Thursday, 3 January 2013

Sweet Dreams: A New Line of No-VOC Paints for Nurseries

Lullaby Paints - Golden Slumber Nursery
Lullaby Paints' Golden Slumber Nursery
The health benefits of low-VOC paints for people with chemical sensitivities and respiratory conditions are well documented. Earlier this year, those benefits inspired one company to launch a line of non-toxic paints targeted towards the most susceptible among us: infants.
Lullaby Paints—intended specifically for nurseries and playrooms—are free of benzene, formaldehyde, and a host of other compounds often found in traditional household paints.
Company co-founder Julian Crawford points out that parents often paint a nursery mere weeks or months before a baby’s arrival, and that, once home, newborns spend many hours a day sleeping in their rooms. “We have baby monitors now that allow parents to shut the nursery door to keep out noise,” says Crawford, who adds that new homes are also better insulated and therefore less drafty than they used to be. “It’s more important than ever to have high air quality indoors.”
Lullaby Paints - Palettes
Lullaby Paints' Designer Palettes
Although designed for nurseries, Lullaby Paints’ broad palette is sophisticated enough to look great beyond the nursery. There are bold hues like Tangerine and Citron and more subdued choices such as Portobello, Celadon, and Sheep’s Wool. Pale pinks and blues are offered as well, but overall, Crawford reports, “these are not typical baby colors.”
Lullaby Paints' Chalkboard Colors
Lullaby Paints' Chalkboard Colors
Also available from Lullaby Paints are chalkboard paints in 16 vibrant hues like Royal Blue and King’s Red, all safe and toxin-free so that children can help with the application. The chalkboard paint is sold by the gallon or quart. It’s also sold in a convenient kit, which includes roller, tray, edging tape, enough paint to cover a 30-foot square surface with two coats, and even some chalk to get little artists on their way.
Coming in 2013: a line of stains and varnishes for woodwork, floors, and furniture. “It’s even harder to find varnishes that are low- or no-VOC, so it was really a natural extension of what we offer,” Crawford states. Now in the final stages of color development, expect to see shades that are both traditional and a bit unexpected—charcoal gray, for instance.
Lullaby Paint's packaging
Lullaby Paints' Eco-Friendly Packaging
Homeowners seeking green products will undoubtedly appreciate Lullaby Paints’ packaging. Gone are the paint cans that would sit on your garage shelf year after year. In their place: resealable pouches that cut down on manufacturing and shipping costs and keep paint fresher for future touch-ups.
For more information, to order paint or samples, or to find a retailer near you, visit Lullaby Paints.
Courtesy of Bob Vila

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Quick Tip: Use Low-VOC Paints

Try the new low-VOC paints that get the job done with fewer toxic chemicals

Most VOCs will dissipate as the paint dries, but it is best to wait several days before moving into a room that’s just been painted.
Most VOCs will dissipate as the paint dries, but it is best to wait several days before moving into a room that’s just been painted.
Photo: From Bob Vila's "Babyproofing the House"
The Danger of VOCs
There’s more to that new paint smell than you might think. There are already federal restrictions on them because they’re damaging to the ozone layer, but more and more studies are showing that volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are dangerous to humans.
Precautions to Take When House Painting 
VOCs are found in paint and lots of other products that contain solvents and petrochemicals. Their concentration can be 10 times higher indoors than out, especially right after a home improvement project. While most VOCs will dissipate on their own as the paint dries, they continue to off-gas at low levels for years. Ventilation is key during and after any paint job. Never use exterior paint indoors, and wait several days before moving into a room that’s just been painted.
VOCs and Health Concerns 
High-level exposure to VOCs has been linked with eye and breathing problems, headaches, nausea, dizziness and even cancer. Children and asthma sufferers are especially vulnerable. Because of these health concerns, paint manufacturers have been putting a lot of effort into new lines of low- and no-VOC paints.
What Qualifies as Low-VOC Paint?
Petrochemicals are what make up 5 to 15 percent of standard latex paints and about half of oil-based paint. That’s about 450 parts per gallon. Until recently, these toxic chemicals were what made the paint work well. Now, to qualify as low-VOC paint, they must contain 100 parts per gallon or less and still do a good job.
Benefits of Non-toxic Paint
Non-toxic paints have lots of benefits, but one of the greatest is easy cleanup. Because it’s not considered a dangerous substance, you can clean up the mess with soap and water and dispose of the cans in your regular trash.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Choosing The Perfect House Colors

Orange House ColorsIf you go to a paint store today you are likely to find literally thousands of house colors to choose from. How can you possibly put together a good color scheme for your house with so much to choose from. You will literally find 100 shades of white, 30-40 shades of yellow and hundreds more.
Choosing House Colors need not be so complicated. With a few simple things to remember you should be able to find yourself a wonderful color scheme that looks great and goes perfectly with your home.

Find Your Style

The first thing you need to do before choosing your house colors is to find your style. This is easy, go online and start searching through home websites, use Google’s image search, look at house magazines. Maybe you find that you have one overall style that you really love, maybe you want to have a different style in every room, either way is fine, just find a style of house colors that you really enjoy.

Create A Theme

One thing I really don’t care for is when people choose house colors they like but it does not go with their furniture or decorations what so ever. The paint in a room is more easily changed than the decorations and furniture, so try to choose house colors that will compliment your furniture. Your furniture should be the starting point in any room.

Try Out Samples

The cheap samples of house colors at paint stores serve a real purpose, try before you buy. Sure they may cost $3-5 but if you spend $50 and 6 hours painting a room and don’t like it, then you will be wishing you had spent the $5 and given the color a shot. Do not try to figure out your house colors from the tiny paper color swatches, you need to see it on your wall. Paint at least a 5’x5’ area to get a real sense of the color and how it will look in your house.

Be Confident

With the thousands of different house colors available it is easy to second guess yourself when choosing your paint colors. Once you have made your decision, stick with it and don’t worry about it. Even if you don’t like the color right away, stick with it for 3 months and see if you still don’t like it. It is easy to be unsure of your colors, just don’t waste your time painting and repainting your room over and over.
Hopefully these tips have helped you in your quest to choose the perfect house colors for your home.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

How To: Select a Paint Color

The right color gives a paint job your personal mark.

The most personal decision involved in any interior or exterior painting project is color choice. If green is your favorite color, you will be drawn to that color family when you go to your local paint store. If you like blue, you will probably find a place for it somewhere in your home. It's important to follow your instincts when selecting paint color. Decorating your home with your favorite hues is what gives your home its unique personality.
But while it is true that there are no hard and fast rules about paint color selection, there are certain color systems that are appealing to the average eye. Understanding them can help you make the best decisions on color choice.
Every color bears some relationship to all other colors, but most successful color combinations will fall into one of the following categories listed below. You can also refer to a color wheel, a tool to help you understand the relationship between colors. Use it to select colors that will look great on your home. Work it to create almost limitless numbers of attractive decorating schemes.

Monochromatic. This color scheme employs only one basic color, but in several different values. An example might be a home exterior with light blue siding and dark blue shutters and trim. 
Adjacent. This system combines two or more colors that are located next to each other on the color wheel: blue, blue-violet, and blue-green, for example. To get the best results with this system, try to select colors that do not have the same value and intensity.
Complementary. This type of scheme uses colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel, such as red and green, or yellow and violet. If you choose this system, you might want to select a subtle color and a dominant color to prevent the colors from clashing.
Triadic. A triadic scheme employs three
colors that are equidistant on the color wheel, such as yellow-orange, blue-green, and red-violet. For best results, you should choose one dominant color and use the other two as subtle accent colors.

Hue: The basis of a color, such as red or green. Lighter or darker variations are still the same hue. Thus, a light red and a deep red are of the same hue.
Value: The lightness or darkness of a color. Light blues, medium blues, and dark blues have the same hue but different values.
Shades: Those colors with values closest to black—the darker blues, the darker reds, and so forth.
Tints: Those colors with values closest to white—the lighter blues, the lighter reds, and so forth.
Tone: A color's intensity, brightness or dullness. When gray is added to a color like red, it dulls the intensity and renders it a darker tone.
As you plan your interior or exterior paint job, look at the environment in which your color will appear. On the inside of the home, the color environment is created by the overall appearance of the walls and woodwork you will be painting, the furnishings in the room, and the hues in adjacent areas. To make the best color choices, take in the whole picture.
Likewise, when doing exterior painting, be sure to take into account the fixed colors of your home: brick, stonework, and the roof color, for example. The most flattering color treatments will be those that work well with these existing elements. Consider choosing a color that will pick up the color of a non-painted area—the brown that appears in your brick or a green highlight from your stonework, for example.
Also, remember that no home exists in isolation: Its appearance is affected by the appearance of neighboring homes and even the color of shrubs and trees around it. You probably don't want to paint your home the same color as your next-door neighbor's, but you probably do want to select a hue that will look attractive alongside it.
Furthermore, be aware of the fact that certain colors look more at home in certain surroundings. For example, earth tones are always a good choice in natural, wooded areas, but they may not be the best choice in other settings.
Another factor to consider is the architectural style of your home. Oftentimes, a home looks most attractive when painted in period colors. Formal Colonial or Greek Revival homes look great with white exteriors and muted interiors, while Victorians come to life with bold color treatments that accentuate ginger bread and other interesting architectural details.

If “safety first” is your motto and you simply want your home to look neat and freshly painted, there are certain color treatments that will look good on almost any home. A near-surefire approach when doing interior painting is to paint the walls a neutral color like beige and the ceiling and trim white. In fact, if you keep the trim and ceiling white, a wide range of colors will look attractive on your walls.
Similarly, the safest approach to exterior painting is to use white, beige, or another neutral color on the siding and a darker accent color on the trim. Dark brown is often a good general-purpose color for exterior trim.
Commenting on the popular paint colors of the moment is, at best, a risky business. They can change at any time. With that proviso, it is possible to say that preferences are far more predictable when it comes to exterior paint colors than interior colors. For the past 200 years or more, white has been the top color choice for home exteriors in the U.S. A recent color study conducted by the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute indicates that white or off-white still ranks at the top of the list. Earth-tone browns, tans, and beiges have always been popular, and they remain so today.
Interior paint colors are another matter; the "in" colors tend to change every few years. Of late, rich, saturated colors in darker shades have met with great success. For more advice on this year's hot colors, ask your paint dealer.

Quick Tip: Boost Your Home’s Resale Value with Paint

CertaPro Victoria: Quick Tip: Boost Your Home’s Resale Value with Paint

Paint your house to increase its value without spending too much yourself.

New Coat of Paint, Better Home Price 
How do you ensure you’ll get the selling price you want for your home in a buyer’s market? Now is not the time to install those granite countertops you've been dreaming of because you probably won’t get your money back. To get the best price you can without breaking the bank, grab a roller or hire a painter. Paint is the tried-and-true, budget home improvement that Realtor recommend.
What Do Buyers Notice?
Pay special attention to the areas that potential buyers will see first. On the front facade or even just the area around the front door, scrape and repaint any peeling or flaking areas to improve that all-important first impression. Be sure to repair any damage, nail holes or cracks, and choose an eggshell or a matte paint finish to take the focus off any imperfections.
Go Neutral
If the paint is still in good condition, a light pressure wash will brighten it up and welcome visitors. If your front door is purple or your wallpaper saw Nixon impeached, now is the time to go for cream, white or beige. Some realtors even recommend repainting the whole interior in off-white to provide a clean slate. It might not be your style, but the more neutral your home’s color palette, the more possibilities a buyer will see there, and that’s where your work will pay off.