5 Colorful Rooms To Inspire Your Interior Painting Project

We all need it sometimes. Sometimes you find yourself absolutely stumped and cannot find that right color for your interior painting project. Sadly, those 1 inch paint swatches don’t quite cut it when picking a color for your interior. That’s why we try to include as many photos as possible on our site. We know there are really two main reasons people visit our website. #1 to find a great minneapolis painter and #2, to find inspiration and look at photos. Here are a few great photos to help get your inspired and find the right color for your project:

Green Living Room Grey Living Room Purple Room Blue Living Room Awesome Girls Room


How to Pick Contrasting Interior Paint Colors for Your Home

Paint-Color-SwatchesWhen you choose contrasting interior paint colors for your home, you maximize the flow of the rooms.  A common trait of homeowners is to choose two interior paint colors that contrast for a room.  There are a number of combinations that exist, and homeowners can have an expressive home that is inviting, relaxed, formal, sophisticated, or whatever theme they attempt to create.

It is important when your chose your color pallet, that for the best flow of the home, you carry one color, preferably a neutral color, throughout each room in the home.  There are many ways to achieve this, such as adding the color to upholstery in one room, the bedspread in the bedroom, a throw rug in the kitchen and so on. When you decorate with contrasting interior paint colors you might paint one wall in a room one color and another the contrasting color or you might paint the walls one color and add trim or crown molding to the wall.  There is a variety of combinations and below details how to use contrasting colors in your home.

  1. When you begin to choose an interior color scheme your home, you want to take a good look at what’s in your home and determine the permanent items in your home.  Take for instance the room walls.  A good rule of thumb is to paint the walls a dominant paint color and the permanent fixtures such as fireplace mantels, kitchen cabinets, or shelving units the contrasting color.
  2. Select a focal point for each room. This could be an arched or bay window or crown molding. Paint it a darker or lighter color in comparison to the dominant wall color.
  3. Take your interior paint colors and choose alternative colors and use them on your trim.  For example, use a darker green on the walls and a light green on the trim.  If you would like a more formal traditional look you can go for colors such as dark burgundy and gold.
  4. Emphasize the features in the room with contrasting wall colors.  For short walls you can paint them a light color and for longer walls, paint them a darker color.
  5. Smaller rooms should not be painted a dark color, or the room will look smaller.  Save the dark interior paint colors for larger rooms and paint the trim on the walls a lighter color to create an intimate feel.  In the smaller rooms, use light paint on the walls and on the trim, use the darker contrasting color.
  6. Before you begin to paint leave the paint sample in the room for a few days and review the interior paint colors throughout the day as the light changes in the room.  Incandescent bulbs can intensify warm colors because of the glow of the bulb and distort the color.  Different exposures to the room will also have an impact on the colors and you want to ensure that you are aware of the difference in your color choices throughout the different times of the day.

Interior paint colors in a home can mean a huge difference in how you enjoy your home.  Atmosphere is created with color and your choice in colors should be something that you can live with for a number of years.


Exterior Wall Paints – The 5 Best

Green Painted HouseIf you have ever painted the exterior of your home or a relative or friends, you know that you want to use the best exterior wall paint possible so that your next exterior painting encounter is as far off as possible.

With so many different paint brands saying that they have the best exterior wall paint available it can be hard to know what to believe and what will give you the best look and longest lasting exterior wall paint for your money.

Here are 5 Exterior Wall Paints that we have used and have had great success. We have ranked them based on looks, durability, price and ease of application to give you our favorites from #5 – #1.

Exterior Wall Paint #5

Duration from Sherwin Williams: $67.99

Duration is a phenomenal paint and could possibly be the best paint on this list, its downfall however is that it is an incredibly expensive paint at $67 for a gallon of flat paint.
Duration is excellent exterior wall paint and will give you a long lasting paint job, lifetime warranty and the application is incredibly smooth as it nearly covers perfectly in 1 coat.

Exterior Wall Paint #4

Aura Exterior from Benjamin Moore: $67.99

I really have the exact same opinion for the most part about Benjamin Moore’s top of the line exterior wall paint as I do about Sherwin Williams Duration. The one thing that separates them for me is that Aura is a lower VOC paint and I have found the colors to be truer, brighter and better covering.

Exterior Wall Paint #3

Ben Exterior from Benjamin Moore: $38.99

Ben Exterior wall pain is nearly every bit as good as Benjamin Moore’s top of the line Aura except that it is only covered with a 25 year warranty. In my book, 25 years will do just fine! For the price difference, this makes Ben a great exterior wall paint that is worth the investment.

Exterior Wall Paint #2

Valspar Duramax: $36.99

Valspar Duramax offers all of the benefits of Duration and Aura with its lifetime warranty, interlocking technology, wide range of colors, ease of use, mildew resistance and more. For $36.99 and a lifetime warranty, Duramax is a wonderful paint to work with.

Exterior Wall Paint #1

Behr Premium Plus: $25.99

Behr paints keep winning awards for best consumer choice for a reason; their exterior wall paints are top of the line at un-beatable prices. Their Premium Plus exterior paint boast a lifetime warranty, mildew resistance, interlocking technology and more for a price that rivals other brands entry level paints. The best part about Behr for me is that I have personally seen their warranty in action on my own home.

When Behr first released vinyl safe paint colors, I was one of the first to test it out. A couple weeks after painting the front of my vinyl home the temperature here hit 103 degrees and my siding all warped. Within 2 months I had brand new siding without having to pay $1. Behr stood behind their warrant and has since improved their vinyl safe technology.


3 Interior Painting Ideas You Can Do In A Weekend

Painting is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to add character and style to your home. With a couple of simple tools, a small investment of time and a small investment into paint you can accomplish any of these simple Interior Painting Ideas in a short weekend.

Interior Painting Idea #1: Painting a Table and Chairs

  • Furniture PaintingTime Needed: 5-8 hours
  • Investment: > $100

One of our interior painting ideas is to paint either a new (from a garage sale or thrift store!) or existing table and chair set. This will quickly add new color to the room and can add loads of character to a dull dining room, living room or kitchen.
To complete this interior painting idea you will need to first sand down your table and chairs with 120 grit sanding paper. Next, prime the table and with a bonding primer. Wait for the primer to dry and sand with 150-200 grit sanding paper for a super smooth finish. Last you will be applying two coats of finish to your table and chairs. I prefer to use Benjamin Moore’s Satin Impervo for painting furniture due to its hard, smooth finish.

Interior Painting Idea #2: Paint a Mural on a Bedroom Wall

  • Mural PaintingTime Needed: 5-10 hours (or more if mural is complicated).
  • Investment: $20-$50 for craft paints and brushes.

Painting a bedroom mural can be a fun and rewarding Interior Painting Project. For this interior painting idea you will need to first determine what you are going to paint on your wall. Will it be an original piece of art or will you copy a pre-made photo or picture onto your wall. Kelly at Muddy Flowers just finished creating a kids bedroom mural recently and blogged about it. She plans on having and in depth tutorial up soon as well. This project is not only fun and rewarding, it is cheap as well.

Interior Painting Idea #3: Paint Your Ceiling

  • Ceiling PaintingTime Needed: 2-4 hours
  • Investment: $30-$50

This interior painting idea is a little out there, but can be really fun and make your house a unique destination. When painting a ceiling you will want to make sure to remove all furniture and tape off all walls or you WILL end up dripping paint onto your furniture and walls.
Finding a good ceiling color will probably be your hardest part. Most people are accustomed to white ceilings and want them to just blend in and not be noticed. A painted ceiling will definitely be notices so be prepared to make a statement.
Hopefully you found some inspiration from these three interior painting ideas and are ready to get to work on your own home right now! Good Luck!


Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Enameled Kitchen CabinetsThe days of the oak cabinet are fast becoming a thing of the past. The problem is, if you had a house built in the last 50 years it seems like you are stuck with the old oak look unless you decide to enamel the cabinets. Even with that solution you are stuck with issue of the wood grain shining through the naturally smooth, flawless finish of the oil based enamel; which is the preferred finish for cabinets. Oil based enamel is the top choice for it’s durability, it’s ease of maintenance, and the general aesthetic appeal. The one drawback of enameling cabinets is that enamel naturally accentuates any defects. Our one goal in mind when enameling is to make the surface defect free.

Re-Surfacing Kitchen Cabinets

What some might not realize is that wood grain is not just a coloring in the grain. If you were to take a closer look at the grain in the right lighting, the grain is actually a bunch of recessed grooves the travel the entire depth of the wood, making it impossible to sand the wood grain out before applying the topcoats. After applying the top coats, the enamel naturally follows the contours of the wood grain. This has been the one drawback of enameling oak cabinets.

So that doesn’t leave many options for the millions of homes with the oak cabinets. Sure, you can buy a new set of custom kitchen cabinets. This may be an option for some, but for the majority, this is way out of the budget. Then we have the re-facing option; another costly process.   Even with these options, you are still going to have to add the cost of painting on top of the manufacturing and installation of the cabinets.  This can end up costing you well into the 5-figures just to have that smooth, fresh look of enamel, which we all know is a new and lasting style.

We have another solution here at Minneapolis Painting Company; resurfacing. With our exclusive resurfacing technique, we essentially eliminate the unsightly grain from the oak cabinets. It makes oak look as smooth as birch or maple. The resurfacing process is very technical, but the effect is amazing. It takes the chaotic feel of the grain out and replaces it with the natural beauty of higher end paintable woods. Expectedly, it is more time consuming and labor intensive than the traditional paint job, but the transformation is nothing short of amazing. Every customer who has exercised the option has been left speechless in their kitchen, and everyone has said that they are so glad that they went this route as opposed to just painting. The Minneapolis Painting company team will take your door fronts to their off-site shop to do a majority of the work in the company shop, complete with spray booth and top of the line equipment for a finish that will leave you in awe of your kitchen. Be aware though, that the updated look may inspire you to start entertaining more and going out far less.

Our resurfacing techniques are not limited to just cabinets. We can also turn dated paneling into smooth, trendy, enameled paneling; or wainscoting. Let us update the old oak trim in your house and finally have that fresh white look that is so sought after now, and notice how the feel of the entire house is softened up.

If you are interested in the grain minimization/resurfacing service, contact the Minneapolis Painting Company for a free in home estimate, where you can see samples of the finished product next to the non-resurfaced cabinets.



Decorating With Red

Red is an amazing color that is unlike any other. Red grabs a persons attention, like a stop sign, and demands that they take notice. Red can heat up a room, add a sense of modernism, add a playful side to a room and even make a room feel sexy. No other color has such a wide array of emotions that it can produce quite like red.

Red Accents

Red is a great color to accent with since it draws immediate attention. If you have a unique wall space that you want to draw attention to, accenting it with red will draw people’s eyes the minute they walk into the room. A red couch, pillows, artwork or coffee table will do the same.

Don’t Go Overboard With Red

One problem many homeowners make with red is going overboard with the color. This was a fad from about 2000-2005 when many people were painting entire rooms with red such as dining rooms and kitchens. This fad died as quickly as it came though.

Red is best used as an accent in a room. Red grabs our attention more than any other color, so when a whole room is painted red, you don’t know where to put your attention and the room can seem overwhelming. Keep red to accent walls, furniture and art to use it to it’s fullest potential.

Painting red on your exterior is different though. Red can often times be used as a main exterior color without having this same overwhelming affect. The reason for this is that when you are outdoors, the red on your home is not the only thing in ones vision. You can also see the grass, other homes, the sky and trees. This makes your home an accent to it’s surroundings rather than a complete canvas like when used indoors.

The Psychology Behind Red

Red is a truly amazing color. No other color can relay as many emotions and feelings as red can. In certain color schemes soft reds can be cheery and happy while in others it can be hot and intense. When used in bold accents, red is a color that shows a quality of leadership and forward thinking.

What red is most desired for is that it is the color of sexuality. When bold reds are used as accents in bedrooms, dining rooms and even kitchens, they can add a sexiness to a room by themselves that almost nothing else can replicate.

Examples of Red Paint, Furniture and Accents



Refinishing Furniture: Stripping Furniture

Last week I started a series on Refinishing Furniture. We talked about assessing your furniture, determining what you wanted to do, deciding on stain and more. In this post we are going to discuss stripping your furniture and how to do it efficiently and effective.

Note: This advice is meant for a basic piece of furniture, it is not meant as a guide for antique or valuable furniture. I am taking this approach because most of the questions I get are from people who have found fun pieces of furniture from garage sales or thrift store. This furniture is not worth putting in 20 hours or spending $1000 dollars on. This guide is mean to turn these projects into an easy day or even afternoon project.

Stripping Your Furniture

The first thing you will need to do is to get your materials.

You Will Need:

  • A can of stripper from your local hardware store.
  • A pair of neoprene gloves. Stripper is nasty and will burn you if you do not wear these.
  • A plastic scrapper.
  • A touch scrubbing brush.
  • Sanding paper and sponges.
  • Green scrubbing pads

Choosing a stripper is a tough choice. First, you can choose the harsh strippers, these work but will burn your skin and get you high if you don’t have good ventilation. These tend to take 15 -45 minutes to do their jobs. The second kind are natural strippers. This kind of work but can take hours (like up to 24 hours!) but are better on you and the environment. Personally I use the harsh chemical strippers because they do their job and they do it quick. I make sure to wear neoprene gloves, long sleeves and goggles (you DO NOT want any of this in your eyes).

Applying The Stripper

The trick to getting stripper to strip well is to brush on a thick coat of stripper onto the area you plan to strip. Do not brush it around, this will dry it out and cause it to lose its effectiveness. Let it sit for roughly 10-15 minutes. You should start to see the finish bubble. At this time, I don’t scrape the stripper, not yet. When the stripper has cause a good amount of bubbling I apply a second coat of stripper and leave it for another 10-15 minutes. This makes sure that all of the finish has separated from the surface. I use a cheap brush for this and throw it away when I am done.

This is a common table with no value outside of it's use as a table.

This is a common table with no value outside of it’s use as a table.

Another tip when applying stripper is to not do too big of an area at a time. Be patient and do small areas at a time. When removing the stripper you will be thankful that you don’t have to rush.

Removing The Stripper

When you are ready to remove the stripper, start by scraping off all of the stripper with your plastic scraper. You will find that many area will strip down to bare wood with just your plastic scraper. For areas that still have finish on them, pull out your green scrubbing pad and scrub the area thoroughly, this should remove any remaining finish. For any curved, grooved or carved areas this is where you will want to use your dense scrubbing brush (and make sure you have eye protection). Scrub these areas thoroughly and you should remove all stripper.

When you are done stripping double check everything to make sure all finish has been removed. If any finish remains, start another round of stripper.


Once all finish has been stripped you will need to clean off all residue from the stripper. Stripper contains wax and will not allow you to finish your furniture well. Use a hose and a scrub brush or even a power washer at this point to clean your furniture as well as you can. Make sure to wipe down the excess water and get the furniture to dry as quickly as possible so you do not have any issues with water damaging your furniture.


3 Tips To Follow When Painting Your Minneapolis Home

After years of painting in the Minneapolis and surrounding areas I have picked up on lots of different things that can help homeowners when getting their homes painted. These simple tips can save you time, money and headache. So here you go!

Document All Colors, Brands and Sheens

This is so simple and is a huge time saver as well as money saver. Whether you are painting your home yourself or hiring a painting contractor. If you don’t have the paint color, brand and sheen then it is up to you (or the painter) to try to match the existing color. If you only need touch ups you may find that a matched paint doesn’t quite match as well as the original paint would have. This can cause you to have to repaint a whole wall rather than just touching up.

Use A Pole When Rolling Walls

Whenever I see those DIY shows on TV painting a wall with a roller and no handle I cringe. I have seen it too many times. With the use of an extension pole, from 1′ – 4′ or an adjustable 2′-4′ pole you will save your back, you will also find painting to be significantly easier and quicker.

You Don’t Always Have To Prime

Although every paint store will tell you to prime every single thing you paint, it is not always necessary to prime. Actually, there are only a few situations that primer is actually necessary.

  • Any raw surface such as wood, drywall, metal and so on.
  • To seal in stains on walls, wood and more.
  • To cover and bond damaged paint.

If you are repainting interior walls, you almost never need to prime your walls. Not even if they are currently a bright color.

When You Do Prime, Tint Your Primer

If you are painting a color over wood, drywall or anything that needs primer, don’t go with standard white primer. You may end up needing to add an extra coat of paint just to cover up the primer. Primers can often times be tinted up to 50% of your final color. This can easily save you a coat of paint in the end.



Refinishing Furniture – A Complete Do It Yourself Guide – Part 1

I am sure we have all thought about refinishing a piece of furniture around our house at some point or another. Maybe you even saw a neat piece at a garage sale or a thrift store and thought “I would love to refinish that but it would just take too much time”. Well, refinishing doesn’t have to take a ton of time and is something you can actually do in an easy weekend if you know a few tricks.

Disclaimer – What I am showing and describing in this article is not meant for antiques or furniture with significant value. The table done in this article was picked up for free from a family that was moving and did not want to bring the table with them.

The table I have here was picked up by a friend who installs cable. The homeowner wanted the table and chairs gone and said he could have it for free. If this was a true antique or family heirloom, I would approach it differently to keep the original finish in tact, but for what the new owner of the piece was looking for, our process was perfect.

Rather than give you a brief overview of the process, I am going to split this article up into 3-4 pieces and go as far in depth in each one as possible.

Step One: Asses The Piece

This is where you need to determine what exactly what type of piece you have. Does it have any value? Will this value be ruined if you refinish the piece? Is a restoration a better solution than a refinish? What will it be used for? What types of finish is currently on the piece and what types of stains and finishes will you be applying?

This is a common table with no value outside of it's use as a table.

This is a common table with no value outside of it’s use as a table.

Does It Have Any Value?

For this I keep on hand an American furniture encyclopedia. This allows me to look up the piece and determine if the piece has more value as an antique or a working piece of furniture. In reality most “antique” furniture is worth more as a working piece of furniture and very few pieces have significant value. Another common issue is that even fully restored, a piece may only be worth $300-$400 and it may not be worth your time or paying someone to do a full restoration.

For our table and chairs, I determined that the style is very common and would have more value if it was completely stripped, refinished and put to use as a nice looking and durable table and chairs.

If there was even a chance of this piece being a unique collectable piece of furniture, I would take it to a true furniture professional and get a real opinion of the piece.

Refinish or Restore

This is the next question you need to ask yourself. Refinishing a piece of furniture would involve stripping the old finish completely off, sanding any dings or scratches out (optional), re-staining the piece and applying a new finish. This is typically the best option only if the furniture has been thoroughly abused with deep scratches and the finish is pretty much ruined.

If the finish is in decent shape and the scratches are minimal, restoration could be a much cheaper and easier answer. A restoration may consist of fixing scratches with stain and apply a new finish to the piece. This can often bring a piece back to 80-90% of its original condition but only works if it is is decent shape to begin with.

What Type Of Finish Is Currently On The Piece

You need to know what type of finish is currently on the piece whether you are refinishing or restoring the piece. When you know what type of finish is currently on the piece, then you will know how to strip it or what type of finish you should use yourself.

Start with a couple drips of Denatured Alcohol. If the finish softens up and turns sticky, you are dealing with a shellac.

Next, try a few drips of Lacquer Thinner. If the finish softens up and turns sticky, you are dealing with a lacquer.

Last, try a few drips of Xylene, if the finish softens up and turns sticky, you are dealing with a water based finish

If you don’t any of these and plan on stripping the piece no matter what, you can skip this step and just start applying strippers. Some may work better than others due to the type of finish currently on the furniture though.

What Type Of Stain Will You Use

I will talk about each of these more later on but for now there are a few things to keep in mind.

Stains: There are two types of stains. The first is pigment based stain. This is what you would find in any hardware or paint store and is the most common type of stain because it is very easy to use. Pigment stains are easy to use and give a great looking color to woods. A downside is that pigment stains will show scratches, unevenness in the wood and make grain stand out.

Dye Stains are the second type of stains and also have pros and cons. The pros being that dye stains tend to stain wood more evenly and do not make grain and scratches stand out. The cons are that if you have never used a dye stain, they can be incredibly difficult to learn. You should definitely practice with a dye stain before applying it to any furniture.

Most people should use a pigment based stain and leave it at that. If you want to become an expert at staining and get the best possible results, then learning to use a dye stain is a must. Dye stains are typically not sold in hardware stores (or even paint stores), you will need to go to your local woodworking store to find quality dye stains.

Applying Dye Stains

Applying Dye Stains

What Type Of Finish Will You Use

You have lots of choices when deciding what type of finish to use. You can use a Shellac, Lacquer or Polyurethane for example. I will often tell people to go with whatever will be easiest for them, which is typically a brushed on water based polyurethane, just for ease of use. Poly is incredibly durable and looks nice along with it’s ease of use.

Shellacs and lacquers may be used if you want a true to the time finish, but are best suited for shop work and spray environments.


This wraps up part 1. Part 2 we will go over Stripping Your Furniture.




A Simple Painting Lesson I Learned 7 Years Ago

I have to start this post with one of my favorite stories about a client I painted for. This happened about 7 years ago and while at the time was very frustrating, it really helped me understand the minds of my clients.

I was painting the interior in one of the North suburbs of Minneapolis, it was an easy and straight forward job. My client simply wanted new paint on their walls. The current color was a dark green and my client really loved the color gold. So I was hired to paint their living room, entry, kitchen, stairwell and upper hallways all gold.

The job took 2 or 3 days (I don’t remember exactly) and everything went just fine. There were no issues, the client and I got along just great, I finished the job, got paid and went on my merry way.

The next day I got a call from a very upset client, they said that I had gotten paint all over their trim and all over their ceiling. They said I was really sloppy with my painting and were extremely frustrated. I couldn’t hardly believe that I had done what they said, I am a very good painter, I had looked over my work and made sure everything went great. Did I work too quickly, was I zoning out, what was the issue?! Shocked, I jumped in my car and headed straight up to their house.

When I got into the house the client took me straight to their stairwell and pointed out spots of green paint on the trim (even on the sides of the trim) and green spots on the ceiling. I immediately began smiling, which they did not like. If you were paying attention above, remember I said I painted GOLD. Their old color was GREEN, they had painted the green themselves. After a bit of explaining we both had a good chuckle and to this day this is a story I enjoy telling.

What I learned from this experience has been a very important lesson about construction and painting in general. Homeowners typically do not inspect the little things on their home (such as paint on ceiling) when they either buy a house or do work themselves, but they inspect it to a T after hiring a contractor. This is 100% what they should do as well. What I took away from this is that I should also inspect their home to a T before I start a project.

This helps me to find issues, known or unknown to the homeowner, point out things that we could fix if they want us to or even just to point out issues so that I don’t take credit for them when finished. This has made my contracting life much easier through the years.