Posts Tagged ‘southpointe paint & decor’

Helping from a distance.

My Mom lives in Ontario, and has been asking me for help on her bedroom makeover. Obviously I have spent a lot of time at my Mom’s house, and yet I still found it difficult to remember the exact colours she used throughout her home. Why? Shouldn’t a colour consultant have perfect colour memory? Well although I feel that I do have a heightened colour experience the fact is “colour-memory” is short! That means it’s almost impossible for someone (even an expert) to look at a colour chip display and pick the exact match for a colour in their memory.

This is why it’s important to take your colours with you when you are out shopping. And a photo isn’t good enough; there are too many factors that affect the colours in a picture (e.g. the room’s lighting, the camera’s flash, the ink used to print the picture or the display screen’s settings, etc). So, when you’re browsing paint chips for your master bedroom bring your bedding (or at least the pillow shams) with you.

So once my Mom decided on her bedding, I needed to see it so that I could make suggestions for wall colours. Fortunately, big box stores allow Mom and I to look at many of the same products in our own respective cities.

I selected Cement Gray 2112-60 for my Mom’s walls. It’s a soft grey with subtle mauve undertones that harmonize with the purple embroidery on the bedding. Mom tested the colour on her walls and it looked too purple. My Dad was horrified, how could his only daughter suggest he should sleep in a purple room?!?

In the room’s unique lighting the subtle mauve was not so subtle. This is why it is so important to test a paint colour on your walls! And why I offer colour consultations in-home. Every space has its own unique lighting finger print that cannot be predicted 2000 km away, and can’t be predicted in a store either.

My Mom then tried a second choice, Stonington Gray HC-170, and was able to achieve the soft gray tone she was expecting from the first option.

Defining colour can sometime be like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down. Because lighting conditions are unique to your location, so is the way you perceive colour. This challenge is what I love about being a colour consultant, and it’s also what causes such frustration for my clients (and my Mom). Bringing a sample of the colour with you can help predict the colour’s shift, but you have to see the colour, on your wall, in your space, to pin the cloud!

My Mom went shopping.

And like many people she found lots of choices. So I wasn’t surprised when she came back to me with two COMPLEATLY different bedding styles to inspire her bedroom makeover.

The first one had lots of colours, but it was VERY floral. My Mom chooses it because the colours were right, but the style wasn’t. This is a mistake a lot of people make. Colour is a VERY powerful driver, that’s why it is so heavily relied on in marketing (quick, what colour is a Coke…easy right!). So when we see the colours we are looking for, we buy! But colour isn’t always a good indication of style.

The second option was more my Mom’s style. A simple feather graphic embroidered into the comforter. I was impressed she went out of her comfort zone with the colour. It was a rich navy blue. Now we could start picking wall colours…

Well… we could have… but Mom needed to ask EVERYONE what they thought of her choices. Not surprisingly she got a lot of different opinions. It rattled her confidence in her choice. She has informed me she is going to take both bedding choices back to the store and start again.

Her mistake was asking too many people their option. You should only ask people who are directly affected by the decision, or those whose decorating style you like (i.e. a professional decorator, or you’re stylish BFF). So my Dad definitely deserves a say in how his bedroom looks, but her entire book-group (who will never see her bedroom) shouldn’t be asked for input.

Better luck next time Mom.

Working with Mom; My Most Challenging Client

When people ask me about clients that I’ve found challenging my Mom is the first person who come to mind. I love her, but for most of our lives the expert balance has been tipped in her favor (she really did know better than me when I was 16, but don’t tell her that). So now that I have acquired knowledge in an area outside of her expertise I think it’s hard for her to trust that I’m right. When I answer her decorating questions, she always gets a second opinion to test if I’m right. She was shocked when she went into her local Benjamin Moore store and they repeated the same advice I had given her!

Now she is redecorating her bedroom and has asked for my advice. I advised her to go shopping for some inspirational bedding. When re-designing your bedroom, it’s always best to start with the bedding. It’s easier to match the thousands of paint colours to your bedding than it is to choose a paint colour and then force it to work with the linen options in the stores. Trust me, I’ve tried!

Happy Shopping Mom!

When in doubt, call an expert! A colour consultation could be the answer you’re looking for.

As a colour consultant for Benjamin Moore Southpointe I’d be glad to come by your house to help you select the perfect colour for your painting project. It’s more affordable than most expect and includes up to an hour and half of my time. During this time I will help you decide on a colour pallet for your whole home. Furthermore, I often have ample time to answer other decorating concerns you have such as ideas for window treatments, furniture placement or flooring options.
By being in your house I can evaluate your home’s unique lighting, flooring and furnishings. This gives me a personalized perspective on your style and design goals, from which we can work to find the best colour solutions to create your dream space.
As part of the experience I will create a full write up. You will get a portfolio you will be able to use as a reference guide so you can decorate on your own timeline and at your own pace.
Call or email me today to find out more, or to book your appointment.
Stacey Severs

Spring Deck Prep

Spring has sprung, time to fire up the BBQ, get the lawn chairs out and…

Easy there, not so fast…

With a bit of time spent now, you will be able to enjoy your deck for years, and be proud of it as well.

Our winters here in southern Alberta tend to be harsh, with 2 feet of snow piling up, than Chinooks coming along and melting all the snow and the cycle repeats itself over and over.

These freeze thaw cycles take their tolls on our decks but with the right maintenance routine it can be kept in check.

What I like to do with my deck every spring has been the same routine for years now…

First off, remove all planters, furniture, BBQ equipment etc. With the deck completely cleared I do an initial quick sweeping and removal of any leaves and dirt that has blown onto it over the winter months. After this initial cleaning, I examine the deck thoroughly for surface wear, cracked or cupped boards, and loose screws or nail pops are taken care of. This step is vital in assessing and solving any problems well before the deck gets put back into use.

After all repairs are made, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning. Right before cleaning, be sure to heavily water any nearby plants, and use plenty of drop clothes and poly to protect any nearby surfaces or plants. Ever wonder what three of the greatest causes of exterior deck coating failures are? In my opinion I place the blame squarely upon Dirt, Weathering, and Mill-Glaze. Fortunately with proper preparation you can take care of all of these problems. For new, weathered or unfinished wood decks there are several commercially available products for cleaning decks that all work well, however one basic solution I like to use is, 4 ounces of TSP, 1 Quart of household bleach, and 3 quarts of water. This solution when applied to the wood and kept wet for 15-20 minutes with a good scrubbing from a synthetic bristle brush is great at removing all the dirt, mildew spores and dead wood cells. Basic safety precautions should always be followed, be sure to follow all manufactures recommendations and warnings. Thoroughly rinse, ideally with a pressure washer, be sure to keep the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface to avoid damaging the wood.

Once the deck has been washed and allowed a couple of days to dry, this is a good time to do another inspection. Depending on what type of finish you are intending on using, you can do the following tests; if it is a penetrating stain or finish, flick water onto the boards, if the water beads up, you know you will have to sand it. If water can’t absorb into the boards, I can guarantee you that stain will not absorb. You see, most transparent and translucent stains are like lotions for the wood, they need to soak in and they become what we often call sacrificial coatings, they simply wear by erosion and you never get peeling or flaking, it simply fades away. The key thing to remember with transparent or translucent stains, is that they will allow you to be able to see thru them to what is underneath, so if there is any remnants of previous coatings or dark stains on the wood you will be able to see them. If this is a concern you can either choose a darker stain to try and hide it or go to a solid stain. If you are using a solid stain, which is a great product to use if the boards are fairly worn and discoloured, it is important to remember that no matter what product anyone sells you it is going to stick to what is there and if what is there isn’t peeling and flaking and it isn’t firmly attached than it is simply going to come off as well. All loose peeling and flaking existing coatings have to be removed. If the previous coating is firmly attached than it won’t be as much of a concern. If the deck is dirty or the dust from sanding isn’t removed than the coating sticks to the dirt and dust and it will peel as well.

Sanding of the deck is almost always the recomended choice of prepping the deck for a new stain. As a general guideline vertical surfaces should be sanded with 80-120 grit, and horizontal surfaces should be sanded with 60-80 grit. ALWAYS sand in direction of the wood grain.

Getting the right products, and right tools for your project is easy when you deal with your local, independent paint store!

Above all and most importantly… Be sure to follow all recomendations and precautions on the label of whichever product you choose to use!

KOVRD 2 In 1 Dropcloth/Tray Cover

So check this out…

I have seen a good deal “handy-dandy-super-duper painting inventions” before, and  I really didn’t like a whole lot of them. This new combination paint tray bag/dropcloth is definately one I’m impressed with.

With the advent of Zero VOC and low VOC paints, what paint manufactures have done is removed the harmful solvents that were used to give paint more open time. This has been a benefit (quicker re-coat times,) however it has also caused some issues with the product simply drying to fast. What a lot of painters have been doing, is to take an old terry cloth towel, dampen it, and lay it over top of the tray. Although very effective, it has proven to be potentially very messy. Along comes KOVRD with their latest patent pending invention…

Now that is a great idea, Thank you KOVRD!

Natural Bristle Brushes

Everyone always says “Bristle Brushes are the best!” It is 100% true… if you’re using oil/alkyd paint or lacquer. Most of the paint sold nowadays is water based simply because of environmental regulations (and is generally a technologically superior coating, in my opinion.) Natural bristle brushes, are generally made with hair snipped from chinese hogs, sometimes badgers, sometimes oxen. The porous nature of natural hair absorbs too much moisture to be used effectively with water based paints. What happens is that after a few strokes the bristles start to swell up and it becomes increasingly harder to get the paint to flow properly off the brush.This is why we always suggest you use man-made filaments for water base products.

What is the most popular renovation?

According to the seventh annual “RBC Renovation Poll” the two most popular planned renovations are bathrooms (38%) and exterior deck and yard (32%). Plans to renovate the basement in 2009 was in the works for 13% of those polled, however for 2011, 21% responded in favour of that reno. Females at 63% were most likely to identify with the need to renovate, however the spouse or partner is expected to do most of the work for 55% of those ladies. 31% of the people polled said they will do most of the work.

So what words of advice would I have on the poll? Bathrooms and exteriors are some of the areas with the most issues when it comes to coatings. Preparation is key here, and seldom are two situations exactly the same. There can be surface contaminant issues, environmental issues, and most importantly special preparation needed… so I recommend going to your local independent paint retailer, and asking the questions and getting the answers. The big advantage that us smaller independents will always have over big box stores is dedicated, local, expertise. Take for instance Southern Alberta. One of the biggest issues we face with deck coatings comes from the fact that we have Chinooks. Throughout any one winter season, how many freeze/thaw cycles do we incur? This is one of the factors that contributes to the degradation of your exterior coating. Has anyone ever seen mention of chinooks on the side of a paint can? Nope. Anyone ever explain how that can be hard on a deck coating for you at any of the big box stores? If you like come by the store, or give us a call and we will gladly explain how this effects your deck stain.

Smooth finish around doors and trim…

Ever wonder how to get that exceptionally smooth finish around your doors and trim when painting?

That is where I like to use the 3″ and 4″ roller cages, cut in with a brush and than roll behind a 1/4 inch away from the trim, and than when you roll the rest with the standard cage, you will see minimal brush strokes resulting in a much more profesional look.

Custom Colour Spray Paint

Just moved into a new house and found a whole bunch of left over trim paint? Or did you just complete a reno and are now wondering what to do with some of the left over paint? We have the perfect solution to that problem. You can bring the paint into the store and we can than load it into spray cans! By doing this you have now made it much easier to do touch-ups. Any colour of paint, any product , any sheen and we will turn it into an easily stored custom can of spray paint.