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Dunn & Company

Silver Spring, MD

Prime, Fill, Inspect, Repeat

This unique home presented many challenges

It was the owner’s dream house, years in the making, so they certainly didn’t want to mess it up – plus they had a reputation to uphold. “We were chosen to do this project since we had experience working in this kind of design for many years,” said Dunn and Co. GM Cesar Augusto Maldonado. “We did a couple [of] similar projects in downtown Washington D.C.” To get it right, the crew took it one thing at a time – find the challenges, find the solutions, get it done.

It was complicated. The design included a variety of open spaces, windows, skylights and intricate design. “It had a complex European design for the drywall and woodwork, which requires very smooth surfaces since any little detail would be shown in the light from the windows and the lighting system,” said Maldonado. Windows, doors and many of the home’s other features were European imports – you couldn’t just go back to Ikea and get new parts, so protection was paramount.

Another challenge was timing; as the last trade in a new construction project, they had to be ready to jump in at the right time – great for scheduling! On top of that was learning how to deal with the home’s energy source. “The sequence and scheduling were very unusual since the house was supposed to work with its own solar electricity (solar panels), geothermal heat, plus cooling with seven water wheels,” said Maldonado.

“The project planning stage includ[ed] creating a system to efficiently work in many details in the woodwork and drywall, especially the detail where the wall meets the wood trim, which is supposed to be even,” said Maldonado. High ceilings required special arrangements for scaffolding and extension ladders.

Now, time to get to work. They applied a coat of SW High Build primer to the bare drywall, first by spraying, then brushing and back rolling, with an eye toward building up a thicker surface and covering some imperfections. Next, they primed white woodwork with SherwinWilliams Multipurpose primer.

After that, some caulk, wood filler and drywall spackling were put to work to smooth over any imperfections arising after the first coat. “The next step: We sanded all the surfaces again with our Festool sanders, using the sandpaper grits 80, 120 and 220,” said Cesar, “then we applied another full coat of primer.” They kept up a system of priming, filling and inspecting throughout the project until finally it was time to paint. While many painters shy away from custom new construction work, Dunn and Company rose to the occasion and enjoyed tackling the challenges and complexities.

Examining the walls for imperfections.
Great view from the inside!

Key Products

  • SW High Build New Construction, Multipurpose, Drywall, Pro-Cryl and Sher-Cryl primers
  • SW Emerald Interior, Emerald Trim, and Eminence
  • SW Shermax Lifetime caulk
  • 3M Spackling
  • Purdy Applicators, Titan Airless 440, Graco Cordless Sprayer
  • Minwax Water-Based Oil-Modified