Great Expectations Painting

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The Popcorn Ceiling: Gone Stale?

We all have fond memories as children of lying in bed and looking up at the bumpy white ceiling. Perhaps you used your imagination to make shapes and faces in the patterns. Or, if you were like me, maybe you tried to scrape the bumps off with your fingernails and were met with a face full of dust and temporary blindness. But why was this ceiling style such a common memory in our childhoods? What is the purpose of the bumpy ceiling? Why aren’t we seeing them as much anymore? Is it worth the time, money, and effort to replace yours? Let’s dive into the history and significance of the ceiling we all know so well.

The history

The popcorn ceiling, also known as a cottage cheese ceiling, stucco ceiling, or acoustic ceiling, began its rise to fame in the 1930s and retained its popularity until the late 70s. A Styrofoam or stucco mixture gives the famed texture. The effect is achieved by spraying the mixture directly on the ceiling. By doing this, the homeowner could avoid repairing and painting their ceiling altogether. This proved to be much more affordable than other ceiling painting methods, and thus began its increase in popularity. Spraying a ceiling with the texture is quick, easy, and cheap, so it is no surprise that many families opted in.

Unfortunately, scientists soon discovered asbestos as the binding agent in most of these ceilings. Asbestos is a known carcinogen when inhaled. The traditional popcorn ceiling was consequently banned. However, contractors began replacing asbestos with Styrofoam to continue this process legally. Though the popcorn ceiling isn’t nearly as popular as it was in the mid 20th century, they are still commonly found in older homes. This is why popcorn ceilings appear old-fashioned or even vintage.

Should you replace your popcorn ceiling?

The decision to replace your popcorn ceiling is ultimately up to you. While some prefer the look of a smooth, even ceiling, others prefer the dimension and depth given by the bumpy texture. There are benefits to having a popcorn ceiling. These ceilings don’t need to be painted as often. They also do an excellent job covering imperfections, like holes, cobwebs, dirt, and scuffs. In addition, popcorn ceilings (also known as acoustic ceilings) absorb sound waves and provide great noise insulation. Texture helps muffle noise, especially beneficial if you have downstairs neighbors!

While there are upsides to keeping your popcorn ceiling, there are several drawbacks. The texture is known for being very difficult to clean. It is also nearly impossible to repair without hiring outside help. Many popcorn ceilings will also test positive for asbestos, so be sure to have it professionally tested before attempting to repair or replace it.

Overall, there is no right answer when it comes to deciding to replace a popcorn ceiling. However, in general, replacement is a good idea if you want to increase resale value of your home. But if you appreciate the sound insulation and texture that these ceilings provide, there is value in keeping your popcorn ceiling. Here at Great Expectations Painting, our interior painting experts will help you navigate this decision. We can handle the entire replacement process if you so choose. Our painters can also paint over the texture, or totally leave it alone. We will present your options and offer advice, but overall, your ceilings are the last thing you see before going to sleep every night, so it is important to us that you love what you see.

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Interior Painting: How to Choose the Right Finish for Each Room in Your House

Finishes & Interior Painting

If you have just jumped in to your first interior painting project, things can get very overwhelming very quickly. There is so much more to paint than just color. When ordering your paint, you’ll need to choose a brand, base, quality, and sheen for each color and amount. First and foremost, let’s talk about price. The shiniest, high-sheen paint will always cost more than flat or matte. As you go up the “sheen” scale, price increases by a few dollars at each step towards high gloss.

When it comes to finishes, a typically good rule to follow is that sheen = durability. The higher the shine, the more damage it will be able to withstand and the longer it will last. A high sheen means high shine, and high shine means a longer life for your paint. The lowest amount of sheen is flat/matte, slightly higher than flat is eggshell, and then satin, semi gloss, and high gloss is the highest sheen available. While a painting novice may be tempted to paint the entire house in the cheapest type of finish, it is actually incredibly important to choose the right sheen for each area of your house in order to save as much money as possible and increase the lifespan of your paint job.


For kitchen painting projects, your best choice is always going to be a high-gloss finish. High gloss is the most durable sheen available. Because your kitchen will typically experience more chemical-based daily wear and tear than your other rooms (think smoke from burnt bacon, oil splatters from frying chicken, and residue from cooking spray), you must choose a finish that can withstand damage and constant cleaning. The paint sheen required for this must be tough, and high gloss is a perfect choice. This sheen is ideal for doors, trim, and 

cabinets, but isn’t best for interior walls due to its light-reflective nature. Extra care must be taken when using high-gloss paint due to its super high shine, which causes any imperfections to be super-visible. Be sure to take your time during this portion of your painting project, or hire some professionals to help you.



Family Room

For a family room, you’ll want a paint that can be easily cleaned and stand up to high amounts of traffic. The best choice for this lively room would be a satin or semi-gloss finish. Semi-gloss has a high level of durability that can handle moisture, pet dirt, and grime, and is also ideal for trim and anywhere that takes a significant amount of daily damage. Satin is another great choice due to its ability to be very easily cleaned. A satin finish also has a uniquely beautiful luster. However, it does show flaws more than semi-gloss and doesn’t do as well when touched up. For this reason, satin tends to be cheaper than semi-gloss. When it comes to paint, you do get what you pay for, and investing in the integrity of your home is always a good choice in the long run.

Dining Room

Your dining room area is typically low-traffic and well-decorated. In order to impress your guests, you’ll want a clean and smooth-looking finish with no imperfections. The best choice for this would be eggshell. Eggshell is a fairly flat finish with little luster, similar to a chicken egg. This sheen does a great job of covering imperfections like brush strokes and drips, and is ideal for an area with lower traffic and bright lights.



For the lowest-trafficked area in your home, you will likely want a flat or matte finish. The high-pigment wall coverage will help reduce your overall paint costs. Flat sheens are always the cheapest price point for finishes and provide the most pigment and therefore the most coverage.This means you can use less paint in the same amount of space. Eggshell paints tend to absorb light rather than reflecting it. This makes it ideal for covering imperfections. Eggshell finishes are harder to clean and this makes it ideal for low-trafficked areas such as the master bedroom.

The highly-trained painters at Great Expectations Painting will always choose the right sheens for each area of your home. Whether it’s interior or exterior, we know which level goes where. Keeping your budget in mind, our professionals will help direct you in choosing the perfect paint to make your home shine in the best way possible.

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Pressure Washing In Fall

Pressure WashFall is here, and with it, a build-up of leaves, sticks, moss, mud and other debris. Before things start to freeze, pressure washing can be a good way to clean up before the winter snows arrive. Great Expectations Painting in Coeur d’Alene offers pressure washing services to any size property that needs it!

Why So Much Pressure?

When you force your thumb over the end of a hose, that reduces the stream and increases the pressure of the water leaving the tube. Pressure washers use electric or gas motors with a water pump to artificially increase the pressure of water coming from your hose. This water is so powerful it can be used to remove leaves, caked on dirt, paint, and even damage stone.

When you use a pressure washer, remember that it can remove bark from trees and cut skin. This (and the fact many people do not own pressure washers) is a good reason to seek professional assistance. Wood and vinyl siding will hold up to pressure washing, but aluminum might dent unless you use a very low setting. Often the machine’s pressure is set to one constant setting, and you need to use a different nozzle to control the intensity of the wash.

Asphalt and concrete hold up well to pressure washing. You can also remove dust and pollen from windows, wash decks, and clear gutters before winter rain and snow fill them up.Pressure Wash

Some people attempt to pressure wash their roofs to remove moss and other debris. This is dangerous, can damage tiles and is not recommended. There are alternative ways to remove moss such as using a bleach/water mixture.

Regular maintenance throughout the year will keep paint lasting longer, cause less damage to wood and keep your property looking clean and beautiful. We at Great Expectations Painting are confident we can pressure wash whatever you need in this fall season.

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Halloween Painting Ideas

As the scariest holiday of the year approaches, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the possibilities of arts and crafts that you can make with your family. From pumpkins to over-the-top front yard graveyards, Halloween can be a creative bonanza! Here are a few painting ideas to get you on the right path for the trick-or-treating holiday.

HalloweenPainting Pumpkins

Everyone knows how to carve a pumpkin. It’s as American as apple pie. But did you know that you can paint a pumpkin for even more creative applications? Have your kids paint their favorite cartoon characters, or write a message to the children coming to your door. One stylish option to last all of autumn is to use metallic or high-gloss paint. You can paint a few stripes or other patterns outside of your gourds.  

Painting CutoutsHalloween

Give your house a classic photo opportunity with a wooden cutout. Grab an old piece of plywood, screw a couple of 2 by 4’s to the bottom corners to keep it upright. Now, you can cut a few holes at different heights in the wood. Next, have the neighborhood kids paint witches, mummies, and vampires around the face holes. Add a “trick or treat” message or something equally festive. Now you’ve got an easy, fun project that you can bring out of the garage every Halloween for the next group of kids to remember.  

Painting WindowsHalloween

Painting the panes of windows can seem like heresy to some, but buying an old barn window from the antique shop can create a fun little project for Halloween. Buy some transparent glass paints and some opaque acrylics and make the illusion of a ghost or skeleton looking out from behind a window!

At Great Expectations Painting, we will complete any project, no matter how big or small. We also have interior designers that can recommend colors and paints that will be more versatile and long-lasting than just Halloween, to keep your projects useful for longer.

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Painting In Rain And Water

Northern Idaho is seeing its first taste of fall rain this week! And while we aren’t seeing downpours the likes of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it can feel like the time for finishing building, construction, and painting projects is running short. Here is some advice on how to keep painting even in the midst of rain and bad weather:

Only Stop Painting When It’s Actually Raining


It’s easy to miss the obvious, but you only have to stop painting when it is actually raining. Overcast skies and “smelling rain” isn’t going to ruin your progress. Keep painting even if the weather isn’t favorable until raindrops start to fall from the sky. If you feel rain, take a break and waPaintingit for it to pass. Modern latex or water-based paints become tacky dry very quickly in the thin layers most people apply. Whatever you just started to paint before the rain began is unlikely to be ruined by a drizzle. In the Northwest a lot of our rain comes at night, so most mornings you can get started painting again if it persists all day.


Unless It’s A Downpour, You Probably Won’t Have To Repaint

Like I mentioned earlier: Modern paint dries quickly enough to withstand most precipitation. However, if a large downpour begins within an hour of your last coat, it will probably need to be redone. How resistant your new paint is to the elements is obviously variable: Oil paints take longer to dry and the impact of rain becomes greater in areas of more humidity. Use your own judgment and see how it turns out.


You Will Have To Wait Longer After Power washing Than After Rain

PaintingIf you are power washing your painting surface, it will take much longer to dry than if it had merely rained in that area. This is because the high pressure soaks water into the wood and other materials instead of resting on the surface. Rain is much lower pressure than our mechanical inventions, and materials will be ready to paint after rainfall much faster.

Hopefully, these tips will give you some confidence to continue painting in the rain and tough weather fast approaching this fall! Remember, if all else fails the teams here at GEP will brave any weather (until winter!) to give you the service you need.

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Interior Painting In The Fall

Painting is often thought of as an exclusively summertime job. Nobody wants to be outside painting their (or a client’s) home or office in the snow, rain, and cold. There are other painting jobs to be done, however. The inside! Interior Painting In The Fall or winter can be quite successfully done for a variety of reasons. Let’s get started

Interior Painting In The Fall?Humidity

Humidity is a huge problem for paint. It’s actually one of the biggest drawbacks to summer painting in some areas. In order for the paint to actually adhere to a wall and stick around, it needs to evaporate. Humid air has a ton of water particles in it and slows this process down to a crawl. Watching paint dry just got even more boring. This isn’t as big of a problem when painting indoors, but humid air outside definitely leads to more humid air inside without proper ventilation for the area you’re painting; an additional cost. Most days during the winter (again, depending on your region) are less humid and can even be pleasantly dry. Water getting into the paint as it dries can also result in cracking and peeling in the finished product.

Temperature is another factor when it comes to how paint dries and applies. The ideal paint job is done between 49 degrees and 100 degrees Celsius. The paint will dry more slowly below 49 degrees and will dry too quickly above 100, resulting in bubbling and cracking. Interior Painting In The Fall?We’re not very likely to have to worry about that top end during the winter time, but if your home is chilled below 49 degrees it may be time to turn on the heater. This costs money, sure, but that brings us to our final reason for why you should plan to paint the interior of your home in the winter.


It is likely to be much cheaper than a summer paint job. Most painting is scheduled to be done during the summer, and painters are going to be booked solid. Scheduling a painting for the winter fills in the normally empty part of the year, and does both the customer and contractor a favor. If you need some quality paint job recommendations click here, or here.
If you’ve been looking to get some interior painting done, you don’t have to wait until next summer! Save it for vacations or just some fun in the sun.

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Choosing Colors For Children’s Bedrooms That Will Last

Children can be fickle – everyone remembers the multiple phases that they went through. It may have been different cartoon characters or obsessing over specific looks and colors. If you have kids or are planning on it, the question of what color to paint a child’s bedroom is tricky. Families change rooms often or have multiple kids in one room. Here’s some advice to paint your kids’ rooms as few times as possible as they grow up:

ChildrenBlue vs. Pink

“I should paint the room baby blue or pink” is the assumption many new parents make as their young ones come into the world. These soft pastel colors are not a bad choice, but they have their limits. Pinks, especially hot pink, can have real limitations in matching fixtures and artwork that aren’t traditionally “girly.” This means that if your daughter doesn’t fall easily into a stereotypical princess look you might get a lot of pressure to paint the room as she grows up. Additionally, pink is VERY difficult to move boys into without fierce (and understandable) resistance. Pastel or deep blues, greens, subtle yellows like citron or beige, will last much longer and are more versatile as your child’s tastes develop.

Keep in mind: Wall paints act as a canvas. Adding and subtracting artwork, toys, carpets, furniture and bed sheets are much easier ways to change the vibe of your children’s room instead of repainting. This is obvious to many but easily forgotten in the rush of having kids. Shy away from the bold, electric, neon pinks and Toy Story wallpapers. The artistic decisions you make are also investments – repainting is never easy, and moving your kids into different rooms doesn’t make it any easier!

Do it Right

Great Expectations Painting can make repainting your children’s rooms quick and painless. Our team is fast, thorough, and provides free color consulting to anyone who enlists our services. Children

Some people are afraid of choosing “boring” or too neutral colors for their child’s room. There are a couple creative solutions to this problem. One is to choose a bold accent color for one wall and leave the others more traditionally plain colors. This gives a space for your child to express themselves or to place a similarly eccentric bed while still only having to repaint one wall when their tastes inevitably change.

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Painting Floors

An unconventional but bold way to change the appearance of wood floors is to paint them. Polyurethane-based paint can be much less expensive (and more fun) than simply staining them.  

To start, choose a neutral color that doesn’t easily expose stain or scuffs. Lighter neutral colors like beige and sky blue are good options, compared to more extreme colors like royal purple or the obvious-to-scratch and hard to match black or dark brown.painting

Next, move the furniture from the room in question and the hard work can begin. If you imagine that your wooden floor is a canvas, the challenge becomes to make that canvas as consistent and clean as possible. This means sweeping, sanding, and washing the surface completely to remove any dust and detritus that will make painting harder. Use a floor enamel or primer to prepare for the first layer in your desired color.

Order of Operations

When you start, it’s important to paint the edges near the walls first. Don’t forget to have some paint on hand the same color as your walls just in case! Also, use some place tape to stay within the lines. Coating the majority of the surface will be much faster and easier on your back with the use of a paint roller.

Keep your layers as thin as possible, spreading evenly and waiting a full day before applying additional coats. Keep the temperature higher and avoid painting during humid times of the year to keep drying time shorter. If you intend to paint a pattern, remember to apply the lightest color first.

After about 3 layers of paint, and any designs that you wish to include, add a finishing coat of polyurethane to give the paint a lasting shine. Be mindful of fumes during the project, and prepare to have the room completely unavailable for the good part of a week.

A painted floor will definitely raise eyebrows when people visit your home. But,  if you take your time and choose your paints wisely, a painted floor can be a beautiful and unique addition to any home. Come chat with our people to guarantee it’s done right!

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How Much Can You Alter In Your Apartment?

The simple answer? Read your rental agreement and contact your property owners to get permission before any semi-permanent changes to your living space. Permission is better (and often cheaper) than forgiveness. Apartment

The long answer? Some things are more negotiable than others. You can find some creative solutions for most of the projects that you would want to create in your apartment.

For example, let’s say that you want to paint the interior of your bedroom walls. In most living situations, this is unlikely to happen. Painting even sections of the wall isn’t something property managers want to deal with, especially if you spill paint onto carpeted floors. One clever solution to change the color of your walls is to put up curtains instead. Screwing into studs isn’t nearly as permanent as painting, and a quality, colorful fabric is going to look a lot better than the hippy tapestries that cover the walls of freshman dorm rooms.

Along the same lines, covering most of the space with individual framed paintings can achieve a new sense of color for the walls of your room. Painting large swaths of butcher paper is a cheaper and more “hip” way to achieve the same goal. Light fixtures, door handles, appliances, and furniture are often free to alter or replace, or at least very simple to put back to how you found it. Changing the construction of the room itself, however, is obviously out of the question.


Or Is It?

ApartmentThere are some ways to change the dimensions of a room that can drastically affect your experience in the space. One simple, elegant way is with the use of a room divider, which can easily bisect a space. Suddenly, a desk in the middle of the living room almost becomes a room unto itself and offers a sense of privacy. Fabric room dividers are light and adjustable, allowing for quick changes when company comes over.

Another way to change your apartment is with lighting. Many people overlook how powerfully lighting affects our mood and energy. Tinted lights, like sepia or blue lights, are an easy way to control how a shade of color is perceived, turning an uncomfortable green-yellow into a more soothing gold. Contact one of our professionals for some quality color consulting!

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Commercial Painting Tips: Invest in your building.

Commercial Painting TipsWe get tons of requests for commercial painting tips. Many brave souls out there approach their commercial space the same as they would their home. They buy some paint, pick a few colors they like, then get overwhelmed by the scope of the work to accomplish! After more then a decade painting some of Coeur d’Alene’s most iconic buildings, we wanted to provide a few great tips for taking on a commercial painting project.

I’m often surprised that other commercial painters don’t approach a large project from an investment standpoint. Your building represents a huge monetary and time investment for your building. Ensuring you paint it with current colors, and the correct paint help increase your long term investment. Whether you own the space for your own business, or rent to tenants, an attractive building will keep your tenants in the building longer, as well as drawing additional customers to the location!

  1. Hire a color consultant. An overlooked aspect of the painting industry, color consultants closely track real estate trends, paint development, and color phycology to ensure optimal space to work. Painting the interior and exterior of the building a specific color can deeply impact your work force (or tenants) mood while working. There is a ton of research that supports making smart color choices, and it will in turn make you more money.
  2. Commercial Painting TipsProtect your property, and your employees. Ensuring the paint your using meets current LEED standards makes sure your tenants and clients are kept safe from harmful paint products. This certification will be on the paint label and is easy to find.
  3. Paint when its cold out. We all hate painting in the winter months, but there is a very fiscal reason for it! Painting during the winter months is typically when companies are least productive. As a professional painting company, we offer substantial discounts for winter work. Your tenants will also typically be less impacted by painting later in the year.
  4. If you are overwhelmed hire a professional. Commercial buildings often offer unique challenges not found in traditional home painting. If you want to hire a professional company, make sure they are licensed and bonded. When the contractor comes to your job site, he should provide references, proof of insurances, as well as an inspection worksheet with the bid estimate. If you want additional projects completed (more then average fill work, calking gaps, etc.) make sure they are included in your bid! Any reputable company will let you add these charges to your bill later as well!

This covers our brief commercial painting tips for investing in your building! If you are looking for a great exterior painting company, please drop us an email! We would love the opportunity to help protect your property investment!