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To better assist you in finding the information that you need, the PQI Press Release Archives has been organized into three sections; Paint Design and Color Trends, Interior Painting Best Practices, and Exterior Painting Best Practices. Click on the desired press release link to view the entire release.

Painting is a Quick Way to Beautify Your Bathroom March 14
Looking For an Unusual Valentine's Gift? Make Your Greeting Card a Paint Color Chip February 14
Grey Headlines Interior Color "Hot List" November 13
Follow Clues to Find Your Perfect Interior Paint Color Scheme August 13
WHATEVER YOUR DECORATING NEEDS. . .THERE'S A PAINT FOR THAT! July 13
Six Reasons to Paint Before You Move In June 13
Foolproof Ways to Create Multi-Color Interior Paint Schemes April 13
Dead of Winter An Active Time For Interior Painting March 13
Show Some Love For Your Home On Valentine's Day February 13
Greens and Blues Headline 2013 Paint Color Palette January 13
Express Your Holiday Cheer With A Bright New Paint Job December 12
Nation's 12 "Prettiest Painted Places" Include Many Colorful, Hidden Gems November 12
60 Finalists Named in "Prettiest Painted Places" Competition October 12
What We Can Learn about Paint Color from "Prettiest Painted Places in AmericaSM" September 12
Community Curb Appeal Competition: Search Underway for America's Prettiest Painted Places June 12
Five Popular Front Door Colors and What They (Might) Say About You May 12
2012 Paint Color Trends: Paint Hues Drawn From The American Landscape October 11
Fresh Paint Color Can Improve Your Mood! July 11

"Tap" Into Expert Paint Color Advice With The Paint Quality Institute's (SM) new iPhone ® App

March 11
Affordable Remodeling Drives Paint Color Direction October 10
Painting Key Features of Home Exterior an Affordable Remodeling Option July 10
Five Easy, Inexpensive Paint Projects to Quickly Beautify Your Home June 10
One Home Remodeling Project You Can Afford To Do Now May 10
The Paint Quality Institute'sSM new iPhone ® App February 10
It's A Brand New Year! Make it Look Like One With Fresh Ideas from the Paint Quality InstituteSM January 10
Color Trends 2010 - It's All About Time September 09
Helpful Painting Steps for First-Time Home Buyers August 09
Answers to All Your Painting Questions are Just a Click Away July 09
Low Cost Options for High Style Improvements April 09
Four Easy Paint Steps to Add Color and Sparkle to Homes this Holiday Season - Enter the 'Spruce Up Your Home' Paint Contest October 08
COLOR TRENDS 2009: Authentic and Traditional Paint Hues Refresh and Excite the Senses August 08
Low Cost, High Impact - Paint, Your New Best Friend July 08
Family Fun Weekend Painting Projects - Save Gas and Improve Your Home June 08
Hot Hues for Unconventional Spaces June 08
Common Paint Problems and Handy Solutions May 08
Set Sail This Summer with Nautical Paint Hues April 08
Color Expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute Offers Three Tips that Draw Eco-Friendly Inspiration from Nature February 08
Consumers Self-Rating of Painting Skill or Knowledge September 07
Color Trends 2008 - Individual Flavors Influence Paint Color Trends July 07
Color Trends 2007 - Home Hues that Comfort and Excite November 06
Color Trends 2006 - Style for your Walls! December 05
Frame Your World - Glossy Accents Redefine Your Home November 06
Get Your Home Ready to Shine and Sparkle
Paint Color and Decorating Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Season
October 06
Logo Transformation for The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute Helps Expert Paint Resource Spread Color Information Globally September 06
Turn Your Space into a Prettiest Painted Place July 06
Prettiest Paint Rooms Competition June 06
Prettiest Paint Rooms Competition Launch February 06
Color Psychology - The Impact of Paint Color In Your Living Space January 06


Summertime is a Great Time To Paint Your Home's Interior May 14
Paint and Primer May Be Just the Right Recipe to Restore Your Kitchen After the Holidays January 14
Painting is an Easy Way to Spruce up Your Home for the Holidays December 13
Prime Time For "Paint and Primer" Products October 13
5 Good Reasons to Buy the Best Interior Paint September 13
Interior Paint Primers Can Solve Problems and Save Money August 12
Where Different Paint Sheen Levels Are Most at Home July 12
Fresh Paint a Great Recipe for Affordable Kitchen Remodeling June 11
Psychology Of Color Is Helpful In Choosing Interior Paint Schemes February 11
Interior Painting is like Money in the Bank January 11
How to Repaint a Room in a Weekend: 10 Tips to Save You Time (and Money) September 10
Handy Solutions for Common Interior Paint Problems: Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute January 09
Put Your Walls on a Diet! - Illusions of Space from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute
January 08


Hot Summer Weather Perfect for Minor Painting Projects July 14
"LAST CHANCE" COATINGS FOR OUTDOOR DECKS June 14
How to Ready Your Wood Deck Right Now April 14
Stress Can Also Affect the Paint on our Homes April 12
Why Exterior Painting Should be First on Your Spring To-Do List March 12
You Can Paint Most "Maintenance-Free" Materials February 12
Savvy Homeowners Can Save Plenty by Painting, Rather Than Replacing Vinyl or Aluminum Siding August 11
Every Type of Home Exterior Can Benefit from Top Quality Paint May 11
Best Paint Offers the Best Return on Investment Economics Favor the Highest Quality Paint April 11
Break out the Brushes! Great Exteriors Start With Great Painting Tips April 10
Spruce Up This Spring: A Primer on Exterior Painting February 09
Boost You Home's Curb Appeal with Paint March 08
All Decked Out! May 07
Spring into Exterior Painting March 07
Fresh Coat of Paint can Help Sell Your Home January 07
Fall, A Prime Time for Exterior Painting! August 06
Get Ready For Spring Exterior Painting February 06


Hot Summer Weather Perfect for Minor Painting Projects

Hot Summer Weather Perfect for Minor Painting Projects

July 2014

Just because the hot weather's here doesn't mean you can't do something cool with your home exterior. Some small-scale painting projects can easily be completed early in the morning or late in the afternoon, times of the day when you won't wilt in the sun.

Spending just a couple of hours repainting the front door is a prime example, says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute. "By switching to a completely different door color, you may be able to give your home an entirely new appearance," she says. "It's a great way to get a big return on a small amount of sweat equity."

Another smart move is to paint your shutters. . .in stages. Take on just two at a time before taking off for the patio or pool; then repeat the process for as many days as necessary. You'll get more efficient as you go, and soon, all your shutters will be sporting new shades.

Adding an accent color in an unexpected place is another no-sweat way to spice things up on your exterior. One idea is to paint the window surrounds in a color that complements the frames. Or, pick out an interesting architectural detail and introduce a new hue there. Just a few little accents can inject fresh life into your existing color scheme.

Looking for a painting project that is even less demanding? Then enhance your homestead with a hot punch color on your mailbox, lamppost, or even a birdhouse. These items are so quick and easy to paint that you could brighten them up after supper.

Where else might you find a mini paint project on your home's exterior? Look for some shady nooks and crannies that might benefit from a new color. A cool idea if you are sensitive to the sun is to avoid it entirely by painting a porch ceiling, sheltered entranceway, or similar spot.

Even if you become addicted to these simple projects, there is a time when it's best to put your paintbrush aside – namely, when the weather gets extremely hot (typically, anything north of 90 degrees). This type of excessive heat may keep your paint from "curing" properly, and that's something to avoid. Check the paint can label for specific advice on the temperature-sensitivity of the paint that you're using.

Zimmer offers one other bit of advice: "When doing exterior painting, you should always favor top quality 100% acrylic latex paint to get the best-looking, longest lasting paint job."

Once you are acclimated to hot weather painting, you may find it a hard habit to break. Painting early in the morning, in the shade, or as the sun is setting can be downright pleasant. . .and a great way to do all kinds of projects that will add summertime sizzle to your home!

To learn more about paints and stains, see the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com or visit www.paintquality.com.

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"LAST CHANCE" COATINGS FOR OUTDOOR DECKS

'Last Chance' Coatings for Outdoor Decks

June 2014

If your outdoor deck is on its very last legs, there may still be a way you can save it: by applying one of the new super-thick coatings that help restore, as well as refinish, weather-beaten decks.

Made to help rescue endangered surfaces of all kinds, these special coatings actually fill in and help conceal cracks and crevices up to ¼-inch deep, they come in a wide range of attractive colors, and they create a slip-resistant finish that resists future cracking and peeling - all designed to give downtrodden surfaces new life.

"It isn't an exaggeration to call these products 'last chance coatings'," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. "They are often a homeowner's last chance to salvage a deck before having to replace it entirely."

Assuming that your deck is made of wood, start your project by carefully inspecting its condition. Replace any boards that are rotting or unstable, and sand any surface where the wood is splintered.

Next, thoroughly clean the entire deck, making sure to remove dirt, mildew, and any stains that may be present. You can do this either by power-washing the deck or by using a commercial deck cleaner.

As you might expect, super-thick deck coatings cover fewer square feet of surface than deck stains – often, only about 75 square feet or so per gallon. For that reason, it’s wise to mix together several gallons of product in a large paint container. That way, you’ll be sure to have consistent color on your entire deck.

Begin your application by using a synthetic-bristle brush to spot-fill nail holes and cracks in the wood. (If the openings are deep, this may take two applications.) Also use the brush to apply the coating between boards, in tight corners, and on the edges of your deck.

For the bulk of the surface, use a long-handled roller to apply a generous, even coat of the product. If your wood has hairline cracks, or if you just want to give your deck added protection, use a ½”-nap roller to apply an extra-thick coat. Otherwise, a ¼” roller may be sufficient

If you are also applying the coating to vertical surfaces, use a brush or roller and apply a slightly thinner coat. This will help prevent a gravity-induced “sagging” effect in the appearance of the coating.

For optimum performance, it’s always wise to apply a second coat to every surface. In ideal weather conditions, some super-thick deck coatings may dry in as little as six hours, but it’s best to wait at least 24 hours before applying the second coat. Be sure to check the label for dry time and other instructions.

What if your deteriorated surface is something other than a wooden deck? Many super-thick coatings can be successfully used on everything from porches and patios to pool decks and boat docks – and, not just on wood, but also on composite surfaces, and concrete, too.

If you’re ready to see how a super-thick coating can bring new life back to your old outdoor surfaces, Zimmer offers a final tip:

"Don't compromise on the quality of coating you buy. Instead, look for a super-thick deck coating made with 100 percent acrylic. It will adhere better and last far longer than competitive products, so by using one, you won't be back at the same project anytime soon!"

To learn more about paints and stains, see the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com or visit www.paintquality.com.

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SUMMERTIME IS A GREAT TIME TO PAINT YOUR HOME’S INTERIOR

A beautifully painted room

May 2014

When it comes to your home’s exterior, you have an opportunity to change the color only every so often – maybe once a decade if you applied a long-lasting 100% acrylic latex paint.

Not so with the interior: If you want to change your wall color on a whim, you can do so this weekend. That’s part of the beauty of interior painting – it’s quick, easy, and very affordable – really, the perfect home beautification project for do-it-yourselfers.

If your interest in painting is piqued, your timing is terrific, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

“Early summer is a great time to spice up your decor with some fresh interior wall color,” she says. “You can paint with the windows open to enjoy the smells and sounds of the out-of-doors. And when you’re done, your beautiful new wall color will make you feel as if you’re on vacation without ever leaving home.”

If you’re stumped on color choice, Zimmer says there’s a simple formula for summertime painters: Choose wall color that looks natural in your part of the country.

Just look out the window for inspiration. Take in the sky, the foliage, even the birds and the butterflies. Your eye will naturally be drawn to a color you love. Take a picture that accurately depicts the color and bring the photo along when you shop for your paint.

Tints and shades of green and blue are good summer color choices in all parts of the country since they evoke foliage, sky, and water. What’s more: According to color psychologists, these hues are among the most relaxing colors, making them ideal for summer living.

What if you’re not a fan of green or blue and live in the desert? Walls painted beige or brown will blend perfectly with your surroundings. Furthermore, this down-to-earth color family conveys feelings of warmth, solidity, and protection – tailor-made for the home environment.

If you’re a sun lover, you can figuratively bring the sunshine in by painting your walls a pleasing yellow tone. Yellow can make an interior space more cheerful, which means that you can enjoy the good vibe even on a cloudy day. . .or when stuck inside next winter!

After giving careful thought selecting the right color to use on your summer painting project, you’ll want to be just as careful choosing the right type of interior paint to apply

Zimmer says that zeroing in on the right paint is simple: Just choose a top quality interior wall paint made with 100% acrylic. Compared to ordinary paints, these coatings adhere better, hide better, resist fading, have better stain resistance, and are easier to clean if and when they get soiled.

Take time to select a color you love and buy the right wall paint. . .and your summer painting project will go swimmingly. Before you know it, you’ll be back enjoying your favorite leisure activity knowing that you’ve given a super summer look to your home!

For more information on deck stains, visit blog.paintquality.com.

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HOW TO READY YOUR WOOD DECK RIGHT NOW

Painting is a Quick Way to Beautify Your Bathroom

April 2014

With the long-awaited arrival of spring, it’s high time to ready your wooden deck for the summer fun ahead. Tackling the project sooner, rather than later, is smart for a couple of reasons.

“Not only is it more comfortable to work in springtime temperatures, but deck stain forms the most durable, long-lasting finish in mild weather,” says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “So, there’s little sense in delaying this project.”

Begin by assessing the condition of your deck to make sure it’s structurally sound. If you see any rotting or damaged boards, carefully replace them before doing anything else.

Next, remove any loose paint or stain either by scraping and sanding the surface, or by treating it with a commercial deck conditioner, then power washing the entire deck with plain water. If you are changing the color of your deck, be sure to remove all of the old coating.

With the prep work finished, the fun begins as you plan the color and appearance of your deck. This is where you need to know a few basic facts about deck stain.

For starters, deck coatings are available in solvent-based and water-based (latex) formulations; however, the latter offer some big advantages. Water-based stains dry more quickly, are relatively odor-free, and offer simple cleanup with plain soap and water. Most importantly, these stains have better resistance to weathering.

Both types of stain are available as clear finishes and in an array of attractive colors.

If you are thinking about applying a clear finish to show off the natural appearance of the wood on your deck, be aware that these coatings offer very limited protection from the sun’s UV rays – so little, in fact, that you will probably have to reapply your clear coating every year.

For longer-lasting protection, consider applying a pigmented stain. They come in two types: “semi-transparent” stains, which help protect the wood without hiding its grain or texture; and more heavily pigmented “solid-color” stains, which show the texture, but not the grain. Semi-transparent stains typically need to be reapplied every 18 months or so, while solid-color stains can last three to five years.

Regardless of the type of stain you prefer, it’s extremely important that you choose a top quality coating. That’s because a deck stain is subject to enormous stress. Not only is it exposed to all types of weather – from strong sunlight to standing water, snow and ice – but it also must endure physical abuse from foot traffic, as well as abrasion from patio furniture, planters and playthings.

So, how can you spot a high quality deck stain? According to Zimmer, you should zero in on a water-based stain made with 100% acrylic.

“Top quality 100% acrylic latex water-based stains are extremely tough and durable. Many of these coatings even contain special ingredients that help prevent mildew from forming, so they are a great option for any deck,” she says.

You can apply your deck stain with spray equipment, a long-handled roller, or with a brush. However, if you use a roller or sprayer, you should “back brush” while the stain is still wet – going back in and brushing the stain – to help it penetrate the wood. When applying 100% acrylic latex stain, allow it to dry several hours and apply a second coat to get the best protection for your deck. Of course, always follow the directions on the can label.

Whatever type of stain you use, don’t delay. We’re in peak season for deck staining!

For more information on deck stains, visit blog.paintquality.com.

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Painting is a Quick Way to Beautify Your Bathroom

Painting is a Quick Way to Beautify Your Bathroom

March 2014

Recent surveys show that the bathroom has overtaken the kitchen as the most frequently remodeled part of the home. But, unless your plumbing is wanting or your tile is intolerable, you can often beautify the bath simply by painting it.

"In a lot a cases, people remodel the bath not for functional reasons, but just to change and enhance the appearance. If that's the goal, it can almost always be achieved with an attractive paint treatment," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

Fresh paint can enhance any room, but it can work wonders in the bathroom. Applying a light-colored paint scheme can "open up" the room and make it seem more spacious. Darker paint colors do just the opposite: add intimacy.

Aside from lightness or darkness, there are psychological considerations when choosing a paint color for the bathroom.

Tints and tones of yellow, orange and red, including some browns and tans, are "warm" colors, which tend to arouse and stimulate -- helpful in the morning, but not at bedtime. Conversely, "cool" colors, especially greens and blues, are calm and relaxing, creating a peaceful spa-like ambience for a bath.

Warm and cool paint colors can also affect our perception of room temperature. Since we associate yellow and orange with the sun, we may "feel" warmer when surrounded by these hues, whereas a blue or green space can seem cooler. As a result, warm colors are often favored in colder climes, and cool colors in the Sunbelt.

However, color isn't the only thing to consider when painting a bathroom. The typical bathroom is exposed to water, high humidity, and significant wear and tear. For that reason, it's important to select paint that produces a finish tough enough to stand up to these conditions.

Until recently, that meant applying a coat of latex primer, followed by two or even more coats of top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. But today, there's a quicker and easier way to complete your bathroom painting by using new "paint and primer" products.

Paint and primer products – also known as self-priming paints – are coatings with a dual personality. Like primer, they conceal the existing paint color, as well as many marks; like paint, they form a tough, colorful finish that is stain-resistant and washable.

Rather than taking the traditional approach by applying successive coats of primer, paint, and paint, you can usually complete a painting project with just two coats of a paint and primer product, thereby eliminating an entire application, saving lots of time and effort in the process.

To get the best result when painting a demanding area like the bathroom, it's wise to choose a paint and primer product that will produce a semi-gloss or high gloss finish. The higher the sheen, the easier it will be to remove any marks or stains that may show up on the painted surface.

"It's also very important to choose a paint and primer product made with 100% acrylic, the same tough binder used in the highest quality traditional paints," says Zimmer.

"Paint and primer made with 100% acrylic offers the best hiding and forms the most durable painted surface. These are especially important characteristics when doing bathroom painting," she says.

If you want to give your bathroom an entirely new appearance this year, maybe all you really need is a colorful new paint treatment. It's a quick and easy way to enhance and beautify one of the most important rooms in your home.

For more information on bathroom painting and the new paint and primer products, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Looking For an Unusual Valentine's Gift? Make Your Greeting Card a Paint Color Chip

Looking For An Unusual Valentine's Gift? Make Your Greeting Card A Paint Color Chip

February 2014

Buying a greeting card, chocolates, or roses may be your default setting for Valentine's Day, but why not give something more permanent this year, say a beautiful new interior paint color scheme?

Okay, a new squeeze might snooze at the idea of watching paint dry. But if your significant other shares your living space, an exciting paint treatment might just be very. . .well, exciting!

For starters, you'll score big points for Valentine's originality. If you involve your partner at the outset, selecting the paint colors can provide some nice together time.

Assuming that you're game for this gambit, you can proceed in one of two ways: either paint the room and surprise your partner; or involve him or her in the color selection process. Clearly, unveiling an already-completed room has more cache'; but jointly choosing the colors can itself be romantic.

Either way, you can proclaim your love (and your colorful plan) by creating a clever Valentine's card using the printed samples of paint colors on display at your local paint store. Incorporate one or more of these color chips (for multi-color paint schemes) into a store-bought Valentine's card, or express your feelings in a homemade "card" fashioned entirely from large-size paint chips.

Doing the painting itself should, of course, be a labor of love. But that doesn't mean you have to work any harder than necessary. By using one of the revolutionary new "paint and primer" products, you'll simplify and speed up your Valentine's project – which may further impress your partner, and even free up more time for favorite endeavors. . . like watching old movies together!

How do paint and primer products make your project go faster? Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute, explains:

"These coatings short-circuit the normal painting regimen: Rather than applying a coat of primer followed by two or more coats of paint, you usually need only apply two coats of a paint and primer product. That eliminates an entire application, saving both time and effort," she says.

If you're unfamiliar with paint and primer products, they provide the benefits of both primer and paint in a single coating. On the one hand, they conceal both the underneath color and surface marks as a primer would; and, like a high quality paint, they impart beautiful color in a finish that resists stains and is easily washable, especially in higher gloss levels.

Your local paint store, hardware store or home center may carry several different brands of paint and primer products, but according to Zimmer, the ones that perform best have one thing in common: "The best-performing brands – meaning they have a great balance of primer and paint properties -- all contain 100% acrylic, the very same ingredient used in the highest quality traditional paints."

So, if you're of a mind to do something different this Valentine's Day, why not something that will show your love every day of the year, such as repainting? If you take this tack, you'll benefit from using a top quality paint and primer product made with 100% acrylic. Both you and your sweetheart will fall in love not just with its outward appearance, but also with the way it stands the test of time!

For more information on interior painting, color selection, and newly developed paint and primer products, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Paint and Primer May Be Just the Right Recipe to Restore Your Kitchen After the Holidays

Paint and Primer May Be Just The Right Recipe To Restore Your Kitchen After The Holidays

January 2014

If holiday parties have left your kitchen in need of a little TLC, restoring its appearance may be easier than you think. Recently introduced "paint and primer" products let you quickly add fresh color to your culinary center, all the while creating a tough new finish that will stand up to future festivities.

"In most homes, the kitchen is the room that takes the brunt of holiday entertaining," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

"It's not only the place where meals are prepared, but also where guests tend to gather. The non-stop activity often takes a toll on kitchen walls and woodwork, so painting the room is very common at this time of year," she says.

Re-painting has always been a great way to beautify a kitchen, but by using a paint and primer product (aka, self-priming paint) you can complete the project faster than ever before –- an important benefit when sprucing up an area that is in constant use.

The reason paint and primer products speed painting is that you need to apply fewer coats than you do when working with traditional coatings. Rather than applying a coat of primer and two or more coats of paint, you can often apply one fewer coat with a self-priming product, saving hours of application time.

A fresh paint job done with a quality paint and primer product also provides more carefree living, since these paints are very easy to maintain, especially in higher gloss levels. The tough, durable finish they form resists all sorts of stains, including those from stovetop spattering. And stubborn stains can usually be washed off the painted surface with plain detergent and water.

Your local paint store likely carries several different brands of paint and primer, and all will provide significant benefits. But according to Zimmer, some types of self-priming paints outperform the others.

"The paint and primer products that work best and provide a good balance of primer and paint properties – including good hiding of the existing color and good fade-resistance -- all contain 100% acrylic latex binder," she says. "The all-acrylic products also provide exceptional adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces and have great long-term durability, too."

So, if the appearance of your kitchen is suffering a "hangover" after all of your holiday entertaining, lend a helping hand: You can not only restore the former beauty of your kitchen, but make it that much better by applying an all-acrylic paint and primer product. It's the perfect recipe for post-holiday redecorating!

For more information about paint and primer products, advice on color selection, and tips on getting the best results when doing interior painting, visit blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Painting is an Easy Way to Spruce up Your Home for the Holidays

Painting is an Easy Way to Spruce up Your Home for the Holidays

December 2013

If holiday parties have left your kitchen in need of a little TLC, restoring its appearance may be easier than you think. Recently introduced "paint and primer" products let you quickly add fresh color to your culinary center, all the while creating a tough new finish that will stand up to future festivities.

"In most homes, the kitchen is the room that takes the brunt of holiday entertaining," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

"It’s not only the place where meals are prepared, but also where guests tend to gather. The non-stop activity often takes a toll on kitchen walls and woodwork, so painting the room is very common at this time of year," she says.

Re-painting has always been a great way to beautify a kitchen, but by using a paint and primer product (aka, self-priming paint) you can complete the project faster than ever before –- an important benefit when sprucing up an area that is in constant use.

The reason paint and primer products speed painting is that you need to apply fewer coats than you do when working with traditional coatings. Rather than applying a coat of primer and two or more coats of paint, you can often apply one fewer coat with a self-priming product, saving hours of application time.

A fresh paint job done with a quality paint and primer product also provides more carefree living, since these paints are very easy to maintain, especially in higher gloss levels. The tough, durable finish they form resists all sorts of stains, including those from stovetop spattering. And stubborn stains can usually be washed off the painted surface with plain detergent and water.

Your local paint store likely carries several different brands of paint and primer, and all will provide significant benefits. But according to Zimmer, some types of self-priming paints outperform the others.

"The paint and primer products that work best and provide a good balance of primer and paint properties – including good hiding of the existing color and good fade-resistance -- all contain 100% acrylic latex binder," she says. "The all-acrylic products also provide exceptional adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces and have great long-term durability, too."

So, if the appearance of your kitchen is suffering a "hangover" after all of your holiday entertaining, lend a helping hand: You can not only restore the former beauty of your kitchen, but make it that much better by applying an all-acrylic paint and primer product. It’s the perfect recipe for post-holiday redecorating!

For more information about paint and primer products, advice on color selection, and tips on getting the best results when doing interior painting, visit blog.paintquality.com.

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Grey Headlines Interior Color "Hot List"

Grey Headlines Interior Color 'Hot List'

November 2013

Grey - the color that connotes intellect - is one hue homeowners will be incorporating into their interiors next year. So says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute, a leading source of information on interior color and design.

In her annual color forecast for 2014, Zimmer is supporting grey in a big way: "It's the hot new neutral, a sleek and sophisticated color option that adds refinement to almost any room.

"Walls that are painted grey are great backdrops for almost any style of décor, and grey is such a dignified color that it can elevate the appearance of even the most modest furnishings, " she says.

Beyond wall color, grey will embellish interiors in other ways next year -- in the form of grey wash on wood furniture, for example, and in fabric used for everything from seating to floor coverings. "We will even see grey's flashier cousin, silver, used as an important accent color," says Zimmer.

But grey won't be the only neutral to be popular in 2014. According to Zimmer, those seeking a change from more saturated color will be happy to learn that white and off-white are back in vogue. Manufacturers of interior paint will offer extensive palettes of ever-so-subtle tints comprised of 30, 40, and even 50 'whites' containing just a hint of color.

White is staging a strong comeback for a number of reasons, says Zimmer:

"As with grey, the ease of coordinating furnishings with a neutral hue like white is appealing to almost everyone," she says. "However, some will gravitate to white for more personal reasons having to do with a change of address: those who are downsizing will favor white or very light-colored walls to make their new, smaller interiors look more spacious; and for those who may soon put up a 'For Sale' sign, white is the wise paint color to apply before listing a home."

Design professionals and do-it-yourselfers in the mood for more colorful options will also have good choices next year. Blues and greens - in more tints and shades than ever before -- will again be crowd-pleasers, as they have been for a while.

"Another hot color in 2014 will be mustard yellow," says Zimmer. "Its influence is growing in both fashion and home furnishing fabrics. We also expect to see more use of the color on walls -- if not for entire rooms, then at least on accent walls."

If you're thinking about changing a color scheme in your home interior, Zimmer's insights into the tints and shades expected to be next year's "hot" choices can provide some valuable direction. But the color expert has one final piece of advice:

"In the end, color choice is a very personal decision, so whether you are thinking about doing some painting, or changing your décor, or both, stick with colors that you love. When it comes to your home, your opinion is the one that matters most."

To read more about these paint and primer products, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at http://blog.paintquality.com/.

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Prime Time For "Paint and Primer" Products

Prime Time For 'Paint and Primer' Products

October 2013

Every now and then, an innovative new product radically changes the status quo. . .the automobile, the television, the cell-phone. More recently, it's self-priming interior paints, (aka "paint and primer" coatings) -- which are changing the way we adorn our homes, saving us time and effort in the process.

Self-priming paints are more than just a product advancement. They're an entirely new category of technologically advanced coatings that do double-duty as both primer and paint, offering an array of benefits never before available from a single coating.

Like interior primers, these new paint and primer products offer good hiding of both the underneath color and marks that may be present on the surface being painted -- and, like high-end paints, they impart a beautiful, easy-to-maintain finish that has good stain resistance and is easily washable. All of these benefits come from a single can, which typically has “paint and primer” printed on the label.

By using a self-priming interior paint, a do-it-yourselfer or contractor can quickly repaint an interior space and short-circuit the normal painting regimen: applying a coat of primer over a properly prepared surface followed by two or more coats of paint. Now, he or she can simply paint that same surface with just two coats of a paint and primer product – thus eliminating an entire application.

While these new paint and primer products are a big advancement over conventional coatings, they do have one thing in common with top quality paints.

The brands of self-priming products that perform best, meaning they have a great balance of primer and paint properties, all contain 100% acrylic latex binder. All-acrylic binder is the ingredient that gives conventional paint exceptional adhesion, toughness and durability, so it's not surprising that it also elevates the performance of the new paint and primer products.

If you're thinking about doing some home painting in the near future, you might want to think about using the “next big thing” in coatings: a paint and primer product that contains 100% acrylic binder. When it comes to better and more efficient interior painting, the future is now!

To learn more about color and decorating, or to download the Paint Quality Institute's free color app, visit www.paintquality.com. More advice on the use of interior and exterior paint color can be found at blog.paintquality.com.

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Follow Clues to Find Your Perfect Interior Paint Color Scheme

Follow Clues to Find Your Perfect Interior Paint Color Scheme

August 2013

Go to any paint store, and you'll find lots of information about color, but if you want to create an interior paint color scheme that's just right for you, don't overlook your own personal clues.

"Most people are naturally drawn to certain colors that they'll favor time and again," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute. "Focusing on colors that dominate one's wardrobe and furnishings, for example, provides valuable clues to the best tints and shades to use when doing home painting."

To that end, Zimmer suggests that you start your search for paint color not at the paint store, but closer to home. . .in your closet, in fact. If you're like most people, the majority of your wardrobe will tend to fall into one or two color families.

"If you see lots of blue and green garments, then you obviously are very fond of these colors, and very comfortable when clothed in them. That makes it likely you'll feel very much at home in surroundings painted in these same hues," she says.

Another clue is the color and character of the car you own. Driving a racy red sports car? Then you'll probably be more attracted to a paint color scheme with bold, bright shades rather than quiet neutral hues. But if you own a white or beige sedan, it may indicate that you'll be happier with a more understated paint color scheme.

"Doubly important are the clues you discover among furnishings in the rooms you'll be painting," says Zimmer. "Perhaps a color that appears in a piece of fabric will pique your fancy, or one that embellishes a piece of furniture, or even the color of glaze on a ceramic bowl." Building upon color clues like these, you'll soon make a strong case for a particular paint color or colors. . .and applying them to walls or woodwork will help "pull together" the appearance of the entire space.

If your investigation has helped you identify the dominant color for your room, but you're still searching for an overall color "scheme", it's time to go to the paint store – if possible, with a sample of your key color (or an object in which it appears) in tow. Leaf through the literature there till you find a paint palette that includes your hue, and see which colors are recommended as companions for it. Pick out one or two that appeal to you.

If you're adept at visualizing things, you might be able to purchase your paint at this point. But a safer tack is to take color cards home and tape them to walls, woodwork, wherever, and see how the various colors look right where they'll be applied. View them in daylight and at night. This will add certainty to your selection.

Not sure how much of each color to use in the room? Choose one color to be dominant, and another as the secondary color. If you are planning to employ a three-color paint scheme, then adhere to the "60-30-10 rule", which will help bring color proportionality to the space. Use your dominant color on roughly 60% of the surface, the secondary color on roughly 30%, and incorporate the third hue on the remaining 10% as a "punch color" or accent.

No matter which colors you use to enhance your home interior, Zimmer recommends that you work only with top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. It produces a durable finish that will resist fading, resulting in color that will remain true year after year.

So, the next time you undertake an interior painting project, don't be clueless. Evidence of the best paint colors for your home is sitting right there in front of you!

To learn more about color and decorating, or to download the Paint Quality Institute's free color app, visit www.paintquality.com. More advice on the use of interior and exterior paint color can be found at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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WHATEVER YOUR DECORATING NEEDS. . .THERE'S A PAINT FOR THAT!

Whatever You're Decorating Needs… There's Paint for That!

July 2013

In times past, the biggest decision for any painter was which color to use. But thanks to steady technological advances, we now have the luxury of choosing paints that offer not just a near-limitless rainbow of hues, but also the exact appearance and performance qualities needed for virtually any interior paint job.

"There's been a near-explosion of options when it comes to water-based latex coatings," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. "Today, you can choose from a wide array of sheen levels, each of which offers different benefits, plus specially-formulated coatings designed to speed your painting and meet almost any challenge imaginable."

With that in mind, if you're about to undertake an interior painting project, try to conjure up the absolute perfect paint for your needs. You'll likely be able to find that ideal paint at your local paint retailer, and knowing exactly what you want beforehand will make things far easier when you get to the store.

Let's say that you have limited time to complete your project -- maybe you can work only on the weekend, or you have company arriving from out of town. A self-priming paint (one that serves as both primer and paint) can hide even hard-to-conceal colors with fewer coats that normally required, enabling you to more quickly finish your project before returning to work or greeting your guests.

Or, maybe your house is full of little ones who tend to leave marks and fingerprints wherever they go. By choosing a high-sheen, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you'll get a tough finish with exceptional stain resistance – giving your walls and woodwork a fighting chance to remain clean and fresh-looking no matter what they encounter.

What if the room you plan to paint has a variety of different surfaces – for example, vinyl doors, wood trim, and walls made of plaster or drywall? Rather than buying several different kinds of paint, you can simply purchase a "universal" coating such as a high-end latex paint made with 100% acrylic that performs well on many different materials. It will provide exceptional adhesion even to slick surfaces like vinyl. (Purchasing just one type of paint will likely pay dividends at the cash register, too.)

Have walls or woodwork full of little nicks and imperfections? Then choose a totally "flat" paint, which will dry to a non-reflective, matte finish. Its lack of sheen will make those minor imperfections far less noticeable.

Are you a stickler for color? Then you'll want to choose paint with good color retention – like a quality acrylic coating – or watch helplessly as your carefully selected shades fade into pastels as time passes.

According to Zimmer, today's paint manufacturers have anticipated all of these needs and more, and have formulated coatings to meet each and every challenge. Take time to consider your needs, try to imagine the characteristics of your perfect paint, and you'll likely find it sitting on a shelf at your local paint store.

To learn more about color and decorating, or to download the Paint Quality Institute's free color app, visit www.paintquality.com. More advice on the use of interior and exterior paint color can be found at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Six Reasons to Paint Before You Move In

Six Reasons to Paint Before You Move In

June 2013

Moving to a new house, condo, or apartment this summer? Before filling your home with furnishings, there's something you might want to do first: paint. Experts of every stripe – from realtors to authorities on painting -- say that one of the very best times to do interior painting is just before moving into a new home. Here are six reasons why, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute:

Reason #1. It's easy now. Interior painting is a very simple project – and not at all physically demanding -- when you can move freely within a room. Why wait till later when you may have to move heavy furniture from side to side, or work around big items, to do your painting?

Reason #2. It saves time. Painting can take a lot longer when you have to cover and uncover things, move them back and forth, and take down and re-hang artwork. It's better to paint just before moving and short-circuit these time-consuming and unproductive steps.

Reason #3. It can save you money – lots of it. If you're using a professional painting contractor, he or she can complete the work far faster in rooms that are empty. That's extremely important, since time charges for labor typically account for 80% of the cost of painting, according to Zimmer. “Bottom line: Calling in a contractor before moving into a home can drastically lower the cost of painting the space,” she says.

Reason #4. It safeguards your furnishings. No matter how carefully you or your contractor work, there is always the chance of a paint spill, or a few stray flecks finding their way onto a prized possession. Painting before bringing in your furnishings keeps these items out of harm's way.

Reason #5. It can simplify interior decorating. Don't yet have your furnishings? There's no better way to set the stage for your décor than by adding a fresh paint color scheme before decorating. Doing so greatly simplifies the selection of new furniture, carpeting, and accents, allowing you to choose just the right tints, tones, and shades to make your new home picture perfect.

Reason #6. It feels good. Adding a new coat of paint makes any home seem cleaner, fresher, more welcoming, and best of all. . .more “yours”. To keep your paint job looking great, Zimmer recommends the use of top quality 100% acrylic latex paint; it will produce a more stain resistant finish that will look new-home fresh for years to come.

As you can see, there are a lot of good reasons to think about painting even before you move into your new abode. If you're sold on the idea, you can find all sorts of color tips and how-to information at blog.paintquality.com or on the Paint Quality Institute's website at www.paintquality.com.

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Foolproof Ways to Create Multi-Color Interior Paint Schemes

Foolproof Ways to Create Multi-Color Interior Paint Schemes banner

April 2013

If you've had success painting accent walls in your home, maybe you're ready to take the next big step with your interior painting: creating a multi-color paint scheme using three or four different colors in the same room.

Paint and color expert Debbie Zimmer, who is with the Paint Quality Institute, says that if you want to tackle this project, you need to look at the room's wall space in a whole new light. She suggests that you envision your walls as large, empty canvasses that often have several components.

For example, if there are chair rails in the room, they produce two separate “canvasses” on every wall (above and below the rail), doubling the room's color potential. Are there half walls? An alcove? A soffit? These and other architectural elements present opportunities to introduce additional colors into the space and every one of these surfaces should be taken into account when creating a color plan.

Dining Room

According to Zimmer, multi-color paint schemes look best when a predominant color is employed to hold things together. To that end, you should start to develop a color palette by selecting a hue that you really love as the room's “anchor” color.

The next two steps are to determine the paint colors you'll use to complement or contrast with your anchor color, and then decide where the various colors will be used.

If this is your first foray into the world of multi-color paint schemes, it's wise to trust the judgment of professional colorists who create paint palettes for a living. Nearly every paint manufacturer offers free brochures showing professionally created, carefully coordinated color palettes comprised of several hues that go together beautifully. Choose a palette of harmonious tints and shades that include your anchor color and you won't go wrong.

To decide which color goes where, you can proceed in one of three ways:

You can simply cut apart color cards and tape the color samples to the walls. In doing so, be sure to place the cards close together where one color will abut another, and view everything both in daylight and under artificial light at night (different lighting conditions can alter colors dramatically). Experiment until you're completely happy with your plan.

Another way to map out a multi-color paint scheme is to rely on a color visualizer, which may be available either at the paint store or on the paint manufacturer's website. Using this special software, you'll be able to nimbly move colors here and there with just a couple of keystrokes until you get things exactly the way you want them.

A third way to go about developing a multi-color paint scheme is to purchase small samples of paint, and brush color swatches right onto the walls. This takes a little more effort, but it will make your decision-making virtually foolproof.

Whichever method you use to create your color plan, make sure that your anchor color is the predominant hue, taking up perhaps 40% of the total wall space. A secondary color should take up roughly 25% of the wall space, and any other colors you use should be confined to smaller areas where they'll serve as accents.

By following these guidelines, you'll greatly simplify your multi-color paint project and be well on your way to turning your room into something very special.

To learn more about interior painting and advice on color selection, visit blog.paintquality.com or paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Dead of Winter An Active Time For Interior Painting

Dead of Winter An Active Time For Interior Painting banner

March 2013

Winter's plunging temps and higher precipitation bring to a halt many types of home improvement. But as the colder weather drives homeowners indoors, one project picks up steam: interior painting.

“Free from the demands of outdoor chores and the distraction of outdoor activities, many homeowners turn their attention to indoor projects, with painting as a popular undertaking,” says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

It makes sense that interior painting sits atop the winter to-do list. New year's resolutions often include not just steps to improve oneself, but also one's home. To that end, interior painting is a simple and inexpensive way to enhance a room or an entire home that can be accomplished even by an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer.

If you're one of the many who are planning to do some interior painting this winter, Zimmer offers some suggestions on getting the best results:

Soap bucket
  • Properly prepare surfaces by removing dirt and grime before starting to paint. This can be done by washing walls and woodwork with a detergent-water solution, rinsing the surfaces clean, and allowing them to dry. Repair cracks, holes and surface imperfections with spackling compound, and apply stain-blocking primer to any areas that have water stains or other serious discoloration.
  • Use the best quality paint. Top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paints resist spattering, tend to conceal brush marks, and do a better job of hiding the color underneath. They also are tougher and more durable, with better long-term resistance to fading, yellowing, and staining.
  • Work with high quality brushes and rollers. Better quality applicators apply the paint more evenly and make painting more effortless. The best brushes tend to be well balanced and springy, with tightly packed bristles (these will hold a lot of paint). When applying latex water-based paints, use brushes and rollers made with synthetic bristles and covers – they'll maintain their shape regardless of the amount of water they're exposed to.

Follow these simple tips and your indoor painting project will produce results that you'll be happy with not just this winter, but for a long time to come.

To learn more about interior painting and advice on color selection, visit blog.paintquality.com or paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Show Some Love For Your Home On Valentine's Day

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February 2013

If you believe in the old adage that “home is where the heart is,” then why not show a little love for your abode this Valentine's Day? There are lots of ways to do it: You can rearrange the furniture, redecorate, or freshen things up with a colorful new coat of interior paint.

“Spicing up your home with some new color is a great way to fight the winter blahs,” says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute. “Studies have shown that color can be a great mood-lifter, and one of the easiest and least expensive ways to introduce new color into a home is with paint.”

One approach is to tackle the room where you spend the most time – your family room or dining area, for example. That way, you'll get maximum enjoyment from your painting project.

If you're not quite so ambitious, think about painting only an accent wall in a different color that complements or contrasts with the other walls. This simple project can often be accomplished in just a couple of hours, but can completely change the appearance and “feel” of a room.

Fmaily Room Photo

When choosing which wall to paint in your accent color, keep in mind that the eye will tend to be drawn there. As a result, you might want to favor the wall where your best artwork is displayed, or where your nicest furniture resides.

To better incorporate the accent wall's new hue into the room's overall color scheme, you might want to purchase a few inexpensive items that match the color and sprinkle them here and there. Possibilities include throw pillows, ceramics, a small area rug, even placemats.

Don't have the budget to buy anything other than paint? Then “create” some matching accents by applying leftover paint to one of your small furniture items, a couple of picture frames, or some old pots with interesting shapes. The objective is simply to inject a little more of the accent color to help pull together the look of the room.

Color selection is a personal matter, but if you want to stay in the spirit of the valentine season, what could be more appropriate than red? The fiery color just so happens to be a great color choice for dining rooms and eating areas, where it tends to stimulate appetite, according to color psychologists.

Being a psychologically “warm” color, red in any tint or shade will tend to make cold February days cozier no matter where you use it in the home. And if you feel warmer, you might even be able to lower your thermostat a degree or two, saving on energy bills.

If you think you might have a passion for painting as Valentine's Day approaches, Zimmer offers one final bit of advice: purchase the highest quality paint for the longest lasting results. As time goes by, you'll learn to love the way the color continues to look as bright and fresh as the very first time you laid eyes on it.

To learn more about color and decorating, or to download the Paint Quality Institute's free color app, visit www.paintquality.com. More advice on the use of interior and exterior paint color can be found at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Greens and Blues Headline 2013 Paint Color Palette

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January 2013

If you're into what's “in” when it comes to interior paint colors, just look outside in 2013. The greens and blues that characterize the world outdoors are the same hues that will be popular when beautifying our living spaces this year, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

“It's fitting that green is expected to be one of the top paint colors used to refresh and renew the interiors of homes and buildings,” says Zimmer. “Green has always been symbolic of new life. Only now, it will be giving new life to tired interiors.”

That's not to say, however, that the “pure” green we see on the color wheel will be the people's (or designer's) choice. With the growing complexity and sophistication of the palette offered by most paint companies, “green” today refers to an extremely wide spectrum of hues.

To visualize the options, think of the many colors that appear in a garden or grove of trees: apple, asparagus, celery, fern, honeydew, lime, mint, olive, and willow may come to mind. Wherever you buy your paint, you'll likely find some tints and shades of green named after such familiar flora.

“Then there are the greens that gravitate toward blue, which just happens to be projected as the other popular paint color this year,” said Zimmer. “Bluish-greens like teal, turquoise, aquamarine and cyan are expected to be hot designer choices. By selecting one of these hybrid colors, you can in a sense co-opt both of the trendy color choices.”

That's not to say we won't see a lot of true blues this year. We will. And many will be drawn right from mother nature: lighter tints such as sky blue and robin's egg to darker shades like slate, navy and midnight blue... and everything in between.

Because various greens and blues work so well together, virtually any combination from these extended color families can be used to create a visually pleasant interior. To that end, Zimmer suggests that do-it-yourselfers, and even professional painters and designers, mix it up when working with these hues.

Some of the ways to do that include using different blues or greens on the walls and trim, painting an accent wall in a slightly different color from the others, and even incorporating patterns into the paint color scheme used on the walls. Another idea: painting one or more items of furniture in a contrasting or complementary green or blue.

“Just as they do in a garden or landscape with the sky up above, the various greens and blues will tend to harmonize into a cohesive picture that will be as serene and tranquil as the beautiful scenes we see outdoors,” said Zimmer.

To learn more about color and decorating, or to download the Paint Quality Institute's free color app, visit www.paintquality.com. More advice on the use of interior and exterior paint color can be found at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Express Your Holiday Cheer With A Bright New Paint Job

Prettiest Painted Places

December 2012

The year-end holidays are a joyful time when we use colorful lights, shiny ornaments, and pretty gift-wrappings to make our home environment more festive. Why not go a step further this year and celebrate the season with a bright new interior paint job?

“Many of us seek to give our surroundings a special feeling at the holidays, so it's a perfect time to spice things up by adding some color to the walls,” says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

“From a psychological standpoint, any new paint color will freshen up the home interior, but if the color is bright and festive, it can do even more by actually helping to lift the spirit of family and friends who enter the space,” she says.

In keeping with the season, variations of red and green are obvious choices for interior walls, and psychologically speaking, they work beautifully at the holidays and thereafter.

Red in all its iterations — from rose to burgundy to rust — is one of the warmest colors, perfect for adding coziness to any part of the home. It also is an appetite enhancer, making red a wonderful option for dining rooms, where holiday entertaining often takes place.

Green has other winning attributes: Studies have shown it to be among the most calming and relaxing colors – a welcome counterpoint to the hectic holidays. At the same time, green calls to mind many of the foods we eat, so — like red — it's a fine choice for kitchens and dining rooms.

That's not to say that pre-holiday painting shouldn't be done in other hues. Today's interior paints come in hundreds of colors, and you'll want to apply one that you'll be happy with when the decorations go back into storage.

If you don't have enough time to re-paint an entire room before your guests arrive, Zimmer suggests that you think about painting just one or two “accent walls” in a holiday color.

“Accent walls are actually quite chic and can often create a completely different appearance for the entire room,” she says. “If you fall in love with the color, you can always paint the other walls later on.”

While it's true that interior painting isn't free, the cost is something of a “gift” when compared to other types of holiday re-decorating, no small consideration when your budget may already be stretched. Do-it-yourselfers can re-paint an entire room for about the cost of a nice new shirt, designer pajamas, or that reindeer sweater you saw at the store.

So, if you're feeling especially festive this year, consider giving your guests (and yourself) a holiday treat for the eyes: a more colorful home interior.

To learn more about interior painting and color selection, visit blog.paintquality.com or www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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Nation's 12 "Prettiest Painted Places" Include Many Colorful, Hidden Gems

Prettiest Painted Places
November 2012

If you want to see the prettiest painted communities in America, you're going to need a lot of time, several tanks of gas, and a state-of-the-art GPS. The Paint Quality Institute has identified the nation's 12 most beautifully painted neighborhoods and towns, and many are little known and far from the beaten path.

Naming of the 12 "Prettiest Painted Places in America" comes after a rigorous four-month search by the Paint Quality Institute that involved thousands of contacts with state tourism departments, convention and visitors' bureaus, chambers of commerce, and Main Street groups, all of whom were invited to nominate communities.

The effort produced nearly 200 colorful nominees from 48 states and the District of Columbia that submitted color images of beautifully painted homes, buildings and exterior murals. A panel of judges with expertise in paint and exterior color schemes reviewed the entries and named two winners from each of six different geographic areas:


    Brookville, PA

  • In the Northeast Region, the winners were Brookville, Pennsylvania and Downtown Frederick, Maryland. Brookville is a beautiful historic western Pennsylvania town with hundreds of artfully painted Victorian homes and buildings. Downtown Frederick's Main Street area, home to a vibrant arts community, has beautifully painted architecture dating to the 1700s.
  • The Southeast Region winners were Historic Downtown Smithfield, Virginia and Key West, Florida. The former is a quaint river town with many historic structures ranging in style from Colonial to Federal to Victorian. Key West, southernmost of the Florida Keys, has brightly painted "conch" homes and "shotgun-style" cottages constructed in the 1800s by shipbuilder-carpenters.
  • Winners in the North Central Region were Bay View Association, Michigan and Stillwater, Minnesota. Bay View, an 1800s Methodist camp meeting community of more than 400 small cottages, is now a charming and colorful Victorian resort designated a National Historic Landmark. Stillwater has colorful Victorian mansions built by lumber barons and a Main Street listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In the South Central Region, the winners were Old Arabi Neighborhood, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana and Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri. The former, located just five miles from New Orleans' French Quarter, has two historic districts full of beautifully painted structures. Lafayette Square is an elegant urban neighborhood comprised of stately Victorian-era homes with fine painted detailing.

  • Tubac, AZ

  • The Northwest Region winners were The Victorian Village of Ferndale, California and Eureka, California. Ferndale has a nationally recognized historic business district with beautifully detailed commercial buildings and Victorian homes. Eureka is a port city 100 miles south of the Oregon border with fantastic Victorian homes built by lumber magnates.
  • Winners in the Southwest Region were Tubac, Arizona and Manhattan Beach, California. Established in 1752 as a Spanish fort, Tubac is an exquisite, brightly painted town with more than 100 galleries and businesses lining its meandering streets. Manhattan Beach is a colorful coastal community near Los Angeles where the beautiful landscape is punctuated with artful, individualistic paint color.

In addition to the 12 winners, nine other places were cited as having "exceptional merit", meaning they were "just too pretty to go without recognition," according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute. They are: Cape May, New Jersey; Crested Butte, Colorado; Old Louisville, Kentucky; Ottawa and Franklin County, Kansas; Owego Historic District, New York; Paducah, Kentucky; Historic Park City, Utah; Richmond, Indiana; and Original Townsite Historic District, Victoria, Texas.

"The truth is, we had so many worthy nominees that we could have presented many more awards," said Zimmer. "The field of entries in this year's competition was truly exceptional, and selecting just a dozen winners and only nine exceptional merit communities was daunting."

This is the third time the Paint Quality Institute has conducted a search for the prettiest painted places in America. It held the first competition in the 1990s, and another in year 2000.

The purpose of the competition is to give recognition to places that use paint to express pride in their communities, and highlight how an attractive exterior paint treatment can enhance the curb appeal of virtually any home, building, or exterior structure.

"We hope that the exquisite exteriors from these ‘prettiest painted places' will inspire others to beautify their properties with exterior paint," said Zimmer. "Painting is one of the most effective -- and cost effective -- ways to add color and style to our surroundings."

To get a look at the 12 Prettiest Painted Places in America, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at http://blog.paintquality.com/ppp/

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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60 Finalists Named in "Prettiest Painted Places" Competition

Prettiest Painted Places
October 2012

Sixty communities -- 10 each from six geographic regions -- have been named finalists in a national competition to find the "Prettiest Painted Places in America." The competition is being conducted by the Paint Quality Institute (PQI), an informational entity whose mission is to educate the public about quality paints and coatings.

The finalists are a diverse lot, including communities both large and small, located on the coasts and in the heartland, some with long histories and others relatively new. But all have one thing in common: They have beautified themselves with exterior paint.

"For purposes of our competition, a 'prettiest painted place' is a very special town or neighborhood with exceptional community-wide 'curb appeal' due to visually appealing or very creative use of exterior paint color," explains Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

"Curb appeal is often defined by beautiful color schemes on homes or buildings, and that's typically the case, but exquisite outdoor murals and creative use of paint color on statues, signage, traffic signals, water towers, and even streets and sidewalks have elevated the appearance of many of today's prettiest communities, including some of our finalists" she said.

PQI began its search for the "prettiest painted places" by contacting state departments of tourism, convention and visitors' bureaus, chambers of commerce, historical societies, and Main Street programs in all 50 states. Eventually, nearly 200 towns and neighborhoods were nominated in the competition.

Judges with expertise in color selection, exterior painting, and home improvement then reviewed the entries and narrowed down the field to the 60 finalists. Later this month, after further evaluation and another round of judging, two of the 10 finalists in each of the six regions will be named the 12 prettiest painted places in America.

This is the third time the Paint Quality Institute has conducted a search for the prettiest painted places in America. It held the first competition in the 1990s, and another in year 2000.

According to Zimmer, the purpose of the competition is to give recognition to places that use paint to express pride in their communities, and highlight how an attractive exterior paint treatment can enhance the curb appeal of virtually any home, building or exterior structure.

Below are the 60 finalists, along with the region they represent. (Additional information on the competition is available at http://blog.paintquality.com/exterior-painting/prettiest-painted-places-finalists/)

Northeast: Bristol, Rhode Island; Brookville, Pennsylvania; Cambridge, Ohio; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Cape May, New Jersey; Chautauqua Institution, New York; Chester, Vermont; Downtown Frederick, Maryland; Owego Historic District, New York; and Wooster, Ohio.

Southeast: Downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky; Gulf Shores, Alabama; Historic Oakwood, Raleigh, North Carolina; Key West, Florida; Historic Occoquan, Virginia; Old Louisville, Kentucky; Old Town Alexandria, Virginia; Paducah, Kentucky; Selma (Ward 3), Alabama; and Historic Downtown Smithfield, Virginia.

North Central: Aurora, Illinois; Bay View Association, Michigan; Evansville, Wisconsin; Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota/Minnesota; Galena, Illinois; Grinnell, Iowa; Lowry Hill East, Minnesota; Richmond, Indiana; Saugatuck-Douglas, Michigan; and Stillwater, Minnesota.

South Central: Downtown Historic Bastrop, Texas; Graham, Texas; Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri; Lindsborg, Kansas; Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District, Louisiana; Old Arabi Neighborhood, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana; Ottawa and Franklin County, Kansas; The Paseo Arts District, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Spanish Town Neighborhood, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Victoria, Texas.

Northwest: Albany, Oregon; Astoria, Oregon; Butte, Montana; Edmonds, Washington; Eureka, California; The Victorian Village of Ferndale, California; Northwest Crossing, Oregon; Port Townsend, Washington; Vashon-Maury Island, Washington; and Wallace, Idaho.

Southwest: Crested Butte, Colorado; Lake City, Colorado; Manhattan Beach, California; Midway, Utah; Ouray, Colorado; Historic Park City, Utah; Petaluma, California; Prescott, Arizona; Redlands, California; Tubac, Arizona.

For more information on exterior paints and color, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com or the Institute's website at www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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What We Can Learn about Paint Color from "Prettiest Painted Places in AmericaSM"

Painted kitchen and bathroom walls
September 2012

The Paint Quality Institute, formed to educate the public about paints and coatings, periodically searches for the prettiest painted communities in America. By looking at the towns and neighborhoods that have won top honors in its "Prettiest Painted Places in America" competitions, we can learn a lot about exterior paint color selection.

Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute, says that the winning communities in its competitions are often very different from each other. "Past winners have come from every part of the country, and they've run the gamut from historical towns to sparkling new, planned communities," she says.

They do, however, have one thing in common: All of the communities take great pride in their appearance. Some go so far as to specify or regulate the exterior color palette.

Whether exterior paint colors are specified or not, Zimmer says that virtually all of the past "winners" have been awash in color. "Homeowners and business owners in most of the places embraced color as a decorative medium. They knew intuitively that colorful painted exteriors added curb appeal and helped make their communities special," she says.

A common characteristic of homes and buildings in the winning places was the way they made the most of their architecture. In many cases, different surfaces and architectural elements were painted in different colors to make the details stand out.

The use of multiple colors was commonplace. Color schemes often employed not just two or three colors, but four, five, and more. The complex palettes gave texture to the architecture and celebrated the details.

According to Zimmer, there was also fearlessness about paint color, which might be expected in the beachfront towns. But even inland, understated color schemes were frequently punched up with a bold accent color or two.

What can we learn from these beautiful places? That color is a powerful way to enhance the appearance of any structure. We have to paint for maintenance purposes anyway, so why not create something special with our color scheme?

The next time you plan to paint the exterior of your home or business, take a long, hard look at the exterior. Are there ways to highlight its interesting architectural elements? What if you used four paint colors instead of just two or three? How else can paint color help embellish the exterior? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself.

And, don't be overwhelmed by the many paint colors available today. You don't have to go it alone when creating an exterior color scheme. Check out the literature at your local paint store and you'll find beautiful color-coordinated palettes that can serve as guides. Some paint companies even have color "visualizers" that let you see how different color schemes would look on your home or business.

By the way, after a 12-year hiatus, the Paint Quality Institute is in the process of conducting another competition to find the "Prettiest Painted Places in America" right now. You can follow the search on blog.paintquality.com, where you'll see which communities are in the running... and, in October, which are chosen as the country's 12 most beautiful painted places!

For more information on exterior paints and color, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com or the Institute's website at www.paintquality.com

Editor's note: Visit our image library for images that accompany this release.

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5 Good Reasons to Buy the Best Interior Paint

5 Good Reasons to Buy the Best Interior Paint

September 2013
  1. Better color retention. If you’re painting to change the color of a room, then you surely want your new hue to last. Top quality 100% acrylic latex paint helps keep your colors true to their day-one appearance. Bargain paints? They tend to pale by comparison.
  2. Better stain resistance. Nothing can ruin a new paint job quicker than a nasty stain – whether it’s due to a careless spill, dirty fingerprints, or something totally unforeseen. If you spend a little more for a quality acrylic latex paint, think of it as buying some insurance against these color calamities. This type of paint is highly resistant to many of the most common stains, especially in higher sheen levels, such as semi-gloss or high gloss paint.
  3. Paint and primer in one. Top quality 100% acrylic latex paint offers an important performance advantage over all lower quality, non-acrylic coatings: Many are “self-priming” – in other words, they do double-duty as both primer and paint. Just think how much time and effort you’ll save by having to apply fewer coats!
  4. Good adhesion to various surfaces. Should your painting project involve several different materials, such as wallboard, wood, vinyl, or metal (think not just walls, but doors and trim, too), you’ll be able to paint them all with high-end 100% acrylic latex paint. Go with lower-grade paint and you might have to buy several different kinds of coatings, complicating your decision-making and possibly adding to the cost of the job.
  5. Best overall durability. Let’s face it, while interior painting can be a fun project, most of us are more than happy to put away the brushes and rollers, sit back, and enjoy the new colors for a while. That’s part of the beauty of top quality acrylic paint. It offers exceptional durability, so once you finish painting, your home interior will look great until you again get the urge to paint.

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Interior Paint Primers Can Solve Problems and Save Money

August 2012

Painted kitchen and bathroom walls

Many people think that primers are useful only when doing exterior painting, but that's a mistaken notion. Like exterior primers, interior primers make surfaces more uniform and help paint adhere better, but they can do a lot more, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

"Interior primers can actually help prevent a host of problems and enhance the appearance of a finished paint job," she says. "By choosing the right type of primer for a particular project, it's even possible to pinpoint the performance benefits you'll get."

Here's a quick sampling of some of the more common types of interior primers and how they can help improve your next paint job:

  • Stain-blocking Primers. Walls and other interior surfaces often have water stains, smoke residue, grease, or other contaminants that can "bleed" right through a new coat of paint to ruin its appearance. To prevent that from happening, Zimmer advises applying a stain-blocking primer before painting to seal off the stain-producing agents. "These primers come in both latex and oil-based formulations, but latex stain blockers have much less odor, which is always a plus when working indoors," she says.
  • Vapor Barrier Primers. These interior primers are typically used in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms to help prevent moisture from passing through the walls. By doing so, they help keep the wall insulation dry and reduce the chance of an exterior paint failure due to moisture exiting the interior. Vapor barrier primers also help maintain a comfortable level of humidity inside the home during the heating season.
  • Kitchen and Bath Primers. These coatings are often used in the same areas as vapor barrier primers, but they serve a different purpose. Specially formulated with biocides and stain blockers, they help control the growth of mildew and mold in rooms that tend to be damp or humid.
  • Drywall Primers. While these coatings are called primers, they really function as sealers, which are close cousins of the primer family. As the name indicates, they are applied over drywall and joint compound to help conceal the differences in their appearance and impart a more uniform look to the completed paint job.
  • Latex Enamel Under-coaters. These primers are excellent for use under semi-gloss or gloss paint to ensure that the paint will develop its maximum gloss. After applying a latex enamel under-coater and letting it dry, Zimmer says it's important to lightly sand off any visible brush marks before applying the glossy paint.
  • Bonding Primers. When painting a slick material like glass, tile, Formica®, or vinyl-coated paneling, it is always wise to use a bonding primer. These primers are specially formulated to adhere to slippery surfaces and help create a more secure bond between the primer and paint.

Even if you're on a very tight budget, you shouldn't fail to apply a primer when the circumstances call for one: the primer may actually save you money. That's because you may need fewer coats of paint, especially on a previously unpainted surface. Likewise, if you are applying a dark-colored paint, you can often get away with fewer coats by applying a tinted primer beforehand. The net effect may very well be a more economical paint job!

For more information on interior paints, primers, and interior painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com or the Institute's website at www.paintquality.com

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Where Different Paint Sheen Levels Are Most at Home

July 2012

Painted rooms with flat sheens

When it comes to selecting an interior paint for your home, there's more to consider than quality and color. Most paints come in a variety of sheen levels - as many as six, depending upon the brand - and some are better suited for certain rooms than for others.

Read on for helpful hints and tips on sheen selection.

Happy Painting,
Debbie Zimmer
Debbie Zimmer
Editor
dzimmer@dow.com

Paints with flat sheen are most common. They offer several advantages: being non-reflective, they tend to conceal imperfections in walls and other surfaces; they help to make uneven surfaces like poorly taped drywall look smoother and more uniform; and many hide the under-color well, since they typically contain a lot of pigment.

Flat paints are a good choice for just about any ceiling, and for rooms and spaces that aren't exposed to water, high humidity, or heavy soiling... such as bedrooms, home offices, and living rooms.

At the other end of the sheen spectrum are paints with gloss or high gloss sheen. Being very reflective, gloss paints tend to highlight imperfections in walls and woodwork. But they are especially tough, durable, and stain-resistant – and, they are much easier to clean than paints with less gloss.

High gloss finishes are ideal for use on windows and trim, children's rooms, and playrooms. And since they have better resistance to mildew, they also are a great choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

Paints with semi-gloss sheen are a smart compromise between the two sheen extremes, providing some of the benefits of each. Since they are not as highly reflective as gloss paints, they won't show surface imperfections quite as much; yet they still offer good stain resistance and are easy to clean.

Semi-gloss paints are extremely versatile, working well on windows and doors, trim, even cabinets. They can even be used on the walls of kitchens and baths, and various surfaces in children's rooms and playrooms.

Most lines of paint have at least a couple more sheen levels from which to choose. The descriptions vary, with eggshell, satin, and low luster sheen being the most common. Again, the best way to think of these sheen levels is in terms of their performance: Being less "shiny" than either gloss or semi-gloss paints, they won't highlight nicks and surface imperfections quite as much, but since they have at least a little gloss, they'll be easier to clean than flat paints.

Where to use eggshell, satin and low luster paints? Paints in these sheen levels pretty much have the run of the house, working well just about anywhere you need the blend of performance attributes they offer.

At first blush, it may seem confusing having to choose from so many sheen levels. But once you understand what each has to offer, you'll appreciate the luxury of being able to "calibrate" the exact combination of paint attributes you want in every part of your home.

For more information on interior paints and sheen levels, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com or the Institute's website at www.paintquality.com

Editor's note: Click here for downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Community Curb Appeal Competition
SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR AMERICA'S PRETTIEST PAINTED PLACES

Search Underway for America's Prettiest Painted Places

There are many cities, towns and neighborhoods across the U.S. that inspire residents and visitors alike with their beauty and charm. But which are the crème de la crème? We'll soon have a better idea.

The Paint Quality Institute (PQI), a leading source of information on paints and coatings, is conducting an ambitious nationwide search to find the "Prettiest Painted Places in America." The results will be made known this fall when PQI reveals the 12 contest winners.

Why conduct such a competition?

"We want to show people how beautiful exterior paint schemes can greatly contribute to the 'curb appeal' of entire communities," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at PQI, “and we want to do it in a fun way.

"By identifying and recognizing the towns and neighborhoods that have the best painted appearance, we can give others an appreciation for the important role exterior paint can play in protecting and beautifying any home or building," she says.

To elicit entries in the competition, PQI is contacting chambers of commerce, tourism departments, and historical districts in all 50 states. Since many smaller "places" may not be represented by such organizations, PQI is also widely publicizing its search.

Anyone can enter a community in the free competition by simply taking some pictures, uploading them on the PQI website at http://blog.paintquality.com/ppp, and providing a brief description of the community being nominated. Entries will be accepted until August 31.

A panel of judges from major media outlets will then evaluate the entries and select 60 finalists in the competition, 10 from each of six geographic regions. After further research, including unannounced site visits, the judges will name the 12 Prettiest Painted Places in America in October.

What's in it for the towns and communities that participate? In addition to bragging rights for the winners, every place that enters will be part of an extensive national publicity campaign conducted by the Paint Quality Institute.

For more information on the Prettiest Painted Places in America competition, visit http://blog.paintquality.com/ppp.

Editor's note: Click here for downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Five Popular Front Door Colors and What They (Might) Say About You

May 2012

Front doors in different colors

Whether or not we realize it, the colors with which we surround ourselves – in our clothes, cars, and homes -- reveal a lot about us.  For example, bright colors often indicate an outgoing personality, while subdued colors imply a more low-key persona.

How can a hue say so much about you?  According to Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute, color has a psychological component through which we often communicate our moods, feelings, emotions, and personality.  One way we do that is through the paint colors we choose, even on the exterior of our home. 

“The entire exterior color scheme has meaning, but the color of the front door is especially important,” says Zimmer.  “Like a necktie, which is the focal point of an outfit, the front door is the focal point of the home.  The color there sends a strong message – in the case of the front door, providing insight into how we view our home.”

red and blue doors
Color psychologists would say that the owner of the home with the blue door thinks first of her home as her refuge, while the homeowner with the red door is projecting his home as an exciting place to live. 

So, what does your front door color say about you and the way you regard your home?  Here’s what a color psychologist might say about some of the most common front door colors:  

  • Blue.  Shown to be the most popular color in many studies, a blue front door signals that the homeowner views his or her home as a place of refuge -- calm, serene, and relaxing, the perfect retreat from an often harsh and demanding world.

  • Green.  Green is another popular color for the front door, and with good reason.  Psychologically speaking, green connotes health, safety, tranquility, and harmony, all highly desirable attributes for the home environment.

  • Black.  Those who paint the front door black are communicating something entirely different about their homes.  A black front door projects strength, sophistication, power, and authority, indicating to all who enter or even passersby that the home is a serious place inhabited by a person of substance.     
              
  • Red.  Regarded as a powerful “punch” color, red is the color of passion.  By painting the front door red, the homeowner is saying that the home within is a vibrant place, full of life, energy, and excitement.

  • Brown.  Whether painted or stained, a brown front door looks natural and organic, but it can send mixed messages in terms of color psychology.  On the one hand, brown conveys warmth, stability, and reliability, positive attributes all, but certain darker shades of brown signal a desire for privacy, even isolation.

Very likely, the color you’ve chosen for your front door projects the way you want your home to be viewed.  But if you inherited the color from the previous owner, or if you want to say something different about yourself and your home, you can quickly change the color, says Zimmer.  “It takes only a few hours to prep and re-paint a standard-size front door, and by applying a durable, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you can make a totally different color statement that will last for years.”    

For more information on exterior color, paints, and stains, visit blog.paintquality.com or www.paintquality.com.  And for more on color, check out the Paint Quality Institute’s 2012 paint color trends video on YouTube.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Stress Can Also Affect the Paint on our Homes

April 2012

Planning for Exterior Painting

Who among us hasn't complained at one time or another about the stress we're under? Yet our homes suffer silently in the face of constant stress. It isn't work, deadlines, or family finances that cause problems for our homes. Rather, it's the weather and the environment. Even common conditions like strong sunlight, rain, and fluctuating temperatures place stress on our abodes – and on the exterior paint that protects them, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

Here's how even ordinary weather can put strain on your paint and cause it to suffer:

  • Sun. While most people are happiest on sunny days, the same bright conditions can wreak havoc on paint. "Ultraviolet rays tend to deteriorate the binder in exterior paint in much the same way that the rays can harm the skin on our bodies," explains Zimmer. "As the paint's binder breaks down, pigment is released in the form of a powder that can wash away in the next rainstorm. When paint erodes, the result is faded color and diminished protection for the home."
 
  • Moisture. Rain, snow, frost, and even high humidity can also be hazardous for exterior paint. In fact, any form of moisture can cause paint to soften and swell, eventually leading to blistering, cracking, peeling or flaking. On top of that, moist conditions support the growth of mildew, which can mar the appearance of any paint job.
 
  • Temperature fluctuation. Changing temperatures cause wood and many other exterior surfaces to expand and contract, sometimes dramatically. If the paint on top of the surface isn't flexible enough, this movement can cause the paint to crack and flake off.
 

Since we can't control the weather, we need to take steps to protect our homes from nature's climatic stressors. According to Zimmer, that means addressing small problems before they become major issues, properly preparing exterior surfaces before painting them, and applying the highest quality paint – which, in most circumstances, means using a top quality 100% acrylic latex coating.

Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints resist weather stressors in several ways, says Zimmer:

  • Compared to ordinary paints, high quality coatings are less affected by ultraviolet rays, so they tend to resist the sun's bleaching effects.
  • They adhere well to the painted surface, so there is less chance of blistering, even in very moist conditions.
  • They contain more mildewcide than ordinary paint, which helps prevent mildew from forming on the exterior surface.
  • They are tough and flexible, which allows them to expand and contract with temperature swings, rather than cracking and flaking.

Yes, there is hope for homes that are victims of stress. . .in the form of preventative medicine. Make timely repairs, do good surface preparation and always apply two coats of top quality 100% acrylic latex house paint, and your home will be better able to deal with whatever the morning brings!

To learn more about exterior paint and the way it protects your home from the elements, visit blog.paintquality.com or www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Why Exterior Painting Should be First on Your Spring To-Do List

March 2012

Spring To-Dos

As the springtime weather shifts from messy to mild, every homeowner's attention turns to the out of doors. It's time to clean things up, tend to the garden, and make needed repairs to both the home and its surroundings. Where to start? Assuming that your exterior paint is failing, it's best to focus on that first, according to experts.

Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute, says there are plenty of good reasons to start spring chores with exterior painting:

"First, spring is a very comfortable time to do outdoor painting. Second, it's smart to paint before putting down mulch, which along with your plants, will just get trampled if you paint later on. Third, why not get your painting done before more pleasant 'distractions' like gardening, sports, and barbecues begin?"

Zimmer says that if your house paint is near the end of its life expectancy, you're taking a chance by postponing repainting. It doesn't take long for exposed wood to begin to rot, and other types of exteriors also suffer when the paint wears off. Wait too long and you may have to make repairs before starting to paint.

Another reason to get to your painting first: Exterior latex paint forms the most durable, protective finish when the weather is mild. "It's always best to do exterior painting when the temperature is above 50 degrees F., but not too hot," says Zimmer. "Very hot days can cause the paint to dry too quickly and impair good paint film formation. By painting in moderate weather, you'll likely get a longer-lasting paint job."

If a day starts off mild, but turns very hot, try to avoid painting in direct sunshine, since sunlit surfaces can be 10 to 20 degrees hotter than the air temperature. Work your way around the house so that you are always painting in the shade. As a bonus, you'll be more comfortable!

When painting, pick a day that isn't too windy. Like the heat of the sun, wind can cause latex paint to dry too quickly and prevent optimal paint film formation. Plus, wind can stir up dust and other contaminants that can imbed in the paint to create an inviting surface for mildew, which feeds on such matter.

You should also try to steer clear of "weather events" that could affect the paint, waiting for another day if it has rained within the last 24 hours, or postponing the job if several days of rain are expected right after you finish painting.

Of course, it's important to properly prepare the surface before doing any exterior painting. That includes applying a coat of primer to any new surface that has never been painted, or spot-priming previously painted surfaces where the paint is worn away.

To extend the life of your paint job, Zimmer recommends that you apply the very highest quality 100% acrylic latex paint, which is especially durable, flexible and colorfast. Top quality paint often lasts 10 years or more, compared to about four years for ordinary paint, saving you time, work, and money in the long run. For the longest-lasting paint job, always apply at least two coats – either a coat of primer and a coat of paint, or two coats of house paint.

Once you've finished your exterior painting, you can turn your attention to the other things on your to-do list. What's more, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you've done right by your biggest investment – your home.

For more information on exterior painting, visit blog.paintquality.com or www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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You Can Paint Most "Maintenance-Free" Materials

February 2012

Interior Rooms with Color

We often hear how certain exterior building materials are maintenance-free.  Once installed on your home, you can forget about them forever, the ads say.  Vinyl siding, composite decking, fiberglass trim, and factory-finished aluminum are just some of the materials that fit the description.

But what if you want to paint them -- to change the color, freshen the appearance, or simply provide an extra layer of protection against the elements?  Can you paint something that doesn’t require painting? 

"Most of the time, you can paint these materials," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. "But it’s important that you follow the right procedures when doing so."

As with other exterior paint jobs, it’s important that you first make any repairs that are necessary, then thoroughly clean and rinse the surface before applying any type of coating, says Zimmer.  If mildew is present, it must also be removed, using a 3:1 water/bleach solution, followed by a thorough rinsing.

Another thing:  It’s always wise to apply a coat of top quality acrylic latex primer when painting maintenance-free materials.  A primer will help the paint get a better grip on the surface, and give the finished paint job more uniform color and sheen.

When it comes to the paint itself, it’s important that you use the right product.  Zimmer says that high quality 100% acrylic latex paint is a great choice for almost any type of exterior painting, but it’s essential when painting surfaces that are designed to be maintenance-free, which often are very smooth and slick. 

Top quality 100% acrylic latex paint provides the best adhesion to virtually any material, it produces a very durable paint film, and it has very consistent color and gloss,” says Zimmer.  “By applying this type of paint, the surface will look great, and it will stay that way for years to come.”    

As is true with all painting, it’s a good idea to apply the primer and paint with quality brushes and rollers.  They’ll help you put down thicker, more protective layers of the coatings, and enable you to get the best possible appearance with your new paint job.

A final tip:  Apply the primer and paint on a moderate day – one that’s not too hot, too cold, or too windy.  Each of these weather extremes can have an adverse effect on any coating as it dries and cures, possibly compromising the integrity of the finished paint job.  You can usually find specific temperature guidelines on the label of the paint can.

So, the next time you’re wondering whether a material that is touted as maintenance-free can be painted, wonder no more:  The answer is almost always “yes”.

To make sure, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com, where you’ll also find detailed, step-by-step instructions on painting virtually any type of exterior or interior surface.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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2012 Paint Color Trends: Paint Hues Drawn From The American Landscape

October 2011

Wondering about the hot paint colors for next year?  Wonder no more:  The 2012 paint palette will draw heavily upon the natural colors in the American landscape, according to Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.  
“Native plants and flowers, oceans and lakes, and rocks and minerals are the sources of inspiration for the paint colors that will be ‘in' next year,” says Zimmer.  “If you're thinking about repainting your home interior, look to the great American outdoors.”

Here are some highlights:

Blue Bedroom

Blue, the Jewel of the Sea
Blues gained popularity in 2011 and continue to be red hot in 2012.  “From sparkling sea-glass blue to colonial blue-grey, blues are suitable for all living spaces, being a naturally soothing color that is loved – in one iteration or another -- by almost everyone,” says Zimmer.  

Green Kitchen

Green, From Farm to Forest
Greens, ranging from celery and asparagus to fir and fern, allow homeowners to bring the comforting feelings of the world outside into the world within.  According to Zimmer, dining rooms and kitchens are the “natural” spots for in vogue greens, but the hue is also at home in family rooms and bedrooms.

Violet Living Space

Violet, Majestic Purple Mountains
“A harmonious combination of patriotic blue and red hues, violet can add ‘punch' to any room when used as an accent color, or serve as the dominant color in a bedroom,” says Zimmer.  

But natural hues aren't the only news for 2012.  Zimmer predicts that three paint and decorating trends will gain prominence next year:

Patterns Black & White Kitchen Exterior Home
Patterns
In 2012, patterned paint will take center stage, with increased interest in hound's-tooth finishes, lacy designs, and bold color blocking techniques.  “In some cases, pattern will be the main decorating feature in a room; in others, it will provide a subtle, textured backdrop for fine furnishings and artwork,” says Zimmer.
Black and White
The classic combination of black and white isn't just for Cape Cods any more.  You'll see much more of it in all sorts of settings, from contemporary apartments to historic homes, says Zimmer.  “The pairing is a great way to freshen an interior with something smart and stylish,” she says.
Exterior Paint Combinations
On the home exterior, shutters colors will begin to shift away from the traditional look of high-contrast green, red, or black to a more monochromatic palette.  “You'll see more shutters that are painted just a shade darker than the siding,” says Zimmer.  “Owners of homes with stone exteriors can get in on things by matching the shutter color to the dominant color of the stone.”

Despite all the new colors and trends, Zimmer says some things in the paint world will remain the same in 2012:  “Top quality 100% acrylic latex paint will continue to provide the best performance and the best value to budget-conscious homeowners,” she says.

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

 

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Interior Rooms with Color

Savvy Homeowners Can Save Plenty by Painting, Rather Than Replacing Vinyl or Aluminum Siding

August 2011

With the weak economy, few homeowners will be running out to replace their vinyl or aluminum siding. But that's not to say they can't improve its appearance or simply change the color by painting it.

“One of the best-kept remodeling secrets is that it's actually very easy to repaint these materials, especially vinyl siding,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “And, it's a lot less expensive than replacing the siding.”

While it can cost up to $20,000 or more to re-side a home, a professional painting contractor might charge $5,000 to paint it. Homeowners who do their own painting can often complete the job for just a few hundred dollars.

That said, do-it-yourself exterior painting isn't for everyone. Since spray-painting is best when painting vinyl or aluminum panels, it's preferable to have a little experience with this equipment. But for some homeowners, doing their own painting is a great way to save a bundle of money.

Zimmer says there are two secrets to painting vinyl or aluminum siding: good surface preparation and use of a top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.

Surface preparation is simple when painting vinyl siding: just remove dirt and mildew from the panels with a commercial cleaner and garden hose, or rent power-washing equipment to speed the work. If any stubborn mildew remains, remove it with a solution of one-part bleach to three-parts water, then rinse the surface clean.

With aluminum siding, follow the same cleaning procedures. If excessive “chalk” is present afterward (run your hand across a panel to check for residue), repeat the procedure. Use bleach solution on any stubborn mildew, and rinse clean.

Keep an eye out for surface oxidation on aluminum. The tip-off is the presence of a white powdery substance on panels that are worn down to the bare metal. If oxidation is present, carefully remove the powdery material with a non-metallic scouring pad, then rinse the surface clean. Apply a quality exterior latex metal primer anywhere bare metal shows through. That will complete your surface preparation.

Choosing the right paint to use on vinyl or aluminum siding is simple, according to Zimmer: “These panels tend to be smooth to the touch, almost slippery, so you must use a paint with great adhesion. The paint that adheres best to these surfaces is top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.”

Paints made with 100% acrylic are a great choice on vinyl and aluminum siding for another important reason: They are extremely flexible. When siding panels expand or contract in very warm or very cold weather, these paints will tend to stretch or contract along with them.

Top quality paints also have superior “leveling”, which means they will naturally tend to duplicate the original appearance of the siding, whether it is smooth or textured. They also resist fading, fight mildew growth, and are very durable.

When it comes to color choice, Zimmer offers one caution when painting vinyl siding: “It's wise to select a color no darker than the original. Dark shades tend to absorb the heat of the sun and can cause the panels to warp or buckle.”

For those who truly desire a darker color, seek out one of the technologically-advanced paints that use reflective pigments to ward off some of the sun's heat. But be sure to ask the paint salesperson whether the color you like can be used on vinyl siding.

For more information on color psychology and interior painting, visit www.paintquality.com or blog.paintquality.com.

PQIPQIPQI

PQI

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

 

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Interior Rooms with Color

Fresh Paint Color Can Improve Your Mood!

July 2011

Let's face it. Few of us are spending money the way we used to. But our homes are still our castles, and we want them to be as attractive as possible. In fact, the lackluster economy is all the more reason to create a comfortable, welcoming cocoon where we can ride out the economic storm.

How to reconcile the desire to beautify a home with the need to economize? One possibility is to add fresh color to the indoor environment with a new interior paint scheme.

“Repainting is a low-cost way to greatly enhance the appearance of a home,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “And new paint colors can actually have a positive psychological effect.”

The simple fact that you're surrounded by fresh color, in and of itself, can be uplifting. But Zimmer says that certain colors have been shown to invoke specific desirable feelings and emotions. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to make the best color choices.

If your life is very stressful, you might want to repaint the rooms where you rest and relax – the family room and bedroom, for example – in a pale blue or soft green. Studies show that these colors can be very calming.

Another approach is to introduce a color like taupe or brown. These also tend to create a tranquil environment, but they impart more warmth and coziness than blue or green.

If, on the other hand, you want to inject some energy and optimism into your surroundings, consider using yellow paint. Like splashes of brilliant sunshine, yellow walls can lift your spirits and brighten your outlook.

Apricot, cinnamon, and tangerine are also energizing colors. But be careful with reds and burgundies: These colors can literally increase heartbeat and arouse passion. Not good for the room where you pay your bills!

The tone, or brightness, of a color should always be factored into color choice. Brighter tones invigorate, while those that are muted (“toned down”) tend to be more relaxing.

Whatever your response to your new color scheme, your reaction to the cost of repainting is likely to be positive. A do-it-yourselfer can repaint almost any room for well under $100. And that's using the best quality paint, something that Zimmer strongly advocates.

“Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints cost more than ordinary paint, but they offer the best value. Not only do they last longer and continue to look fresh over time, but they often save you money right away from an application and performance standpoint,” she says.

So, if you're feeling blue over the state of the economy, think about painting your walls blue. . .or green. . .or yellow. It will cost very little, but doing so will likely give a big lift to your outlook!

For more information on color psychology and interior painting, visit www.paintquality.com or blog.paintquality.com.

PQIPQIPQI

PQI

 

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Three Kitchen Photos

Fresh Paint a Great Recipe for Affordable Kitchen Remodeling

June 2011

A remodeled kitchen is the fondest dream of many homeowners. But at an average cost of $56,000 for a "mid-range" upgrade according to Remodeling magazine, the price is simply too steep for most. That said, if you're on a budget, there's a great alternative: spending $100 or so to give your kitchen a whole new look with paint.

"Many people underestimate the dramatic change you can make in a kitchen with a little imagination and a couple of cans of paint," says Debbie Zimmer, color expert for the Paint Quality Institute. "But actually, you can use paint not only to freshen the wall color, but also to totally change the appearance of your kitchen cabinets."

The only ingredients you'll need to cook up a whole new look for your culinary center are some careful planning, a good eye for color, and a willingness to spend time in your kitchen with some paint cans as your companions.

PQIWhere to begin? Zimmer recommends that you visit the websites of major paint companies. On many, you'll find idea centers with paint palettes designed by professional colorists, and "visualizing" tools that allow you to pre-test your color choices online.

Once you've settled on a color scheme, it's time to paint. Assuming that you're going to do a top-to-bottom makeover, start by removing the cabinet doors, as well as the hinges and knobs. If you're going to re-use the hardware, put these items in a plastic bag so they don't get lost.

After placing drop-cloths to protect the floors, paint the ceiling first, then the walls, and finally, the trim. For easy maintenance, use top quality 100% acrylic latex semi-gloss paint: It will resist stains and stand up to scrubbing better than a flat paint. Now turn your attention to the cabinets again.

Scrub the kitchen cabinets and doors with a degreasing solution to remove dirt and grime. When they've dried, sand the cabinets to remove any loose paint and to provide better "tack" for the new coating. Use a wet cloth to wipe off any dust created by the sanding.Painting with a roller

Next, apply a top quality latex primer to the cabinets. Use a roller wherever possible, and a small brush where necessary. Let the primer dry overnight.

Finish the cabinets in the same way by applying a coat of top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. Here, too, it's best to use a gloss or semi-gloss finish, since they are more stain-resistant and easier to clean. Don't re-install the cabinet doors quite yet. Wait until the paint is totally dry.

To put a perfect finishing touch on your kitchen remodeling, consider purchasing new knobs or handles for your cabinets either online or at your local home center. They're readily available in a wide range of shapes, styles, sizes, colors, and materials. One is sure to strike your fancy.Kitchen Cabinets

When your cabinets are restored and everything is done, stand back and take pride in your new kitchen. . . and in the thousands of dollars you saved by doing your own remodeling!

For more how-to information on home painting, as well as color and design ideas, visit www.paintquality.com or blog.paintquality.com.

 

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

 

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Exterior Homes

Every Type of Home Exterior Can Benefit from Top Quality Paint

May 2011

Philadelphia PA
-- There are so many exterior paints and coatings available today that choosing the right product can be confusing. But, according to the Paint Quality Institute, this is one decision you really don't need to fret over.

"By using a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you'll enjoy a variety of performance benefits, whether your home exterior is made of wood, aluminum siding, vinyl siding, or masonry," says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Institute.

Exterior home wood

Wood
When applied to a properly prepared wood exterior, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint can protect and beautify a home forupto 10 years or more, says Zimmer, far longer than ordinary paint. That makes it a great long-term investment

One reason for its durability is the excellent adhesion of 100% acrylic latex paint. By getting abetter "grip" on wood -- especially if it is primed beforehand – the paint resistspeeling and flaking. And since acrylic is also very elastic, the paint can stretch or shrink with the wood without suffering damage.


Exterior home siding

Aluminum Siding
While aluminum siding is very durable, the factory-applied color eventually tends to chalk and fade. According to Zimmer, applying a coat of top quality 100% acrylic paint can not only restore the appearance of the panels, but also provide superior resistance to the UV rays that cause chalking and fading.

Special additives in top quality paint offer another advantage when painting aluminum siding: They help the paint go on thick and uniform, with good "leveling". That's a technical way of saying that the paint will tend to duplicate the original appearance of the aluminum siding, be it smooth or textured.

Vinyl Siding
Although manufacturers often describe vinyl siding as "maintenance free," the surface can eventually become marred, discolored or chalky. Even if it doesn't, there may simply be a desire to change its color. In either case, there are two very important reasons to use top quality 100% acrylic latex paint on vinyl siding: the paint's excellent adhesion and its superior flexibility.

"Because vinyl siding has such a slick surface, you must use a paint with good adhesion to be sure it grabs onto the siding," says Zimmer. "You also need a paint that is flexible enough to 'move' with the panels when temperature changes cause them to expand and contract. Top quality paint satisfies both criteria."

Some top quality 100% acrylic latex paints are even made with reflective pigments that protect vinyl siding from the sun's UV rays, which forestalls fading. And, as with aluminum siding, the good leveling quality of top quality paint will mimic the smooth or textured profile of the vinyl panels.


Exterior home masonry

Masonry
If you want the best performance on stucco, concrete or any other masonry surface, there are a host of reasons to use top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. According to Zimmer, these paints offer excellent chalk resistance, which helps prevent
the color from fading, even where UV rays are strongest. "By contrast, a lesser paint can quickly fade under these conditions," she says.

Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints also have superior alkali resistance. Fresh masonry, in particular, is often so alkaline that it can "burn" some paints, changing the color and even deteriorating the paint film. By using a quality acrylic sealer and applying a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you can avoid these problems.

On aged masonry, top quality 100% acrylic latex paints offer still another advantage: resistance to efflorescence, a white, crusty powder that can ruin the appearance of any paint job.

So, whatever type of exterior you have on your home, don't sweat your paint selection. By choosing 100% acrylic latex paint, you'll get some great benefits that will protect your home and keep it looking freshly-painted for years to come.

For more information, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com or its blog at blog.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

 

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Color Decor App Screenshots

Best Paint Offers the Best Return on Investment
Economics Favor the Highest Quality Paint

April 2011

Philadelphia PA
-- Philadelphia--In times of economic stress, we all look for ways to cut back on expenses.  But if you’re thinking about having a contractor apply a cheap paint to the exterior of your home, you may want to reconsider.  A careful analysis shows that in the long run, it’s actually less expensive to apply the very best quality paint, despite its higher initial cost.

Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute, explains:  “Most of the cost of exterior painting goes for labor, not for paint.  Paying somewhat more for top quality paint won’t greatly increase the overall cost of the job, but the better performance you get will greatly extend its life.” Exterior home

In fact, field tests at the Paint Quality Institute show that while ordinary exterior paint lasts about four years, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint can last 10 years or more when applied to a properly prepared surface, resulting in a lower cost per year of service.  That explains how you can save money by spending more for better paint.

To make the point clearer, Zimmer offers an example for an average-size, single story home:  Labor cost for painting would typically be about $2,500, regardless of the type of paint that is applied.  About 20 gallons of paint would be needed for a two-coat paint job.    

Contractor PaintingIf an ordinary paint were used, costing $25 a gallon, the cost for the 20 gallons of paint would be $500.  Add in $2,500 for labor, and the total cost of the job would be $3,000. Assuming, as the field tests show, that the job will last 4 years, the cost per year of service would be $750

Now assume that top quality100% acrylic latex paint was used instead of ordinary exterior paint.  At a cost of perhaps $50 a gallon, the cost for 20 gallons of paint would be $1,000.  The labor would again be $2,500, and the total cost of the job would be $3,500, just a little higher than before.  But, since this paint job is likely to last 10 years or more, the cost per year of service would be only $350, less than half the yearly cost of the “economy” paint job.

Zimmer says that even this example may not tell the whole story.  If your house needs repair work or extensive surface preparation prior to painting, the labor component could be much higher, producing an even greater return on an investment in top quality paint.

“Plus, professional painters might charge higher rates in your area, further skewing the math in favor of the highest quality, longest-lasting paint,” she says.

Bottom line:  By spending more up front for top quality paint, you can stretch the life of your paint job and end up saving a lot of money.  As a bonus, you’ll avoid the hassle and inconvenience of repainting again after only a few years.

To learn more about exterior painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com, or its blog at blog.paintquality.com.

 

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Color Decor App Screenshots

"Tap" Into Expert Paint Color Advice With The Paint Quality Institute's (SM) new iPhone ® App

March 2011

Philadelphia PA
-- Philadelphia—Red, blue, yellow or green? Paint color is one of the most profound and powerful ways to shape our surroundings. It can be used to quickly change the appearance of a room, to brighten spirits or turn a plain area into a warm and welcoming space. Debbie Zimmer, PQI's paint and color expert states, "Our new Color Décor app can help create an impressive transformation of a single room or your entire home. Homeowners will enjoy the beautiful images that provide decorating inspiration."

Color Decor will help you understand the basics of color - and, maybe more importantly, it can help you make the right choices when painting. This exciting app includes many room visuals and easy to read information as well an overview of decorating with color.

With a simple free download, this app is sure to become your favorite at-home color expert! For quick and simple access, visit www.paintquality.com and click on Color Decor app.

For more information on paint color and affordable remodeling with paint, visit www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here to view screenshots that accompany the release.

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Psychology Of Color Is Helpful In Choosing Interior Paint Schemes

February 2011

Woman holding paint bucket of moneyPhiladelphia PA
-- Skillful interior decorating is largely an artistic endeavor, but there’s some science involved also, and none more important than the psychology of color.

“Color psychology can help you choose paint colors that create the right mood in a room, affecting not just your own feelings, but those of everyone who enters it,” according to Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.  “In fact, paint color is so powerful that it can influence our state of mind, and even our physiology,” she says.

“The ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and many other peoples used color to heal.  In doing so, they often favored the blues and greens found in nature, colors that have an emotional association with peace, harmony, and tranquility.  In these trying economic times, paint colors in these same hues can help calm our nerves at home,” says Zimmer. 

 

Blue, which often ranks at the top of surveys exploring “favorite” colors, has been shown to slow pulse rate and lower body temperature.  The implications for interior painting:  blue is a terrific color choice for bedrooms, but less so for dining rooms, according to Zimmer.

Green, also one of the most popular colors, is a little more versatile.  While it, too, has a soothing effect, it also represents renewal, youth, and vigor.  Says Zimmer:  “Because it is calming, green paint is a good color choice for bedrooms, and since it’s the color of many appetizing fruits and vegetables, it can work in dining rooms, too.”

There’s no equivocation with red.  It bespeaks energy and excitement, actually raising the blood pressure and making the heart beat faster.  Because it is associated with desire and passion, it’s a perfect paint color for dining rooms and adult bedrooms, says Zimmer, but wrong for children’s rooms.  Yet, ironically, pink – a very light tint of red – is one of the most calming colors, and is a fine choice for a baby’s room, she says.

Yellow is a great interior paint color.  Like sunshine, it imparts happiness, hope, and optimism.  Studies have shown that the brain actually releases more seratonin when the eye takes in yellow – creating positive psychological vibes.  According to Zimmer, yellow can even stir our creative juices.  What better color to use in a master bath or dinette to get your day off on the right foot?

Orange is a happy color, too.  More attention-getting than yellow, orange has an energy and warmth about it.  Muddy shades are useful in many parts of the home, but vivid tones may appear raw and flamboyant.  Zimmer’s advice:  “Orange is clearly not the color of calm, so it’s best to bypass it when painting a bedroom or any other area where you want to relax.”

Purple is a tricky paint color wherever it’s used, but it’s the overwhelming favorite of adolescent girls, according to Zimmer.  She suggests that you reserve use of this color for your daughter’s room to create a win-win situation:  “Odds are, she’ll love it, and you can take comfort in purple’s proven ability to stimulate brain activity,” she says.

No discussion of paint color would be complete without mentioning the “non-colors”, black (the absence of light, and thus, color) and white (the confluence of all the colors in the spectrum).

According to Zimmer, black is a great accent color indoors or out, imparting elegance, formality, and sophistication to a paint color scheme.  But don’t get carried away with it, she cautions. Too much black can be depressing.  

White, on the other hand, conveys peace, simplicity, and spaciousness.  It can provide a crisp finish to almost any paint job by adding sharp contrast to the wall color.  Used throughout a room, it can give the illusion that the space is bigger than its physical dimensions. 

“Color psychology should play a role when selecting an interior paint scheme, but it’s only one factor to consider,” says Zimmer.  “Personal color preference should be given at least as much weight. 

“No one will spend more time in your home than you will,” says Zimmer, “so choose colors that you love, and you won’t go wrong.”

 

100% Acrylic Latex

100% Acrylic Latex

100% Acrylic Latex

For more information on paint color and affordable remodeling with paint, visit www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Interior Painting is like Money in the Bank

January 2011

Woman holding paint bucket of moneyPhiladelphia PA
-- Trying to decide whether to do some home remodeling this year or leave your money in the bank? You can do both if you remodel with paint.

"The cost of do-it-yourself interior painting is so low, it's almost like remodeling without touching your bank account," says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute.

The key, of course, is investing some sweat equity.

"While a professional painter might charge up to $500 or more to paint a room, if you're willing to provide the labor, you can complete the job for a small fraction of that amount," says Zimmer.

Looked at another way, do-it-yourself interior painting is a great way to "earn" money. Since painting a room is usually a two-day proposition, if a contractor-applied paint job costs $500 in your area, you're essentially paying yourself $250 a day to paint!

Absent the labor cost, do-it-yourself interior painting is downright thrifty. Your only outlay is for paint, application equipment like brushes and rollers, and some miscellaneous expenses for things like tape and a drop-cloth. Total cost? "Less than $100 a room," says Zimmer. That's little more than pocket-change in today's remodeling world.

Whether you've decided to do your own interior painting to save money or simply to have a hand in beautifying your home, Zimmer offers some tips:


"Take the time to properly prepare the walls and other surfaces before starting to paint," she says. "That means cleaning them with a solution of detergent and water, after which they should be rinsed and allowed to dry. If there are any cracks or holes in the walls, this is the time to repair them with spackling compound or a good-quality acrylic caulk."

Zimmer also recommends using only high quality brushes and rollers. "These will help you apply the paint more evenly to get professional-looking results, even if this is your first time painting," she says.

When applying latex paints, be sure to use brushes and rollers with synthetic bristles and covers. According to Zimmer, the brushes will maintain the proper stiffness and the rollers will maintain their shape even when exposed to a lot of water.

Lastly, Zimmer recommends that do-it-yourselfers buy only top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paints, which she describes as "the do-it-yourselfer's best friend".

"If you're going to spend time and effort doing your own interior painting, you want the job to last, and that's where these paints really pay off," she says. "Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints are extremely durable, plus they resist fading, so your paint job will look great for years to come."

So if you think you're up to the job, put yourself to work doing your own interior painting. You'll be rewarded not just with the money you save, but also with the satisfaction of a job well done.

 

prepare the surface cleaning suppliesTop Quality

100% Acrylic Latex

For more tips on saving time and money when doing interior painting, Zimmer suggests that you invest a few minutes checking out the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Affordable Remodeling Drives Paint Color Direction

October 2010

multi colored exterior homePhiladelphia PA
-- Individual style, mixed with budget-conscious decorating, will drive 2011 paint color trends, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

“There's no escaping the state of the economy, even for homeowners who want to beautify their homes,” says Zimmer. “Rather than diving into large-scale renovation projects, in the coming year, consumers will search for inexpensive ways to freshen and update their homes. Many will conclude that painting is the perfect solution.”

By incorporating a few new paint colors, either as accent walls or throughout a room, consumers will be able to enhance their living spaces economically with paint, she says.

Zimmer shares three likely color directions for 2011:

Back to Basics
According to Zimmer, “Neutrals provide versatility and allow homeowners to quickly change the look of a room just by adding a few new accessories, without spending time and money to remodel or repaint again. This is the ultimate in practical remodeling, and the time is ripe for it.”

Warm whites, tawny tans, “barely-there” coral, and green are some of the colors that will find their way into countless kitchens, bedrooms, and baths, she predicts. 

“Well Worn” Hues
Like a pair of favorite jeans, blue will grow in popularity as not just a wall color but also as a ceiling choice.  “Well Worn Hues” are represented by blues across the spectrum, from denim dark to blue-grey. 

“Since most blues tend to be calming colors, this hue helps to create a perfect retreat from many of life's stresses,” says Zimmer.  “As a secondary or complementary hue, yellow or yellow-green adds a bit of ‘spunk' when used in family spaces,” she says.

Well Worn Hues is useful for any room in the house.

Shimmer and Shine
For thrifty consumers looking for a bit of sparkle, higher paint sheens and metallic finishes are on the radar for 2011.  Don't be surprised to see spaces such as hallways and living areas painted in a very glossy hue, from top to bottom.  Zimmer adds, “More gloss means more reflectivity which means more light. Gloss can subtly create a brighter, more upbeat mood in a home, but at the same time, it adds style and pizzazz.”

Dining rooms and master bed and bath spaces are the perfect areas for this sophisticated choice. 

Coupled with the “high shine” trend, gold will return as both an in-demand paint hue and as a key metallic choice.

Zimmer concludes, “Paint color is a homeowner's best decorating tool. You can change the appearance, the perception of size and even the perception of temperature, through the simple use of paint color.”

 

Exterior painted shutters10-point checklistExterior painted shutters

For more tips on saving time and money when doing interior painting, Zimmer suggests that you invest a few minutes checking out the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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How to Repaint a Room in a Weekend: 10 Tips to Save You Time (and Money)

September 2010
multi colored exterior home

Philadelphia - Recent surveys reveal that consumers will be doing a lot of remodeling this year. But with the sluggish economy, many are opting for do-it-yourself projects to squeeze the most out of their budgets. One of the most common undertakings: interior painting. “Nearly everyone agrees that some jobs – like reroofing or electrical work – are best left to the pros, but most people think they can do their own painting,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “And, generally speaking, they're right.”

According to Zimmer, many people regard painting as a weekend project. As such, they want to see the fruits of their labor by Sunday night. “That's a realistic goal, but to achieve it, you have to plan out the job and be well-organized,” she says.

If your organizational skills leave something to be desired, Zimmer offers some suggestions:

 

  1. Get all of your furniture out of the way by moving it to the center of the room, using plastic sliders on heavy items so you don't have to lift them. Cover everything with plastic, blankets, or old sheets. Then, put down drop-cloths to protect your floors from stray droplets of paint.

  2. Scrub all the surfaces you'll be painting with a sponge and mild household detergent solution before going to the paint store. That will give them time to dry while you're out shopping.

  3. Making multiple trips to the paint store can consume gobs of time, so try to do all of your shopping in just one visit. Before leaving your home, see what painting tools and accessories you have on hand, then create a shopping list. . . or save even more time by going to www.paintquality.com to download a helpful checklist.

  4. Buy technologically-advanced top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint. These durable paints often hide the color that's underneath quickly and effectively, saving you not only time and effort, but money as well.

  5. Tape the edges of the surfaces you'll be painting to enable you to apply the paint faster. You'll quickly recover the time spent doing this. And taping will make your finished paint job look a lot neater.

  6. Work “top down”: paint the ceiling; then the walls; next, the windows and trim; and, lastly, the baseboards. Following this sequence will help keep just-painted surfaces free of paint spatter or drip marks and cut down time spent on touch-up work.

  7. When painting a ceiling or wall, start by “cutting in” a corner section with a paintbrush, applying a 3” band of paint around the edge. This will enable you to quickly fill in the area with a paint roller. Repeat this process in 3-foot increments.

  8. Apply the paint liberally. Trying to “stretch” your paint by applying a thin coat is false economy: You might end up needing a second coat to completely hide the original color.

  9. Assuming that you purchased top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, your cleanup will be a snap. Being water-based, these paints can be quickly and easily cleaned off of brushes and rollers with plain soap and water.

  10. The last time-saver when using top quality latex paint? Not having to wait for the “paint smell” to go away. Eco-friendly latex paints have very little odor, so you can put a freshly-painted room back into service right away.

Exterior painted shutters10-point checklistExterior painted shuttersExterior painted shutters

For more tips on saving time and money when doing interior painting, Zimmer suggests that you invest a few minutes checking out the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com.

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

 

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Painting Key Features of Home Exterior an Affordable Remodeling Option

July 2010
multi colored exterior home

Philadelphia - Painting the exterior of a home can be a time-consuming and expensive proposition. But if you are budget-minded -- and who isn't these days -- don't despair. “A little ingenuity can go a long way towards giving your home a beautiful facelift, without breaking the bank,” says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Paint Quality Institute.

According to Zimmer, most of the time and cost of repainting is spent on the walls.  Yet, on most homes, the walls are basically a canvas against which the more interesting architectural elements are showcased:  the doors, shutters, accents, and trim.  That is where the eye goes when looking at a home.  It also is where you may want to invest your precious remodeling dollars. . . assuming that your whole house isn't screaming for a paint job.

To make the most of your efforts, take time to think through your home beautification project.  Zimmer suggests that you walk around your neighborhood, see which color combinations you like on homes similar to yours, and note how others have used color to highlight their home's best features.

“Then, look at your own home from the curb or across the street.  Identify the elements that are most interesting – maybe you have an unusual front door or entryway, or maybe some of the ‘fretwork' or trim is especially ornate.  Painting those areas will provide the most bang for your buck in terms of aesthetics,” says Zimmer.Exterior painted shutters

Next, says Zimmer, make a visit to your local paint retailer or decorating center and select color cards that resemble the hues you liked on your neighbors' homes, or that you find especially appealing.  When you get the cards home, envision those paint colors on your home's special features.  Exterior painted shutters

To draw more attention to certain architectural elements, you might want to paint them in a bold color or one that contrasts with your walls.  On the other hand, painting your doors, accents and trim in a tint or shade that is muted or complementary to your walls may giveyour home a more subtle, dignified look.  Either way, a fresh coat of paint on just a few areas will add plenty of style for a modest investment.

Even if you are painting only a few of your home's exterior features, you should still follow four basic rules to get the best results, according to Zimmer:

Preparing the exterior surface

Rule #1: Take Time to Properly Prepare the Surface.

Before doing any painting, make sure it is free of dirt and “chalk”. Since you won't be painting the whole house, you can simply scrub the surfaces by hand using plain soap and water, then rinse thoroughly. Next, remove any loose, flaking or peeling paint by scraping, sanding or wire-brushing. Finally, brush off the dust and get ready to paint.


Rule #2: Use Top Quality Exterior Paint.

If there is one rule that you don't want to violate, this is it, says Zimmer. For almost all exterior paint projects, the best paint to use is a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. It may cost a little more, but this type of paint has superior adhesion, so it will grip onto the surface tenaciously – that, in turn, will help prevent blistering, flaking, and peeling in the future. And since 100% acrylic latex paint is also flexible, it will help prevent paint failures in a second way – by expanding and contracting with the surface below when outside temperatures rise and fall.


Rule #3: Use High Quality Brushes and Tools.


According to Zimmer, painting with high quality tools will make it easier to apply a thicker, more uniform coat of paint to produce a better-looking paint job. Brushes should be springy and well-balanced. When working with latex paints, be sure that your brushes and rollers are made of synthetic materials, says Zimmer; these will tend to hold their shape regardless of the amount of water they are exposed to.


Rule #4: Paint in the Right Weather Conditions.

Doing your painting in moderate conditions will help the paint form a tough, protective film that will keep your architectural elements looking freshly painted for years to come.  Ideally, you should paint on a day that is not too windy, when the temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees.  It is also best to avoid painting surfaces when the sun is beating down on them:  surface temperatures can be up to 20 degrees hotter than air temps, and that could adversely affect the paint's film formation.

Today's challenging economy demands that homeowners be smart and resourceful when it comes to remodeling.  If you want to give your home a fresh new look without blowing your budget, think about doing selective painting of your home's special features.  It's a great way to go.

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Five Easy, Inexpensive Paint Projects to Quickly Beautify Your Home
bright colored exterior home

June 2010

Philadelphia -When time and money are in short supply, it's hard to think about big remodeling projects.  But with a little imagination and a small outlay for top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you can quickly make big changes in the appearance of your home's interior or exterior. Here are five ways to economically remodel with paint. 

Whatever interior or exterior home painting project you undertake, use a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint.  These paints have superior “hiding” capability when painting over dark colors, they are stain-and mildew-resistant, many function as both primer and paint, and best of all they offer tremendous durability, so your paint job will continue to look great for years to come.

bright colored exterior home


Idea #1

Paint just an accent wall.  Instead of painting an entire room, consider painting just one wall in a different color.  A so-called accent wall can add visual interest to any space and create an opportunity to introduce another hue into your color scheme.

 

 

 

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Idea #2

Paint the area above (or below) a chair rail.  If your home is blessed with chair rails, think about repainting just the wall area above or below the rail.  The natural break created by the trim provides a convenient boundary for the new paint color.

 

 

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Idea #3

Paint just the interior windows and trim.  Another option is to stick with your wall color, but paint your windows, molding, and trim.  This can produce dramatic change in almost any room, but especially in those where the walls are painted in a neutral color like beige or off-white.

 

 

 

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Idea #4
Paint the front door.  Ask any realtor and he or she will tell you that the front entrance is what creates the first impression about a home.  By adding a fresh coat of paint to the door, you can ensure that first impression will be favorable.  (Note to those who are selling a home:  Repainting the front door may be the best investment you ever make.)

 

 

 

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Idea #5

Paint just a few exterior architectural details.  Even if you don't have to paint your home exterior for maintenance reasons, you might want to consider painting a few architectural details for appearance sake.  Shutters are one possibility.  But if you are lucky enough to own a house with some ornamental fretwork, flaunt it by painting the trim in a strong color that contrasts with the color of your exterior walls.  

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One Home Remodeling Project You Can Afford To Do Now

May 2010bright colored exterior home

Philadelphia - If you're like most of us, the “Great Recession” has probably had a major impact on both your spending habits and your lifestyle. You might be doing more of your shopping at discount stores, vacationing nearby (if you're vacationing at all), and postponing plans to improve your home.

When it comes to home remodeling, however, you may not want to throw in the towel entirely. According to Debbie Zimmer at the Paint Quality Institute, there's one project that's still affordable for nearly everyone: interior painting. What's more, it is one of the very few home improvements that can be done successfully even by those with little or no experience.

Zimmer shares, “When you consider the low cost coupled with the simplicity of repainting, and the dramatic difference that a fresh coat of paint can make in the appearance -- and enjoyment -- of any room, rather than postpone remodeling, you just may want to put this project at the top of your to-do list!”

 

Dollars and Sense

The economics of interior painting are hard to beat, especially when compared to other remodeling options. Let's say your kitchen or bath is in need of an overhaul. You can spend $20,000, $30,000, or even more to entirely redo the space, or you can give the room a totally new look and feel for a small fraction of that amount by simply repainting.bright colored exterior home

Here's the lowdown on cost: A gallon of the highest quality interior latex paint will cover approximately 400 square feet of wall space (about enough to repaint a typical 12' by 15' room that has a window or two). Add in the cost of some high quality rollers and brushes, and the entire makeover could be completed for less than $100, well within the most modest budget.

If you wanted to splurge, you could do an even more exciting makeover and still keep the cost in the $100-range. For example, you could purchase a second color of paint to apply to just one of your walls for added punch or drama. Or, you could choose to paint your windows and trim in a contrasting or complementary color to give your room a completely new appearance.

After giving it some thought, you might find that a fresh coat of paint is all that's needed to get the new look you were seeking when you first considered redoing the room.

Sweat Equity

Of course, this type of rock bottom remodeling does assume that you'll spend a little sweat equity on the project. The good news is that successful interior painting is a skill quickly learned and long remembered.

If you choose to move forward with repainting, take time to properly prepare the walls and other surfaces before picking up a brush or roller. This will help ensure that the new paint adheres well and that the finished job will be smooth, uniform, and long-lasting. bright colored exterior home

Thoroughly clean the surfaces by scrubbing them with a sponge and mild household detergent solution to remove accumulated dust, dirt and grime. Stubborn stains, like oil or grease, can be cleaned with a solution of equal parts ammonia and water; a bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water) is effective in removing mildew. (Note: Do not mix ammonia and bleach together, as they may produce noxious fumes.) After rinsing off the cleaning solutions, allow the surfaces to dry completely.

If your walls are like most, they may need some minor repairs before painting. You can quickly remedy cracks or seams in wallboard or plaster with caulk, drywall compound, or spackling paste. If you use caulk, choose a top quality water-based all-acrylic or siliconized acrylic variety that can be painted; paint will not adhere to silicone caulk.

Assuming that you are also painting the windows or trim, inspect the surfaces for cracked, chipped or peeling paint. Should you find any, use a scraper to remove as much loose or peeling paint as possible, then sand the edges to a smooth finish. If any bare wood is exposed, spot-prime with an acrylic latex interior primer. Large holes in plaster or wallboard can also be easily repaired. For detailed instructions, visit one of the leading websites on paints and painting such as www.paintquality.com.

Prime Investment

If you purchase a top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint, you probably won't need to spend time applying a primer to your walls. That's because many of these paints act as both primer and paint.

However, in some circumstances, it may still be advisable to invest in a specialty primer as a first coat.bright colored exterior home

Specially formulated stain-blocking primers are made to protect the new coat of paint from “bleed through” of staining matter such as embedded dirt, grease, ink or crayon marks, rust, or smoke residue. If your walls are messy or marred even after cleaning them, you might want to consider applying this type of primer as a fail-safe before you paint.

Another specialty primer that is useful in special circumstances is a “vapor barrier” primer. These undercoats are often applied in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas that tend to be damp and humid. Their purpose is to minimize the passage of moisture through the walls to help prevent the failure of your exterior paint. Vapor barrier primers also help maintain a comfortable level of indoor humidity in colder months.

Remember that all latex coatings – primers or paints -- are much lower in odor than oil-based finishes, making them far more pleasant to work with and to live with indoors. Plus, they are much kinder to the environment.

Blue-chip Paint

While interior painting allows you to scrimp on your remodeling budget, one place you don't want to scrimp is on the quality of paint you use, according to the Paint Quality Institute. True, the best quality paints will cost a few dollars more per gallon, but they'll typically provide many more years of superior performance.bright colored exterior home

Compared to ordinary paints, top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paints are much easier to work with. They go on easier, resist spattering, and tend not to show brush marks.

These paints also have better “hiding” characteristics, which is especially important when painting over a darker color. That capability, and the single-coat paint-and-primer performance you'll get with these paints will save you the time, work, and money that would otherwise be needed to apply a second coat.

Top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paints also are tougher and more durable than ordinary paints, which you'll appreciate in high traffic locations or in any location where there are little ones around. These paints resist fading, yellowing, and staining, and even if they do get spotted or stained, discoloration can often be washed off without damaging the finish.

(Paint) Investment Advisors

If you're ready to take the affordable remodeling plunge by doing your own interior painting, you're not alone. More and more people are doing it. And if you've never picked up a paintbrush or roller before, take heart: Help is close at hand.

For expert advice, start by visiting www.paintquality.com, the official website of the Paint Quality Institute. Spending a short time on the website will help to educate and inspire you to undertake the one remodeling project almost everyone can afford: beautifying your home with interior painting.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Break out the Brushes!
Great Exteriors Start With Great Painting Tips

April 2010bright colored exterior home

Philadelphia - After a long cold winter, many homeowners are beginning to think about their home's exterior appearance. Decks, doors, and siding may benefit from a fresh coat of paint to update their appearance and protect the surface. And, no matter what material is on the exterior of your home, a dash of color provides added punch and protection!

According to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Paint Quality Institute(SM), it doesn't matter if your home is a traditional colonial, a classic cottage or contemporary ranch style, a brightly painted front door will welcome both family and friends. Zimmer suggests, “This year, why not go from drab to dramatic, simply by sprucing up your entranceway. Try paint colors in cherry red, bright yellow or spectacular black to highlight and define the front door.” In addition, while painting, don't forget the window shutters. Shutters can be painted the same hue as your door or can be an exciting complementary color. “Set against a neutral palette home, a splash of color on your doors and shutters will certainly make a statement,” offers Zimmer.

Another exterior area that can benefit from a dose of color is your outdoor entertainment spot, whether porch, patio or deck. Incorporate a multi-hued palette instead of the more commonly used monochromatic scheme. This bold use of color can enhance and improve your home's overall curb appeal.

And don't forget those railings, light posts and mailbox. A fresh coat of paint on these exterior surfaces will not only improve your home's overall appearance but offer protection as well.

No matter where you might paint this spring, remember to follow these simple but important steps:

  1. Prepare and clean the surface prior to painting
  2. Purchase a top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint
  3. Use quality paint brushes and rollers
  4. Paint in the appropriate weather conditions

Finally, download the new “Paint Remedy” app, a free and easy-to-use handy tool which provides homeowners with handy tips that allows both do-it-yourselfers and professional painters to indentify and correct old paint problems before picking up a brush or roller.

For detailed information on exterior paints and painting, visit www.paintquality.com, where a great paint job begins.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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“Tap” Into Expert Painting Advice With
The Paint Quality Institute'sSM new iPhone ® App

February 2010Paint Remedy App Free Download


Philadelphia - Not sure what types of paint problems you might be facing this spring? The new “Paint Remedy” iPhone application is a free and easy-to-use handy tool that allows both do-it-yourselfers and professional painters to indentify and correct old paint problems before picking up a brush or roller. Debbie Zimmer, PQI's paint and color expert states, “By simply gliding across the images or scrolling through the paint problem list, homeowners can instantly learn what steps to take to ensure a long-lasting quality paint job, both inside and out.”

 

 

 

 

Paint Remedy Allows You To:Paint Remedy iPhone App Screenshot

  1. See actual images of paint or surface problems

  2. Identify both interior and exterior paint problems, with a simple image view.

  3. Learn how to solve and prevent paint or surface problems from reoccurring


With a simple download, this app is sure to become your favorite at-home paint expert! For quick and simple access, visit www.paintquality.com and click on “Paint Remedy” app.

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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It's A Brand New Year! Make it Look Like One,
With Fresh Ideas from the Paint Quality InstituteSM

January 2010Orange Ceiling


Philadelphia - Black or taupe, wine or white?  “Transforming your home from ‘last year' to ‘New Year' with a new paint color is one of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to achieve quick design impact,” said Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Paint Quality Institute.  “A gallon of paint and the right painting tools are all that stand between a space that's ‘drab and dreary' and one that's ‘bright and cheery.' Or, if subtle is more your style, some of the newest neutral tones can add lots of comfort and flair.” 

Whatever color best suits your unique personality, Debbie adds, remember that a fresh coat of wall paint is a wonderful backdrop for furnishings or fabrics -- if not the room statement wholly on its own.   Zimmer shares, “And unlike many other types of home improvement projects, painting can be completed year-round, with minimal cost and minimal time.” 

So, Debbie emphasizes, this weekend is the perfect time to start the year right—dramatically renewing your space, from the kitchen to living area, from bedroom to bath, with a fresh new hue for 2010! 

 

good morning Five Quick Tips from the Paint Quality Institute:

  1. Not much time? Paint an interior accent wall with a dramatic new color. 

  2. Look up and say “Goodbye” to boring ceilings.

  3. Who made the rule that all trim must be white?  Break the rule, and create a classic monochromatic feel by painting baseboards and moldings the same hue as the walls, but with a higher sheen.

  4. Ready to wall-mount that new  flat panel for the playoffs? Take a moment and add some bold color to the wall behind it. Your view of the games will be “picture-perfect” when it's framed with the right color.

  5. Who's got  paint leftover?  Put it to work, and delight your overlooked closet or pantry with the “pizzazz” of a new paint job.

To read more on 2010 paint color trends and tips, visit www.paintquality.com, where a great paint job begins. 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.


Color Trends 2010
It's All About Time

September 2009Orange Ceiling

Philadelphia, PA - Color trends for 2010 take inspiration from a variety of social and economic influences. In addition, living space personalization continues to act as a driver for color change with accent walls or niche areas appropriate for small doses of high impact, bold color while using more subtle hues on broad wall areas.

Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Paint Quality InstituteSM states, “More and more homeowners are taking on the task of simple home projects to save money and improve their current space. Conversely, others are sprucing up in preparation for placing their home on the market.”

Regardless of the purpose, a fresh coat of paint remains one of the most economical ways to accomplish all three. No matter what paint color is used, homeowners continue to strive for comfortable, tranquil home environments.

 

good morningGood Morning
Zimmer shares, “While over-the-top renovations aren't the norm today, handy homeowners are tackling small manageable home improvements, such as the addition of a morning kitchen to a bedroom or home office.”

With consumers continued desire to create both warm and functional spaces the Good Morning palette consists of hues that are fresh, clean and comfortable.

Color Recommendations
Honey-like hues such as tan or pale gold
Coral
Yellow
Mineral Grey

 

 

 

good nightGood Night
“The inspiration for the Good Night palette comes from above—the ceiling”, offers Zimmer. Why sleep beneath a lackluster white canopy? Wrap any space with constant color by painting the ceiling in a tint, tone or shade of the wall color or add a softer touch by paring pastel hues. She continues, “From pastels to deep-tones, Good Night hues, as you might expect, are especially useful in bedrooms and baths or to “warm-up” a family space.”

Color Recommendations
Pastel hues, particularly pale blue or shell pink for ceilings
Midnight blue
Eggplant Wine

 

 

 

 

good byeGood Bye
Home staging continues to grow in popularity as property owners look for home sale assistance. Zimmer states, “The Good Bye palette reflects an assortment of simplistic hues that work across a variety of spaces creating a welcoming first impression and suitable backdrop for any living area.”

Whether you're saying good-bye to one home or hello to another, this classic palette is suitable for all areas and is an especially good choice for foyers, kitchens and family living spaces.

Color Recommendations
Khaki pared with crisp white
Mid-toned Blues
Off-White
Bisque Black

Zimmer concludes, “No matter which hue attracts attention this year, consumers continue to have an increased appreciation for paint quality and value.” And, why not? It remains a personal choice for a personal space—it's about time.

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.


Helpful Painting Steps for First-Time Home Buyers
Tips from the Paint Quality InstituteSM

August 2009

Beautiful Stained DeckPhiladelphia, PA - Prior experience is essential when tackling many home improvement projects. But not so with interior painting. Even first-time painters can get super results when painting their newly purchased house, condo or apartment...and have a lot of fun in the process. Whether personalizing an entire new living space or updating one room at a time, paint is the do-it-yourselfer's best decorating tool.

Like building a wardrobe, selecting a paint palette for your living space is a great form of personal expression. But be aware that the shade of paint you see on a color card - or even in the paint can - may look a lot different when applied to an entire room. To avoid surprises, follow these handy tips:

 

 

  1. semi-transparent deck stainDon't make your final color selection in the store; instead, take color cards home so you can see them right in the space that will be painted.

  2. Evaluate the paint colors in daylight and under artificial light at night. Colors can change quite dramatically in different lighting conditions.

  3. Remember that colors tend to intensify when applied to a large area. To compensate, it is often wise to choose a lighter value of a color, rather than a darker one.

  4. When you go to purchase your paint, the counterperson will likely ask which “gloss level” you'd prefer. Paints come in a variety of sheen or gloss levels ranging from “high gloss” (the shiniest) to “flat” (virtually no shine). Those with higher gloss reflect more light, so they can make a room look brighter. On the other hand, higher gloss paints also tend to highlight surface imperfections, so if your walls and other surfaces are not in the best of shape, a flat paint might be the better option.

  5. Color and sheen aside, the most important decision you'll make in the paint store is the quality of paint you purchase. Top quality paints provide superior adhesion, offer better stain resistance, and resist yellowing. They also are tougher and more durable than ordinary paints, so they'll keep a paint job looking great for a longer period of time. Bottom line: Don't skimp on quality.

  6. Opaque Deck StainBefore you le ave the paint store, make sure that you have the right tools and brushes to do the job. Here again, quality counts — high quality brushes and rollers apply the paint more smoothly and evenly than economy-grade equipment. In addition, quality tools apply a heavier coat of paint that will help hide the color below, be more durable, and stand up better to cleaning and scrubbing.

  7. Once you bring your purchases home, you'll be tempted to start painting right away, but most walls and woodwork need to be cleaned first to help the paint adhere better. You can remove dust, dirt and grime with a simple detergent and water solution, after which you should rinse the surface clean and allow it to dry. If nail holes are present, they can be plugged with filling compound. Small cracks can be filled with a quality acrylic latex caulk.

  8. Applying paint to interior walls is as simple as “framing” them by painting the outside edges with a brush, then filling in the center with your roller. An effective way to do this is to roll on the paint in a large “W” or “M” pattern, then fill it in, working in various directions.

  9. Opaque Deck Stain
  10. When you're done painting, protect your investment in the brushes and rollers by cleaning and storing them properly.

  11. Always take safety precautions while painting. That means, among other things, not climbing a ladder any higher than the third rung from the top, making sure all stepstools are sturdy and locked into position before use, and wearing the proper eye and skin protection while preparing the surface and painting.

 

 

Editor's note: Click here for hi-res downloadable images that accompany the release.

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Answers to All Your Painting Questions are Just a Click Away
Paintquality.com - Where a Great Paint Job Begins

July 2009

paintquality.comPhiladelphia, PA - When is it too cold or hot to paint? Can I paint my vinyl siding and what about staining my deck? If I paint my dining room blue, what color should I paint my kitchen? How do I eliminate mildew? What are the latest in color trends and design? Before you pick up a paintbrush, visit the Paint Quality Institute's newly designed website - www.paintquality.com. This comprehensive site is full of information that can assist homeowners as well as seasoned professional painters.

The Paint Quality Institute's paint and color expert, Debbie Zimmer states, “Paint is the most economical way to transform an interior space or to protect the exterior of a home. First-time do-it-yourself homebuyers will find our information straightforward and easy to understand, while professional painters who have a wealth of experience, will stay on the cutting edge of technology and trends.”

A few of the site enhancements include:

nav

Easy navigation - find what you're looking for faster, including solutions to common paint problems.

PQI Blog

The addition of PQI's “Brush Strokes Blog” - share your painting experience and learn from others.

Paint Can

Monthly on-line color and design newsletters -- paint information direct to you.

Zimmer offers, “If you have the know-how and learn the tips for obtaining a great finish, painting is the fastest, easiest way to create a big impact in home environments. With the redesign of paintquality.com, that information is only a click away.”

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Low Cost Options for High Style Improvements
Paint and Color Tips from the Paint Quality Institute

April 2009Deck

Philadelphia, PA–As the summer season approaches, decks are the entertaining space of choice for many homeowners. However, before you pull out that table and umbrella, think about re-energizing this space with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Debbie Zimmer, color and paint expert with the Paint Quality Institute says, “Not only will you enhance this often-used exterior “room”, but you will also protect the actual wood surface and by protecting the surface, your deck will last longer.”

Zimmer adds, “While browns and grey continue to be favorite color selections when painting or staining a deck, homeowners are increasingly choosing combinations that suit their home or decorating style.” If you're not quite ready to add multiple hues to the entire space, add a punch of color by incorporating complementary or bold and bright colors onto railings, planter boxes, built-in benches or even deck trellises.
Remember, when it comes to painting your deck, you have plenty of option s to harmonize or complement your outdoor surroundings.

semi-transparent stain

1.  A coat of semi-transparent stain can be a great way to spruce up a wooden deck. It lets you add some color to the wood without hiding its grain or texture.

Opaque deck stain

2.  If viewing the wood grain is not a high priority, an opaque deck stain can be a better choice. These products, which can be oil based or latex, are more like paints in their pigmentation and so typically hold up longer than a semi transparent stain.

Painted Deck

3.  Of course, if you don’t want to show either the grain or the texture of the wood, a quality porch and deck paint or enamel may be the way to go. It will last longer than any type of stain although you may need to use a primer for best results.

Editor's note: Click here for a zipped filed containing hi-res images that accompany the release.

 

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Interior Paint Problems
Spruce Up this Spring
A Primer on Exterior Painting

Philadelphia, PA–Many homeowners are planning spring improvement projects and often at the top of the list is exterior painting.  Debbie Zimmer with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute states, “To achieve picture perfect results from your exterior paint job, follow these four simple and economical steps.”

Scrub the surface

1.  Prepare the Surface.

Before you begin painting, make sure the surface is clean and sound.  Even the best quality paints will fail if they are applied to a poorly prepared surface.  First, remove any mildew with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water then rinse with clean water.  Wear eye and skin protection, and protect nearby plantings. 

Next, make sure the surface is free of any loose, flaking or peeling paint.  This may require scraping and sanding.  Also, sand any glossy areas to dull them.  Power wash the entire surface to remove dirt and chalk, rinse with clean water. 

Finally, prime any bare areas with a top quality exterior primer.

Use the right tools and brushes

2. Use the Right Tools and Brushes.

Good quality rollers and brushes last longer and help a job move along more quickly.  They also apply the paint more heavily and smoothly, which helps with long-term durability.  Choose brushes that are well balanced, and have tightly packed bristles that are tapered up to the center of the brush. 

Paint in the Right Weather Conditions.

3. Paint in the Right Weather Conditions.

Ideally, you should paint when the temperature is between 60-85 degrees F, and when there is little or no wind.  Avoid painting in direct sunshine, as this can cause the paint to dry too quickly and even to blister.  In addition, if the temperature is predicted to drop below the paint manufacturer’s recommendation for minimum application temperature in the next day or two, you might want to consider postponing your project. 

Paint in the Right Weather Conditions.

4.  Use the Right Paint for the Job.

Choose a paint that is designed for the job you’re doing.  In most cases, a 100% acrylic latex paint will be the best choice.  These paints adhere better, are more flexible, and last longer than ordinary paints.  Using a lower quality paint just to save a few dollars will end up costing you more in the long run, as you will have to repaint much sooner than if you used a top quality product.

One very important thing to remember is never to use an interior paint for an exterior job.  Manufacturers formulate paints for use either inside or out. Paints contain specific ingredients that all play a role in the durability and final appearance.  These ingredients include pigments, binders, additives and the carrier or liquid portion. 

The pigments provide the whiteness, darkness and color to the paint or other coating.  In addition, they impart the opacity and hiding power required.  Pigments are dry powders (not dyes); liquid colorants used in the stores contain pigment powders dispersed in a liquid.

The binder is the component that “binds”, or ties together the particles of pigment, hopefully in a tough, durable film.   The binder also provides the adhesion of the film, and influences almost all paint properties.  Generally, the binder alone dries to a clear, glossy usually colorless film. 

Additives are low-level ingredients included in the paint formulation, and put in the product in the factory, not point of sale additives that are purchased in the paint store, home center or other outlets.  These affect certain properties such as thickness of the paint, mildew resistance and bubble breaking.

The liquid proportion is water and affects how heavily the paint will tend to apply, and how thick the paint film will be when it dries.  This is an important aspect of the overall quality of the product.

How thick the dry film is will affect many of the paints durability and appearance properties including:

    •  crack resistance
    •  hiding
    •  sheen uniformity
    •  ease of touch-up
    •  mildew resistance

Finally, it is important to apply the paint at its recommended spread rate; and not to thin the paint with additional liquid because this reduces the solids content and can compromise quality and performance. 

So, when tackling your next exterior paint project, follow these steps and you’ll achieve that long-lasting and attractive paint job you planned.

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Handy Solutions for Common Interior Paint Problems
Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Interior Paint ProblemsPhiladelphia, PA, January 21, 2009 –With the holiday season a memory and warmer weather still months away, now is the perfect time to look around your home and take stock of areas in need of repair or an inexpensive spruce up.  Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute states, “A simple change of paint color can rejuvenate a tired kitchen, warm a family or living room or help to create a restful bedroom.”

However, she suggests, “Before opening that first can of paint, make sure your walls are clean and sound and that includes checking for previous paint problems. Good surface preparation coupled with top quality paint, brushes and rollers will help to insure a long-lasting and beautiful finish.”

Zimmer continues, “The final paint job will absolutely be enhanced by beginning with a clean, sound surface and correcting any previous problems.”  Here are a few common ones to look for.

Foaming or Cratering:
Formation of bubbles and resulting small, round concave depressions when those bubbles break during paint application and drying.

Possible Cause:

  • Shaking a partially filled can of paint
  • Use of low quality paint or very old latex paint
  • Applying paint too quickly or excessive rolling and brushing
  • Low quality roller cover or wrong nap length
  • Applying a gloss or semigloss paint over a porous surface.

Solution:
All paints will foam to some extent during application: however, higher quality paints are formulated so bubbles break while the paint is still wet, allowing for good flow and appearance.  Apply gloss and semigloss paints with a short nap roller, and apply a sealer or primer to porous surfaces before painting.

Mildew:
Black, gray or brown areas of fungus growth on the surface of paint of caulk.

Possible Cause:

  • Forms most often on areas that tend to be damp and with little or no sunlight, for example, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.   
  • Use of a low quality paint, with minimal or no additives to prevent growth
  • Painting over a surface where the mildew has not been removed
  • Applying paint in “too thin” of a coat.

Solution:

  • First test for mildew by applying a few drops of household bleach to the discolored area, then rinse; if it disappears it is probably mildew.
  • Remove all mildew from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water), wearing proper safety protection, including rubber gloves and eye protection. 
  • Rinse thoroughly, prime bare surfaces and paint. 
  • To protect against mildew, use a top quality latex paint and clean when necessary with bleach/detergent solution.  Consider installing an exhaust fan in high moisture areas.

Brush and Roller Marks from Poor Paint Flow and Leveling
Failure of the paint to dry to a smooth film, resulting in unsightly marks or patterns after the paint dries.

Possible Cause:

  • Use of low quality paint or wrong type of roller cover or low quality brush.
  • Adding additional paint to “touch up” partially dried painted areas.
  • Re-brushing or re-rolling partially dried painted areas.

Solution:

  • Use high quality paints to prevent this problem from occurring.  Quality paints contain ingredients that enhance paint flow and form a smooth film.
  • When using a roller, be sure to use a cover with the recommended nap length for the type of paint being used.
  • Use a high quality brush, a poor brush can result in poor flow and leveling.


Finally, Zimmer acknowledges that many homeowners are apprehensive when it comes to choosing color.  “Before purchasing paint or hiring a professional painter, visit www.paintquality.com to view the new 2009 PQI color trend information.”

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Four Easy Paint Steps to Add Color and Sparkle to Homes this Holiday Season ultra-hip dining room
Enter the ‘Spruce Up Your Home’ Paint Contest

Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2008 – Many homeowners plan to spend the upcoming holiday season at home.  They will open their doors to celebrate with family and friends.  Homeowners can gain big, easy returns with interior paint by adding a colorful touch to their living space with a minimal time investment of one or two weekends. 

“By simply painting those dull and out-of-date walls, homes will shine this holiday season.  Interior painting remains one of the easy ways to inexpensively update your home,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says.

Interior Painting Tips
1. Prepare the Surface
Good preparation requires the surface be clean and sound. Check for handprints, greasy fingerprints, as well as dirt and scuff marks. Lightly sand glossy spots so the new paint will adhere properly.
2. Pick the Correct Tools
For latex paint application, purchase synthetic materials because they will hold their shape and maintain the proper stiffness when used with water-based paints. The general rules for naps are the smoother the surface, the shorter the nap; the rougher the surface, the longer the nap.

3. Decide on the Appropriate Paint Sheen and Color
If you are unsure of which color to use, purchase small quantities of a few you like and try them out in the room you will be painting.  It’s important to view the color in both daylight and at night because the color may appear different based on the lighting within the space.

Sheen is another factor. Higher sheen paints tend to offer a bit more durability than flat paints and are appropriate in areas that get a lot of use. Satin or low lustre finishes tend to impart more warmth and depth to a room than a flat paint. The ceiling is a great place to use higher sheen paint for additional lighting reflection.

4. Purchase Quality Paints
Always purchase top quality acrylic latex interior paint. A quality latex paint will go on smoothly and allows easy soap and water clean up for long lasting beauty.

Visit www.paintquality.com to enter the “Spruce Up Your Home” competition.  One Grand Prize winner will receive a package valued at more than $20,000, including an exterior home paint job and $8,000 home improvement gift card. Eight first place winners will receive a new paint exterior for their home.  In addition to Zimmer, the judging panel includes Doug Wilson, author/designer and host of TLC’s Moving Up and Trading Spaces; Brian Schenk, corporate partnerships manager, Arbor Day Foundation; Liz Robinson, executive director, Energy Coordinating Agency; and Katie Hunt, director of sustainability for Rohm and Haas.
For contest details and additional budget-friendly tips on painting, visit www.paintquality.com, where a great paint job begins.

 

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COLOR TRENDS 2009

Authentic and Traditional Paint Hues Refresh and Excite the Senses

Color style for 2009 draws inspiration from both nature and nurture.  With increasing numbers of homeowners remaining in place, many are searching for options to refresh and reinvigorate their living spaces.  By the simple change of paint color, any room is a reinvention candidate.

Debbie Zimmer from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says, “Key drivers for 2009 color choice include aspirations to create a comfortable, tranquil home environment coupled with a return to authentic and sustainable materials.  In contrast, lively color use and bold patterns will find their place as an alternative to more sedate living areas.” 

Zimmer shares the 2009 paint hue directions along with potential rooms for incorporation and decorative effects reflective of each.

Menswear
“Menswear”
Like a warm argyle or paisley sweater, consumers increased yearning for artisanship, authentic materials and design motivates “Menswear”.  Menswear allows for a more traditional use of hues than recently seen such as navy blue, leather-like brown and rich grey. 

Texture-like finishes and decorative techniques are also important to this palette. Incorporating herringbone and argyle paint patterns provides a focal point in living and family rooms. 


Decorative effects

Color Recommendations
Grey, Navy Blue, Brown and Black
Decorative Effects

Argyle, Herringbone, Pinstripes



Weather or Not “Weather or Not”

Our eco-consciousness continues to expand and “Weather or Not!” glances upward for inspiration. This palette takes a cue from the continually changing skies, provides the homeowner with colors represented by sunrise or sunset resulting in a shift from the more expected botanical hues.

While suitable for all areas of the home, these combinations are an especially good choice for bathrooms, bedrooms and family living spaces.

Color Recommendations
Dusty purple, deep blue, bronze metallics and rosy red
Decorative Effects
Large, dramatic geometric patterns incorporating metallic finishes

Weather or Not

What's in Bloom
“What's in Bloom?”

Consumers increased desire for healthy and sustainable locally grown fruits and vegetables provides fresh inspiration for “What’s in Bloom?”.   Another twist on the “green” movement, this palette is inspired by fresh hues including citrus green, mango and lemon yellow. 

Not just a one season offering, “What’s in Bloom” also derives inspiration from fresh fall produce such as pumpkin orange and apple red.

“What’s in Bloom” is ripe for use in a child’s bedroom, playroom
and kitchens.  Use in closets and pantry areas to provide an unanticipated pop of color.

Decorative effects Color Recommendations
Citrus Green, Mango, Apple Red, Lemon Yellow, Pumpkin Orange
Decorative Effects

Black as an accent color on trim or doors provides an interesting and unexpected frame for the What’s in Bloom color palette.

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Low Cost, High Impact
Paint, Your New Best Friend

Spring House, Pa., July, 2008 - Nothing creates more immediate impact than a fresh coat of paint and in these challenging times, paint is overwhelmingly one of the best low cost options when infusing style in a living space.

Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute states, “By simply changing your wall, ceiling or trim color, rooms can go from boring to bright in just a matter of hours. Not many home improvement products can provide as much punch for the dollar.”

For a low cost, high impact style change, pull out the brushes and rollers and reinvigorate your home, one room at a time.

Zimmer’s Top Five Tips for A Quick and Inexpensive Style Change:

• A simple change of hue in any space refreshes and revitalizes while adding a sense of updated style.

• Large polka dots or other geometric patterns add instant impact to a child’s bedroom or play area.

• Not ready for a whole room redo? Change the trim or door color and the entire space will feel new.

• Highlight that new flat screen television by “framing” it with paint. Before hanging it on the wall, paint a rectangle large enough so a six-inch, colorful “frame” is exposed once the TV is in place.

• Create interest in a dining room by painting the ceiling with a glossy finish. Light from the chandelier will have extra sparkle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Fun Weekend Painting Projects
Save Gas and Improve Your Home

With escalating gasoline prices, many families are searching for local weekend activities. Why not consider painting as that family weekend project? With a gallon or two of paint, you can easily transform your space in just a day or two. And, if you think you can’t do much with young children, think again.

Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says painting is a great way to get the whole family involved in making a house a home.

Painting is a great way to easily change and update the look of your home,” Zimmer offers. “What’s especially nice is that it is truly something the whole family can do together.”

One of the best ways to get children involved in painting projects is to help them create a whole new look for their bedrooms or play areas. Children of all ages can be involved in choosing a paint color. The first step is a visit to the home center or paint store to check out the color card display.

“The paint chip display is a fun place for children to explore how colors work together, so they are actually learning while they are having fun looking at the rainbow of choices,” Zimmer says. When it is time to do the job, children of all ages can help with the painting.

When you are considering painting, don’t forget to look beyond the walls. Furniture can also be updated and dramatically changed in just a few hours. Beds, dressers, and tables are only a few of the pieces that might benefit from a quick change.

This weekend be creative, gather your family and hold a painting party. Not only will you quickly update your home, you’ll also have fun and save gas.

 

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Hot Hues for Unconventional Spaces
Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Spring House, Pa, Wednesday, June 26, 2008 – Look inside your favorite shoes or that newly purchased handbag and take note of the unexpected dash of colors and patterns.

“Fashion designers are adding a punch of color in some of the most unlikely places. From pink to purple to citrus green, color sizzle is showing up in the most unlikely spaces and this color punch can be easily incorporated into home decorating as well,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says.

“While you may be color shy when painting a family living space, take a cue from the design and decorating community and add an unexpected hue to an unconventional space such as a drab closet, a lackluster hallway or even a kitchen pantry. These and similar spaces are prime areas to create unexpected finishes by adding a bold paint color or design pattern. So, add a little color and be amazed at your own unconventional painted spot.

Zimmer’s Five Color Punch and Design Tips
Choose a bright, high gloss hue for an enclosed closet area. Not only will the color brighten your morning, but also the glossy finish will reflect light.
Incorporate large geometric patterns such as circles or stars in a child’s bedroom closet. First, paint the entire closet space with a top quality paint and use store purchased or handmade stencils to add fun pattern color. It just might help with clothes cleanup!
For a touch of luxury, paint a foyer or linen closet with a gold or silver metallic finish and surprise guests each time they open the door.
Rev up your pantry with red! Not only will this vibrant hue add pizzazz to a typically mundane space, it may also spark your appetite.
Sheen stripe your hallway with a combination of flat and glossy paints in the same bright hue. For a new take on this decorative technique, run thick stripes horizontally for a fresh and updated look.

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Common Paint Problems and Handy Solutions
Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Paint is a valuable ally that can help protect and rejuvenate your homes exterior. “The spring or early summer is an opportune time to look for signs of early paint failure, offers Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Paint Quality Institute”. Some paint problems may be caused by using a low quality paint, not preparing the surface properly or painting when it’s too hot or cold.

No matter what the cause, now is the perfect time to check those painted outside areas, identify any potential problems, and make valuable corrections before your minor paint problem becomes a larger issue.


Blistering:

Bubbles resulting from localized loss of adhesion and lifting of the paint from the underlying surface.

Possible Cause

  • Painting a warm surface in direct sunlight
  • Moisture escaping through the exterior walls
  • Exposure of latex paint film to dew, high humidity or rain shortly after paint has dried, especially if there was inadequate surface preparation

Solution

  • If blisters go down to the substrate, try to remove the source of moisture.
  • If blisters do not go all the way down to the substrate, remove them by scraping, then sanding; prime any bare wood and repaint with a quality exterior paint.

Cracking and Flaking
The splitting of a dry paint film through at least one coat, leading to complete failure of the paint. Early on, the problem appears as hairline cracks; later flaking of paint occurs.

Possible Cause

  • Overthinning the paint or spreading it too thin
  • Use of a low quality paint that has inadequate flexibility
  • Painting when it is too cold or too warm, the paint will dry too fast

Solution

  • If the paint is tightly adhered to the surface, lightly feather the edges, prime and paint
  • If the cracking is all the way down to the surface, then the paint should be removed. Old flaking paint may contain lead, so precautions for lead paint should be followed.

Mildew
Black, gray or brown areas of fungus growth on the surface of paint of caulk.

Possible Cause

  • Forms most often on areas that tend to be damp and without sunlight.
  • Use of a low quality paint, with minimal or no additives to prevent growth
  • Painting over a surface where the mildew has not been removed
  • Applying paint in “too thin”of a coat.

Solutions

  • First test for mildew by applying a few drops of household bleach to the discolored area, then rinse; if it disappears it is probably mildew.
  • Remove all mildew from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water), wearing proper safety protection, including rubber gloves and eye protection. Power washing is also an option.
  • Rinse thoroughly, prime bare surfaces and paint.
Wrinkling
A rough, crinkled paint surface occurring when paint forms a “skin.”

Possible Cause

  • Paint applied too thickly
  • Painting a hot surface, painting on a very hot day, or high humidity levels
  • Applying the topcoat to a not completely dried first coat
  • Painting over dirty or waxy surfaces

Solutions

  • Scrap or sand the surface to remove wrinkled paint.
  • Repaint with an even coat of top of the line exterior paint. Make sure the first coat or primer is completely dry before applying the second or topcoat.
  • Always follow the manufacturers recommended spread rate.

 

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Set Sail this Summer with Nautical Paint Hues

Crisp blues, bright whites, a dash of red. With summer just around the corner, there is no better way to celebrate summers arrival than to create a sea-faring environment in your living space. Through the simple use of paint hues, a single room or your entire home can become a harbor for family and friends. Incorporate these easy paint ideas and treat your family to a day at the beach without ever leaving the driveway.

Traditional navy blue coupled with crisp white evokes a living space reminiscent of a beach vacation. Using blue and white, paint wide nautical stripes and finish with a band of red around the ceiling. Update furniture with a new coat of white paint and decorate with seashells and sailboats.

Create a soothing ocean getaway in your bedroom or bath by incorporating sandy tans, sea glass greens and aqua blues. For a child’s room, use beach towels and surfboards as summer color inspiration.

Not ready for an entire room makeover? Transform a foyer into a welcoming reception area by simply painting an accent wall in a hot weather hue complementary to your current color scheme. Sunny yellow, lime green or crisp blue are the perfect paint colors to create a vacation entranceway.

By incorporating summer-like paint hues, your living space may just become your favorite vacation location as well.

 

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Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal with Paint

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., March 6, 2008 - Are you planning to spruce up your home’s exterior this spring? Or, are you considering placing your home on the market? No matter what the reason, a fresh coat of paint can immediately revive the overall appearance of your largest investment, your home.

“When it comes to exterior painting, many people choose to repaint using the same colors that already exist on the house. However, choosing a new color scheme can be exciting and provide a new and updated look. Refreshing your home with a new paint job is one of the most cost effective projects a home owner can invest in that adds value,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, says.

Choosing a new color scheme might seem daunting at first but Zimmer offers some suggestions that will help you through the color selection process.

1. Consider the architecture of the home
Some architectural styles, such as Victorian, lend themselves to elaborate four and even five color schemes. Others, like Georgian or Colonial styles, are better suited to tow or tree colors. Usually this includes a main body color and one or two accent colors for trim, shutters, and doors.
2. Note the material of construction.
If your home is made of wood, brick, masonry or aluminum siding you can paint it virtually any color. However if it has vinyl siding, it might be best to paint it a similar hue to the original, although newer paints on the market have been formulated to allow for a wider choice on this surface.
3. Take into account fixed colors
Consider the colors on and near the house that either cannot, or will not, be painted. This includes the roof color, and wood, masonry, or stone that will be left unpainted.
4. Consider the surroundings
Look at the hues of neighboring homes and buildings – particularly those that are right next door. You would not want a color that is exactly the same as that on your neighbor’s home, and conversely, you don’t want to clash with it either. Also, be sure to take into account any plantings that are in your yard or landscaping.
5. Check for restrictions.
Some historical districts, newer developments and townhome or condominium communities have restrictions on what paint colors or color combinations may be used. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to find out about these limitations before choosing and applying your new hues.

 

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Color Expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute
Offers Three Tips that Draw Eco-Friendly Inspiration from Nature

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., February 13, 2008 - Today’s versatile palettes of blues, greens, and browns, encompass colors inspired by the earth, sea and sky along with metallics and brights to add “pop” and excitement. Steadily gaining popularity in recent years, homeowners are taking this trend a step further by extending it to the type of paint they choose.

“Environmentally friendly low-VOC paints are popular for a variety of reasons, most notably because they lack odor. This allows consumers to put recently painted room back into use almost immediately after being painted,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says. “Another added benefit according to health and environmental authorities is that low-VOC paints are not considered hazardous waste, so consumers can take pride in knowing that they are not harming the environment when disposing of any leftover paints.

With the spring painting season just around the corner, Zimmer offers three fresh ideas to help bring the outdoors inside.

Accent on Nature
Just as in nature, nothing looks more refreshing than a muted landscape punctuated with an unexpected burst of color. For inspiration, look to your backyard. A ripe tomato still on the vine, a bright yellow sunflower swaying in the breeze, even a blazing sunset, can offer inspiration for an eye-catching color scheme.

True Blue
Blue, in all its tints and hues, has long been a favorite. In previous seasons’ trends, it has mostly been confined to the bedroom and bath. But since blue is so prevalent in nature, it is now one of the important colors in home décor. The latest clear, true blues are being used through the house, both as an accent color and as a color scheme anchor.
Blue’s popularity is extending to other colors as well, particularly with the emerging popularity of blue-based greens. The most modern greens take their inspiration from moss, pine and the lush vegetation of the rainforest.

Down to Earth
Deep, dark chocolate brown, a popular color in recent season, will continue to factor into the earth tone palette. However, lighter tints such as beige, tan and other desert-toned hues offer a fresher take on the trend. They are an especially good choice for those that are color-shy and ideally suited to pair with a bright-colored accent wall or metallic trim.

 

 

 

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Put Your Walls on a Diet!
Illusions of Space from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., January 4, 2008 - Did you know that paint color can actually alter the dimensions of a room? Well, it can’t literally do that. But it can alter how the dimensions are perceived, which is the next best thing. Debbie Zimmer, PQI’s paint and color expert, states, “By taking a cue from fashion, one’s living space can be viewed as larger or smaller, taller or shorter.”

A light-colored paint will make a small room appear bigger, for instance. And darker shades will make a large room seem much more intimate. These types of paint-induced optical illusions can be used with excellent results in almost any space.

Zimmer offers several simple tips to “adjust” your own living area:

1. Raise or Lower the Ceiling

If a ceiling feels too low, bright white can “raise” your perception of its height. By taking a cue from clothing designers, adventuresome homeowners can paint their walls with vertical stripes to enhance the sense of height.

On the other hand, dramatic high ceilings may cause a living space to feel cavernous. Add a mid-tone to deep hue on the ceiling to visually lower the height. Another alternative is to paint horizontal stripes on the walls.

2. Shrink or Expand Rooms

Just as a dark monochromatic outfit can visually “slim” an appearance, a monochromatic paint scheme can do the same in a large space. Choosing darker shade for the walls will reign in a large room and create a cozy and intimate space. And, as mentioned earlier, a light-colored paint will make a small room appear bigger.

Is your room too narrow and long? Just widen it by painting the shorter walls a deeper color than the longer walls. If color alone isn’t enough to change the perceived dimensions, use color combinations to create visual breaks. Divide your wall space horizontally with a chair rail and paint the upper and lower portions different hues.

3. Don’t Forget the Sheen

For both visual and practical reasons, selecting the right sheen of paint is just as important as the actual color. Glossier finishes lend greater warmth and depth to surfaces than do flat paints. For example, a room with white gloss paint on the ceiling will seem larger than a room whose ceiling is painted with a white flat paint.

For additional tips on choosing hues that can impact room dimensions, visit www.paintquality.com, where every great paint job begins.

 

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Consumers Self-Rating of Painting Skill or Knowledge

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., September 18, 2007 - In a recent telephone survey conducted by the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, consumers shared their personal painting experiences and attitudes for this common do-it-yourself home improvement project. Debbie Zimmer, PQI’s paint and color expert believes homeowners continued desire for home personalization through color is evident in the recent results. “Based on questions we receive via our website, www.paintquality.com, we believe color incorporation and quality paint products are increasingly important and this survey quantifies that assumption.”

The most cited reason respondents shared for undertaking an interior paint job is to create a “fresh look” (52%) or to use a fashionable color (28%). Paint quality and color choice were the two most important reasons for choosing a particular brand and more than half of those contemplating a paint job search for information about these two features. Sources of paint information include paint manufacturer’s brochures (62%), in store point-of-sale displays (36%) followed by advice from friends and family. Zimmer adds, “Paint related websites are growing in popularity as an often-used information source.”

Finally, while many consumers search for the most up to date information on paint and color, a pocket of consumers consider themselves expert or at least very confident in their painting skill and knowledge (14%).

 

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Color Trends 2008
Individual Flavors Influence Paint Color Trends

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., August 13, 2007 – Fashion runways have long been the inspirational source for home furnishings and decorating color choices. Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute shares 2008 trendy paint palettes.

“Consumers’ increasing color confidence and personal style makes any color fashionable for 2008”, Zimmer says. “From glass-like blues, botanical greens, dramatic black and white and whisper soft pink, color directions will drive towards individual self-expression, glamorous living experiences or an increasing awareness of important environmental causes.”

Zimmer’s Top Three Color Palette Choices for 2008:

“Go Green”
“ Green may just become the newest “neutral” color.” Used as a subtle backdrop to reflect an enhanced eco-consciousness and social responsibility, green will be representative of the growing environmental movement. Mid-tone hues of fern, palm, pine and sage will be used on their own or coupled with clear blue or aqua to create a living space that conjures up a sense of outdoor-friendly living. Sandy tan and adobe brown can be intermingled to complete that earthy and eco-friendly feel.

While suitable for all areas of the home, these combinations are an especially good choice for bathrooms, kitchens and family living spaces.

“Sophisticated Elegance”
Gaining popularity in 2008, black and white paint hues will enhance opulent living spaces filled with accessories, lighting, mirrors and rich fabrics. Silver metallics and high sheen finishes along with rich textures benefit from the sophistication of this striking palette. Zimmer suggests, “For an unexpected color punch, add cause related hues such as dramatic red or maintain the room’s classic undertones with subtle pink or taupe.” Dramatic and sophisticated, black and white is becoming the backdrop of choice for glamorous spaces.

Master bedroom suites and living rooms are two of the spaces that can benefit from sophisticated elegance.

 

“Crewel Colors”
Many consumers continue to strive for simplicity in their technology-driven overloaded lifestyles and seek a return to a gentler way of life. The crewel color palette reflects consumers returning interest in crafts, home cooking and family focused activities. Like a rich and color filled needlepoint pattern, these hues add a soulful and personalized feel to any space. “Handcrafted items create a sense of stability and security and these warm, creamy rich colors will do the same in your space,” says Zimmer. Rich cranberry reds, warm browns, along with pumpkin orange help to create a nurturing and caring environment. Mix in deep-toned blue and the tapestry is complete.

Crewel colors remain an excellent choice for kitchen or dining areas and can be warming, like a knitted afghan, in family spaces.

“No matter which paint hue or palette attracts your individual attention, consumers continue to have an increased appreciation for paint quality and value. After all it’s a personal choice for a personal space—your home,” Zimmer says.

 

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All Decked Out!

Help Extend the Life of Your Deck with Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., May 22, 2007 –“As the summer season approaches, decks are the living and entertaining space of choice for many homeowners. However, before homeowners pull out that table and umbrella, they should consider re-energizing this space with a fresh coat of paint or stain,” Debbie Zimmer, color and paint expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says. “Not only will this step enhance this often-used exterior “room”, but it can also protect the actual wood surface allowing the deck last longer.”

“While browns and grey continue to be favorite color selections when painting or staining a deck, homeowners are increasingly choosing combinations that suit their home or decorating style. If you’re not quite ready to add multiple hues to the entire space, add a punch of color by incorporating complementary colors onto planter boxes, built-in benches or even deck trellises,” Zimmer advises.
Remember, when it comes to painting your deck, you have plenty of options to harmonize or complement your outdoor surroundings.


1. A coat of semi-transparent stain can be a great way to spruce up a wooden deck. It lets you add some color to the wood without hiding its grain or texture.

 

2. If viewing the wood grain is not a high priority, an opaque deck stain can be a better choice. These products, which can be oil based or latex, are more like paints in their pigmentation and so typically hold up longer than a semi transparent stain.


 

3. Of course, if you don’t want to show either the grain or the texture of the wood, a quality porch and deck paint or enamel may be the way to go. It will last longer than any type of stain although you may need to use a primer for best results.


 

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Spring into Exterior Painting
Four Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., March 27, 2007 – With warm weather just around the corner, soon it will be time to begin those home exterior painting projects. “Whether you’re contemplating a whole house re-do or a simple front door color change, spring is the perfect time to spruce up your home,” offers Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI).

To get picture-perfect, long-lasting results, Zimmer shares these four basic rules for a successful and attractive exterior paint job.

1. Prepare the surface properly
Anyone who has ever painted knows that there is a natural tendency to start applying paint as quickly as possible. But even the best quality paints can fail if they are applied to a dirty or unsound surface.

Before beginning to paint, make sure the surface is clean and free of chalk and dirt. Use soap and water with a scrub brush, then rinse or, consider using a power washer, when may be rented or purchased. Treat any mildew on the surface with a 1:3 ratio mixture of household bleach and water. Apply the mixture and allow it to remain on the surface of 20 minutes. Be sure to wear eye protection.

Remove any loose, flaking or peeling paint by scraping, sanding or wire brushing. Feather back rough paint edges by sanding. If you are repainting a glossy surface, be sure to sand it so that the new paint will adhere better. And, spot prime any bare wood.

Finally, brush off any dust or particles left from the sanding and scraping prior to painting.

2. Buy top quality acrylic latex paint
To get a durable paint job, be sure to purchase the highest quality paint. A top quality acrylic latex paint is an excellent choice for most exterior applications. These paints have superior adhesion, and will maintain a tight grip on a properly prepared surface. This helps prevent premature paint failures like blistering, flaking and peeling.

Another plus with top quality acrylic latex paint is its flexibility, which enables it to expand and contract with the surface below when temperatures rise of fall dramatically. This adds to the life of the paint job.


3. Use the right tools and brushes
To get the best results from your top quality paint purchase apply it with good quality brushes, rollers and other applications equipment. They’ll make the work more effortless and help you apply a thicker, more uniform coat of paint for a better-looking, longer lasting paint job.

With brushes and rollers, be sure that you have the right type of applicator for the paint you are applying. Use synthetic-bristle brushes that are tightly packed and well-balanced and synthetic-nap rollers for latex paints.

4. Paint in the right weather conditions
Weather conditions play an important role in both paint application as well as the long-term performance. Choose the right type of day to do your exterior painting. It’s best to paint when the weather is mild but not to hot and when there is little or no wind. It’s also best to avoid painting in direct sunshine, since the surface of your house can be 10 or even 20 degrees hotter than the air temperature, which can cause the paint to dry too quickly. By painting in moderate weather, you’ll get the best performance from your paint and your effort.

By following these four simple steps, you’ll get a long-lasting and attractive finish and add value and protection to your home,” Zimmer says.

 

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A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Help Sell Your Home
Four Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Spring House, PA February 8, 2007 – “If you are contemplating selling your home, consider sprucing it up with a fresh coat of paint before putting up the “For Sale” sign, Debbie Zimmer of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute explains. “This relatively inexpensive investment can enhance your home’s curb appeal to prospective buyers.”

An attractive quality paint job imparts the kind of well-maintained appearance to a home that gives it a distinct selling advantage. As a result, when selling your home, repainting is really more like an investment than an expense.

Whether you choose to hire a paint contractor, or do it yourself it is crucial to use a high quality paint. Zimmer offers these tips to help prepare your home for sale.

Use a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint
A recently applied, high quality acrylic latex paint can last 10 years or more and translates into many years of freedom from maintenance for prospective buyers.

Be conservative when selecting an exterior color
White and neutral colors are often the safest choices, since they will appeal to the greatest number of prospective buyers. When painting for a potential sale, it is often not the time to have the most striking paint scheme in the neighborhood.

Include quality surface preparation in the work
Properly preparing the surface for painting will produce the best appearance, and add to the life-expectancy of the paint job.

Finish painting before putting the home on the market
A completed and attractive paint job will assist with that critical first impression as potential buyers consider and view your home.

So, if you are thinking about selling your home, don’t throw away your paint brush. Picking it up may be the best thing you can do.

 

 

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Color Trends 2007

Home Hues that Comfort and Excite

Spring House, PA November 20, 2006 – From spicy color combinations to hues that warm the soul, 2007 color trends contain palettes that work independently as a “statement color” or as a subtle backdrop where home furnishings and accessories take center stage.

“ Many of these palettes will find a home in rooms from coast to coast,” Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute and member of the prestigious Color Marketing Group, an international organization that helps shape the latest color trends said. “What I enjoy most about our palette grouping this year is the homey and nature-like quality afforded by each.”

Read more trend summary highlights about color hues appropriate for all areas of the home or living space.


Comfort Colors
Biscuit and wheat neutrals, cocoa brown, pumpkin orange and cinnamon apple pie, are just a few of the comfort colors that will wrap your room with warmth and promote a stress-free space. The comfort color palette is an especially good choice for kitchens and family rooms.

 

Back to Nature
Yellows and blues, leaf-like greens, along with organic browns combine to bring the outdoors in. Add translucency and a glass like quality by incorporating varying paint sheen levels. As a subtle accent color, add rust or copper-like metallics into the scheme. Bedrooms and bathrooms are perfect places to incorporate the back to nature hues or in rooms where an accent wall is employed.

 

Stark Contrast
From clean, clear reds and deep plums to the sophistication of black and white, this color group works both as an accent and as an elegant backdrop for many living spaces. Polished brass metallics complement this scheme. Dining, living rooms and especially powder rooms will benefit from this bold and spicy palette.

 

 

 

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Frame Your World

Glossy Accents Redefine Your Home

Spring House, PA November 9, 2006 – Today’s hot decorating trends include lots of glimmer and glamour as texture and sheen continue to make their way into many popular home accessories as beautifully framed artwork and prints,” according to the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI).

“And just like your artwork, your living space is no different,” Debbie Zimmer, Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI) color and decorating expert, offers.

“Crown moldings, chair rails and other specialty trim provide the framework around your wall space and allow for a visual break as you move from room to room. By applying semi-gloss or glossy paint to these features, you can differentiate one space from another and add that spark of sophistication or glamour by simply varying the paint sheen levels,” ” Zimmer continues

A homeowner’s time may be limited so a quick room update can be accomplished by adding color and shine to no more than the trim and doors. Highlight these areas with semi-gloss or gloss paint in a complementary hue to the wall color.

Today’s glossy finishes are not only attractive they also provide long-lasting durability especially in high traffic and often used areas. For example, when high sheen paint is applied to doors and trim, handprints and smudge marks are easy to wipe clean. When used on ceilings or crown moldings, gloss finishes provide a reflective surface that enhances lighting. And, your windows and interior doors will have a new view just by painting the surrounding trim with a complementary color and gloss level. Any room can be quickly updated and refreshed by merely changing the paint sheen.

Help your walls become a centerpiece by allowing baseboards, crown moldings and other trim work to provide the glossy frame that redefines your home.

 

 

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Get Your Home Ready to Shine and Sparkle

Paint Color and Decorating Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Spring House, PA October 4, 2006 – Crisp nights and shorter days are signals of the approaching holiday season. In preparation for seasonal entertaining, now is a great time to freshen up your living space with simple and easy painting ideas.

Debbie Zimmer, of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, offers suggestions on how to create a festive atmosphere to each room of your home.

Add a glossy frame
With busy holiday schedules, a homeowner’s time may be limited. A quick room update can be accomplished by adding color and shine to trim work and doors. Highlight these areas with semi-gloss or gloss paint in a complementary hue to the wall color. Glossy finishes add sparkle and interest and assist in differentiating one space from another. They also provide the added benefit of durability and long-lasting wear especially in busy family gathering spaces. Artwork is always improved with the addition of a beautiful frame and your wall space is no different. Allow baseboards, crown moldings and other trim work to provide the “frame” around your room.

Take a color cue from holiday gift bags
Incorporating several colors into a space is often a stumbling block for many do-it-yourselfers. By simply perusing the gift bag aisle, you’ll find exciting and unusual combinations that are often easily transferable to your space. This tip works especially well when contemplating hues for tweens and teens.

Look up and celebrate your ceilings
This holiday season let your ceilings and chandeliers sparkle. Add shine and sophistication to dining spaces by painting these often bland areas with a high sheen product. If you are not quite ready to change your entire ceiling add a stencil pattern in a glossy hue for a touch of high style.

Texture, texture, texture
Take a cue from this season’s fashion runway and integrate texture into your space for added interest and appeal. “When working with a monochromatic or single color scheme, wall texture will provide depth and warmth”, states Zimmer. The addition of bead board, paintable wall coverings or glazing over an already painted surface will provide subtle interest and a three dimensional appearance.

 

 

 

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Fall, a Prime Time for Exterior Painting!
Primer and Sealer Tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

SPRING HOUSE, PA, September 5, 2006 – Fall’s sun-filled days and clear, cool nights set the stage for great outdoor painting conditions. But before you brush on that first coat of paint, review these tips from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute. “Primers and sealers help to improve the appearance, performance and longevity of a finished paint job, however, the necessity of using either a primer or sealer varies from job to job and surface to surface,” offers PQI’s spokesperson Debbie Zimmer.

“Primers perform several valuable functions”, states Zimmer. “They help the topcoat adhere better to the surface that’s being painted. They do this by making the surface more uniform and accepting for the top coat, so that when the paint is applied, it can get a better “grip” than it would on a bare surface.” In addition, primers help give the finished paint job a more uniform appearance in terms of color and sheen, thereby making it more attractive. This is especially true when the surface being painted is porous or uneven. Finally, some primers help prevent stains from coming through the paint from the surface below.

While primers are generally pigmented, sealers are not. The role of a sealer is to seal a porous surface like weathered concrete or stucco so that a finish coat can develop a uniform sheen or gloss. Sealers also help protect the finish coat on masonry from efflorescence which is a white, salt-like residue and to help seal out moisture.”

No matter what your painting project this fall might be, remember to use a primer or sealer in these circumstances:

1. Painting new wood or any other surface that has never been painted before.
2. Repainting a surface that is uneven or badly deteriorated.
3. Repainting a surface that has been stripped or is worn down to the original surface material.

“Just like paints, primers and sealers perform best when the surface is properly prepared. Regardless of the application, the surface to be primed or sealed should always be clean and free of dirt, loose or flaking paint and other contaminants before the primer or sealer is applied,” Zimmer advises.

 

 

 

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Turn Your Home into a Prettiest Painted Place!

SPRING HOUSE, PA, July 13, 2006 – Hoping to change the look of your living spaces? It’s easy to do with just a simple change of paint color and decorative painting techniques. Just take a cue from the winners of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institutes recent competition, The Prettiest Painted Rooms in America.

This national competition invited designers and decorators to showcase their best use of paint color and pattern within an interior living space.

“Every entry truly celebrated the possibilities that paint color provides to a space,” Debbie Zimmer, PQI paint color expert and a judge for the contest said. “From grand entryways to soothing bedrooms, paint color was an integral part of the design mix.”

Try the following painting ideas entered by contestants of The Prettiest Painted Rooms in America:

1. Plain walls receive an instant lift through the addition of varying directions of beadboard and wainscoting. This media room provides a tranquil and inviting atmosphere with cool paint shades of turquoise and subtle green.

2. A hand painted mural sets the tone for gracious living in this two story entrance. While hand painting a mural may not be for everyone, the use of easy-to-do stencils can replicate wall coverings or a favorite scene
3. A tone-on-tone strie technique provides this room with an every changing appearance. The walls of this living room where first painted with a cantaloupe colored paint. A slightly deeper hued glaze coat was then applied and, working from top to bottom, a clean, dry brush was “dragged” through the colored glaze.
4. A young boy’s bedroom receives a real color punch by incorporating bold paint stripes. The lampshade provided the inspiration for both color and pattern. Use painters tape and a level to achieve this striking effect at home.
5. This soulful space is a wonderful place to relax at the end of a busy day. Painted in the palest blue and punctuated with chocolate brown furnishings, this bedroom color combination is easy to duplicate in any home.

“Whether you are decorating one room or hoping to reinvent your entire interior space, the addition of color via beautifully painted walls, ceilings and trim is both inexpensive and simple to complete,” Zimmer said.

Remember, whatever look you hope to achieve, use a top quality interior paint for the best long-term appearance and performance. For regular painting tips and color trend information, sign up for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute do-it-yourself newsletter by simply logging on to www.paintquality.com.

 

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PAINT COLOR AND DESIGN BASICS
INEXPENSIVE TIPS TO ENHANCE HOME INTERIORS

SPRING HOUSE, PA, June 20, 2006 – The easiest way to update a home’s interior, when working within a tight budget, is to apply a fresh coat of paint.

“Paint color, sheen, pattern and texture can be combined to create a number of interesting and individual looks for the home,” Debbie Zimmer, paint color and decorating expert for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute said. “Color is often the first consideration when redecorating but to successfully create today’s contemporary looks it’s helpful to have some understanding of basic design principles and the role of paint within a space.”

Five tips to consider before beginning any room decoration or renovation project:

Monochromatic color schemes are generally easy to create and impart a sophisticated feel within a space. A monochromatic palette consists of different tints or shades of the same color.
Contrast can be a powerful element. Often, when two contrasting colors are used, one appears warm and the other cool. Contrasting colors do not have to be bold; they can be soft and subtle. Take your cue from the room--bold in the living or family room and a softer contrast in the bedroom.
Color can visually change the perception of a room’s size. Light, cool colors can make the space appear larger while darker, warm colors often make it seem smaller and more intimate.
Pattern can also affect the way a space is perceived. For example, a room can be heightened by painting vertical stripes on the walls.
Texture is an important element of design that can add interest and style in any room. Use decorative techniques such as sheen striping or stippling which provides a variegated appearance and gives depth to the surface.

Remember, whatever look you hope to achieve, use a top quality interior paint for the best long-term appearance and performance. For regular painting tips and color trend information, signup for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute do-it-yourself newsletter by simply logging on to www.paintquality.com .

 

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ROHM AND HAAS PAINT QUALITY INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF ITS “PRETTIEST PAINTED ROOMS IN AMERICA” COMPETITION

One Grand Prize Winner and Four Runners-up Selected; Designers Nationwide Participate

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., June 7, 2006 – The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI), the educational arm of the global specialty materials company Rohm and Haas, announces the winners of its “Prettiest Painted Rooms in America” competition. The panel of judges selected Penny Drue Baird, a New York City-based interior designer, as the Grand Prize winner, along with four Runners-up. The competition invited professional designers to submit images of work they had completed within the last three years. Entries were judged on the creativity employed in the use of paint and color and the overall design of the room. The competition ran from February 9 to May 1, 2006.

“ It was an honor to be selected especially by such an illustrious panel of judges,” said Baird. “I think most people underestimate the value of paint. It’s important to show the public the great variety of things you can do with paint and how it helps to show rooms to their best advantage.”

The Winning Entries

Penny Drue Baird, (Grand Prize winner), designed a media room that originally consisted of plain white walls. Her painting techniques and variety of color enhanced the total design of the room and was unanimously chosen by the judges. Baird used wainscoting and beadboard applied in varying directions and painted them in shades of turquoise and pale green. This created a tranquil and inviting atmosphere.

Baird divides her time between New York City and Paris. Her work has appeared in leading magazines and show houses and she has been quoted in more than 100 publications in the United States and abroad. She has a Ph.D in psychology and is the mother of four boys and two stepsons.

Grady Cooley, (Runner-up), painted a botanical theme on the walls of a spec house to replicate an 18th century wallcovering. He has clients in the United States and Europe, worked in the fashion industry before entering the world of interior design and has designed a number of the hottest restaurants in Southern California. Cooley divides his time between New York City and Los Angeles.

Justine Cushing, (Runner-up), painted the walls of her own small Manhattan apartment with a cantaloupe strié glaze that changes character with the changing light throughout the day. Her work has appeared in Vogue, House & Garden and House Beautiful and she studied at the Foxcroft School in Middlebury, Va., and Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass.

Karen Harris, (Runner-up), created a room for a seven-year-old boy with an abstract rainbow theme. Harris, an Allied Member, ASID, is president of eff.ess Studios, LLC, a firm specializing in residential and interior product design, presently based in Akron, Ohio. She has a B.S. in architecture from the University of Virginia.

Keita L. Turner, (Runner-up), designed her award-winning room for the Fall 2005 ESSENCE Showhouse in Harlem. It featured soothing blue punctuated by rich chocolates and vibrant fuchsias. Turner is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work has been showcased in print, film, TV and in the African American Design Archive at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with PQI and a competition judges said, “This competition has attracted talented designers from across the country. The numerous submissions showcased a diverse range of work that was fascinating to see. Choosing the winners was a challenging process for the judges who were amazed to see such a variety of submissions.”


The prestigious panel of judges included the following:

Scott Agelloff, Dean of the New York School of Interior Design

Mario Buatta, legendary designer known as “The Prince of Chintz”

Clodagh, internationally renowned designer, a proponent of green design

Elaine Griffin, designer and contributor to O at Home

Louis Gropp, former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, House & Garden and Elle Décor magazines

Michael Payne, interior designer and host of HGTV’s “Designing for the Sexes”

Debbie Zimmer, PQI decorating and color expert

The Grand Prize winner has a choice of either a “Deluxe New York City Weekend for Two” or a “South Beach Extravaganza for Two.” Runners-up receive a Howard Miller clock.

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Dress Your Outdoor Living Space with Fashionable Paint Hues

Spring House, PA, May 2, 2006 – Paint color selection is often a prime consideration when painting the exterior of a home. Dressing outdoor havens with hues that complement a homes exterior color palette can add flair to upcoming outdoor celebrations including neighborhood barbeques, family gatherings and graduations right around the corner.

“With outdoor living spaces gaining in popularity, many homeowners are incorporating color on decks, patios, and outdoor furniture as well,” Debbie Zimmer, of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, explains. “Given today’s vast selection of hues, there’s no reason these entertaining areas can’t be a showstopper.”

Zimmer offers the following easy and quick ideas to add outdoor style and color:

• Paint wooden furniture with vibrant hues such as bright yellow, sky blue or candy apple red.

• Give garden and deck planters a facelift by painting them a bold or contrasting color. Try the unexpected when contemplating a deck color scheme. The simple incorporation of two-tone railings and multiple colored deck benches can revitalize that exterior living space.

• For added inspiration, “borrow” colors that appear in nature or take a cue from contemporary patio furniture and colorful umbrellas.

Today’s outdoor spaces are often viewed as an extension of the homes interior and are designed to be inviting, relaxing and personal. By incorporating a dash of color, these exterior rooms will be a favorite gathering spot, long after the sun goes down.

For regular painting tips and color trend information, sign up for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute newsletter by simply logging on to www.paintquality.com.

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Spring into Exterior Painting!
Add sparkle with a new coat of paint!

Spring House, PA, March 24, 2006 – As warmer weather arrives in many parts of the country, homeowners are beginning to take stock of their exterior painting needs.

“Paint serves two important purposes: To help protect your home’s exterior surface and to decorate or personalize your outdoor spaces,” Debbie Zimmer says, of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, “and Spring is the perfect time to begin this process of protection and decoration.”

Zimmer offers simple suggestions for an attractive and long-lasting paint job whether the paint project involves a whole house repaint or a simple front door color change.

The Paint Job
• Make sure the surface is clean and sound before you begin painting. Even the best quality paints will fail if they are applied to a poorly prepared surface.

• Always use the right tools and brushes. Good quality rollers and brushes last longer and help a job move along more quickly.

• Weather plays an important role during exterior painting so plan to paint when the temperature is between 60° and 85° F, and when there is little or no wind.

Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
“Many people choose to repaint using the same colors that already exist on the house, but choosing a new color scheme can be fun and exciting – and can give your home a fresh and updated look,” Zimmer says

• To lessen the anxiety and uncertainty of choosing a new paint color, start by considering the architectural style of your home. Some styles, such as Victorian, lend themselves to elaborate four- and even five-color schemes. Others, like Georgian or Colonial styles, are better suited to two or three colors. Usually this includes a main body color, and one or two accent colors for trim, shutters, and doors.

• In addition, take into account fixed colors. Consider the colors on and near the house that will not be painted such as, roofs, wood, masonry, or stone.

• Consider the surroundings. Look at the hues of neighboring homes and buildings – particularly those that are right next door.

• Finally, choose a quality paint that is designed for the job you’re doing. Using a lower quality paint just to save a few dollars will end up costing you more in the long run, as you will have to repaint much sooner than if you used a top quality product.

By following these simple painting tips and suggestions, your home will sparkle this spring. For regular painting tips and color trend information, signup for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute newsletter by simply logging on to www.paintquality.com .

 

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Get Ready For Spring Exterior Painting
Five Simple Tips for Hiring a Professional Painter

Spring House, PA, February 21 – Thinking of hiring a professional painter to spruce up your home’s exterior?

“Late winter or early spring is the perfect time to begin selecting a reputable contractor who will perform a quality exterior paint job”, states Debbie Zimmer of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute.

One of the best ways to find a reliable contractor is to check with friends and neighbors for recommendations. Once you have a few contractor candidates in mind, Zimmer offers the following steps to assist with choosing the right professional for your painting project.

1. Personally meet each contractor and obtain written estimates from at least three painting professionals based on the specified work to be completed. In addition, check references and verify their insurance coverage.
2. Specify the work and proposed painting process. To make a fair comparison, make sure each contractor submits a written bid based on the same materials, surface preparation, number of coats of primer and paint, and each type of surface that will be painted. Make sure these quotes include when the work will start and expected completion date as well as the crew size. Inquire about how your planting and landscaping materials will be protected during the project.
3. Warranty protection. Reliable contractors will back up their work. Discuss the warranty in detail; does it cover both labor and materials? How long is the warranty and what is the procedure to resolve problems? These are important questions that should be addressed prior to the start of the project and included in the written bid.
4. Presentation and responsiveness. Is the contractor responsive, punctual and businesslike when returning phone calls or arriving for an appointment? Is the submitted estimate complete showing the breakdown of material and labor costs as well as payment terms?
5. Paint quality. Will the contractor select and use premier quality paint? A quality acrylic latex paint may cost more initially, but will save money in the long run because of its long lasting durability.

For regular painting tips and color trend information, signup for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute newsletter by simply logging on to www.paintquality.com .

 

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THE ROHM AND HAAS PAINT QUALITY INSTITUTESM LAUNCHES “PRETTIEST PAINTED ROOMS IN AMERICA” COMPETITION

Nationwide Competition for Design Professionals;
Top-Drawer Panel of Judges and Prizes

SPRING HOUSE, Pa., Feb. 9, 2006 – The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institutesm proudly announced the launch of its “Prettiest Painted Rooms in America” competition open to interior designers and decorators nationwide. This follows the institute’s highly successful “Prettiest Painted Places in America” competitions. Professional designers are invited to submit images of work they have completed within the last three years by May 1, 2006. Entries will be judged on the creativity employed in the use of paint and color and the overall design of the room. The quality of the photos submitted will also be influential. There will be one grand-prize winner and four runner-up prizes will also be awarded.

The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI) is an educational arm of Rohm and Haas, a global specialty materials company with annual sales revenue of approximately US$8 billion. Rohm and Haas formed PQI in 1989 with a charter of independence and objectivity and the goal of educating consumers, contractors and retailers on the advantages of using the highest quality paints. Today, headquartered in Spring House, Pa., and with testing facilities in 14 countries worldwide, PQI also delivers information on cutting-edge trends such as color, decorative techniques and innovative new ways to use paint through many mediums, including its Web site, www.paintquality.com.

Says Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institutesm, “This competition will serve as a terrific forum for industry professionals to showcase their work and compete on the ‘paint and decorating playing field,’ so to speak. This is a first-rate competition that will garner entrants nationwide. It is going to be a truly exciting event.”
Competition winners will be chosen by a prestigious panel of judges that include the following members:

• Scott Ageloff, Dean of the New York School of Interior Design

• Mario Buatta, legendary designer

• Clodagh, internationally renowned designer

• Elaine Griffin, designer and contributor to O at Home

• Louis Gropp, former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, House & Garden and Elle Décor magazines

• Michael Payne, interior designer and host of HGTV’s “Designing for the Sexes”

• Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institutesm

All winning entries will be posted on the Paint Quality Institute Web site and published in the Paint Quality Institute DIY Newsletter.
The grand-prize winner will choose from the following prizes:

Deluxe New York City Weekend for Two, including airfare, stay at the world-famous Waldorf=Astoria, dinner at Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental, New York, lunch at Tavern on the Green, Broadway tickets and a meeting with a top New York City designer.

or

South Beach Extravaganza for Two, including airfare, stay at The Bentley Beach Hotel, a deluxe spa treatment, dinner at Prime One Twelve, a $1,000 Bal Harbour Shops Gift Card and a tour of the Miami Design District.

Runners-up will receive a Howard Miller clock valued at $1,400.

Entry forms are available by visiting www.paintquality.com , calling 212-308-8880, ext. 116, or e-mailing prettiestpaintedrooms@lhammond.com.

The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institutesm, based in Spring House, Pa., was formed by the Rohm and Haas Company, a worldwide producer of specialty materials, in 1989 with a charter of independence and objectivity to educate consumers on the advantages of using high quality paint, as well as to inspire them with information on innovative ways to use paint and decorating and color trends. Please be sure to visit the Paint Quality Institute Web site at www.paintquality.com.


CONTACT: Heather Battaglia / Susan Zevon
LOU HAMMOND & ASSOCIATES
212-891-0218 / 0230
heatherl@lhammond.com
Visit: www.louhammond.com



Download Competition Logo

Press Contacts:
Heather Battaglia /
Susan Zevon
LOU HAMMOND & ASSOCIATES
212-891-0218 / 0230
heatherl@lhammond.com

 

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Color Psychology - The Impact of Paint Color In Your Living Space

Spring House, January 19, 2006 – The words "paint" and "personality" aren't often used together, but they certainly could be. “Studies show that paint and room color can have an effect on the body and mind”, states Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute. “By understanding the impact of color, consumers can better incorporate the hues that help create the desired living space mood and setting that best suits their family and personal lifestyle.”

When repainting a room, here are some simple guidelines you should know about the hues you might use:

• Red packs a wallop, physiologically speaking, increasing blood pressure, heartbeat and energy in most people. It instills feelings of intimacy and passion. Red also increases the appetite, which explains why it is used so often in restaurants, and why it can be a good choice for a formal dining room.
• Orange, like red, tends to warm a room, but in a more friendly and welcoming way. As a result, paints in various shades and tints of orange work well in living rooms and family rooms.
• Yellow is also warm and welcoming, but it is more attention- getting than either red or orange. For this reason, it is a good paint color to use in poorly lit foyers or dark hallways.
• Blue, which is part of the cool color palette, makes us feel calm and tranquil, so it is ideal for use in bedrooms. But since blue works as an appetite suppressant (perhaps because there are few blue foods) it is not the best option for a dining room ... unless you're on a diet.
• Green is another relaxing color that is much more versatile than blue. Light greens are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms; midtones are good for kitchens and dining rooms (many foods are green). Also, because green is calming, it is often used in hospitals, workplaces and schools.
• Violet is a tricky color, psychologically speaking. Many adults dislike purples, but are fond of the rose family, which can work in many rooms, including dining rooms, bedrooms and libraries. Young children, on the other hand, respond favorably to violet, so this color can be used successfully in children's bedrooms and play areas.

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COLOR TRENDS 2006 - Style for your Walls!

Spring House, PA December 5, 2005 – Fashion may be fickle, but it has nothing on the ever-changing world of home décor.  “While many of last year’s color trends are still enjoying popularity, homeowners are already interested in the latest paint color palettes, and new ways to use them,” states Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute.

Exotic Enhancements
“Perhaps the most talked about trend for 2006 is the use of travel-inspired colors to decorate the home”, offers Zimmer.  “Some consumers are starting to suffer from “bright-  color fatigue,” and now favor richer,deeper hues that evoke thoughts of far-off destinations.”  This palette takes inspiration from the rich jewel-tones of Oriental rugs, or the vivid sights of a Moroccan market.  Key colors include rich red-purples, deep browns and dark yellows, as well as ebony and ivory accents.  This dramatic trend works especially well in family or dining rooms, and adds a feeling of warmth and excitement.



 

 

Skintone Neutrals
The exotic color trend finds its balance in another palette, Skin tone Neutrals, which includes a wide spectrum of flesh-toned hues.Zimmer adds, “These latest neutrals take their inspiration from the cosmetics counter in both color and purpose.”  Just as a powder or liquid cosmetic can be used to enhance the skin, or serve as a backdrop for brighter colors, so, too, do the new skin tone paint colors.

Applied on their own, these hues appear particularly fresh when used in an open floor plan.
 
But they also serve as an ideal backdrop for any room where a bolder accent wall is employed.


 

Mineral, Spirits!
For a consumer who would like to add color to his or her home, but isn’t quite ready for the vivid hues of the Exotic Enhancementspalette, then Mineral, Spirits! hues may be the best choice.  Drawing inspiration from lush forest landscapes, these earth tones have more “pop” and are a bit brighter than in previous years.

Dusty shades of blue and lavender, as well as rosy browns, echo colors found in nature. Because of their softness, and their welcoming appearance, they are especially good choices for use in the kitchen and bath.



 

Soulful Serenity
While the spa-inspired trend of 2005 continues to be a hit with homeowners looking to create relaxing retreats in their own homes, the color schemes are now moving beyondthe traditional blue and white.  Zimmer adds the following suggestion, “For those who would like to try something new for their bedroom or bathroom sanctuary, consider using true pastels, such as soft pink, pale yellow and misty lavender.  These tints offer a fresh twist on the spa concept, while still encouraging a relaxing atmosphere.”  And since the Serenity color schemes are more diverse, they can even be expanded into family or sitting rooms.

 


 

Also on the Horizon …
2006 paint trends extend beyond colors and hues.  Zimmer forecasts a growing interest in incorporating texture into an interior paint job.  “This trend can take many forms, through textured paints and 3-D appliqués, or in more complex ways such as raised techniques using bas-reliefs.”

Another trend is rethinking the ceiling as a canvas for color and decorating inspiration. This fifth wall is no longer just the domain for flat white paint.

Today’s savvy homeowners are bringing them to life with color, decorative techniques and imaginative color schemes.

Finally, the use of higher sheen paints in unconventional areas, such as ceilings and walls, and the incorporation of metallic paint accents to add an unexpected bit of gleam to a room will continue to be popular with those homeowners looking to personalize and enhance their living space.  “Paint color is a homeowner’s best decorating tool.”  You can change the appearance, the perception of size and even the emotional temperature, through the simple inclusion of exciting palettes and quality paint,” concludes Zimmer.

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