Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guest interview with Chuck Stover of CertaPro Painters

Spring is a mere 26 days away and with the change of season comes the desire to change the look of our space.  One of the easiest changes to make is paint!  I sat down with Chuck Stover of CertaPro Painters and picked his brain on all things paint-related.  I have had Chuck's crew paint my personal home as well as a number of my client's homes and offices.  Here are the great insights he had to share:

-What colors are your customers using the most on the interior of their home?
        I also see a good number of soft to medium greens, blues, and yellows. These allow for the most flexibility in furniture, window treatments, and resale. 

-What colors are the most popular for the exterior (doors, shutters, house color)?
        I see more clay or earth tones than anything else for soffits and windows.  Doors and shutters tend to be the contrasting colors.  Most popular are black, Keeneland Green, and burgundy.

-Tell me about low and no VOC paints.  What exactly are the benefits?
        Low and no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) are becoming the norm.  All paint companies are formulating new products to be low or no VOC.  The advantages are low odor, less chemical release (fumes) during application and drying, and generally more environmentally friendly (from both a manufacturing and consumer perspective).  The first zero VOC products were designed for hospital and nursing home use.  Now, there are products formulated for more everyday home use (Sherwin Williams ProMar 200 Zero VOC, Benjamin Moore UltraSpec, and Porter SpeedHide).  Zero VOC products are great if there are children, pregnant women, or persons with sensitivity to odors.

-What’s your take on painting brick?
        I think that painting brick can give a unique look to a home.  People might want a new look, might be tired of a dated brick, or desire to seal and paint over cracks or other blemishes.  The first time brick is painted, a masonry primer and two coats of finish paint are required, and it is a somewhat slower process to ensure all surface areas are sealed.  

- Is there an optimal time of year for painting exteriors? What about interiors?
        Traditionally, spring, summer, and early fall are the optimal times for exterior painting.  However, exterior painting can be done as long as the temperature does not reach freezing.  My rule of thumb is no painting below 40 degrees and only if it will not freeze the night after painting.  There are exterior products (such as Sherwin-Williams Resilience) that are designed to set and dry quickly.  Interior projects can be done any time.  From a contractors perspective, I need interior work during the winter (especially between mid-November and mid-January) and am generally very willing to offer discounts during this time.

-What is your favorite type of painting project to do?
        My favorite type of project is one where the homeowner is excited about the project, is not afraid of color, and is engaged in the process.

- How often do you recommend painting a room?
        I don't think there is a hard and fast rule for this.  I would say to paint a room as often as you think it needs it (to clean it up from dirt/damage or to redecorate with a new color).

-There are a variety of paint finishes available, how does someone select which one is right for their space?
        Finishes go from flat to matte to eggshell to satin to semigloss to gloss.  A flat sheen gives the best look and hides more blemishes, but is the least washable.  A satin finish shows more blemishes (especially with a tall wall with a lot of light), but is more washable.  I'm not a fan of either, nor am I a fan of putting semi-gloss on a wall.  I tend to use an eggshell finish more that any other.  A matte finish in a high quality product is also very washable.  Semigloss or gloss is best for trim.

-What are your thoughts when it comes to painting ceilings a color vs white?
        I see a fairly even mix in the homes I go in.  If you have a lot of nice crown molding, painting a color on the ceiling will make that molding stand out more than a white ceiling.  I see ceilings that are painted the same color as the walls, but the most popular look is a ceiling color that is a shade or two lighter that the wall finish, especially if the wall color is medium to dark.  It is important to remember that the same color will look different on the ceiling vs. the wall due to the way the light hits each surface.  That is another reason that a couple of shades lighter might look better.  When painting a room, I consider the ceiling to be the "fifth wall" from a decorating standpoint.  Even if the ceiling is white, I recommend painting it when painting the rest of the room.  It will give a fresher look and enhance the wall color.

Chuck Stover is owner of CertaPro Painters of Central Kentucky, a residential and commercial painting business.  CertaPro offers painting, carpentry services, drywall repairs, and faux finishing. 

Prior to joining CertaPro in 2010, Chuck had a 25 year career with The Sherwin-Williams Co., primarily in supply chain and manufacturing.  Most recently Chuck was Director of Global Distribution, responsible for development & implementation of distribution/transportation strategy for the Automotive Division’s distribution service centers in Europe & the Americas.  Prior to that, he was Director of Manufacturing, responsible for operation of the Automotive Division’s paint & resin manufacturing plants and distribution service center. 

Chuck holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Alabama.

Chuck lives in Richmond with his wife Cynthia and children Charlie (14) and Gillian (10).   You can reach him by phone (859) 582.6359

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