Sunday, September 1, 2013

Color Trends for 2013 From The Paint Quality Institute

Color Trends 2013 - Greens and Blues Headline 2013 Paint Color Palette

If you’re into what’s “in” when it comes to interior paint colors, just look outside in 2013. The greens and blues that characterize the world outdoors are the same hues that will be popular when beautifying our living spaces this year, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.
“It’s fitting that green is expected to be one of the top paint colors used to refresh and renew the interiors of homes and buildings,” says Zimmer. “Green has always been symbolic of new life. Only now, it will be giving new life to tired interiors.”
That’s not to say, however, that the “pure” green we see on the color wheel will be the people’s (or designer’s) choice. With the growing complexity and sophistication of the palette offered by most paint companies, “green” today refers to an extremely wide spectrum of hues.
Kitchen Inspiration
To visualize the options, think of the many colors that appear in a garden or grove of trees: apple, asparagus, celery, fern, honeydew, lime, mint, olive, and willow may come to mind. Wherever you buy your paint, you’ll likely find some tints and shades of green named after such familiar flora.
“Then there are the greens that gravitate toward blue, which just happens to be projected as the other popular paint color this year,” said Zimmer. “Bluish-greens like teal, turquoise, aquamarine and cyan are expected to be hot designer choices. By selecting one of these hybrid colors, you can in a sense co-opt both of the trendy color choices.”
Hall Inspiration
That’s not to say we won’t see a lot of true blues this year. We will. And many will be drawn right from mother nature: lighter tints such as sky blue and robin’s egg to darker shades like slate, navy and midnight blue... and everything in between.
Because various greens and blues work so well together, virtually any combination from these extended color families can be used to create a visually pleasant interior. To that end, Zimmer suggests that do-it-yourselfers, and even professional painters and designers, mix it up when working with these hues.
Some of the ways to do that include using different blues or greens on the walls and trim, painting an accent wall in a slightly different color from the others, and even incorporating patterns into the paint color scheme used on the walls. Another idea: painting one or more items of furniture in a contrasting or complementary green or blue.
“Just as they do in a garden or landscape with the sky up above, the various greens and blues will tend to harmonize into a cohesive picture that will be as serene and tranquil as the beautiful scenes we see outdoors,” said Zimmer.
Color Trend Archives:
2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Exterior Acrylic Paint

By: Debbie Zimmer

Every Type of Home Exterior Can Benefit from Top Quality Paint

There are so many exterior paints and coatings available today that choosing the right product can be confusing. But, this is one decision you really don't need to fret over.

By using a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you'll enjoy a variety of performance benefits, whether your home exterior is made of wood, aluminum siding, vinyl siding, or masonry.

So, whatever type of exterior you have on your home, don't sweat your paint selection. By choosing a top quality acrylic latex paint, you'll get some great benefits that will protect your home and keep it looking freshly-painted for years to come.

Share you exterior painting experiences with us on our newly designed blog at

Happy Painting,

Debbie Zimmer, Editor

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why Hire A Professional

Painting can be hazardous work, whether it's working on a ladder or dealing with dust, paints and solvents. Hiring a professional contractor means you don't have to worry about these problems.

In order for a contractor to be listed on this site the company must be insured and must be licensed in their area of operation (if required by law). Quality contracting firms will be only too happy to provide you with copies of their license or business registration and copies of their current certificates of insurance. They should provide bonding information (if the job is large enough to require such) and documentation of safety training and compliance programs. Not all states and municipalities require licensing however business registration with your state and municipality is generally a minimum requirement. Spend a few minutes to verify the insurance and registrations are current by contacting the insurance broker and regulatory agencies.

Obtain a list of references from the prospective contractor. This list should include the contact person, address, and telephone number of the previous client. Follow up on this list with a phone call. Remember, the contractor will not give you a bad reference. Therefore, ask references if they know of any other work this contractor has performed. Be sure to ask whether the contractor and employees treated them professionally and with respect. The references you are interested in should be projects similar in size and scope to yours. Some of the projects should be at least a few years old. This will help you gauge the performance of the construction and materials used. If possible, try to see the work that was done. Discuss any guarantee or warranty programs the contractor may offer. Ask about the manufacturer's warranty on the products to be used on your project. Remember you are looking for long-term durability from the paint job. The use of high quality products is as important as the selection and performance of the contractor. Verifying references will provide a bigger return on your project investment.

The choices today are more complicated than just oil or latex. Professional contractors know what works, how to use it, and will have the right tools for the job. Professional contractors utilize and partner with professional paint, coatings, and wallcovering suppliers.

Insurance, Licensing, Education & Skill
Determine if your contractor is a member of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America. If you've chosen one from they are. The focus of the association is the education of its members and the promotion of professionalism within the industry. Look for the PDCA logo on your contractor's business card, bid sheets, or trucks. PDCA offers many programs for the education of painting contractors. This education includes training in the areas of safety, business management, technical areas of painting, surface preparation, and more. Quality painting and decorating contractors are well educated on the different aspects of any painting project and that knowledge helps eliminate surprises. Excellence in paint application is as important to your selection of a contractor as are their skills to properly manage their business and your project.

National Associations such as PDCA and the Better Business Bureau are Non-Profit Associations who are interested in making the contracting world better, not just selling their marketing based contractor promotions. PDCA is the only national association for painting and decorating contractors and one of the oldest contractor associations in America. Industry standards are another benefit of industry associations. PDCA produces nationally recognized Painting Industry Standards that cover many different aspects of a painting project. Use of these standards in proposals and contracts helps improve communication between the client and the contractor, assists in ensuring quality, and becomes a basis for evaluating the job's requirements.

If your home or business was built before 1978, it may have lead-based paint in one or more of the older coats, which can cause serious health issues when it is scraped or sanded in preparation for repainting. Professional contractors will take appropriate steps to protect you. Painting contractors are required to furnish EPA-produced pamphlets to their residential customers and certain other customer types, before they begin a job that involves disturbing lead-based paint in or on a surface. Professional painting contractors will understand and be willing to follow the recommendations on this pamphlet. For more information on the EPA's lead requirements visit

Getting the surface properly prepared makes all the difference. Professional contractors know the value of preparation and will do it right.

Hiring a professional contractor means you don't have to worry about dealing with paint residues and other leftovers. Professionals know how to handle hazardous wastes that may be part of the job.

Contractor Guarantees
Reputable contractors will encourage the use of a written contract. This contract should clearly explain the scope of the work to be performed. It should also cover such items as surfaces to be painted, methods and extent of surface preparation, time schedules for the project, and payment procedures. Knowing the total scope of the work enables you to carefully evaluate the different bids you may receive with the proper information and keep them on a level playing field. The contract serves to protect both you and the contractor. Most contractors listed at are aware of the industry standards created by Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (the Association that runs You can download the standards free of charge,

For more information please visit us at

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When is Painting Season?

Trico Painting

When is painting season? This is the time of year when we are out doing estimates and the most asked question is when should we paint?

The short answer is when it's warm and sunny. But I don't think my customers are looking to do business with a wise guy. So the real answer is based on a few simple factors:

• Manufactures recommendations......Manufactures all have specification sheets on line and methods of applications on their labels. The information always includes information about temperature and relative humidity limitations. For most exterior coatings the minimum is 50 degrees fahrenheit with a maximum 80% relative humidity.

• Weather forecast......Even with ideal conditions incoming weather can be a factor on your painting project. There are several internet sites that include a 5 day forecast; some are more accurate than others. I like any website that is aviation based, these tend to be more accurate because pilots and passengers lives depend on accurate information.

• Dry time.....It is possible to start a painting project if the weather forecast is calling for rain. The key is to have a plan on stopping the painting about 4 hours before the wet weather hits and the temperature is warm enough to dry the paint. Most acrylic house paints will dry in 2 hours and definitely in 4 hours is the temperature is above 70 degrees.

• Exterior Painting Season......Our business is based in Sacramento California typically our exterior painting starts in February and ends in November. This is of course based on all of the information above. If the conditions are right and we have a willing customer we will paint anytime…

Please visit us at  for more information.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elastomeric Coatings

By: Tim Flood

There seems to be a lot of confusion about Elastomeric Coatings in the market place. Most of our customers are convinced that Elastomeric Coatings can not be applied on wood substrates such as wood siding. I am hoping to shed some light on the discrepancies that exist between contractors and home-owners.

My background is in both paint manufacturing and contracting and we have been involved with both on some level since 1987.

I'll start with the basic function of an elastomeric coating, what types are available for home owner use and the facts of elastomeric coatings as they relate to wood.

Elastomerics Coatings were originally developed as a water-proof coating or membrane designed to keep water (rain) from penetrating concrete warehouses in areas that were prone to wind driven rains. The idea was to keep moisture from damaging the contents of the warehouse or building. They were typically very thick coatings applied in two separate coats, the second designed to be pin-hole free to prevent water intrusion. The final dry-film thickness would be 16-20 mils (8-10 times thicker than house paint). The coating was designed to very flexible or elastic to compensate for movement or settling and to bridge any cracks from reappearing.

As time progressed painting contractors began experimenting on combining elastomeric Coatings with house paint for several reasons, the first being the need for a coating the could create a higher film build to fill in the cracking and checking on weathered wood siding. Painting contractors were aware of the benefits of using elastomeric coatings on concrete and stucco substrates to fill and bridge cracking and the fact that elastomeric coatings were a thick, high viscosity, high film build coating, they were also aware that the cost was thirty to fifty percent higher than the typical house paint not to mention the fact the spread rate – coverage was 50-75 square feet per gallon compared to 300-400 square feet coverage of a quality house paint. Contractors realized that by combining an elastomeric coating with house paint that the spread rate would increase and the combined products would fill the cracks in wood siding. As a result of using this combination contactors were delivering a finished product that was truly impressive compared to the contractors that were using the conventional house paint.

Manufacturers had serious concerns with painting contractors altering products in the field with no quality control systems in place, no formal testing, and no known outcome on performance or coating failures and were reluctant to endorse or develop a product that would meet the demand and needs of their customers.

In 1997 while I was employed as the Vice President of Sales for a small paint manufacturer in Sacramento I decided to contact several key resin manufacturers about the possibility of developing a resin / elastomeric system for wood that did not trap moisture, pick-up dirt or need to be mixed on the job-site. As a result of the meetings we were able to produce a resin system that could achieve the film build we were looking for that included a perm rating (Water entrapment) similar to traditional house paints with better dirt resistance, color retention and life expectancy of traditional coatings already in place.

Since the formulation of the original batch in 1997 there have been thousands of homes (Both wood&stucco;) that have been painted with these new hybrid elastomeric coatings. Nearly every manufacturer has included this type of elastomeric in their product line. After researching the brand name manufacturers such as Vista Paint, Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards and others, I have confirmed that they do in fact recommend elastomeric coatings such as Weather-Master 1900, for wood siding and other wood substrates.

I hope that this article has been helpful to you in answering some of the questions that surround elastomeric coatings. There are several web-sites and articles that have been published by industry experts that may be helpful in answering any remaining questions that you may have. Please visit

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