Does this happen to you: do you find that when you are passionate about a subject it seems that you could go on forever, exploring ideas, thoughts and opinions? Someone I enjoy plunging down the design rabbit hole is my friend Renate Ruby, Seattle interior designer and owner of Adorn.House.
Renate and I have spent hours going deep, so we decided to take our personal conversations and share them with fellow design hounds via Facebook Live. We're calling our endeavor Friday Focus with Renate and Robin - every other Friday around 11:30am we go LIVE on various topics that we think you'll learn a little something more. Next episode is this Friday, and we are focusing on color!
Please do me a favor and "Like" our page, Friday Focus with Renate and Robin.
A good thing just got better - but hurry, Rebates only run through September 18, 2016
Did you know that Daly's has represented Pratt & Lambert Paints for over 30 years? Quality products are very important to us, and Pratt & Lambert has staked their reputation on the side of quality since the mid-1800's. They are actually the oldest operating paint brand in N. America.
Right now is a great time to pick up some Pratt & Lambert and swing a great deal on the good stuff.
There's no denying that summer has finally arrived in Seattle, and with the great weather we see a huge upswing in people working on their decks. If you've put off some of your own maintenance until now, don't worry, you're in good company!
There are two different paths most people take when it comes to deck care at Daly's:
1) Daly's 1-2-3 System of Deck Care
2) Daly's Ship'n Shore Sealer
Let's break it down so you can make the best choice for your deck.
Daly's 1-2-3 Deck Care System
This is a great option for most decks, and it's designed to both protect the wood and be easy to maintain over the life of your deck.
Step 1: Daly's Deck and House Cleaner
Formulated for use on all painted, stained, unfinished or weathered wood surfaces. Use to remove mildew, mold, dirt, algae, and in some cases, deteriorated stains. Also great for routine cleaning in a diluted form.
We suggest cleaning your deck annually, to keep the grime at bay.
Step 2: Daly's Wood Brightener
This is where the magic happens.
It brings your wood back to looking like new again - creating the perfect foundation for applying new stain color.
You will only have to use Daly's Wood Brightener a few times over the life of your deck if you are good about cleaning and staining regularly.
Daly's Ship'n Shore Clear Sealer
A question we answer every day at Daly's Paint is this, "Why is there such a huge range in the price of paint? What is the difference between something that costs $25/gallon versus $65/gallon?"
The quick answer is that you get what you pay for, and cheap paint is a shortcut to trouble. Like most things in life, the extended answer is a bit more nuanced and detailed.
When you are buying quality paint, you are paying for many different features; durability, ease of application, plus a visual quality to the color itself. Paint is created from three main components; liquids, solids/resins and pigment. Each one of these categories may contain various levels of quality and/or cheap ingredients. The combination of all the components together and the quality ingredients for each specific category affect the final price of the paint.
Let's Break it Down:
The liquid in the can evaporates as the paint dries, so the more solvent or water your paint contains, the less actual paint film you are left with on the wall once the paint is dry. Stands to reason when you think of it that way, right? It also makes sense that your paint is less likely to perform over time, for example hold up to any sort of washing or sponging off, if the bucket contains a lot of solvent or water without enough solids left to make a strong paint film.
This is what is left on the wall after the solvent (water is considered a solvent, btw) has evaporated. Resins add to the performance of the paint and also give your paint it's specific feel; plastic-y, smooth, chalky, soft or hard, sticky… Inexpensive paints use low-quality fillers, like chalk or talc, to add body to the paint. This is tricky, because the paint can seem thick and rich when you are stirring it around in the can, but it's thickened with a product that doesn't add to the performance of the paint on the wall. Ah-ha! Chalk is also used to add "hide" to cheap paints - think about that one-coat coverage at $25 bucks stuff; rub your hand across the wall and you'll rub the color right off! Many new construction homes are painted with very cheap paint. A $1.7 million dollar new-construction home that I just toured last week is painted with crap. I get to look at that house as a potential re-paint opportunity in just a couple years; good for the painters and paint stores of Seattle, bad for the new homeowner.
Resin is usually the most expensive component in paint. It is the agent that binds the pigment to whatever surface you are painting. Both the quality and the amount of resin in the paint affect its price.
Resins affect how it feels when you are applying the wet paint. Today's quality paints barely spatter at all, they are easy to apply and you aren't fighting to get the paint rolled onto the wall. Resins, baby!
We all respond to color. A beautiful color can really set the mood. Paint pigments can be very finely ground, which gives a richer, deeper look to your color, or roughly ground – the resulting color looks dull, even bland.
Light reflects off the pigment, that is how we can see the color. Inexpensive pigments are relatively large in particle size and have rough edges, so the light is reflecting off in a more scattered fashion than with a smoother-grind, smaller-sized pigment.
Practically speaking, finer-ground pigments cost more to produce. Better paints utilize very specific formulations that use multiple pigments; up to 8 in a color recipe. Cheap paints use maybe… 3. It’s certainly cheaper from a production standpoint, but from a visual perspective, fewer pigments result in a color that is lacking in nuance and depth.
Did you know that the pigment (sometimes called "tint") that we add to make your favorite color actually affects the coverage and hide of the paint?
Here's an example that illustrates this point very well: We've all seen a situation where a stunning red wall required 5 coats of paint, because the red was so sheer you could see every lap mark, every brush stroke. That demonstrates how transparent a can of paint is - by adding the pigment you are adding coverage qualities. Finely ground pigments solve issues like red or yellow paints not covering well.
Let's do the math: 5 coats of paint at $25/gallon vs 2 coats at $65. Seems like a wash, right? Wait! We haven't added in the labor or hassle factor yet. Hmmmm..... 5 coats at $50/hr vs 2 coats at $50/hr. Boom! Money in your pocket, and you have a more attractive result.
That finer grind of pigment lends to a deeper, more luminous, look to the wall.
Tips for Buying Paint
Aim for 100% acrylic (the highest quality resin) paint
100% acrylic dries to a harder film = longer lasting, more durable finish
How do you know what you are buying?
There is a document known as a Spec Sheet that you can find online for any paint you are considering. The Spec Sheet will list the solids content of the paint, among a lot of other useful information. This is a good starting off point for comparing apples to apples beyond any brand claims that paint companies make.
Talk to your independent paint store, like Daly's. Independent dealers are a great resource to help you understand the specific paint product in combination with your specific project - they will be super helpful to find the right paint for your unique needs.
Know this, too... Most paint manufacturers offer Good/Better/Best options. Just because the brand you are using has a good reputation, that doesn't mean the specific product may be formulated as the best quality. Do your research and know what you are getting.
Back to the short answer: Avoid buying junk. It's just not worth it.
Image from Dulux Paint in the UK
This week we installed new Cambria Quartz displays in each Daly's store; 126 beautiful, high quality Quartz designs - So tempting! So durable! So stylish!
As the owner, its important to me to know exactly what we are representing, and I really believe in supporting the brands we sell. My feeling is that if we put it into our store for you, we should feel confident putting it into our own home. So yesterday we had my 1984 outdated, raspberry-brick tile counter measured for new Cambria surfaces.
Here's a quick video showing you the digital measuring ("templating" is the industry term) of my '84 rad kitch:
It's a fascinating process, digitized and uploaded to the fabricator immediately, no delays.
All in, it took about 2 hours for Mike to measure our kitchen. We are adding some new features; we are creating a breakfast bar by extending the countertop overhang, plus adding a glamorous waterfall edge on one end of the peninsula.
Mike explained how they will polish the inner edges of waterfall, how they will invisibly brace the overhang (no corbel supports. so nice.). As a customer, you receive an email confirmation before your Templating appointment with the templater's picture, arrival time and other details. You know who is showing up at your door.
After the measure, you'll receive a "How'd we do?" email, and you can let them know how the appointment went. That level of follow-through is impressive. It builds a high level of trust in the process.
You also receive a timeline of each step: templating, tear-out, install, plumbing and tiling. Did I mention they are partnered with Kohler fixtures? And a tile supplier? One and done. I love it when my suppliers make life easier!
On Friday we had a demonstration in the shop of the new brush cleaning product, Dizzolve. Impressed, we ordered some for both stores in the spot!
Suitable for professional painters and DIYer's alike, Dizzolve is a safe and easy way to clean your brushes at the end of your project. Check it out: biodegradable, reusable, and does not harm your brush.
it takes about 30 seconds to clean a brush with no solvents, no fumes, no flammability and gentle on your skin.
For the full demonstration and explanation, check this out:
White walls are a "thing". At Daly's, we are sending a lot of white paint out the door, for both modern and traditional homes; I was even interviewed this week for a Seattle Magazine design article focusing on white paint - no doubt, white is HOT.
One tip to keep in mind when working with white - make sure you choose a color carefully. Not all whites are created the same. Working with a design-oriented brand of paint will make sure you are working with a nuanced color recipe where there are multiple pigments in the paint, otherwise you run the risk of using a white that will look all wrong.
Two brands we represent, C2 Paint and Farrow & Ball, have explored white and figured out how to design colors that are both luminous and classic.
With that in mind, I thought I'd create a little inspiration gallery to get you headed down the right white path. Enjoy!
I was recently asked to write an article for the Redecorate, Remodel or Move website focusing on the hottest color trend we are experiencing in design - WHITE.
Anyone who's ever worked with white knows that there are as many variations to this hue as there are unique snowflakes falling from the sky.
I invite you to check out my article to learn how to choose the right white for your walls, and leave the nasty icy whites where they belong; outside.
Our friends over at Dunn DIY have been very busy this winter. They've posted some great weekend warrior projects on their site; everything from building your own strawberry planter (just in time for spring) to the full how-to's on building a mid-century modern coffee table on your own. Jump over there and check it out.
In this video, Kirsten Dunn and I are discussing the tricks to choosing interior paint colors. From making sure your intended color looks good in three different areas of the room, to incorporating the relationship of the walls and trim and how they work together.
One of my guilty pleasures is hanging out with my mom and watching a couple episodes of House Hunters on HGTV – not having cable at home, I don’t watch it often, but when I catch a show, it’s with a sense of anthropological fascination.
The set-up if pretty simple: You meet a couple who are in the market for a new home. As the viewer, we get to tour three of the properties alongside the couple, and from these three they choose their new home. There is always an agent twittering about. The couple always seems to have two different sets of values in what they are looking for in a new residence. The last scene is always the follow-up tour, where you have the opportunity to see them after they’ve moved into their new home.
What’s compelling is seeing the different properties, because no matter what the budget, there are always plusses and minuses to each home. You get to peek into decorating styles, regional architectural differences, and into the negotiation skills of a couple. It’s formulaic, but fascinating.
Every single time they choose the wrong house!
One of the biggest obstacles that keeps people from choosing the better property is almost always one of the easiest to remedy: the paint colors.
Whether it’s a poor choice in exterior trim paint or wall colors that are too enthusiastically “unique”, shoppers pass. Even in they save money, even if the structure is superior – they are not able to see past the surface.
The other thing that sways decisions is the aspirational elements. Stone counter tops (even if the kitchen layout is crappy), fenced yard (even if the yard itself is tiny) – basically the decorative details that don’t solve the structural issues.
Create a list of features you want. Dream big, leave no ideas out. Really think about what you want. Write it down, you’ll be surprised at how detailed you can get. The more you write, the more clarity comes about.
Know which of these features are negotiable and which are concrete
Think about your lifestyle, and choose the property that best fits how you live. For example, if you have a young child, what is the flow from kitchen to playroom to backyard? If your home is chopped up, how will that affect how you realistically use a space?
Understand your partner. Descriptive words may be inadequate to understanding their style. What if you want “modern” and they are more attracted to “traditional”? It may turn out to be about simple things like painted baseboard trim, or new faucets in an older home that satisfies their wish list.
Keep in mind that it is a lot easier to replace carpet, change window blinds, and repaint than it is to move walls. Don’t be swayed by the wrong features.
As a seller, know that buying a new home is as much an emotional as well as logical decision, and look at your house with a stranger’s eyes to see what a prospective buyer will see when they come through your property.
Robin Daly is the 3rd generation owner of Daly's Paint & Decorating stores. She is passionate about supporting people with their home improvement projects, loves how color can transform a space and knows a thing or two about how to get things done.