{when to paint on brick}

Deciding Whether to Paint Over Brick

For many of us, there’s nothing as lovely as brick. The textures and tones of a a nice brick wall can give a room or fireplace extra character, and can be the focal point of a home’s exterior. But what if you get tired of your brick, or never liked its color in the first place? There are options, like whitewashing (below), or painting over the brick altogether. But if you want to paint your bricks you’ll have to know these tricks.

“In general, I try not to paint brick,” says Kathy Basil, Hirshfield’s Design Resource Showroom Manager. She loves matching the colors in a nice brick, with a half-dozen subtle color choices for the room color. “But if it just limits me so much on what I can do as far as a color combination, then I will paint it.” In other words, when the brick is mostly one solid color – think of a dark red-orange brick or a mustard yellow – or the homeowners just hate the color, she’ll paint the brick to match the room rather than painting the room to match the brick.


Brick Before Painting – Young House Love

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{do i need to use primer?}

Prime Examples: When You Need Primer and When You Don’t

You’ve seen them on the shelves and probably asked the question, now that we sell so many Paint & Primer formulas, do you even need to use primer anymore?

“The short answer to that is, it depends on the situation,” says Ron Clarin, Manager of Hirshfield’s West St. Paul location. “Normally when they ask us that question, we ask questions in return. Depending on the situation, they may or may not need one.”

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{clear the decks for spring}

Friday Finds: Deck Cleaning and Staining for Spring

Spring is here, which means it’s time to clean the decks in Minnesota – literally. “We have a lot of people wanting to freshen them up,” says Nate Sockness, manager of Hirshfield’s Woodbury location, “and also a lot of people wanting to get them done before high school graduation season.”

That deck work is happening later this year, he says, because you need two or three days of dry weather to do it right. “The weather was so cold and rainy, it’s been hard to get it in.” So, look for a break in the forecast, and use Nate’s tips for cleaning and staining your deck.

DeckStaining Read the rest of this entry »

{art benefit for bridging: chairs with flair}

chairs with flair

What are you doing Monday, June 15, 2015 from 5:30-7:30?

Buy a ticket to Chairs with Flair and head over to Surly Brewery Beer Hall and Restaurant in Minneapolis!

Join us at Chairs with Flair, a unique art event and silent auction of upcycled furniture transformed into original works of art for the benefit of Bridging.

Local artists selected furniture from Bridging’s warehouse and transformed tables, chairs, lamps and dressers into one-of-a-kind works of art. All auction pieces are created exclusively for Chairs with Flair in support of Bridging, a nonprofit providing quality furniture and household goods to those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty.

TICKETS: Tickets are $40 ($11 tax-deductible) and includes the silent auction, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a Surly beer ticket, and the opportunity to mingle with participating artists. You won’t want to miss this! We’re giving away two tickets to this fun evening. Leave a comment here or Like, Share, or Comment on Hirshfield’s Facebook and your name goes in a drawing. Winner to be selected on May 29, 2015.

“Getting there” details for the event can be found here. 

Hirshfield’s is honored to be one of the sponsors for this event benefiting such a worthwhile organization, founded by an amazing man, Fran Heitzman.


Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{breathing easy with no v.o.c paint}

Friday Finds: Zero Emissions and Zero Sacrifice with Natura Paint

Choosing a No VOC paint used to mean going green at the expense of something else. Maybe the quality wasn’t very good, or you just couldn’t find the perfect shade. Fear not – No VOC paints have vastly improved over the years. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to enjoy the benefits of a No VOC paint – no odor, better air quality, non-toxic – without losing the great quality of a regular paint.

Unlike other low VOC paints, Natura Paint can be tinted with any of the Benjamin Moore colors, without adding VOCs. This gives you more than 3,000 shades to choose from. Also, Natura not only offers No VOC paint, but takes it one step further with “No Emissions” Paint – a guarantee that there are zero VOC emissions detected from the paint. In other words, you and your family won’t be inhaling emissions from compounds like formaldehyde and acetone – talk about breathing easy!

Check out their latest commercial. This may be the most challenging project we’ve ever seen:

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{new paints need new brushes}

Picking the Right Brushes and Roller Covers for No VOC and Low VOC Paints

So you want to use No VOC or Low VOC paints. Good for you – and the environment. But you’ll want to pay special attention to the brushes or rollers you use to make sure your project looks as good as you feel.

“As soon as you take the VOC’s, the glycols, out of paints, what happens is the speed in which they dry has increased,” says Steve Lincowski, who has been selling Wooster brushes for 35 years. That means picking the right brushes and roller covers for No VOC and Low VOC paints is crucial, because the brushes and rollers will streak or clump with the new paints. In fact, Lincowski says Wooster changed many of its brushes and rollers to work better with the new products.

Best paint brush

Wooster Brush

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{friday finds: top drapery designer joins shop at home team}

Hirshfield’s Shop at Home Welcomes Judy Ciaciura

It’s hard to find anybody who enjoys working with draperies and window treatments more than Judy Ciaciura. “I love what I do,” she says. “I love the challenge of solving window treatment challenges.”

Judy Ciaciura

Judy Ciaciura

Judy has been solving those challenges since 1973, when she started her career at Dayton’s in Downtown St. Paul (for those of you who remember that store), and developed quite a reputation for her design work after opening DJ Draperies in Little Canada with her friend Donna in 1988.

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