Written by Andy Benson

Five Instagram Hashtags for Design Inspiration.

Get design ideas from people all over the world.

Since you’re probably spending a lot of time at home these days, it’s only natural to begin longing for a different view. That faded and chipped paint in your den that was a mere annoyance a month ago is now a daily source of angst and disgust.

Clearly, you need to do something about this but the creative juices just don’t flow that freely these days. You need some design and renovation inspiration! Fear not! Instagram is here to save you. You can find incredible posts from designers, architects, bloggers and homeowners from all over the world in just a few clicks.

The secret to finding the best pics is knowing exactly which hashtags to search for. We’ve rounded up our top-five favorites for you to explore.



This is great one for every day inspiration and casual browsing. It’s like being a nosy neighbor but still respecting boundaries. (You know the neighbor I’m talking about!)



If you’re a fan of the process of home improvement and the finer details of a project, this is a good one for you. You can pick up a lot of good tips in the comments as well.



This is kind of a general catchall hashtag, but it’s great for sourcing some unique ideas when you’re not really sure what you want to do with a space.



There are some incredible over-the-top designs on this hashtag. While some might fall into the “dream” category, there are certainly some elements you could incorporate into your own home.



If you have a soft spot for older homes or maybe you’ve been thinking about how to update your older home but maintain it’s original aesthetics, this hashtag will provide you with oodles of ideas.

Textures,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Specialty Painting

Interior painting extends well beyond putting one color on top of another. There are many ways you can paint to give a wall or surface texture or other types of faux finishes. Let’s consider the options in this article.

Faux (French for imitation or artificial) painting is not new. However, it has become a popular trend in interior design recently. Faux paints are fun, interesting and beautify your home in a way that makes it unique. Faux finishes may be smooth or textured. They can give your walls a chalky or grainy look or be smooth as silk with a satin sheen. You might like one of the following:

• Marbling faux finishing is a luxurious look and can be done in a variety of colors. It usually has a basic understated background but then reveals veins of white or a complementary color with perhaps some cloudiness. You should limit yourself to three or four colors. Start by applying a ‘middle shade’ according to the color palette you have chosen. This would be the base coat. Then using a variety of tools, layer on the other colors with sponges and blot. Take your time! Marbling is a true work of art.

• Variations on marbling include fantasy marble using resins and metallics and applying one atop the other all while wet or reverse marbling, which is a dark stone-like color with veins of white or something light.

• Silk faux finishing is another opulent look. Start by choosing a base color then find the metallic glaze to complement the tint. Be sure to set aside three days to complete the task and have all your materials ready in advance. Then start by painting two coats of the base color and letting it dry completely each time. Then mix the paint and glaze together with a ratio of 2 to 1 – mixing thoroughly. Finally, add the color one stripe at a time and then use a wallpaper brush to spread the color. Take your time to ensure you get the best results.

Specialty painting of interior home walls makes your home one-of-a-kind. Before you begin, we suggest you speak to an expert in interior painting. The professionals at University Painters, Inc. are available to do an interior inspection and quote at your convenience.

Paint Colors,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

How Paint Color Affects Our Mood

One of the most exciting parts of customizing your home is choosing the paint color. It reflects your personality, and contributes to the overall atmosphere you’d like to evoke. In fact, paint colors can have a significant impact on your mood. How so? Colors have an emotional value. Some contribute to a serene, calm ambience, while others create a more energetic environment.

For example, blue is widely considered a very relaxing color, which is what makes it such an excellent choice for bedrooms and bathrooms. On the other hand, red makes a bold first impression. It pumps adrenaline and stimulates a lively social climate, which can make it ideal for living rooms and other places where you might mingle with guests. Yellow is joyful and uplifting, and it often creates a positive aura in certain spaces, such as bathrooms and kitchens. In smaller areas, it can brighten things up and add a welcoming touch.

Of course, neutral colors are among the most popular choices, and understandably so. Their versatility and timeless quality makes them an excellent backdrop for most spaces. If you’re aiming for a calmer theme, go for less color. For more intensity, add color. Another thing to consider is the effect that can be achieved with both deep and light shades. Lighter colors open up a room and give the illusion of a larger space, while darker colors contribute to the warmth and coziness of a room.

Important factors to think about are the size of the room, the primary purpose of the space, and the overall décor scheme you’re going for. The experts at University Painters will work with your color preferences to help you make your house a home. Visit our website at www.universitypainters.com, or give us a call at 1-800-390-4848.

Paint Colors,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

8 Creative Ways To Use Up Leftover Paint

After you have a few painting projects under your belt, you probably have more partially-filled leftover paint cans than you know what to do with. The painting professionals at University Painters are familiar with this common dilemma.

Of course, it’s a good idea to hang on to a little bit of extra paint for each of the colors in your home. Few interior walls remain unscathed for long, so there’s a good chance they’ll need periodic touch ups to keep them looking their best.

Sometimes, you’ll find mystery cans you can’t even identify and know you’ll never need, but just can’t bring yourself to throw away. If you’re feeling creative, the following do-it-yourself projects are a fun and guilt-free way to use leftover paint instead of letting them clutter up your basement or garage.

1) Paint a canvas! If you’re not satisfed with your creation, you can always repaint your canvas with primer and try again on a blank slate.
2) Paint an old piece of furniture that needs saving from the landfill. These are everywhere, from thrift stores to your neighbor’s curb.
3) Use a stencil to paint a design on a wall or on a piece of furniture.
4) Find some unused metal or wooden picture frames and paint them to match your decor.
5) Paint an accent wall. A small amount of paint can go a long way in adding a pop of color to your home.
6) Give the inside of a cabinet or the back of a bookshelf some pizzazz by painting it a bright color.
7) Paint your switch plates in a whimsical pattern.
8) Paint clay garden pots and group them together to add a splash of color to your yard, even in the winter.

With a little imagination, you can transform everyday items into unique works of art. Be sure to visit University Painters’ website at www.universitypainters.com for the latest in painting tips and advice.

Interior Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Don’t Do This if You’re Going to Paint

This country is blessed with a large helping of ‘good old American know-how’. We are inclined to take on projects and do them ourselves. It is the heart of the DIY movement and it has taken the nation by storm. While that is all well and good, we would like to offer you a list of ‘don’ts’ to ensure you are pleased with the outcome of the time and effort you have put into your paint job.

  1. DON’T start painting before you have done your due diligence and completed all of the preparations that will ensure the paint job goes smoothly, otherwise you will get to the end of the work, step back and say to yourself ‘what happened?’. Prep work includes cleaning the surfaces you intend to paint, inside or out. If you don’t then you will be painting over dirt, grime and other particles that will now be a permanent part of your newly painted home or business. Prep work also includes fixing surface imperfections and covering items you do not want exposed to paint.
  2. DON’T skimp on tools and materials. The old adage – you get what you pay for – could never be truer than when you are painting. Take the time to explore home stores to identify items that will make the job easier, more efficient and more successful. For example, did you know that you can purchase ‘roller liners’ that will make cleaning up after painting an almost effortless job? There are dozens of little knick-knacks that will ensure the painter doesn’t end up frustrated!
  3. DON’T forget to prime. Whether you are painting a new surface such as drywall or one that has been painted before, a primer helps the true color of the paint you have selected to show through while ensuring durability.
  4. DON’T continually dunk your brush or roller in the paint. It actually makes the painting tool too heavy and can lead to uneven painting strokes.
  5. DON’T choose the wrong paint! Don’t buy indoor paint for an outdoor job just because the price is cheaper.
  6. And DON’T forget to call University Painters, Inc. for all your painting needs at home or at your place of business.
Paint Colors,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

How Paint Can Make a Room Seem Larger

Spring and summer tend to be the times when homeowners take to their residences with a fine-tooth comb – updating looks and refreshing interiors and exteriors. It just makes everything feel fresh and new and instills a sense of pride in your home ownership. Now, not everyone owns a large home as many people have smaller houses that are made up of a number of small rooms that connect. The idea is to try to make a house and its rooms appear larger without having to go to the expense of putting an addition onto the home. The most inexpensive but visually clever way to add expanse to your abode is through paint!

Paint can add to the viewer’s perception of depth and size. Small rooms feel suffocating enough already so the homeowner is probably going to want to make it feel larger and more inviting. The amateur designer can learn how to use color, furniture placement and lighting to give the room a sense of increased size.

Let’s start with color. If you want a room to look larger then it is recommended that you use brighter colors. This tends to ‘open up the space’. Make sure the color choice is also soft because it is more naturally appealing and relaxing while also emitting a sense of openness. Trim can also work to fool the eye and make an area seem larger.

Lighting is an especially important amenity when creating the perfect open space in a small room. Natural light is always the best first choice. It reflects off the paint on the walls and gives a feeling of comfort and ease. But, the right light fixtures can enhance this sense as well. There are many light fixtures designed specifically for this purpose. If you have windows use coverings that are natural and light not heavy like drapes or old-fashioned Venetian blinds. However, windows that look out on a less than pleasant scene can be dressed up with plants – again giving off a sense of nature.

Finally, do not over crowd the space. One or two pieces of furniture placed strategically will give the room a finished look and avoid clutter!

If you need help creating the perfect indoor home look contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc.

textures,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Your Garage Floor is Part of the Home

Most people love the look of a freshly painted interior or exterior residence or commercial property. But, there are certain areas they may overlook, thinking no one will notice or care. One great example is the garage floor. When you pull into your garage tonight give your garage floor an honest, critical look and think about whether it would look better if it were ‘finished’. Garage floors are concrete, and this is a difficult substance to work with when trying to make it look ‘noteworthy’. If you are attempting to create a ‘clean’ and organized garage presentation, then adding a finish to the floor may do the trick.

Two great choices for covering the garage floor are paint or epoxy. Epoxy is a durable glue that bonds exceptionally well. If you opt to use a 100% epoxy glue it results in a hard surface that will be resistant to oil and grease stains, chemical spills, abrasions and other issues.

There is also an ‘epoxy paint’. This is a latex acrylic product that has a small amount of epoxy mixed in. An epoxy paint will adhere to the floor better than other forms of paint because it has that mixture of adhesive included. With either product it is a good idea to paint a sample on a small part of the garage floor and let it sit for a few days. Then take some time to reflect on which you like better. If you can find homes in the area that are willing to show off their garage floors it might also be helpful to see the finished product in real life.

Things to know as you make a decision include the fact that paint is easier to apply than epoxy, the garage floor should be power washed in advance and left to dry completely, and an epoxy finish will last longer and wear better and give a more professional finished look. However, applying an epoxy is much more labor-intensive and expensive.

If you are looking for painting advice or support contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. We’ve got you covered!

Paint Colors,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Here are Some More Suggestions for Choosing a Paint Color

This is not a new topic – but it is definitely one that readers are always asking about. The question most painters are asked at nearly every job is “how do I choose a color of paint for my ‘fill in the blank”’. It could be a bathroom, bedroom, home exterior, trim, business, or some other project. Well, believe it or not there are a number of ideas that should help you in the decision-making process. After all choosing a color is a very personal decision that can be distressing if you opt for a color you find you can’t live with.

• Take the time to identify trends. Hop on the internet and scour it for pictures of different colors that you favor. If you don’t like a certain color then ignore what the ‘experts’ are saying about this choice. For example, one paint company claimed that the new trend in house painting is the color black. If you are not a fan then it won’t matter how many people say this is ‘in’. Move on.
• Consider palettes of color. If you are partial to a tint you can usually find it nestled along an array of similar shades – light to dark. This may help you begin the narrowing down process.
• Keep in mind the little things. For example, if you are painting the exterior of your home will you want trim? Will it be a complementary or contrasting color? What about painting a business? What color will draw the eye of a potential customer instead of repelling them? It’s true – color can be off-putting for many people.
• Don’t forget that the sheen of the paint is important as well. You can choose a color that is along the continuum from flat to shiny, each with its own appeal and drawbacks.
• Always, always, always get a sample of the color and apply it to a small area where it will be seen. Give it a couple days before you decide if it’s right for you or not. But, remember to prep the surface in advance of applying the sample so you get a true vision of its final look.

Now, enjoy your paint choosing process. It’s really part of the privilege of owning a home or business. If you need help, contact the experts at University Painters, Inc. You’ll be glad you did!

Staining,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Stains You Won’t Want to Get Out!

Spring and summer are peak times to update your home’s exterior. The gloomy and gray skies are gone and you are able to see how your house looks more clearly. If your home’s wooden exterior looks worn and faded, it is time to give it a fresh look. If you have a home that is ‘stained’, then this blog should be very helpful.

First, there are a variety of stain options for your home. A clear stain will allow the natural grain of the wood and its color to shine through. An application of clear stain will also allow the wood to weather naturally. If you add toner this will give the wood just a hint of color. As you might expect, there are a wide variety of toner options on the market. A toner, much like the clear stain, will still allow the natural color to shine through. A semi-translucent stain is more intense in color but also allows you to see the natural grain and texture of the wood to which it is applied. Finally, a solid stain will cover the grain, but the texture will still be visible.

Deciding on a stain should not be solely dependent on the color you want for your home’s presentation. It is important to realize that the darker the stain the better protection it gives your wood in all different types of weather. If your home’s exterior is covered with paint your only option will be to use a solid stain. No matter what stain you use, you should also keep in mind how it will blend or conflict with the color of your roof, garage door, windows and other components. Decide in advance if you want it to contrast or blend.

Staining your home is much different than painting it. It can make a bold statement, depending on the neighborhood in which it is used. Before taking this step it is advisable to choose a couple of stain options and apply them in small patches on different areas of the house. Take some time to ‘try them on’ and see which one you like best.

If you are looking for professional help creating that ‘stained finish’ to your home, contact the experts at University Painters, Inc.

interior painting,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

The Attitude of a Room

Different colors evoke different emotions. Light blues and greens are known to be calming, and tend to help soothe and relax. High energy colors like bright yellows and purples can add a level of excitement and fun to an otherwise bland environment. When people get angry they say that they are “seeing red,” but red is really a color of strength and conviction. When painting the rooms in your home, there are hundreds of different color combinations that can be used to bring atmosphere to any room. Each room has its own identity, and with the help of the creative and inspired experts at University Painters, you can choose the right color to breathe life and positive energy into each room of your home.

The bathroom is often the smallest room in the house, but plays one of the largest roles in our day. When you wake up in the morning, it is not uncommon to go straight from the bed to the bathroom, and vice versa at bed time. It is where you get ready to face the day, and the room should bring a calm and peaceful, yet lively energy to your day. Pastels can bring a Zen-like atmosphere to any bathroom. If your bathroom connects to a bedroom, consider warm colors that flow naturally into the color of the bedroom. Strong and contrasting colors can also give the illusion of space to a smaller bathroom.

The living room is your entertainment space. It’s where you and your family will relax and watch a movie, and it’s also the room where you will invite your friends for game night. Neutral colors are not only inviting, but can blend naturally into the colors of adjoining rooms. That makes them perfect for living rooms, which are often wide open spaces in the home. Do not be afraid of the multiple different options that are available in the spectrum of shades of white. A nice accent wall can stand out and give the room a little pop.

When it comes to the bedroom there are multiple things to consider. Start with how you want the room to feel; do you want it to have its own built-in energy, or be calm? Your bed sheets can also provide inspiration for the color scheme of the entire room, not just the bed. When painting your bedroom, consider giving the room a little extra character by coloring the ceiling. After walking through a house full of white ceilings, some unexpected color on the ceiling of your bedroom can really boost the room’s idiosyncrasy.

Each room in your home has its own personality that is chosen by you. The beautiful thing is, you can choose and change this personality over and over again. So every time you are ready to give a room a little facelift, let the experts at University Painters be your guides. For more information, to schedule an appointment, or request a quote, please visit universitypainters.com.

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