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September, 2012 | Cannon Painting

Cannon Painting

Velvet, Pearl and Satin

Velvet, satin, semi-gloss, pearl, or high-gloss. Sounds like a sexy ad campaign, doesn’t it?

Manufacturers use terms like this to describe interior paint sheens. And while the terms vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, there are some basic consistencies that can help you figure out which is best for your project.

To help bring clarification, the Master Painter Institute (MPI) developed gloss and sheen standards by category. The MPI’s goal is to make clear what has always been for some, a semi-transparent set of standards.

The lowest amount of gloss or shine is the ‘flat’ finish with 0-5% gloss. What this means is paint that will reflect very little light and is the perfect solution for hiding imperfections in walls and ceilings. However, it is not recommended for high traffic areas since it is hard to clean. On the other hand, touch ups are easy so be sure to keep extra paint on hand. Add another 5% gloss and you have a ‘matte’ finish — some brands may market this paint sheen as ‘velvet’ or ‘suede.’ It is a tad more reflective and slightly more scrubbable. Bedrooms, closets and dining rooms are fairly easy bets for flat and matte finishes.

A traditional ‘eggshell’ finish is next with 10-25% gloss. This finish can actually be likened to the characteristics of a true eggshell. It has a nice low sheen and a bit easier to clean but will still mark if scrubbed with too much enthusiasm. Probably not a wise choice for kids rooms. ‘Pearl’ or ‘satin’ finishes provide more shine than eggshell just as an actual pearl will reflect more light. This finish is used in high traffic areas, so kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and bedrooms are a good fit. 

‘Semi-gloss’ paint reflects a lot of light with 35-70% gloss and is easy to clean. Typically used for doors, trim, and cabinets, it is also used quite often in bathrooms. Many families with small children will also use semi-gloss paint in hallways namely because of the ease of cleanup. A word of caution though, the glossier the finish the more the imperfections in your walls become obvious.

When you really need to bring drama to a room or an architectural feature, choose a ‘high-gloss’ paint. With 85% gloss and up, this highly reflective paint will offer real zing and durability.

Most importantly, when choosing a paint contractor for your next project or shopping for paint at your local home improvement store, tell them what you’re looking to achieve and ask for sample finishes. You don’t have to settle for less than exactly what you need.


Think All of That Old Paint is a Goner? Think Again!

Preserve the Life of Your Leftover Paint

Do you have a collection of paint cans gathering dust in the garage? Chances are they have been there for several years and you may not even remember which paint colors go with what rooms. Collections are awesome when they provide pleasure and even monetary benefits. But a jumbled assortment of splattered cans usually just brings you down.

The first task is to determine if the paint is still good. Chances are, if it hasn’t been subjected to freezing temps it will be. Latex paint has a 10-year shelf life and solvent-based paint can last up to 15 years. Test your paint by stirring and brushing it onto newspaper or cardboard, whatever is handy. If it is lump free is should be good. 

Now do your inventory. Keep at least enough paint for touch-ups. To save shelf space and protect the remaining paint from air, transfer it into smaller airtight containers, cover with a piece of plastic wrap (this helps ensure a tight seal) and put on the lid. A mallet works better than a hammer to seal the lid as hammers can dent the rim. To further protect the lid try placing a towel or shop rag over the lid to absorb the impact. Label the container with the name of the color, what room it is for, the brand, and the color formula from the original label in case you want to match it exactly in the future. Store in a cool, dry area and up off of the floor to prevent the bottom from rusting.

If you’re like a lot of people, you may have moved a time or two, and in the ensuing confusion, brought along paint you no longer need. Once you have sorted through the colors, don’t toss your unwanted paint. It’s considered a household hazardous waste material and must be disposed of in a specific manner.

If you end up with a fair amount of unwanted leftover paint, consider donating it. Your favorite community theatre group or church may be in need, or check out for a recycling center near you. If you’re only left with the dregs, here is the scoop on what to do.

Latex Paint Disposal

  • Pour unused paint into an absorbent material (cat litter, shredded newspaper, sawdust)
  • Allow it to dry completely
  • Dispose of dried material in your regular trash container

Solvent-Based Paint Disposal

  • DO NOT pour paint down household drains, on the ground, or into storm drains. Paint can contaminate drinking water and waterways
  • Contact local/state government Environmental Protection Agency for Household Waste Collection Days, or for the address of collection sites to drop off   unwanted paint

Whether you’re keeping the paint or getting rid of it, taking the necessary steps to get organized and store it properly will serve you greatly over time. Disposing of paint properly will serve everyone for many years to come.


Green is a Healthy Way of Doing Business for Cannon Painting

Cannon Painting Isn’t Sacrificing Quality by Using “Green” Paint

It’s not a new concept, “going green”, but in the painting industry, green has typically been relegated just to paint brushes and walls. Cannon Painting’s Chris Ward saw the environmentally friendly green light early on and has been educating his customer’s about the health benefits of choosing a “green” commercial paint contractor.

In reality, becoming an environmentally friendly house painter is not a simple task in a typically wasteful industry. Determining how much paint you need is not an exact science, there are lots of containers, and customers do change their minds occasionally. Chris says this is exactly where he starts his conservation efforts by “…trying to reduce the amount of waste per project…”. He also recycles leftover paint and other materials whenever possible and encourages everyone to do the same. Most communities offer drop sites where you can bring leftover paint for recycling or proper disposal.

Next, and probably most importantly, is Cannon Painting’s decision to use environmentally friendly products whenever possible. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paint contains volatile organic chemicals or VOCs, which are gases emitted into the air. As paint dries, VOCs evaporate and may cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headache, fatigue and dizziness. The long-term effects are not yet known. It’s also the pollutant that keeps on giving. These emissions can continue for as much as six months after the paint has dried. It’s a bit frightening when you consider laying your precious newborn in a freshly painted room.

The really great news is that low-VOC latex paints are readily available in top name brand paints and Cannon Painting has been using them routinely. In fact, Chris and his crew were the first in their area to use “green” paint both for exterior and interior painting projects. Chris rests easy knowing he is protecting the health of the homeowner and his crew, yet he is not sacrificing quality.

Unfortunately, green technology hasn’t caught up with solvent-based paints, wood stains and lacquers the way it has with water based paint. Oil products are required to protect real wood surfaces; even so, they still aren’t as durable on the exterior as they are on interior surfaces since wood is meant to decompose over time. Cannon Painting takes the utmost care to ventilate and apply these types products as environmentally safely as possible.

Cannon Painting’s Chris Ward takes his environmental responsibility seriously. For your next house painting project, choose a commercial painting contractor that considers the health of you and your family as important and his own. Going green is a long-term goal for Chris, and you can bet he will be on the cutting edge.


Got Leftover Paint? Let Your Imagination Run Free!

Don’t Throw Away Good Paint — It’s Not Just for Walls Anymore!

How many times have you eyeballed that shelf of leftover paint cans in your garage or basement and muttered to yourself that you need to reclaim that space? Before you take the steps to properly dispose of your interior paint remnants, consider some fun uses for those yummy shades that may add a pop of color in surprising spots throughout your home.

We all have inherited an old dresser, side table or some other piece of furniture that’s functional but not necessarily eye catching. Here are some perfect examples of where a coat of paint can take a tired piece and make it modern and fun.

Paint a dresser base one color and the drawer fronts something different. Install new hardware and you have an entirely updated and unique piece with your personal touch. If you have several different paint colors at your disposal, a side table can become an art project for you and your kids.

Are you tired of your kitchen table and chairs but can’t afford to buy a new set? One solution is to paint the chairs to match the kitchen wall or even an adjoining room bringing unity throughout the space. Not sure you want that much color? Try painting all or just a few inches of the chair legs.

Older homes often come with outdated kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets. An inexpensive fix is to apply a couple of coats of paint, new hardware and fixtures and the facelift is complete.

An old floor is another opportunity for your creativity to shine. Can’t afford carpeting or hardwoods just now? Consider painting a checkerboard pattern, or depending on the room’s use, try your hand at a Jackson Pollack style floor and spatter paint away. The process is sure to result in many a fond memory and a great conversation piece when friends and family gather.

If the idea of painting the actual floor is a bit too permanent, do as our forefathers did and paint a floor cloth. You will need painter’s canvas, gesso or canvas primer, paint, urethane, and — voilà — you have a colorful yet practical floor covering that would make George and Betsy proud. A quick check of the Internet will turn up many how-to sites.

Spruce up a tired bookcase by painting the back panel. While mostly hidden by books, that peep of color will easily brighten any room. Change the baseboard color in any given room and enjoy the simple transformation. Or select a specific wall and apply a different color to provide a focal point for the room.

The ideas are as endless as your imagination. Paint colors don’t have to appear in large masses — sometimes just a pop of color in an unexpected place will make you smile every time it catches you off guard.