A Neutral Color Doesn’t Have to Mean Boring
When you put your house on the market you have to create a neutral canvas upon which a potential buyer can visualize their ‘stuff’. It’s a hard place to get especially if you’re still living in the house. So be prepared to refresh the walls with some neutral paint colors that greet homebuyers with the vibe that says, “I could live here!”
Try to remember back to your first home buying experience. I bet you immediately began to place your furniture in every room of the house. If that house was painted in neutral colors and depersonalized of the owner’s items it was infinitely easier to see yourself living there. Fresh paint leaves the impression the house is clean, well cared for and best of all, you don’t have to paint the minute you move in. In today’s economy and housing market these are big pluses.
A fresh coat of paint not only provides a neutral setting, it provides the opportunity to have unsightly cracks or holes in the walls repaired. Take this time to also have your painter refresh your trim. This is very important. Freshly painted walls are pointless if the trim work is dinged and dirty.
Don’t think dictionary definition of the word neutral and think you’ll be living in a dull, bland world. Neutral means something entirely different as far as paint colors are concerned. It encompasses yellows, grays, greens, browns and even blues, so you do have some beautiful color choices. Take a look at these “neutral” palettes from both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. Not too shabby!
What these lovely paint colors will accomplish is to create light, the illusion of height in rooms with lower ceilings, and help a small space appear larger – so the payoff is huge.
Don’t just stop with the inside walls, the exterior of your home is just as important. In fact, it may be more important merely because it’s the first thing a buyer sees. What realtors and designers alike call curb appeal begins with the appearance of your home’s siding, roof, gutters, etc. If you see mold a potential buyer sees mold. If the roof is old and gutters are rusty a potential buyer sees additional hassles down the road.
Neutral is again the key word when considering exterior paint colors. Here are some great examples you can discuss with your paint expert as possibilities for your home.
The outlook for existing home sales in the Grand Rapids area is looking up so don’t skip this vitally important step toward selling your home. Take the time to freshen up your home inside and out with a neutral paint color and broaden your chances for a rewarding home selling experience.
“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.
How to choose color to compliment your home’s décor
People come in all shapes and sizes, and so does the ability to visualize color and texture. Making paint color choices can be a seemingly impossible decision for one person and yet another may find it great fun. Cannon Painting’s experts are primed with the tools and knowledge to assist a client in complementing their home’s decor on any level.
If you are beginning with a blank canvas or even have neutral furnishings the first question we may ask is really quite basic. What is your favorite color? Or what mood do you want the room to convey? Different colors can express very different feelings and emotions. Blue for example is popular for its ability to soothe and relax. Red invokes energy, passion and may also stimulate appetite. Yellow is a cheerful color and can be thought to convey happiness. If nature is where you prefer to be, green may be your color of choice. Similar to red, orange is a friendly, up-tempo color, and purple may tend toward a low-key mood but with a contemporary flair.
Most people have furnishings that lend themselves toward some great color combinations not even conceived of by the homeowner. So the question may be asked, “What is your favorite painting or piece of artwork in the room?” This can often provide several combinations to work from — a main wall color and perhaps one or two accent color choices. Upholstery and rugs are prime sources of color inspiration to draw from as well.
Once you’ve picked your primary room color you can also use a simple color wheel to determine your secondary accent color. This doesn’t have to be a paint color but can be pillows, lampshades, vases and other pieces of art. Select either a color opposite your chosen shade for sharp contrast, or colors right next to it for a very subtle color palette. Our color experts are here to help, and with the added benefit of color selection tools from both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, the process is even more exciting.
Room décor is just one aspect to keep in mind when selecting wall paint color. Room size and natural light also play key rolls. Large rooms with plenty of windows accommodate darker colors better than smaller rooms. Lighter hues that reflect natural light will make a smaller space appear roomier.
You may not feel comfortable making an outright color choice, but you know exactly how you want to feel in your own home. Our experts are more than paint contractors, they’re craftsmen, and they will bring an artistic approach to every project we deliver. Cannon Painting knows how to make your vision a reality.
(Paintbrush and Color Wheel images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.)
Get to Know Your Bristles!
As with any DIY project, you can throw caution to the wind and end up with a did-it-yourself disaster. Or you can do a little homework and buy the best tools for the job.
Even if you hire a commercial paint contractor to complete your next house painting project, you may simply wonder what the heck is up with all of those different paint brushes. They may look the same to you but their uses are quite specific.
The size of the brush plays a big roll in the job it performs. A 1” to 2” angled brush is best used for painting narrow spaces, trim, window sashes, and other small surfaces. Brushes anywhere from 2-1/2” to 4” are likely to see the most action. These are used for cutting in of walls and ceilings and applying paint to exterior trim. Larger still are 4” to 6” brushes and are used when applying deck stain or for going behind an airless paint sprayer to catch drips and to create a smoother finish.
Pairing the correct bristle with the right type of paint really is important and will affect your end result. Latex or acrylic paints should be applied with synthetic brushes such as polyester, nylon or a blend. Today’s paints are thicker and require a stiffer brush, plus they hold more paint, and provide easy clean-up. The stiffer the brush the better it will also perform on a rougher surface such as exterior trim.
Natural animal hair brushes are designed for oil-based paints. White or Black China bristle brushes are highly recommended for providing the best quality finish. They are quite expensive however as with all things, you get what you pay for. Cheap brushes, both synthetic and natural bristle, will loose bristles, show brush strokes, and simply fall apart faster.
The key to any good brush is to clean it thoroughly after each use. Synthetic brushes should be cleaned in soap and water until it runs clear. Remove excess water and store for drying. To clean oil-based paints, pour mineral spirits into a container and dip the brush repeatedly. Repeat this process several times until it runs clean. Remove excess solvent. Comb bristles to remove dried paint and to reshape the brush. Once all of your brushes are dry, return them to their protective jackets to help retain their shape and preserve the life of the brush.
As you can see, a brush is not just a brush. Consider carefully what you are painting and purchase the proper brush for the job. If you carefor your tools properly, and believe me, professional house painters consider brushes their tools, they can last for many years and many beautifully painted rooms to come.
Inspect Your Home From Top to Bottom Before Old Man Winter Rolls Into Town.
Here in the Grand Rapids area, we’re feeling touches of the winter already. When it comes to protecting your home, it’s not too late to paint the exterior if you get your paint contractor on it right now. There are other areas of the country with a bit more time to work with before the arctic air pushes in.
Having your house painted may be crucial to how your home weathers the extreme cold and moisture of the harsh months ahead. Exposed wood that is subjected to moisture and extremes in temperature is likely to fall victim to wood rot. If you end up with an extensive amount of wood rot at winter’s end you could be facing thousands of dollars in repairs.
Start with a thorough inspection. Check the gutters and facia for moldy streaks. These streaks may indicate your gutters aren’t draining properly and will need to be repaired or redirected to correct the drainage issue. In some instances the mold may only require a good cleaning.
Look for joints and cracks that need to be caulked. Carefully inspect window and door jambs. Water tends to pool in these areas making them prone to wood rot. Look for wood that may be soft to the touch or peeling and blistering. Landscaping may be hiding siding damage caused by drainage problems or plants and shrubs that have grown too close to the house. This is the best time to trim back your greenery.
Once you’ve made all your repairs, a fresh coat or two of a high quality, low-VOC paint will seal your home and protect it from winter’s snow, ice, and temperature extremes.
Painting your home is your best weapon against winter’s harsh elements, but you may want to add these additional winterizing tasks to your arsenal:
- Clear leaves and pine needles from the roof
- Repair leaks around skylights and chimneys
- Repair loose shingles
- Clear chimneys and vent openings of old nests or any other blockages
- Clean gutters
- Drain the exterior water lines of your irrigation system
- Insulate your water spigots and any other pipes that tend to freeze
- Drain water hoses and bring them indoors
Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or prefer the work of a professional painter, the pay off of fresh paint will be one hundred fold. You can rest easy knowing your home is protected from winter’s icy grip and it will arrive at spring’s door looking fresh and free from harm.
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.
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.
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.
Matters of aesthetics and sexiness aside, when it comes to environmental impact there’s no denying the vitality of eco-friendly building products designed to not only conserve resources like energy, water and raw materials but also to help you save money and stay healthy.
You may not be aware of it, but paint formulations have been undergoing dramatic changes over the past several years, driven by regulations to reduce the Volatile Organic Compounds (known as VOCs) in a gallon of paint. VOCs have been identified as having an adverse effect on air quality, so over the past couple of decades, the government has stepped in to require increasingly stricter limits on the VOC content of paint.
Nationally, the U.S. EPA has set the limit for flat-sheen paints at 250 grams per liter, but there are parts of our country where poor air quality is more of an issue and the limit on VOCs is even lower. In Southern California, for instance, the governing body has set the VOC limit at 50 grams per liter. Missouri follows the national EPA rule, though nearby Illinois is part of a consortium of five Midwest states (which also includes Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio) that are moving forward with lowering VOC limits to 100 grams per liter.
While low or no VOC content is good for the environment, it is also good for the consumers who use them. Low-VOC paints emit less odor than other types of paint. That’s why they are often specified for projects where the occupants could be sensitive to paint fumes, such as hospitals and schools.