Antonio Castillo has as colorful of a personality as the bright hues that adorn the homes of his homeland of Venezuela. His zest for life and genuine gratitude come through with every word, and carry over into the enthusiasm he feels to be a man in business in the United States.
Castillo manages three painting companies in the greater Orlando area. The ProTect Painters franchises focus on customer service and treating customers like family. For many reasons, this appeals to Castillo. Obviously his attraction to color and design has drawn him and franchise owner Christian Borbely to the painting profession, and the business model for the franchise is concise, well-supported and proven successful. However, it is the company’s philosophy emphasizing family and customer service that reign prominent.
“ProTect Painters is like what we were doing in Venezuela,” he said. “We treat customers the same way, and do estimates the same.”
Castillo owned a successful window company in Venezuela. He provided well for his family and enjoyed a happy life on a beautiful island off of the mainland. His young children spent their free time surfing the waves and enjoying the beach. Sonsire Castillo, Antonio’s wife of ten years, used her own business savvy, creativity and talent to operate a children’s accessory business. When asked how they could leave such a paradise, his tone changed immediately.
“The political situation was not good,” he said. “The government became corrupt, and took everything. Even if you have a big business, they take it all.” Castillo spoke candidly of their loss. “We were afraid for our lives,” he said.
Antonio is thankful every day for the new life he is building in central Florida for his family. He absolutely beams when he talks about his “beautiful wife” he met sixteen years ago in college. He is as energetic as the two children he raves about, and is genuinely excited about his business opportunity.
With ProTect Painters, Castillo can give as much or as little time to the project as the customer prefers. He will walk step-by-step through each stage, from estimating and color choice to a pristine finished product, with someone who wants to be involved for the entire process. Likewise, he is happy to handle every detail for the customer who hasn’t the time.
ProTect Painters is known for its professional quality. Painters know the importance of prep time, time management and technique. Like every other aspect of his career, Castillo has studied it all, including the decorating trends for his region: currently lighter, neutral colors for interiors for example, or earth tone colors for home exteriors. He laughed when he talked about the paint colors that covered the walls in his home back in Venezuela. “Yellow, blue, green, purple,” he said. “Every room was a different color!” Remember that colorful personality?
Whether vivacious or subdued, Antonio Castillo paints the right picture for every customer. Find him at ProTect Painters of Clermont and Winter Garden, Apopka and Ocoee, and Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs.
For franchise opportunities in your area, visit protectpaintersfranchise.com.
Some homeowners paint their walls a neutral color in a flat finish. On these backdrops, art and decorative items hang to serve as décor. Other homeowners prefer the paint itself to be a decorative element. They opt for textured products and faux-finish techniques.
To join the latter group, learn how to add texture to your next paint job. You can even use what you learn and apply it to horizontal surfaces, too.
Faux Finishes That Create Texture
There are two ways to add texture to your paint job: by using a textured paint or a faux-finish technique. Textured paints come in a variety of grades, from fine to a coarse, and as a premixed paint or a powder you add before application. Using a powder and mixing the paint yourself allows you to find the exact texture you want with text batches and applications. Oil-based and latex paints both accept added texture.
Faux-finishing involves applying a base coat as you normally would, then adding one or more accent colors with an object other than the traditional paintbrush. Sponges, combs and rags are among the tools used to create different textures.
Sponging—Soak a sponge in paint, wring and then randomly dab to create the desired visual and textural effect. Professionals recommend sea sponges for natural patterns and synthetic for a more uniform look. To learn how to imitate the look of marble using this technique, read our How to Paint with a Sponge to Create a Decorative Faux Marble Finish post.
Combing—Simply put: Comb freshly painted walls. Just as different sponges create different effects, so do combs, with fine-tooth to wide-tooth tools among your options.
Ragging—Soak a rag in paint, wring and then randomly roll the balled-up rag just as you would a sponge. Cotton rags work well, as do fabrics with a pattern of their own, such as lace and burlap. To learn how to create the look and feel of well-worn leather, read our Ragging Paint Technique post.
Another popular faux finish is Venetian plastering, which creates an old-world appearance with its imperfections. Because the process involves applying three layers of tinted plaster to create the distressed detail, you may want to assign application of this particular technique to a professional.
No matter which textured paint or faux finish you choose, be sure to practice your application and finishing techniques before getting started. You can purchase a small piece of drywall to test different methods on, or pick an area of the room you know will never see the light of day, such as behind a bed headboard or in the closet.
Finally, one way to add texture or a faux finish does not involve paint at all. Wallpapers come in a seemingly endless amount of options, with textured styles proving more popular in recent years. The texture can be as subtle as slightly raised swirl to velvet-like stripes and other designs. Wallpaper also works well for those who prefer less upkeep than interior paint provides, especially walls with texture that can be chipped or dinged.
Paint for Traction on Steps and Other Surfaces
While adding texture to wall and ceiling paint jobs can add beauty and interest, doing the same to steps and floors can increase safety as well. This technique typically applies to outdoor surfaces, with anti-slip additives going into floor paints and sealers used on patios and decks. The additives do not change the appearance of the paint or other product. Homeowners with in-ground pools also use anti-slip additives to lessen the chance of family members and guests slipping on the wet surfaces.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Red and its lighter shade pink are definitely not neutral. Both are confident colors that immediately transform the look and feel of a room. Red stimulates, working well in dining rooms as it increases the appetite as well as conversation. Pink can add a punch of bright and sweeten a space if lighter. Consider it for rooms other than those of a baby girl.
The leading paint manufacturers offer varying hues of both colors from which to choose. Here are standouts from Behr, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Glidden.
Behr Red & Pink Paint Colors
Morocco Red – This spicy color creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in a kitchen, complementing honey-stained cabinetry and natural stone floors. Pair it with Cotton Knit on the ceiling to keep the room light.
Antique Red – On an accent wall, this shade anchors a living room and contrasts nicely with Gobi Desert on adjacent walls and Ultra Pure White on trim. Pick up the red in wall shades and pillows to tie the room together nicely.
Spring Song – This creamy pink creates a decidedly feminine feel in a bathroom, but does not overwhelm with sweetness thanks to accent colors of Celery Sprig and Sea Salt. Use with romantic décor and furnishings for the ultimate escape.
Sherwin-Williams Red & Pink Paint Colors
Ablaze – To create a global melting pot in your living room, coat the walls with this color on one wall or several, if using lighter colors for furniture to offset. The neutral Ramie contrasts nicely with the bold color but does not temper its power too much.
Show Stopper – A more glamorous red, this one sets a more sophisticated tone. Use in the bedroom with more muted bedding, letting the paint color do the talking.
Fussy Pink & Lighthearted Pink – From the company’s paint color collection for Pottery Barn Kids, these two contrasting shades can be used alone or together in a girl’s bedroom. The darker Fussy Pink would transition well into the tween years, as it has a more mature pop than the sweeter hue.
Benjamin Moore Red & Pink Paint Colors
Raspberry Truffle – This decadent, deeply rich red creates a stately ambiance in a bathroom, no matter the size. Complement with Mayonnaise and Hasbrouck Brown to further elevate the room.
Wild Flower – A more coral hue, it warms a kitchen and works with a variety of décor styles, from country to contemporary. Accent colors Powell Buff and Sugar Cookie add to the creaminess of the color palette.
Royal Flush – A young girl who loves pink need not give it up once an adult. This almost magenta shade on an accent wall suits an urban setting and contemporary furniture. Paper Mache on the remaining walls keeps the powerful color from overpowering a bedroom.
Glidden Red & Pink Paint Colors
Pink Salmon & Red Grapefruit – The first color straddles the line between red and pink, allowing it to work in a variety of spaces, from a teen’s bedroom to a modern woman’s living room when paired with the second, a sweet hue within the same family.
Bold Sangria – A wine-colored accent wall creates a dramatic focal point in a dining room, with the adjacent Barely Jade not lessening the impact.
If you are new to red and pink as interior paint colors, take a small step by using one on an accent wall. You also can use a red or pink as an accent itself, adding a bit of the color in at your comfort level. Of course, if you have always wanted a red dining room or a pink bedroom, be bold and go for it.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Are you planning to paint the inside of your home? If so, then meet your new best friend: the paint swatch. These colorful cards help you narrow a multitude of options to just a few hues for actual sampling on walls. Swatches also serve as a portable representation of your final choices to be used as a reference whenever shopping for furniture and home décor.
Pick Up Paint Swatches
While you can print colors from paint company websites to use as examples, doing so often leads to dissatisfaction. Your home equipment may not print the color exactly as the company makes it, leaving you with a slightly different shade.
Head to your local paint or home improvement store instead and browse the swatches, which are available as single color cards and in combination with complementary hues. Pick up those that catch your eye and interest, and don’t worry about taking too many. The paint company offers them for free, plus you can reuse the rejects in a variety of fun art projects—check out this fun collection of ideas on how to do exactly that on Pinterest.
Look at Color Cards Next to Items in the Room
Paint color, furniture and décor together create the color palette of a room. If you plan on keeping the same furniture and décor, look at your swatches next to them to find those that work well with those existing hues. You may want to pick up a background color in upholstery to use as a wall color, or you may choose a color in décor to also use as an accent.
If you plan to redecorate entirely, be sure to choose paint colors you can work with, whether they be neutrals that work as a base or accent colors you can envision incorporating into new pieces.
Hang Paint Swatches
Once you have eliminated colors that will not work with existing or new décor, hang the remaining swatches on the respective walls you plan to paint, in areas on each that get all of the different natural and artificial lights of the day and night; light can significantly change how the color appears to you. Also leave plenty of distance between the color cards so that one does not influence how you perceive another. Live with them for a week or so, taking down colors you dislike at a given time of day.
Paint Sample Colors
Once you have narrowed the options to a final two or three, head back to the store to get samples of the color combinations to actually apply to the walls. The paint version may differ slightly from the card, and taking this extra step allows you to be totally sure about your final choices. Again, look at how the colors appear in different lights and next to any furniture or décor that remains.
Your professional painter can also help at this point, or earlier in the process if you prefer, steering you toward the right colors for each room of your home. He or she can take into consideration how the different colors in different rooms play off each other. Not factoring that in can result in jarring transitions from room to room and colors that are not complementary being seen together from certain points in your home.
A professional can also advise you as to the right sheen for each room. For example, a high gloss works best in the kitchen and bathrooms due to durability, but would not be the best finish for a bedroom. He or she can also recommend the highest quality paints for your particular budget.
Good luck with your painting project!
Specializing in exterior and interior
When it comes time to protect your new wood deck—or an older one, for that matter, due for a fresh finish—the age-old question arises: Should I stain or paint? Each method has its pros and cons, with several factors needing consideration before you make a decision.
The Pros & Cons of Staining a Deck
With stain, you control whether or not—or how much of—the wood’s color, grain and texture are visible by choosing a level of opacity, from clear to solid-colored stain. If the wood in your deck deserves highlighting, such as with redwood, cedar and cypress, stain may be the way to go.
Staining requires stripping and reapplication every one to three years, though, with the opacity of the stain, weather and frequency of use dictating how long the finish lasts; a more opaque stain will last longer. Stain also does not offer the best UV ray resistance, unless you opt for a solid color.
The Pros & Cons of Painting a Deck
A paint job on your wood deck will last longer than staining, up to 10 years if you prep correctly and use a high-quality paint made for wood decks. The additional protection paint provides from UV rays and moisture also can extend the life of the wood itself. And the number of paint colors you have to choose from will be far greater than that of stain, allowing you to more easily match or complement exterior paint colors.
The prep required is extensive, though, and a professional painter provides the best results in terms of lifetime and appearance.
No matter which product you pick, a few best practices will ensure the best results:
- Do not take short cuts when it comes to prep: Thoroughly clean, and strip if necessary, all surfaces to get proper adhesion; apply a preservative either separately or within the product; and prime
- Fill any nail or screw holes to keep moisture from seeping into the wood, which will defeat the purpose of protecting the surface of your wood deck
- Stain or paint all surfaces even if they do not get exposure to UV rays or other elements
Switching From Paint to Stain
If you are refinishing an older deck that has been stained before, you are not limited only to that product going forward. How much work must be done to make the switch depends on a few factors. A paint job in decent shape can be stained over with a high-opacity stain. One that is flaking will require stripping and sanding as part of the prep. Also, if using an oil-based stain, you will need to remove the paint to get the new finish to properly adhere. To learn more about this particular process, read our Stain Over Paint | Can You Stain Over Painted Wood? post.
Choosing the Right Stain for Your Wood Deck
If you do decide stain best suits your deck, be sure to buy the right one. There are water-based stains and oil-based stains. We recommended oil-based stains, in particular, for decks. This type of product offers better penetration and lasts longer. You also can get a mildew-resistant oil-based stain. To learn more about the differences between the two types, check out our Wood Stain | Buying the Right Stain for your Deck or Home post.
Finishing your wood deck will give it the most protection against the elements and create the best appearance for an outdoor living space. Consider it an investment in your home, one that will pay for itself in enjoyment and even resale value if you plan on selling in the near future.
Surprise Dad with a Chore Free Weekend!
Father’s Day is at the height of the busy summer season – right when the household “To Do” list is really starting to grow. ProTect Painters is offering Dad the chance to enjoy a “Chore Free” weekend. Allow the experts in home improvement and house cleaning to take care of cleaning the house, painting a room and tackling your home repairs – we love this stuff!
Trade Snores for Chores this Father’s Day
Mr. Handyman, Molly Maid and ProTect Painters are part of Service Brands International and we’re hosting a “Trade Chores for Snores” Facebook promotion to take care of those annoying household tasks and give you back some free time to nap in a new recliner!
To enter the “Trade Chores for Snores” Facebook contest, simply “Like” our Mr. Handyman, Molly Maid and ProTect Painters Facebook pages between June 2 and June 20, 2014. The Grand Prize winner will receive:
- $1,000 Mr. Handyman gift certificate
- $500 Molly Maid gift certificate
- $500 ProTect Painters gift certificate
- A new recliner!
Our Facebook fans also receive regular updates on desgn ideas and color inspiration.
Painting cabinets can transform a kitchen, however the job requires the skills of a professional painter or an experienced DIYer for best results. Dan Schaeffer, owner of ProTect Painters of Central Austin and a leading painter in Austin, TX provided some insight on the difference between a professional job and a typical do-it-yourself approach to painting your cabinets.
“When you roll or brush cabinets you will never achieve as smooth and clean of a look as spraying,” says Dan. “That clean look also starts with professional prep work of masking, cleaning, caulking, sanding, and priming. You can’t just pull the cabinet off and paint, if you want a clean, professional final product.” Dan also added that “many homeowners don’t realize how much staging area is required to paint cabinets. You need adequate space to spray, plus room and separation between each finished piece for adequate drying.”
Learn more about the cabinet painting process before deciding whether or not to take this task on yourself.
Step 1: Purchase tools and supplies
- Putty knife
- Paint application supplies such as brushes or sprayer
- Painter’s tape
- Painter’s tarp and/or rosin paper
- No-rinse TSP or other degreaser
- Wood putty
- Sandpaper (100-grit and 220-grit)
- Tack cloths
- Cup hooks
- Sandable primer
- Cabinetry paint
- Drill (if needed)
You also will need a large open area for painting and drying.
Step 2: Label and remove each cabinet door and drawer front
Apply a piece of painter’s tape to the inside of each door and cabinet. Do the same for the adjacent frame. Number each removable piece and adjacent frame with the same number. This will help you keep track of which piece goes where when it comes time to put the cabinets back together. Remove all hardware and place in plastic bags, each one labeled with the corresponding number of the piece and frame; skip this step if installing new hardware.
Step 3: Cover all surfaces not to be painted
Cut painter’s tarp or rosin paper to fit countertops and apply with painter’s tape. Cover the floor, as well.
Step 4: Clean all surfaces to be painted
Mix a solution of no-rinse TSP or other degreaser. Working in small sections, use a sponge dipped in the solution and wrung out to clean all surfaces to be painted. Follow with a sponge dipped in water and wrung out to rinse. Let dry.
Step 5: Fill any holes or dings
Apply wood putty to any dings or dents in the wood as well as to any if you plan to use new hardware that will require holes in different places.
Step 6: Sand all surfaces to be painted
Using 100-grit sandpaper, smooth any raised surfaces from the wood putty and rough up all other surfaces. Wipe away all wood dust with the tack cloths and screw a cup hook into the edge of each removable piece to be painted; this will allow you to hang the pieces to dry.
Step 7: Prime all surfaces to be painted
Place as many pieces as will fit on the sawhorse. Apply primer to the inside, let dry, then flip to apply to the outside. Hang them to finish curing, which can take several hours depending on the weather. Repeat until all pieces are primed, priming the cabinet boxes in the meantime.
Step 8: Sand all surfaces to be painted again
This allows you to remove any brushstrokes left behind during the priming process. Wipe away all wood dust with the tack cloths.
Step 9: Paint all surfaces
Place as many pieces as will fit on the sawhorse. Apply paint to the inside, let dry, then flip to apply to the outside. Hang them to finish curing. Repeat until all pieces are painted, painting the cabinet boxes in the meantime. Once everything has dried completely, apply a second coat.
Step 10: Put your kitchen cabinets back together
Once completely dry, reinstall all pieces with existing or new hardware, using the drill to create new holes.
As you can see, this is an involved home improvement task that takes an attention to detail for best results. Take it on if you have the time and want to do the work. Otherwise, a professional painter can complete the job—in less time as a sprayer will likely replace brushes, and with professional results. He or she also can help with the paint color selection process, as you will want to create a palette that complements wall and appliance color alike.
Dan Schaeffer is owner of ProTect Painters of Central Austin providing Painting Services to Austin, Texas. 9600 Escarpment Boulevard Suite 745-70, Austin TX 78749 We’re 100% insured and we’re local. Right in your own neighborhood!
When choosing exterior paint colors for your home, consider three factors: architectural style, environment, and personal preference. The latter proves easy enough—just think about the colors you like—but the other two challenge many a homeowner. Get expert advice from both the paint companies and your professional painter to make your final decision.
The Right Paint Colors for a Particular Style of Home
Leading paint companies present their exterior paint colors by architectural style, making it easy to narrow your options to those that suit your home.
For example, Behr offers several standout color combinations for Craftsman homes, including Fleece Finish, which paints the brick White and the accents Mocha. Red Hot covers the door trim to make the front entrance pop.
With Spanish Mediterranean homes, it presents the eye-catching Light Limoncello color combination, which uses Expedition Khaki as the base, Toasted Marshmallow on the trim, and Island Palm as an accent.
The company also offers schemes for Colonial, Modern, Ranch, and Victorian Tudor homes.
Benjamin Moore overlaps with Behr in terms of presenting by style, offering paint color options for Federal and Chateau homes as well.
Its Fresh Federal color combination embraces monochromatic for an organically elegant look. The gray of Fusion coats the stucco walls, while the creamy Deep in Thought and the dark brown of Silhouette serve as contrasting trim and accent, respectively, highlighting the architectural details of the home.
For the company’s Contemporary Chateau, it uses the soft beige of Coastal Path as a subtle base. The light Mascarpone highlights window trim, with the taupe of Weimaraner adding balance and depth.
Glidden also presents paint color combinations by architectural style. The company paints a Federal style home in Antique Silver, combining it with Icy Waterfall, French Gray, and Leather Brown. A Mediterranean style home gets seven palettes, including the distinctive Peach Crayon as a base, with Antique Beige, Hazy Sage, and Bronzed Ivy for the trim and accents. Another striking option is Cyprus Grass with Misty Summer Day, Stormy Night, and Shaded Fern.
The Right Paint Colors for a Particular Environment
Sherwin-Williams takes a more regional approach to presenting its exterior paint colors.
Desert and Southwest style homes, for example, get their own palette. The colors highlight the warm, earthy tones of sun-baked adobe homes, terra-cotta roof tiles and desert sands with just enough contrasting hues of cooling green and gray. The yellow of Birdseye Maple on the body, the creamy brown of Lanyard on the trim and Link Gray as the accent work in such harmony.
For the Southern Shores and Beaches style, the company embraces the region’s charm with sun-washed tones that are welcoming on a variety of homes, whether a beachfront hideaway or grand plantation. The contrasting Festoon Aqua with Polar Bear and Sassy Green make quite the color statement, as do Banana Cream with Extra White and Roycroft Brass.
Considering environment as a factor, as Sherwin-Williams does, also involves looking at your particular neighborhood and even street. While you do not want your home to stick out like a sore thumb in relation to those surrounding it, you do want your color choices to make a personal statement, reflecting your tastes. That being said, how long you plan to stay in your home also must be considered. If you plan to resell with several years left on the lifetime of the paint job, more mainstream choices may be your best options.
Your professional painter can help you consider all of these factors and steer you toward the right paint color combination for your home in 2014 and well beyond.
The elements do a number on unprotected wood. Rain and other wet weather can cause shrinking and swelling, which results in warping and cracking. Dry weather also does harm, fading the natural color of the wood and breaking it down. And damaged wood rolls out the red carpet for rot-causing fungi. Protect your wood by staining or painting it and perform other maintenance to keep it looking like new.
Staining vs. Painting Wood Decks
Each method has its considerations. For example, stain allows the grain and texture of wood to remain visible, how much is dependent upon the type you choose. You might choose a clear stain for new, attractive wood but a solid-color stain for older wood with blemishes and unsightly grain.
Staining a deck is easier work than painting, but you will need to reapply more frequently than with paint, every year as opposed to several. Also, depending on where you live you might need the additional protection paint offers from the elements.
Paint does require additional work to apply, as the wood must be properly prepped and sealed to get the longest-lasting results; you can often skip sealing with stain if you choose a weatherproofed product. Paint offers more color options than stain, though.
No matter which method you choose, be sure to use a stain or paint made specifically for wood decks.
The combined number of stain and paint colors available through Behr, Sherwin-Williams, Glidden and Benjamin Moore can be overwhelming, with stains available in nearly 300 different colors and paint in just about any color that a company offers for use elsewhere on the home. Check out this recent post on 2014 Stain Colors for leads to the best colors of the year.
Start by deciding between stain vs. paint, then consider your existing exterior paint colors and the architecture of your home. What color will work with both? Pick up as many examples as you need to at a local paint store or consult your professional painter, who can help narrow your choices to the perfect one as well as the right product for your environment. If you would like the stain or paint to last as long as possible, invest in high-quality products from these companies: WoodSmart by Behr, Deckscapes by Sherwin-Williams, Arborcoat by Benjamin Moore and Glidden Porch & Floor Paint are all good options.
Deck maintenance does not stop with a fresh coat of stain or paint. Actually, it starts before you apply a protectant and continues throughout the year. Start your maintenance year in the spring with a complete inspection. Look for nail pops, rough surfaces in need of sanding, damaged wood that requires replacement and loose railings. Make any necessary repairs before moving on to the next item on your to-do list: cleaning.
Cleaners made specifically for wood decks are available at your local home improvement store. You will find products from the likes of Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Sherwin-Williams for every stage of the project, from stripping to cleaning to restoring. While there, rent a pressure washer if you don’t own one and prefer not to scrub by hand. Be sure to follow the instructions provided to avoid damaging the wood, which can happen if you use the wrong nozzle size and settings.
As with any home improvement job of this scale, hiring a professional not only saves you time but money. Unless you have previous experience with this type of work, a professional painter can do the prep, application, and cleanup at a higher level of quality, resulting in restaining or repainting needing to be done less frequently.