Saturday, December 31, 2011
A shortage of skilled painters has been a concern for more than a year, and now predictions are that there may be further shortages in the future, since apprenticeships may be affected by continued economic uncertainty.
What does this mean for householders? Simply that it is more important than ever to be certain that your painters are skillful. Some painting companies will resort to hiring untrained workers because of the shortage, and the result for you can be a badly painted home -- or worse.
Correct training of painters covers issues such as safety and environmental responsibility as well as the all important quality of the paint job.
Courtney & Wise are members of the Master Painters Association, and have been for over half a century. We are active in training and education with the MPA. We're also Dulux Certified painters, Lead Paint Management Certified, and have a variety of other certifications and awards. Your painter should be able to show their qualifications as easily.
If you're in Sydney, let us be your painters. Call us at 9958 1099.
at 3:18 PM
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Mix these colours up and use them throughout your home for a harmonious effect. There are darks, neutrals, and soft colours that work as well in a nursery or bedroom as on an accent wall in a living room.
Bring bright colours into the soft furnishings and art objects, or keep the whole look quiet.
at 3:32 PM
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Murobond are offering a new palette created by Mr. Jason Grant, stylist and blogger. The look is happy and carefree, just right for summer.
A home using this palette can have a lot of variety while still feeling sure that all the colours will go together.
Paint the foyer or entryway in Beach Street, the living room in Short Shorts, the kitchen in Peas, and the bath in Beautiful Dreamer. Use Glorious and Happy Days for bedrooms, and tie it all together with Horizon (to go dark) or Smoothie. The total effect will be a harmonious patchwork of cheery colour.
With neutrals, brights, and soft colours to choose from, this is also a nice palette for less adventurous combinations. Mix Peas, Hello Yello, and Short Shorts throughout your home for a pretty look. Horizon and Glorious together create a sophisticated feminine look. Page White and Porch are a classic neutral combination with a little bit of extra sass.
Working with a designer-chosen palette can encourage you to take some exta chances with colour -- or you may just fall in love with one shade from the collection.
at 5:14 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Wallpaper is Not that Bad is a funny essay in which Sam explains that the wallpaper, any wallpaper, is not so bad that you should try to get rid of it:
It could be too dark, some sort of nearly black faux wood paneling wallpaper, and it gives your house the ambience of a cave, and makes you feel lethargic and depressed and suicidal every morning when you wake up, so that you don’t even get out of bed, you lose your job, you gain 400 pounds, and your family abandons you. Even so, the wallpaper is not that bad.Why? Sam tells, in excrutiating (but funny) detail all about his attemptes to remove the wallpaper from his kitchen and paint the wall instead. The results were worse than what he imagined as the results of living with bad wallpaper:
At this point on the process, I have scraped, square inch at a time, the grapes out of my kitchen. I have poured a gallon of my blood out upon these grapes. I have vibrated my body into a moaning mass of miserable flesh. I have filled my house with the dust of a thousand deserts. I have saturated the sheetrock that still stands in my kitchen with a cornucopia of toxic fumes. I have turned into a near dead shadow of my formerly healthy self.It's funny to read about, but it's not funny to live through. What Sam -- and you, if you suffer from bad wallpaper -- should do is call a professional. Courtney & Wise are the people to call if you happen to live in Sydney. We'll come and remove the offensive wallpaper, prepare and paint the wall, and clean up after ourselves, while you enjy your life. Your health and happiness are at stake.
at 6:41 AM
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Pantone have announced their colour of the year: Tangerine Tango, a red orange that's perfect for summer right now.
We showed you our favorite blue and orange combo last month:
This colour will also look fantastic with yellows, greens, greys, and with white.
So what does it mean when a colour makes Colour of the Year? For you, it means that you'll be seeing it in home decor items, as well as fashion. This year, a lot of the tempting new things you see in the shops will be Tangerine coloured. You'll see it in magazine spreads and showrooms.
If you already love this colour, grab it while it's in style. If you don't love it, you might surprise yourself by coming to like it quite well.
at 4:37 AM
Thursday, December 15, 2011
In Stay Cool with Paint, Part I, we learned about the physics of keeping cool with paint. In Stay Cool with Paint, Part II, we looked at the chemistry of keeping cool with paint. In Part III, we'll examine the psychology of keeping cool with paint.
Painting the outside of your home white, especially when you use paint containing titanium dioxide or other heat reflective materials such as ceramic insulative particles, actually reduces the temperature of your home. You can measure the difference with a thermometer.
Painting the interior of your home in a particular colour won't make the temperature of the room change. The difference is all about reflecting the sun's light and heat, and the sun doesn't generally reach the paint on your interior walls.
But the colour choice inside your home or office does have psychological effects. A red or orange room, using the fiery colours of the peppers in the picture above, feels warmer than a cool colour like ice blue.
The colours on the right hand side of the colour wheel are cool colours. They make people feel cooler than the colours on the left hand side. Choosing aqua, blue, or green will make you feel cool and refreshed, while yellow, orange, and red feel warm and cozy.
In summer, it's smart to choose cool colours. If you don't care to repaint every season, you can choose either warm or cool colours or neutrals like biscuit and white, and then change your soft furnishings and decorative objects to create the warmth or the cool you're after.
For example, if you have a room with bright yellow walls, you can cool it down for the summer by adding blue and green decorative elements. Paint your room aqua right now to get a cool feeling for the summer, and warm it up with red come winter.
at 11:16 AM
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
In Stay Cool with Paint, Part I, we explained the connection between colour and temperature: pale colours reflect more light than dark ones. There's another aspect of reflection that also affects temperature, and that's the fact that some materials reflect more than others.
We see this in daily life, of course, because we can see our reflection in highly polished silver but not in paper. We also know that metal left in the sun will get very hot, while rubber left in the sun won't get as hot. Some things reflect better and some things absorb better.
Titanium dioxide, a mineral used in high quality white paints, reflects better than a diamond. It's also used in sunscreens, so we shouldn't be surprised that this is one of the paint ingredients that protects our homes from the heat of the sun.
Calcium carbonate and other chalk-like minerals are sometimes used as a substitute for titanium dioxide to keep paint costs down. These paints will reflect more sunlight than dark paints if they are light coloured, but they still won't reflect as much heat away from your home as titanium dioxide will. Talk with your professional painters about the kind of paint they choose, and make sure that they're using paint that will reduce your energy costs and keep you cooler and more comfortable in the summer.
at 1:06 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Using paint to keep your home cool and cut energy costs is all about reflection.
You may remember from school that light contains all the colours there are. Objects absorb some of the colours and then reflect others. Black absorbs all the colours and shows none. This is why black objects look black rather than showing our eyes another colour, and it's also why dark things get hotter in the sun and stay hotter longer.
White objects reflect all the colours, showing us just white. Since they don't absorb the light, they also don't absorb heat. That means that white objects stay cooler than black ones. If you put a sheet of black paper and a sheet of white paper in the sun for an hour, you'll find that the whiter paper feels much cooler than the black paper. Put an ice cube on each and you can see the difference.
This is a continuum, of course. Darker colours reflect less light than paler shades. The difference between sky blue and lemon yellow isn't as great as the difference between black and white, but there is a bit of a difference if we had precise tools to measure that difference. The difference between pale blue and deep blue is easier to identify. So even though blue is a cool colour in colour theory and yellow is a warm one, midnight blue will absorb more heat than pale butter yellow, and it will be hotter to the touch in sun.
This is why painting your home in a light colour will make it cooler than painting it in a dark colour. Your roof and your walls should be lighter to keep your energy costs down in the summer. It's not a myth.
at 10:56 AM
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The price of paint is likely to rise in the New Year, and that means that the price of having your house painted will rise as well. The reason is simple: titanium dioxide, the pigment that white paint is based on, will become a lot more expensive then.
According to DuPont, an American chemical company and the world's largest user of titanium dioxide, the cost of the raw material for Asia-Pacific buyers will rise by $200 a ton on January 1, 2012. That's only the beginning. Worldwide demand is growing, and Iluka are expanding production, but experts expect the cost of the pigment to double next year.
There are alternatives to titanium dioxide, but they are far inferior to titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide has a higher level of refraction -- that is, it reflects light more -- than a diamond, making it the brightest white available, and the best paint ingredient for keeping your home cooler in summer. It also has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all minerals, making it far less likely to fade than any other choice.
Are you thinking you have no problem since you plan to paint in another colour besides white? Not so. White is used in almost all paint colour mixtures. Without white, your only choices will be the darkest, most saturated shades of each hue -- not the most popular paint choices.
The only solution is to arrange for your painting now. Call Courtney & Wise at 9958 1099 to book your painting job. Let us lay in the paint you need for your job immediately and avoid the inevitable price rise.
at 7:09 AM
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Blue is shaping up to be an important colour for the New Year, so why not go ahead and enjoy it right now? Red and green are traditional for Christmas, and the decorating magazines are showing minimalist natural materials, but for many homes, those just aren't the looks that best suit the decor.
There's no reason your Christmas decorations shouldn't suit the regular decorating scheme of your home. The blue and purple Christmas tree above looks festive enough for any party!
Some blue touches to consider:
- Traditional Christmas baubles and fairy lights are available in both soft and rich shades of blue.
- There are plenty of blue flowers, from blue pincushions and finger flower to lechenaultia and lobelia. Iris, lilies, and hydrangeas can also be found in blue shades.
- We've seen glass Christmas baubles painted with indigenous designs in blues. If you don't care to attempt this, take clear glass baubles, remove the hangers at the top, and drop in a few drops of two shades of blue acrylic craft paint. Swirl the paint around to create a marbled effect -- stop swirling before the colours are completely mixed. Once the paint dries, replace the hangers for some wonderfully original ornaments.
at 6:40 AM
Saturday, December 3, 2011
When you're ready to give a slap-up Christmas gift to a family member -- or to yourself -- consider painting. Not a painting for their walls, but the painting of their walls. Few things make as much difference in the quality of life at home than fresh paint in a wonderful colour.
Don't put on your overall and show up on their doorstep with your paint can, though. A better way is to book a job with Courtney & Wise (if you're in Sydney or the Northern Beaches; if not, check with the Master Painters Association to find a qualified painter in your neighbourhood).
Imagine having the chance to meet with our experts to discuss your dreams for your home, and then having your place painted to bring out its best features. Courtney & Wise clear up everything, too -- the only sign we've been is the beautiful new colour on your walls.
For a teen, a young relative just starting a new career, an older relative with an extra room now the kids have grown, a cherished friend starting a business, or your own family at home -- it's a real surprise and a very special gift that continues to bring pleasure for years. Call us now at 9958 1099 to arrange for a gift certificate.
at 6:29 AM
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Courtney & Wise have been painting the finest homes and businesses in Sydney and the North Beaches since 1954. However, we are not the earliest painters.
No, that honor goes to people living in South Africa 100,000 years ago. The people living along the coast of South Africa made red paint from pigment much as people have been making paint for centuries and still do. They stored the paint in abalone shells.
New research shows that the paint included not just red pigment, but also ochre, charcoal, quartz, animal bone as a binder, and a liquid scientists haven't yet identified.
Modern paint is still made with pigments from minerals, a binder, and a liquid solvent. Improvement in technology have made enormous changes in the specific materials used. Now, we use paints with little or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which last longer and adhere better to surface than the ancient recipe would have.
While our paint is not commonly stored in abalone shells, we modern painters still store our paints carefully. The ancient painters had tools fashioned from bone and pieces of ochre carved with geometric shapes. We have more highly refined tools now, but we still make notes while we plan and paint.
The recent find, the earliest evidence of painting yet found, just confirms what we already knew: painting is fundamental to the human experience.
at 7:02 PM