painting: like putting makeup on your space

November 2015 Newsletter

painting: like putting makeup on your space

Like an esthetician, a good professional painter strives to hide blemishes, smooth out imperfections, and accentuate the desirable features of his client. The goal is to achieve long lasting and seemingly effortless beauty. To learn some of these tricks of the trade, we had a nice chat with Kristopher Kent of Kent Painting & Finishing while he was working on an extensive fence staining job in the Montclair neighborhood of Oakland.

foundation is key

Kris began by explaining that a good paint job is only as good as the surface preparation which should include cleaning, filling in holes with spackling, sanding, priming, and at least two coats of paint (darker colors may require more). With older walls, more work is needed to ensure a sound and stable surface. Needless to say, if underlying problems were discovered (such as molds and mildews, and dry rots), efforts must be made to identify and remedy the source of the problems. A thorough process takes time and skill and there is a clear relationship between the final result and the budget.

choices and more choices

Many homeowners enjoy picking paint shades and colors as their remodeling project is at its final stage of completion. Others may find the endless options bewildering. Picking the right color is ultimately a personal choice. But it is often complicated by the fact that all colors look different under different light and in the company of different surrounding materials. This is when consultations with your designer can be invaluable.

Picking a sheen is a somewhat less subjective issue. Here we have compiled a general guide to get you started. The names and consistency vary slightly from brand to brand.

Interior: flat, matte, eggshell, pearl, sateen, semi-gloss, gloss, high-gloss. Flat: reflects the least light, hides imperfections, elegant and calm, perfect for ceilings. The drawback: smudges easily, hard to wipe, not moisture resistant. With children and pets, and for high traffic areas, it is best to choose Eggshell. For spas and other humid areas, higher sheen (Pearl and above) will discourage mildew growth. Pearl is also wonderful for woodwork.

Exterior: flat, matte, low-sheen, sateen, semi-gloss/soft gloss, gloss. With stucco walls, glossy paints tend to highlight the imperfections. Low-sheen is more durable, UV resistant, and easier to power wash. Many homeowners opt for Soft Gloss for trims and doors.

More tips:
  • never make decisions based on a printed paint chart of any size.
  • always paint samples on inconspicuous sections of wall. 
  • or you can paint samples on 24"X24" pieces of sheetrock and place them in various conditions.
  • interior: when touching up, always use the same means (brush, roll, or spray) as the original.
  • exterior: rolling penetrates better, especially for stucco.
  • flat panel doors: brush on paint is relatively easy to touch up. spray on paint gives a smooth and even appearance, but it is harder to touch up. 
  • low/zero v.o.c. paints have the same quality as conventional ones, but less long term data is available.

white is the new black

We are so happy to hear 'Simply White' has been declared '2016 color of the year' by Benjamin Moore®. As you know, white and modern designs work together beautifully. It lights up and expands a space. It is especially effective for low-ceilinged rooms. However, fingerprints and smudges do show up all too well on a white wall. So, if you are concerned with maintenance, choose wipeable surfaces (such as Benjamin Moore® Aura), and/or a higher sheen. For do-it-yourself touchups, textured surfaces are easier. With flat and eggshell, you can see the touchups quite easily when standing parallel to the wall. But here at bL, we love smooth, flat, and white. What to do? Well, when our kids are off to college, we will call back our painter to quickly clean up and apply one coat on the entire wall.

kent painting & finishing

Kris grew up in the painting business joining his father on job sites throughout his childhood. After business school, he decided to come home to help his father in making the business more sustainable. Immersed fully in the trade, he found painting to be far more fulfilling than he had ever anticipated. He took the reins when his father became ill in 2008 and has not looked back.
Photo captions: L-R (all paints are by Benjamin Moore)
1. Master bedroom: 'Super White' matte   2. Master bath: 'Super White' pearl
3. Kitchen: 'Snow White' eggshell   4. Kitchen wall: 'London fog' eggshell zero voc
5. Kitchen: 'Super White' matte   6. Panel at entry: 'Rocky Coast' low-sheen
7. L-R: Antonio Torres Torres, Ismael Flores, and Kristopher Kent

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oakland, ca 94608
t: 510.420.1133

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