Home Improvement

Warm Up Before Winter with October’s Job of the Month

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Chicago painter, Blue Door Painting

Our recent Willowbrook exterior painting project was a literal change in scenery – Blue Door Painting refreshed the entire exterior of this beautiful home, helping it to stand out against the crowd and remain bold in the coming winter months.

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

Though it may seem counterintuitive, autumn is a great time to touch up or completely redo your home’s exterior. Summertime is great for outdoor projects, but fall has fewer insects, less pollen and a more temperate climate to work with. Not only that, but getting a facelift before the snow comes can help your exterior survive some of the harsh side effects of a Chicago winter.

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

For this home, the owner was keen to create a unique look. The deep, warm Country Redwood Arborcoat Stain by Benjamin Moore was a bold choice that matched the wood and stone accents already present on the house.

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

To help the red pop even more, we lined the windows with Ashland Slate trim, also a Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain. This shade lives in a family of dark grays, but the purple undertones give it more depth than a flatter, more straightforward choice.

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

In just five days, we took a nice home that blended in with its neighbors and transformed it into a gorgeous statement piece in the subdivision.

 Country Redwood PM-16 by Benjamin Moore, Ashland Slate 1608 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting

If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s look, contact us today for a free quote. Follow us on Instagram for daily inspirations and read our 5 STAR reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List or Houzz.

Home Improvement

Stage Your Home For Success with September’s Job of the Month

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore, Blue Door Painting, Chicago Painters

Our September Job of the Month was close to home – literally! This gorgeous apartment was sold by members of the Blue Door Painting team, but not before a modern interior refresh.

The Avondale apartment already had a lot going for it – a great location, tons of space and natural light, as well as owners who had cared for it – but the key to fetching a good price from a buyer was presenting all the positives of the space itself.

 Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, home staging

Aside from choosing clean and attractive colors like Grey Cloud and Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore to update the rooms, the Blue Door Painting team was careful to stage the home to highlight all the wonderful attributes that a new buyer might enjoy. Especially for those transitioning from renter to owner, the pride of ownership extends far beyond being able to choose paint colors, so it’s important to showcase all the elements that make your house a home.

When staging a home or apartment, don’t forget the basics – make sure the space is clean, organized and inviting before hosting an open house. Our interior design contacts would be the first to tell you to keep the details in mind; pillows, plants, curtains, even candles or fragrance can create a cozy, attractive atmosphere for potential buyers.

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore

 Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore

Sticking with bright neutrals wasn’t just about staying on trend – this also allows for buyers to better visualize their own tastes when viewing the rooms. Overwhelming reds or dark blues or any color that’s striking and bold might work for you, but your buyer might be turned off by the daring choice.

The formal dining room started off as a playroom, but you would never know! It was reverted back to its original purpose after clearing away clutter and setting up a more natural flow of traffic through the home.

 Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore

Buyers are looking for a great bedroom, so it’s savvy to focus a lot of energy on staging an impressive master suite. In this space, the bedrooms were tricky because of the attic ceilings, but the team was still able to set up a demonstrative room with appealing aesthetics.

 Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore

Don’t be surprised if you have to spend a little money on staging – pictures, posters, rugs and other decorative pieces might cost a few bucks, but they will add measurable value to your home. Because this space was attractive and move-in ready, it took only one day in the property listings to pull in numerous offers. Better staging = more offers, more offers = more demand and value.

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore

Aside from paint and decor updates, it can’t hurt to refinish floors, touch up trim and update kitchen cabinets and other hardware like bathroom faucets. Lighting fixtures need a facelift? Invest in some updated options that cast the room in the best light.

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore

Keep in mind the kitchens and bathrooms can make or break a sale. Swap that old bathroom vanity for a modern sink and add a beautiful backsplash to your kitchen for an instant revitalization.

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore

All set on the interior? Don’t forget curb appeal. Freshly painted front doors and finished decks can present a tidy image of a home that will look great for years to come.

 White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172 by Benjamin Moore, Grey Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore, Chicago interior painting, home staging

Selling soon? Contact us today for a FREE estimate so we can help you present the best version of your home to potential buyers. Follow us on Instagram for daily inspirations and read our 5 STAR reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List or Houzz.

Home Improvement

Order of Operations for DIY Interior Painting

 DIY Paint Tips, Chicago Painters, Blue Door Painting, How-To Interior Painting, Interior Painting Checklist

Looking to DIY an interior paint job? Make sure you’re prepared with our how-to checklist for a professional-looking finished product.

First, the preparation.

Preparation is as important – if not more so – than the paint itself. Start by clearing the area and covering floors and furniture with drop cloths. Then sand and clean all the surfaces you intend to paint. Next, fill any cracks or holes with with high quality spackle. Lastly, line the edges with painter’s tape to keep errant strokes off surfaces you don’t mean to paint. Check out our blog post on wall prep for more details.

Next, ceilings.

Once everything is put away and properly covered, start painting the ceilings. This is partially to get the hard part out of the way, but also because ceilings can dry without worry of being touched or smudged while you work on the rest of the room.

Then come the walls.

Now you get to the meat of the project – the walls. If the paint you’ve chosen doesn’t have a primer in it, prime the walls first (same with the ceiling) and allow time for that to dry before diving into the color. Once color has been applied, make sure everything looks even and apply further coats if necessary.

What about trim?

Completely depends on the job and where the trim is located. Either way, ceilings will still come first, followed then by either walls or trim.

The finisher.

Once the paint is on, let the room do its thing. Avoid opening windows – this may seem counterintuitive, since open windows means free-flowing air to help paint dry, but it can also mean bugs, dust and other particles landing on the wet paint and finding a permanent home on your freshly colored walls. Once all areas of the room have dried, check to make sure everything is coated properly, pack up and clean your tools and accessories, uncover your furniture, and leave your room looking brand new.

Sound like too much work? Bring in the professionals to do it for you! Blue Door Painting is a five-star rated, highly experienced professional interior painting contractor that has been transforming homes in the Chicago area for over 35 years. We’re experts in complete, full-service interior painting for existing homes, gut rehabs, home renovations and new construction projects. Get a FREE quote today!

Home Improvement

Edgewater Condo Repairs and Update | JOB OF THE MONTH | JULY 2018

 Blue Door Painting Edgewater Condo Repairs and Update

At Blue Door Painting, we don’t just paint over the flaws – we restore and prepare surfaces before completing the color. A recent Lake Shore Drive condominium refresh required us to repair extensive existing ceiling damage caused by water leaking into the apartment. Our expert repairs not only made for a smoother painting surface, but they rectified an issue that could cause larger problems down the line.

Once we restored the ceilings to a perfect, like-new finish, we painted the whole home interior to provide a much needed update. Now the homeowners can sit back and enjoy the gorgeous lake views!

 Chicagoland professional painters

This one bed, one bath Edgewater condo has impressive views, so we wanted to give the interior an impressive facelift to match. The walls were an unappealing yellow shade, with mismatched decor elements. We updated the yellow in the main living space to a calming green – SAGE SW 2860 by Sherwin Williams – with bright white trim.

As you can see in the photos below, the water damage on the ceiling was considerable and spanned the entire hallway and into other areas of the home. After meticulous repairs, we updated the look with a clean white to match the trim.

 Blue Door Painting ceiling repair interior update

In the foyer, we updated the existing yellow to the more subdued Ambitious Amber 6366 by Sherwin Williams. The brightness of this shade complemented the white trim, ceilings and doors to give the space an airy quality.

To give the bedroom a unique feel, we replaced the bright yellow with a relaxing shade of purple – Beguiling Mauve 6269 by Sherwin Williams. We also painted the metal radiators in each room to match the walls for a more cohesive look.

This full interior update has been one of our most extensive interior jobs this summer, and we’re proud to share the final product with you! Blue Door Painting is a five-star rated, highly experienced professional painting contractor that delivers quality interior and exterior painting services to condominium associations in the Chicago area. Contact Blue Door Painting today to get a free estimate for any painting project – we are fast, professional and affordable!

 Sage SW 2860 Sherwin Williams, Ambitious Amber SW 6366 Sherwin Williams, Beguiling Mauve SW 6269 Sherwin Williams

We hope you enjoyed this installment of our monthly Job of the Month Series. Stay tuned for more Chicagoland painting projects by Blue Door Painting!

Follow us on Instagram for daily inspirations and read our 5 STAR reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List or Houzz.

Home Improvement

Clean Up Your Kitchen Cabinets

It’s no secret that a kitchen should be a bright, uplifting room. Many people think of yellows, natural light and warmth when they consider kitchens, but the trends are leaning toward a cleaner look.
We’re seeing more and more white paint requests for kitchens, specifically where cabinets are concerned. On the one hand, this brightens the room and reflects natural light back to the viewer. On the other, you’re giving yourself longevity and a multitude of decor options by staying neutral.

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Like the look above, you can mix and match when you stick with whites and other neutrals. The bulk of the kitchen can have a white, clean look while you accent islands, chairs, rugs and even dishes with bold colors.

Into a streamlined look? Blend your country home into your kitchen with bright whites, complemented with wood and stone features.

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Most of us love a modern kitchen – stainless steel appliances, lots of natural light, functional work spaces – and bright neutrals work perfectly alongside those attributes:

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Big into accents? Stay sleek and modern with gorgeous back splashes and functional islands, but add a pop of color on countertops and seats for an appealing visual mix.

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Don’t think that brights can’t be mixed with darks when you’re talking about kitchens…black and white is a perfect combo for a beautiful look, while dark browns and warm hues can provide the perfect balance against white counters and cabinets.

No matter how you do it, adding whites to your kitchen can freshen up the look and give you room to change as your style evolves. Share your kitchen inspiration with us on Facebook!

Call Blue Door Painting today to get a look you love.

Home Improvement

Accent Pieces: Painted Furniture

Thrift shoppers and DIY-ers alike will love this idea: transform a room by taking a bland piece of furniture and turning it into a unique accent with a coat of paint. Recycling (or upcycling) a piece give you a new look and opens dozens of new doors for the rest of the room’s decor.
Whether it’s a piece you already have (think rocking chairs and coffee tables) or a piece you pick up on your next antiquing trip, you can create a new theme and feel with as little as one coat of color.

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Create an accent piece that fits the flow of the room:

Photo courtesy of 33 Dodo

Photo courtesy of 33 Dodo

You can get creative with patterns too:

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lily

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lily

But white pieces make for pretty additions too:

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Get creative – try a new piece, a new finish, a bright color or a bold metallic to spice up your home. There are no limits and no reasons not to accent your spaces with personal, colorful touches.

Not sure how to work color into your home? Call us today for a free color consultation.

Home Improvement

Paint Types: What Do They Mean?

So you need to paint something in your home. Calling the experts is always our recommendation, but what if you just need to touch something up? Or maybe you’re feeling creative on a budget. Just making a trip to the hardware store isn’t enough when it comes to a quality paint job, especially when there are so many options on shelves. Take a look at the ins and outs of paint types and what all the buzzwords mean before you make a purchase.

Primer

Though it isn’t technically considered paint, primer is important. Primer helps cover and smooth a surface prior to a new coat of paint, and should correspond to the type of paint you plan to use – oil-based or water-based. Skip it if you’re just touching up a corner, but larger jobs can benefit from a primer coat.

Oil-based vs. Water-based

Pros of oil-based paints:

  • More durable overall than water-based options
  • Oil-based enamels are shiny

Cons of oil-based paints:

  • Takes longer to fully dry
  • Cleaning oil-based paints is more difficult – you’ll need harsher, more potent chemicals to truly clean it

Pros of water-based paints:

  • Requires just water and mild soap to clean
  • A longer lifespan; resists the “yellowing” sometimes seen with older oil-based paint jobs

Cons of water-based paints:

  • Not as shiny as oil-based counterparts

Finishes

Each paint has a specific chemical make-up, but also a distinct finish. Take a look at the three most popular finish options and what they mean.

Eggshell paint finish

Eggshell paint finish

 

  • Flat finish: If you’re looking to update walls and ceilings, flat is a popular option.
     
  • Semi-gloss and Gloss finishes: These are generally shiny, hard wearing enamels, and many people like to use them on wood surfaces.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are water-based and, unlike latex paint which lacks actual latex, includes acrylic in the ingredients. This type can get confusing, as you’ll see “acrylic latex,” “acrylic enamel” or “acrylic latex enamel” but suffice it to say they are all water-based and offer varying degrees of shine.

Specialty paints

In some cases, you can find paints with additional perks like anti-mold features or hypoallergenic ingredients. There are even anti-condensation additives in some options, making those brands great for kitchens and bathrooms. Take a look at all brand options – and ingredients – before making a decision.

Need more direction or help deciding on a color? Call us today for a free color consultation. Overwhelmed with the options? Let us give you a free quote for your project.

Home Improvement

Spring Home Improvement

It took Chicago weather awhile to catch on, but it’s finally time to start thinking about spring home improvements. Whether you just need to touch up some paint or tactfully approach your home’s entire exterior, take some of these items into consideration when you plan your list of improvements.

Examine roof shingles

Though we had a tame winter this year, the low temps and standing snow may still have wreaked havoc on your roof. Look for missing or broken shingles as well as any debris buildup between shingles.

Roof Shingle Repair by Blue Door Painting

Clean the gutters

Leaves, nests and other debris might be blocking your gutters, preventing proper drainage and setting you up for a headache later on. Hop up there and clean them the traditional way or hire a service to get the job done while you focus on the rest of this list.

Roof Gutter Repair by Blue Door Painting

Check your equipment

If you store any large equipment, make sure everything is in working order. Lawn mowers, edgers and anything else with a motor may need to be dusted off and run for a few minutes. Check cords and electrical outlets before using – you never know what might have become a chew toy for a pre-hibernation rodent.

Home Improvement by Blue Door Painting

Tend to the basement

Finished or unfinished, do a full-scale check of your lower level. Cracks, lightbulbs, foundation issues…check on the status of the entire area and make an effort to air out and clean the space. If you have any leaks or water damage, consider interior wall repair and touch-ups before the issue progresses.

Home Improvement by Blue Door Painting

Clean your windows

Get rid of built up dirt and mildew on the interior AND exterior of your windows. Skip the power wash on the windows you can reach in favor of a hand wash. Tip: Avoid very sunny days – the cleaner may dry and streak before you’re done scrubbing.

Springtime Home Improvement by Blue Door Painting

Take care of decks and patios

Sweep, power wash or even replace part of your deck or patio if necessary. Allowing debris to sit can ruin the surface as well as take away some of the aesthetic value of your outdoor living area. If you need a new look, consider painting or refinishing your deck or patio.

Deck & Patio Improvement by Blue Door Painting

Tend to grills

We’re rapidly approaching BBQ season, so don’t be caught without a functional grill. Check your outdoor grill – do you need fuel? Has it rusted anywhere? Have any furry friends created nests? Uncover and inspect the entire thing, cleaning and disinfecting as you go.

Call us today for a free quote on your Chicago exterior house painting project and let our professionals help you spruce up your home!