Best Color to Paint Your Office

best color to paint your office

Choosing a paint color for an office can be a challenge. An office, whether it’s a home office or commercial office, should promote productivity and feel comfortable at the same time. You may also need to consider employees and clients when choosing office paint colors for your business.

Although it can be easy to paint the walls white and call it a day, you deserve paint colors that uplift you and help you focus. While white might be the best office color for some, it can feel uninspiring to others. There are many gorgeous paint colors to choose from — you need to find the one that works best for you. We’re here to help you get started.

In this post, we’ll explore the power of color and how it impacts mood and productivity. We’ll also look at the best office colors for different industries and provide tips for choosing a color that will make your office feel inviting and inspiring.

Does Color Really Matter?

our emotional response to color also depends on color saturation and brightness

Color can affect our moods and productivity. This is because color influences our behavior and thought processes through learned associations. For example, someone might love the color red because they associate red with cherry pie and their favorite toy from childhood. Red might make this person feel joyous because it reminds them of positive memories.

Color associations can affect how we perform certain tasks. In to a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, red increased participants’ performance on detail-centered tasks such as memory retrieval and proofreading by up to 31% compared to blue. However, participants produced twice as much creative output when prompted with blue cues, suggesting that blue is best for creative tasks, like brainstorming.

Researchers believe that blue enhances creative performance because we associate blue with the tranquility and openness of the sky and ocean. This helps us feel safe exploring and expressing creativity.

Red, on the other hand, is associated with stop signs, fire trucks and objects we typically associate with danger, mistakes and caution. Red heightens our motivation to act with careful attention so that we avoid danger and mistakes.

Our emotional response to color also depends on color saturation and brightness. Saturation refers to the purity of a color. For example, less saturated colors are more grayish than high saturated colors. So, a gray-blue is less saturated than pure blue, for example. Brightness is how light a color seems. Colors that are less saturated but also bright tend to be relaxing, while dark saturated colors usually have a more energizing effect.

Although the perception of color is subjective and influenced by cultural factors and personal experiences, some colors tend to have universal meanings and evoke either positive or negative reactions. For example, a study published in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review discusses how adults commonly prefer blues and dislike greenish yellows. People may associate greenish yellows with things they dislike, such as dirty water or rotten food. Most adults associate saturated blue with things they like, such as the sky and water.

So, does color really matter? You might think of color as a strong communication tool that you can use to influence behavior and mood. Color can affect how people perceive you and your business. Most importantly, the color of your office can play a major role in how you feel while you work. For these reasons, we feel it’s safe to say that yes, color does matter.

What Is the Best Office Paint Color for My Industry?

while black walls may look glamorous in a fashion designer's office, for example, they likely wouldn't suit a doctors office so well

When choosing the best wall colors for your office space, it’s essential to consider your industry. While black walls may look glamorous in a fashion designer’s office, for example, they likely wouldn’t suit a doctor’s office so well. You need office paint colors that will complement your industry. That way, your office will promote productivity, whether you need to draw up designs or analyze data.

Since people associate colors with certain meanings, you’ll also want to consider how your office colors might affect your employees and clients. To help you choose the best paint color for your professional office, we’ll explore some of the top industries in the mid-Atlantic region and the colors that promote efficiency for each industry. Whether you own a technology business in Washington D.C. or a law firm in Baltimore, there’s a paint color that will motivate you and help you stay calm. Here are some office paint color ideas to help you get started.

1. Law

Lawyers spend a lot of their time in their office advising clients, conducting research and preparing for court cases. A lawyer’s job usually entails long work hours and high stress. Lawyers can benefit from painting their office a color that helps relieve stress and also promotes focus and productivity.

Lawyers also need to consider the message they want to send to clients through the power of color. Clients want to work with lawyers who convey authority, knowledge, trustworthiness and confidence. Clients also want to feel comfortable and secure when they meet with their lawyer. Therefore, lawyers need a calming color that also portrays professionalism. Here are some suggestions:

  • Blue: Blue is one of the top office paint colors for lawyers. Blue suggests stability, trust, efficiency, intelligence and duty, which is everything a client wants. Choosing a lower saturation blue, such as a blue-gray will help create a soothing effect. A sophisticated navy blue or teal are also attractive options. Blue’s calming effect helps boost efficiency and focus.
  • Green: Green is also a soothing color that increases focus, efficiency and an overall sense of well-being. It is the color associated with nature and may be an excellent office color choice for an environmental law firm. The human eye sees the color green better than any other color, which means it’s less straining on the eyes — perfect for working long hours.
  • Brown: Brown is associated with support, reliability and seriousness and lends a natural feel to an office. Brown also creates a warm, professional look. Lawyers might choose a light shade of brown to make clients feel welcome and secure. A darker shade of brown can work as a powerful accent wall.

lawyers need a calming color that also portrays professionalism

2. Design

Designers may own a firm or studio or work in a commercial office. Designers such as graphic designers, interior designers or any other professionals in the creative field need a space that promotes productivity and creativity. They also need to consider how they can project an image of expertise to clients. When a client steps into a designer’s office, they should feel assured that the designer is inspired, skilled and perfect for the project.

when a client steps into a designer's office, they should feel assured that the designer is inspired, skilled and perfect for the project

Certain colors are associated with increased creativity and innovation. We already mentioned that blue is an excellent choice for promoting creativity, but that’s not the only option. Other colors have the potential to evoke a cheerful mood and spark creativity. Designers, writers, artists, innovators and anyone who needs creative brainpower should consider applying the following paint colors to their office space:

  • Yellow: Yellow is a stimulating color that is associated with optimism, confidence, innovation and creativity. It’s the strongest color psychologically. Designers can use yellow to boost self-esteem and add cheerfulness to an office space. Because yellow is an intense attention-grabbing color, it usually works best in large office spaces or as an accent wall. A yellow accent wall is a great way to add a burst of energy to an otherwise white office.
  • Purple: Purple has long been the color associated with wealth and royalty and, therefore, conveys quality and luxury. Designers might choose a gray-violet color for their office because this color is often associated with sophistication. An interior designer, for example, may wish to impress clients with an image of luxury and sophistication.
  • Orange: Orange, which combines yellow and red, is a passionate, fun color that encourages playfulness and creativity. A splash of orange can come in handy when designers need to play with ideas and come up with creative solutions. However, too much orange can create a mood that lacks seriousness, so it’s best to use orange for an accent wall.
  • Black: Black communicates sophistication, glamour and efficiency. Black can be part of a striking office paint color scheme if it’s balanced with other colors. For example, black walls with white furniture or accessories can make a powerful impact on clients.
  • Green: According to a study published in 2012, when participants glimpsed at green before undertaking creative tasks, it enhanced their creative performance. Green signifies growth. This may act as a cue to increase motivation for growth, which might lead to an improvement in creativity. Designers will find plenty of satisfying options when it comes to green paint colors. Whether they choose a bright emerald green for an accent wall or a soothing sage, green is easy to work with.

3. Manufacturing

manufacturing environment is about productivity, teamwork, and efficiency

The manufacturing environment is typically noisy with the sound of machinery running all day. Despite this, office clerks need to be able to concentrate on tasks and focus on details as they answer phones or enter data. Manufacturing managers need to be able to solve problems, make decisions, motivate the workforce and work under pressure. Overall, a manufacturing environment is about productivity, teamwork and efficiency. It might seem difficult managing stress in a bustling manufacturing facility, but with the help of color, nothing’s impossible. Here are paint color ideas for an office at a manufacturing facility:

  • Blue: Blue is the most popular color for both men and women. In a large manufacturing office, blue is an excellent choice because it will appeal to many people. Blue promotes productivity because it creates a calming environment that helps workers stay focused. Office managers might paint their office a calming shade of blue and add stimulating accent colors like red to boost attention to detail without overwhelming the senses.
  • Green: Green walls can help employees and managers stay focused for long periods and reduce stress as they work under tight deadlines. Green can also bring a sense of nature into the office, which may be especially helpful if the facility does not have a lot of windows.
  • Red: Manufacturing managers do a lot of walking throughout the day as they check on operations. They need the energy to keep up with the physical demands of the job. Red can provide a boost to help managers maintain energy levels. Red has been proven to enhance physical speed and strength. Red can also be overstimulating if used excessively, so it’s important to balance it with soothing shades or use it only as an accent wall.

4. Technology

blues and greens are the best paint colors for technology professionals because these colors support intellectual tasks and create a sense of peace

Those who work in the technology industry, such as software developers and information technology (IT) technicians spend a lot of time at their desks. Whether they are solving technical issues or writing code, a big part of the job is managing time well. Tech professionals need to finish projects on time while using a vast range of skills such as analytical skills, problem-solving skills and communication skills. In other words, technology workers have a lot of thinking to do, so they need an office space that promotes productivity, focus and a sense of calm.

Blues and greens are the best paint colors for technology professionals because these colors support intellectual tasks and create a sense of peace. Blue or green can help a tech stay calm and focused while they help a client solve a complex issue, for example. Green also reduces eye fatigue. A green wall can provide a place to rest the eyes throughout the day.

A high saturation green accent wall may be the perfect paint color to promote innovation and creative problem-solving. Teal combines the best of both blue and green and can create an atmosphere of high productivity. Add bursts of energizing colors such as red, yellow or orange in artwork or accessories to keep motivation levels high.

5. Healthcare

Healthcare professionals who own private practices need to create a calming, clean and comforting environment. Every day they may see patients who are scared, stressed or in pain. Employees may also experience high levels of stress. Healthcare professionals should choose soothing paint colors. They should avoid intense high saturation colors like pure red or orange. Colors with low saturation can feel soft, which can be comforting to patients and staff. It’s also a good idea to keep colors light because light colors are associated with cleanliness and airiness.

  • Light blue: Light blue creates an open, airy feeling and can make a healthcare office feel less stuffy and cleaner. Like the sky, light blue also serves as a lovely backdrop for plants which can make an office feel more natural and less clinical.
  • Off-white: White evokes cleanness and hygiene and makes a space appear larger. However, pure white may feel too sterile and intense, so it’s best to choose an off-white shade to create a more welcoming environment.
  • Green: Green is a healing color. For example, according to a well-known study, patients recover from surgery faster when they have a window facing trees rather than a brick wall. Painting a healthcare office green can have a positive effect on everyone in the office. Even dark green can have a soothing effect.
  • Light pink: Pink is nurturing, feminine and warm. Pink may be the ideal color for a women’s health office or a child’s healthcare office. Even though pink contains red, it can have a calming effect if it’s kept light.

6. Financial Services

those who work in the financial industry must communicate professionalism, reliability, trust, and expertise

Those who offer financial services, such as accountants or financial advisors, have a lot of responsibility. They must be accurate, meet deadlines and stay organized all while providing exceptional customer service. Clients must feel like they can completely trust their financial advisors with their assets. If they have any doubt in their mind about trust, they’ll look elsewhere for assistance.

Those who work in the financial industry must communicate professionalism, reliability, trust and expertise. They also need a space where they can focus, analyze, research, communicate and meet deadlines. They’ll want to avoid any colors that are distracting or come off as playful. Here are some good colors to paint an office for financial professionals:

  • Green: Green is the color of money, which makes it an excellent choice for a financial services business. It’s also associated with good luck and growth. Clients want to feel assured that their assets are in good hands and that their wealth will grow. Green paint colors can help them feel secure in their decision to seek financial assistance. Dark green walls with rich wood accents can make everyone in the room feel more at ease.
  • Blue: Clients must feel a sense of trust, security and reliability when they enter a financial professional’s office. A blue-gray paint color can evoke calmness and trust while also creating a professional look.
  • Black: Black depicts seriousness like no other color. Black office walls also communicate confidence and power. Clients want to know that their money is not being played with, so black may be the perfect paint color to make clients feel secure.

7. Construction

General contractors do everything from project planning to communicating with clients and architects. They need the energy to manage a wide range of tasks, and they want to make clients feel secure. Contractors should consider painting their office a shade of brown to communicate strength, dependability and warmth. The color brown can help clients feel comfortable discussing projects, and it will create a sense of stability.

Contractors should consider adding bold accent walls alongside neutral colors to energize the space. Splashes of red, orange or yellow can keep energy levels up and help contractors stay productive when physical activity is needed.

Lastly, contractors might paint their office a rich blue color to communicate trust and reliability or green to communicate a focus on sustainability. Blue and green will also help contractors concentrate and stay calm.

What Color Should I Paint My Office at Home?

if you are the only person spending time in your office, you can choose a color that suits your unique needs and personality

You have a lot more freedom when choosing a paint color for your home office as compared to a commercial office. Your home office can feel serious and sophisticated or bright and playful — it’s all up to you. If you are the only person spending time in your office, you can choose a color that suits your unique needs and personality.

The first step to choosing a paint color for your home office is to ask yourself what you hope to accomplish in the space. Do you need a color that calms and soothes you? Or do want a color that stimulates you? Consider what you need more of in your workday and how color can help you. Choose high saturation if you want stimulation and low saturation if you want peacefulness.

Next, think about the colors you love and how they make you feel. For example, does yellow energize you and bring you joy, or does it irritate you? Remember, you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time in your office working, so you want to choose a color that motivates you without increasing your stress levels.

If you’re not sure which colors you love, look for inspiration. Inspiration is all around you in photos, magazines, online resources and your favorites objects around the house.

One method you can try is to apply a soothing hue like blue or green and incorporate accent colors that support your job. For example, if you work in sales, red would make an excellent accent color. If you need to focus for long periods, consider painting your office blue and adding yellow accents to inspire optimism and confidence. The key is to make sure you have balance in your office paint color scheme because too much of the same color can make a room feel uninteresting.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the paint finish. A glossy paint with a sheen is going to be more stimulating than a soft matte finish. While glossy paint might be the best paint finish for your commercial office, consider if it’s how you want your home office to look and feel.

the best home office paint color is the one that make syou feel how you want to feel while you work

There’s no right or wrong answer as everyone has their own experiences with color. The best home office paint color is the one that makes you feel how you want to feel while you work.

Color Breakdown

green is a restful color because it is easy on the eyes. green is associated with balance, rest, peace, harmony, creativity, and environmental awareness

Color theory goes all the way back to Aristotle in Ancient Greece. Though thousands of years have passed since then, there is still much to learn about color and its effects. For now, it’s generally understood that color impacts the viewer through the power of association. Here’s an overview of the colors we covered and the feelings they tend to evoke:

  • Red: The color red appears closer than it really is. This strong, stimulating color can have a physical effect and raise blood pressure. Red is associated with courage, strength, energy, boldness, confidence, activity, love, excitement and attraction. Red may also be associated with aggression.
  • Blue: Blue has more of a mental effect than a physical one. Blue is associated with intelligence, trust, logic, calmness, safety, trustworthiness and communication. Strong dark blue stimulates thought while light blues promotes concentration and tranquility.
  • Brown: Brown is an earthy color that is associated with nature, reliability, support and seriousness.
  • Green: Green is a restful color because it is easy on the eyes. Green is associated with balance, rest, peace, harmony, creativity and environmental awareness. Green is reassuring because it’s the color of healthy growing trees and plants.
  • Yellow: Yellow is an emotionally stimulating, attention-grabbing color. Yellow is associated with extraversion, friendliness, energy, happiness, confidence, optimism and creativity. Yellow stimulates the appetite and has the power to boost self-esteem. Too much yellow can be overwhelming.
  • Orange: Orange is a warm, stimulating color which has both physical and emotional effects. Like yellow, orange stimulates the appetite. Orange is associated with enthusiasm, fun, playfulness and passion.
  • White: White is not considered a color because it is not present in the visible spectrum. Instead, white is what we see when all the wavelengths of light reflect off an object. White is associated with freshness, cleanliness, purity, innocence, modernity, sophistication and efficiency. White makes a space feel larger.
  • Black: Like white, black also does not have a place in the spectrum. Black is what we see in a space that reflects very little light. Black is associated with security, sophistication, power, glamour, efficiency and excellence.
  • Purple: Purple promotes introversion and contemplation. Purple is associated with luxury, quality, wisdom, authenticity and the mystery of the cosmos.
  • Pink: Although pink has a tint of red, it is more soothing than stimulating. Pink is associated with nurturing, romance, kindness, warmth, femininity and love.

although pink has a tint of red, it is more soothing than stimulating. Pink is associated with nurturing, romance, kindness, warmth, femininity, and love

What Is the Best Color for Focus?

The best color for focus depends on the task. According to the University of British Columbia study, which looked at the effect of colors, red is the best color for focusing on detail-oriented tasks, while blue enhances creative performance.

What Is the Most Relaxing Color?

Blue colors tend to be considered the most relaxing. For example, one study found navy blue to be the most relaxing color, while another established cobalt blue as the most relaxing color. In general, colors that are found abundantly in nature, like blue and green, tend to have soothing effects.

What Is the Most Calming Color for an Office?

As mentioned above, blues, greens, and blue-greens like teal are usually the most calming colors for any space, including offices, because they reflect the colors of the sky, trees and grass. However, other colors can also have a calming effect. For example, light neutral colors are also generally soothing, and soft pinks are inviting and comforting. Whether or not a color is calming mostly depends on personal preference.

Is Gray a Good Color for an Office?

Gray is not recommended as an office wall color. Gray is a neutral color, so it does not have any direct effects psychologically. However, gray can be understimulating if it’s used in large amounts, and it may not help productivity.

If you love the color gray, you can still use it in your office by countering it with bright colors. For example, gray can create an inspiring modern feel when placed next to a bold yellow accent wall. You can also use furnishings and accents to add splashes of color to make a gray office more uplifting.

What Colors Stimulate the Brain?

dark colors like red, blue, green, and purple stimulate the brain in a way that enhances task performance

According to a University of Texas review, it seems that dark colors like red, blue, green and purple stimulate the brain in a way that enhances task performance. Study participants who completed tasks in offices painted white, beige, yellow and gray made more mistakes than those who worked in darker offices.

According to color psychologist Angela Wright, blue stimulates the mind, while red has physical effects, and yellow has emotional effects.

How Do I Choose a Paint Color?

if you want to make your office feel more expansive, choose a light color for the walls, which will make it seem like the walls are further away

Choosing a paint color can be an exciting exercise, especially once you’ve learned about the effects of color. It can still be challenging, though, to choose a paint color when there are so many options available and so many factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you through the process:

  • Think about colors you love: Look at clothing, artwork and fabrics you own and notice colors that attract you. Consider how these colors make you feel. This is always a good starting place for choosing a paint color. However, keep in mind that you may love a color in small doses but may feel overwhelmed by it if it surrounds you. You might choose a lighter shade of an intense color that you like.
  • Look in the past: Is your office located in a historical building or house? Contact a professional painter about historical paint colors to enhance the architectural beauty of your office while adding fresh, stimulating color.
  • Consider light: Consider how much light you get in the room, as this will affect the appearance of the paint color. For example, light can make gray appear lavender. Before painting the entire wall, apply a small patch of paint or tape a color sample to the wall to see how it looks in natural and artificial light.
  • Consider the rest of your home or business: If you’re looking to paint your home office, consider how you can unite the colors in your office with the rest of your home for a cohesive look. This doesn’t mean you have to use the exact same color scheme in your office but aim to have it complement other colors when viewed from another room.
  • Consider large pieces in the room: Whether you’ll be painting the office at home or your business, make sure to consider large features like woodwork, fireplaces, flooring colors and other surfaces. Choose paint colors that complement other elements in the room. For example, you might choose blue paint with a yellow undertone to match the golden undertone in wood.
  • Consider size: Is your office small or large enough to live in? If you want to make your office feel more expansive, choose a light color for the walls, which will make it seem like the walls are further away. If you’d like to make your office feel smaller and cozier, choose dark wall colors to pull the walls in visually.
  • Consider temperature: It may seem strange to think about temperature when choosing a paint color, but it makes a difference in comfort levels. If you like to keep your office cool, or if your office gets a lot of direct sunlight, consider choosing blue or green paint colors. If your office often feels uncomfortably cold, paint the walls a warm color like a comforting peach. Warm colors can actually make you feel like you’re in a warmer space.
  • Consider purpose: Do you want to draw people into your office? If so, consider painting a wall red or orange, as people are drawn towards warmer colors. Also, think about who will be entering your office. Will you be the only person using the office, or will clients be meeting you there? If clients are coming to your office, choose paint colors keeping your industry in mind.

Professional Painters Can Help

if you need reliable painters in maryland, virginia, delaware, or washington d.c. who are trained to exceed your expectations, contact us

It’s estimated that humans can see up to ten million colors — that’s a lot of potential paint colors to choose from. If you’re still wondering how to select the best color for your home office or need commercial office paint color ideas, Klappenberger & Son is here to help. Since 1989, we have been a leader in exterior and interior paint services in Maryland, Virginia and beyond. If you need reliable painters in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware or Washington D.C. who are trained to exceed your expectations, contact us today.

When Should I Paint My New House?

couple looking at paint color palette

You’ve just bought a new house. Congratulations! You had a lot on your plate. So it’s understandable that you’re looking forward to moving into your new house and turning it into a home for your family. You have a lot to consider. One of the most important decisions is whether to paint your home before you move in or after.

One of the ways a family can turn a new house into a home is by painting its interior to reflect their own styles and tastes. If you have children, you may want to paint their rooms in their favorite colors. Maybe you want to give the kitchen a whole new look or make your living room more comfortable and relaxing with colors that express your personal tastes.

The best idea is to paint your new home before you move in. Contractors prefer to paint when the house is empty — you’ll pay as much as 30% less for the painting, and you’ll be happier as well.

Should I Paint My Walls Before Selling My House?

women choosing the right paint color

No, it’s best not to paint the walls of your former home before you leave.

Some of the reasons for this include:

  • The new family who has just bought your home will want to paint your old home according to their tastes.
  • Since the new family will want to paint the walls of your old home for themselves, doing so is just an added expense.
  • With everything else you need to do to pack up your old home, the last thing you really want to do is worry about having to paint the walls.

Instead, you may want to paint the most worn areas before you put your home on the market, or if the walls are very dirty, scuffed or painted non-neutral colors — that purple room will have to go. The walls in every home will show signs of wear which can be off-putting for potential buyers. Talk to a painting estimator like Klappenberger & Son, professional painters who can advise you on how much you should paint before putting your home on the market.

Professional painters can improve the look of your home by painting the few areas that need help. This will allow you to focus on the other aspects of leaving your old home and moving into your new one.

Should I Paint My New House Before I Move In?

person painting new house before moving in

There are a lot of positives in painting your new house before you move into it, but to a large degree it depends on your family’s personalities and the tastes.

  • If you like to get things done and have everything in order before you make a move, then painting the walls in your new home in advance will be a good choice.
  • This is also true if you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to have one more thing to do after you finally get your family moved in and unpacked.
  • Painting your home before you move in also allows you to choose a paint color or colors that more specifically express your personal tastes and create the kind of atmosphere and moods that you want to have in each room.
  • If you have children, it’s also a great way to help them transition into a new home. Moving is always a little tougher on children than it is on adults. So when you first take them into the room that will be their room in your new house, talk to them the kind of colors they would like to have their walls painted. Choosing a color becomes exciting and allows them to express some of their personal tastes. This will make the new house more inviting and more personal for them because they had a chance to help turn the house into a home.

We will look more at the pros and cons of painting your home before you move in a section below. While the question of whether to paint is a personal one, if you are going to paint, doing so before you move in is probably your best option.

Should I Paint My Home Myself or Hire Professionals?

why you should hire a painting professional to paint home

The question of who should paint your house hinges on a few important factors:

  • Do I have time to paint my new home?
  • Which is more important to me — saving money or making sure the job is done properly?
  • How much can I count on my friends to help me paint?

If you have the time and want to save money, you can do it yourself. Most people don’t look at the quality of the paint job. If you don’t have the time or you want a quality job done right, hire a professional painter like Klappenberger & Son to do the job for you.

You have a million things to do before you move. Do you also have the time it takes to paint your entire house? Probably not. Consider all the work that goes into painting a room.

A 13-by-13-foot room with an 8-foot ceiling has 432 square feet of surface to paint. First thing you need to do is prep work. Any holes in the wall need to be repaired, and larger holes need more work. After you fix any holes, you need to tape the room, making sure you tape trims on windows, doors, baseboards and electrical outlets.

Next, you need to sand the walls so the paint will apply smoothly. Then you need to cut in the ceiling and trim because you want sharp lines in the places where the ceiling meets the wall. Finally, you get to painting the walls — and this normally requires two coats — before the cleanup.

In the end, since not every room is the same size, it can take 5 to 8 hours to paint each room. This also doesn’t account for any breaks you might need to take. Depending on how many rooms you have in your home, you are looking at several days of work. You might need to take time away from your job. If you do need to take time off work, wouldn’t you rather spend it packing and moving?

It’s also important to hire the right company, and not just someone with a truck and a few paintbrushes. You want a company with enough personnel to do the job, and do it on budget and on time, or else it could take weeks for the job to be done.

When you hire an established company like Klappenberger & Son, you save yourself time and headaches, and you know your house will look great when you finally move it.

Do Painters Move Your Furniture?

do painters move furniture

Yes, professional painters can move your furniture. It is, however, more expensive and can be a bit of a headache. The painters will ask you to move the breakables and then use sliders to move large pieces on a carpeted or a hardwood floor. In most cases it takes about 10 minutes to move all the furniture out of the room.

Will I Paint My House After Moving In?

You’ve decided not to paint your home until you move in. Perhaps you want to see if the current paint works with your furniture and decor. Maybe the option of painting your home before you move in slipped your mind in the hustle and bustle of preparing to move into a new house. You might have said to yourself, “Well, if the paint is really ugly, I’ll just repaint it after we move in.”

Painting your home after you move in can be a real headache. It’s also more expensive and the only benefit is that you can choose paint that matches the artwork or the decor.

If the paint is ugly and doesn’t work for you, think about all the things you need to do to paint your home. All of the furniture and belongings you just unpacked that you will now need to move and to cover so that they won’t get soiled with paint.

On the other hand, if the paint isn’t that ugly and you decide to move in and just live with it, the question then becomes does the house really feel like a new home? The reality is that no house feels like a home with somebody else’s “signature” on it. In the end, if you want to make a new house a proper home for you and your family you need to put your signature on it and that means you should get it painted sooner rather than later.

Can You Paint a Newly Built House Right Away?

can you paint a newly built house right away

In almost every new home, the walls will be painted builder’s white. Unless otherwise specified, the people building your new home won’t make any selections about what color your walls should be painted, so they leave them this neutral color. Usually the building contractors will only paint the walls and leave the trim and ceiling alone because they’re already done.

Construction and painting professionals express different opinions on the issue.

Some housing professionals say that it’s better to wait as long as a year before you paint your home’s interior because you want to wait for your house and foundation to settle. All new homes will settle over time, and this may result in very small cracks or nail pops.

Other professionals advise to go ahead and have the house painted before you sign the Certificate of Occupancy and perhaps even before you have your floor sanded in your new home.

When you’re thinking about painting the interior of new construction, you want to work with professionals like Klappenberger & Son.

If you decide to have your home painted before you move in, you can always ask the painters to save and label leftover cans of paint so you can touch up if small cracks or nail pops appear.

Pros and Cons of Painting Before or After You Move In

So now that you have looked at some of the other issues about painting, let’s look at the pros and cons of painting your home before you move in.

Pros

There are lots of good reasons to paint before you move in including:

  • Increased productivity of painters
  • No danger of getting paint splatter on important items
  • Easier to cover floors
  • No need to be there while painters are working
  • Painters prefer painting an empty house — it’s done faster, it’s more relaxing and it’s easier to spot imperfections in the walls

There are also other advantages:

1. Not Moving Furniture Three Times

Waiting to paint your home until after you move in means you move all your furniture when you move in, move it again when you paint and then move it a third time when the painting is finished. But if there is no furniture in your home, problem solved. Painting before you move in also enables the painters to do a much better and faster job.

2. Save Money

why hiring a painting professional can save you money

When you get an estimate from a professional painter, the estimate will include the time that it takes to move furniture and protect it properly. Painting before you move in lowers the cost to paint a house because it’s easier for the painters to do their job, and they can do it much more quickly, which will save on labor costs.

3. It’s Easier to Paint Ceilings and Trim

Painting ceilings and trim is always the trickiest part of any paint job, but not having any furniture in the home allows professional painters to paint the ceiling and the trim around windows, baseboards and doors much easier.

4. Not Having to Deal With Paint Fumes

When you paint a room, you know that paint fumes are going to linger in the air for several days. This is because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are an essential part of any paint. The fumes from VOCs in paint, however, can result in dizziness, headaches or even nausea in some cases. Strong fumes are also not good for children or anyone in your family who has asthma.

5. Adding Your Personal Touch

As we noted above, your house doesn’t really become your home until you put your own personal touches on it. Moving into your house knowing the rooms already bear these personal touches helps it to become a home a lot faster.

Cons

There are only a few reasons to paint your home after you move in.

1. Questions of Interior Design

interior design questions when painting your new house

If interior design is very important to you, you’ll probably want to wait until all your furniture is into your new house before you decide on what paints will work best with your furniture and decor.

2. Color Palette

If you wait to paint your home until you move in, this may give you a better sense of the color palette that you want to use in each room. Once you see how your new furniture and decor look, how the sunlight affects the room and how the space looks under lighting at night, it may be easier to select colors.

While there are pros and cons when dealing with the question of when to paint your house, overall we would suggest that painting your home before you move in has many more advantages than painting after you move.

How Often Should I Paint My House?

how often you should paint your house

Now that you have dealt with the issue of whether you should paint your home before or after you move in, your next painting issue revolves around the question of how often should you paint your interior walls.

There are no set guidelines for how often a homeowner should paint their interior walls. Again, it depends on several factors including:

  • How long will I be living in this house? If you have a job that requires you to move frequently, it may never be an issue. If you plan on living in your home for more than 10 years, then you should repaint it every decade.
  • Do I want to spend the money on repainting the interior of my home? Depending on your personal financial situation, you may decide that you can live with the colors that you chose when you first moved in. If your personal financial situation allows you to repaint and you’re planning on living in your home for a lengthy period of time, repainting is a possibility.

While the question of how often you paint your home is a personal one, there are signs that it might be time to repaint your interior walls.

1. You Want a Change

You may get tired of looking at the color of paint on the wall. This could be true of one room or many rooms. A new coat of paint may be just what’s needed to give a room a new, fresh look.

2. Peeling or Flaking Paint

This is a particular issue in rooms with a lot of moisture like the kitchen or the bathroom. You may notice after a few years that the paint is beginning to peel. This occurs because moisture is seeping in the walls due to the many hot showers or meals cooked over the years. You may also notice some flaking in other rooms. Peeling or flaking can create a bigger problem if you don’t deal with it promptly.

3. Mold

This again involves moisture in the walls. The moment you spot mold, mildew or water spots on the exterior surface of the paint, you need to think about repainting right away. This is not just about how it makes the room look but is also a health issue. When you confer with a master painter during your original interior painting, ask them about what kind of paint would be best to use in areas with a lot of moisture like the bathroom, the kitchen or the laundry room.

4. Stains and Scuff Marks

Over the years, the wear and tear in a home will show on the interior walls. Scuff marks can happen when you move the furniture around or bring up some heavy objects from the basement. Children’s toys or school backpacks rubbing against the walls or posters hung up in their rooms leave marks. Liquids or foods accidentally spilled on the walls can also leave stains.

You can clean many of these marks, but eventually, you will need to repaint.

5. Fading

Paint normally doesn’t fade inside the house, but it will on the exterior. Talk to a painting professional about how often you should repaint the exterior of your home to keep it looking fresh and new.

Ready to Paint Your Home? Contact the Master Painters at Klappenberger & Son

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Klappenberger & Son is a local company and operates in Maryland, Virginia and the D.C. area. We believe in quality above everything else. All of our employees are extensively trained and our knowledge of the right products and application make us a great value.

When you work with Klappenberger & Son, you don’t have to worry about quality. Our system and process give us consistent and predictable results that offer the very best in painting services to our clients.

If you live in the Maryland, Virginia or D.C. areas and you would like to talk to us about painting the interior or the exterior of your home, you can call us at 410-647-5700 or toll-free at 888-308-6638. You can also visit our contact us page to leave us your contact details and some information about your painting needs. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Riversdale Historic House Preservation Painting

Riversdale Historic House Preservation Painting

Here at Klappenberger & Son, we enjoy sharing our knowledge and experience on historic preservation projects with you. We paint historical buildings to ensure our history is protected and preserved. This results in beautiful buildings that has a lasting paint job. We work with interior and exterior paint jobs, commercial and private projects from big jobs to small ones. No matter the type of job, our policy is to produce the very best work possible every time, and we love sharing our work with others.

We also have the training and skills necessary to take on more complex tasks in historic building restoration. Like so many places, Maryland, D.C. and the East Coast in General has its fair share of gorgeous historic buildings, all of which deserve to keep standing and sharing their fascinating history with generations to come, but many of which could also use a little help in lasting that long. That’s where we come in. When hired for the job, we visit national historic landmarks and work to restore the paint, windows and finish.

Recently, we were proud to use our skills to preserve and restore Riversdale House Museum — a national historic landmark and genuine piece of Maryland history. Today, we want to share a little bit about what a job like that looks like, as well as the importance of preserving historic buildings and why we’re passionate about it.

Riversdale House Museum

Riversdale House Museum is a Federal-style mansion built between the years 1801 and 1807. Today, it exists as a way for visitors to experience a slice of time and history preserved within the walls and grounds of this elegant estate.

The home was originally built for Flemish aristocrat Henri Stier but was eventually completed by his daughter and her husband, Rosalie and George Calvert. This couple had deep ties to the prominent families in Maryland of the day, and George was even the grandson of the fifth Lord Baltimore. Through information revealed in the architectural bones of the house, archival records and the surviving diary of Rosalie Calvert, historians can reconstruct much of what life in this house during this period. Today, they’re using these records and this house to share this story with visitors from every corner of the world.

Riversdale House Museum is a rich source of information and learning for those wishing to learn about federal history, Maryland history, women’s experiences in the early 19th century and the lives of African Americans during this time. From taking guided tours to browsing the exhibits and artifacts, there’s plenty for everyone to learn at Riversdale.

Why the Restoration?

historical sites suffering from passage

Given enough time, wooden structures break down. Buildings crumble, metals rust and wood decays. Our country has many gorgeous historical sites that all have valuable lessons to teach us about the past, but many of these sites have suffered from the passage of time. Left to their own devices, not many of them would last. Nature would take its course and these historical sites would vanish altogether.

That’s where teams of people including historians, preservation experts and painting professionals like our team here at Klappenberger & Son come in. Together, we work to perform historic building restoration, returning sites like Riversdale House and others to their former selves and preventing them from deteriorating. This way, the history they represent will continue to be available for future generations.

At Klappenberger & Son, our areas of expertise when it comes to landmark buildings are historical building painting and historic window restoration. In these two areas, we work carefully and diligently to preserve the building’s history and support the longevity of the wood.

Let’s explore what this restoration process looks like a little more closely.

Painting Process for Historic Buildings

The question of how to preserve old buildings is a complicated one, and there isn’t a single one-size-fits-all answer that we can apply universally. Every structure is unique, since they have different materials in varying states of decay and have been exposed to unique natural conditions that have affected the materials differently.

Many factors will influence the exact strategy we’ll use as we approach a project. Just a few of the questions we ask to help determine which approach we settle on include:

  • What materials are we painting?
  • What is the physical state of those materials?
  • How much has sun exposure damaged the surface?
  • How much moisture content is there in the walls?
  • How rough or smooth is the wood?
  • What paints and primers have other workers used on these surfaces in the past?

Once we have the answers to questions like these, we’ll be much better equipped to determine the best approach for preserving and restoring these historic spaces.

The Preservation Process for Riversdale House Museum

The process we use for every project will vary depending on the precise needs of the project in question. This means that if you’re looking for a universal method for historic preservation, then this won’t be it. Nevertheless, this is the method we used for our restoration work at Riversdale House Museum.

1. Preparing the Wood

advice before a historical paint job

Before any painting, priming, glazing or anything else can take place, it’s necessary to prepare the surface. Among other things, this means delicately cleaning off any debris, dirt or flaking paint. Few things can undermine a fresh coat of paint as efficiently as a dirty surface, as all these small particles of debris make it difficult for the paint to adhere to the surface.

Furthermore, it’s essential to smooth the surface gently by sanding it. A smooth surface accepts paint better than a rough one, meaning that this sanding is an integral part of prepping any surface for a historical preservation job.

We started by very gently removing all the loose glaze that was still clinging to the surface. It’s critical to perform this job carefully, so as not to scrape away too much of the original surface. At the same time, we also need to make sure we remove any loose particles, so they wouldn’t be in the way of the fresh coating. For this task, we used D/2, a cleaning product developed to clean historical surfaces without leaving any harmful residues that might eat away at the surface or damage the wood.

Additionally, we lightly sanded the wood and paint. This was to smooth the surface and clear away any loose chips that would interfere with the painting process. Again, we took great care to sand gently so as not to damage the surface itself. The goal here is only to smooth away loose pieces or bumps.

2. Priming the Wood

In many ways, historic preservation painting is very different from any other type of painting. Yet in other ways, they are much more similar than you might expect. Like any other variety of painting, historical jobs need to begin with a fresh coat of primer. This gives the paint a uniform base to adhere to, ensuring a smooth and even finish across the entire surface.

Whether you’re completing an ordinary paint job or a historical preservation job, failure to begin by applying this primer could result in many setbacks. The paint might not adhere at all, or it might look blotchy and uneven. Alternatively, the paint might go on wonderfully, only to begin chipping and flaking far sooner than it ordinarily would.

For our purposes with this project, we used an oil-based primer. By covering the surface in this primer, we do our best to make sure the later coats will go on with as few hiccups as possible. Once the primer is applied, it’s essential to wait for it to dry fully before moving on to the next step. Starting the next step too soon could make applying primer pointless.

3. Glazing the Wood

Once we’ve painted on the first coat of primer, but before we layer on any paint, it’s time to add the glaze. In this case, we added the glaze, then left the project alone for seven days before we moved onto the next step. This seven-day waiting period is crucial because it ensures that the moisture content of the wood is low enough for the paint to last as long as possible.

This accommodation for the moisture content of the wood is vital as this will have a significant effect on the final result of the paint. If the moisture content of the wood is too high, the paint won’t stick very well and won’t last long. Therefore, this seven-day waiting period is crucial for the overall success of the project.

4. Priming the Wood: Round Two

Once the glaze has set, the moisture content has been attended to and the seven-day waiting period has passed, it’s time to move onto the next step — the second coat of primer. While we used an oil-based primer for the first coat, the second coat is different. In this case, we used a latex-based primer called Mad Dog.

Mad Dog is a primer explicitly intended for use with historic preservation projects. Excellent for projects that deal with peeling and well-weathered surfaces, Mad Dog primer helps lay down a solid base that creates the perfect surface for the paint to lie down on. Primer like this has been known to keep the top coat of paint holding steady and looking great for at least 20 years. For reasons like these, we include it in our own historical preservation projects.

Once we apply the primer, the next step is simply to wait for it to dry. This isn’t quite as long a waiting period as is necessary for the glaze, but it’s still important to wait long enough to ensure the primer dries properly.

5. Painting the Wood

historic preservation painting advice

With historic preservation, we often refer to the whole project as “painting.” Yet painting is only one small part of a much longer series of steps. Before we can even begin painting, it’s necessary first to complete the due diligence of properly preparing, priming and glazing the wood.

Once we’ve completed all this prep work, however, it’s time to move onto the final phase — painting. For this phase, we used a latex-based paint that meshed well with the latex-based primer we used just underneath the paint. We chose a paint from Fine Paints of Europe.

We applied two coats of this paint to ensure maximum coverage, as well as to guarantee the paint’s longevity. Once this paint dried and we inspected everything to make sure it was up to standard, the historic house preservation painting was complete.

Historic Window Painting

In addition to our work painting the exterior of Riversdale House, we also performed extensive work in wood window restoration. Much like any other type of historic preservation painting, this is exact and careful work that requires precisely the right tools used in precisely the right way.

As we mentioned earlier, moisture content is an enormous factor when painting historic wood. The higher the moisture content, the greater the likelihood that the paint will not stick, leading to coats of paint that flake and peel off not long after they’ve been applied.

While moisture content is a concern in any historical preservation work, it’s especially concerning when it comes to restoring old windows. This is because windows are a major source of moisture, as they’re in constant contact with the air outside and are exposed to rain, snow and all manner of inclement weather. If any part of the house is going to suffer from excessive moisture, it is by far the most likely that it will be the windows.

In all our historic preservation work, from this project to all the other sites we’ve worked on, we always strive to ensure we’re preserving the original structure while preparing it to last for many more years. This means watching the moisture content in the wood of the walls as well as the windows and treating them with the utmost care in the process.

Government Buildings

Our expertise in restoring old buildings isn’t just limited to the private and public sphere. We also work with government sites and have completed projects at such nationally recognizable sites as the White House and the Pentagon. No matter what type of site you’re looking to have restored, and no matter what schedule you need us to accommodate, we’re ready to work with you.

Contact Klappenberger & Son for Your Historical Restoration Project Today

contact for historical painting job

Is there a historical site that you’re looking to have restored and preserved? Here at Klappenberger & Son, we have the tools, expertise and experience to get the job done right. We pride ourselves on attending to all the details and know that the best jobs are the ones where time and care has been taken to make sure every little thing comes out right.

Are you ready to move forward with your project? Contact us today to schedule your free onsite estimate.

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Matching Your Wall Paint & Hardwood Flooring

What Color Walls Go Best With Hardwood Flooring

Gone are the days when the carpet dominated. While carpet certainly hasn’t gone away, today, hardwoods floors tend to be a trending home interior design style and desirable choice for most homeowners. Hardwoods create a sleek appearance and don’t hold onto dust and grime as carpet does. Another advantage is that the best wood floors are made to last for generations. Like carpet, however, hardwood can come in a plethora of colors and shades.

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Your hardwoods may be painted white, cream or black. They may be stained with a honey, gray or espresso stain. They may be left the natural color of the wood. Whatever the color of your hardwoods, you want to make sure you choose colors for your walls that will work well with your floors to create the atmosphere you desire in your home.

What Color Walls Go Best With Hardwood Flooring

Do you want guests to feel awe at the elegant drama of strong contrast? Do you want them to feel relaxed in a bright, airy atmosphere? Do you want them to feel the warmth and coziness of dark, rich colors? Whatever effect you desire, you can achieve it. It just requires some understanding of how colors affect the feel of a space and how certain colors work together. In this post, we’ll go over the basics you need to know to make an informed decision.

Whether you’re designing the interior of your new home or refreshing the interior of your existing home, you want to get it right the first time rather than regret your decision after living with a wall color for a week or two. To help you make the right decision, we’ll start by looking at the best wall colors for light, dark and medium tone hardwood floors. Then, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can achieve balance with your color choices. Finally, we’ll look at what colors and color combinations are trending in 2019.

Light Hardwood Floor

Light Hardwood flooring

Whether it’s ash, birch, bamboo, white oak or some other light wood, many people appreciate light hardwood floors for their ability to brighten up a space, making it appear larger and airier. If this is what you love about your light wood floors, the best way to accentuate this feature is by keeping your walls light in color, as well. Light floors and light walls together can make a room feel more open, especially if you also have plenty of natural light coming in through windows. Here are some of the best wall paint colors to consider for your light hardwood floors:

1. White

White is a timeless wall color that is sure to brighten up any space. If you’ve ever looked through paint colors before, you know there are nearly infinite shades of white to choose from. While this can seem overwhelming, the advantage is that you can find the perfect shade of white for your space. Off-white shades are popular because they appear softer than a stark white. Choose a white that has either cool or warm undertones to match the wood tones in your flooring.

2. Cream

Cream has more yellow in it than white or off-white shades, which gives it a warmth and richness that white doesn’t have. Because cream is a warm color, only use it if your floors have warm undertones. If you decide to paint your walls cream, look for a shade that has just enough color in it to appear warm without being too dark.

3. Gray

Light gray is another good neutral to consider. As with white, it can come in a plethora of shades, so make sure you choose one that has the right undertones to complement your floors. Technically, undertones can be pink, blue, green or any other color, but the simplest way to account for undertones is to determine whether your floors have warm or cool undertones and then assess each paint color to see whether it is a warm or cool gray. If your floors themselves are gray, gray walls are not a good choice.

4. Beige, Greige or Taupe

Shades of beige and taupe have long been popular neutral shades that offer a bit more color than white or gray and are typically darker than cream. “Greige” is the term given to the group of colors that are a combination of cool gray and warm beige. Beige, greige and taupe are all great options if you want a richer color on your walls while staying in the neutral family.

5. Tan

Tan walls work well if you want even more color on your walls while remaining neutral. Tan shades can range from light to dark, but they tend to stay pretty warm. Therefore, tan walls work best with hardwood floors that are warm in color. For example, honey oak floors would pair nicely with tan walls.

If you’re going for the light, airy look, and you go with a shade of white or off-white for your walls, paint your trim the same color as your walls. If you opt for more color on the walls, paint trims white for a bold contrast. No matter what color you choose for your trim, you should use a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish on the trim so it can handle more wear than your walls.

If you aren’t after the bright and clean look and would rather be bolder with your color choice, you can do that while still staying consistent with the undertones in your wood floors. Just make sure you match the wall and floor color undertones. If your floors have cool, ashy undertones, yellow or orange walls would look out of place, but cool blues and greens would pair well with your floors. If your floors have warm undertones, you can go for cream or yellow shades or something bolder, like a red clay color.

Dark Hardwood Floor

Dark Hardwood flooring.

Dark hardwood floors can be stained to be as dark as espresso or even black. Dark hardwoods are especially popular at the moment, possibly because they can have a dramatic effect. Generally, dark hardwoods make a space feel more formal or high-end. While these are positive aspects of dark hardwood floors, the negative aspect is that they tend to make a space feel smaller. There are three main options you can choose from for your walls when you have dark wood floors:

1. Keep Walls Pale

Generally, the best wall paint for dark hardwood floors is light. If you want to balance your dark floors and create contrast, white is a great choice. As mentioned before, you can choose a stark, cool white or a warmer off-white or even ivory or cream. For more color, you could choose the lightest shade of a color you like. The idea is to pick an extremely pale color. Otherwise, your rooms may feel too dark and closed-in.

Pale Walls with wood flooring and ceiling.

2. Split the Difference

If you have wainscoting or a chair rail around a room, a great option is to paint the wainscoting or chair rail white and to paint the remaining walls a dark color. This wall color combination creates a stark contrast and a dramatic, elegant look. Since the darker walls are separated from the floor by a section of white, you can get away with using a darker color.

3. Choose an Accent Wall

Another option for adding some contrast and drama, which works well if you don’t have wainscoting or chair rail, is to paint three out of four walls in a room a light, neutral color, like white, and to paint the fourth wall a bolder color. This option allows you to incorporate that bold color you love without swallowing up your whole room in it and making the space appear too dark or small.

Painting an accent wall.

If you go with one of the latter two options, the darker color you choose can either match or complement the undertones in your floor stain. For example, if your floors are dark cherry, you could pair with a color in the red family, or you could choose the color opposite on the color wheel, also known as the complementary color. In this case, that’s green. The right choice really depends on the effect you want to create and on the other colors from furniture and decor you’re factoring in.

Medium Tone Hardwood Floor

If you wouldn’t consider your floors to be dark or light, then they fall somewhere in between. Medium tone hardwoods are extremely versatile, meaning the potential wall colors are endless. The same “rules” we’ve already discussed still apply here, so reviewing those is a good place to start. The two main things to remember are that white and pale colors on walls create a more open, airy feel and darker colors can create more drama but should be used sparingly.

Medium tone hardwood floor.

The third rule of thumb to remember is that, no matter how dark or light the shade, you should choose a color with undertones to match your floors or to complement them. Remember, complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. So, let’s say you want to paint your walls blue, a color of enduring popularity. The best floor colors for this would either be hardwoods with cool, bluish undertones or warm hardwoods with orange undertones since orange is complementary to blue.

That said, you typically choose your floor colors first and then select wall colors to match. But, if you have your heart set on a specific color for your walls, it’s not a bad idea to factor that in when choosing a stain for your flooring.

Since you can go light or dark with medium toned floors, you may want to keep most rooms, such as living spaces, dining room and kitchen, light and paint bedrooms a darker color. Making a room feel larger is usually less of a concern in bedrooms, and darker colors may make for more restful sleep.

How to Balance Colors Throughout Your Home

When you’re choosing colors for your home, you have to think big picture. Your floors, walls, furniture, decor and lighting all work together to create a color scheme and a certain effect. You want to make sure the color scheme and the effect all these elements create is what you’re going for. So, let’s look at how you can effectively balance colors to achieve your desired effect. If you are also doing a DIY flooring job, you are in an opportune position to experiment matching your existing paint colors and then developing your paint choices after seeing the results.

Balance Colors throughout your home.

1. Open vs Closed Floor Plan

Part of choosing the right paint color has to do with the overall floor plan of your house. If your home has an open floor plan, then you should choose a light, neutral shade for your walls that works well with the furniture and decor in every room so you can cover almost all your walls in the same color. You can pull out certain colors you want to feature in each individual space through the use of pops of color in your furniture or decor.

For example, you may have light, gray walls and espresso floors throughout your home, but your living room may feature pops of bright, sunny yellow in an area rug and throw pillows on the sofa. Your kitchen may not have a trace of yellow in sight and instead highlight vibrant greens in the backsplash, stools at the island and fresh herbs in a planter.

Open floor plane room and closed floor plan room.

If the rooms in your home are more distinctly separated from each other, then you have the liberty to choose different wall colors for each room, but it’s still typically best to stay within the same family. This helps to create a cohesiveness that ties each room together. You may want to use light neutral colors on most walls but choose an accent wall in some rooms to highlight with a bolder color that suits that particular room. And again, you can use furniture, rugs or other decor to help you incorporate colors you love.

2. Lightness vs. Darkness

Regardless of the layout of your home, balancing colors is important when it comes to light and dark colors. For example, if your floors are dark and you’re set on having dark-colored walls, then you need a light element to bring some balance and contrast.

A light-colored area rug can be an excellent way of doing this. Another good way, as we mentioned previously, is with white trim, especially if you have wainscoting or a chair rail. If you have a brick fireplace, consider painting the brick white or whitewashing it to help break up the dark walls. If your kitchen cabinets are white, then you can get away with a darker color on the walls in your kitchen.

If you go with darker colors, make sure you have plenty of lighting from light fixtures or natural light to keep the room from feeling too dark.

By the same token, if your walls and floors are both light, then it’s a good idea to pull in some darker elements for a bit of balance. Keep in mind that you don’t need an equal amount of dark elements in a room as light. One or two dark elements can go a long way.

For example, a dining room that has light floors and white walls could handle a table with a dark stain or a wrought iron light fixture. If the room is small, you may want a light-colored table, but you could still have dark legs or chairs that provide a pop of color. Small details like a vase of rich, red tulips on the table or deep navy napkins at each place setting can also add a lot to a room that could otherwise look washed out.

What Color Combinations Are Trending in 2019

When you’re choosing colors, either for your hardwood floors or for your walls, you want to make sure you choose a fashion-forward color that won’t look outdated or off-trend in a couple of years. So, what colors promise to be big this year?

2019 room color combinations with hardwood floors.

1. Cool Hardwoods

When it comes to hardwoods, the 2019 color forecast is “nature’s neutrals.” These colors range from as dark as almost black to as light as off-white. What most colors in this trendy palette have in common is that they have cool undertones. That means cool wall colors would work well with them. Gray, which has gained popularity within the neutral color family in recent years, is definitely still a popular choice and will continue to be for some time.

2. Bold Nature-Inspired Wall Colors

The 2019 colors of the year will also derive some inspiration from nature. Except for a neutral gray or “greige” color, the other colors highlighted are bolder. They include coral, blue and clay. This is consistent with an emerging trend of featuring an edgier, more dramatic palette in the home. That said, neutrals aren’t going anywhere. They are tried-and-true and will continue to be popular options, though they may have to share a bit of the limelight with these bolder colors.

3. Neutrals With a Pop of Color

Many online interior design platforms predict that a big trend for 2019 will be a color palette that is mostly neutral with just an occasional pop of color. This may mean that the popular coral color for 2019 may only appear on an accent wall in some cases with the other walls painted white or a pale greige color. In many cases, decor and furniture will be used to provide these pops of contrasting color. Jewel-toned velvet furniture is in this year, and these pieces will provide a great accent when surrounded by neutral floors and walls.

Nuetral room paints with a pop of color.

Paying attention to trends is important if you want your home to embrace current design preferences, but remember that the most important thing is that your home is a personal sanctuary that reflects the colors and styles you love. So, the best paint colors are ones that make you feel right at home. Some interior designers recommend looking in your closet to remind yourself of the colors you love. Don’t overthink it too much.

Klappenberger & Son Interior Painter.Contact Klappenberger & Son for All Your Painting Needs

If you need painting services and live near Annapolis, Baltimore or Montgomery County, consider calling on the expert services of Klappenberger & Son. For 30 years, Klappenberger & Son has been a leader in both exterior and interior painting in Maryland.

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Types of Paint Sheen

handyman applying paint sheen in interior of home

Whether you are painting your home in Baltimore, Ellicott City or Rockville MD, or anywhere up and down the Chesapeake Bay, the sheen of the paint can be just as important as the color.  The sheen will determine the washability and can help create subtle and even dramatic differences.  There are certain rules of thumbs about paint sheen that can help guide you to improving the look and longevity of the paint. The information I have provided is largely based on experience and knowledge. I have been painting homes for almost 30 years. And like the Farmers commercial “I know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two”  applies to the over 30,000 homes I’ve painted and the knowledge and experience I’ have gotten along the way.  I’ve also included some short examples of when I picked the wrong sheen to help you avoid those pitfalls as well.

Sheen Durability

Here are the sheens and durability from least to most:

  1. Flat – least washable
  2. Matte
  3. Eggshell (also called Low luster)
  4. Satin
  5. Semi-gloss
  6. Gloss (or High Gloss) – most washable

Do all sheens clean basically the same?  Back in the day the answer was always no.  But today with new technology flat and matte finishes have come along way and a small select few very high end paints have excellent durability and clean-up, but for the most part as you increase the sheen to a higher more reflective level the durability increases as well. The more reflective or smoother the surface the less dirt can fit in the grooves of the paint.  This is how interior painting and paint sheen was explained to me almost 30 years ago.

If you looked at flat paint under a microscope, it would look similar to a plate of cooked spaghetti noodles without the sauce.  There would be plenty of nooks and crannies for dirt fill in and hard to get it out.  Wiping flat paint off would just of smear the dirt around.

On the other hand, if we looked at a high gloss paint under a microscope it would look like a piece of glass.  And we all know that if you spill something on glass it just wipes right off.  That is the same for gloss paint as well.  They are cleanable.

green paint sheen next to front doorknob

Flat paint

Flat paint has the dullest sheen of all paints and,  comes in many different grades.  From maintenance paint that would be used in apartments to premium grade flats that would be used at the White House.  Most major paint manufacturers have at least 4 or more lines that fall between the two.    I hate speaking in absolutes but most low-end paints will have poor results in washability and scrubbablity.  Some poor paints do actually cover just fine and touch-up easily.  For the purpose of this article,  I will be referring to mid- grade to premium grades.

Advantages of flat paint

  • Least expensive
  • Covers the best
  • Self-priming
  • Touches up perfectly (no need to paint the entire wall)
  • Hides imperfections
  • Best choice if you have removed wallpaper and are repainting.
  • Best choice for ceilings

 

Why choose a flat paint for the ceiling – most interior house painters will shutter at the thought of painting anything other than flat on the ceilings.  Why?  Because flat paints non-reflective properties it hides subtle imperfections of roller marks and unevenness of surfaces.  We recently painted a home in Parkville MD with flat paint on the walls and ceiling because the house was built in the 1920’s and had lots of imperfections in the plaster.  The customer did not have any children or dogs and wanted a clean finish that could be touched up when needed as opposed to cleaning.  Also, flat paint hid so many of subtle defects of the plaster.

A second advantage to interior flat paint is it touches up well.  Some customers would prefer to break out a roller and touch up areas as opposed to cleaning the walls.  If so, flat paint is the way to go.  As you will see shortly, one of the disadvantages of using paint with a sheen is it does not touch-up very well.  Flat paint does.  So, if drywall refinish service needs to be done, flat paint can be done in just the repaired areas and the flat paint will blend right in without repainting the entire wall.

I highly recommend using flat paint if you are removing wallpaper.  Wallpaper removal is a service we provide as well.  The reason why you want to use interior flat paint after wallpaper removal has taken place is that of the rough conditions of the walls.  Flat paint will help hide the drywall imperfections better than all other sheens.

interior of home with flat paint walls

Flat Paint Disadvantages

  • Does not have the washability or scrubbability compared to the other sheens.

Recently a customer who we painted for in Columbia MD wanted a highly washable flat paint.  Yes, all paint manufacturers have washable flat paint, but in truth, most are not true flat.  They need the slightest sheen to some wash-ability.   These premium grade flats paints are definitely more washable than a good grade flat, but they do not have the washability that an eggshell / low sheen paint can handle.  There is a compromise, if you want to wash the walls but desire a minimal sheen than a Matte finish is the best choice.

Is there a difference between scrubbable and washable paint?

Washable refers to the stains ability NOT to adhere to the paint.  Stain can easily be washed off with a sponge and mild detergent.

Scrubbable has to do not with a paints ability to be cleaned.  In order for a paint to be labeled scrubbable, it needs to be able to scrub with a stiff bristle brush repeatedly and resist erosion.   The stain can still exist, and the paint can be reduced in sheen as well.  But the paint did not come off.

The goal of good quality paint is to handle light-duty cleaning to remove dirt and stains (washability) and not wash the paint off the wall (scrubbability)

Matte Finish

If hiding imperfections on the walls are important but the customer would like some washability as well than a matte finish is a perfect choice.  It is very hard to tell the difference between a flat and matte finish unless you are looking at the wall from an angle.  Matte finish have an ever so slight sheen that they can easily be confused for a flat finish.  But it’s that very slight sheen that its ability to be washed and scrubbed.

I have yet to see mid-grade matte paint but I am sure some manufacturer is working on it.  Maryland Paint in Annapolis has a multitude of premium grade matte paints and I highly recommend you check them out if you are a do-it-yourselfer.  Maryland Paint & Decorating is a full-service independent paint dealer in Annapolis that carries at least 4 different manufacturers of Matte finish paint that all of exceptional quality.

Matt Paint disadvantages

  • The major disadvantage of a matte finish is it is expensive.
  • Matte paint does not work well on ceilings

Don’t make this mistake

Matte paints are very close to a flat finish but please never confuse the two and apply a Matte finish on a ceiling.  Many years ago, I wanted to apply the best Matte finish paint on the market to make please a painting customer in Bethesda MD.  I painted the ceiling 3 times before I throw-in the towel.  Matte paints are impossible to get looking good on a ceiling with lots of light.  I ended up getting a flat ceiling paint that did the trick.   The customer in Bethesda was happy with our painting service and has recommended us to many other neighbors and friends.  Thanks!!

Matte paint advantages

  • It hides imperfections on walls about as good as flat paint. It is an excellent choice for plaster walls.
  • It can be touched up and will blend right into surrounding areas.
  • It is self-priming
  • It has a very good washability and scrubbability.

Eggshell Sheen

Eggshell Advantages

  • Eggshell paint has several advantages and is now about as frequently used on walls as flat paint. The advantages are it has subtlety, sophistication and an elegant sheen.  Eggshell finishes are durable and washable.  Minor scuffs can be easily cleaned with a mild detergent and sponge.  It’s soft creamy look gives it a contrast between flat and satin finish.
  • As a rule of thumb, a good grade eggshell will have better washability than a premium matte finish.
  • It is easy to apply

Many homes including this interior painting job in Towson MD used eggshell paint on all the walls.  The eggshell sheen was a great choice and Towson shined just a little brighter.

Long or tall walls with open space will show drywall imperfections. Short walls or walls with a lot of pictures, or windows will help hide the minor imperfections.  Eggshell is the highest finish that slight imperfections will not be that noticeable unless walls are long and open or tall like a 2-story foyer.  Kitchens and bathrooms used to be painted with a semi-gloss sheen.  Most customers have switched to an eggshell finish because it still has the durability without the sheen of s semi-gloss.

Eggshell Disadvantages

Eggshell Interior paint does not touch up well.  Every time an additional coat of paint is applied the product gets a hair shinier.  The results are noticeable, and any professional painting contractor should know that the wall will have to be painted in its entirety.  At Klappenberger & Son our professional painters are trained to do the following procedure when repairing wall damage to a wall with a sheen other than flat of matte finishes.

  1. Spackle and sand to a smooth finish
  2. Prime spackled area
  3. Paint repaired area only with eggshell finish
  4. Paint entire wall

Therefore, some professional painting companies in the Maryland areas and elsewhere that charge more for painting with eggshell sheen or other higher sheens.  Recently, in we painted a tall foyer in Clarksville MD and the 20’ high walls were flat paint.  The customer wanted an eggshell paint applied to the walls because of its washability (they have 4 children and 2 large dogs).  But it was also important to the Clarksville family to have the walls look excellent as they liked to entertain.  So, they wanted a professional paint job using durable paint but were also concerned about not showing the imperfections.  Even though the walls looked good with flat paint, new areas of concern will now appear because of the reflection of light bouncing off the walls is more reflective.  The solution is to bring in halogen lights and shine them on the flat walls which will highlight the imperfections prior to applying the eggshell paint.  Klappenberger & Son is a professional painting company in Maryland that follows those best practices.  In other words, if you are switching from flat to eggshell, be prepared to see flaws in the walls that were not noticeable before.

Typical places to use Eggshell Interior Paint

painter applying eggshell finish to walls at the smithsonian

Government painting jobs such as this one at the Smithsonian.  Selvin is applying  Ben Moore Eggshell finish to walls.

  1. Commercial painting business in Maryland: Office buildings are routinely painted Eggshell to handle the daily scuffs.  Some of the Maryland commercial painting services that we have painted using eggshell paint on the walls include:  Interior painting of schools, churches, Medstar, and assisted living.  Klappenberger & Son in licensed and insured commercial painting contractor in Maryland that is also an expert on Eggshell finish epoxy paint which what we have been using in a High School in Baltimore City.  This epoxy eggshell paint is a remarkable product with amazing durability and washability.  We painted the interior of Coppin State High School Academy in Baltimore several years ago and I had the privilege of returning a year later and cleaning the walls we painted.  The result was amazing! Strong scuff marks wiped off so easily and left no evidence on the walls after the cleaning dried.
  1. Residential places where eggshell is commonly used.

Some of the most common areas where rooms that would benefit by having eggshell paint would be bathrooms, kitchens, and high traffic areas, such as hallways, and laundry rooms.  Also, if you are not concerned about having your walls look perfect and free of small blemishes eggshell is a good choice for any wall.  It has a similar sheen to a stick of butter but with no calories.  Remember, a mid-grade eggshell paint which cost about $25.000 will have better wash ability than a premium grade flat that would cost a range from 45.00 – 65.00 dollars.   So if you are likely to clean your walls instead of touch -up, eggshell paint is your best bet.

eggshell finish in white hallway with stairs inside home

This Gaithersburg painting home had several small children that will require a highly washable low sheen finish.  The product used was Sherwin Williams Cashmere Low Luster which is the same sheen as eggshell.

Do you ever wash or clean your walls?

If you don’t wash your walls, why bother getting a washable paint?  You are paying for something you won’t benefit from.  It reminds me of when I saw a button in a rental car for seat warmers in Hawaii.  Nice feature but can’t imagine when they will ever be used.

What about rental properties?  I recommend painting a rental property with mid-grade flat paint because it touches up so well.  Just get an extra five-gallon bucket and leave a roller in it.  When tenants leave you may be able to get away with just rolling the areas that need it.  You certainly should not have to edge where the walls and ceiling meet.  If you touch up with an eggshell the areas that were re-coated will look shinier than the areas that were not re-coated causing a patchy look.

Satin finish

Satin finish is certainly the least common sheen used.  Why?  No real reason but it is already visible in your home.  Your kitchen cabinets sheen is a satin finish.  Recently we got a referral from a previous customer who was asked if she knew any house painters in Baltimore who painted kitchen cabinets.  When I meet the customer in Towson I showed them samples of cabinet grade satin finish paint and explained our best practices.  Satin has great durability and washability with a slightly less sheen than semi-gloss.  It is often used in historic restoration work both on the interior and exterior of homes.  The reason is woodwork is often in rough shape on historical homes and the slightly duller finish from a semi-gloss has noticeable differences in hiding dings and dents.  Also, if the walls are flat and the trim is satin finish there is still significant contrast.  Most historical properties have beautiful trim and it does not need a semi-gloss finish to be noticed.

Disadvantages of a satin finish

If you have modest trim and you switch from a semi-gloss finish to a satin finish the paint looks slightly duller as if the painter did not apply enough paint.

If you paint walls a satin finish and the walls are bowed or wavy the work will look horrible.  It may take hours for a professional painter or drywall finisher to make the walls look acceptable.  In some cases, it might not even be possible.  When we were repainting this historical project in Baltimore City the customer viewed the flaws in the plaster as adding character.  These walls didn’t need to talk to show all their character.

bright green satin paint sheen finish inside home

The walls are a satin finish glow in the dark green with jet black semi-gloss and high gloss white trim.  This interior painting job is from a historic property in Baltimore City.

Advantages of a Satin finish:

Satin finishes can be used on walls, ceiling and trim but come with the same warnings as eggshell sheen does.  Namely, it will accentuate imperfections if the previous coat was a lesser sheen.

It is great in bathrooms for moisture.  In fact, most bathroom paints have a satin sheen.

Other great places to use a satin finish are painting furniture, kitchen cabinets, and closets.  Yes, closets get all scuffed up and a satin finish is like making it bulletproof.  If you have paintable shelves you can just paint everything in the closet the same color (white is best).   Life is complicated enough, painting your closets white satin from top to bottom just made life a little easier.

What does a satin finish look like?   Furniture and kitchen cabinets are usually satin finishes.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss is most commonly used on woodwork like windows, doors, baseboard etc.  It’s durability and contrast to eggshell and flat paint make it a nice partnership with walls and trim.  At one time it was very common to paint kitchen and bathroom walls semi-gloss, but it’s urethane look can leave a cold impression.   Today customers are more likely to just use an eggshell sheen because it has more subtleness to it and does not highlight the imperfections.  Plus if your walls are eggshell and the trim is semi-gloss there is still a contrast.  In my opinion semi-gloss on walls has an institutional look to it.  It is something that I would recommend in a daycare facility or a gym.  But on trim, it is still king at and is the most common choice by far.

painter painting a pool bathroom with blue paint

Right: Dave Perella is painting a pool bathroom in Gaithersburg MD

Semi-gloss the disadvantages

Semi-gloss does not look good on walls unless walls are in great shape.  This may require extensive drywall spackling services.  Drywall services such as skimming walls can double the time and cost of the paint job.  Touching up trim is no problem but touching up walls will often look patchy.  Meaning every additional coat get a little shinier and will be necessary to repaint the entire wall.  The process is the same as it would be for all the other sheens besides flat and matte finish.  First, prime then paint the primed area, the paint the entire wall.  This is a best practice that all professional painting services in Maryland should follow and is certainly incorporated by Klappenberger & Son.

Semi-gloss the advantages

The advantages of painting the interior of homes in Maryland with a semi-gloss is its durability and also it’s coverage.  This is the highest sheen you can apply that will typically cover in two coats.  Whenever you change colors or sheens it best to figure on 2 coats of paint.  In 95% of the time semi-gloss will not let you down.

The semi-gloss finish has more washability and scrubbablity than any other sheen except gloss.  Because of those features, it is the best product to apply to doors and door trim.  It is also the most economical product to apply for durability because of its superior coverage to gloss paint.

FYI – Please stay away from any white paint that reads “brilliant white.”  This paint is so white that it does not have enough pigment to cover.  Some customers who want interior painting service in Maryland want their ceilings or trim to be “brilliant white”.  This is a poor choice.  I try to educate the customer and let them know that it will always take multiple coats and lead to additional costs with no real visual difference.  Paint colors like “Extra white, Super white, and just White” will cover and work just fine.  If you buy paint and it says Brilliant White I hope you enjoy painting –a lot!

High Gloss Sheen

Gloss paint looks like glass and just sits on top of the surface.  It can have a very dramatic and powerful feel.  In this historical restoration project in Baltimore City, the owner understood the effect of gloss paint and wanted to maximize its effect.  Gloss paint is difficult to work with and is more susceptible to drips and runs than other sheens.   Once we used gloss paint on walls.  We had to spackle walls all the walls from top to bottom (called a skin coat).  The walls then needed to be sanded and primed and rechecked for further imperfections.  It’s also difficult to apply the paint but that is for another article.  The bottom line is a gloss on walls has a dramatic effect and can look amazing but it very labor intensive.

clean white toilet surrounded by red glossy walls

This historical restaurant in Baltimore City (The Elephant).  We painted the walls Fire Engine Red and in high gloss.  Talk about dramatic!

High Gloss the Disadvantages

The disadvantages of gloss paint will become apparent very quickly.

  1. They show every flaw as if it was under a microscope. If glossy paint is applied with a roller it should be backed brushed to knock down the nap of the roller.
  2. The paint runs and drips 10 minutes after you think you are finished.
  3. It typically requires additional coats for coverage. Fine Paints of Europe does make high-quality gloss paints that have exceptional coverage.  SW Emerald does not cover well and is difficult to work with.
  4. It dries more slowly than all other sheens.
  5. It fades quicker when on exterior surfaces.

High Gloss The advantages

You are king of the sheen!

High Gloss has an amazing effect.  It is very noticeable.

Very durable and has great washability

Best places to use Gloss paint

  1. Mantles
  2. Window sills
  3. Front door interior and exterior
  4. Newel post
  5. Bookcases
  6. Wood shutters on historic homes look great if you don’t mind seeing the imperfections.
  7. Anything you want to show off.

Exterior Sheens

Picking the right sheens on exterior surfaces has few more standard rules of thumb.

It is a safe bet that if you are painting your siding, it will be either flat or Eggshell finish.

Satin and semi-gloss sheens have too much of a sheen and are better served to be used on trim, shutters, and doors.

When Maryland customers are in need of a professional painting company they often call Klappenberger & Son Painting for guidance on the pro’s and cons on choosing the right sheen.  On aluminum and vinyl siding the proper sheen to use is Eggshell.  Why?  When the siding was originally installed it had and an eggshell finish.  As time wears on, the color has faded and the sheen has become dull.  If a flat finish is applied, it will hold pollen and dust that can turn into mildew faster.  Also, as rain splatters mud or dirt on the siding, eggshell would be less likely to stick.  Because eggshell finish has a smoother finish it will clean easier when power washed.  If you skipped eggshell sheen and went straight to a satin finish it will look to shiny.    Once I used an exterior satin finish paint on aluminum siding home and I thought it looked horrible.  It needed to be repainted.  The difference between satin and eggshell sheen is significant when you are seeing the tall gable side of a two-story home.

If you are fortunate enough to own a beautiful historic home such as this one in Annapolis MD.  You will find the rules for exterior paint sheen have some additional options.  When we meet with the customer, we suggested a satin finish on all siding and trim.

This would allow better washability than a flat or eggshell and would let all the character of the siding and trim shine.

Historical homes can be painted just about any sheen including High Gloss. This storefront in historic Annapolis has oil gloss paint applied to its trim and Low sheen paint on the bricks.

exterior sheen paint job on historical building

This Historic storefront in Annapolis has high gloss trim and low sheen on the bricks.

Exterior Sheens Fade But How Fast

The Maryland summers are long and hot and the UV will definitely effect color retention as well as the sheen.  Color retention will fade depending on the color.  Reds and yellows will fade the quickest while taupes and tans will hold there color the longest.  As far as sheen are concerned a quality paint will hold it sheen longer than a lesser grade.  Typically, most sheens will start to show a slight decrease in sheen in 4-6 years.  Hi-gloss paints in full exposure may loose then sheens a bit faster … 3-5 years.  Flats will have hardly changed for about 10 years.

Picking the right sheen takes careful thought and understanding of the pros and cons of each level.  Klappenberger & Son painting consultant’s will be glad to give you a free consolation on all aspects of interior and exterior painting and handyman work.

How to retard the loss of Sheen

Maryland has strong seasonal changes and the hot strong summers are one thing but the dark winters play their own havoc on exterior painting surfaces especially in high wooded areas like this exterior painting job in Columbia Maryland.  The winters are a great time for mildew to spread which means it may need a spring power washing with bleach.  Bleach will reduce sheen.  Chloride is a stripper.  It is an acid and will therefor know the sheen down a notch.  It’s best to use about 10-15% bleach in combination with other milder cleaners to clean homes with as opposed to higher levels of bleach when power washing.

handyman power washing side vinyl of house exterior

Power washing vinyl siding in Towson MD

I’ve included a few other exterior painting projects in Towson, Severna Park and Potomac MD

Some of the other exterior painting and handyman services that Klappenberger & Son provide include:

  • Power washing
  • Replacing rotten siding and trim
  • Replacing of screen
  • Replacing front doors
  • Replacing Handrails and deck boards

Klappenberger & Son is a residential and commercial painting contractor serving most of Maryland.  Geographical locations that our professional painters’ service would include Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, and Queen Ann’s County.

If you are in need of professional painting services in Maryland but outside of the areas listed above please call us and we may be able to recommend another professional painting company if we are not able to service the area ourselves. Contact us for a free quote!