Thursday, May 31, 2012
Living as we do on the beach in New South Wales, we have to be drawn to the combination of Starfish, Driftwood, and Cockatoo, a newer version of the blue and brown combinations we've been enjoying for some years now.
Bright citrus colours may be too strong for most tastes, if we're talking about a wall full of paint, but Tangerine and Solar Power yellow make excellent accent colours in a neutral room.
Two shades of pink and Bellflower, a mauve shade of purple, may be obvious choices for little girls' bedrooms or powder rooms, but they can also look sophisticated with neutrals. Think of Bellflower and Driftwood together in a dining room or office.
The big story in colours, though, is in surprising mixtures. Brights like tangerine and golden yellow may be the obvious pairings, but decorators are thinking of tangerine with soft aqua or pale pink, shocking pink with the near-neutrals in the purple family.
Not ready for such bold choices? There's nothing wrong with an updated classic combination. Sodalite Blue with Starfish or Margarita with Driftwood give you classic looks with a current touch.
at 7:37 AM
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The Most Inefficient Way To Paint A Room
We at Courtney & Wise make every effort to keep up to date on new painting methods and technologies. However, we cannot recommend this unusual method from the UK. While it may give better results in Britain than this video suggests, we find that it doesn't work well in the Australian climate.
Call us at 9958 1099 when you need a Sydney painter. We stay up to date, but we don't abandon the time-honored techniques when they work better. We've been keeping the homes and businesses of Sydney and the Northern Beaches beautiful for two generations, so you can trust us when we say that our methods work better.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Amazing new paint technology - Watch More Funny Videos
We like to keep up to date at Courtney & Wise, and we've reported on a number of breakthrough paint technologies here at the Courtney & Wise blog:
We'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
New paint trends for the spring are following the news on the fashion runway: bold, bright, and brash. Aussies are especially partial to bright blues so far, but citrus shades are expected to appeal to everyone when the weather gets warm again.
If you've already started dreaming about spring, think about using these saturated colours in your decorating scheme:
- Paint your walls in sun-drenched colours and bring in neutral or natural coloured furnishings.
- Paint in neutral colours and use bright colours in soft furnishings.
- Go with a focus wall in a bright hue with neutral shades on the rest of the walls.
- Combine coordinating brights in walls and trim.
- Use several different brights in accessories and wall art, choosing one (or a softer shade of one) for the walls.
See Kirrily Johnson's Dulux paint colour Lickedy Lick on the walls in the video below from the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Show earlier this month:
What? You don't look at the walls when you watch a fashion show?
at 3:01 PM
If you're going to climb up on a chair and give a lick of paint to a window sill, that's one thing. If you're planning to paint the outside of a building, you need to give serious thought to safety.
On average, a little more than 19 Aussies a year die in falls from ladders. The last thorough study of ladder- and height-related injuries found that 3,486 Australians fell from a ladder and were hurt badly enough to be admitted to hospital in a year.
Here's how the OHS puts it: "Basically, the regulations say that ladders should only be used as more or less the last resort if undertaking a task at heights." A good rule of thumb is not to relay on a ladder if the fall from that ladder would be 2 metres or more, or if the work involves reaching or stretching.
So, if you plan to climb up a metre and a half and have a look at something, that's a good time to to use a ladder. Set it on a sturdy surface, make sure it's firmly placed, and don't lark about while you're climbing.
Got a fiddly bit of painting to do three metres up? Don't use a ladder. Scaffolding and platforms are the right choice in this case.
When making your decision, you should also consider other factors, such as wind, other workers in the same space who might distract or interfere with movement, and dangers on the ground such as spiky railings.
If you'll be quite high up, like the painter in our photo, and you can't use a fixed work platform, you should have a safety harness, as he does.
There's one more thing to consider, though: experience. If you're thinking of painting your own house and haven't worked at heights before, you're in greater danger than an experienced tradesman would be.
at 2:32 PM
Sunday, May 20, 2012
If possible, have a sheletered space. Both of these examples offer some shelter from the elements, so they'll be warmer even in winter. These "before" pictures serve as a reminder that fresh paint will brighten up an outdoor room just as they do an indoor room.
If you rely on flowers and greenery for the decor during the warmer months, have a back up plan for the winter. Bring out cushions and throws to add a pop of colour. Strong textures like Aran knitted afghans or plush throw pillows feel warm and look great.
Think about a fire put or outdoor fireplace, too. Some literal warmth combines with the warmth of wool and soft furnishings to make a welcoming space.
After a morning run or a long day at work, a hot drink on a balcony or a hot meal by the sparkling pool can be just as pleasurable as a cool drink in the summer.
at 2:50 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2012
A news article in an American newspaper recently claimed that some professional house painters there were in the habit of telling customers that "Paint is paint."The article claimed that these painters would choose a poor quality paint intentionally so they could repaint the customer's house sooner. If they used premium paint, the tradies complained, they might be retired before the house would need painting again.
We hope this isn't true. Using top quality paint gives you a load of benefits:
- Better looking results
- Longer lasting results
- Better performance
- Better energy savings (depending on the colour; light coloured paints with titanium dioxide lower energy use much more than cheap chalk-based paints, because they reflect more sunlight)
at 7:19 AM
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Painting an entryway can be challenging. You want to make a statement, welcome people to your home or business, and still keep the look appropriate to the setting and community. It's an outdoor space, and yet it's part of your home, the element of your house that provides the transition to the indoor space.
In this example, you can see that the architecture is distinguished and the owners want to bring that out. We're using neutral tones here, so we want to make sure to have plenty of texture. Sculpture, latticework, a variety of materials, and plants take care of that here, so our simple neutral palette provides a serene counterpoint.
In this case,a simple side entrance relies on colour to make it stand out.
One more example shows how varied textures and a neutral palette work together with strong contrast to create an entry with character.
Three very different approaches to the entry, yet all of them use basic principles of design and fine painting to create dramatic statements. All of these examples are from the work of Sydney painters Courtney & Wise. If you're in Sydney or the Northern Beaches, call us at 9958 1099 to discuss your painting and decorating needs.
at 6:56 AM
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Good painters think a lot about cleaning. It's an essential part of prep work, for one very simple reason. When you paint something, the paint adheres to -- sticks to -- the top layer. If the top layer is dirt, then the paint sticks to the dirt, not to the wood or plaster or brick underneath. Wash away the dirt, and the paint goes with it.
Since a dirty surface isn't usually a firm, evenly coated surface, some paint will stick to the layers under the dirt, so you end up with a patchy, mangy looking paint job.
A clean surface lets the paint adhere to the surface you actually want to paint.That's why pressure washing or even just a good scrubbing is a necessity before beginning any painting or other decoration job.
But good painters also think about cleaning up as they go along, and afterwards, because they respect the property and the people they're working with. That's not something special about painters, of course: it's true of any good tradesman. When you check your painter's references before hiring, ask how the place looked when the work was finished. At Courtney & Wise, we make sure that the only sign we've been is the beauty of the new colours. Make sure your painters can say the same.
at 6:54 AM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
What we're looking at here is a case of complete paint failure. This particular kind of paint failure is know as "cracking" followed by "flaking." While it may seem obvious that this paint cracked and flaked, it's actually a different kind of paint failure from alligatoring, blistering, chalking, and other more picturesque types of paint failure.
What cause this paint failure? One very likely reason is poor quality paint. Good quality paint is much less likely to come away like this from the surface.
In this case, you can see two layers of paint, both failing. This can also be a sign of a badly prepared surface. When the surface to be painted is not prepared properly, the paint may not stick to the surface. In fact, the second coat of paint my just stick to the first coat of paint -- and when the earlier coat of paint comes off, so does the second coat.
This kind of problem can also arise from painting on hot, windy days. The paint can go on too thinly and dry too quickly, leading to overall poor adhesion.
Avoid this type of paint failure by doing it right the first time. Fix it by removing all the old paint and thoroughly preparing the surface before painting again.
at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Tannins are bitter vegetable compounds that add piquancy to your glass of wine or cup of tea. They are also present in some kinds of wood, and that's when they begin to have something to do with painting and decorating.
Specifically, tannins create stains when they are activated by moisture. That means that your nice freshly painted or stained wood can have great blotches that come back no matter how often you repaint them. This is called "tannin bleed."
What causes tannin bleed?
- Using a water-based undercoat when the surface isn't suited to it, including when you're painting over oil-based paints, can lead to this problem. Water activates the tannins and causes them to migrate to the surface of the paint, creating stains some time after painting.
- Moisture from other sources, including indoor damp, leaks that send moisture into the walls, or high humidity surroundings can also cause tannin bleed.
- Uncured or poorly primed wood is a common source of this problem.
Thoroughly cleaning and drying the surface before painting and then using a stain-killing primer can reduce the likelihood of tannin bleed in humid areas. If you have reason to believe that tannin bleed could be an issue for your painting job, be sure to let your tradesman know ahead of time.
at 1:36 PM
Sunday, May 6, 2012
When painting a lobby or waiting room for a business, the first question should always be, "What's our goal?"
Sometimes an anteroom is primarily intended to impress. Visitors will usually walk through fairly quickly, and setting the stage or making the right impression is the primary goal of the room. In such cases, a luxurious, modern feel is the primary goal. Making people feel comfortable is less important, and it's fine to choose colours and styles that might be intimidating in a space that is used more. Black and chrome, deep purple shades, or metallics can make a strong impression in a limited time.
If this is the primary goal, plan to redecorate fairly frequently in order to maintain an up to the minute look, or go very classic -- even verging on stuffy -- to emphasize the well-established nature of the business.
Sometimes a waiting room is really a place to wait, or even a meeting room. If people are likely to spend quite a bit of time in your waiting room, make it comfortable and friendly. The reception area show here combines soothing blue, green, and grey shades with lively tomato red chairs in interesting yet comfortable shapes.
A neutral palette in a waiting room may seem like a natural, since it can melt into the background and provide an inoffensive backdrop. In fact, a neutral colour scheme can emphasize the length of time visitors spend waiting and remind them that they are doing something rather boring: waiting.
If you're determined to use neutral shades, be sure to include a lot of texture or to bring in plants or tropical fish to add a sense of life to the room.
If you haven't thought about the main purpose of your waiting room, spend some time in observation before you decide on a decorating scheme. How long do people spend in the room? How do they respond to it? How would you like them to respond?
With these questions answered, you can make the best decision for your painting project.
at 7:28 AM
Thursday, May 3, 2012
A fine restaurant relies on ambience as well as delicious food, and your painting and decorating choices determine much of that ambience.
This seafood restaurant gets a maritime feel from the teal colour and the portraits of sailing ships. Note how the picture rail sports the same colour as the walls, while the chair rail is picked out in a pale cream shade that tones beautifully with the pictures. The effect is of ships sailing on the sea, with whitecaps in the foreground.
The colour scheme continues in the prep area behind the bar. Another choice would be a clean, fresh white, but this choice keeps the whole place in sync.
The thing to avoid is painting the part customers see and leaving the part where the work takes place undone. Customers see these spaces, after all!
Warm colours are popular in restaurants. They make the place feel cozy, and they can make customers feel hungrier, too! Here, a warm terra cotta paper with elegant gold touches defines the bar area. It's a handsome contrast with the blue green in the dining area -- just across the colour wheel.
The total is a welcoming space. Customers come in expecting to enjoy themselves.
at 3:21 PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Painting walls is simple enough: the walls stay put and usually provide fairly simple, fairly flat surfaces. It's another story when it comes to painting shutters, cabinets, doors, trims, and other built-ins. Should you paint it where it is, or take it out to paint?
The first consideration is the quality of the paint job on the item you're painting. As a general rule, you can get a better, more perfect finish on an item if you remove it, clean and prep the surface, paint it, and then return it to its place.
Shutters, cabinets, and shelves all are examples of cases in which it can make sense to remove the item and paint it apart from the wall it's attached to.
There are cases when this isn't the best idea. For example, mouldings and trims often are impractical to remove. It they're permanent fixtures of the house and completely accessible to the painter, go ahead and paint them in situ.
Another case in which it makes sense to leave items in place is when removing them might lead to damage. If shutters are quite old, they might not survive being removed. This can be the case for delicate mouldings, too. It's better to paint them in place than to chance damaging them.
Removing cabinets or shelves from a papered wall can damage the paper. Very careful taping can protect the paper and still allow you to do a good job on the painting.
The last case in which you might choose to paint an item in place rather than removing it is when drying time would be a problem. For example, removing an exterior door and leaving it off for several days while it dries thoroughly is probably impractical. It makes more sense to paint it while it's in place.
Painting details like these requires a steady hand and good quality brushes, either way.