Interior Paint Colors That Awaken Your Senses
It’s been said that color can affect your emotions. So why not determine to start the New Year lifting your mood with fresh interior paint? The time to re-decorate is right now and the color trends are spectacular.
2013’s Brilliant color combinations begin by sparking the imagination and lifting the spirits with rich, lush palettes of deep grays, forest greens, plums, and rustic reds. No one can combine colors more masterfully than Mother Nature and Pro designers know, when something of beauty catches your eye in nature, those same combos will work beautifully in your home.
Many designers are embracing the glorious hues of precious stones in 2013 – sapphire blue, amethyst purple, ruby red, smoky topaz and elegant silver & gold. It’s almost impossible to go wrong mixing and matching, especially with Benjamin Moore’s “Vintage Moxie” palette. Citrine and amethyst make a lovely pair, as does pearl and pretty much any color imaginable! And oh the versatility! Take it to the retro side with funky furnishings or keep it charming with a mix of vintage and new world.
While many designers enjoy nature’s color combos, there are those designers who are setting their 2013 palette ablaze with more modern/retro combos that exude the high energy of electric limes, pinks and blues.
Texture and surprise is the name of the game in this New Year. Against a backdrop of wild, bold colors, consider adding a touch of elegance or something unexpected, like this stunning pearly light fixture set in a popping pink room.
Fabrics like silk or suede in an electric lime room give the eye interesting layers to explore. Depending on the lighting in the room, wild colors can take on varying shades that add interest … and decorating options, too.
Going with bold and electric or bright and vivid hues may seem brave or maybe even risky. But these glorious colors work amazingly well in all forms, contrasting, analogous(similar shades), and monochromatic. Pair them up with black, white or gray and they will pop and amaze.
The artisans of Cannon Painting are masters at the craft of color and know that color changes everything in your home. Let us make 2013 the best one yet by transforming your home’s interior with paint to match your individual tastes to perfection.
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.
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!
Clearing the Air in Your Office
Business owners have a lot to think about. Expenses, staff, clients, taxes, and economic ups and downs — just to name a few. Add to the list of worries is the health of their office space. Nowadays, we’ve come to understand that the buildings we inhabit, whether home or office, have an impact on our overall health, and employers are searching for ways to improve the health and wellbeing of these structures.
The green movement is on the rise across the nation as more and more people understand the importance of energy conservation and pollution controls. We hear a lot about clean air as it relates to the outdoors, but what about the air you breathe inside your home or place of business? Many people are getting sick due to indoor pollution, which can be caused by a number of things. Believed to be the worst offenders of “sick building syndrome” are mold, poor ventilation, and chemical pollutants. Symptoms can range from nausea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, tightening of the chest, and eye, nose and throat irritation.
Chemical pollutants such as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, are especially sinister as they lurk in many places: carpets, cleaning materials, and the interior paint on all of the walls and ceilings. Worse still is that they have been linked to serious health issues such as kidney and liver damage, and even cancer.
But there is good news for business owners. Low/no VOC paint is available in both the residential and commercial market. For medical practices with patients who suffer particularly from respiratory illnesses, no VOC paint would be a blessing. OB/GYN patients and pediatric offices would also benefit enormously from the healthier environment an eco-friendly paint would provide.
It goes without saying that any space painted with a low/no VOC paint would afford employees and patients alike a healthier workplace. Consult your commercial paint contractor to select the best product for your particular project as more and more manufacturers are introducing eco-friendly paints to the market. To know for certain what you’re getting, check for the “Green Seal label”. This non-profit group requires compliance with a strict set of criteria for green standards.
When the time comes to repaint your office space, think green for your employee’s health, your patient’s health, and your own health. Whether they know it or not, you’ve helped them all breathe just a little bit easier.
Not All Paints Are Created Equal
As tongue and cheek as it may sound, it’s more accurate than you may think when comparing one paint brand to another. Sure, the colors vary and one brand may carry that butter cream you’ve dreamed of seeing on your living room walls. But the differences have far reaching consequences that extend beyond your color palette.
Consumers are inundated with glossy ads and commercials from paint companies claiming to carry the most superior paint products. How do we rifle our way through the glitz to understand what information matters and whether we should pay for a higher-quality paint? Is it all just a gimmick? Gimmicky yes, but there is absolute truth behind the glam.
Five distinct factors are keys to determining quality in both interior and exterior paint:
1. Pigment – Titanium dioxide is the primary pigment used in high-quality paints. Known as “titanium white” due to its opacity and brilliant whiteness, this is the most expensive pigment. A high percentage of titanium dioxide is found in high-quality paints because of its superior coverage. Lesser quality paints will contain other pigments that are less opaque and less pure, therefore requiring more coats, more paint and more time!
2. Resins – Also known as binders, resins are the ingredients that bind the paint to its surface to protect it from the elements. According to experts, when buying latex paint, look for 100 percent acrylic or vinyl acrylic on the label. Always go for the higher percentage of acrylic. If you don’t see it on the front, look for “acrylic polymer” in the ingredients. If in doubt, check with your local paint specialist or your residential painting contractor
3. Solids – Higher-quality paints will contain more solids than cheaper paints, meaning they contain more pigments and resins and less water. In fact, a less-expensive paint can contain 15 percent fewer solids than a higher-priced paint. Better paint means durability, better coverage and easier cleanup.
4. Additives – Additives are present in all latex paints, but the more you pay, the better protection you get. Added benefits may include thickeners to provide a smoother, even stroke; modifiers to reduce splattering; mildewcides to prevent and/or limit the growth of mildew; additives to protect paint even if it freezes once or twice.
5. Low-VOC – Last but certainly not least is to look for paint that provides the best finish while also leaving behind a healthy environment. Low or no VOC paints are available in the high-quality market, so discuss your options with your paint pro. There is also plenty of research available online to determine for yourself what is best for you and your family.
Bottom line? The paint on your walls affects not only how your feel in your home, it affects your actual bottom line! Your house is special, so paint it that way.
ECO Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos
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.)
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.
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.