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!


How to Integrate a Dog Den Into Your Home Decor

Chicago is a super dog-friendly city, so the Blue Door Painting team is always looking for clever ways to add doggy decor into a home’s motif. This article from Houzz captures some of the cutest and most design-worthy ways to keep your dog’s space in line with the theme of your home. Read the full article or click through the ideabook below. 

Thinking your dog could use a den? Contact Blue Door Painting’s design partner, Jasmin Reese Interiors, for an unparalleled professional opinion.

If you want to color coordinate your pet’s space to the rest of hte room, contact us today for a FREE estimate so we can help you create the home of your dreams. Follow us on Instagram for daily inspirations and read our 5 STAR reviews on YelpAngie’s List or Houzz.


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.


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!


Interior Painting Tips: Wood Trim

Looking for new ideas to make your wood trim a standout accent? Designers are turning the old rule of trim painting on its head to expand the unique opportunities afforded by colored trim. As opposed to making the main walls the accent of the room, we’re increasingly seeing subtle and muted walls as a neutral backdrop and bold trim taking center stage.This concept works beautifully with ornate trim work to bring those elements to the foreground, but is also an excellent option for those who may fear big, bold wall colors and prefer just a hint of color to add drama and scale to their rooms.

Photo courtesy of Young House Love

Photo courtesy of Young House Love

In large, bright spaces with tall ceilings and big windows, black trim on doors, door frames and molding can be very dramatic and glamorous.  
For a more subdued elegance, try shades of grays as a trim accent.  
For modern spaces with clean lines and clean, neutral wall colors, bolder hues of lime green, canary yellow,  orange, turquoise, bright red and deep greens and blues can add just a pop of color and personality without overwhelming the décor or simple modern elegance of your space.

Photo courtesy of Shannon Berrey Design

Photo courtesy of Shannon Berrey Design

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Photo courtesy of House of Turquoise

Photo courtesy of House of Turquoise

Looking for a little more glam, sparkle and old world romance? Metallic paints are very inand can add the perfect touch when used on wood trim. Try metallic gold, silver, pewter and bronze paints to add some glitz to your rooms.

Check out our Pinterest board for great ideas on using your painted wood trim as your room’s accent color.  

Call us today for a free color consultation on your Chicago house painting project and let our professional interior designer help you define your space with color!


Tips and Tricks: Staging Your Home

Staging your home can mean the difference between a receiving your asking price and having to take a loss on your investment. Though it’s not imperative, you should consider staging a must if you want to present the space in its best light.Buyers are looking for the nicest option, the best price and value, and a home they can see themselves living happily in (with as few necessary improvements as possible). From homeowners with a little extra income to sellers on a tight budget, we have some tips for you to get the most out of your showing.

Exterior Tips

Photo courtesy of HGTV

“Curb appeal” isn’t just a buzzword – the exterior of your home is the first impression you make on a buyer. Consider these options to up the perceived value of your home:

  • Make sure your lawn and foliage is in great shape. Mow, trim, edge and sweep away any mess, and consider power-washing the sidewalk.
  • Wash your windows to provide a clean, bright look.
  • If you haven’t already, consider creating an outdoor enjoyment area. A few chairs, a grill, a swing – anything to showcase the livability of the outdoor spaces.
  • Use color to invite home buyers in by painting your front door a welcoming, memorable color
  • Make sure all exterior trim looks fresh and is not peeling, cracked or faded: think doors, windows, garage doors, porches, and exterior entryways
  • Consider having the exterior of your home power-washed and make sure back decks and balconies are in good condition

Interior Tips

Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Small adjustments can be made to drastically improve the look and feel of your home, and most of them are virtually free. These tips can increase the likelihood of reasonable offers from your interested visitors:

  • Clean. This should be a no-brainer. Dust, vacuum, wipe down and wash everything you can get your hands on and make sure your kitchen and bathroom are spotless.
    • Food stains, fingerprints and water spots are all signs that the house is lived in and enjoyed, but don’t overlook these and other everyday messes.
    • Take out the trash, do the dishes and hide laundry piles – you still live in the home, but your viewer shouldn’t be reminded in every room.
    • Deodorize. Similarly, this should be a given, but many people are immune to the odor of their own living space. Deodorize carpets, mop floors and wash linens and curtains. The best smell is a neutral, fresh scent (think clean laundry).
      • Don’t forget litter boxes and other pet enclosures.
      • Declutter. The last thing you want is a buyer to feel claustrophobic. Hide knickknacks and keepsakes that you have floating around (but don’t just throw them in the closet! Many viewers are interested in seeing storage spaces) and reduce the square footage taken up by your possessions. Not only will this help the space look larger, it helps avoid distractions.
        • Try removing or minimizing personal items like photographs – this allows for the buyer to better visualize themselves living there.
        • Neutralize. Make the home seem as malleable as possible – if you have kids, hide the toys so the older couple without children can see more than a starter home. Conversely, make the office or mancave feel more liveable when showing to families who might convert it to another bedroom.
        • Maximize lighting. Natural light is a big selling point for homebuyers, so play up your big windows or sliding glass doors by having them open during the visit. Even in homes without an excess of sunlight, add eco-friendly (and freshly dusted) light fixtures for more visibility.
        • Consider furniture. Many people think they can widen a space by pushing furniture near walls; what this really does is makes it seem like you need a new decorator. Make sure all your pieces serve a purpose and that the flow of traffic is well-defined.
        • Paint. Our professionally biased opinion aside, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on your home – even if it’s just a DIY project.
          • Always go neutral: you want the bedrooms and other shared spaces to work for both genders, and you want to minimize any distracting colors.
          • To give the illusion of a larger room, paint consecutive spaces the same color. If your kitchen fades into your living room, a continuous wall color will give the appearance of an expanded space.
          • Don’t just think big: cabinet doors, fireplaces, trim and other small areas need to be updated as well.
          • Accessorize and impress. Rolled up towels in the bathroom give the space a spa feel, fresh flowers liven up a room and freshly baked cookies not only help deodorize, but they’re a nice touch for the potential buyer to enjoy.

Overall, try to present your home in its peak condition – make the small repairs, touch up the paint, strive to look like a model home on a build-to-own lot. Updating your space will upgrade your chances of a quick and satisfactory sell.

Need help touching things up before buyers come knocking? Give us a call or check out our website for more information.