You’ve planned and waited for the big paint day! It’s exciting and maybe even a little stressful to have the exterior of your home painted. You have a vision for your home and you want to protect your investment. Now, it’s just a matter of seeing it all come together as your painters work their magic!
So, how can you help your Cannon Paint Team as they bring your vision to life? We’ve put together a checklist to assist you in preparing for our Artisans to arrive. You can fill it out on line or download the checklist to carry with you. And if you have any questions, just ask! They’re always glad to help!
“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~Flora Whittemore
Flora “Gramma” Whittemore was celebrated as Caribou County’s oldest citizen before she died at age 102 in 1993. Caribou County is a pretty small spec of land in Idaho, but Flora’s words carry a lifetime of wisdom that we can translate to many aspects of our life. Why not plant them right at our very front door.
Your home’s front door is the gateway into your life. Set the tone of your home by creating a sizzling front door with a paint color to wow your guests and neighbors and send a message about just what kind of person dwells within.
In the art of feng shui the front door is so important it’s considered the “mouth of chi”, meaning it’s the entry point for the vital energy that enters and exits your home. Color and direction play an enormous part in balancing and nourishing this chi. While you can’t exactly change the direction of your front door, you can change the color.
To kick it up a notch you have to make a few decisions. Do you want the door to contrast with the existing color scheme, complement it, or accent it? Stand back from your house and take a good long look. Examine the roof, shutters, siding, and even the foliage. The style of your home may provide more color leeway than others. Victorian, Craftsman and bungalows can often handle brighter hues, while traditional styles may call for more formal colors. No matter what, let your personality shine through – you’re only talking about a pop of color. You can easily change it if you don’t like it.
To help make the final decision, here’s a trade secret from designers and painters. Take a photo of your house, make a print, and cut out the front door. Get some paint swatches you’re considering and put them in the spot where the door is. You can instantly see if the color works or not.
As with the spectacular interior color palettes for 2013, paint companies have lined up some hopping exterior color combos as well. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams websites are hotbeds for ideas. If you’re looking to paint the entire exterior and not just the front door, consult with your professional paint contractor for specific ideas that work for you and your home.
Paint color is not for everyone. Wood stain is an option and the palette is surprisingly wide ranging, so don’t shy away from making a change because you don’t want to paint.
Make your home exactly what you want it to be. A sizzling front door is whatever excites you day in and day out. You decide how you want to portray your home and the people who live inside it.
You’ve picked colors, you’ve planned, you’ve envisioned your home with a fresh coat of beautiful interior paint … now the big paint day is just around the corner! So, what can you do to help your Cannon Paint Team work their paint magic?
We’ve put together a quick checklist of things you can do in preparing for our Artisans to arrive. Fill it out online or download it for convenience. Just check each item off the list as it’s accomplished. When you’re done, you’re ready for the magic to begin.
Step Away From a Humdrum Stairway into Stairway Magic!
How could a painter resist a Pantone staircase? The answer of course is we can’t, and there are plenty of other creative ideas for turning a ho-hum staircase into a stunner. If you’ve ever stood at the bottom of your stairs and wondered how you could possibly liven up a humdrum staircase, then we have some great ideas for you.
Wrought iron never goes out of style so replacing wooden balusters with wrought iron is not only a wise investment, but one that will vastly improve the overall visual impact of your staircase. Many standard styles are available that are quite lovely, but should your budget allow for a custom design, the sky is the limit.
A little imagination is all it takes when it pertains to creating staircase magic. To create means ‘to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination’ and therefore what you create is as unique as the individual. A creative staircase can mean refinement and elegance for a stunning conclusion, while another may think outside the box by using a simple design element to create a striking effect.
If your staircase is the first thing people see when they enter your house then it’s your chance to set the tone for how you want guests to feel in your home and perceive who you are. Do you lean toward a formal style or a more casual elegance? Are you a bit funky and eclectic or do you prefer French country or a lake cottage feel? Take lake cottage for example: The use of stained hardwood flooring for the stairs paired with a sisal runner and soft pastel interior paint can create the feel of lake breezes blowing across your cheeks.
Carpet runners are an excellent way to infuse your stairs with color without actually altering the stairs themselves. If you’re not afraid to take the leap and apply a design technique to your staircase, think about design elements you love. Are you fascinated by tile, wallpaper, stencils, paint or refurbished materials? Any will do. Check out our Pinterest page “Sassy, Stunning Staircases” for some incredibly creative and beautiful examples.
Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to utilize the space underneath your stairs. That lost footage can be turned into a great reading nook, playroom for the kids, wine storage, pantry, small office or study area, book shelves, hidden drawers, mini-mud room, entertainment nook, or even a small half bath.
Your home is your castle and your staircase is possibly one of the most important features. Play it up for all its worth and enjoy your staircase, be it sassy or stunning.
As paint contractors, we’ve heard some pretty strange stories from our customers. From estimates that were so far off, you could see them orbiting the moon to painters who know nothing at all about paint … much less how to apply it correctly. And of course, it’s those types of contractors that tend to have secrets. So, exactly what are those dirty little secrets?
Before you hire someone to paint your home, check out this list of things some paint contractors won’t tell you:
1. They are not licensed.
Here in Michigan, the law requires that a paint contractor have either a Residential Builder or Maintenance and Alteration license. Any paint company operating without a license is doing so illegally and should be reported to the State of Michigan. Verifying a license is easy at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
2. They do not use their own employees.
Unfortunately, it’s a common practice for paint contractors to use sub-contract painters or worse yet, people that work “under the table”. What is the point of hiring a paint company if they’re going to hire other paint contractors to do the work? Have these people been screened? Are they insured? No telling. Which brings us to the next point.
3. They do not have the proper insurance.
If you hire a company that does not have insurance (or the proper insurance) you’re running a huge risk. In the event that a painter damages your property or sustains an injury while on your property, YOU could be held liable if THEY aren’t properly covered. A company should (at the minimum) have a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy.
4. They are not EPA “Lead-Safe” certified.
It is law that a paint contractor be EPA “Lead-Safe” certified to work on a house that contains lead paint. Any house built before 1979 needs to be tested for lead paint and if the test is positive, only a certified contractor can do the work. To not follow the proper guidelines for preparation means your painter could be putting you and your family at risk!
5. They don’t use contracts.
Believe it or not, some paint companies advertise that they don’t make you sign a contract … as if that’s an asset! It’s kind of funny actually … they’re called Paint CONTRACTors. The whole point of a legal document is to protect the parties involved. With a clear contract, your contractor knows exactly what’s expected and you know exactly what to expect.
6. They don’t know how to estimate.
We’ve heard paint companies claim they can “eye-ball” a project or base an estimate on the square footage of a home. Fact is, neither provides a sound method for estimating. The “eye-ball” method simply won’t be accurate and could end up costing you more than you anticipated. The floor square footage of a home only gives you an accurate way of measuring floor space. Your paint contractor isn’t ordering your flooring. A paint contractor needs to know the square footage of your walls and ceilings and how many linear feet of trim and casing there is in your home.
7. They don’t know how to paint.
Yes, we just said that! People buy a franchise, take a course on estimating and sales and they’re off like a rocket thinking they know what they need to know. You made a huge investment in your home … you need a contractor who understands the best methods for painting and maintaining the surfaces of your home specifically.
8. They don’t advertise.
Some say that this is a good thing since they aren’t passing the extra cost of marketing on to the customer. We say – what have you got to hide? Usually, it’s some or all of the things listed above. When you’re proud of your company, you want the world to know.
9. They don’t offer a warranty.
We know that having your home painted can be costly and you want the most for your money. Reputable companies will offer a warranty. Top-notch, reputable companies will also put you on a maintenance schedule. This is especially cost-effective for exteriors since you are addressing small sections versus having to re-paint the whole thing again.
10. That solvent-based paints, stains and lacquers are harmful to your health and the environment.
Let’s face it, solvent-based products are bad for you. They off-gas and release harmful VOC’s into the atmosphere that deplete the ozone layer and compromise indoor air quality. There are healthier options for you, your family and the planet. Some Paint Contractors don’t care enough to educate themselves, much less their customers.
Getting the results you want require a true pro! Ask the right questions to find the right paint contractor!
Prepping Before Painting Makes Good Sense
Painting a house is never as simple as it seems. You can’t just buy a pretty color and slap it up on a wall and expect perfection. Any professional house painter will tell you the foundation for a beautiful paint job lies in the preparation.
On the exterior of your home, think of paint like sunscreen for your skin. However, unlike sunscreen, paint has to last for many years so it’s critical that the surface is in prime condition. Cutting corners here can have disastrous results.
A good scrubbing is the first order of the day. Painting over dust and dirt usually results in paint peeling away from under layers. Paint that is cracking and exposing bare siding may also be due to a poorly prepped surface or excess moisture. Should you discover cracking paint on your home, determine the cause for the moisture before repainting. Otherwise, you may eventually end up with the exact same problem to tackle all over again. What a waste!
If you run across mildew spots, trim back plants or shrubs that may have grown too close to the house preventing good airflow. You may even want to redirect gutters and downspouts.
Scraping and sanding are the best methods for removing defective paint. All bare wood must then be primed and seams and cracks should be caulked to keep moisture at bay. Only then are you ready to apply the paint.
The story is similar inside. Excellent prep work is the foundation of a superior paint job. Face the flaws right from the start so your end result is what you had envisioned. The fastest way to find flaws is to empty the room of furniture or move it to one area of the room and cover it with a drop cloth. Remove all wall hangings, and wall plates from electrical outlets and switches.
Look for cracking or peeling paint, particularly around windowsills and other trim. These will need to be scraped and sanded. Find and repair the cracks that can occasionally occur during the settling process paying close attention around doors and windows. Most likely you’ll have a few nail pops to repair due to everyday expansion and contraction, not to mention that hole you have been hiding behind your family photo! And don’t forget to inspect the vulnerable corners that tend to get dinged when moving furniture around or just in the course of life.
When all the patching and sanding is complete, drop cloths will need to be laid and windows and non-paint surfaces will need to be taped. Then you’re ready for the fun part!
Remember, the foundation for a beautiful paint job lies in the preparation. Do it correctly from the very start and you’ll enjoy your paint color a lot longer!
How Do You Find The Right Contractor For Your Project?
It’s a time many homeowners dread—your house needs repainting and the job is too big to do yourself. Fear not! If you do your homework, you can find a highly qualified commercial paint contractor to do a beautiful job and save you the hassle.
The first obvious question is, “Where do I start?” Begin with referrals from friends and family. If you strike out there try online referral sites such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Manta or Yahoo Local. These sites provide reviews, photos and business details to help you find the best professionals
Now that you have the names of a few contractors, immediately narrow the field and ask for references—be sure they include several that are a few years old. This will help you evaluate a contractor’s work over time.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to take the following steps:
1. PREPARE: Create a list of the work you want done and provide it to each bidding contractor. Require written quotes with details of the work proposed.
2. ASSESS: When assessing quotes pay particular attention to the preparation details. Overlook this step and you might as well throw your money down the drain. A painter may spend more than fifty percent of their time with preparation alone, especially on the exterior. Exterior prep can include caulking, pressure washing, patching, and repairing damaged spots or rotting wood. Interior prep often requires repairing nail pops, drywall holes, cracked plaster, cleaning surfaces, and masking non-painted surfaces.
3. REVIEW: Review the painting process, which typically begins with priming. Ask what type and brand is being proposed. The same questions apply to the paint. If you’re unsure what type finish to use, a contractor can help you understand the choices available. Discuss the colors you want and determine the number of coats the job requires. When it comes to paint brands, consider this: Higher quality brands may carry a bigger dollar amount, but they last longer, costing you less over the long run. Many paint contractors are taking an Eco-friendly approach to their business by using paints containing fewer harmful solvents, so this may be a direction you want to request in your initial search for a painter.
4. ASK: How does the contractor plan to protect the interior of your home, such as your furniture, floors, lighting fixtures, etc? On the exterior, what measures are planned to protect your landscaping and decking?
5. VERIFY: Does the contractor warranty his work and if so what is covered and for how long? Make certain the paint contractor is licensed and insured. A contractor’s license can be verified via your state’s website.
6. OBSERVE: When the painter arrives for an appointment, does he appear “professional”? Is he presentable, courteous, and organized? Is he on time for appointments and genuinely interested in your project? These can be telltale signs regarding how the actual project will proceed.
It may appear to be a daunting task, but by creating your checklist, asking for referrals and comparing apples to apples, you’ll be prepared to find the best paint contractor for your next big painting project.
Interior Painting: Let Inspiration Be Your Guide
Where in the vast color spectrum do you even begin to select a hue when it’s time to begin the interior painting of your precious home? After all, the walls you place that moss green or buttery yellow upon are the ones you will stare at day in and day out … and the choice you make is integral to your daily state of mind.
You may think that statement a bit far reaching, but it’s really not when you consider that color is all about emotion. Put two clashing colors together and you feel the tension and friction almost instantly. Yet if you put two colors together that complement one another you immediately feel at ease.
So where to begin? The first place you may want to start your color search is right at home. If you have a favorite patterned couch, chair or pillow you can choose a color from the upholstery that blends well with all of your décor. If your furniture is neutral then consider pulling a color from an accent piece such as a rug or even a favorite piece of artwork.
A great place to get color ideas is from home décor catalogs or stores. The rooms displayed have been decorated by pros that have studied color and are up on the latest trends. Bedding is often quite beautiful and may be just the inspiration you need when choosing your bedroom color scheme. Next time you look at a wall of towels think about where your eye travels and which colors cause you to linger more so than others. If you’re not afraid of vibrant hues, plant nurseries could very well stimulate your creative juices. The most important thing to remember is not to be afraid of color!
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to paint every room an energetic color. Sometimes you may want that rug or favorite painting to be the focal point, so then it’s a matter of choosing the perfect neutral. Color combinations are everywhere, and when you open your eyes to them you’ll begin to see them in places you never dreamed.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, save yourself big headaches and potentially big bucks in the long run and purchase a) sample sizes of several shades your chosen color, or b) samples sizes of several different colors you envision for your room. If possible, paint at a 3’ x 3’ square on the wall and live with it for several days. View in it in all different lights. You’ll be shocked by how much a color will change throughout the day, so make sure you love it all 24 hours!
The bottom line is each home is as individual as the people who inhabit it. Allow that individuality to shine through with your interior paint colors. Have fun with it and the rewards will be uplifting!
Exterior Paint Colors: Explore the options!
Curb appeal is everything! So, when it comes time to update your homes’ exterior paint colors, consider dipping a brush into something a bit brighter than the current palette.
You may be thinking, “Good grief! I just took the leap from beige to terra-cotta inside my house and now I’ve got to do the same outside?” Relax, it doesn’t have to be extreme, but there are many great exterior color combinations and several ways to approach your decision.
One direction is to first consider the features you aren’t likely to change anytime soon, like the roof or an existing element such as brick, stone, stucco or an architectural feature. Choose a color similar in nature or perhaps a neutral to make that element pop.
Also consider your home’s surroundings, whether it’s the landscaping or neighboring homes, and keep within that existing palette. Some neighborhoods have homeowner’s associations that must approve any color changes, so be sure to check your covenants before you spend any time or money.
A huge factor in determining color may be the style of home you live in. If you’re lucky enough to own a Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, or other type stylized home, they each come with original color schemes that can be tweaked to your particular tastes.
Here’s a question to ask yourself. “What do I want to accomplish with my home?” If you need for it to appear more prominent from the street or larger, choose a lighter color for your walls and have fun with your accent color; accent color is typically applied to areas such as shutters, the front door, and other interesting architectural elements. Be careful though, lighter colors can possibly work against you and make your home appear insubstantial. Go darker with the main color and your home will appear more solid. Again, the accent color is where you can really lend personality to your home. Add a bit of extra flair and paint the door a separate eye catching color.
Most paint company websites provide fantastic tools for creating custom color palettes, plus they have lots of color combos they’ve already pulled together — often with photo examples. And don’t forget your paint contractor. We’re the pros who work with color everyday.
A very important step you do not want to skip is to test your colors on a wall. Paint as large a section as possible, and view them in the daylight and at night. Take your time and make sure you love them!
Your home’s exterior paint colors don’t have to be blasé. Just a splash of color goes a long way to brighten up your home. The end results will pay off for many years to come.