{6 reasons gray and greige are so popular}

Mention gray to many people, and they’ll think it’s drab and boring. But most designers consider it exciting. There are now so many shades of gray that its reputation of being cold or unwelcoming has changed as trending gray paints have taken on a warmer undertone that is desirable for any room of your home.

Benjamin Moore Color Stories Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray from Benjamin Moore’s Color Stories Collection

Want proof? Just check Pinterest, where gray and greige (a warm mixture of gray and beige) are showing up on everything from coffee cups to bath tubs. So, here are 6 reasons you should consider gray or greige for your next painting project:

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{friday finds: accenting the exterior of your home}

When you’re painting the exterior of your home, it can be tempting to use an accent color for your garage door. However, Faye from the Woodbury Hirshfield’s has some expert advice — don’t! “Your garage door is likely not the most interesting thing you can draw attention to,” she says, “and an accent color should highlight the most attractive parts of your home.” Instead, be sure to remember the accent ratio: 70% should be body color, 20% trim, and 10% accent color.

Here are some examples of how to properly incorporate accent colors on the exterior of your home.

Front Door

You may have heard this before, but the front door is a great place to use an accent color. You can use a bright color, like green, for a great pop of color.  Grand Entrance®, from Benjamin Moore, is a paint designed specifically for doors – check it out.

Benjamin Moore front door Crete Countryside

Benjamin Moore Grand Entrance®

Or, you can never go wrong with a classic like black.

Craftsman Entry by Palo Alto Architects & Building Designers FGY Architects

Window Boxes or Shutters

This is another popular place to use an accent color, and it works really well with the accent ratio. Be sure to choose a color that goes well with both the body color and the trim, and again, you can’t go wrong with a classic.

Traditional Exterior by Richmond Architects & Building Designers Island Architects

Your Garage Door

Yes, your garage door may be a great place for an accent color, but there’s a catch. You only want to draw attention to your garage door if you have a beautiful garage door.

Traditional Garage And Shed by Chatham Architects & Building Designers Siemasko + Verbridge

One more tip — never use an accent color to highlight an access door outside of your garage. For safety reasons, make sure to paint that door the same color as the body of your house.

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.

{design inspiration: tips for dark colors in interior design}

Interior paints are available in more colors than every before, so why not use the whole spectrum when painting your home? Dark colors may be scary to some, but they can add drama and character to your space. In fact, if you have an overly spacious and impersonal room, you can reign in the space, with dark bold tones for the walls, and an even darker ceiling. That will give the room a “homier” feel.

Contemporary Home Theater | jamesthomas Interiors

Another way to visually shrink a large room is to divide the wall space horizontally with a chair rail. Paint the upper and lower portions different colors.

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{friday finds: take a quiz to pick the personality of your home}

When decorating a new or existing home, the space becomes a blank canvas to convey your style and personality. The inside of your home can say so much about the type of person or family that lives within the walls, so you should consider what each color will reflect when visitors step inside.

paint-color-painter-painting-tools

Whether you are simple and focus on the functionality of a color, or you are whimsical and creative, your paint color can truly reflect the persona of every room in your home—and the fun part is each room’s décor can be as similar or as different as you please. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: no voc paints for asthma and allergies}

No and Low VOC paints have improved tremendously over the years- it’s now much easier to enjoy the benefits of a low VOC paint without sacrificing the high quality of a regular paint. Low VOC paints are especially important to those who suffer from asthma or allergies, because breathing in volatile organic compounds on a regular basis can aggravate symptoms. Now, there’s an extra way to identify the best No VOC paints.

natura_paint

Every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), in partnership with the research organization Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), tests and identifies products that are suitable for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. This year, Benjamin Moore’s Natura* paint has received the asthma and allergy friendly award- they’ve earned this certification with low odor, zero volatile organic compounds, and zero emissions. The goal of this certification is to identify consumer products that are suitable for those who live with allergies and asthma.

In other words, if you or a family member live with asthma or allergies, Natura might be a great choice. It can be mixed with any of the Benjamin Moore colors, and it comes in Flat, Eggshell, and Semi Gloss finishes.

Have you seen Natura’s commercial yet? This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “painting the nursery”:

If you’re looking for a paint with no VOC emissions, allergies and asthma or not, be sure to stop in and check out Natura!

*NATURA IS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING HIRSHFIELD’S LOCATIONS:  Apple Valley, Baxter, Coon Rapids, Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minneapolis CSC, Monticello, Robbinsdale, Roseville, South Robert, Uptown, Wayzata, and Woodbury.

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.

{exterior paint prep: how much scraping do you really need?}

The unfortunate truth about repainting the exterior of your home is that it’s a multiple-step process. You aren’t painting on a “blank canvas,” so you can’t treat it that way. The painter must evaluate how much scraping, sanding, and priming needs to be done in order for the finished product to look polished and refreshed.

paint scraper

However, thanks to the advances in paint (and related products), some of these steps can be cut down – or cut out altogether.  So here’s a primer on scraping and sanding – and not always needing primer. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: 4 simple steps for staining your deck}

Staining your deck is quite a process. However, it does not need to be an ordeal. In fact, it can be a simple process as long as you’re able and willing to do a little work. Trust me, I just went through the process. Perhaps you’ve heard the stories of power washing, sanding, staining, applications of lacquer followed by more sanding, staining, and more lacquer. While you can approach your project with this level of elbow grease, here are four simple steps for staining your deck.

sanded deck

Ready To Go

Evaluate the condition of your deck

What was previously on your deck? Had it been stained or was it painted? Typically, a deck that’s been painted will show signs of peeling, flaking and chipping. A deck that has been stained may need to be power washed or sanded. If there are loose boards, try to secure them or if necessary, replace them.

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