Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Twelve Days of Decorating

Christian Ursino and I wrote this little ditty last year, and I think it's the perfect time to ressurect it for the holiday season:

The Twelve Days of Decorating

Instead of rehashing the same old holiday decorating tips again and again (okay, okay... here’s your tip: just use candles – lots of them!), we thought it would be more fun to lighten up and celebrate the season with a group sing-along. So pour yourself a hot cocoa or a hot toddy and get ready to sing The Twelve Days of Decorating.

~ On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the forth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 6 yards of cashmere, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 handmade tassels, 6 yards of cashmere, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 8 Louis armchairs, 7 handmade tassels, 6 yards of cashmere, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 9 shutters shutting, 8 Louis armchairs, 7 handmade tassels, 6 yards of cashmere, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 10 cans of paint, 9 shutters shutting, 8 Louis armchairs, 7 handmade tassels, 6 yards of cashmere, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 11 painters painting, 10 cans of paint, 9 shutters shutting, 8 Louis armchairs, 7 handmade tassels, 6 yards of cashmere, 5 watercolors, 4 antique bowls, 3 pillar candles, 2 accent pillows and a bright shiny crystal chandelier.

~ On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a break from all this #%$#%$@ decorating!

Happy holidays to one and all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Facebook | Daly's Paint & Decorating - Quick spruce-up Tip from Daly's

Here's a quick spruce-up tip from our Daly's Facebook page:

Facebook Daly's Paint & Decorating: " In-laws coming? Uninspiring guest room? Blah bathroom? Here's my favorite spruce-up trick...The Feature Wall. Instead of repainting an entire room, find a lovely color and paint it on one wall only. This is a great way to create a focal point (and a favored trick to redierect the eye from flaws in the room) and it adds... a fresh look without too much effort. (I'm all about avoiding TOO MUCH EFFORT during the holidays!)"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Evolution of a Paint Store

This spring we moved from Downtown Bellevue (where we have been since 1961) over to the Northup neighborhood. We looked for almost 2 years before we found the right place to call 'home'. But it was worth the wait!

We love our new digs and our new neighbors. What we weren't sure about was how moving a business that had been on the same corner since 1978 would transpire.

Luckily, no major disasters occurred. Well - we lost one of our tint machines because the movers tipped it over while unloading it. Oops.

But we kept our sense of humor and got the new store up and running. The worst part? Cleaning up 30+ years of crusty tint room build-up in the old place!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tips and Tricks - The Best Way to Choose Interior Paint Colors

Finding the right color can be tricky, and for reasons that aren’t quite obvious at first. Your trip to the paint store will be much easier if you keep a few things in mind:

Most paint chips aren’t made from paint. Shocking, isn’t it? With the exception of C2 Paint, most national brands have their chips printed with ink – and ink is a transparent medium while paint is an opaque one, and light interacts differently with these two mediums. Therefore it is almost impossible to replicate the color on the sample chip to the color that comes from the can. If you have ever wondered why the color on the chip didn’t match the color on the wall, now you know.

Color chips have another disadvantage – they are small. When you look at the size of even a single wall, you quickly realize that a paint chip is too small to accurately give you an impression of how the color will play in a full-scale setting. If you understand that color chips are very handy tools to take you to the next step, they can be very useful. Color chips provide a very quick method for winnowing out the obviously wrong colors and finding those three or four colors that might work. Your next step is to sample the actual color.

Before we roll on some color, let’s look at one more issue: Lighting. If you are trying to make a color choice while standing in a busy paint store or staring at some samples on a computer screen, you are at another disadvantage because you are not looking at your color under the correct lighting conditions.

Preferably, you want to see what happens to your paint color in a series of lighting situations – morning, noon and evening. Each of these different times of day affects the way the color reads, and you want to make sure you like it at all times. Sometimes a color will ‘mud out’ at night (we can spend a lot of time discussing tinting recipes and why this happens… but later), or intensify to the point of looking neon, or wash out and look almost white when you thought it would be a soft taupe, or you find that charming coffeehouse color looks heavy and sluggish. Color does not always do what you expect it to. And if you live in a grove of trees or near the water, testing becomes imperative.

Ideally, you want to try your color with the other design elements that are going into the space like sofas, rugs, art, etc… C2’s Ultimate Paint Chip, which is a poster-sized chip made from real paint, is one option if you aren’t ready to get paint on the walls, or you can try a 16 oz. Sampler or Test Quart of paint (depending upon the brand you are using). Paint AT LEAST an 18’ x 24’ patch on the wall. More if you can. Apply the color on the darkest wall, the lightest (usually opposite a window), and in a corner. This allows you to see your color in all room and lighting situations.

Another major benefit of testing your color - it keeps those unfortunate color mistakes from becoming landfill. And we can all feel good about that!

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Need To Cry Over Spilt Red Wine!

We had a total Krud Kutter moment this weekend.

Imagine being comfortably ensconced in a big overstuffed chair on Saturday night, surrounded by great conversation and good company. Red wine, of course. Now, imagine the spectacular impact of that newly filled glass of wine that didn't quite make it when placed back on the coaster, which was there to protect the table...


Now imagine the surprise of the kitty who suddenly got a wine bath - when moments before she was lazing about on the floor between the chair and the table, hanging out with the humans.

Did you know that long haired cats make very efficient Mobile Wine Distribution Vehicles?

(Cue heroic superhero music) Krud Kutter to the rescue!

Carpet SAVED! Relationship with Mother-in-law, SAVED! Feline pride... Well, two out of three ain't bad!

Monday, October 05, 2009

"Mostly Sunny" weather means Squeeze In One Last Outdoor Project In Seattle!!!

This week is shaping up to be 'mostly sunny' - that's good news if you want to winterize the deck or get that front door painted before the rainy weather hits.

Ideally, you want to paint outdoors when there is lower moisture, medium temperature and indirect sun... Luckily, today's exterior paints are formulated to be applied in less than ideal weather.

Some things you want to keep in mind:
Just because the paint is dry to the touch does not mean the entire paint film has cured. When you are painting in these shoulder seasons, you will have a longer cure time. In other words, you might need to wait longer between coats.

It is best to paint when the morning dew has evaporated - this might mean waiting until late morning (or later) for better painting conditions.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

We Are Kick-Starting the Fall Decorating Season!

Daly's wants to help you get your fall design projects off and running. So we are waiving our normal $75/hr consultation fee for the month of September!

Our staff designers work with you one-on-one to create paint color schemes, window treatments, wallcovering and upholstery projects. Normally we charge an hourly rate of $75, so call us by the end of the month to set up you appointment.

The details:
  • Expect your consultation to last from an our to an hour-and-a-half.
  • Travel fees apply outside of our normal trade area (sorry!)
  • It's fun and takes the stress out of decorating!

Doing Good Feels Good!

Daly's and Pratt & Lambert Paint are involved in not one, but two local projects in our community:

Thornton Creek Elementary, a Seattle public school, received new flooring and window shades from the district - but guess what? The new floors made the walls look extra dingy. Our superheros at Pratt & Lambert stepped in and graciously donated the paint! The school parents volunteered their time and efforts to apply the paint, and now the school is sparkly bright and ready for the new school year.

The University Heights Community Center building is the recipient of a United Way project where they have 80 volunteers for a day, but needed about 100 gallons of paint to keep those volunteers busy. Again, our friends at Pratt & Lambert stepped in and donated a substantial amount of paint, and for the balance of the project gave them a great deal on the rest.

So, if you have a minute, check out Pratt & Lambert's website. It is so nice to see a national company giving on a local level and participating in the community where they sell their wares.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Can I Touch Up a Swedish Finish Floor?

Many people have what is typically called a 'swedish finish' on their floor; it is known to be very durable and beautiful. But sometimes that floor starts to show wear and in the past there weren't many options - except refinishing the entire thing. This has been one of the biggest drawbacks to the swedish finish approach, it is an all-or-nothing proposition. Also, the chemicals used to make the finish are very strong and for safety reasons only contractors are supposed to apply it.

Today I was working with a customer who has a kitchen floor that desperately needs attention, but refinishing wasn't an option. Luckily, we have a good solution, and I want to share it with you, too.

The product we recommend is Daly's Satinthane. Satinthane is a ure-alkyd, meaning its a combination of urethane and alkyd (modified with oil), instead of the typical straight alkyd. This allows the product to adhere to the existing finish where others can't. All urethanes are not created equal.

You must open up the existing finish first. This is where most people make mistakes, and this can result in failure, regardless of the top coat product.

We suggest 220 sandpaper or screening paper to 'scratch the back' of the Swedish finish. This gives the new product something to grab onto and helps to keep it from peeling or blistering off. Make sure to vacuum and damp mop any dusty residue. You want your surface to be as dust-free as possible for the best possible finish.

The Daly's Satinthane is applied with an pad applicator, and then you can tip it off with a brush on the edges. 2 coats is best, 6-8 hours between coats, 24 hours to walk on and a couple weeks for full cure. Don't forget to work in a well-ventilated space.

Like any oil finish, Satinthane may amber over time.

The best thing about switching to Satinthane is that going forward maintenance is much easier and it can be refreshed with more Satinthane or Daly's FloorFin. When you get to that point, scuff it up, dust off and apply a thin coat of finish. Done!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Do You Know What Color I Am Seeing Around Town?


Teal!! Can you believe it?
I believe it. It took a loooooong time for it to show up again!

The Tastiest Paint Store in Bellevue!

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Window Treatments, Deco Hardware and Area Rugs

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The Bellevue Design Department

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The NEW Bellevue Daly's!!!

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There Is a Difference...

... between a handyman and a professional painter.

I am trying to help two difference customers navigate the murky waters of trying to decipher what happened and why 'the painter' is at fault, not the paint.

A professional painter will take the necessary steps to properly prepare the surface being painted. A professional painter will stop and look at the can to ensure it is the correct color. And sheen. A professional painter knows how to box the paint, and not paint in direct sunlight, use the correct primer, proper tools, and on and on and on.

Too many times I have seen customers want to save a few bucks and hire the services of a jack-of-all-trades - but how much are you saving when you have to spend extra time and money rescuing the job? How much more hassle do you go through? How much easier to just have it done right the first time?

Okay. I am done ranting for the day.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Customizable Caulk

I fielded an interesting question today - and I thought more than one person might appreciate the answer.

In this particular situation, there was some newly installed stained base moulding at the floor. Imperfect walls being what they are, there were very visible gaps between the moulding and the wall.

What to do?

Customizable caulk to the rescue!

With this product you are able to choose any paint color and have it mixed into a caulking tube. How cool is that? You no longer need to be stuck with a beige, brown or white stripe of caulking on your project, you can have "Sea Salt" or "Postal" or even "Fetish" caulking to make all the finishing details complete. Tasty!

Monday, June 01, 2009

What Do I Do With Left Over Paint?

No matter how close you are in estimating your paint needs, it seems there is always some left over once the job is complete. But what do you do with it?

Pass it on:
You might find you can 'paint it forward' by finding a new home for your unneeded product. FREE is a word that is very effective when you are going the Craig's List route and need to get rid of something. Or maybe there is a small household project that needs spiffing up and your paint can be creatively used in a new way.

If you'd like to keep it for touch-up and future needs, here are a couple tricks:
1. Float a layer of plastic wrap (or even sturdy card stock) on top of the paint inside the bucket before resealing the lid. This keeps a skin from forming on top of the paint.

2. Take it one step further buy cleaning the inner rim of the bucket of any messy paint drips, then stretch plastic wrap across the opening and seal the lid well (pound it down, baby!). Then flip the can over so the top of the lid is now resting on the shelf. This creates a tight seal. Just make sure you have secured the lid firmly... or look out!

When you are ready to repaint again, make sure you remove the plastic. Paint stores usually happy to put your old can of paint on the shaker and remix it for you, by the way.

What if it's time to get rid of some paint?
We like this great product called Paint Hardener. This is amazing stuff. You take your bucket of LATEX paint, sprinkle in the packet of paint hardener, stir it in - and voila - it begins hardening before your eyes.

Once your latex paint is hardened, it is considered inert and you can throw it away in your regular garbage. Remember, it must be dry to toss it out. Leave the lid OFF so the truck drivers can see its dried paint.

If you have the space and patience, you may also leave the lid off your paint bucket and let it air dry. You can also mix in kitty litter to absorb the paint and help speed up the dry time, but paint hardener is especially beneficial when you'd like to be quick and get it GONE. I think of it as one of those miracle products.

You may dispose of OIL paint (also known as ALKYD) by bringing the remains to a hazardous waste collection facility. Again, if you have dried paint, you can throw it in your normal garbage.

Here are a few resources:
In King County, call King County Solid Waste
206-296-4466 or 1-800-325-6265, ext. 6-4466

Seattlites can call:

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Almost-For-Certain-Probable (We Hope!) Store Opening Date is Set: May 26th

What a roller-coaster ride it is to relocate a store. Of course, our 'perfect' location required a change-of-use with the City of Bellevue - to the uneducated, that means more permits. Previously, the space housed a Safeway Training Center. Our use is retail, not office, so the changes need to be very carefully addressed.

I never knew it could take sooooo many different permits to get a place remodeled. However, we are almost through that knothole, and it looks like we are getting so close to having everything signed-off that this move might actually happen.

The fire alarm installers (also known as The Major Holdup In The Project) are finishing today, maybe even with their final tests. Then we get the Bellevue Fire Department in for final inspection, then the Building Inspector, then we can close up the ceiling in the warehouse and start moving in product.

Luckily, we are hiring a moving company to help with the project and it's a multi-day gig. I can already tell it is going to be well worth the inve$tment!!!

It look like this Memorial Day weekend will be very memorable for Daly's.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Robin and Christian Hanging with HGTV's Vern Yip

Here we are at the 2009 Eye On Design event at The Seattle Design Center. Christian was on a design panel moderated by Vern, and we were lucky enough to have had a loooong interview with him about a month ago in preparation for this event for the two publications we write design articles for: 425 Magazine and The Journal Newspapers.

Yes, Vern is as cool and hip as he seems on TV!
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The New Lights Over the Front Counter

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View of New Bellevue From Front Door

We are getting sooooo close!!!! You are looking in towards the new decor department. The wall of shelves you see in the back will display wallpaper books. Next to those will be our color centers for both C2 Paint and Pratt & Lambert paint.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What Makes a Color Work?

Yesterday I met with a color specifier at the (soon to be old) Bellevue store. She was thrilled to learn about our different paint lines and she made a comment that got me to thinking...

She wanted to know MORE about what makes certain colors our 'go-to' colors in the palette. In other words, when we help someone choose colors, we often start off with our favorite shades to help facilitate the process of winnowing down the choices.

But what makes them our favorites, and why do they work?

It's more than a lucky guess, of course. As I am writing this, I keep flashing to C2 Paint's "Labrador". It's yellow. But it's not yellowy-yellow because it possesses a red undertone.

This hint of red pigment keeps the yellow from going too acidic, plus it contributes to uniting the color to other shades, ensuring that 'Labrador' will coordinate with a large variety of hues. And interestingly enough, 'Labrador' is ideal both as an exterior yellow (imagine a yellow farmhouse on the middle of the country with tons of crisp white trim and a deep green or rich red front door) and it plays exceptionally well as a kitchen yellow. Very unusual thaqt a single color can span both directions, when you think about the way a color reads outside compared to inside.

Yet, if you look at it in relation to the color chip rack or fan deck, you might think it's too peachy at first. But get it off the rack, and the color really starts to shine. Of course, there are other great yellows, too! Some of my favorites include: C2 'Moxie', 'Polenta', 'Shine' and 'Sugar Cookie' when you want that pretty pale hue.

When looking at any color, don't forget to try the color in the environment it will be used - ultimately, it's the relationship of your new color with all the other factors that make it work.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting Closer to Move-In Day!!!

It looks like we will be fully functional in our new space by the middle of May. The store is really starting to take shape, and I gotta tell you, it looks GREAT!

The sign was installed on Friday. It was interesting to see the process, of course it had to be raining, poor guys...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Spring Fashion Trend?

This 'dress' is actually constucted of Antonina Vella "Selene" wallpaper that is covered in a delicate filigree design made from gorgeous glass beads and subtly colored background paper. Tasty! (And yes, you can get it from Daly's!)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

To Paint or Refinish? That is the Question!

I just fielded a great question (the customer was actually referred to us by another paint store!) - in a 1950's house, is it better to strip and refinish the base trim or repaint it?

While there is never a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to aesthetics, the caller had some interesting value choices to ponder.

Would the trim be worth the effort of stripping? Being a 1950's era house, the trim is most likely Mahogany, but not that cheapie 1970's Mahogany we are still trying to erase from memory.

How would the caller determine if it's the good stuff? Remove a piece of trim from as inconspicuous an area as possible, and see what's under five decades of paint. If it's good quality wood, then the choice can be made to remove the paint layers and refinish. If not, no harm done - re-install the trim, patch the wall if needed and repaint.

When it comes to the 'look', which is better? In this case, I'd suggest stripping and refinishing because the caller is painting his walls a pale white. This means the exposed wood trim will add some architectural detailing to a potentially very plain room.

If painting is the option, I suggest a color that adds some depth and richness to the trim. Perhaps a rich mushroom color or even a velvety cream - anything to add some interest without becoming distracting. In very few instances should trim become the room's focal point, but it can go far to add character and interest.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Magazine

I received a new magazine today; Decorative Concrete Retailer.
And I thought Daly's was a niche business!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Input Regarding One-Coat Coverage

Here is some more feedback on the question of One-Coat Coverage. This comes from Randy, one of our great designers in our Bellevue store. He has a lot of hands-on experience with paint, so his input comes from a user perspective. I think it illustrates why the idea of One-Coat Coverage seems to set up people with unrealistic expectations:

"Hi Robin,
I appreciated your blog post about paint hide. I wanted to comment that there is another flawed assumption behind the idea of one coat coverage. One coat coverage assumes that that the paint will hide in one coat but also that the application is perfect, which is hardly ever the case. It assumes that the painter is putting on a perfectly consistent film with no variation and no holidays. The only time this happens is with spraying.

One example is the many times as a painter I would be rolling out a wall, and the paint looked like it was completely covering only to come back the next morning to find small pin hole sized holidays where the paint film had shrunk back in drying that I couldn't see when it was wet.

The other issue is the performance...thicker paint film means better performance.

The paint industry has shot itself in the foot by putting this idea out there in the first place, creating an unrealistic expectation and disappointment and frustration, though it is what people would like to hear.

Anyway, my two cents.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our New Store

Here is an exterior shot of the new Bellevue store. Last week was when demo started, so now the space inside is very open (and somehow manages to look both larger and smaller at the same time).
This week, the guys are busy chipping off the old vinyl tiles. We are hoping the concrete is in good enough shape to stain and polish... keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our Most Recent 425 Magazine Issue

Here is the cover shot of 425 Magazine - of which Christian Ursino and I regularly write a design column. This issue (as you might guess by the cover) has a bridal focus and our article specifically addresses combining two separate households into one.

One of my favorite tips that we share is that we give you permission to let go of items that no longer suit you - even if it's a family heirloom! It can be a bit scary to let go of something that other family members have placed great import upon, but if it doesn't work for your new life, it's okay to let it go to another home.

We love writing for 425 Magazine, it's beautifully designed and focuses on Eastside living.
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Is There Such a Thing As One-Coat Coverage with Paint?

I had a conversation the other day with a customer who had expected the paint he had purchased to cover his walls in one coat. His frustration and disappointment got me to wondering: is there really such thing as one-coat coverage?

Here at the store, we generally steer people from this concept. The quick answer is that while one coat may 'look' like it covers, that second coat is where the magic happens. The second coat gives you a thicker film build, which means you have more of that color for the light to reflect from.

But I wanted to dig a little deeper. So I contacted Tom Hill, president of C2 Paint and general paint chemist wonk, and asked him for some more clarification. Here is his input:

One Coat Hiding in Paint

To try and simplify this, hiding in paint is determined primarily by refractive index and absorption properties of the pigments used in the paint formulation.

Light passing through a media is refracted (bent) depending on the
refractive index of the specific media. The refractive index of air is
1.0008. Light is essentially not bent in air. The refractive index
of titanium dioxide is 2.7. The only material with a higher refractive
index than titanium dioxide is diamond. A pigment with a higher refractive
index hides better than a pigment with a lower refractive index. The
refractive index of bright yellow colorant is 1.4 and thus a color made from
primarily bright yellow colorant and zero titanium dioxide does not hide very

We use Titanium Dioxide as the prime hiding pigment in paints because
it has the highest refractive index of the pigments available for use to produce
a white color. However, there is a practical limit to the amount of TiO2
one can use in a gallon of paint. Increasing the amount of TiO2 beyond
this practical limit actually reduces the total hiding of the paint.

At this practical limit…with reasonable volume solids, PVC and dry film
thickness…we expect hiding to be at a minimum of 98% but less than 100%.
The definition of one coat hiding in the paint industry is 98% coverage over a
black and white contrast ratio chart. To increase the hiding of a white
base from 98% to 100% we must add a color pigment that absorbs light as well as
refracts light. The pigments that do this are black, yellow oxide, red
oxide, burnt umber, etc. Once there is a sufficient loading of these
pigments plus white true one coat hiding can be achieved. The colors are
all muted and earth tones but they will cover in one coat.

An interesting side note is that adding bright yellow or bright red to
a white base will reduce the hiding of that base. These pigments do not
absorb light and their refractive index in significantly less than TiO2 (1.4
versus 2.7). The blend of these two pigments yields a refractive index
that is less than that of the untinted base and thus poorer in hiding.

Conclusion, in normally formulated paints (i.e. proper PVC…volume
solids…and film build), one coat hiding is not possible to achieve unless the
paint is tinted with a light adsorbing pigment.

I hope that clears it up!