-Williams Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer, followed by two coats of Emerald Rain Refresh.

Proper prep equals better adhesion

“Wood of this age is thirsty,” Brown says. “Without pretreatment, the wood will pull the oil from the primer which causes adhesion issues.”

Treating the wood prior to priming and painting, he says, ensures that the paint has the best possible surface to adhere to and gives the homeowner the peace of mind of knowing that the surface will continue to look new for many seasons to come.

Too often, he says, non-professional painters will be in a hurry and not properly prepare a surface.

“I see beautiful homes in these historic neighborhoods with paint peeling off in large swaths,” Brown says. “When prepared properly, this should never happen. Before applying any coating, the moisture content of the wood must be below 15 percent. Using a moisture meter is the only way to assure the wood is dry enough to coat. In my opinion, the vast majority of exterior paint failure is due to subpar work practices and inferior products.”

The right products for the best results

With a home of this age, Brown says, it’s important that the surface is properly prepared prior to using a high-quality product like Emerald Rain Refresh.

“As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten,’” he says.

“I grew up in East Tennessee and continue to make my home here today. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a fascination and passion for bringing old homes back to life. There’s something about being able to breathe new life into a house, a home for someone knowing that they will wake up each day loving where they live and create memories where other generations have done the same. I like knowing that I’ve had some small part in being a part of the continuing story of a historic home like Nick and Anna’s.”

Read about other successful residential and commercial projects in the PPC magazine archive.