Painting Tips

Great Expectations Painting Tips

We love professional painting tips! At Great Expectations Painting, we love all things painting related! We often get asked about the things we do differently because we often have tips consumers don’t have access too! This often includes interior and exterior painting tips, and sometimes more engaging content!

Exterior Painting

Exterior painting requires lots of high quality equipment. To have a great exterior painting job, you need to spray the paint instead of using a roller. Spraying will coat the walls evenly saving time and paint, while also having a more professional look.

Interior Painting

Interior paint can be applied by spraying or rolling. Spraying requires a ton more prep, but usually only requires one coat. Rolling requires basic floor coverings, but is easier to gauge coating. Make sure to cover interior furniture! Its almost impossible to get paint of the surface without damaging the furniture!

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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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How to Choose Your Perfect Interior Paint Color

Choosing a color for your interior paint project can put a lot of pressure on you. This is the color you’ll be looking at every single day for (hopefully) a very long time! All of the different colors, sheens, and brands available can seem overwhelming at first. But with these tips, we hope you’ll be able to choose your colors with confidence!

Where do I start?

There’s a lot of colors out there. That being said, the easiest way to choose your perfect interior paint color is to start with colors that you love. When you pick your very favorite colors, you aren’t trapped within the confines of traditional color schemes. By using a unique and personal color, you can create your own color palette that is unique to you and doesn’t look common or boring.

Look for inspiration

Magazines and catalogs are great sources of inspiration and information. Home improvement stores have been using these for decades to help spark colorful ideas in their clients. More modernly, the internet is the best place to search for color ideas. Pinterest, instagram, and even Google images are great places to start your hunt on the perfect color scheme.

Get Creative With Neutrals

Neutrals don’t have to be blah. You can bring beautiful life to a neutral palette by being creative with how the colors are used. Consider stripes and texture to add style while keeping the room relaxed. Neutrals leave lots of room for fun decorations without looking visually overwhelming. Some homeowners like to paint the walls with neutral colors and use a brighter pigment on the ceiling. This is a subtle way to bring excitement to an otherwise mild room.

Use a Print

Have a favorite comforter, pillow, or rug? Use it to design your color scheme! Using your favorite pattern as a focal point for the room is a great way to tie the space together. It is also a sneaky way to draw attention to the best parts of the room. You can take a fabric swatch to the paint store, or bring the whole thing! Choose the brightest colors in the print for accent walls, or the smaller details of the fabric for a larger space.

Find Your Color in Art

This is a trick used by successful interior designers. Choose colors from artwork. You can choose colors directly from the piece, or create a unique color scheme using complimentary colors. Take a photo of your artwork to match at the paint store to be sure you get it right the first time. You will be amazed at how the space comes together!

Sample, sample, sample

Arguably the most important tip on this page, this one should be considered a rule. Never skip sampling your paint colors. You may be surprised at how different paint will look on your walls and under the lighting of your home during different times of the day. Paint also tends to look much different when it dries, depending on the type of wall you are using it on. When you are spending this much money and time on a project, you want it to be right the first time. Do NOT skip this step. If you go to the back of any paint store, you will find stacks of cans of returned paints from those people who didn’t sample before they committed. You don’t want to be one of them.

Use A Color Consultant

There is a lot to know about color. If you find yourself doubting your knowledge and would prefer professional help, don’t be afraid to reach out to experts. Our amazing color consultants are more than happy to you at any step in your progress. They will consider the lighting of your home, the architecture, and your personal style to choose the perfect colors for you. We can provide paint ideas to sample, all the way to a custom-designed color palette for your entire home, interior and exterior. Feel free to contact us any time for a free estimate!

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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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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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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!

Happy New Year
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Happy New Year North Idaho!

We want to be the first to wish you a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Great Expectations Painting! We have survived the presents, food and family. Now its time to look forward! Have some New Years resolutions to break? Finally going to start saving for that new car? That vacation to Hawaii going to happen? Part of what makes the New Year so much fun is the planning! Trying to keep resolutions to make yourself a better person is super fun and exciting. It usually doesn’t work, but “the thrill is in the hunt.”

While we don’t want to dampen you spirits at all (and chances are you might still be a bit hungover so we will keep it pretty simple), have you considered planning your home maintenance yet? Most local businesses (ours included. we aren’t any different!) are light on work coming out of the holiday season, and its the best time of year to search for deals! A Nu-Look Carpet Cleaning offers premier cleaning services in Coeur d’Alene and Hayden. They offer great discounts throughout the cold months. Im sure there are countless others as well. We also offer a discount on our bids for work in spring. If your looking to save some cash, make hiring home specialists a priority during the winter months. It will save you some serious money!Happy New Year!

This past year we have been blogging pretty consistently. As our audience increases, we would love to get feedback on additional content you would like to see on our blog. If you have painting questions, or general home repair questions, let us know! We would love to keep the insightful helpful content flowing!

This year we are excited to see what is in store for North Idaho! We love painting, and expect this to be our greatest year yet! Thanks again to all our great customers, and we can’t wait to see you in 2017!

Happy New Year!


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All We Want for Christmas!

ChristmasChristmas time is here again! Other then being the starting words to a great song, everybody loves Christmas time! The Great Expectations Team wanted to take just a minute this week, and reflect on a few to the things we are thankful for this season. As always, we would love to thank our fantastic customers. You are all the reasons we are here! 2016 was our best year yet, and we are so thankful for you all! This year we painted almost 100 home interiors, exteriors and businesses. That is a LOT of painting (almost double our total last year). We have been so busy that we are still painting our hearts out, hoping the hard work will keep us warm. Thanks again for the great year!

Another Christmas gift we have this year is time with our families. Beyond the presents, traveling, and food, we love the chance to spend a bit of extra time with the family! With all the “glamour” that surrounds the holidays, it is really easy to forget the important stuff! This holiday season, make sure and spend a bit of quality time with the family! While the kids will want presents (of course, what is Santa for???), your parents will just be glad to see you. Trust us, we know!

ChristmasAs for our Christmas gift? If anyone asks us, its warmer weatherThe boss’s family lives in North Dakota. The web guys family lives in North Idaho. Our painters all live up here as well. ITS SO COLD! Our Christmas gift this year involves drinking some Pina Colada’s on a beach somewhere toasty. We would also settle for the middle of the Oregon coast, far enough to avoid the Californians. There are tons of cool things to do down there, biggest of which is not freeze to death!

We love you guys, and thanks for the great year. We wish you and your family all the best this holiday season. Remember to enjoy the time you have together opening presents and eating. Family is what its all about! We will see you all next year

~The Great Expectations Painting Team

Siding Repair
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Great Siding Repair Tips: Setup

The Great Expectations Painting Siding Repair Guide!

If you own a house, you’re probably familiar with siding repair. Regardless of how careful you are with your home, the unrelentingness of the sun will damage your siding. There are steps to avoiding damage with your paint selection, but its inevitable! Here is our guide to set up for repairing damaged siding and if you have additional questions, don’t forget to drop us a line!

  1. BE CAREFUL! Before we launch fully into our siding repair tips, we want to start with a warning. The damage to your home’s siding isn’t always visible! When you initially remove the siding, make sure and carefully pull the boards back to fully survey the damage. The last thing you need is extra repair costs from lack of care!
  2. Don’t Use Power tools! Power tools make jobs so much easier, most people don’t give using them a second thought. When doing delicate work (like removing damaged siding), don’t use your vibrating and overly powerful tools! The nails in the siding will have loosened over the years, making removal very simple. Just take your hammer or cat’s paw, and gently pull back the siding. It will come away easily, making management of the project much safer!

Enjoy the Video!