New Year, New Look: 3 Ways To Refresh Your Home’s Look For 2019

Everything from interior painting projects to exterior painting tips & patio improvements, homeowners seek our help for ideas on how to spruce up their home’s look so we’ve come up with three quick, simple ideas for them to consider before we turn the page to 2019.

Change Up Your Hardware & Add Some Art


Many homeowners would be surprised on how much a room’s look can change just by changing up the handles on cabinets, cupboards and doors around your home. Whether you’re looking for a vintage look or a more modern feel, hardware comes in all shapes and sizes so you should be able to get the look you want quite easily.

Along the same lines, swapping out the art around your home can re-energize some of the more stagnant areas or you can add some new art to areas that don’t have any.

Add Some Contrast To Your Spaces

sunny living room in the loft

Putting one or two contrasting colors in your rooms is a great way to ensure the new look your seeking will stay fresh over the years. Very often you can get this contrast by simply getting a new interior paint job. Use the existing furniture and art as your base and pick a contrasting color as your new interior wall paint color.

Sharpen Up The Exterior

While much of the focus for new looks in 2019 is on the interior, it’s important to not forget about the exterior of your home! This is the first thing most people see or notice about your home, so make sure to keep it looking sharp. If you need a new look or just need to get the vibrancy back in your existing paint job, you can always contact a local painting company to help you get the best first impression on your home.

What I wish I’d known when budgeting for a renovation

Here’s what we did that worked, along with things I wish we’d known before we started.

Create a detailed budget and revise as you go. In our case, we were working with a contractor and an architect. The contractor’s fees included some materials (including paint) but not most fixtures and finishes—that’s the grab-bag term for tile, flooring, countertops, kitchen cabinets, faucets, lighting, door knobs, appliances and more). We made a room-by-room spreadsheet of all the things we’d have to buy, and then did initial research on prices. We labeled that column “Budget.” As the project progressed and some of the prices seemed too low or too high, we adjusted them in a column called “Projection.” Finally, as we ordered each item, we filled in a column called “Actual.”

The three columns let us create a budget, revise it as we went without losing sight of our original plan, and track the amount we actually spent. We used a similar system for keeping track of what we paid the contractor and architect over the course of the project.

Don’t forget taxes and shipping. When you’re researching costs for your initial budget, it’s easy to forget additional costs. Especially if you shop online regularly, you may be used to free shipping. But, counter-intuitively, lots of major purchases you’ll make for your renovation have serious delivery fees. And while taxes are relatively palatable on, say, a $100 pair of jeans, the taxes on $3,000 worth of kitchen cabinets makes them cost $270 more. I wish our budget spreadsheet had included a column automatically adding 9% for taxes and $100 to $500 for heavy deliveries, like cabinets, tile and appliances.

Plan for budgeting mistakes. No matter how much research you do, your renovation is likely to include costs you didn’t anticipate. In our case, hours of reading about countertops didn’t reveal that fabrication—the process of templating and cutting a slab of marble to fit our specs—is a separate, and mightily expensive, cost. It made the counters, already a splurge item, nearly twice as expensive. In the future, I’d create a reserve of at least 5% in the initial budget to deal with problems like this. I might also ask the architect to go over our estimates together, to see if they catch anything we’ve forgotten.

Bake in changes. As the project unfolds, you’ll likely want to add in things you hadn’t considered during planning. Among other things, we decided to include an interior window in our bathroom, and we tiled the back of our kitchen island. Neither the contractor’s fees nor the finishes were in our original budget. At least 10% is a good estimate for change fees and can be its own line item in your initial budget. (Disclaimer: This is standard advice that we ignored, and then regretted ignoring).

Account for delays. If you’re paying to rent somewhere else and you’re paying mortgage for the place under construction, time equals money. Budget for a couple of months of permitting and planning and at least a 30% delay in construction time. So if your construction is supposed to run three months, assume it’ll go four or more—and account for that extra rent at the outset.

Recognize the hidden costs of custom finishes. Pinterest abounds with pictures of creative kitchens and unique bathrooms. But beware: not only are custom finishes more expensive than stock, they also tend to have long lead times. Ten weeks or more is common for things like custom fronts for Ikea cabinets and for special tile. That means that if they’re delayed in delivery or if there’s a problem with installation, which is more likely if the materials are unusual, your project will run late and thus become more expensive, with little way to adjust.

We chose beautiful custom tiles for our bathroom, one of our splurges. We ordered early enough that they’d arrive in time to be installed right at the end of our planned three-month construction run. But a combination of errors led to a two-month delay after the original end date for our whole project. Each delay in the tile replacements gave our contractor room to slow down on other details, which made it hard to argue that either the tile company or the contractor should pay the extra two months of rent we incurred.

Those two months doubled the cost of the already-expensive tile (and involved a lot of stress with the tile company and contractor). In retrospect, we could have hedged this risk by ordering custom finishes only for things that could be installed after move in if needed, like kitchen cabinet fronts and backsplash tile.

Bring a professional touch to your next painting project with commercial painting services from Jonathan Painting. Contact us now to schedule a Free In-Home Consultation. 

Home Painting Contractor: What to Ask Before Hiring

While many do-it-yourself homeowners decide to do their own house painting, other property owners take an entirely different approach. They choose a home painting contractor to handle all the details of painting their homes.

Painting your house on your own can certainly be cost effective, but you must first ask whether you have the knowledge and skill set to handle the task yourself. Although you may find painting a pleasurable and easy task, will your final product have a professional appearance and finish?

The last thing you want to do is spend your valuable time working on your home interior paint only to find that the result is less than stellar.

You’ve probably seen what happens when DIY homeowners take painting into their own hands. Just stroll through homes for sale or rent, and you’ll quickly recognize what we mean.

So to avoid the hassle and learning curve to paint your home right the first time, you’ll want to consider an interior painting specialist. And, what should you do before hiring a home painting contractor?

Top 6 Considerations When Hiring an Interior Home Painting Contractor

1) Ask for References – Talk with friends, family members or business associates to learn about local painting professionals. Many people in the community have experience with contractors and will be able to tell you if they completed the job on schedule and were reliable for the project. Personal recommendations usually offer the best source for finding a painter you can trust.

2) Seek Recommendations from Local Sources – sometimes you won’t be able to rely on individual references so your next source for finding a good painting company is to search online, in local directories or at local paint shops. Because paint shops work with painters daily, they usually have a pool of contractors that they recommend to their customers. Hiring a professional painter with a good relationship with a paint store means that they usually have access to a wide range of paint colors, brands and materials to use on your project.

3) Find Out if Contractor is Licensed – State or county licenses offer some reassurance that the contractor has met local standards for licensing. Many areas require insurance and bonding prior to issuing contractor licenses. Licensed, insured and bonded contractors protect homeowners from potential liability in situations where there is property damage or employee injury during the course of the project. Without proper licensing and/or commercial insurance, homeowners can be exposed to potential financial liability.

4) Ask about Years of Experience – Request information from the contractor about how long they have been in business. Check with the state licensing board to determine how many years the contractor has held a license. More experienced painters will have this information readily available along with a list of personal references of past clients that can vouch for their work performance and quality.

5) Request Cost Estimate – Never judge a paint company’s bid on price alone. Generally, there are reasons for extremely low bids or estimates. Less than reputable companies may reduce costs by cutting back on prep work, reducing the number of paint layers or using low quality paint. Others may not carry proper insurance or use undocumented workers. Paint companies that employ these methods may have lower bids, but they put you at risk for a poor paint job or possible lawsuit in the event of injury or property damage. Always get the estimate in writing along with a list of materials and an estimated time frame for completion.

6) Assess Your Comfort Level – Are you comfortable with the contractor you are considering? Painting experts should be willing to discuss your project and answer any questions you may have. Since the company you choose will be spending considerable time in your home, you want someone you feel comfortable with.

Additional Questions to Ask Potential Home Painting Contractors

Here are a few additional questions you might use when interviewing house painting companies:

• Does the company use subcontractors? If they do, it may lead to inexperienced painters working on your home.
• Does the contractor offer a warranty on his work? Check to make sure warranty includes labor and materials.
• How long does the warranty last?
• Is there a portfolio of pictures from previous work available for review?
• What brand of paint does the house painter use?
• Does the estimate include wall prep?

Having a thorough understanding of the painting contractors you are considering can make the difference in whether you have your home painted with quality materials by professional painters at a price that meets your budget.

Jonathan Painting is proud to serve the local Fairfield County, Connecticut community from our main office in Norwalk.

Bring a professional touch to your next painting project with commercial painting services from Jonathan Painting. Contact us now to schedule a Free In-Home Consultation. 

Considering a fixer-upper? Here’s what you need to know

To really make a renovation work, it’s essential to plan ahead, secure a good architect and contracting and painting team, and get realistic about your budget and timeline.

Be realistic about the scope of project you’re willing to take on

“Before you even look for an apartment or home, you want to understand what type of project you’re comfortable with,” says Skema. It’s one thing to buy a minor fixer-upper that can be tackled with DIY projects—like pulling up carpet or laying down tile—but it’s something else entirely to buy a home that has serious structural issues. Not all fixer-uppers are alike, and the scope of the project you’re willing to take on will set the tone for your renovation. If you can’t commit the money, time, effort, and risk that goes into buying a place that needs a gut renovation, skip the open house altogether, even if the price tag looks appealing.

Set a budget

If you’re interested in tackling a fixer-upper, be realistic about how much money you can set aside for renovations after the down payment, including unexpected costs like finding an alternative living situation while it’s happening. An architect or contractor can offer an expert opinion on the scope of the project after accompanying you on a walk-through of the property.

As for the homebuyer, “Set a realistic range for your budget, and then communicate that range,” says Brownhill. “By setting the price, you’re setting the approximate level of craft, finishes and customer service that you’re looking for.” Sweeten, which pairs general contractors with renovation projects, offers an online tool to help parse out your budget.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key when it comes to a successful renovation. Larger projects require an architect, who then hires a general contractor, who then hires subcontractors for specialty work, like plumbing. You’ll need to establish a constant flow of conversation among everyone on the team to avoid delays and budget overruns. “The momentum of construction is dependent on many small details,” Skema says.

Homeowners also need to embrace being the decision maker at the top of that chain. “One small bathroom renovation is hundreds of decisions you’re going to need to make,” says Brownhill. “You have to understand who you are as a person, and how easily you make decisions.” If you labor over every decision, be open about it with your architect and ask him or her to take the reigns, or set a longer time frame for the reno so you don’t become overwhelmed. If you’re a control freak, communicate that, too, so that your team knows to keep you in the loop at every turn.

Secure the right team

As tempting as it sounds to buy a cheap fixer-upper and hand over the renovation job to the lowest-bidding architect or contractor, don’t, as it’s a huge risk, especially with older homes that may have structural problems. “Higher-quality firms limit the risk of the project,” Skema says. “Cheaper firms, many with less knowledge and less experience, will require more involvement from the homeowner and ultimately bring more risk.” Choose a team with relevant experience, solid references, and a complementary communication style to your own. This step may require extra research but will result in a reliable team that won’t make avoidable mistakes that will cost you more time and money in the end.

Get comfortable with the permitting process

The process of obtaining permits for construction depends on where you live, but in New York City, for example, it can be time-consuming and unpredictable. Upgrading plumbing and electrical systems, moving walls, or changing other structural elements will require a licensed and insured firm to take on the work, which may require additional permits or a more involved approvals process.

Prepare for the worst

In apartment buildings, contracts are typically required between the owner and the owners association confirming that renovations will be undertaken to code and without damage to the building. If a reno goes horribly awry, the building holds the homeowner responsible, so you want to make sure that your contractor has both liability insurance and workman’s compensation. Finally, make sure your homeowner’s policy will protect you in the event of a contractor-caused issue.

Preparing for the emotional labor

Homeowners don’t always recognize the emotional labor that goes into transforming a fixer-upper. “When the moment for your renovation finally comes, after you’ve saved money and bought a house and you get to make it look how you want it to look … a lot of stuff comes up,” Brownhill says. To plan for the smoothest process possible, be honest about your goals and your budget before finding an experienced and communicative team that can make make all your fixer-upper dreams come true.

Bring a professional touch to your next painting project with commercial painting services from Jonathan Painting. Contact us now to schedule a Free In-Home Consultation. 

10 Interior House Techniques


Roll the full height of the wall

Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.

To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges

Mix paint in a large bucket

Paint color may vary slightly from one can to the next. If you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall, the difference may be noticeable. Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. It’s best to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it in a 5-gallon bucket (a process called “boxing”).

When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray. It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.

Cut tape when paint is dry

Once paint is dry, you can’t just pull the tape off the trim. Paint forms a film between the wall and the tape, and removing the tape tears pieces of dried paint off the wall. So before pulling off the tape, cut it loose.

Wait for the paint to completely dry, at least 24 hours, then use a sharp utility knife or box cutter knife to slice through the film. Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly. If you cut the paint while it’s still gummy, you’ll make a mess. As you cut the paint, pull up the tape at a 45-degree angle.

Paint the trim first

Prime and texture wall 
Pros usually follow a certain order when painting a room. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling, then the walls. That’s because it’s easier (and faster) to tape off the trim than to tape off the walls. And you certainly don’t want to tape them both off!

When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off (using an “easy release” painter’s tape), then paint the ceiling, then the walls.

Freshly painted walls often look blotchy

Freshly painted walls often look blotchy. The color is uniform, but the sheen isn’t consistent. This usually occurs over the holes and cracks you patched with a filler or drywall compound. The porous fillers absorb the paint, dulling the surface (a problem called “flashing”). When light hits these dull spots, they stick out like a sore thumb. The smooth patch also stands out in contrast to the slightly bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate flashing and texture differences.

Primer seals the patch so paint won’t sink in and look dull. To match texture, prime with a roller, feathering out the edges. Choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture (a 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth walls; 1/2-in. for textured).

Clean dirty areas before painting

If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs.

Wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad. Start at the bottom and work up. After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand them smooth before painting. The cleaners are available at paint stores and home centers. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

Roll out paint near trim

Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush have a notice- ably different texture than the surrounding paint. To ensure the finished texture will be consistent in these areas, brush on the paint, then immediately roll it out before the paint dries.

Use a 3-in. roller with a nap that’s the same thickness as the roller used for the rest of the wall. Roll as close as you can without bumping the opposite wall or slopping paint onto the trim. Finish brushing on the paint and rolling it out in one area before moving on to the next section.

Protect floor with cotton drop cloth

Spills and spatters happen, regardless of how careful you are. It’s a lot easier to pre- pare for them than to wipe them out of your carpeting or off your wood floor later. All it takes is canvas drop cloths in your work area (a 4-ft. x 15-ft. cloth costs $15). The thick canvas stays in place, so you don’t need to tape it, and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are slippery to walk on or set a ladder on and don’t stay in place. Even worse, paint spills on plastic stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house. Canvas is slippery on hard floors, so rosin paper ($10 for 400 sq. ft. at home centers) is better over vinyl, tile and hard- wood. Tape the sheets together and to the floor to provide a nonslip surface.

But even with canvas or rosin-paper drop cloths, large spills still need to get wiped up right away or they’ll seep through. Clean spills with paper towels or cloth rags. Likewise, if you splatter paint on any other surface,wipe it up immediately.

Feather paint with a dry roller in large areas

You can’t cover large areas like ceilings, extra-tall walls or stairwells in single, continuous strokes, so the best way to minimize lap marks on these areas is to feather out the paint along the edges that you can’t keep wet. The thinner, feathered coat of paint will avoid the buildup that causes the lap mark.

To paint a large section without leaving lap marks, roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge, feathering out the paint as you go. After completing the entire length of the wall or ceiling, move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges. For the second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction. This crisscrossing paint application sharply reduces (if not eliminates) lap marks.

Sand trim for a smooth finish

One coat of paint usually won’t hide the underlying color and sheen on trim. And if you don’t sand the surface smooth between coats, the finish may have a grainy texture. For a smooth finish, sand the trim before applying each coat of paint.

Sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Sponges get into crevices where sandpaper can’t go and let you apply even pressure. Then apply the first coat of paint, let it dry at least 24 hours, lightly sand it again for a completely smooth surface, and apply the second coat. After each sanding, vacuum the trim, then wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove the dust.

Painting a Restaurant

At Jonathan Painting, we have more than a decade experience providing commercial painting services. Our experienced crew handles; trims, stains and sealants for dining areas, kitchens and rest rooms. Painting restaurants is one of the services we specialize in. We understand the diversity of styles, weather is casual, gourmet or elegant, we are confident to provide the right quality job for each atmosphere. Working side by side with restaurant owners, we guarantee the satisfaction of a beautifully painted restaurant that will be easy to clean and maintain.

Trust us to create the right casual or formal atmosphere in your restaurant. We’ll achieve practicality and beauty.

Considering the everyday foot traffic at restaurants, its painting must be durable and easy clean! Jonathan Painting utilize anti-bacterial paint for most painting jobs, which remains clean and it easy to maintain (even to scrub). In addition, we’re combining our services, providing concrete and masonry staining service as well; just to guarantee the end result, having easy-to-clean stains and paints.

Jonathan Painting’s crew offers an assessment and consulting to all our customers in order to make the right selection of paint color, texture and quality for their needs, considering durability and maintainability as well.

Jonathan recommends to apply floor stain painting to furnish the atmosphere of your restaurant. However, it must be resilient enough to resist its undertaking, such as; spilled of food and drinks, and the constant foot traffic.

Understanding these demeanors allow us to provide specific service and techniques that will assure our painting job will look great and will be durable, despite the daily wear and tear.

Painting Restaurant Restrooms

Restrooms appealing has an important role in Restaurants. Jonathan Painting provides anti-bacterial paints that allows you to clean walls and floors preserving a flawless and hygienic appeal.