Finally, we can all come out of hibernation and start enjoying Mother Nature outside again. Spring is finally here! After firing up the barbecue and planting some fresh flowers around the home, you may notice some weathered areas around the painted surfaces on the exterior of your home.
Here are some hints that it could be time to paint and avoid future costly wood and siding repairs.
You may see small amounts of chipping and peeling of paint on your trim or siding. Usually about the size of a dime, this peeling paint will expose the wood underneath. This is a sign your top coat of paint isn’t protecting the wood from rain, wind, and sun. Paint protects your wood the same way that skin protects your body. It must be intact and secure around the entire home.
When you run your fingers along your painted surfaces, do you see a chalk like substance stick to your finger tips? This is called chalking.
If touching your house leaves a lot of chalky paint residue on your hands this is a sign the paint is breaking down. (Oxidizing) It may be time to repaint; new paint will never leave a lot of film on your hand.
Mildew will look like little grey spores and/or dark spots on the paint. Mildew is a sign that your slick, glossy paint surface needs refreshed; it allows spores to grow in the nooks and crannies of the paint skin.
Often, honest and established painters will let you know if a simple and cost efficient power washing is enough mildew maintenance for that particular year. Mildew can easily be removed with a professional pressure wash, although sometimes it will require a new coat of paint to keep your home protected. A good quality paint will have a mildewcide as part of the formula, which will prevent future growth.
Caulking failure can cause current and future issues with your home’s exterior and interior including:
- Loss of energy efficiency from the inside of your home to the outside.
- Weather, like rain and wind, can enter your home where caulk has failed.
- Insects and critters can enter where caulking failure occurred.
- Moisture can get behind the wood and paint, which leads to peeling of paint, rotting of wood and mildew growth on the surface and inside the home.
Caulking is also important cosmetically; if it is done properly, your homes gaps and joints will look seamless with your paint color. It will make the exterior of your home tight and secure. The look will be more complete and your home will instantly benefit from a thorough caulking application.
The hints outlined above are a good guideline to use when determining what type of painting work your home may need heading into our beloved spring season. Some of Sharper Impressions Painting customers’ most popular spring projects are listed here:
- An exterior paint job with new, modern colors
- Cleaning and sealing of decks and/or fences to liven the wood and bead up water
- A power wash/pressure wash to eliminate mildew and dirt from your home’s exterior
A good painting contractor will provide an honest and detailed quote for what painting and preparation your home may or may not need. Painting quotes should be free, quick, and fun. Established painting contractors should never ask for a deposit, until the work is done and you are satisfied. Enjoy this spring season!
Every year, Sharper Impressions Painting donates paint, money and services to a rebuilding effort. In the past we have donated to the Katrina Hurricane rebuilding and the Japanese Tsunami disaster recovery.
This year we have donated new paint to the rebuilding efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that they just simply cannot rebound from.
We were moved by the struggles the rebuilding effort has been experiencing lately, and we felt compelled to donate.
A particular charity that is near and dear to our hearts is Life For Haiti. The Founders have actively worked to create and establish jobs in Haiti, where unemployment was over 70%. The opportunities they have provided have changed the lives of many Haitians. But they still need help.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Here at Sharper Impressions Painting, one thing we have is paint!
For more information about Life for Haiti, please visit www.lifeforhaiti.org.
I have two confessions, Fall is my favorite season and I’m addicted to painting my house. I enjoy the look, the feel, the smells and the sounds of fall. The vibrant red, orange, gold and purple of the changing leaves. The crispness of the cool evening air. The sound of leaves crunching underfoot.
What is best about Fall, is the abundance of the season. As we celebrate the harvest, we also look forward to the upcoming holidays and spending time with family and friends.
I repaint at least one room in my house every Fall. Everyone jokes that I’m losing square footage because of all of the layers of paint. I can’t help it; I love the look and feel of a freshly painted room. I find changing the color of a room invigorating.
Fall is a great time to take a long, hard and honest look at the inside of our homes. Is it time for a fresh, new look? When was the last time that you re-decorated your home? Have you put off having company because you don’t feel good about your home?
Nothing changes the appearance of a home more than a fresh coat of paint. A couple of days and a couple of gallons of paint can give your home a whole new look.
The colors of Fall provide a beautiful backdrop that can last all year. A red dining room will look as good with Fall leaves and gourds as it will with the branches, berries and metallic of the holiday season. The same red still looks great with spring blossoms and provides a lovely backdrop in summer. The same holds true for velvety purple, rich warm chocolate brown and spicy orange.
Fall is a great time to fall in love with your home again. Pick a beautiful new color, bring in some seasonal decorations and pick up the phone and invite people over. Embrace the season.
People often ask me what the best and worst parts of my job as a color consultant are.
The best part is easy to answer; I love working with people and helping them uncover their hidden color choices. People often start an appointment by telling me that they have no idea what color to choose and that they’re not any good at “decorating stuff”. However, 99.9% of the time, people do know exactly what they like and they just need a small amount of guidance to get to their perfect color. I love the look on a client’s face when they know they’ve chosen the color that they really wanted all along.
After much thought, I realized what frustrates me the most is when a customer can’t commit to their color choice.
Sometimes the lack of commitment requires a simple tweak of the color for the client to be happy. Other times, it’s not so easy. Some people fear committing to a color because it’s too different from what they’re used to. Sometimes people are afraid of what others will think of their choice.
I encourage everyone to really think and feel when choosing a color. Be a little daring, if you’re feeling it. If you’re looking for serenity, go for it. Get funky, if that’s what you want.
The important thing is to fully commit to your choice. Own it, Baby.
Choosing the right paint can be just as important as picking the right color. I’ve listed the basics of paint below to help you make a confident choice.
The sheen of paint determines the level of glossiness and how much light will reflect off of the paint. The higher gloss paints will tend to show more imperfections of a wall.
Flat paint is the lowest gloss paint and was used for years in low moisture rooms throughout the house. Flat paint cannot be washed and can mar easily.
Eggshell paint is the most popular sheen with homeowners. It offers a similar look to flat, but doesn’t mar as easily and can be washed without showing wear.
Satin is a level above eggshell and below semi-gloss. Satin paint is sometimes used in high moisture rooms such as kitchens and baths when the homeowner doesn’t want too much shine.
Semi-gloss is widely used in kitchens, bathrooms and for trim work. It can be easily cleaned and is very durable.
Gloss paint can be used in kitchens and baths, but tends to show fingerprints and smudges more easily than a semi-gloss.
Primer can be a valuable tool. Using primer will greatly reduce the number of coats of paint that will be needed and will improve the appearance of the finished job. Primer should always be used on fresh drywall or wood or when painting over bold or dark colors.
Finally, low or no VOC paints. VOC stands for volatile organic compound. VOCs are what gives paint its odor. Scientists and health professionals have become concerned about the negative impact that VOCs are having on the health of humans and the animals that live with them. If you have any concerns about this, have young children at home or are pregnant, then asking for a low or no VOC paint may be the way to go.
Color has the ability to evoke strong emotions in all of us. When we are exposed to color we almost immediately have a feeling about it. Color is probably an even stronger trigger of emotion than sound or smell.
Color can mean different things to different people, but most of us have a similar emotional response. Understanding the emotion of a color can help us pick the right “color emotion” for each room of our home.
Red is the color of fire and blood. Red represents energy, strength, power, passion and love. Hues can range from a very light pink which is associated with innocence, first love and romance, to a dark, passionate fiery red. Red can be used in any room that you want to create a feeling of drama, passion and energy.
Orange and yellow are associated with happiness, creativity, intelligence and heat. Most think of sunny, tropical days when we see these colors. Both can stimulate activity in the brain, making them good colors to use in a workspace. A darker orange makes us think of spices and can stimulate the appetite, which is great for a dining room. A pale yellow is considered soft and delicate and is often used in nurseries.
Green is the color of nature; it is considered to be a neutral color and will compliment most other colors. Think of plants and flowers; every color of flower goes well with it’s supporting foliage. Green represents nature, harmony and growth. Because of its connection with nature, green is considered to be relaxing, making it ideal for almost any room in your home.
Blue and purple are associated with the sky and ocean. These colors represent trust, loyalty, truth, luxury and nobility. In their lighter forms blue and purple tend to be associated with youth, innocence and sweetness. The deeper colors tend to be thought of as rich, luxurious and royal.
White is traditionally thought of as clean and pure. In the past several years, white has been over-used in houses and for many has become boring. However, a clean, bright white wall can showcase furnishings and artwork beautifully.
Black is associated with elegance, formality, and mystery. Using black in your home will show a great deal of drama and can be an excellent backdrop for bold colors such as red and yellow. Black, white and gold will look very elegant.
Next time you’re picking a color for a room, think of how you want to feel in that room.
It’s that time of year when the kids are out school, the temperatures are climbing and it’s time to look at painting the outside of your house.
Gone are the days of only having 20 or 30 exterior colors to choose from. Now paint manufacturers are mixing almost their entire palette of colors into exterior paint. The sky’s the limit, and your HOA board, if you have one.
In most neighborhoods around the country, homeowners are choosing to get away from the pale beige body with white trim when choosing color.
We’re now seeing lots of contrast between the body color and the trim color. Homeowners are choosing strong body colors such as dark green, grey or navy blue and combining it with lighter trim.
On the other hand, some homeowners are choosing lighter, warm, tan, gold, browns, green or grey and combining those colors with very dark blue, green, grey, black or purple for the trim. Popular accent colors are rust, red, eggplant and black.
If you’re ready to paint your house, drive around and take pictures of your favorite color combinations. You can show these to your painter or a color consultant who can help you choose the right color for your home.
Paint can be one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective decorating tools. What else can have such a big impact on the look of a room? To learn how to decorate with paint, read on.
Decorating with paint is actually very simple. Take a look around the room that you want to change. Are most of the furnishings and accessories neutral or full of color and pattern?
If your furnishings and accessories are neutral; with little to no pattern, solid colors, wood or metal, consider painting your walls a bold color. Imagine how beautiful those neutral pieces will look against a spicy red or orange wall. Think of how they will look against a rich earthy green, trendy grey or warm, chocolate brown.
On the other hand if your current furniture and accessories are patterned, striped or bold colors, do just the opposite. Show off your furniture with calming neutral walls that will make them pop. Remember, neutral DOESN’T have to be beige. Green, grey, taupe, browns, blacks and whites are also neutral.
So next time you want to re-decorate a room, don’t head to the furniture store, head to the paint store or call your paint professional. You’ll be glad you decided to decorate with paint.
I’ve listed a few tips below to help get you ready for your color consultation. Most of all relax and get ready to uncover your color choices.
Do’s and Don’ts of a color consultation
- Do take advantage of our free color try on program before scheduling a color consultant. This is easy. Just head into your local paint store with your painting contract, choose a couple color ideas off the wall of color swatches at the paint store, the store employee will custom mix two colors for you, give you them in two small containers with two foam brushes. You can try the colors on the wall before a color consultant even comes to your home!
- Do look at pictures, color samples and other homes when getting ready for a consultation. This will help you realize your own color preferences and pass them on to your consultant.
- Don’t go into the color consulting meeting with a closed mind, i.e., this room must be painted beige because it’s always been beige.
- Do have all decision makers at the consultation, if possible. It can be very frustrating trying to pick colors that you think someone else may like. If everyone is in attendance, it makes it easier and more fun to arrive at color choices that everyone likes.
- Don’t expect your consultant to pick your colors for you. A good color consultant will listen to you and guide you to your color preferences.
- Do feel free to ask lots of questions. Color consultants are trained in color theory and design and are happy to answer all of your questions.
- Don’t ever feel that you are not good at color. Everyone knows what he or she like, sometimes it takes a little coaching to bring it to the surface.
- Do plan on having fun. A color consultation is a very positive, fun experience that results in a home that you love.
Often, customers will tell me that they think that can’t paint a room a certain color because of a “rule” that they’ve heard. I have to paint a small room a light color, or that color isn’t appropriate for a dining room or bedroom, etc.
Some of the most beautiful rooms break all of the rules. I’ve seen a small, windowless powder room painted black and it looked lovely. Another client painted her master bedroom a deep, full bodied red (another NO-NO) and she loved it. One client painted her dining room a soft, powdery blue (you guessed it, another NO-NO) and it turned out exactly like she wanted it. All three of these rule-breaking rooms pleased their clients and received numerous compliments from visitors to their homes.
The important thing to consider when choosing a color for your home is not rules, but rather what you really want. Think about what colors you have in your wardrobe. Look at the colors in your favorite piece of art. Try to coordinate with the permanent features of your home such as flooring, countertops, rock/brick or woodwork.
If you pay attention to your own likes and dislikes you will achieve a beautiful home that pleases you.
So go ahead and throw the rules out the window. You’ll be glad that you did.