{ask Hirshfield’s a question}

If you have a decorating question, we’d love to hear from you.

Questions about what’s the best finish to use on your painting project; what steps need to be take to properly prepare a surface; should you prime or should you dare to cut corners; do window treatments offer energy-saving insulation; can I retrofit old blinds in my kid’s room; which store has the best wallpaper library; refinishing woodwork; staining the deck; et al.

Use the LEAVE A COMMENT link below. We’ll put a Hirshfield’s expert on your case (but give us at least 24 hours to post a reply).

If you desire anonymity, you may write us at this address.  You can also visit our Facebook Fan Page.

Thank you.

29 Responses to “{ask Hirshfield’s a question}”

  1. Jen O'Hara Says:

    We have pleated honeycomb blinds and we need to get them down as new windows are being installed. We installed them…but can’t figure out how to get them down. Any helpful tips?

  2. becky eggers Says:

    Hi Jen,
    The removal of your shade will depend on what type of honeycomb shade you have and what brand you have.
    Please call me at 651-636-7672 and I can talk you through the removal of your shade.
    I’ll be in the store Monday 4-8, tues. 9-1. Give me a call.

  3. Harriet Lovejoy Says:

    Saw Mark Masica quoted in the Charlotte Observer in an article written by Rhonda Prast. I live in Charlotte, NC and am trying to find a color expert. What is the best way to go about this or do you know of someone who is talented with light and color?

    Thank you

    • Marsha Says:

      Ms. Lovejoy,

      I have put the word out and will get back to you as soon as possible.
      We have a Mr. Lovejoy who works with Mark Masica. The name is so unusual I just had to mention it.

      Thank you,
      Marsha with Hirshfield’s

  4. Makeda Says:


    I have painted my family room in “straw hat” from the Benjamin Moore line. I am looking to now paint my kitchen as well as foyer (which has a open concept to the family room). Can you please suggest a colour(s)?

    Thank you.

    • Marsha Says:

      I forwarded your question to one of our color consultants and she will get back to you. Between a color call and working in the store, it might be tomorrow morning.
      Thank you for your comment.

    • Marsha Says:


      The following colors work well with “straw hat:”

      HC-131 Leigh Green
      HC-152 Whipple Blue
      HC-89 North Hampton Putty
      HC-94 Old Salem Gray

      Please take into consideration your counter tops, flooring, appliances, and cabinets when selecting your color. It’s hard to give you a good answer when I can’t see your existing design elements.
      If you are in town you can bring in samples of your existing finishes, or a color consult is another option.

      I can be reached at 651-636-7670 if you have questions.

      I hope this is helpful.
      Roseville location

  5. Sara Says:

    We have a local community hall that was built in 1920 as a school house and desperately needs a new paint job. It is a large vacant room (30’x 50′) has dark wood trim, 20 foot ceilings and fir floors. There are only 2 large windows (floor to ceiling) on the North side of the room. Do you have any color ideas for us to paint this room? The lighting in there is the old school house pendant lighting. The current color is a pale, greenish yellow and makes the place feel cold and ugly. The hall is rented out for parties, weddings, meetings and by a couple of churches. Any color suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Marsha Says:

      I will forward your question to a couple of our people and get back to you. It will be interesting to see what they suggest.
      Thanks for the question.

  6. Adam Says:

    I am getting ready to refresh my drum studio and I’m looking for a paint suggestion. A large part of this room will be taken up by my vintage Slingerland drum set, which has an aged Mother of Pearl finish. Similar to this image: http://www.sticksnthings.com/images/view.aspx?productId=6596
    Any suggestions for a wall color that my drum set will accent well? Thanks!

    • Marsha Says:

      What a great looking drum set you have.
      I will pass this along to our color experts, but I know they’ll want to find out a bit more about the room. A couple questions for you.
      What is on the floor? Any windows? What kind of lighting will you have in the space? In addition to the drum set will there be any furniture in the room?

      Thanks for the great question.

      • Adam Says:

        The room is approximately 14’x13′ with blonde hard wood floors and currently white wood trim. I plan on getting an area rug to put the drum set on, however I’ve been waiting until I settle on a wall color. There are three windows along the two outside walls and the room which allow light in addition to a floor lamp. The only other planned furniture in the room will be a desk and shelving unit both made out of glass and black iron. Mainly the drum set is the focal point of the room.

        Thanks again for the help!

  7. Marsha Says:

    Here are a couple suggestions from our staff which will get you started in the right direction.

    You can pick up the paint samples at any of our stores or I will put them in the mail for you. Send your address to mrh@hirshfields.com and I will send out the samples.
    Don’t discount any colors when viewing them on-line. Get a real sample and then make your decision.

    Be certain to send us some before and after photos of your space. I would love to share them and good luck with your project.

    From Becky –
    The question is do you want to showcase the drums or the room?
    If you are picking out a paint to enhance the drums I would select a gray that would contrast with the mother of pearl. Hirshfield’s 0533-Techile would work as it is a nice warm gray.

    With your blond hardwood floors you could try Benjamin Moore’s Sag Harbor Gray HC-95(really a gray green) and this may work a bit better with your room but not as well with your drums. This would be a compromise color for both.

    From Julia –
    I highly recommend choosing the rug first. There are endless paint colors available to coordinate with the rug choice. And choosing a rug in colors that you like will help steer the wall color selections. (It is much more difficult to find a rug to coordinate with existing paint colors.)

    One or two accent walls in one color would be great fun in this space. Depending on the room’s door and window placement, the accent walls should be opposite the door behind the drum set. Options could be Fireball Orange BM #2170-10 or Tropical Orange BM #2170-20, Gray Shower BM #2125-30, or French Press #AF-170. A great neutral is London Fog BM #1541 for the other two walls. The woodwork can stay white. Adding some large artwork or large colorful posters to the accent walls will make the space pop!

  8. Angie Says:

    Hello! An acquaintance referred me to you after I fell in love with her nursery color 🙂 Are you able to mail paint chips(swatch)? That would be really great and helpful!

    • Marsha Says:


      I would be happy to send out paint swatches to you. Send me the color numbers and your home address. You can send the information to mrh@hirshfields.com

      Thank your friend for her good taste in paint colors.

  9. deb Says:

    Which gray color is used on walls on website hirshfields color club, friday finds: gray, ideal home: of living area with wood burning stove in stone insert with bluish gray furniture and off white rug?

    • Marsha Says:

      The image is from the English magazine Ideal Home and I don’t have the paint source. I tweeted them this afternoon and have not heard back. I’ll do some more research this evening and see if I can locate the photo.

      In the mean time, I asked a couple of our color people to give me their educated opinion and they suggested Hirshfield’s colors 0512, 0519, 0520, 0524, 0525, and 0526.
      Email me at mrh@hirshfields.com and I can mail you out larger samples. If you’re in town, another option is a color call from one of our colorists. Gray is a color with so many different undertones it can be hard to get right.
      All that and not the answer you wanted. Sorry.

  10. tami Says:

    i am going to attempt to paint my kitchen walls. normally this would not be a problem, however, the crazy person who built this extremely old house used heavily textured walls – and when i say ‘heavily’ i mean heavily – i could not use a roller because i am sure it would tear it up, nor a paint pad. i am not looking forward to using a brush, but my question is, what kind of brush could i use to tackle this job?

    • Marsha Says:

      I spoke with John at our West St. Paul store (651-451-4046) and he thought you could use a Super Fab roller cover, as that has a 3/4″ or 1″ nap.
      If you absolutely have to go with a brush, a softer bristle brush, like our Wooster Alpha or Silver Tip brush would be your best choices; these brushes have synthetic bristles.
      If you want to chat more about the roller cover option, give John a call at the store, he’s waiting for your call. Good luck!

  11. Cindy Betz Says:

    Help! The new house we bought has Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on all the trim doors and window casings. I can’t replace the windows so I need to know what colors of wall paint you would suggest to go with all this Revere Pewter trim!. Thanks so much.

    • Marsha Says:

      I do love me some Revere Pewter, but maybe not so much on all the trim! I talked it over with a couple of our employees and it was unanimous; you need to have a professional come into your home.
      They will walk through your home and get a feel for your style. They will also be able to see what you have for furniture, fabrics, and flooring in every room. Revere Pewter is a chameleon color, meaning sometimes it looks green, sometimes gray or beige. A professional can see the undertones of different paint colors, along with the Revere Pewter, in the lighting available in your home.

      If you’re in the Twin Cities area here is a link to information on In-Home Paint Consultations Hirshfield’s offers:

      If you’re not in the Twin Cities, inquiry at your local paint store or hire a designer. Pricing will vary. Make certain you and the designer are on the same page with pricing and what you will get for that $. Do not enlist the services of an on-line color consulting service, as your home is not the usual run-of-the-mill situation.

      I’m honestly not trying to sell you a service H’s offers, but this is a challenging situation which requires the eyeballs of an “undertone” specialist.

      Congratulations on your new home and good luck with your Revere Pewter.

      The song that popped into my head when I read your e-mail was “Tricky” by Run-DMC

      You can contact me at mrh@hirshfields.com if you want to take it off-line.


      • Cindy Betz Says:

        I thank you so very much for taking time to answer. I am not in the twin cities, I am rather rural, in Kentucky, within a few miles of My Old Kentucky Home! Thanks again and I agree totally about Revere Pewter being a chameleon color! I chose Winding Vines and painted my living room……too much GREEN suddenly… so time to find someone who understands it all to help me choose this time. When we moved in the entire home’s walls were white dove and it’s just too stark and gray with the Revere Pewter trim and gray beige carpets… taupe and stark HA.. glad paint is an easy fix once I get the colors chosen right.

  12. Marsha Says:

    You made me laugh out loud; I like the Johnny Cash version.
    One more thing, don’t be afraid to say, “No, I don’t like that color, or that’s not my style,” to the professional you hire. Sometimes I don’t know what I like, but I certainly can tell you what I don’t like.

  13. Heather Says:

    Hi! We bought an old grange hall and have slowly been turning the former kitchen into an open concept kitchen/dining/living room. We painted the kitchen cabinets and trim in a bright white. We uncovered beautiful fir floors. The countertops are white and we painted the huge island a soft yellow. It has wainscoting all around so originally we painted the lower part basic white and the upper part (12 foot ceilings so this was a lot of wall) benjamin moore’s pale vista, going for a light, warm, garden feeling.

    But it was a little too bright and too stark, especially in the fall & winter when I wanted a warmer, more cozy feeling. So, to help make it warmer and more neutral, I painted the lower part BM Navajo White. I love the new color, but the upper and lower colors don’t seem to go together. My kitchen accents are cobalt blue and my couches are blue, too (thought the blue and green would be a nice combination).

    Help! Now I have too many colors and they’re not harmonious. What colors can I paint the walls and island to make everything go together better? I’m leaning toward scrapping the green and going with shades of white or neutrals in warm tones with pink or yellow undertones since I know I love pink and yellow.

    • Marsha Says:

      I just wanted to let you know I forwarded your email to one of our staff and she said she’ll have time to work on it tomorrow. She wanted to know if you have any photos? If you do, send them to mrh@hirshfields.com and I will forward to her.

      • Marsha Says:


        With white cabinets the wall color needs to be a contrast to the white. If you go with a shade of white or a neutral in a yellow or pink undertone, the color needs to be strong enough to contrast the white cabinets or the paint color will look dirty. With a couch and accents in cobalt blue, you’ll need a stronger color to balance it out. Or you could go white on white. I like the idea of bringing in a warm gold/yellow like BM2153-40 cork. A nice blue is BM#798 blue suede shoes. They both work well with Navajo white and a crisp white.

        Let me know if I can answer any other questions.


      • Heather Says:

        Thank you! What exactly is white on white? That sounds like it could be what I’m looking for … something simple and peaceful but warm. Could I then use the Navajo White and a crisp white like BM White Dove without the it looking dirty? Which should go above the wainscoting and which on the wainscoting? I’m thinking of slip-covering the couch.

  14. Becky Says:

    “White on white” is another way to say using different shades of white in the room.
    Do you know the color you painted your cabinets? I really can’t recommend a complimentary white unless I know the color of your cabinets; and trying to recommend a white from a photo doesn’t work.
    Let me know.

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