Exterior Painting

Exterior Painting – Our Crowning Glory

Great Expectations Painting loves exterior painting, it brings us the greatest joy a paint job can. We paint even when the weather is too hot and the sun is too bright. We’ll look through the sweat and tears at the beauty of a carefully finished exterior painting job. Exterior painting temperatures don’t bother us one bit.We will make your new paint job look amazing! From the carefully applied accent colors around the windows to fixing that obnoxious leak around the master bedroom window, Great Expectations will do the job right!

Anyone can pick up a roller and “paint,” however it takes masters to create art. We will paint your home like it was our own, resulting in a masterfully finished home exterior. If you have been on the fence about getting your home painted, be in “middle of the fence” pain no longer! You have found the best painting company in Coeur d’Alene, and we will take care of your needs!

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Signs It’s Time To Paint Your House

We all know that an exterior house-painting project can be inconvenient, expensive, and time consuming. But if you do prepare and do it right, it can be much easier than you think. Hiring painting professionals can make the entire process completely painless. Exterior painting is an excellent investment that extends the integrity and appearance of your home, your greatest asset.
When it comes to the elements, paint is your home’s first defense. The outside of your house is also the very first impression that guests and potential buyers receive. Sometimes, it’s obvious that you need to repaint. When paint fades, chips, or peels, those are sure signs that your home needs a new coat. However, there are some more subtle signs that you need to paint your house as soon as possible.

Your house is new

When a new house is built, contractors spray a single coat of paint over pre-primed wood. This one coat is usually insufficient to prevent swelling or shrinkage. As an owner, you should plan on painting your new home within five years to ensure a good layer of protective paint, before much damage has occurred. This steps tends to be overlooked by new home owners, leading to more severe damage down the road that is more costly to repair.

Flaking, bubbling, or cracking

If you’ve noticed any flaking, bubbling, or cracking in your paint, this signals some problems. These problems include dry rot, wet rot, or mold caused by failed weatherproofing. This damage can also be caused by strong sunlight, harsh North Idaho winters, extreme humidity, or storms. If your visual inspection brings up any of these signs, it is time to paint, and soon.


Different paints fade at different rates. Darker colors will always fade faster than lighter ones. Abnormal fading rates can indicate problems with the vapor barrier or with water intrusion. To determine if this is a problem, look with stains dripping downward on the paint. If you can’t pinpoint the source of the problem, don’t be afraid to reach out to an expert for professional help.

Hardened Caulk

Caulk is designed to move and settle with your house. However, as caulk ages, it begins to lose its elasticity. This can be caused by extreme weather cycles common in North Idaho, like sunny days and freezing cold nights. If your caulk is hard to the touch and lacks give, start thinking about re-caulking. If your caulking was done at the same time as your last repaint, it may be a good idea to throw on some fresh paint as well.

Altered Paint Color

UV light tends to fade paint. It can even transform the pigment into a different shade. Beiges can turn into pinks very quickly when exposed to harmful sun radiation. A good-quality exterior paint with UV protection will prevent this change from occurring and make your paint last longer.

Painting is a costly project in more ways than one. It costs money, time, and energy that you may want to spend elsewhere. However, it is important to consider the long-term benefits of painting your house regularly. By increasing the lifespan of your home’s exterior to boosting curb appeal, there is truly no better investment for your home. If you are looking to hire a professional company to complete your exterior paint project to your expectations, contact Great Expectations Painting. Our experts are always available to give you a free, no-obligation bid to help advise you in the right direction. We will make sure that you’re able to give your guests the best first impression of your home possible.

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Choosing the Right Paintbrush

When it comes to brushes, you really do get what you pay for. A good brush is worth the investment, as choosing the wrong brush can lead to unfortunate results. Whether it’s bristles stuck in your paint or huge streak marks, the brush may be the culprit. If you’ve ever chosen the cheapest brush assuming they were all the same, you were probably met with a subpar finished product – and now you know why! The brush makes all the difference. Quality paintbrushes hold more product, allowing you to apply the paint more evenly. Good brushes are also easy to clean, letting you finish your job faster. Fortunately, paintbrushes aren’t too complicated, so let’s dive in!

Know your options

Several different types of paintbrush styles line paint stores across the country. Natural-bristle brushes are fairly common and are great for oil-based paints, varnishes, shellac, and polyurethane. Natural bristle brushes are made from animal hairs that absorb more paint and assure a smooth release and finish. Hybrid brushes, also known as blended nylon/polyester brushes, work well with all types of latex paints. They are easy to clean, durable, and produce a quality finish. Best of all, hybrid brushes have a lifespan of several years or more. Polyester brushes also work with latex paints. They do a great job of applying paint evenly and smoothly.

Consider your job

Knowing your paint is an important first step in choosing the right brush. If you are working with an oil-based paint, it is best to use natural-bristle or hybrid brushes. On the other hand, water-based latex paint agrees best with synthetic brushes. Synthetic brushes are made from nylon or polyester. Hybrid brushes contain a combination of both.
Also consider the different styles of brushes as well. While it is easy to pick a bristle type and end there, know that different end types exist and some are better than others for certain jobs. Flat brushes are best for wide, flat surfaces like siding. Wider angled brushes work well for cutting in around corners, doors, and windows. Thinner angled brushes are great for trim.


When examining potential paintbrushes, look for tightly-packed bristles from top to bottom that spring back when you bend them. Also look for bristles that vary in length, as this allows for more detailed work. Our experts recommend that you also gently pull on the bristles. A good-quality brush won’t release many bristles, if any.
At the end of the day, you should choose the brush that feels best in your hand. In order to get a feel for how the brush will perform, try “painting” the floor or wall of the store. Note the control of the brush and the feel of the brush in your hand.

Our experts here at Great Expectations Painting are available to help you choose the perfect brush. We have great connections with the best paint companies in town that can hook you up with the perfect tools for your job. A great paint job starts with a great brush, and we are here to help you every step of the way, from ceilings to trim.

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Should You Stain or Paint Your Fence?

Refinishing your fence with either paint or stain is a great way of improving the look of your home. Painting or staining can also help your fence last longer. Putting in a bit of extra work can extend the lifespan of your fence by providing some additional protection against insects, rot, and normal wear and tear from the elements. Here in North Idaho, we tend to experience extreme temperatures. High temperatures followed by extreme lows can cause your fence to wear out faster than it would in more neutral temperature zones.

Paint or Stain?

So how do you choose between staining and painting? While there are benefits to both, our experts recommend staining a fence over painting it. Wood tends to absorb stain, while paint likes to stay on top of most wood. This means that as paint ages, it peels, chips, and appears worn. In comparison, since stain is absorbed deep into the wood, it just fades as it ages. Stains don’t chip or peel like paint does over time.

Paint can start peeling off of a fence in a year or less. Especially during harsh winters like those seen in the Inland Northwest, the lifespan of outdoor painted wood is greatly reduced. Depending on the quality of paint used, your fence job may last a bit longer. However, you can expect to see significant wear on a painted fence within the first 4 years. Cedar, in particular, doesn’t agree with paint very well at all. Cedar needs to breathe. Covering this wood with paint basically suffocates it, greatly reducing the lifespan of the wood. This is especially important to consider because most contractors recommending using cedar for fences due to its long lifespan. Of course, if you follow this direction, be sure to stain the wood and avoid painting it so this remains true.


Contrary to popular belief, staining a fence doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on fun colors. You aren’t limited to different shades of brown. Many great quality stains exist in vibrant reds, blues, greens, pinks, and purples. There is truly a stain for every style. You just have to know where to look! Our experts here at Great Expectations Painting will help you pick out the perfect stain for your project. If you prefer the natural look of wood, you can always choose a semi- or transparent stain, allowing you to see the true beauty of the wood itself.


So which costs more- paint or stain? It all comes down to lifespan. Stain won’t have to be replaced as often as paint, which means you’ll spend less on it in the long run. Initially, stain costs less than paint, but you will need more of it. The initial investment of staining your tends to be around equal to or slightly more than the initial investment of painting your fence. It is also important to take time into account – as we all know that time equals money. You have to take into account the amount of time you’ll spend scraping and sanding away peeling paint. This time won’t have to be taken for a stained fence. You can simply clean the fence and reapply the stain, saving you tons of time.

In conclusion, it is ultimately your decision whether you should paint or stain your fence. Both projects result in completely unique and beautiful finished products. Though we are a painting business, we at Great Expectations Painting understand the difference between painting a house and painting a fence. Overall, if you’re looking for an easy project and a beautiful product, choose staining. If you’re willing to invest in the right wood and put in some extra time for touch ups, you may enjoy painting your fence instead. Either way, you will add interest and value to your home.

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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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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!

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Preparing your home for new painting.

Preparing your home for new painting.

Preparing your home for new painting.Finally! The cold weather is starting to break! We were beginning to wonder if a permanent tundra had taken over North Idaho and we would never see the sun again! Without the snow on the ground, we can again recognize concrete, houses, plants, trees, and animals! Its a great feeling! Soon we will all be back outside enjoying the beautiful town we live in!

The better weather also means were closing in on painting season! Have you been looking to refresh the exterior of your home? Maybe you want to update your interior colors to “modernize” a bit? Either way, here are a few tips to prepare you for the new season!

Plan to start early. This year, Great Expectations Painting is already booking out 6 weeks! That means if you want to get your painting job completed in a reasonable amount of time, we need to get you booked soon! Interior painting jobs we typically save for later in the year; its all about getting the exteriors kicked on from now till the summer months. We always give out discounts for interior paint jobs later in the year as well, so if you can wait, you will get a better price.

Preparing your home for new painting.When looking to paint the exterior of your home, make sure you already know what paint colors you want. This will save us time re-bidding the job, and saves any coloring mistakes from happening. We never mark up the cost of paint on a job, so when you provide us the colors you want to use, we will just purchase the paint (with our discount) and include the price in the work bid. Saves a ton of time, and you won’t need to pay us to pick out the colors!

While we are doing your painting exterior, we can also knock out some of those annoying projects you just don’t want to handle! We do all sorts of construction projects at incredibly good prices. If your back fence needs repaired BEFORE being repainted just let us know! We can add the additional work onto your bid, and it will be cheaper then you think. We often get clients that add-on 2-3 projects just to get them out of the way!

While we are preparing your home for new painting, keep in mind the above and we will get your project handled in the professional, GEP way!

Late Season Painting
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Late Season Painting

Late Season Painting: How late should you paint?

Late Season Painting

Every year we do late season painting. We always get clients who are trying to avoid the rush of summer, and push their painting back until fall. We wanted to give just a couple tips to our blog readers on how late to paint! The most important part of late season painting (of course) is the weather! Modern paint is quite adaptable to damage once it has dried, however you need to be careful with late season applications. To much humidity will not allow the paint to adhere to the surface, which can cause peeling. Painting if its to cold, won’t allow the paint to fully develop and adhere, potentially affecting the paints seal on your home. If you are going to paint late in the season, it needs to be a non humid, sunny day (or few days)!

Use High Quality Paint.

Late Season PaintingRegardless of the exterior temperature, the exterior painting will correctly adhere with the weather on your side. Plan to pain when the forecast looks beautiful and the weather looks nominal. When you are late season painting, you need to use higher quality paint. Cheaper paint doesn’t have the sealing or adaptable of high quality paint. When your are looking to paint late in the season, the paint needs to be able to adapt to the exterior temperature and still properly apply. Higher quality paint is designed to adhere in different temperatures, and won’t have peeling the way a cheaper paint will.

Start Early!

The last tip is to only take on short projects. No matter what you do, dew will develop later at night in temperatures under 50 degrees. This means you NEED to have your project done 4 hours prior to the evening. The secret is to start REALLY EARLY! Sprayed paint will only take a few hours to dry, especially after the priming coat. Getting done mid afternoon with proper drying time will get the paint to really stick, even with late season painting. We could go on for hours, but these few basic tips should keep you out of trouble as the season develops. Good luck and get ready for the snow!

Summer Painting Tips
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Summer Painting Tips!

Summer is finally here and its time for summer painting tips!

Summer Painting TipsAfter a long cold winter, the sun is finally shining and its time for summer painting tips! This weekend in hayden and Coeur d’Alene, the temp is going to tip the scales to temperatures around 95 degrees! While a little warmer then my taste would dictate, I definitely approve of the heat rather then freezing anymore! Weather always provides different challenges for interior and exterior painting! I often get asked for my best tips about ventilation, paint choices, and weather “avoidance.” Here are a few tips for hot weather painting that should help your job go a little bit more smoothly! As always, I am more then happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to email me!

  1. Make sure and check the weather! Mother Nature, so often our very loved friend, is a little bit less loving when it comes to painting! The heat (other then the working which is very difficult) helps to dry the paint, but in extreme temperatures (over 90 degrees) you will get some blisters because the paint doesn’t have enough time to set. Humidity brings its own set of problems. Even with amazing new technology in paint development, it still doesn’t stick to water/wetness/dampness/notgunnahappen. You CAN’T paint in the humidity! Don’t try it! Wait for a positive weather forecast and paint when Mother Nature dictates!
  2. Don’t be cheap! At Great Expectations Painting, we never charge a profit on paint or supplies, so believe us when we say BUY QUALITY PAINT! The technological developments in paint the last 5 years have been amazing! The colors, vibrancy, and longevity of paints across the board have all increased exponentially. It is worth every penny to buy high quality paint. They typically include additives and color protectors that inferior paint don’t include. More expensive paint is a safe and great investment!
  3. Don’t skimp on the prep work. Part of what’s great about summer painting is how easy it is to get peeling paint off your house! The high heat tenets to “help” the removal process! Keep in mind that if you don’t remove all the peeling, your new paint won’t stick! Stop any potential painting disasters by doing a thorough job of old paint removal! You will be glad you did!
  4. Combine cans of paint. A real rookie mistake in painting, whether interior or exterior, is not combining paints! As you get to the bottom of a gallon of paint, make sure and add an additional gallon! By combining paint, you will keep any differences in color invisible since the paint blending will cover any mistakes! A real pro tip!
  5. Always paint downwards! To avoid streaks and drips, always start painting at the top of the room, and gradually move downwards. This helps avoid drips, streaks, and in general looks much more professional. This is especially true when using a roller!
  6. Summer Painting TipsExterior painting: Prep the landscaping! I can’t tell you how many times my DIY friends forget to cover their plants! Painting is incredibly messy by nature, and you need to COVER YOUR NATURE! Make sure your plants and trees are covered with canvas so your paint doesn’t ruin them!
  7. Use the proper sheen. These days, there are several different sheens to choose from when picking paint for your interior or exterior painting job! You can read more about which sheen to pick here. Make sure the sheen you pick is appropriate for the job, interior or exterior application, and your lifestyle!

That’s a few of the important summer painting tips to remember! Don’t forget to have fun, and PREP PREP PREP! Summer painting tips are only helpful if you use them!

This year, don’t forget to enjoy some time on the lakes, and happy painting! For more great exterior painting articles, check out our archives here!

Hiring a Coeur d'Alene Painting Contractor
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Hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor

Hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor requires some through research.

I’ll be the first to admit: painting contractors don’t have the best reputations. Oftentimes we are known for missing deadlines, questionable work standards, and hazy licensing. Because of our industry’s reputation, painting has become a hot-bed of DIY information! In fact, if you often read my blog, I provide tons of industry secrets to help private homeowners do a great job when painting.Hiring a Coeur d'Alene Painting Contractor I want to address a few important questions about hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor and what details to look for with a reputable painting company.

  1. Licensing and bonding is a big deal! You don’t want to work with any contractors who are not licensed and bonded. It protects you and your home in addition to the contracting company! Make sure the painting contractor you hire is fully insured and bonded. We (any reputable company) will be happy to show you our  licenses. It costs a lot of money to run a business legitimately and we take great pride in our workmanship!
  2. When your painter asks you to pay is a huge indicator of how they run their business. At Great Expectations Painting, we don’t take up front payments. The primary reason for requiring “deposits or up front payments” is paying for previous outstanding balances. Keeping forward cash flow keeps our workers focused on quality instead of, ensuring your painting job is done right every time!
  3. Great Expectations Painting strives to provide you with a great accountability record. When we issue an estimate, the times/costs/plan we give you is accurate. When hiring a Coeur d’Alene Painting Contractor make sure and asked for a timetable of work completion! The contractor works for and is accountable to you!
  4. Hiring a Coeur d'Alene Painting ContractorYour painting contractor needs to know they are painting your home or business. Typically we get asked about security, property damage, or left over supplies. Its a consistent problem with construction sites. Your contractor should assure you the workplace will be clean and beautiful by the time of job completion.
  5. If your home is older, your contractor will often need to take extra precautions for the home. If your home is over 40 years old, there is a good chance the layered paint will contain lead. Taking proper care of lead contamination does have extra costs, but the long term benefits are worth it! Make sure your contractor has the proper equipment and experience for taking care of old paint!
  6. Feel free to inquire about paint choices. Not all paint is created equal! There are many reasons we choose a particular brand of paint on jobs, and we are happy to discuss our reasoning with you. If you want a particular brand or color we typically don’t work with, feel free to ask about our experience or concerns. Sometimes your contractor will have a good reason to avoid a specific brand, but sometimes we just haven’t used a particular type or color.

I could go on forever, but you get the “jist.” Transparency offers protection for everyone! By asking the questions up front you can save yourself plenty of time and energy. You will also find the awesome contractors like us, your friends at Great Expectations Painting!

We can’t wait to here from you!

painting in spring!
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Painting in Spring!

painting in springPainting in spring requires a bit of extra finesse! The weather changes from raining to super sunny can cause havoc on your new paint! Most people love painting in spring. The temperature is just starting to rise, birds start singing, kids start playing outside, its great! Follow these simple steps to make your painting in spring successful!

  1. Exterior painting should only be done in temperatures above 50 degrees. Exterior painting in spring is great and you need to make sure the temperature stays warm while the paint dries. This will help create a better seal for the paint and maximize the paint’s lifetime.
  2. Don’t paint while it’s windy outside! This should be self explanatory. The enemy of any great paint job is drips and wind will create lateral paint blisters. When Painting in spring make sure to check the weather forecast and only paint on a calm sunny day!
  3. Check for “just the right amount” of sunlight! Painting in spring and summer is a bit like goldilocks. You need to find a day that is warm and not too sunny or cold! Remember the paint surface temperature will be about 20 degrees hotter then the outside temperature, and this can cause your paint to poorly adhere or worse! Make sure (again, check the weather forecast) the temperature is not going to have a huge amount of variance and you should be fine!painting in spring
  4. Keep your eyes open for potential repairs. There is no better time to fix your exterior nicks and crannies then while your painting! Before you start to strip the existing paint, make sure to fill any holes or damage on your homes exterior. Your house will love you for it!
  5. Spring painting will help motivate you for spring cleaning! There is just something magical about the “newness” that painting in spring creates! Other then increasing your home value, it seems to get our blood flowing and will help launch you into spring cleaning mode!

I could go on forever! Painting in spring is a rewarding and fun experience. Wether you are looking to paint your residential home, or a large commercial building remember to have fun! Spring is in the air! Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions! Property owners looking to fill their properties this spring should contact us at CDA Real Estate Investment & Property Management!